The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

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Anti-Japanese sentiment in China rose to its highest level in years following Japan's seizure of a Chinese fishing vessel in waters disputed by the two countries. Though all of the crew but the captain were released Sept. 13, Beijing nonetheless canceled a high-level visit to Tokyo by one of its senior politicians. The two powers share a long history of enmity, dating back to Japan's brutal occupation of China during World War II. Now, with an increasingly assertive China in the ascendancy, tensions over long-standing maritime disputes have flared, drawing the ire of millions of Chinese Netizens. Officials hope the recent uproar doesn't ignite the same sort of anti-Japanese rage seen across China in 2005, when frustration over the content of Japanese history textbooks--seen to be whitewashing Japan's past misdeeds in China--sparked weeks of protests, some which turned violent.

6 | Kashmir

VIOLENCE CAUSES LOCKDOWN

Though they began as protests sparked by reports of Koran-burning in the U.S., clashes in Kashmir quickly escalated into anti-Indian demonstrations in which at least 18 people were killed. Police and protesters butted heads, prompting the government to impose a strict curfew Sept. 12, even threatening to kill those who did not abide by it. The discord is the latest in a string of violent demonstrations this summer against India's military presence.

7 | Japan

Yen for Sale

Responding to the yen's sharp rise against the dollar--it reached a 15-year high on Sept. 15 after Prime Minister Naoto Kan survived an internal party challenge--Japan intervened in the foreign-exchange market and began to actively sell its currency for the first time since 2004. A strong yen was seen to be hurting exports and stymieing economic growth, but investors are unsure if current efforts are enough to boost the country's long moribund economy.

8 | Switzerland

New Banking Regulations

In one of the most significant reforms in global finance since the beginning of the Great Recession, international banking regulators announced on Sept. 12 a new set of standards aimed at preventing future financial meltdowns and bailouts. The Basel III accord increases the amount of reserve capital banks must keep on hand. By 2019, banks will be required to hold a cushion of 7% of their total assets or face limits on the dividends they can pay investors. Most U.S. banks appear to already have enough capital to meet the new minimums.

Amount of capital banks must hold in reserve

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

2% current minimum

3.5% by 2012

4.5% by 2015

7% by 2019

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

9 | Sri Lanka

Power to the President

With a new constitutional amendment, the Sri Lankan Parliament cleared the way for hard-line President Mahinda Rajapaksa to serve an unlimited number of terms as executive. The move also increases the President's powers, allowing him to appoint officials to key posts in the judiciary and election commission. Critics say the measure could pave the way for a dictatorship.

10 | Mexico

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