More volatility on world financial markets sent the benchmark Nikkei index to its lowest close since late 1982, with similar plunges elsewhere. In Tokyo, the Nikkei fell 6.4 percent as investors worried that too strong a yen – it is near a 13-year high – will hurt Japanese exports. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 12.7 percent after its biggest one-day sell-off since 1991. Indexes across Europe also dropped, led by the CAC-40 in Paris, which was off 4.9 percent as trading neared a close. Meanwhile, on the first full day of trading in oil futures since OPEC announced a production cutback, the per-barrel price appeared likely to close below $63 after briefly dipping as low as $61.30.Skip to next paragraph
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Another suspected US missile attack on a militant training camp in Pakistan's tribal region killed as many as 20 people, among them a senior Taliban chief, local officials said Monday. The attack was the 12th of its type since mid-August, all of them coming after Pakistan's new civilian government took power vowing zero tolerance for violations of its sovereignty.
New speculation about North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's health arose Monday as TV news footage showed his son consulting at length with a noted brain surgeon in Paris. Later, the surgeon was seen arriving at De Gaulle Airport in a North Korean-owned limousine. When questioned, he did not deny that he was en route to Pyongyang, the North's capital. North Korea denies that Kim has health problems, but he hasn't been seen in public in almost two months.
Without elaborating, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander confirmed Monday that his country supplies weapons to "liberation armies" in the Middle East. They are believed to include Shiite militias such as the so-called Mahdi Army in Iraq and Hezbullah in Lebanon. Iran previously has denied providing arms or financial help to Iraqi Shiites and has admitted only to political and financial backing for Hezbullah.
Gatherings of more than five people were banned across Indian-administered Kashmir Monday as thousands of soldiers and police deployed to prevent demonstrations by Muslim separatists. The date marked the anniversary of India's takeover of the disputed region in 1947. Pro-Pakistan sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, and an estimated 68,000 people have died since the separatists began a campaign in 1989 to end Indian control.
Another longtime hostage of Colombia's leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces was free after escaping his captors. Oscar Tulio Lizcano, a former member of Congress, had been held for eight years until the rebel guarding him chose to defect late last week and the two set out to turn themselves over to security forces. The guard will be offered asylum in France, reports said. Lizcano's escape was preceded by the high-profile rescue in July of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages.
US authorities said they'll seek the extradition of reputed Mexican drug cartel leader Eduardo Arellano Felix after he was captured in a shootout with police and government troops late Saturday night. Acting on a tip, they traced him to an upscale residence in the border city of Tijuana, where he'd been living under an assumed name. His arrest was the second of a senior Mexican drug trafficker in two weeks.
All participants in an annual endurance race in England's Lake District have been accounted for, although some required hospitalization, reports said. High winds and severe flooding over the weekend caused the Original Mountain Marathon to be halted with the runners still out on the course. Police criticized it for starting at all under the circumstances.