Headlines: '82 veterans bond on Falklands visit; Some difficult choices before the next budget; Former governor fined.
Billionaire investor George Soros offered a gloomy outlook for the US economy, stating that a depression is possible. Testifying at a US Lower House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Thursday, Soros predicted that not only will the US muddle through a deep recession, but that hedge funds will be decimated by the current financial crisis.
Japan will propose at the upcoming Group of 20 Washington summit the doubling of the current 340 billion dollars provided to the International Monetary Fund to help strengthen its capacity to address financial crises and is willing to pledge 100 billion US dollars of its reserves, according to government sources in Tokyo.
US President George W Bush has admitted the financial system needs reforming, but insists the credit crunch was not a failure of the free-market system. Speaking Thursday in New York, Mr Bush said that while financial markets did need some new regulation and more transparency, free trade should not be restricted.
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez vetoed on Thursday a bill decriminalizing abortion passed earlier this week by Congress, said Tourist Minister Hector Lescano. The two Houses lack the three-fifths required vote to override the veto, he added.
Two clones of highly antibiotic-resistant organism strains, which previously had only been identified in the United States, have now been detected in several Colombian cities, say researchers at The University of Texas Medical School.
Economic activity is expected to fall by 0.9% in the United States in 2009, by 0.5% in the Euro area and by 0.1% in Japan as OECD countries enter a protracted slowdown, according to latest projections.
The Euro-zone has officially slipped into recession after EU figures showed that the economy shrank by 0.2% in the third quarter. This follows a 0.2% contraction in the 15-nation area in the previous quarter from April to June. Two quarters of negative growth define a technical recession.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged leaders of the G20 developed and emerging economies to resist calls for protectionism. Speaking in New York ahead of the weekend G 20 summit on the widening global financial crisis PM Brown said protectionism was the road to ruin.
United States retail sales fell 2.8% in October, the largest drop on record for the month and another sign that US consumers are clamping down amid the faltering economy, the Commerce Department reported Friday.