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State of Emergency: The US in the Final Six Months of the George W. Bush Administration PDF Print E-mail

by Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg
In short, we are living in an on-going state of emergency whose exact limits are unknown, on the basis of a controversial deep event — 9/11 — that is still largely a mystery.
- UC Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott

Unhindered by a neutered Congress and a compliant Court, President Bush has six months remaining to pursue his agenda of expanding the war in the Middle East and ensuring the continuation of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) beyond his tenure in office.

ImageThe current administration has taken unto itself unprecedented, nearly hegemonic powers since the events of 9/11. On that day, George W. Bush issued his “Declaration of Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks” under the authority of the National Emergencies Act. This declaration, which can be rescinded by joint resolution of Congress, has instead been extended six times. In 2007, the declaration was strengthened with the issuance of National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51) which gave the president the authority to do whatever he deems necessary in a vaguely defined “catastrophic emergency” including everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack.

 
Malaysia PM faces bigger protests, dissent over fuel PDF Print E-mail

Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:19am
By Jalil Hamid - Analysis

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi has ridden out the immediate popular anger over a steep rise in fuel prices but his survival will remain in jeopardy as a resurgent opposition presses home its advantage.

ImageAbdullah faces multiple threats.

The opposition plans to topple his coalition in September through defections, while pressure is building within his ranks to quit and appoint his anointed heir to restore confidence in the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for five decades.

Protests against the fuel hike have been small and scattered so far, but if the opposition carries through its plan to bring a 100,000 people into the city centre next month the pressure on Abdullah will increase dramatically, analysts said.

 

 
Multinationals make billions in profit out of growing global food crisis PDF Print E-mail

Speculators blamed for driving up price of basic foods as 100 million face severe hunger

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Sunday, 4 May 2008

ImageGiant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry. The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor – who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food – into hunger and destitution.

ImageThe World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m (£275m) to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn.

 
Malaysia’s Changed Political Landscape   PDF Print E-mail

By: Philip Bowring    
29 March 2008
 


The cracks in Malaysia’s ruling coalition and biggest party are widening after the shock of the March elections

ImageThe March 8 national elections in Malaysia have left politics in such a state of flux that one could construct about as many scenarios as there are politicians in the country over the future of the just-elected parliament.  With the opposition for the first time strong enough to mount a serious challenge to the Barisan Nasional, or the ruling coalition of ethnic parties, the country appears to have been forced by the elections to embark on a bout of democracy.

Just how messy things have become, at least for the United Malays National Organisation, is shown by the success of the Sultan of Terengganu, who also happens to be the King at present, in getting his preference accepted as Mentri Besar (chief minister) rather than the nominee of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

 
Anwar’s star rises after Malaysia election PDF Print E-mail

By John Burton in Kuala Lumpur (ft.com)

Anwar Ibrahim would have been dismissed a few weeks ago as the Al Gore of Malaysia: a statesman respected abroad but with a fading political future at home.

ImageHis People's Justice party (PKR) had only one seat in the outgoing 219-member parliament and his chances of achieving his ambition of becoming prime minister were seen as virtually nil.

But the shock results of the recent general elections, which delivered the biggest setback to the National Front government in its 50-year history, have significantly improved the odds of Mr Anwar’s leading the south-east Asian nation.

 

 
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