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Question of the Day
YANGON — Myanmar’s president announced a major Cabinet shuffle Monday, a move analysts see as advancing a reform agenda in the formerly pariah nation.
The shake-up is the biggest since President Thein Sein’s government took office from the former military junta in March 2011 and launched a wave of dramatic reforms that have surprised the world and prompted Western powers to ease crippling sanctions.
Rumors have swirled for months about a possible shuffle.
The announcement made late Monday on the president’s official website said the overhaul affects nine of several dozen Cabinet posts. Some 15 new deputy ministers are also being appointed.
Among the most prominent changes is the replacement of former Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, widely seen as a hard-liner. He was replaced by Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi, who has also acted as a liaison between the government and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The information ministry oversees local and foreign media and the film industry, and has supervised the approval of visas for foreign correspondents. Kyaw Hsan was kept in government, however, and appointed to head the Cooperatives Ministry.
President promotes son to chief of special forces
KAMPALA — Uganda’s president has made his son a one-star general and appointed him commander of the country’s special forces, leading some Ugandans to conclude that the son is being groomed to succeed his father.
In changes announced Monday, Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba was named a brigadier general, the latest promotion in the 38-year-old’s quick rise through the ranks. Some Ugandans have long believed that President Yoweri Museveni, who took power by force in 1986, is nurturing his son to take over from him when he retires. Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a political historian at Uganda’s Makerere University, said the promotion gives that suspicion credence.
In his new role Brig. Gen. Kainerugaba, who received some military training at the elite Sandhurst British academy, will be the chief protector of his father and resources such as oil wells.
Military develops safer grenades
JERUSALEM — Israel Military Industries says it has developed a unique grenade that does not explode when hit by shrapnel, bullets or even if exposed to fire.
Moshe Elert, a senior official with the state-owned defense company, said Monday the new mechanism could save soldiers’ lives. He would not elaborate on how it works.
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