US bailout plan analysed; Chinese astronauts given heroes' welcome; Thai PM charged with corruption after just two weeks; far-right makes gains in Austria; and more
Top of the Agenda: Bailout Goes to Vote
(NB: Today's World News Brief was compiled before the Congress nay vote early this morning NZT.)
After a week of contentious negotiations, key lawmakers in Washington yesterday agreed to a plan providing for a bailout of the troubled U.S. financial sector. The measure, aimed at easing the global credit crisis, goes before the entire U.S. House of Representatives for what the New York Times says promises to be a tough vote.
The Wall Street Journal says the deal would "effectively nationalize an array of mortgages and securities backed by them" in "the biggest banking rescue in U.S. history." The bill includes the full $700 billion in outlays originally proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, but also provisions that could force the U.S. financial sector to reimburse the U.S. government (FT) for losses on that money.
In a new feature called CFR Forum, more than a dozen experts, led by CFR's Sebastian Mallaby, discuss the bailout, U.S. financial troubles more generally, and what it all might mean for the future of U.S. geopolitical power.
Pacific Rim: Highs and Lows in China
China celebrated the return of three astronauts from a successful mission, which included the country's first ever space walk (BBC). But the government was still trying to handle the fallout from a scandal over tainted milk in its dairy industry. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said the crisis "exposed the fact that there are still many problems in our supervision of production, and the government has responsibility" (WSJ).
Thailand: Less than two weeks after taking office, Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has been charged with corruption in a scandal the Bangkok Post says could cost him his post and his seat in parliament.
North Korea: U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill wil visit North Korea (NYT) later this week, following Pyongyang's pledge to restart its nuclear programme.
India nuclear deal passes House; Singh in Paris for cooperation talks.
Somali pirates surrounded by U.S., Russian troops.
Far-right parties make gains in Austria.
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.