“What’s in a name?” – one might ask. There could be a lot. In Washington on the fateful day of May 20, President Barack Obama decided to use the name Myanmar to refer to what he had insisted on calling “Burma”. The geopolitics of the Indian Ocean will never be the same again. White House spokesman Jay Carney explained that the United States would be henceforth “as a courtesy in appropriate setting, more frequently using the name Myanmar”. Diplomacy is indeed largely courtesy and the “appropriate setting” was the visit by President Thein Sein to the White House, which signified the formal launch of the US rebalancing strategy to the west of Malacca Strait.
Sibylla Brodzinsky, Jonathan Watts: Former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide and jailed for 80 years (Guardian)
Efraín Ríos Montt held to account for abuses in campaign that killed an estimated 200,000 and led to 45,000 disappearances
Louisa Loveluck: Egypt court rules upper house of parliament elected illegally (Guardian)
Samir Naji al-Hasan Moqbel: Gitmo Is Killing Me (New York Times)
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. … I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. … I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.
Paul Harris: Guantánamo Bay hunger strike worsens (Guardian)
President vowed last week to close controversial detention camp but 103 prisoners remain on strike, with many being force-fed
Detainees on hunger strike in Guantánamo Bay: An open letter to my military doctor (Guardian)
[Y]ou are in violation of the ethics of your profession, as the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association have made clear. … I cannot trust your advice, because you are responsible to your superior military officers who require you to treat me by means unacceptible to me, and you put your duty to them above your duty to me as a doctor. … I have some sympathy for your impossible position. Whether you continue in the military or return to civilian practice, you will have to live with what you have done and not done here at Guantanamo for the rest of your life. Going forward, you can make a difference. You can choose to stop actively contributing to the abusive conditions I am currently enduring.
Gary Younge: Hypocrisy lies at the heart of the trial of Bradley Manning (Guardian)
It is an outrage that soldiers who killed innocents remain free but the man who exposed them is accused of ‘aiding the enemy’
Suzanne Goldenberg: Asia curbs US imports of wheat after genetically modified sample found (Guardian)
GM variants are now the norm in US corn, cotton and soybeans, making up virtually all of the soybean crop last year. By some estimates, about two-thirds of US processed foods contain some GM ingredients.