World News Brief, Tuesday October 28

Syria fumes as US helicopter raid kills eight; China and Russia prepare for bi-lateral talks; South Korea slashes interest rates; Israel heading to the polls after coalition talks fails; and more

Top of the Agenda: Syria Air Raid


Syria reacted angrily toward both the United States and Iraq following suspected U.S. helicopter raids that crossed into Syrian territory. Damascus said the raid killed eight Syrian citizens and characterized it as an act of "serious aggression" (al-Jazeera). The official Syrian news agency reported that the attacks targeted a building site near the country's border with Iraq. A spokesperson from the Syrian foreign ministry told al-Jazeera Damascus was still in the process of considering how it would respond, though Syrian state media have reported that Damascus has summoned U.S. and Iraqi diplomatic officials.

The U.S. government has neither denied nor confirmed the attack. The Associated Press quotes an unnamed U.S. military source saying U.S. special forces conducted a raid in Syria on Sunday targeting a group of al-Qaeda linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq. Washington has previously accused Syria of failing to prevent fighters from crossing into Iraq through Syria.

Agence-France Presse has a map showing the geography of the attack, as well as photos from Syrian television.



Pacific Rim: China-Russia Meetings

Xinhua previews meetings between China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and leaders from Russia and Kazakhstan, ahead of this week's bilateral economic talks with Russia and a Shanghai Cooperation Organization prime ministers' meeting.

South Korea: South Korea's central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points (Korea Times), the bank's largest cuts ever, in a move aimed at boosting liquidity and propping up the economy.



Tzipi Livni calls early vote in Israel; polls show her with slight edge over Netanyahu.
IMF agrees on loans for Hungary, Ukraine.

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