PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, July 7 (Reuters) – Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
sits at a vast desk cluttered with work, hands clasped before
him and looking at his visitors with a slight smile.
Dr. M, as he is popularly known, was prime minister of
Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, the first commoner to ever hold the
post in a land with nine sultans. His demeanor suggests the
country physician he once was, ready with a frank diagnosis –
and in his first interview with the foreign media in five years,
he doles out prescriptions for what ails his nation.
By Rebekah Kebede
You wouldn’t think you’d have to make hotel reservations months ahead of time in Karratha, a small, dusty town on the edge of the Outback a 16-hour drive from Perth, the nearest city. But with Australia’s commodities boom, Karratha is bursting at the seams and nowhere is it more apparent than when trying to find a place to stay.
(Above photo: A kangaroo stands atop iron ore rocks outside the remote outback town of Karattha in Western Australia. Reuters/Daniel Munoz)
A woman dressed in the traditional Vietnamese “ao dai”costume serves tea to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (front R) during the opening ceremony of the 11th Party Congress in Hanoi January 12, 2011
Vietnam’s ruling communists opened an eight-day party congress on Wednesday with a candid admission the fast-growing economy had become unstable, as delegates began the process of reshuffling leaders and charting new policies.
As leaders sang the national anthem to begin the five-yearly event, streets in the chilly capital Hanoi were festooned with red and yellow banners, some bearing the iconic hammer and sickle. Propaganda posters bore the smiling likeness of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh or of proud, uniformed workers.
The economic backdrop is less festive. Inflation surged to a 22-month high in December, the government is struggling to bring down a hefty fiscal deficit, the currency has been depreciating for three years and the trade deficit remains stubbornly high.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, now has 189 stories in China, according to its website. Soon it will have many more. The U.S. chain has announced plans to open a series of “compact hypermarkets”, using a bare-bones model developed in Latin America, the Financial Times said.
Wal-Mart stores are a bit different than the one’s you might find in, say, Little Rock Arkansas. They sell live toads and turtles for one thing, The Economist reported. But they also sell the appliances, gadgets, and housewares that Wal-Mart stores merchandise everywhere.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders were set on Sunday to embrace plans for balanced growth and free trade in the world’s fastest growing economic region, but signs of discord resurfaced over how best to ensure global recovery.
A vague agreement two days earlier among G20 advanced and emerging countries gave little sense of a united approach to preventing further economic crises, the threat of which was underscored by the likelihood that Ireland will have to seek emergency funding because of debt concerns.
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders were
set on Sunday to embrace plans for balanced growth and free trade
in the world’s fastest growing economic region, but signs of
discord resurfaced over how best to ensure global recovery.
A vague agreement two days earlier among G20 advanced and
emerging countries gave little sense of a united approach to
preventing further economic crises, the threat of which was
underscored by the likelihood that Ireland will have to seek
emergency funding because of debt concerns.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Saturday that Ireland can manage its fiscal affairs well, and the Fund has had no request for aid.
“I have not been in contact with Ireland,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Yokohama, Japan. “So far I have not had a request, and I think Ireland can manage well…”
A guide at the “Japanese Experience” exhibition talks to Miim, the Karaoke pal robot, on the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Yokohama, Japan on Nov. 10. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
Miim is one of the more popular delegates at the APEC meetings in Yokohama Japan. She sings. She dances. She tosses her shoulder length hair. She may not be able to spout an alphabet soup of APEC acronyms like the other Asia-Pacific delegates. But she’s still pretty lively. For a robot.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific ministers on Thursday agreed to extend a freeze on trade barriers and pledged to work toward creating a vast free trade area in the world’s fastest growing region.
But a Group of 20 (G20) summit of major economies in neighboring South Korea — beset by deep divisions over currencies, monetary policy and global trade imbalances — is towering over the meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.