You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Passengers in Russia's Arctic give airliner a push
    In other countries, you may be asked to give a push to a car stuck in the mud. In Russia, passengers in the Arctic came out of an airliner to the bitter cold to help it move to the runway.
  • Freighter with 700 migrants being towed to Crete
    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek navy frigate was towing a crippled freighter with hundreds of migrants on board through gale-force winds and high waves to safety on the southern island of Crete today, a day after it suffered engine failure in
  • Once maligned, Iran's Jews find greater acceptance
    YAZD, Iran (AP) — More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic — until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.
Singer to perform free concert in Myanmar
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jason Mraz will make history next month when he performs in Myanmar to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Mraz will headline a free outdoor concert Dec. 16 at People’s Square in Yangon, at the base of Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is the first international artist to perform an open-air concert in the country since the end of military rule last year. And he is believed to be just the second Western act to perform in the country in decades, joining Ozomatli’s U.S. State Department-sponsored appearance in 2009.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Mraz said of the history involved, “and I’m going there with an enormous amount of gratitude and respect, and I hope we can actually make a difference.”

US lifts ban on most Myanmar imports

– The United States on Friday suspended its ban on imports from Myanmar before President Obama’s landmark visit to the country to reward its democratic reforms.

The State Department said it was another step in the normalization of bilateral economic relations with the former pariah state. Washington has already eased investment sanctions.

Obama is scheduled to visit the country, also known as Burma, on Monday, the first U.S. president to do so.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, an influential voice on Myanmar policy, commended Obama for making the trip. His comment Friday underscored how Myanmar is an area of bipartisan agreement transcending Washington’s deep political divisions.

The waiving of the import ban, in place since 2003, is “intended to support the Burmese government’s ongoing reform efforts and to encourage further change, as well as to offer new opportunities for Burmese and American businesses,” a State Department statement said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in September that the U.S would be easing the restriction to reward the reformist government of President Thein Sein, who has shifted the country from five decades of ruinous military rule. He has released hundreds of political prisoners, including democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was elected to parliament in April.

The government and Suu Kyi have both expressed a desire for the import ban to be eased to help integrate Myanmar into the global economy, the statement said.

A ban on imports of gems – jadeite, rubies and jewelry containing them – will remain in place. The Treasury Department also added seven entities that U.S. companies are barred from doing business with because of links to violence, oppression and corrupt practices.

Myanmar activist groups have criticized the U.S. as being too hasty in rewarding Thein Sein’s government. Despite Friday’s waiver, the sanctions authority remains in place.

The U.S. is closely monitoring Myanmar’s progress on reform, the State Department said.