That Sinking Feeling: Export growth slows throughout East Asia and India
99 South Korean Leaflets: Pyongyang closes its land border with ROK over the Lee administration’s “hardline” attitude.
All Negative: Fitch lowers South Korean banks’ ratings.
Radio Free Christendom: Trans World Radio, an international Christian broadcaster, claims it has distributed 3,100 radios in DPRK this year so far.
DPRK’s Beria in Charge: Times Online speculates that the Dear Leader’s brother-in-law, Chang Sung Taek, is in control. “‘He is very smart, dynamic, with maybe some charisma – that’s the image I have of him,’ said Dr Choi. ‘He has fewer enemies [than other senior cadres] because when he purges people, they are not just sent away from Pyongyang, they are killed.'”
Catholic Charity: A Franciscan priest, Father Paul Kim Kwon-soon, will establish a welfare center in Pyongyang later this month for his first two-month visa stay.
Delayed Injustice: 14 Burmese dissidents each received prison sentences of 65 years for last year’s protests.
The Shrinking Ruble: Moscow prepares to let the rouble depreciate.
A Clash of Presidents: President George W. Bush is loath to bail out the Big Three automakers President-Elect Barack H. Obama wants.
38%, and a Few More Years in Debt: the US Federal Housing Finance Agency offers a plan to help delinquent homeowners, and no one likes it.
Iceland Stumbles: Iceland will probably not get an IMF loan, and Icelanders blame the UK.
Chen in Chains: The former president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bien, is arrested for corruption-related offenses.
GMA-Brained: RP president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claims The Philippines are “firewalled” from the global recession.
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