Burmese rubies generate about $500 million annually. They account for over 90 percent of the global ruby trade. The U.S. bans the rubies because profits benefit Burma’s military junta. But as the junta initiates reforms, observers wonder how long the sanctions will remain.
More than 60 world leaders met in Tunis last week to address Syria’s escalating violence. The country has become a deadly place for both Syrians and foreign journalists. New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson reports from rebel-controlled areas in Syria.
The U.S. and the European Union have responded positively to the latest reforms by Burma’s military junta. The U.S. has said it will restore full diplomatic relations; there's also talk of potentially lifting sanctions.
Until last week, no U.S. secretary of state had visited Burma - considered one of the most repressive regimes in the world - since 1955. Secretary Hillary Clinton's historic visit changed all that, marking a turning point in diplomatic relations between the U.S.
Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Burma, one of most repressive countries in the world, was the first by a U.S. secretary of state since 1955. Worldview explores the improvement in U.S.–Burma relations with Maureen Aung-Thwin, director of the Burma Project at the Open Society Institute.
Recently, journalist Kyaw Kyaw Aung of Radio Free Asia published an unprecedented interview with Tint Swe, the powerful head of Burma’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Department. In it, the official pledged to end press censorship.
The Burmese government, one of the most repressive in the world, may be moving toward reform. Last week, authorities pledged to ease harsh censorship laws and released more than 200 political prisoners – with a pledge to release hundreds more.