ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Barack Obama Begins Assembling New Administration


US ELECT - WRAP: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is moving swiftly to assemble his administration before he formally takes office next January. Sources close to Mr. Obama's transition team say the president-elect has compiled a list of names for the post of Treasury Secretary. They include Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Lawrence Summers, who held the post under former President Bill Clinton, and Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve. They say Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel are being considered for Secretary of State. Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig is a leading contender to fill the Defense Secretary post. (News Updates)

US ELECT - CONGRESS: Senate races in four U.S. states remain undecided, but Tuesday's election has already increased the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Democrats seized five Senate seats from the Republicans in Tuesday's election, giving them 56 seats in the 100-seat upper chamber of Congress. That is just four shy of the 60 seats needed to overcome Republican delay tactics. The races in Alaska, Georgia, Minnesota and Oregon are too close to call. In Minnesota, the Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat and former comedian Al Franken will be decided by a recount. Coleman leads by about 475 votes of nearly two-point-nine million cast.

TAIWAN - CHINA: Thousands of Taiwanese protesters faced off with police today as Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou met China's top envoy on relations with the island. The meeting between Mr. Ma and Chen Yunlin at a government guesthouse in the capital Taipei lasted only five minutes and took place five hours earlier than expected to sidestep protests. Thousands rallied today outside their meeting place bringing traffic to standstill as they shouted "Taiwan is my country" and "Chen get out." In their brief meeting, Mr. Ma praised the landmark deal that Chen signed with his Taiwan counterpart earlier this week. The deal further opens transportation links between the island and China.

US - AUTO INDUSTRY: Leaders of America's so-called "Big Three" automakers will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today to discuss a possible government-funded bailout of the ailing domestic industry. The chief executives of General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler will likely push for congressional passage of a 25 billion dollar loan package to shore up their dwindling cash reserves. The proposed loan is in addition to an earlier 25 billion dollar loan offered by the U.S. Energy Department to help the automakers produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. The president of the United Auto Workers union will also attend today's meeting with Pelosi.

WORLD ECONOMY: Asian and European markets are plummeting today as new fears of a growing global recession overshadow Tuesday's historic election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Europe's key indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt were all down an average of three percent, while trading on Russia's MICEX was suspended for an hour after stocks took a sharp dive. Share prices across Asia were also down today, with Tokyo's Nikkei index losing six-and-a-half percent, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropping just over seven percent. Markets in the region fell after Japanese-based automakers Toyota and Isuzu announced larger-than-expected cuts in their full year earnings forecast.

US - MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is heading to the Middle East for more talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on the regional peace process. Rice will meet the now-caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni today in Tel Aviv and go to Ramallah in the West Bank Friday for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Rice has said the Bush administration will pursue Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts until President Bush leaves office in January. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas revived peace talks late last year with a desire to reach a final deal by the time Mr. Bush leaves office.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say an airstrike has killed at least 11 suspected militants in the country's volatile northwest. Officials today said the strike targeted insurgent positions in the semiautonomous Bajaur region, bordering Afghanistan. On Wednesday, reports from Pakistan said Islamic militants released 12 school children abducted Tuesday from a government school in the northwest. A spokesman for a Taliban group led by the radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah had accused the students of spying for Pakistani security forces in the Swat region. In other violence Wednesday, the militants killed one of the four police officers kidnapped three days ago in Swat's Charbagh.

BHUTAN - KING: The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has crowned its new ruler, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck -- the youngest reigning monarch in the world. The coronation of the 28-year-old Western-educated hereditary monarch as Bhutan's first constitutional king culminates a two-year transfer of royal power from his father, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated two years ago. In today's ceremony in the capital, Thimpu, King Jigme Singye transfered the Raven Crown to his eldest son, giving him the title of the Fifth Druk Gyalpo, or Dragon King.

Listen to our World News for details.

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