Nov 8 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
CHINA: China’s ruling communists have opened a pivotal congress to initiate a power handover to new leaders with a broad promise of cleaner government.
But they kept off-stage the main event – the bargaining over seats in the new leadership.
CHINA: There is no evidence that British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder became part of a major political scandal, was a spy, a top Chinese leader says.
Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, who was put in charge of the mega-city of Chongqing in the wake of the scandal, told reporters in Beijing that he had no information about when his predecessor, the now purged leader Bo Xilai, would go on trial.
US ELECTION: America moved today from the bitter election campaign that gave President Barack Obama a second White House term towards a test of whether Republicans and Democrats are now ready to set aside their deep partisan divisions and legislative gridlock.
Meanwhile US stocks suffered their worst one-day loss of the year yesterday as investors looked past the election and focused on big problems ahead in Washington and Europe.
AMERICA: The New York-New Jersey region woke up to a layer of wet snow and more power cuts after a new storm pushed back efforts to recover from a superstorm had left millions powerless and dozens dead last week.
The storm did not bring a second wave of flooding that some had feared.
SYRIA: Syrian President Bashar Assad has vowed defiantly to “live and die” in Syria.
He said in an interview broadcast today that he will never flee his country despite the bloody, 19-month-old uprising against him.
AFGHANISTAN: Roadside bombs and a suicide bomber have killed 20 people in a spate of attacks across Afghanistan.
The deaths came even as armed clashes between insurgents and Afghan security forces have decreased as the fighting season winds down with the approach of winter.
GREECE: Greece’s parliament passed a crucial austerity bill in a vote so close that it left the coalition government reeling from dissent.
The bill, which will further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member parliament, hours after rioters rampaged outside the building in Athens during an 80,000-strong anti-austerity demonstration, clashing with police who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.
PAKISTAN: A suicide bomber smashed a truck packed with explosives into housing for a paramilitary force protecting Pakistan’s largest city today, killing at least one person.
The blast underlined deteriorating security in Karachi, the sprawling port city of 18 million people that is considered the economic heart of Pakistan.