Deadly crackdown in Myanmar as protests continue

The World
A large crowd of protesters are shown, many wearing construction hard hats and with their fist raised in the air.

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It was a deadly day for protesters in Myanmar on Sunday after security forces opened fire on demonstrations, killing at least 18 people and injuring another 30. The United Nations condemned the violence with Secretary-General António Guterres calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters “unacceptable.” As many as 1,000 people were detained by security authorities while protesters continue to demand an end to the military’s seizure of power after a Feb. 1 coup.

Images coming out of Myanmar show tear gas and people running from police, with bodies on the streets. The violence demonstrated a new ruthlessness from military leaders to quash the unrest.

Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday appeared in court via videoconference facing several charges, including violating a law dating back to British colonial days that prohibits freedom of expression.

What The World is following

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling in court on Monday. The 66-year-old was sentenced to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence — though Sarkozy will serve his sentence wearing an ankle-monitoring bracelet, detained at home. The ruling marks the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has been convicted of corruption.

And, Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the US and European powers to revive the nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump pulled out from, insisting sanctions must be lifted by Washington first. The announcement by Iran's foreign ministry spokesman comes after the Biden administration launched airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia groups in eastern Syria. Despite the new impasse, US officials said they “remain ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy."

From The World

Public art honoring Egyptian American Moustafa Kassem sends universal human rights message

A new mural on the side of the Eighth Street Deli Mini Mart in Astoria, New York, honors the life of Moustafa Kassem, an Egyptian American taxi driver who died in an Egyptian prison. The art was sponsored by human rights advocacy group, The Freedom Initiative, as a symbol of its renewed commitment to ensuring the US holds Egypt accountable.

“His name will be remembered not just as a failure of US foreign policy, but to remind people that it's not just him," said Mohammad Soltan, founder of the Freedom Initiative.

UN Human Rights Council starts work to address a ‘pandemic of human rights abuses'

Experts say that as the US rejoins the UN Human Rights Council, it should hold allies — and itself — accountable for human rights violations.

Bright spot

It was a big night for Chloé Zhao on Sunday, becoming the first Asian woman ever to win a Golden Globe for directing. Zhao, who won for her film "Nomadland," is also only the second woman to take home the award. Social media was bursting with praise for Zhao and the impact of her win as an inspiration to girls around the world.

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Listen: US airstrikes target Iranian-backed militia facilities in Syria

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby is shown wearing a dark blue suit and standing behind a microphone with the logo for the Pentagon behind him.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing in Washington, Feb. 17, 2021.


Alex Brandon/AP/File photo

The US launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. And, Israel wasn’t the first country to begin vaccinations, but the pace and scale of its vaccination campaign have made it a world leader in shots per capita. Also, scientists have dated the oldest rock art painting from a cave in remote northwestern Australia using fossilized wasp nests. The painting is a life-size depiction of a kangaroo.

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