WORLD ECONOMY: Most Asian markets closed higher today after early losses and a day after U.S. stocks fell sharply to multiyear lows.
Japan's Nikkei stock index rebounded during today's trading to close up
two-point-seven percent. South Korea's main index rose
three-point-seven percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped
almost three percent.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks plummeted as the U.S. Congress put off a
decision on bailing out the nation's three largest car manufacturers.
The S&P 500 fell to an 11-year low, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped to its lowest level since 2003.
APEC SUMMIT: U.S. President George Bush and leaders from the Pacific Rim are
traveling to Peru for a yearly economic summit that is expected to
focus on the global financial meltdown.
Mr. Bush will seek to build support for measures endorsed last week
during a meeting of the world's 20 biggest economies. The actions are
aimed at fixing the global economic crisis and problems that led to it.
The APEC summit will be held Saturday and Sunday in the Peruvian
capital Lima, days after a gloomy economic report by the Pacific
Economic Cooperation Council.
OBAMA TRANSITION: Democratic Party sources say U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is on
track to nominate former rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, as secretary
Sources say Mr. Obama will likely announce his pick around the Thanksgiving Day holiday next Thursday.
Democratic officials say Mr. Obama's transition team has sorted through
complex financial statements involving a foundation run by Clinton's
husband, former President Bill Clinton. The former president agreed to
an extensive ethics review to help clear his wife for the job as top
Sources say the process for Senator Clinton's nomination should move forward barring any unforeseen problems.
US - LIBYA: U.S. lawmakers have confirmed the first U.S. ambassador to Libya in 36
years, further normalizing relations between the two countries.
The Senate confirmed the nomination of longtime diplomat Gene Cretz on
Thursday. The move had been held up by some Senators until Libya made
good on its promise to fully compensate the families of victims of
terrorist acts in the 1980s.
Last month, Libya paid one-and-a-half billion dollars into a fund for
families of the victims of the Libyan-backed terrorist attacks,
including the 1988 downing of a U.S. airliner over Scotland, and the
1986 bombing of a Berlin disco.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Police in Pakistan say a bomb targeting the funeral of a slain Shi'ite
cleric has killed eight people and wounded 40 others in the country's
volatile northwest region.
Authorities say the bombing happened today in Dera Ismail
Khan, a city plagued by sectarian violence between extremist Sunni
Muslim and Shi'ite groups.
Separately, Taliban militants in Pakistan's northwest are threatening
to attack foreigners and government targets if the United States does
not stop alleged missile strikes from neighboring Afghanistan.
IRAQ: Thousands of protesters have gathered in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, to demonstrate against a U.S.-Iraq security agreement. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for today's rally in the center of the capital. Lawmakers loyal to Sadr have protested in parliament against the pact. If approved by the Iraqi government, the agreement will take effect January first and replace a U.N. mandate for foreign forces that expires this year. Iraqi security forces have sealed off the area for today's rally. The crowds are in Firdous Square, where U.S. soldiers tore down a large statue of Saddam Hussein after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
THAILAND - PROTEST: Thailand's main public sector unions are threatening to strike nationwide next week if the country's current administration does not step down. The group of unions urged its nearly 200-thousand workers to join an anti-government rally planned for Sunday in Bangkok. Thailand's anti-government movement, the People's Alliance for Democracy, is organizing the mass rally after a grenade attack Thursday killed one protester and injured 23 others. PAD leaders blame the government for the attack and say they will no longer tolerate what they say are the government's daily brutal crackdowns.
CHINA - QUAKE: Chinese state media say officials have identified more than 19-thousand
of the people killed in the country's devastating May earthquake.
An official from the affected southwestern Sichuan province said the government has for the first time published a list containing
detailed information about the victims who have been identified so far.
The total death toll from the seven-point-nine magnitude quake stands at more than 80-thousand people.
Earlier, the same local was quoted as saying more than 19-thousand
students and teachers died when schools collapsed during the quake.
Listen to our World News for details.