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Burmese Political Turmoil, Rouhani's French Snub, Crocodile Guards

Burmese Political Turmoil, Rouhani's French Snub, Crocodile Guards

MYANMAR ACCUSED OF DELAYING RESULTS

The National League for Democracy (NLD), the Burmese opposition party headed for a sweeping victory after Sunday's general elections, has accused the government of Myanmar of deliberately delaying release of the results, The Irrawaddy reports. The NLD is expected to win at least 75% of contested seats, according to party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Results for only about 50 of the 664 parliamentary seats had been released as of this morning, which is creating concerns about the intentions of the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP), comprised mostly of former military junta members. In the 1990 elections, the military junta refused to recognize the results despite an overwhelming NLD victory.


PORTUGUESE LEFT TO OUST MINORITY GOVERNMENT

Portugal's four leftist parties, led by the Socialist Party of Antonio Costa, are expected to bring down the minority center-right government of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho with a no-confidence vote later today, a move that could plunge the country into political and economic turmoil. Read more about it here.


CITING WINE, ROUHANI SNUBS ELYSEE DINNER

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has refused a dinner invitation at the French presidential palace with his counterpart François Hollande during his visit to Paris on Nov. 16 and 17 because there is wine on the menu, radio RTL reports. In accordance with Islamic law, Iran asks for halal menus to be provided and for any alcohol to be removed during official visits abroad. But the no-wine clause was too hard to swallow for French officials, who refused to remove it, citing the republic's own important traditions. The Elysée, the French presidential palace, offered to organize a breakfast between the two presidents, but the Iranian delegation reportedly said it was "too cheap." Rouhani and Hollande are still set to meet to discuss Syria, the fight against terrorism and the Iranian nuclear deal. Read more from Le Blog.

JORDAN OFFICER KILLS 5 AT TRAINING SITE

A Jordanian police officer killed five people — two Americans, two Jordanians and a South African — as he opened fire at a U.S.-backed security training center near Amman Monday, Reuters reports. At least four other people were injured in the attack and the assailant was killed in a shootout. The gunman was identified as police captain Anwar Abu Zeid, but the motive of the attack is unknown.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Orthorexia is to eating right what anorexia is to eating less. It's the condition of imposing stringent control over one's diet, insisting on eating only healthy or organic food, and it's becoming a health concern in developed nations, Clarin reports. "The World Health Organization says orthorexia affects three in 10 people in developed countries, where food tribes are proliferating and where veganism is no longer for hippies or anorexics, but instead a gateway to eating disorders."

Read the full article, Orthorexia, The Eating Disorder Of The Health Obsessed.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



TURKEY GETS LOW MARKS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

In a delayed annual report released today, the European Commission accuses the Turkish government of significant failings in human rights and democracy, The Guardian reports. The report praised Turkey for receiving Syrian asylum seekers and cooperating with the EU on the refugee crisis, but it also noted serious setbacks concerning freedom of expression and judicial independence. The report was supposed to be released before the Nov. 1 elections that gave back President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan's AKP party its majority. It was delayed because of sensitive negotiations on the refugee crisis at the time.


ON THIS DAY


A young Bill Gates introduced Windows 1.0 on this day 32 years ago, and today is also the 46th anniversary of Sesame Street's debut. There's even more in your daily shot of history.


BURUNDI VIOLENCE INSPIRES UN RESOLUTION

During a UN Security Council meeting yesterday, France proposed a resolution against those behind the deadly tension in Burundi and encouraged the country's political parties to "reject any kind of violence," Le Monde reports. London backed the move, but the Burundi delegation claimed the country was "not burning."


SNAPSHOT

Photo: Wang Peng/Xinhua/ZUMA

A woman practices T'ai chi ch'uan — an internal martial art, Chinese meditation system and health practice — in a foggy park in northwest China's Yinchuan. The country issued a red alert in certain areas Monday as a blanket of acrid pollution covered cities, where airborne particle levels were 50 times higher than the limit the World Health Organization deems safe.


VERBATIM

"You can't bribe crocodiles," Indonesian anti-drugs chief Budi Waseso said as he proposed to build a prison for death row inmates on an island guarded by crocodiles, local website Tempo reports. "You can't convince them to let inmates escape," he added. Waseso plans to visit different parts of the country to search "for the most ferocious type of crocodile."

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Russia

Why Crimea Is Proving So Hard For Russia To Defend

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on the occupied Crimean peninsula, claiming Monday that a missile Friday killed the head of Russia's Black Sea fleet at the headquarters in Sevastopol. And Russia is doing all within its power to deny how vulnerable it has become.

Photograph of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in smoke after a Ukrainian missile strike.​

September 22, 2023, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia: Smoke rises over the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters after a Ukrainian missile strike.

TASS/ZUMA
Kyrylo Danylchenko

Russian authorities are making a concerted effort to downplay and even deny the recent missile strikes in Russia-occupied Crimea.

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Media coverage in Russia of these events has been intentionally subdued, with top military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov offering no response to an attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, or the alleged downing last week of Russian Su-24 aircraft by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The response from this and other strikes on the Crimean peninsula and surrounding waters of the Black Sea has alternated between complete silence and propagating falsehoods. One notable example of the latter was the claim that the Russian headquarters building of the Black Sea fleet that was hit Friday was empty and that the multiple explosions were mere routine training exercises.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that the attack killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. "After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored," the Ukrainian special forces said via Telegram on Monday.

Responding to reports of multiple missiles strikes this month on Crimea, Russian authorities say that all the missiles were intercepted by a submarine and a structure called "VDK Minsk", which itself was severely damaged following a Ukrainian airstrike on Sept. 13. The Russians likewise dismissed reports of a fire at the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, attributing it to a mundane explosion caused by swamp gas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the military situation in Crimea and elsewhere, continuing to repeat that everything is “proceeding as planned.”

Why is Crimea such a touchy topic? And why is it proving to be so hard to defend?

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