World News Brief, Wednesday September 24

UN's annual debate begins; Bush's last general assembly; Countries block Chinese dairy products; doubts grow over US bail-out; and more

Top of the Agenda: Bush's Eighth UN Speech

The UN General Assembly opens its annual debate today in New York, bringing together heads of state for discussion likely to touch on financial concerns (WashPost), the global food crisis, nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and reform of the United Nations itself. Closely watched in the first day of proceedings will be speeches from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. President George W. Bush, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad's appearance comes after the chief of the UN's nuclear agency said he cannot determine (AP) whether Iran is hiding some of its nuclear activities.

In what is likely to be Bush's last General Assembly visit as U.S. president, the Christian Science Monitor reports his stance toward the institution has shifted significantly into a "reluctant embrace." The Washington Post looks at Bush's engagement with the UN during his two terms.

One twist to this year's meetings could emerge from the fact that Nicaragua's Miguel d'Escoto Brockman is currently serving as the president (LAT) of the general assembly. Some news reports have posited that Brockman's leadership could make for a fertile environment for anti-United States sloganeering, particularly from Latin American countries like Venezuela and Bolivia that have used the meetings to lash out at Washington in the past. offers a host of materials lending context to this week's meetings:

  • A new Issue Guide compiles relevant interviews, columns, backgrounders, and other materials.

Pacific Rim: China Milk Crackdown

China vowed to prevent contaminated milk products from being traded internationally as some regional trade partners moved to block dairy exports from China (Reuters).

S.KOREA: Yonhap reports that efforts to reform South Koeran property taxes are causing hot political debate in Seoul.



Bush scheduled to meet with Zardari; major Pakistani military campaign in tribal regions.

Doubts on finance reform plan prompt decline for stocks, U.S. dollar.

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