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October 02, 2007

No Word From Burma

No Word From Burma

News continues to leak from Myanmar, where at least 10 people have been killed in the government suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations. Sources say the military has regained a firm hold of the streets, and a U.N. envoy has met with government and opposition leaders.

Min Min Htun grew up in Myanmar. He arrived in the U.S. just two years ago, after years of hiding in Rangoon and then living in refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border. He fled because his involvement in the student demonstrations of 1996 had put him and his family in danger.

Last year, Min Min moved to North Carolina from Florida, where he had initially been sent. At a meeting of the local Burmese refugee population, he saw someone who looked familiar. It turned out to be his cousin, Tin Lay Nwei. Neither of them knew the other was in North Carolina, and they had not seen each other in 10 years.

Dick Gordon talks with the cousins, Min Min and Tin Lay, about what they are making of the news from Myanmar. Since the government cut phone and internet access, neither one has received any word from their families in Rangoon.

What Could Have Been

Laurel Benedict heard our pitch for stories about celebrities, and she wrote to tell us hers.

She was in the 8th grade. She had fallen for the new boy in school. He was tall, dark and handsome. Laurel was the class clown, and she always tried to make this boy laugh. At the 8th grade graduation dance, they were doing a line dance, boys in one line and girls in another. As the lines advanced, she could see it would soon be her turn with the boy of her dreams. When they faced off, he said "I'm not dancing with you."

Years later, she turned on the TV and saw that boy. The show was Cheers, and the boy was Ted Danson. She still thinks of that moment now that she herself is a middle school teacher.

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