News: International

The death of Suharto: Epitaph on a crook and a tyrant

03 February 2008

The Economist
02 Feb 08

Free to mourn or cheer, Indonesians have moved on since Suharto stepped down in 1998

He was a despot, a cold-war monster cosseted by the West because his most plausible opponents were communists. Behind his pudgily smooth, benign-looking face lay ruthless cruelty. The slaughter as he consolidated his power in the mid-1960s cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Tens of thousands were locked up for years without charge. After the invasion of East Timor in 1975, the Indonesian occupation led to the deaths of per ... Read more »

Western governments give false democracies a pass

01 February 2008

Jim Lobe
IPS
01 Feb 08

Western governments, eager to pursue their political or economic interests, too often reward self-proclaimed and flawed "democracies" that clearly abuse the political and civil rights of their citizens, according to the latest edition of Human Rights Watch's annual "World Report" released here Thursday.

The mere holding of elections does not make a state democratic, according to the report. Yet both the United States and the European Union (EU) have used such exercises to justify aid and closer ties to friendly o ... Read more »

UBS in Q4 loss of $11.5 bln on subprime woes

30 January 2008

Reuters
30 Jan 08
http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7267165

UBS AG on Wednesday posted a 12.5 billion Swiss franc ($11.45 billion) loss for the last three months of 2007, dragging the Swiss bank deep into the red for the full year as subprime losses took their toll.

The embattled bank had previously said that it might report a loss for the full year 2007, depending on its performance in the fourth quarter.

Now, in surprise announcement, the bank said the fourth-quarter loss will generate a ... Read more »

Why would Taiwan try to emulate Singapore?

27 January 2008

Tseng Wei-chen
Taipei Times
27 Jan 08
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/01/26/2003398949

To alleviate concern that the legislative majority held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) indicates a step backward for Taiwan's democracy, KMT vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew has cited Singapore, ruled by a party with an absolute majority.

Siew said Singapore is a worthwhile model. KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou also praises its capabilities, ... Read more »

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