International


North Korea told UN agencies on Tuesday it plans to launch a satellite as early as next week, a move that could advance the country’s long-range missile technology after its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
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Set up five years ago, Myanmar’s National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) was part of a charm offensive mounted by President U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government that succeeded in attracting international publicity and funding. Any legitimacy it may have held has taken a battering since.
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German Ambassador Mr. Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch talked to Mizzima Editor-in-Chief Soe Myint about the long history of German-Myanmar relations, the hurdles to investment, and the hopes for the incoming government.
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Myanmar migrants were among the 39 people who drowned in the Mediterranean on January 30, according to Turkish state media.
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The first truly democratically elected hluttaw will be sworn in on February 1. Most probably a civilian government will then come into office at the end of March. These are historic milestones for Myanmar, but we should not forget that both were born out of the 2008 constitution, which was drafted by the former military junta to meet their political needs.
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Exactly two weeks after knocking offline almost 300 Thai Courts of Justice websites, hackers associated with the Anonymous collective have taken out 20 Corrections Department prison sites, continuing their cyber crusade against the death sentences given to two Myanmar men for the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao.
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North Korea may be preparing to launch a long-range missile as soon as within a week, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported early on Thursday, citing an unnamed Japanese government official.
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A U.S. Senate committee approved President Barack Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Myanmar on Thursday, after the administration assured panel members it would not quickly change sanctions policy as the country moves from decades of military rule.
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Myanmar should immediately repeal or amend a new law passed today which could grant former presidents blanket immunity for human rights violations and crimes under international law, said Amnesty International.
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Burma’s transition is an example of top-down reform and differs from Switzerland’s bottom-up federalism, said a senior member of a Shan delegation that recently returned from an exposure trip to Switzerland.
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California-based venture capital firm 500 Startups has made its first investment in Myanmar, putting money on local tech firm Bindez.
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Myanmar still languishes among the world’s most corrupt countries although its performance has improved slightly over the past year, according to a global review released yesterday.
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At just 10 years old, Mizba Ahmed and her family fled persecution in Myanmar.

Boarding a smuggler’s boat bound for Australia, she never imagined that instead of finding a better life, she’d end up spending 18 months in detention on the isolated Pacific island of Nauru.
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After holding historic elections in November, Myanmar, also known as Burma, is undergoing a remarkable transition to constitutional democratic governance. I recently led a congressional delegation to the country to evaluate this sweeping change firsthand and gauge how the United States can continue to support Myanmar’s movement toward the free world.
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Phil Blackwood, a New Zealand bar manager convicted of insulting religion in a high-profile case last year, was quietly released from Insein Prison on January 22, the same day he was granted amnesty, according to two political prisoner groups. His Myanmar colleagues, the owner and co-manager of the bar, have not been freed and were not pardoned, the same groups said.
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The end of 2015 saw a series of major announcements and decisions regarding Myanmar’s latest special economic zone (SEZ) in Kyaukphyu township of Rakhine State. In late December, Myanmar’s government approved the demarcation of land for the SEZ and awarded tenders to develop the SEZ to a CITIC Group-led consortium.
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Seven foreign firms are interested in bidding for Burma‘s fourth telecoms license, a government official said on Monday, as the prospects of one of the region’s least connected nations outweigh the challenges of a partnership involving obscure local firms with scant industry experience.
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A delegation of ethnic Shan representatives toured Switzerland this month for an intensive study on federalism, according to a source close to the group.
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In 2016,the question of lifting the on-going arms embargo and related sanctions against the Tatmadaw, as the Burma Army is known, and its civilian cronies will be revisited by Western governments. The fact that the current embargo imposed by the European Union and that has existed since 1998 is set to expire on April 30th makes this inevitable. While in some ways this will be a continuation of a process of lifting political and economic sanctions by these foreign governments that began in 2011 with the transition to quasi-civilian rule and then intensified after the 2012 electoral gains of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
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Former British prime minister Tony Blair was back in Burma earlier this month for at least his fifth visit since a quasi-civilian government assumed power under President Thein Sein.
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