|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,
Anwar’s defence lawyers to quiz Malaysian PM
KUALA LUMPUR LAWYERS representing Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in his sodomy trial will be able to interview Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife as potential witnesses, a high court judge ruled Monday.
Anwar’s lawyers were given until August 15 to interview them and 13 others to determine whether to call them to testify.
Anwar, who turns 64 on Wednesday, is facing charges of sodomy with a former male aide in June 2008. He claims the allegations are part of efforts by Najib’s government to remove him from politics and cripple his three-party opposition coalition.
The government denied any involvement in his case.
Defence lawyer Sankara Nair said the first two potential witnesses including former police inspector general Musa Hassan would be interviewed on Tuesday.
The trial is the second time Anwar has faced sex charges.
In 1998, he was sacked as deputy prime minister and convicted of sodomising a former driver.
Anwar claimed that he was being framed then to stop a political challenge to then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, a charge the government had also denied. Anwar was released from prison in 2004 when the Federal Court overturned the conviction.
After leading the opposition to historic gains in the 2008 general elections, Anwar said the opposition intended to take over the government in the next election, which is not due until 2013 but many believe will be called before the end of the year. Sodomy, even if consensual, is illegal in mainly Muslim Malaysia and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping.
If Anwar is found guilty and sentenced to even one year in jail, he would also be barred from politics for a minimum of five years, posing a problem for the opposition, which has not named a potential successor.