Architect of exiting autocracy invited to the
Monday, May 20 --
While Sein has overseen impressive progress on reform since his April 2011 election, he is likely to receive a challenging still-to-do list from his U.S. hosts.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, remains mired in ethnic and religious strife and beset by persistent tensions over the pace and scope of reform. Hundreds have been killed in clashes between the military-backed Buddhist majority and Rohingya Muslims and Kachin Christians.
Hundreds of thousands more have fled their homes to escape the violence.
Despite the considerable deficiencies in Myanmar’s post-dictatorship development, the Obama administration has made reconciliation with the country a showcase element of the “Asia pivot” intended to counterbalance
Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar when he met with Sein and other leaders in November, and Sein is the first Burmese head of state to be received in the
Since Sein stepped into the leadership role two years ago, he has restored quasi-civilian governance in the country, prompting the United States to gradually lift sanctions in place for 20 years.
Hundreds of political prisoners have been released by the new government in recent months, including 20 freed on Friday in what the leadership denied was a goodwill gesture ahead of Sein's Washington visit. But hundreds more ethnic and religious minorities jailed for alleged roles in the violent clashes remain in custody by order of the powerful military hierarchy -- a drag on the work to restore democracy likely to figure in Obama administration officials' talks with Sein.
The Burmese president’s visit follows by eight months that of
A continent looks to the future with confidence tempered by fear
Through Monday, May 27 -- An
Foreign policy analysts describe Africa as being in the midst of a "renaissance," as former colonial subjects post impressive advances in gross domestic product, eradicate endemic diseases and collaborate with global economic giants to tap its wealth of natural resources.
While China has been aggressively sealing resource-extraction deals across Africa, some populations are concerned by the Asian giant's failure to invest in more broad-based development. African leaders in the most forward-looking countries want growth-spurring infrastructure projects with the foreign partners, like ports, highways and railroads, said Robert McMahon, editor of the Council on Foreign Relations website.
U.S. Secretary of State
Despite laudable economic advances, Africa remains beset with ethnic, religious and ideological unrest, from the aftermath of Mali’s French-backed spring offensive to oust Islamic militants to Nigeria’s ongoing strikes against Boko Haram extremists. A recent coup in the
Farewell to a Riviera spectacle fanned by golden palms
Sunday, May 26 -- The glitz, glamor and politics of the film world's most prestigious festival culminate in the awarding of the Festival du
This year’s international jury president,
Angling for the Palme d’Or are Roman Polanski’s “Venus in Fur,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra,” Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” by brothers Ethan and
Two directors who grappled with tough censorship regimens, Asghar Farhadi of Iran and Jia Zhangke of China, debuted their films Friday and sought to assure the cinema world press that they labor to protect their art from the state's heavily wielded scalpel.
Farhadi's "The Past," about a divorcing couple, mostly steers clear of politics, as did his 2012 Academy Award-winning "A Separation." Jia's "A Touch of Sin," though, confronts head-on the social upheavals inflicted by China's hellbent economic development.