LONDON

Int’l stocks fall sharply on U.S. recession fears

Stocks fell sharply worldwide yesterday following declines on Wall Street last week amid investor pessimism over the U.S. government’s stimulus plan to prevent a recession.

U.S. markets were closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the downbeat mood from last week’s market declines there circled through Europe, Asia and the Americas. Britain’s benchmark FTSE-100 slumped 5.5 percent to 5,578.20, France’s CAC-40 Index tumbled 6.8 percent to 4,744.15, and Germany’s blue-chip DAX 30 plunged 7.2 percent to 6,790.19.

In Asia, India’s benchmark stock index tumbled 7.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s blue-chip Hang Seng index plummeted 5.5 percent to 23,818.86.

ATLANTA

Mike Huckabee, Bill Clinton honor King in Atlanta

More than 2,000 people crowded Ebenezer Baptist Church yesterday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to peace and equality and note the importance of his legacy in this election year.

Former President Bill Clinton, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin were among those attending the service.

King’s birthday is Jan. 15, but the federal holiday bearing his name is observed on the third Monday in January. It has been a national holiday since 1986, but his birthday has been observed at Ebenezer Baptist every year since his assassination in Memphis, Tenn., at age 39 on April 4, 1968.

WASHINGTON

Clinton, Obama clash in S.C. debate

Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed bitterly yesterday over Bill Clinton’s role in his wife’s campaign and Obama’s recent praise for Republicans in a presidential debate five days before the pivotal South Carolina primary.

After a brief discussion of the nation’s economic woes, the debate devolved into an angry exchange between the two senators, with Clinton noting Obama had taken campaign contributions from a political patron facing fraud charges and Obama calling Clinton a “corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart.”

As Obama tried to defend his comments about Republicans and Ronald Reagan, Clinton interrupted and said she has never criticized his remarks on Reagan.

“Your husband did,” said Obama, who has accused the former president of misrepresenting his record.

“I’m here. He’s not,” she snapped.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand

About 500 pay final respects to climber

Sherpas laid prayer scarves on the coffin of Edmund Hillary Tuesday as thousands across New Zealand bid farewell to the Mount Everest conqueror.

About 500 New Zealand and international dignitaries joined the Hillary family at a state funeral in St. Mary’s Anglican Church in this northern city, while thousands gathered at big screen venues in cities nationwide to pay respects to Hillary.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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