Raid on Syria will not affect Israel

Damascus - Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Monday he did not believe the reported US commando raid in Syria would affect Israel.

Barak declined to say whether the US had given Israel prior notice of the raid, which he called part of the global struggle against radical Islamic terrorism.

"This is apparently part of the continuation of the struggle which is taking place today on the entire globe really against radical Islamic terror," he told Israel Radio.

Asked if the US had notified Israel, he replied: "I don't want to get into anything of that sort."

Financial crisis sends German business confidence tumbling

Berlin - German business confidence fell sharply in October, a key survey released Monday said, as the world financial crisis triggered panic selling on global stock markets and fears grew about a

Centre Party drops to third place after Finnish local elections

Finnish Prime Minister Matti VanhanenHelsinki - Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen's Centre Party dropped to third place after local elections held Sunday, final tallies showed Monday.

Vanhanen noted that his party had probably suffered from being in office and said election results differed.

The Centre Party dropped 2.7 percentage points compared to the 2004 local elections, scoring 20.1 per cent.

Analysts including Goran Djupsund, professor of political science and political communication at Abo Akademi University, did not rule out a shake-up of the party leadership.

Japan's premier orders measures to stabilize stock market

Japanese Prime Minister Taro AsoTokyo - Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on Monday ordered the government and ruling parties to immediately implement measures to stabilize the stock market.

"Stock prices greatly influence the real economy," Aso said at a press conference. "In that sense, we have to consider various measures and implement them."

The government was expected to implement emergency measures such as a larger government fund to recapitalize ailing banks and help for employees to purchase stock in their companies, Aso said.

Indonesian stocks drop by 6.3 per cent

Indonesian stocks drop by 6.3 per centJakarta - Indonesian stock

Edible oil may attract higher import duty

Edible oil may attract higher import dutyThe central government is thinking to raise import duty on edible oil. It was, earlier, cut significantly in the beginning of the year. The union agriculture ministry is of the view to bring it back to the original level. The union commerce department is also backing the proposal of increasing import duty. Oil prices are very unstable from last few weeks following world financial crisis. The Cabinet committee on pricing will discuss the matter in its proposed meeting on November 3.