China, holder of more American debt than any other nation, called for a new global currency to replace the US dollar. The governor of the central bank in Beijing said the current recession exposes the danger of relying on a currency not controlled by the International Monetary Fund. Reform of the world's financial system is expected to top the agenda of the Group of 20 summit next week.
Rewards of up to $2 million each – the largest in Mexican history – were offered Monday by the government for information leading to the arrests of 24 cartel chiefs in one of President Felipe Calderón's boldest moves against drug-related crime. Smaller rewards also were offered for 13 of their lieutenants. The announcement appeared to mark a departure from the practice of Calderón's predecessors to take on one cartel at a time rather than all at once. More than 9,000 people have died in drug-related violence there since Calderón assumed office in December 2006.
A conference of Nobel Peace Prize winners was postponed until further notice Tuesday by South Africa's government after some invitees said they'd boycott unless the Dalai Lama was permitted to attend. Repeating the government's denial of an entry visa, however, a spokesman said the Tibetan spiritual leader would not be welcome until after South Africa stages the World Cup soccer championships next year. The spokesman denied that South Africa had acted under pressure from China but said, "You can't separate Tibet [from him]; that becomes the issue."
Prospects appeared even for both sides as members of Parliament in the Czech Republic prepared for a vote of no confidence Tuesday in Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's minority government. Four previous votes have failed to topple his center-right administration, but some legislators loyal to him have since defected. The vote is critical because the Czechs currently hold the rotating presidency of the European Union, they've yet to ratify the EU charter, and the US has proposed building half of a missile defense system on Czech soil. A national election for a new government normally wouldn't be due until the middle of next year.
Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki slapped a two-run single with two outs in the 10th inning Monday night to give Japan its second consecutive championship in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). The Japanese defeated Korea, 5-3, in the game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Japan also won the inaugural WBC in 2006 over Cuba. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Japan's No. 1 starting pitcher , was named most valuable player of the tournament, also for the second time.
Rescuers in Western Australia State were struggling to push 11 pilot whales far enough out to sea Tuesday that they'd swim to safety rather than try to strand themselves again on a remote beach. But reports said the 11 appeared disoriented and were not cooperating. Seventy-two other stranded whales and a bottlenose dolphin died before they could be refloated. The mass beaching 24 hours earlier was the third in Australia in three months.