It's been a busy week for some of the world's major central banks.
On Oct. 31, the Bank of Japan surprised financial markets by intensifying its purchases of government bonds and other assets to try to revive a faltering recovery. Across the Pacific, the Federal Reserve took the opposite step earlier in the week. Judging that the US economy was on strong enough footing, the Fed unwound a big stimulus program as it upgraded its assessment of the US job market.
A Malaysian family on Oct. 31 sued the government and beleaguered national carrier for negligence in the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, in what is believed to be the first lawsuit filed over the disaster.
On the evening of Sept. 28, Hong Kong police struggling to hold back thousands of democracy protesters unleashed dozens of rounds of tear gas in a failed attempt to disperse them. When the smoke cleared, Hong Kong had changed. Many young people who previously were indifferent to politics say they experienced an awakening.
Good morning! Here's what you need to know for Oct. 31.
1. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced on Oct. 31 morning that it would ease monetary policy due to concerns about falling oil prices.
BAGHDAD - Islamic State militants executed at least 220 Iraqis in retaliation against a tribe's opposition to their takeover of territory west of Baghdad, security sources and witnesses said.
STOCKHOLM - Children's rights activist and Nobel Peace winner Malala Yousafzai has received the World's Children's Prize 2014 - a global vote involving millions of children.
STOCKHOLM - More Swedes favor joining NATO than oppose it for the first time, a major poll showed on Oct. 29, signaling changing sentiments after the Nordic state mobilized troops, helicopters and ships to hunt a suspected Russian submarine in its waters.
A convoy of Iraqi peshmerga fighters and weaponry made its way across southeastern Turkey on Oct. 29 en route for the Syrian town of Kobani to try to help fellow Kurds break an Islamic State siege which has defied U.S.-led air strikes.
Without the EU enlargement, Russia's appetite, today, would not focus on Ukraine, but on Bulgaria and the Baltic states, outgoing Commission President José Manuel Barroso told reporters at his last press conference, held on Oct. 29.
Two former heads of NATO are urging the Western defense alliance to join the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
Around one in five banks across the eurozone expect companies to approach them for more credit as the year draws to a close, with those in Germany and France most optimistic, the European Central Bank said on Oct. 29.
Growth in Britain's private sector has slowed to its weakest since March, an industry survey showed on Oct. 29, another sign the rapid rebound over the past year is giving way to a more sustainable pace of expansion.
On Oct. 21, McDonald's Corporation reported yet another disappointing quarterly result, as the company's consolidated revenues declined 5% year-over-year in the third fiscal quarter. McDonald's financial model is dependent on comparable store sales growth to drive profitability, and the company has been struggling to deliver strong comparable store sales consistently for the last few quarters now.
An unmanned Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff from a commercial launch pad on Virginia's eastern seaboard on Oct. 28, marking the first accident since NASA turned to private operators to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
Oil prices have collapsed over the last several months, and some analysts say they could go even lower. What's behind the plunge in oil prices? A variety of factors have coalesced into a perfect storm driving oil prices lower and lower: US prices have fallen 25 percent to around $80 a barrel in the past five months - a large drop, given that prices had been floating around $115 dollars a barrel from 2011 onward.
WASHINGTON/SYDNEY - The U.S. military has started isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa and Australia became the first rich nation to impose a visa ban on the affected countries amid global anxiety about the spread of the virus.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong students leading a month of street protests for democracy are suggesting direct negotiations with senior Chinese Communist Party officials as a way to end a standoff with the local government.
LONDON - Britain has measures in place to keep the lights on this winter despite the closure of several power stations likely leading to a narrower surplus of electricity supply over demand, network operator National Grid said on Oct. 28.
Britain will have enough energy to keep the country running in a cold winter, despite a spate of fires at power plants and shutdowns weakening electricity capacity, National Grid said.
The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have met for a third time in less than three months over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.