JAPAN

Stimulus package OK’d

Japan has unleashed yet another barrage of stimulus at its stagnant economy, as debate over how to revive growth heated up ahead of a general election widely expected to deal a severe blow to the ruling Democratic Party. The latest stimulus package, totaling $10.7 billion is earmarked mainly for spending on social programs, employment creation and support for small and medium-size enterprises. Data for October, released today, showed an uptick in industrial output from the month before, the first increase in four months, but little else in the way of encouragement.

MYANMAR

Crackdown on protests

Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs to clear protesters from a copper mine in northwestern Myanmar, wounding villagers and Buddhist monks in the biggest use of force against demonstrators since the reformist government of President Thein Sein took office last year. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who arrived in the area hours later on a previously scheduled visit, said she would try to negotiate a solution. In a statement broadcast on state television, the government initially acknowledged using the riot-control measures but denied using excessive force. In an unusual move, it later retracted the statement without explanation.

ENGLAND

Judge urges regulation

Britain’s unruly newspapers should be regulated by an independent body dominated by non-journalists with the power to levy steep fines, a judge said Thursday in a report that pleased victims of tabloid intrusion but left editors worrying about creeping state control of the country’s fiercely independent press. Lord Justice Brian Leveson issued his 2,000-page report at the end of a media ethics inquiry triggered by a scandal over tabloid phone hacking that expanded to engulf senior figures in politics, the police and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. His key recommendation was to create a new print media regulator, which he said should be established in law to prevent more people being hurt by “outrageous” press behavior.”

Compiled from wire reports.