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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall-style event with Chinese youth at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai, 16 Nov 2009
Mon. 16 Nov 2009 0811 UTC

Obama Holds Town Hall in China

Calls for greater cooperation between Washington and Beijing, promotes idea of freedom

Full Story » | Watch Video clip available

Map of Kandahar, Afghanistan

8 Afghan Police Killed in Militant Attack

Police say militants assaulted a police checkpoint in southern Afghanistan overnight from several directions

Local residents remove a badly injured horse from the site of a car bombing on a police station in Badh Ber, a town near Peshawar, Pakistan, 16 Nov 2009

Bomb in Pakistan's Northwest Kills 4

Pakistani police say a suicide bomber blew up his pickup truck filled with explosives near a police station

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo, Egypt, 04 Nov 2009

US Secretary of State Praises China Relationship

Hillary Clinton speaks as President Obama begins first official trip to China

President Barack Obama meets with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Singapore, Sunday, 15 Nov. 2009

Obama Holds Key Talks on Sidelines of APEC

Discusses nuclear issues with Medvedev; Burma with ASEAN leaders

US President Barack Obama meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao
US President Barack Obama says freedom of expression and worship are "universal rights", during his first visit to China.

Russia says a new nuclear reactor it is building in southern Iran will not be completed by the end of the year as planned.

The UN draws criticism for stifling debate about net censorship after it disrupted a meeting of free-speech advocates in Egypt.

Burmese Opposition Welcomes Obama’s Call

Burmese opposition groups have welcomed the call by US President Barack Obama for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, although there is skepticism that it will be heeded by the military regime.

Junta Rejects Autonomous Wa State

Burma’s military government snubs the suggestion of an autonomous Wa State during a meeting between junta representatives and Wa leaders.

40 Dead After Ship Sinks in Pathein

Forty passengers are killed after two ships collide in Pathein Township in Irrawaddy Division.

More Amphetamines Seized near Burmese Border

Thai authorities seized about 300,000 amphetamine tablets in Mae Sai near Tachilek Township on the Burmese-Thai border on Sunday.

Monks, Nuns Gather Donations for Burmese Refugees

Residents of Chiang Mai, Thailand, gave donations to monks and nuns on Monday to aid Burmese refugees living in border camps.

Magic of ‘Tooth Relic’

(Commentary) Burma and Sri Lanka have some shared facts such as colonialism, Theravada Buddhism, Non-Aligned Movement, and protracted armed resistance by...

Editorial, Opinion and Analysis

Magic of ‘Tooth Relic’

(Commentary) Burma and Sri Lanka have some shared facts such as colonialism, Theravada Buddhism, Non-Aligned Movement, and protracted armed resistance by...

Southeast Asia’s poor will carry the APEC burden

Joseph Allchin

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–Despite much hand-shaking between leaders at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit, hopes of a binding agreement on reducing carbon emissions were lost. - more

Aid group to resume Burma funding

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–An international medical aid group is to resume funding to Burma four years after it withdrew citing alleged harassment of staff by the military government. - more

Suu Kyi requests talks with junta chief

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–Detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has requested a rare meeting with the leader of the country’s ruling junta, Than Shwe, in a letter sent last week to the capital Naypyidaw. - more

Alcohol and cigarette adverts banned

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–The Burmese government has banned alcohol and cigarette adverts from print media in a move that could significantly damage revenue for Burma’s many journals and magazines. - more

Obama calls for Suu Kyi release

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–United States’ president Barrack Obama made a personal appeal for the release of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi during a summit between the US and Southeast Asian leaders last week. - more

Burmese troops torch border island

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB)–Burmese troops have razed huts and infrastructure belonging to illegal Burmese settlers on an island on the Thaung Yin (or Moei) river, which separates Burma’s eastern Karen state from Thailand. - more

Remarks by President Barack Obama at Suntory Hall

Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan

That truth, for example, guides our new approach to Burma. Despite years of good intentions, neither sanctions by the United States nor engagement by others succeeded in improving the lives of the Burmese people. So we are now communicating directly with the leadership to make it clear that existing sanctions will remain until there are concrete steps toward democratic reform. We support a Burma that is unified, peaceful, prosperous, and democratic. And as Burma moves in that direction, a better relationship with the United States is possible.

There are clear steps that must be taken -- the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi; an end to conflicts with minority groups; and a genuine dialogue between the government, the democratic opposition and minority groups on a shared vision for the future. That is how a government in Burma will be able to respond to the needs of its people. That is the path that will bring Burma true security and prosperity. (Applause.)

These are steps that the United States will take to improve prosperity, security, and human dignity in the Asia Pacific. We will do so through our close friendship with Japan -- which will always be a centerpiece of our efforts in the region. We will do so as a partner -- through the broader engagement that I've discussed today. We will do so as a Pacific nation -- with a President who was shaped in part by this piece of the globe. And we will do so with the same sense of purpose that has guided our ties with the Japanese people for nearly 50 years.

The story of how these ties were forged dates back to the middle of the last century, sometime after the guns of war had quieted in the Pacific. It was then that America's commitment to the security and stability of Japan, along with the Japanese peoples' spirit of resilience and industriousness, led to what's been called "the Japanese miracle" -- a period of economic growth that was faster and more robust than anything the world had seen for some time. Read more...

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