World briefs (10/14/12)
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TOKYO -- World finance officials called on the United States and Europe to quickly resolve their debt problems, saying Saturday that more decisive action was needed to restore confidence in the faltering global economy.
In a communique at the end of a three-day meeting in Tokyo, the members of the International Monetary Fund warned that global growth was slowing as the persistent debt crises in developed countries dragged down growth in emerging markets.
The IMF warned that economic stagnation in richer countries hurt poorer ones, which rely on exports to the developed world to lift themselves out of poverty. Its members also cautioned that the slowdown in the West was hurting growth in Asia, now the world's most dynamic economic region.
CAIRO -- Egypt's president backed down Saturday from his decision to remove the country's top prosecutor, keeping him in his post and sidestepping a potential clash with the country's powerful judiciary.
The two-day standoff between President Mohammed Morsi and Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud escalated with a backlash from a powerful group of judges who said Mr. Morsi's move had infringed upon their authority.
The standoff, which both sides later described as a "misunderstanding," exposed the enduring strength of an establishment packed with holdovers from the days of former President Hosni Mubarak and underlined Mr. Morsi's limitations in challenging long-standing institutions.
HONG KONG -- China's exports to the United States and Southeast Asia rose last month while the country's money supply expanded faster than expected, Chinese government agencies said Saturday, in the first signs that the Chinese economy might be starting to bottom out.
But strengthening exports to the U.S. -- up 5.5 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago -- could also increase trade frictions at a politically touchy time for both countries. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, and President Barack Obama have competed this autumn to present themselves as more willing to confront China on trade issues.
MOSCOW -- The Federal Security Service, Russia's main domestic intelligence agency, announced Saturday that it had shut down 20 nongovernmental organizations in southern Russia after discovering links to foreign spy agencies. But aid groups in the region said no such organizations had been closed, raising suspicions that the announcement was in fact a threat.
At first, the statement seemed to fit a recent pattern of pressure on humanitarian aid groups. But aid groups active in the Ingushetia region in southern Russia, where the 20 nongovernmental organizations are said to be located, said not one had been closed in recent months, for any reason. The disconnect, they said, illustrates the eerie way the security agency, a successor to the KGB, sometimes operates.
JERUSALEM -- One Palestinian was killed and two were wounded in an Israeli Air Force strike on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to a Gaza health official.
The men targeted in the strike were described in an emailed statement from the army as "terror operatives of the Hashora Council of the Mujahideen, a Gaza-based Global Jihad affiliate," who were responsible for attacks on Israelis.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published October 14, 2012 12:00 am