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Myanmar passes new law to attract foreign investors

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YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s parliament on Friday, September 7 passed an eagerly awaited new law aimed at boosting foreign investment in the former pariah state, which is emerging from decades of military rule, a lawmaker said.

The legislation allows foreign companies to own a 50-percent stake in joint ventures with local partners.

“The foreign investment law was approved by the union parliament,” said ruling-party lawmaker Soe Yin, adding that a controversial minimum investment of $5 million proposed in an earlier draft had been dropped.

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Business leaders had warned that the earlier draft, which would have allowed foreign firms to hold only up to 49 percent of a joint venture, risked undermining smaller companies’ chances of attracting investment.

The investment law is aimed at regulating a flood of interest from overseas corporations, which have been eyeing resource-rich Myanmar since the international community began dismantling sanctions to reward reforms.

With huge natural resources and a strategic position between China and India, Myanmar is seen as a potentially huge market for foreign firms as it opens up to the world after decades of isolation.

President Thein Sein has vowed to put the economy at the centre of a new raft of reforms, following a series of dramatic political changes since almost half a century of outright military rule ended last year.

Myanmar has invited foreign firms to invest in the mining sector and signed a series of oil exploration deals with foreign companies.

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Critics say the rewards of the nation’s energy bounty have so far only been shared among foreign investors and the regime, rather than its impoverished people.


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Trump made a ‘huge mistake’ talking to reporters about impeachment: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann

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One of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors explained on MSNBC how President Donald Trump made a "huge mistake" on Wednesday.

Andrew Weissmann, who is now an MSNBC legal analyst, was interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily."

The former federal prosecutor says Trump committed a blunder by denying a call with a Gordon Sondland staffer.

"Why is that?" Todd asked.

"Because he now can’t rebut it," Weissman replied.

"He has now said I don’t remember that phone call. So you’re going to have Sondland testifying to it. You’re going to have a staffer testifying to it," he explained. "If [Trump] doesn’t like their testimony, he’s going to have to say, 'Oh, now I remember that I didn’t say that.'"

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Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned

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One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.

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‘He can’t understand why what he did is wrong’: George Conway says Trump is incapable of being president

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Prominent Republican attorney George Conway ripped President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, spent his day with MSNBC to provide live analysis on the first day of televised impeachment hearings.

"It’s also striking, George, that every defense falls apart almost before the end of a single news cycle," anchor Nicolle Wallace reported. "Everything that people have said in an effort to defend him has collapsed under the weight of the president’s conduct."

"What we just heard the president say is delusional," Conway replied. "And it’s debilitating."

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