WORLD: Geithner warns Beijing over currency policy

Geithner warns Beijing over currency policy

WASHINGTON — China’s currency is substantially undervalued and Beijing is moving too slowly to fulfill its promise to let it rise, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday.

Geithner said it’s in China’s own interests to accelerate the pace of currency reform. He said the undervalued yuan is increasing the risk of inflation that will harm Chinese growth.

Geithner addressed a range of economic policy issues at the center of U.S.-Chinese relations in a speech advancing Chinese President Hu Jintao visit to Washington next week.

Army opens fire on foes

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Security forces loyal to the sitting president who is refusing to cede power descended on an opposition stronghold Wednesday and opened fire for the second time in as many days, only hours after opposition supporters had taken to the streets in protest.

Journalists who approached the Abobo area heard shots ringing out but could not get close. Residents here voted in large numbers for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who was internationally recognized as the winner of the presidential election.

With the backing of the army, the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo has refused to leave the presidential palace. In the weeks since the Nov. 28 ballot, the U.N. has said that more than 210 people have been killed, mostly Ouattara supporters.

Government puts curfew on Tunis

TUNIS, Tunisia — Police and protesters clashed in the center of the Tunisian capital Wednesday, bringing unrest to the government’s doorstep after nearly a month of deadly protests that pose the most serious challenge ever to the president’s two decades of iron-fisted rule.

The government imposed a curfew overnight, a highly unusual move in this generally stable North African country where pledges by the president to subdue rioters and create jobs have done little to dissipate public fury over unemployment and corruption.

European governments warned travelers about going to Tunisia, whose safe image and Mediterranean beaches draw millions of mainly European travelers and make tourism the mainstay of the small nation’s economy.