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The woman who jumped to her death while fleeing police

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Even after six months of horrifying news from Myanmar, it is an incident that’s shocked the country – five people who chose to jump from a building they were hiding in, some to their deaths, rather than face arrest.

The police have condemned the group as terrorists, but the husband of one victim tells the BBC she was a compassionate wife and mother who felt she was working to alleviate the people’s suffering.

This is the tale of her untimely death.

It was on Tuesday afternoon that eight young activists found themselves trapped by a police raid.

The military had seized power months earlier in February, throwing the country into turmoil as millions protested against the coup.

At least 900 people have been killed by the military’s violent response, and thousands more arrested.

Wai Wai Myint was one of those caught up in the movement opposing the military junta.

She was one of the five who jumped off a commercial building in downtown Yangon as the police charged in, falling onto a concrete pavement. She and at least one other person died at the scene.

The other three have been taken to a military-run hospital.

In the first photograph of Wai Wai Myint that began circulating on social media after news of her death, she stands ramrod straight, looking defiantly at the camera. Her fingers are raised in the three-finger Hunger Games salute that has become the trademark gesture used by young dissidents in South East Asia.

The three-finger salute has been used widely as a symbol of resistance

The military authorities have described the group she was with as terrorists who were planning to plant bombs.

They have published confessions by two of the activists who did not jump and were arrested there, and photographs of what they say were ingredients for explosives.

But that is not the image painted by her husband, Soe Myat Thu.

He had to say goodbye to Apple, as he calls her, at a military-organised mass cremation for her and four other people, including the young man who died with her when they jumped.

No photographs were allowed, and the families were not permitted to take away the ashes.

The military junta in Myanmar has been trying to restrict the funerals of those killed in the uprising against the coup, as they often turn into anti-military demonstrations – sometimes cremating bodies in secret rather than returning them to their relatives.

Soe Myat Thu held up a flower for her, and took that back home in place of her remains.

The move towards politics

They were a comfortably middle-class couple, both ethnic Chinese, with a six year-old daughter. Soe Myat Thu is a dentist, and Wai Wai Myint was a gems and jewellery trader.

She had been brought up by two aunts, he told the BBC, and always had plenty of money to enjoy life.

Photographs of her show a well made-up young woman posing in stylish clothes.

She liked going out clubbing with girlfriends, he says, but had a strong social conscience, regularly donating money to poorer neighbours or to animal welfare groups.

He said the couple had not been interested in politics at all, with Wai Wai Myint even saying that they should stay away because it could be dangerous.

When the coup happened, she did not react much at first.

But she was kind-hearted, he says, and became upset when the first protester to die, a young woman called Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing, was fatally shot in the capital Nyapyitaw a week after the coup. Her death was widely mourned and triggered further anger against authorities.

Wai Wai Myint donated money to Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing’s family, and began posting on her Facebook page about other victims of the increasingly violent military response to the civil disobedience movement.

He said the couple both knew they could not change things themselves, but when she saw people being shot by the military she became more outspoken in her comments. He describes her as a bold character who was more ready to take risks than he was.

A memorial for Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a teenager who was shot in the head when police cracked down on a protest against the military coup in Naypyitaw is seen in Yangon, Myanmar,

Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing’s image became a defining one of the protests

Soe Myat Thu says she was arrested once during a protest, and he had to negotiate to get her out of custody.

She was very angry about that, he remembers, because of the way she had been kicked and beaten.

He had then warned her not to go to any more protests, reminding her that she had a daughter to care for.

After that, he believed that his wife was no longer involved with the opposition. It has evolved from a non-violent protest movement in the weeks after the coup to an underground resistance which today uses handmade guns and bombs, and is believed to be behind the assassination of officials who co-operate with the military.

He says he knew the other activists who were caught with Wai Wai Myint, in the building where they were staying on 44th Street in downtown Yangon, not far from their home.

They were all members of the Pzundaung Botahtaung Young Strike Committee, one of many groups formed in Yangon in the first days after the coup to resist it.

She used to hang out with them, he says, and sometimes brought them to their house to eat and use their internet.

“I admired and felt sorry for them as they were prepared to go out and face danger when I would not,” he said.

But he had no idea she was going to join them in their hideout on Tuesday; she had only told him that she was going out for a little while, and left the house without changing her clothes and putting on make-up, as she usually did.

It is not clear what Wai Wai Myint’s role was in the group, or whether she was even a member. It was possible that she was only paying the rent and offering other kinds of material support.

Activists opposing the coup in Myanmar have to keep moving from place to place to avoid arrest.

Soe Myint Thu believes it was what she felt about the suffering of the people, and her determination not to accept the military junta, that eventually drove her to her fate.



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India tests nuclear-capable missile amid tensions with China

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India has test-fired a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,125 miles) from an island off its east coast amid rising border tensions with China.

The successful launch on Wednesday was in line with “India’s policy to have credible minimum deterrence that underpins the commitment to no first use,” said a government statement.

The Agni-5 missile splashed down in the Bay of Bengal with “a very high degree of accuracy,” said the statement issued on Wednesday night.

Beijing’s powerful missile arsenal has driven New Delhi to improve its weapons systems in recent years, with the Agni-5 believed to be able to strike nearly all of China.

India is already able to strike anywhere inside neighboring Pakistan, its archrival against whom it has fought three wars since gaining independence from British colonialists in 1947.

India has been developing its medium- and long-range nuclear and missile systems since the 1990s amid increasing strategic competition with China in a major boost to the country’s defense capabilities.

Tension between them flared last year over a long-disputed section of their border in the mountainous Ladakh area. India is also increasingly suspicious of Beijing’s efforts to heighten its influence in the Indian Ocean.

Talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders to disengage troops from key areas along their border ended in a stalemate earlier this month, failing to ease a 17-month standoff that has sometimes led to deadly clashes. India and China fought a bloody war in 1962.



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Friedman, Dodgers facing decisions on FAs, Bauer this winter

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Friedman is headed into an offseason filled with crucial decisions involving the Los Angeles Dodgers’ big-name free agents, a rebuild of the starting rotation and Trevor Bauer’s future with the team.

As always, Friedman is guided by the ultimate goal of the monied Dodgers, saying, “The number one objective is to put ourselves in the best position to win in 2022.”

After coming within two wins of reaching the World Series for the fourth time in five years, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations defined the team’s postseason as “our struggle to consistently score runs.”

“We needed someone to step up and pull an Eddie Rosario,” Friedman said, referring to the Atlanta Braves left fielder who was named MVP of the NL Championship Series.

“After we made the Trea Turner deal, in my opinion, one through eight, it was the deepest and best lineup I’ve been around. But it didn’t quite play like that over those two months. It was a little bumpier than I would’ve expected,” he said Wednesday. “Figuring out the why of that is the hard part.”

The turbulence began well before the postseason.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Bauer went on paid administrative leave in early July under MLB’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy. MLB is conducting its own investigation and has yet to announce any findings. Bauer, through his representatives, has denied any wrongdoing.

Asked if Bauer will pitch for the team again, Friedman said they remain in the same position as before.

“It’s being handled by the league office,” he said. “Whatever they decide, we’ll have to figure out from there what makes the most sense for us.”

If MLB suspends Bauer, it could create a domino effect on the team’s payroll plans.

“The extent of it, I don’t know yet,” Friedman said.

The Dodgers began the season with eight starters and tried to get through the postseason with just Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and 20-game winner Julio Urías. The lack of depth was exposed by the team’s decisions to use Scherzer in relief in Game 5 of the NL Division Series and Urías out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the NLCS that left both pitchers tired in their later starts.

“We’re got a really good group of young starting pitchers coming,” Friedman said, citing Mitch White, Andre Jackson, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Landon Knack. “Gives us a really strong foundation of depth.”

Friedman and the front office have decisions to make on such key veterans as Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylor, who will become free agents after the World Series.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep as many of this group together,” Friedman said, “but not standing in the way of a great opportunity and I’m sure there will be for different people.”

Kershaw, the 33-year-old three-time Cy Young Award winner, reinjured his left arm not long after returning from over a two-month absence for the same issue and wasn’t available to pitch in the postseason.

“He just wants to feel good again and get to the point where he’s healthy,” Friedman said.

Kershaw has spent his entire 14-year career in Los Angeles, where he’s been the longtime face of the franchise.

“There’s something nostalgic and great about Kersh playing for one team and winning another championship and having a parade,” Friedman said.

Offseason moves would be impacted if no agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is reached before the current deal expires Dec. 1.

“We need to be prepared accordingly,” Friedman said.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Senators have heated exchanges with AG Garland over DOJ school board memo

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Senators have heated exchanges with AG Garland over DOJ school board memo



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Drinking Coffee Has Some Super Benefits—Here Are 4 Health Perks of Your Morning Cup

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Nor'easter has New England bracing for floods, power outages

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Nor'easter has New England bracing for floods, power outages



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Trump Jr. Gets A Reality Check After Comparing U.S. To Communist Czechoslovakia

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Donald Trump Jr. was ridiculed this week after he likened shortages of certain products in the U.S. under President Joe Biden to living in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

Trump Jr. made the remarks during conversation Saturday on Newsmax with Sebastian Gorka, a right-wing media personality and former aide to Donald Trump.

Gorka asked Trump Jr. to discuss the “empty shelves” and backlog of cargo ships in California due to supply-chain issues, given his “perspective” as someone who, “as a child, traveled behind the Iron Curtain and saw real socialism.”

“When conservatives say, ‘They’re socialists. The Democrats have gone radical,’ this isn’t an exaggeration, is it? You’ve seen it, Don,” Gorka added.

Trump Jr.’s mother, Ivana Trump, grew up in Czechoslovakia before moving first to Canada and then the U.S. in the 1970s. He told Gorka his Czech grandparents wanted him to understand the “freedoms and blessings we have here” in the U.S.

“So I traveled with them there every summer, you know, six, eight weeks. I’ve waited in those bread lines,” said Trump Jr., whose father was estimated to be worth more than $1 billion in the 1980s. “We’re starting to see the empty shelves that I experienced then in communist Czechoslovakia in the ’80s in America right now.”

Grocery stores in the U.S. are having problems stocking certain products due to the coronavirus pandemic, a worker shortage and shipping congestion at the Port of Los Angeles.

Some social media users and conservative media personalities have shown images of empty shelves to attack Biden over the supply-chain issues. However, some of these images have turned out to be photos from years ago.

Trump Jr. was slammed on social media for the absurd comparison. A number of people also pointed out that last year, at the peak of the pandemic during the Trump administration, shelves in stores across the country were stripped bare of certain essentials and people lined up for miles in their cars or for blocks on foot to get aid from food banks.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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How a pro-Trump “command center” at a hotel near the White House fueled January 6 efforts to block election certification

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How a pro-Trump “command center” at a hotel near the White House fueled January 6 efforts to block election certification



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