Buddhists donate food and other necessities to monks as a way of earning merit for future lives. Monks have refused donations of alms from the military as a political protest in 1990 and 2007, a boycott that some monks insist is still in effect.
Credit Ye Aung Thu / AFP/Getty Images
Nay Myo Zin is a former captain in the Myanmar army who now runs a charity and is a political activist. He says he quit the army because soldiers were "always made to do bad things," and thus preventing him from properly practicing his Buddhist religion.
Credit Anthony Kuhn / NPR
A monk waves his alms bowl upside down in defiance of a threat to send troops to end anti-junta protests in Yangon on Sept. 25, 2007, during the country's monk-led Saffron Revolution.
In response to political reforms in Myanmar — also known as Burma — the U.S. and other Western countries have eased some sanctions targeting the country's former military rulers.
But so far, one of the most powerful institutions inside the country has kept its sanctions in place. For some time, Myanmar's Buddhist clergy have effectively been on a spiritual strike by refusing to take donations from the military — a serious blow to the former regime's legitimacy.
Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) share a laugh in <em>Ted. </em>The talking teddy bear got his powers when 8-year-old Johnny wished upon a falling star for Ted to speak.<em></em>
Credit Universal Pictures/Tippett Studio
When Johnny's girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), tires of Ted's constant presence around the house, Ted gets a job — which is when the comedy catches fire.
Seth MacFarlane is known mostly for creating, writing and directing the animated TV show Family Guy. In the show, he also voices Peter and Stewie Griffin, and their dog, Brian.
With his new movie, Ted, he has moved to the big screen for the first time, again creating, writing and directing. And though it's a live-action picture, he has again voiced one of the characters — the titular teddy bear, whom I tried to resist but couldn't.
This artist's rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts (center) speaking at the Supreme Court on Thursday. From left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan. The court voted 5-4 to uphold President Obama's health care law.
Shock, dismay, relief, confusion — all those emotions played out Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-to-4 decision to uphold almost all of President Obama's health care overhaul.
The ruling, with shifting majorities on different provisions and multiple dissents, covered close to 200 pages and provoked initial confusion. Both Fox News and CNN got it wrong, reporting at first that the individual mandate had been struck down. But when the dust cleared, the law labeled derisively by Republicans as "Obamacare" was largely intact.
Across the street at the Capitol, lawmakers lined up to issue their reactions to the court's ruling upholding the health care law. Democrats celebrated what for many of them was an unexpected victory. Republicans denounced the decision and vowed to repeal the law.
For more now on the political impact of the Supreme Court ruling, we're joined by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, hi.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: We heard jubilation from Democrats, some shock from Republicans there. This is clearly a very important legal win for the president and for his policy on health care. But until this point, health care has not always been a winning issue for the president. Let's listen to some of what he said today addressing that question.
More now on the Supreme Court where health care was not the only case decided today. The justices struck down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime to lie about receiving military decorations or medals. The Court ruled it may be unethical to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor, but it's protected speech under the First Amendment.
NPR's Larry Abramson reports that veterans groups are disappointed, but they say the decision leaves room for Congress to try again.