HARI SREENIVASAN: According to NATO, some 200 insurgents have been killed or captured in a pair of Afghan-NATO operations in eastern Afghanistan. A spokesman confirmed the raids today, and said they targeted the Haqqani Network. That militant group is based in Pakistan, but has launched several high-profile attacks inside Afghanistan. Also today, a NATO service member died in a roadside bombing in the south.
Thailand’s flood disaster grew even more dire today as one of the main shelters in Bangkok was forced to evacuate. The water rose faster than officials had expected and threatened to cut off the facility. Hundreds of evacuees gathered their belongings and crossed makeshift bridges to move to higher ground. The monsoon flooding began back in August and has killed at least 356 people.
A bailout fund for the Eurozone nations is set to top $1.4 trillion. That news filtered out today from German officials after a Eurozone summit on Sunday. The stability fund aims to protect countries like Italy and Spain from falling victim to the European debt crisis.
Speaking on French radio, the French finance minister called for a lasting solution.
FRANCOIS BAROIN, French Finance Minister (through translator): We are working day and night on this issue, so as not to get it wrong. What France wants is a strong and solid response, not supplementary steps. There have been too many repetitive crises. We need to draw lessons on governance and we need stable responses.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The news out of Europe helped stock markets around the world. Announcements of several corporate takeovers also helped. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 104 points to close at 11913. The Nasdaq rose nearly 62 points to close at 2699.
Argentina has reelected President Cristina de Kirchner in one of the widest margins of victory in the country’s history. Supporters cheered in the streets of Buenos Aires last night after de Kirchner racked up 54 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election. Her closest opponent got less than 17 percent. Argentina has enjoyed an economic boom in recent years. Since 2003, the income gap between rich and poor has been cut nearly in half.
The online whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks is suspending publication in order to focus on raising money. Founder Julian Assange said in London today that a financial blockade could force the Web site to close altogether by year’s end. Visa, MasterCard and Western Union refused to process donations to WikiLeaks after it started publishing thousands of State Department cables last year.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.