Daily Archives: August 27, 2013

By Catherine Contiguglia

  • In the first of a three-part series, the FT examines the Chinese Debt Dragon. Although the Chinese government denies the country has a debt problem, the picture on the ground shows failing public services and unpaid wages as debt dependency rises to dangerous levels, reports Simon Rabinovitch.
  • “Vote me out of jail or I will bring the country down with me,” is the message from Silvio Berlusconi following his conviction for tax fraud – but to bow to this threat would be “accepting the age-old intuition that [Italian] politics will always be corrupt” and that there are better things to worry about, writes Tim Parks in the New York Review of Books.

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Should the west intervene in Syria? Whatever it does, it will do so in the shadow of the war in Iraq. Tony Blair, the prime minister who led the UK into that war, has come out in support of action. Read more

By Gideon Rachman
The pace of events in the Middle East has quickened once again. More than two years since the start of the Arab spring, the facts on the ground can still change so rapidly in the region that western governments struggle to keep pace. Last week Barack Obama had convened an emergency meeting to discuss the violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, only for the US president to find himself confronted with an even more dramatic challenge – a chemical weapon attack in Syria.