World News Brief, Thursday October 16

EU leaders kick-off financial summit; Asian and European sharemarkets stall; shots fired on Thai-Cambodian border; Russia and Georgia sidelines peace talks; and more

Top of the Agenda: EU Summit to Focus on Banks

EU leaders open two days of talks in Brussels today, seeking to consolidate political support behind the financial rescue package they drafted this weekend. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged all member states to support the plan, which provides over $2.5 trillion in support for European banks (Deutsche-Welle). The BBC says agreement is expected, though it notes possible concerns that the plan will derail EU talks on climate change policy.

Meanwhile, the United States yesterday passed a measure providing $250 billion for bank recapitalization and for securing new bank debt-an agreement the Financial Times says reassured markets that U.S. banks would be able to weather the credit storm. The move, the article says, marked the largest U.S. government intervention in the financial sector since the Depression era. The Wall Street Journal notes, however, that the plan will be no quick fix. The "devil is in the bailout's details," the piece says, noting that it remains to be seen whether the move will spur banks to increase lending.

Markets in Asia and Europe stalled today, posting losses after two straight days of rallies (AP).


Pacific Rim: Thailand-Cambodia Conflict

News reports indicate Cambodian and Thai troops exchanged cross-border gunfire today as a dispute over the sovereignty of an ancient temple escalated (Bangkok Post). The Jakarta Post reports Thailand has put jet fighters on standby and says its troops are on alert.

South Korea-North Korea: Yonhap reports South Korean nuclear negotiators have cautiously backed an agreement on verifying North Korea's denuclearization process and are looking to move ahead with inspections.



Russia, Georgia sideline peace talks; plan technical meetings instead

Syria and Lebanon formalize ties

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