JIM LEHRER: In other news today, an explosion ripped through a nightclub in Russia, killing more than 100 people. News agencies said indoor fireworks may have caused the blast. It happened in the city of Perm, about 700 miles east of Moscow. Investigators said 200 people were in the club at the time.
General Motors and its main Chinese partner have announced a joint venture in India. The Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, will put $350 million into the operation. It will also take majority ownership of GM’s existing China venture.
A powerful rebel movement in northeast India was dealt another blow today. Officials confirmed, the overall commander and top deputy were in custody, after they surrendered in neighboring Bangladesh. Several rebel leaders have been arrested in the past year. The group is centered in Assam state. It’s conducted a violent 30-year campaign for independence.
There was word today of rare public protest in North Korea. It started after much of the country’s paper money was rendered worthless. Reports in South Korea said demonstrators burned piles of currency, and they denounced Kim Jong Il, the North’s communist dictator.
Kim’s government had changed the face value of its currency to try to curb runaway inflation. It also limited how many old banknotes could be swapped for the new ones.