DEBT DEAL: The World Bank is allowing Myanmar to clear part of its huge decades-old foreign debt, opening the door for new much-needed lending to jumpstart its lagging economy. Myanmar stopped payments on its old loans in about 1987, making it ineligible for new development lending.

OPPORTUNITY TO REBUILD: The deal is a major breakthrough for Myanmar, with loans likely to go to upgrading its dilapidated infrastructure, including electricity and ports. That could attract foreign direct investment to the country's low-cost economy.

SOME DOUBTERS: The deal is likely to draw criticism, because Myanmar's army is pushing hard against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country's north, in an echo of the notorious counterinsurgency campaigns of previous military regimes.