Buddhists donate food and other necessities to monks as a way of earning merit for future lives. Monks have refused donations of alms from the military as a political protest in 1990 and 2007, a boycott that some monks insist is still in effect.
Credit Anthony Kuhn / NPR
Nay Myo Zin is a former captain in the Myanmar army who now runs a charity and is a political activist. He says he quit the army because soldiers were "always made to do bad things," and thus preventing him from properly practicing his Buddhist religion.
Credit Reuters /Landov
A monk waves his alms bowl upside down in defiance of a threat to send troops to end anti-junta protests in Yangon on Sept. 25, 2007, during the country's monk-led Saffron Revolution.
In response to political reforms in Myanmar — also known as Burma — the U.S. and other Western countries have eased some sanctions targeting the country's former military rulers.
But so far, one of the most powerful institutions inside the country has kept its sanctions in place. For some time, Myanmar's Buddhist clergy have effectively been on a spiritual strike by refusing to take donations from the military — a serious blow to the former regime's legitimacy.
Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 12:13 pm
On June 19, a week and a half ago, Fiona Apple released a brand new album, her first in seven years. The entire album had been available for streaming by NPR Music for a week and a half by then. Three days later, my copy arrived in the mail. It hasn't left my desk since.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. My thanks to Viviana Hurtado for sitting in for me for a couple of days this week. Coming up we'll ask former attorney general Alberto Gonzales what he makes of the fact that the current attorney general Eric Holder has been declared in contempt of Congress. This is the first time that this has happened to a sitting attorney general.
A landmark decision by the Supreme Court on health care reverberates across the nation — and now comes the political implications. NPR's Ron Elving and guest host Don Gonyea break down the ruling and what it means for November.
Plus, the House votes to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress. And a review of key primary races.
The city of Stockton, Calif., filed for federal bankruptcy protection Thursday, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to do so.
Some worry it's part of a wave. Six other municipalities have filed for bankruptcy protection this year. That's roughly on track with last year's pace, which saw 13 bankruptcies — the most in two decades.
A wave of municipal bankruptcies could be the country's next big financial crisis, several Wall Street analysts have warned.
Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) share a laugh in Ted. The talking teddy bear got his powers when 8-year-old Johnny wished upon a falling star for Ted to speak.
Credit Universal Pictures
When Johnny's girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), tires of Ted's constant presence around the house, Ted gets a job — which is when the comedy catches fire.
Seth MacFarlane is known mostly for creating, writing and directing the animated TV show Family Guy. In the show, he also voices Peter and Stewie Griffin, and their dog, Brian.
With his new movie, Ted, he has moved to the big screen for the first time, again creating, writing and directing. And though it's a live-action picture, he has again voiced one of the characters — the titular teddy bear, whom I tried to resist but couldn't.
Does Bruce Springsteen's broad appeal lie in the conviction with which he conjures up a New Jersey working-class identity, one with hard boundaries, as David Brooks writes in The New York Times? Politicians could learn from the Boss, offers Brooks: "Don't pretend you're a member of every community you visit. Don't try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. ... People will come."
The U.S. Supreme Court on the eve of a hearing about the Florida presidential election recount, Nov. 30, 2000. The justices later ruled 5-4 in the case of Bush v. Gore, effectively deciding the outcome of the presidential race.
Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:41 am
You may already have made a mental note as to where you were when you heard the Supreme Court had upheld the health care law known as Obamacare. It's one of those moments that become touchstones of our memory, personal connections to the history we have witnessed in our lifetimes.
The Supreme Court may not be the source of such moments very often, but when its rulings reach this level of our awareness, they alter the course of our lives.