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SEAGames: Myanmar fans riot after footballers knocked out

Police fired water cannon to disperse rioting Myanmar football fans who tore up seats, burned shirts and hurled stones at officers after the hosts were dumped out of the Southeast Asian Games. Monday night's one-goal loss to Indonesia at the games -- an event seen as a "coming out" party for Myanmar after major reforms -- devastated local fans who have filled the 50,000 Yangon stadium to capacity during the group stage.

SEAGames: Myanmar host city baffles and delights with Games

An electrifying opening ceremony at the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar has boosted faith that the nation is on the rise, quelling fears its "coming out" party at the event's opening ceremony would fall flat. As the smoke cleared from a final ten-minute barrage of fireworks at the ceremony late Wednesday in Myanmar's remote capital Naypyidaw, spectators offered praise for the event and hope for their nation, which is emerging from decades of asphyxiating military rule.

Maldives defense minister joins ruling party

Maldives defense minister joins ruling party COLOMBO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Maldives Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim on Wednesday became a member of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), local media reported. Nazim said in a tweet that he had joined the ruling party his first formal political affiliation because it was "the most democratic party" in the Maldives, local media outlet Haveeru said. "Given the fact that PPM is the most democratic party in the Maldives, I have officially signed to PPM on this unique date: 11/ 12/13," his tweet reads.

Maldives amends budget to highest ever

Maldives amends budget to highest ever COLOMBO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Amendments made by the Maldives new government has made the proposed state budget for next year the biggest ever at 1.13 billion U.S. dollars, local media reported on Tuesday. Former President Mohamed Waheed's government had earlier proposed a budget of 16.4 billion Maldivian rufiyaa (1.06 billion U.S. dollars) for 2014. But newly elected President Abdulla Yamin after his appointment on Nov. 17 said that the budget proposed by his predecessor needed to be significantly revised.

Maldives army slams "baseless" corruption report

Maldives army slams "baseless" corruption report COLOMBO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Maldives army has slammed anti- graft watchdog Transparency International for its "baseless" survey that had listed the armed forces among the most corrupt institutions in the country, local media reported Tuesday. Data from the Berlin-based organization's global corruption barometer showed that 44 percent of respondents in the Maldives felt that the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) was also corrupt.

East Timor says Australia spies used aid cover

The East Timorese government believes it has identified a number of Australian spies who allegedly bugged its offices, accusing them of using an aid programme as cover, reports said Tuesday. East Timor is involved in an arbitration case at The Hague against Australia, accusing it of spying to gain a commercial advantage during negotiations on the Timor Sea gas treaty, which covers the vast gas field between the two nations.

EU approves 4 million euro in climate change aid to Maldives

EU approves 4 million euro in climate change aid to Maldives COLOMBO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has approved a grant aid of 4 million euro to help Maldives tackle issues related to climate change, local media reported here on Thursday.

SEA Games: Worries for Myanmar as competition starts

Empty seats and security concerns top the list of worries as Myanmar gears up for the Southeast Asian Games, the biggest sports event ever held in the former pariah state. Thousands of athletes, officials, fans and media will converge for the Games, which are slowly getting under way ahead of the opening ceremony on December 11. Two years after the end of military rule and the lifting of Western sanctions, Myanmar is hoping to shine in the international spotlight during the 22-day event.

Myanmar, Japan form steel joint venture

Myanmar, Japan form steel joint venture YANGON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has formed a joint venture with a Japanese firm to undertake production of steel solution, official media reported Tuesday. The joint venture of J and M Steel Solution Co Ltd was established between Myanmar's Public Works of the Ministry of Construction and Japan's JFE Engineering Corporation. The construction of the steel mill started in Yangon's Thakayta township following signing of the agreement on the establishment, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Myanmar looks abroad for investment in healthcare

By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - Yangon General Hospital was once the jewel in the crown of one of Southeast Asia's best healthcare systems. These days, hundreds of patients are forced to sleep in corridors of the hulking, colonial-era red-brick building, dogs doze on the floor of the emergency ward and garbage is piled in corners.
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