Myanmar has reached a preliminary cease-fire agreement with Kachin rebels fighting near the border with China and India, raising hopes for an end to two years of conflict that has overshadowed reforms taking place in the Southeast Asian nation.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday urged Congress not to extend import sanctions on Myanmar, warning that sticking with the sanctions would be "a slap in the face" to reformers in the Southeast Asian nation.
Myanmar's leader met President Obama at the White House on Monday and pledged his government's commitment to democratic reforms, an end to communal violence and a cease-fire with ethnic minority rebels fighting in the northern part of his Southeast Asian nation.
Myanmar's president will meet Monday with President Obama amid criticism that the Southeast Asian country has done little to end its war against ethnic minority rebels, protect stateless Muslims or institutionalize democratic reforms that have been promised since its military junta was dissolved in 2011.
Buddhists and Muslims are clashing with increasing ferocity in Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, where minority Islamic ethnic groups blame racism by majority Buddhists more than religious intolerance.
Cyclone Mahasan weakened Thursday afternoon into a tropical storm, causing far less damage than had been feared as it passed over Bangladesh and sparing Myanmar almost entirely.
Dozens of Rohingya Muslims attempting to flee a cyclone were killed when the boats in which they were sailing capsized off western Myanmar.
Indonesian police arrested four people Thursday, foiling a planned terrorist attack on the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta.
The Chinese government's recent decision to build an array of new dams on rivers flowing to other countries seems set to roil inter-riparian relations in Asia and make it more difficult to establish rules-based water cooperation and sharing.