Highlights of the week

Democratic Transition in Myanmar ‘at standstill’: UN Rights Panel

GENEVA (Reuters)  — Myanmar’s democratic transition has ground to a standstill as authorities seek to silence critics while allowing hate speech, particularly against Muslim Rohingya, the head of the UN human…

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9/11: The ghost that refuses to go away

This year’s anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America is marked by increasing confidence of so–called “conspiracy theorists”, who insist that the official story cannot be true, and growing…

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A look behind first caning of  LGBT persons  in Terengganu, Malaysia

Two women were caned in front of an audience in a Malaysian court for trying to have sex early this week.  The caning drew condemnation from human rights groups and calls…

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Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are led away by police after being convicted and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for violating the Official Secrets Act at Inn Sein Court in Yangon on Monday. Photo from The Irrawaddy

Reuters reporters’ sentencing, as it unfolded in the courtroom

YANGON (The Irrawaddy)  — For possessing the phone number of an officer in an ethnic armed group, the itineraries of visits to Rakhine by Pope Francis and Vice President U Myint…

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Facebook ban deepens distrust between Myanmar military, government

Yangon (The Irrawaddy News) — The already growing mistrust between the civilian administration and the powerful military leadership has been suddenly aggravated by social media giant Facebook’s decision to ban…

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A three-horse race for the next election?

In just a few more weeks, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan–o–cha will make known his political future.  Many may wonder why Gen Prayut needs to wait until September to unveil…

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Is Thaksin putting another nail in Pheu Thai’s coffin?

Thaksin Shinawatra’s latest outburst against the Thai military government may come back to haunt him big time. His statements, which sought to uplift Pheu Thai politicians, could be deemed to…

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Election in February? Debate over election inspectors raises more doubts

By Thai PBS/ For many people, there are good reasons to doubt whether the long-anticipated election will take place within the time frame as outlined in the military junta’s political…

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A Buddhist monk bathes the shaved head of the rescued Thai boy and a member of “Wild Boars” football team together with their coach at the Phra That Doi Wao Buddhist temple in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province during the religious ordination ceremony on July 24, 2018. Thai boys rescued from deep inside a flooded cave in a dramatic mission had their heads shaved on July 24 before a Buddhist ordination ceremony in honour of a diver who died during the operation. Panumas Sanguanwong / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP

Wild and breathtaking weeks for the Wild Boars

For the young footballers, aged only between 11 and 16, the transformation that they have been through in a just a period of slightly over a month is nothing short…

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“Wild Boars boys have no memory of dramatic rescue”

The rescue operation to save the 12 young footballers and their coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave network has transfixed the world. It has also been described as probably the…

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