Rohingya Photos: Myanmar's army offers rare apology
The Myanmar military issued a rare apology on September 3, acknowledging that two photographs it published in a book on the crisis over the Rohingya Muslim minority were "published incorrectly". Reuters published an exclusive report on August 31 revealing that two of the pictures in the book that aimed at illustrating the army's account of last year's events in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine, were in fact archive pictures of different conflicts, and one was posted with an incorrect caption. The erroneous publication of the photographs comes amid a series of government steps against what it has seen as media abuses, including a report on army activity in an ethnic minority guerrilla zone and the flying of a drone in the capital, Naypyitaw.
Outrage as 2 Reuters journos jailed for 7 yrs
Two Reuters journalists accused of breaching Myanmar's state secrets law while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims were jailed for seven years on September 3, fuelling international outrage a week after the army was accused of genocide. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who have been held in Yangon's Insein prison since their arrest in December, were charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, a draconian British colonial-era law which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years. The case, which sparked an international outcry, was seen as an attempt to muzzle reporting on last year's crackdown by Myanmar's security forces on the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state.
200 year old Brazilian museum engulfed in flames
A massive fire raced through Brazil's 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro on September 2, probably destroying its collection of more than 20 million items, ranging from archeological finds to historical memorabilia. The destruction of the building, once a palace for emperors that had fallen into disrepair, was an "incalculable loss for Brazil," President Michel Temer said in a statement. "Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge were lost." The museum, which is tied to the Rio de Janeiro federal university and the education ministry, was founded in 1818. It houses several landmark collections, including Egyptian artifacts and the oldest human fossil found in Brazil.
US ends funding for Palestinians
Palestinians reacted angrily on September 1 to a US decision to end all funding for the UN agency that assists three million needy refugees, seeing it as a new policy shift aimed at undermining their cause. Washington, which until last year was by far the biggest contributor to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, announced on August 31 that it would no longer make any contributions to the "irredeemably flawed operation." President Donald Trump's administration has backed Israel in accusing the nearly 70-year-old agency of perpetuating the Middle East conflict by maintaining the idea that many Palestinians are refugees with a right to return to homes in what is now Israel, something they both oppose.