Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called an early parliamentary election. He announced at a news conference Tuesday that he will dissolve the lower house of parliament on Friday, paving the way for a general election in December. Abe also told reporters that he is postponing a planned but unpopular increase in sales tax by 18 months to April 2017. Abe said his party would seek people's mandate
Indonesia's new president Joko Widodo raised fuel prices by more than 30 percent late Monday, following which the central bank called a special meeting to review policy on Tuesday, leading to speculation that it may hike interest rates to check a likely surge in inflation. The Indonesian stock market rallied on Tuesday and the rupiah strengthened on expectations of an interest rate hike.
Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi Jinping on Monday concluded negotiations for a free trade pact between both countries that will further broaden the avenues for economic cooperation. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, or ChAFTA, will provide Australian businesses unprecedented access to the world's second largest economy, Abbott said in a statement.
The people of Spain's autonomous region of Catalonia have overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence.
Catalan Vice President Joana Ortega said at a news conference that 80.7 percent of more than two million people who took part in an unofficial referendum Sunday said 'yes' to secession.