World News Brief, Tuesday November 18

G20 leaders promise fiscal action, reject protectionism; Japan declares recession; Western Australia lifts uranium ban; peace talks promised in Congo; and more

Top of the Agenda: After the G-20

Leaders from the G-20 industrialized and developing economies, meeting this weekend in Washington, did not move to overhaul the global financial system, as some analysts had predicted, but set forth a series of pledges to restore global economic growth and prevent against rising protectionism. The Financial Times reports the leaders presented a united front against the current financial crisis and vowed to use coordinated fiscal stimulus as needed to boost growth rates--a statement the article says could give fresh momentum to domestic stimulus packages in several critical countries.

The Wall Street Journal notes the G-20 leaders also vowed to increase lending restrictions on banks, a move that the article says has some analysts worried about over-reach. In a separate article, the Journal reports that a lack of specificity in the leaders' statements coming out of the meeting could drive a further run-up of the U.S. dollar, which has risen sharply against most major world currencies in recent months. The Economist has a wrap-up of the summit, arguing that while it didn't "fix global finance," it marked an important step in the right direction and shouldn't be considered empty rhetoric.

Meanwhile, new signs of economic weakness emerged Monday. The FT reports Japan's economy has officially entered recession, and that many analysts fear the country's economic situation could deteriorate further. Asian shares moved slightly higher in trading today, but European indices fell in morning trading (Bloomberg).



Pacific Rim: Hu Jintao's Americas Visit

Xinhua reports on Chinese President Hu Jintao's North American tour. Following the financial summit in Washington, Hu traveled to several Central American countries in an effort to bolster trade relations.

AUSTRALIA: The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Australian state of Western Australia has lifted a ban on uranium mining, potentially opening up significant swaths of the territory to excavation operations.

SOUTH KOREA-US: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said he supported (Korea Times) US President-elect Barack Obama's push for Washington to bolster the struggling US auto industry, adding that he hoped such a deal would pacify US labor unions and facilitate a pending trade deal between the countries.



France arrests suspected military leader of Basque Eta group.
More fighting in eastern Congo; UN envoy promises peace talks.

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