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Nov. 21, 2008

International News for Nov. 7 - 21

by Alisa Lu, Online News Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post and Time Magazine. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Haiti
Nov. 7 - A school collapse in Haiti killed at least 94 students and adults and injured at least 150 more. About 500 students were in the La Promesse School for a party when the three-story concrete block building fell. After charges of involuntary manslaughter were pressed against him, Fortin Augustin, the school's owner and builder and a Protestant preacher, turned himself into authorities on Nov. 8. If charged, Augustin could face life in prison.

China
Nov. 10 - The Chinese government announced a $586 billion stimulus plan to fuel the economy after its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was projected to decrease to less than nine percent in 2009 - a drop from its actual growth rate of 12 percent in 2007. In hopes of averting a recession and increasing demand for products, the plan will increase government spending in housing, infrastructure, finance, health, education, tax reform, transportation, industry, environment, disaster rebuilding and subsidies. Although China's financial system is still in decent shape, fewer export orders from hard-hit countries like the U.S. have decreased demand for Chinese products, which could lead to lay-offs and an eventual recession.

Nov. 19 - China replaced Japan as the U.S. government's largest foreign creditor by owning 10 percent of the United States public debt. Experts now say that Beijing is holding an extraordinary amount of power in the United States because China can now easily influence interest rates and the exchange rate between the Yuan and the dollar due to its control of the United States money supply. Many have criticized the U.S.'s dependency on China, an authoritarian state and China's investment in the U.S., which is currently going through a recession. China currently holds the world's largest cash reserves, with $1.9 trillion available.

Taiwan
Nov. 12 - Taiwan's former president, Chen Shui-bian, was taken into custody after a Taiwanese court ordered his arrest. Federal prosecutors have accused Chen of corruption, specifically for allegedly laundering money and illegally using the special presidential fund. Chen has faced criticism from international countries, including the U.S., for allowing corruption in his government.

United States
Nov. 14 - 15 - The leaders of 20 industrialized nations met in Washington, D.C., to discuss financial markets and the world economy in the midst of the global financial crisis. All leaders agreed that cooperation among the world's industrialized nations was needed to solve the current crisis, but President George Bush did not issue a bold declaration. Many leaders have called for other leaders to inject money into the economies to revitalize the global economy.



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