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Myanmar Police Clash with Students

In The News 03-10-15
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Police in Myanmar broke up a protest by student activists on Tuesday. The activists have been demanding education reforms.

Riot police used sticks to beat protesters after they attempted to push through a police barrier. Many of the protesters were kicked or beaten as they were arrested. Video appeared to show police using sticks and throwing objects in an attempt to break a window on a vehicle used by demonstrators.

Hundreds of student activists set off last month from Mandalay. They were hoping to reach Yangon, Myanmar’s main city. They planned to press the government to cancel a new education reform law. The students say the law will centralize control of universities in Myanmar. They also want more government spending on education and the right to organize teachers and other students.

Congressional letter raised debate

Iran’s foreign minister says a letter from a group of American lawmakers suggests that the United States is not trustworthy. Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iran’s top religious group that the letter is, in his words, “unprecedented and undiplomatic.” In truth, he said, it told us that we cannot trust the United States.”

The letter came from 47 Republican senators. The letter warned that any nuclear agreement President Barack Obama negotiates with Iran could last only until he leaves office in 2017. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the nuclear talk with Iran was a “bad deal” in his speech to the U.S. Congress. The leader of the Republican-controlled House, Mr. John Boehner, invited the Israeli leader without informing the White House.

President Obama has criticized Republican lawmakers for their direct intervention with Iran.

U.S. foreign relations with other governments are usually the responsibility of the presidents and diplomats.

Ivory Coast former first lady sentenced

The wife of Ivory Coast’s former president has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. A court in Abidjan gave the sentence to Simone Gbagbo for her involvement in violence four years ago.

The court found her guilty of harming state security and organizing armed groups. Three thousand people died in the unrest.

Gbagbo and her husband, former president Laurent Gbagbo, disputed the results of Ivory Coast’s 2010 presidential election. Officials ruled that Mr. Gbagbo lost in the elections to Alassane Ouattara.

Supporters of the Gbagbos said Ivory Coast’s government tried the former first lady for political reasons. Her sentence is two times as long as the 10-year term requested by the government.

The former president’s son, Michel Gbagbo, was also sentenced to five years in prison for his part in the violence.

US ambassador released from South Korea hospital

The United States ambassador to South Korea has been released from a hospital in Seoul. The U.S. official, Mark Lippert, was hurt in a knife attack last week. He told reporters Tuesday that he expects to make a full recovery.

The ambassador was taken to the hospital immediately after the attack. Doctors used 80 stitches to close a wound on the right side of his face.

Ambassador Lippert spoke of his “love and affection” for South Korea and the show of support following the attack. Mr. Lippert said he would return to work very soon. He added that he felt “very, very safe” in Seoul.

Officials arrested a 55-year-old South Korean activist for the attack. They said he was opposed to military exercises between the United States and South Korea. Officials announced on Sunday that the suspect, Kim Ki-jong, faces possible attempted murder charges.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

This newscast was based on stories from VOA’s News Division. George Grow wrote it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

protest n. demonstration; publicly objecting to someone or something

barriern. anything that blocks or makes an action difficult

windown. an opening in a wall to let in light and air, usually filled with glass

organize – v. to put in order; to put together in a system