Myanmar has undergone dramatic change over the last year, but one thing won’t be changing anytime soon the country’s name.
Authorities in the Southeast Asian nation issued a stern warning to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday, telling the political prisoner-turned parliamentarian to stop calling the country “Burma.” Instead, they said, she should use the constitutionally decreed title, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The country’s former military rulers changed the name in English from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, ostensibly to better reflect the country’s ethnic diversity.
The term Burma connotes Burman, the dominant ethnic group in the country, to the exclusion of ethnic minorities. But regime opponents and exile groups from a range of ethnic groups as well as foreign governments including the United States have persisted in using the word Burma as a sign of protest and defiance against an undemocratic regime they long saw as illegitimate.
In the official state language, the country and its people are both pronounced Myanmar.AP
EU leaders hailed Friday's eurozone breakthrough, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying she stuck to her principles as French President Francois Hollande welcomed positive market reactions.
"I think that we realised something important, but we remained faithful to our principles: no offers without something in exchange," Merkel said as she returned for the second and final day of summit talks after an 11th-hour deal was struck just before dawn.
She said Germany had remained faithful to its principles of "giving, taking in return, setting conditions and maintaining control." In other words, she had not agreed to new measures to relieve pressure on indebted partners without obtaining conditions and control in exchange.
Hollande too welcomed the deal to save the single currency. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency said: "Last night's agreement is a very solid one.
"It's a good signal not only for the euro countries but for all of us.
"In a time when we have talked a lot about the crisis, we have now a little light in the dark.”
Japan finds major rare earth deposits
Japan has found a large deposit of rare earth minerals in its Pacific seabed, enough to supply its hi-tech industries for more than 200 years, a scientist said Friday.
Around 6.8 million tonnes of the valuable minerals, used in electric cars, iPods and lasers, are sitting under the seabed near a far eastern Japanese island, Tokyo University professor Yasuhiro Kato said.
The seabed contained a substantial amount of dysprosium -- a rare earth mineral used in the engines for hybrid cars, he said.
"Specifically on dysprosium, I estimate at least 400 years worth of Japan's current consumption is in the deposits," said the professor, who examined mud samples taken from the seabed around 5,600 metres (18,300 feet) down.
"I would like to see the Japanese government recognise the existence of the rare earth deposits and soon start making investment in developing the area," said professor Kato.AFP
20 killed as fuel truck crash in China sparks fire
Beijing: At least 20 people in China were killed Friday when two trucks collided and sent petrol into a timber mill below the road, causing a massive blaze, authorities said.
The accident happened before dawn near the southern city of Guangzhou, according to the city government's official news portal.
It said 20 people had been confirmed killed — most of them believed to be workers in the timber mill — and 14 injured, one of them seriously.The two trucks were involved in a rear-end collision on a bridge road, the statement said, but it was unclear whether the tanker, which was carrying 40 tonnes of petrol, first ploughed into the other lorry, or vice versa.
The statement said the exact cause of the accident was being investigated.
China's roads are highly dangerous, with traffic laws and safety widely flouted, and truck drivers typically overworked.
Last year more than 62,000 people died in traffic accidents, state media said, citing police figures.AFP
China capsule returns
A Chinese space capsule with three astronauts aboard returned to Earth on Friday from a 13-day mission to an orbiting module that is a prototype for a future permanent station.
The crew of the Shenzhou 9 parachuted to a landing on the grasslands of the country’s sprawling Inner Mongolia region at about 10 a.m. (0730 IST). China declared the mission to the Tiangong 1 module a major stride ahead for the country’s ambitious space program.
The crew included China’s first female astronaut, 33-year-old Liu Yang.
China has been extremely cautious and methodical in its manned missions, with more than three years passing since the previous one, and all four have been relatively problem-free.AP