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What's Going On Around The World Today

Myanmar is waiting for the results of its general election. Football players at the University of Missouri have gone on strike to protest the school’s handling of alleged racism on campus. And Donald Trump didn’t do all that well on Saturday Night Live.

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Myanmar’s opposition party is poised to win in a landslide in the country’s first free election since 1990.

Myanmar’s National League For Democracy (NLD) party — led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi — looks set to win a landslide victory in the country’s first openly contested elections in 25 years, BuzzFeed News reports.

To secure a winning majority in Myanmar’s parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party will need to win at least two thirds of the contested seats, according to BBC News.

Myanmar has been under military rule for roughly 50 years. The military backs the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party, which has been in power since 2011. A quarter of all parliamentary seats is reserved for unelected military representatives “effectively giving unelected military figures a veto on any constitutional amendments,” Adam Ramsey reports for BuzzFeed News from Myanmar.

Khin Maung Win / AP Photo

Aung San Suu Kyi talked to a crowd earlier today at her party’s headquarters, and urged her supporters not to provoke their losing rivals, the AP writes.

And a little extra.

Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency. Myanmar’s constitution — which was drafted by the military — states that presidents and vice presidents aren’t allowed to have foreign children. Her two sons are British citizens.

Aung San Suu Kyi first rose to prominence as the leader of the NLD in 1988, during protests against corruption and food shortages. She was arrested in 1989 and spent years in prison and under house arrest before being released in 2010, the Council on Foreign relations writes. She won the Nobel peace prize in 1991 for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.”


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Football players at the University of Missouri have gone on strike because they’re angry about how the school’s administration handles alleged racism on campus.

The players are joining a weeks-long student protest against university officials. Roughly 30 black players for the Mizzou Tigers posed for a photo with Jonathan Butler, a student leading the protest. Butler has been on a hunger strike for nearly a week to protest what he calls the school’s racist climate, BuzzFeed News’ Stephanie McNeal writes.

We are no longer taking it. It's time to fight. #ConcernedStudent1950 #MizzouHungerStrike

What’s next?

The protesting students want the university’s president, Tim Wolfe, to resign, “because they accuse him of personally failing to address numerous accusations of racism on campus,” McNeal writes.

The university’s president hasn’t responded to the calls for his resignation. But he has responded to the protesters in a statement in which he said “change is needed.”

It’s still unclear whether the Tigers will play in the three remaining games of the football season. Their next game is scheduled for Saturday and canceling it would cost the school more than $1 million, the Associated Press writes.

“Our focus right now is on the health of Jonathan Butler, the concerns of our student-athletes and working with our community to address this serious issue,” the team’s coach and the school’s athletic director said in a joint statement.


Can Eli Horowitz write the future of books?

Horowitz was a central force behind McSweeney’s, one of the most significant indie publishing houses of the last 20 years. So he “was at the very center of what, in hindsight, feels like a particular moment in publishing, when a group of outsiders, loosely configured, powerfully suggested that the material culture of books mattered,” BuzzFeed News’ Anne Helen Petersen writes.

Horowitz’s latest project is The Pickle Index, a collaboration with developer Russell Quinn, which “aims to effectively reconceptualize the book, in its digital and printed forms alike,” Petersen writes.

The Pickle Index is the story of a delightfully unskilled circus troupe set against the backdrop of a fascist dystopia, united by a forced devotion to fermented items. Horowitz’s novel aspires to be the “most bonkers book” ever written, Petersen writes.

Quick things to know:

  • Officials say they’re “90% sure” that a bomb downed a Russian passenger jet that crashed in Sinai and killed all 224 people on board. (Sky News) And a British plane had to evade a missile during a flight to Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh in August. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama are planning to meet at the White House today. It’s the first time in more than a year that the leaders will meet face to face. (Associated Press)

  • President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL oil pipeline project. The pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to the Gulf Coast, daily. (Vox)

  • Climate change could drive 100 million more people worldwide into poverty by 2030, according to a new report by the World Bank. (CNBC) And pollution in China is reaching record levels. (The Guardian)

  • Egypt has detained prominent human rights activist and reporter Hossam Bahgat. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Meet the North Koreans who went through hell to reach London’s suburbs. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Civil unrest continues in Romania, as the death toll of a recent nightclub fire in Bucharest rises to 44 after 10 people succumbed to their injuries. (BuzzFeed News)

  • When you’re a trans woman, there’s no clear path to motherhood. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Nine super cool photos that capture HBCU homecoming style. (BuzzFeed Life)

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live and gave the show the biggest ratings in years. (Entertainment Weekly) But the episode received terrible reviews. (New York Times) And Larry David appeared on the show and called Trump a “racist,” but not for the reasons you might think. (BuzzFeed News)

Happy Monday

Sometimes, you just need a hand to reach your goal. Thousands of runners participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Savannah, Georgia over the weekend, even though it was extremely hot and humid. One runner fell during the last stretch of the race and medics told him he had to stop and the runner was “heartbroken,” BuzzFeed News’ David Mack writes. When Sgt. John Cain, a local police officer, saw this happen he decided to step in and help the runner finish the race. “I helped pick him up and tears were coming from his eyes and we walked towards the finish,” Cain told BuzzFeed. “You could almost feel the happiness coming from him.”

This letter was edited and brought to you by Claire Moses and Stacy-Marie Ishmael. You can always reach us here.

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