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.