Putin Shows His Hand, France Stays Tough on Iran
**** Citigroup and UBS announced large write-downs in assets tied to sub-prime securities.
They are two of many American and European banks who took multi-billion dollar hits on their balance sheets as the sub-prime crisis ripped through global credit markets during the third quarter.
**** Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted United Russia's invitation to head its list of candidates in the 2007 Russian parliamentary 'elections.'
Experts see this as Putin's first step on the road toward preserving his power through the office of prime minister.
**** Russian state-owned oil giant GazProm threatened to cut off Ukrainian gas supplies if the Ukrainian government did not pay a $1.3 billion debt by November.
The announcement was shrouded in confusion.
Analysts saw it as a Russian attempt to complicate the formation of a Tymoshenko-led government on the heels of close parliamentary elections in the Ukraine.
**** French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner strongly urged his European counterparts to consider EU-wide sanctions against Iran to halt its "nuclear defiance."
Italy, Austria, and Germany expressed reservations.