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    ASEAN and the Junta; Dollars and Nargis Paid Member

    The Burmese junta has signed the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) charter but the body expressed its "deep disappointment" with the junta nonetheless. ASEAN has been spectacularly ineffective in accomplishing anything vis a vis the junta. Burma's profusion of oil, lumber, and gemsmake confronting the junta costly, especially for nations that don't have the luxury the U.S. has -- borrowing more money from China to cover any shortfalls. Nargis is said to have caused $4 billion in damage, and will cost $1 billion will be needed over the next three years to aid survivors. More »
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    Gail Seneca of the Foundation for the People of Burma Paid Member

    The Foundation for the People of Burma was one of the first groups in on the ground after the cyclone to bring in humanitarian aid. One of the directors, Gail Seneca, is now taking questions on If you're interested in hearing first-hand accounts of what's happening in Burma -- and it's still something of a mystery as the media is largely blocked from accessing the trouble spots -- please stop by and ask her a question! It's very easy -- Just click Add a Question and fill out the simple registration process. The question session will run until July 13th, after which she will post her answers. More »
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    Burma Cyclone Deaths; and Business in Burma Paid Member

    Deaths from Nargis are now put at 84,500, up from the previous estimate of 77,000. Plus an interesting (and anonymous) article from the Wall Street Journal about how China "keeps the wheels on" in Burma. Other countires and companies (Chevron) do business in Burma, but China is far and away the most important. More »
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    No one goes to Naypidaw Paid Member

    And they're not wanted anyway: Naypyidaw is Myanmar’s new capital, built in secret by the ruling generals and announced to the public two and a half years ago, when it was a fait accompli. A nine-hour drive north from the former capital, Yangon, it looks like nothing else in this impoverished country, where one out of three children is malnourished and many roads are nothing more than dirt tracks. Workers in Naypyidaw (pronounced nay-pee-DAW) are building multilevel, flower-covered traffic circles. In a country of persistent power shortages and blackouts, street lamps brightly illuminate the night, like strings of pearls running up and down scrub-covered hills. More »
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    U.N. Helicopters Grounded in Burma Paid Member

    A shortage of funds has grounded helicopters intended to carry aid to those in need in Burma. Isn't the U.S. delinquent in its U.N. dues? More »
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    Flame approaches Lhasa Paid Member

    Burmese farmers need some $83 million dollars in aid in order to get back up and running after salt water inundated their fields as a result of Nargis. U.S. farmers, especially in Iowa, aren't in such great shape either, but they have a government that that will advocate for them, at least in theory. The Olympic torch is due to reach Tibet Saturday, and though things have quieted somewhat in terms of international press, the relay has been delayed and will be shortened to one day from three. China will not comment on why the relay in Tibet was shortened, but it's pretty obvious. It's gratuitous to send the torch through Lhasa. More »