World News Brief, Friday October 3

US Senate passes bail-out bill, House may vote Friday (UST); US envoy extends Korean trip; Mbeki stays on Zimbabwe job; EU leaders hold financial summit; and more

Top of the Agenda: New Bailout Plan

The U.S. Senate passed a revised bailout bill (RollCall), authorizing the government to spend up to $700 billion to buy assets from faltering financial institutions to try to free up credit and stabilize the U.S. financial system. The legislation was revised significantly to win over political support-it included a package of tax breaks for individuals and companies, and also raised the amount of money the federal government insures in bank accounts-and it passed by a comfortable margin, 74 to 25 (WashPost). The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where a different version already failed. The House may vote on the bill by Friday.

The proceedings will be watched carefully by analysts worldwide and the vote could have a significant impact on global markets. The BBC reports European shares jumped today following the Senate's vote. The AP reports Asian markets also saw limited gains. A new Daily Analysis looks at how ripples from Wall Street's crisis have been felt around the world.

Even if a bailout bill is passed, however, concerns remain about the underlying health of global economies, and policymakers are scrambling for a legislative fix. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also serving as the president of the European Union, called for a Europe-wide bailout scheme (FT).



Pacific Rim: Hill Extends Pyongyang Visit

U.S. envoy Christopher Hill has reportedly opted to extend his visit (Yonhap) to North Korea for at least a day to try to prevent the collapse of a nuclear disarmament deal.

Japan: The Daily Yomiuri reports on how the global credit crunch might affect Japanese government plans to draft a new budget and hold new House elections.



Thabo Mbeki to continue in role as Zimbabwe mediator.
EU leaders plan banking summit to consider coordinated financial response.

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