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May, 3, 2016

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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar -- Htin Kyaw, a trusted friend of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, took over as Myanmar's president Wednesday, taking a momentous step in the country's long-drawn transition toward democracy after more than a half-century of direct and indirect military rule.
Bangladesh court rejects scrapping Islam as state religion
Bangladesh's high court on Monday rejected a petition by secular activists to scrap Islam as the state religion in the wake of nationwide protests by hard-line Islamist groups.
A U.S. soldier shot and killed an Afghan boy on Monday near an American airfield close to the capital Kabul, a senior Afghan police officer said.
In Cambodia, zeal for rubber displaces indigenous
For generations, the indigenous Bunong were famous as the elephant keepers and masters of the forests in eastern Cambodia. They called the fertile, rolling hills of their ancestral homeland "meh ne," or mother. From its rich red soil, they harvested rice, pumpkins and bananas.
Myanmar's powerful army chief vowed Sunday to keep the nation "on the path to democracy," days before Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government takes office after decades of army rule.
Myanmar democracy veteran Aung San Suu Kyi angrily complained about being interviewed by a Muslim BBC presenter who pressed her about violence against Rohingya Muslims, a biographer claimed on Friday.
Protests in Dhaka over court review
Thousands of hard-line Islamists on Friday staged protests across Bangladesh against an imminent court hearing on scrapping the state religion of the Muslim-majority nation.
Myanmar launches first shares on fledgling bourse
Myanmar launched its first stock exchange with just one listed company Friday, with hopes the move could aid the country's economic rise as it emerges from decades of isolationist military rule.
Vietnam jails prominent blogger for anti-state posts
A court in Hanoi sentenced a prominent Vietnamese blogger to five years in prison for posting anti-state writings in a one-day trial Wednesday that highlighted the communist country's tough approach to dissent.
At least 11 people were killed in overnight violence as Bangladesh went to the polls for local elections, with seven of them shot dead by security forces, police said Wednesday.
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