HONG KONG: Businesses, government offices, financial markets and schools were closed on Wednesday in Hong Kong and Macau with the approach of severe Tropical Storm Kammuri, but Olympic officials said that the storm was not affecting horses and riders here for the start of the Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong on Saturday.

XUAN CANH, Vietnam: Truong Thi Nha stands just 4

DENILIQUIN, Australia: Lindsay Renwick, the mayor of this dusty southern Australian town, remembers the constant whir of the rice mill. "It was our little heartbeat out there, tickety-tick-tickety," he said, imitating the giant fans that dried the rice, "and now it has stopped." The Deniliquin mill, the largest rice mill in the Southern Hemisphere, once processed enough grain to satisfy the daily needs of 20 million people. But six long years of drought have taken a toll, reducing Australia's rice crop by 98 percent and leading to the mothballing of the mill last December.

HANOI: Rising prices and a growing fear of scarcity have prompted some of the world's largest rice producers to announce drastic limits on the amount of rice they export. The price of rice, a staple in the diets of nearly half the world's population, has almost doubled on international markets in the last three months. That has pinched the budgets of millions of poor Asians and raised fears of civil unrest.

President Obama wants to make the United States