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Launching 'A Burmese Journey'

On Monday, GlobalPost launches a Special Report produced by 20 young reporters who gathered in Myanmar last month as part of an ambitious journalism fellowship carried out in partnership with the Open Hands Initiative.


YANGON, Myanmar — A group of 20 top, young journalists — 11 from Myanmar and 9 from the United States — set out on a series of journeys last month through a country undergoing dramatic change.

They formed five teams chosen for a highly competitive reporting fellowship which was put together as a partnership between GlobalPost and the New York City-based Open Hands Initiative. 

One team set out to navigate the great capitals of Myanmar, also known as Burma.


With Egypt divided about its future, US government emerges as a common foe

Conflict in the streets boils down to supporters of deposed President Morsi versus supporters of the military that removed him from power. Many on both sides think they see President Obama behind the scenes.
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An Egyptian man holds a sign against US President Barack Obama as opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather to break their fast with the iftar meal outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 12, 2013. Tens of thousands of Morsi's supporters gathered vowing to keep fighting for his reinstatement, as rival rallies defending his overthrow underlined Egypt's bitter divisions. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO, Egypt — On the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, rival protest rallies packed the streets as Egypt careened into yet another fateful intersection on a revolutionary road that stretches out into an uncertain future.


Egypt, it is too early to celebrate

Opinion: Why it's dangerous to treat President Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the military as a victory for Egypt.
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People dance and cheer at Tahrir Square, the day after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, was ousted from power on July 4, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim head of state in ceremony in Cairo in the morning of July 4, the day after Morsi was placed under house arrest by the Egyptian military and the constitution was suspended. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO, Egypt — Toppling Mohamed Morsi was mostly easy, at least compared to his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

Instead of blinding protesters with tear gas and targeting their eyes with birdshot, the Egyptian police distributed juice boxes and water bottles to the June 30 protesters.


A nation-state by any other name: Burma or Myanmar?

As the country transforms and stays in the news, what should we call it?
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Passengers on a circular train in Yangon, Myanmar on June 15, 2013. (Kaung Htet /GlobalPost)

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — In May, when President Obama referred to Myanmar as “Myanmar” in an Oval Office meeting, it was a minor diplomatic coup for the country’s visiting president, Thein Sein. That’s because, to many people, Myanmar isn’t Myanmar. It’s Burma.


Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar needs independent journalists with 'integrity'

In remarks to young journalism fellows in the capital of Naypyidaw, 'The Lady' urged a renaissance of 'old fashioned' journalistic values including accuracy and great storytelling.

As part of a reporting fellowship hosted in partnership between Open Hands Initiative and GlobalPost, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a group of 20 top, young journalists from Myanmar and the United States at Royal Kumudra Hotel in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on June 27, 2013. 

After welcoming remarks from GlobalPost's Charles M. Sennott, Aung San Suu Kyi was introduced by Open Hands Initiative Chairman and Founder Jay Snyder, who welcomed her as part of OHI's mission for public diplomacy. 


GlobalPost and OHI host Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar's capital

The pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate spoke Thursday to a group of 20 top young journalists participating in the 'Burma Telling Its Own Story' reporting fellowship.
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Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with young journalists at an event co-hosted by GlobalPost and Open Hands Initiative in Naypyidaw on June 27, 2013. (Natalie Keyssar/GlobalPost)
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — Coming straight from the opening of a fateful parliamentary session where constitutional reform and press freedom laws topped the agenda, pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi spoke Thursday to a group of 20 top young journalists brought together by GlobalPost in partnership with the Open Hands Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to public diplomacy.

At the epicenter of Brazil's massive protests, inequality drives discontent

Sao Paulo's poor and middle classes are challenging the narrative that Brazil has left its economic problems behind.
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People play soccer during a protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 30, 2013. Thousands of police and troops were mobilized to guarantee security as the curtain fell on the FIFA Confederations Cup, which was beset by social unrest with more than 1.5 million people taking to the streets across the giant nation in the past two weeks. (Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO — On a gray winter’s morning the rain is pouring down on Capão Redondo — a slum on the edge of São Paulo’s massive urban sprawl. Despite the weather, several hundred local people have gathered for a morning march that will further snarl up the city’s already chronic traffic jams.

In one of the latest demonstrations of the discontent sweeping across Brazil, these protesters are braving the elements to demand better schools for their children and hospitals for the sick.


Aung San Suu Kyi downplays anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar

Speaking in the capital of Naypyidaw, the opposition leader said a rising 969 movement did not represent the majority of Buddhists.
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Aung San Suu Kyi addresses GlobalPost-Open Hands Initiative reporting fellows in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on June 27, 2013. (Kyaw Myo Min/GlobalPost)

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — On Thursday evening in the capital of Naypyidaw, opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she thought the number of Buddhist monks who hold extremist anti-Muslim views was limited.

"I don't know how big the movement is and I don't know how widespread this movement is," Suu Kyi said, addressing a group of young Burmese and American journalists. "I do not think that any extremist movement is good but I do not think that the majority of our monks or our people are extremist."


Reporting from Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta through different sets of eyes

Two reporting fellows, one Burmese and one American, visit a place best known for Cyclone Nargis' devastation now seeing some change.
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Young women dock workers unload firewood from ferries on the Irrawaddy River in Mandalay. (Gary Knight/VII/GlobalPost)

BOGALAY, Myanmar — Last week a group of Open Hands Initiative-GlobalPost reporting fellows left Yangon and set out for the Delta — low-lying wetlands in the Irrawaddy Region that at one time served as the ‘rice bowl’ for the rest of Southeast Asia. Cyclone Nargis devastated the area in 2008: over 150,000 people are estimated to have been killed and the vast majority of farmland —  the area’s livelihood — was destroyed. Our group is reporting on how the area is recovering five years later.


Watching the Orwellian ‘Big Mother’ on Burma’s state-owned TV

In the Shan State town of Hsipaw, Korean soap operas are popular but so is a homegrown show reminiscent of 1984.
(Diana Markosian/GlobalPost)

HSIPAW, Myanmar — One of the more entertaining ways to take the cultural pulse of a society is check out, and sometimes struggle to understand, its sources of entertainment. In Myanmar, a video shop in the Shan State town of Hsipaw and a state-owned television station each offer their own glimpse.

In the market at Hsipaw, Korean soap operas are all the rage these days.

Tin Nilar Htwe, an 18-year-old attendant at the video shop, counts herself among the fans of the Korean soaps. She says she enjoys them because the actors are attractive.