|Debt Crisis & West|
|YOU may recall the Latin
American debt crisis of 1982,
the Asian debt crisis of 1997,
the Russian debt crisis of 1998
- and you´ll certainly remember
the US sub-prime debt crisis of 2008.
Now we have a European debt crisis
and, horror of horrors, a US government
That´s the word to keep hold of: debt.
Ignore the financiers´ jargon - bond
yields, credit default swaps, hedge
funds - which make finance sound like
quantum physics, a fearfully abstruse
subject beyond the grasp of ordinary
mortals. Financial crises occur when
people (or governments or companies)
can´t repay their debts. Or more precisely
when their creditors (or shareholders)
decide they aren´t likely to get
|US GRIPPED BY GREAT
|IN the wake of the hugely disappointing
budget deal and
the S&P´s debt downgrade,
maybe we need to hang a new
sign in the immigration arrival
halls at all US ports and airports. It
could simply read: "Welcome. You
are entering the United States of
America. Past performance is not
necessarily indicative of future
Because our country is now finding
itself in the worst kind of
decline - a slow decline, just slow
enough for us to keep deluding ourselves
that nothing really fundamental
needs to change if our
future is to match our past.
Our slow decline is a product of
two inter-related problems. First,
we´ve let our five basic pillars of
growth erode since the end of the
Cold War - education, infrastructure,
Philippine troops kill 3 Abu Sayyaf men in Patikul
MANILA (PHILIPPINES) PHILIPPINE troops killed three Abu Sayyaf gunmen in a clash with the Al Qaeda-linked militants blamed for killing seven marines and wounding 26 others in a recent gunbattle, officials said on Monday.
Army chief Lt. Gen.
Arturo Ortiz said a soldier was wounded in Sunday’s brief but fierce clash with about 30 Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Patikul town in the mountains of southern Sulu province. Troops have been scouring the jungle area in search of the militants who killed seven marines in a July 28 clash, including two who were beheaded.
A Philippine military report said the militants withdrew and left behind one slain fighter near Patikul’s Bungkaong village early on Sunday.
Two other militants were killed but their bodies were not recovered.
An angry President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the military to hunt down the militants involved in the July clash. At least 13 militants were killed in that battle.
Philippine military offensives backed by US training and intelligence have weakened the Abu Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by Washington as a terrorist organisation, but it remains a key security threat.
The group is notorious for bombings, kidnappings and beheadings over the last two decades.
Military chief General Eduardo Oban said on Monday that while beheadings have truly been “demoralising and devastating on our part, we will never go down to such pointless savagery just to get even with our enemies.” “There is no place for barbarism in the noble profession of arms,” Oban said at a ceremony marking International Humanitarian Law month. “In fact our profession demands that we remain as humane as possible even in the face of beastly and savage aggressor.” Human rights offenses have remained a concern but are now an isolated problem in the 120,000- strong military, which has adopted safeguards against violations, he said.