Last week, Burma's first civilian President in half a century was inaugurated. Htin Kyaw is the first democrat, and perhaps the first good man, to lead Burma's government since General Ne Win ousted prime minister U Nu in a coup in 1962. So last week should have been a time of celebration, marking the achievement of a struggle for democracy that has gone on for decades. Or so many think.
Imagine being too scared to ask for a bathroom break at work. Or working in 38 degree heat without safe drinking water. Or being locked in, forced to live in fear of fires or other accidents. On a recent trip to Myanmar, I spoke to Su Su Hlaing, a young woman for whom this was a daily reality. Su Su Hlaing told me that when she was young, she dreamt of being a teacher. But when the recent economic problems started, she had to find a job in the garment factories to support her family. I met her in their dormitory room where she lives and sleeps in what can only be described as slum-like conditions.
This is the time of year that I start craving travel - when it's cold, grey and miserable in the UK, the thought of somewhere exciting to visit in the New Year always gives me a lift. And just at the right time, the travel experts and tour operators all start releasing their latest trips and hottest destinations for 2016. Here are my top five most exciting group trips for singles in 2016.
Despite the encouraging noises since Sunday's election, the constitution entrenches military influence in the political system. A quarter of seats in parliament are reserved for officers and the National Defence and Security Council retains the power to remove the government. Then - perhaps surprisingly to many - there is growing doubt about Aung San Suu Kyi herself.
Our collective response to the plight of the Yazidis was the right one. If we fail to replicate that standard in Rakhine, our moral authority will be further diminished and it will be our enemies that pedal examples of the West's indifferences towards the Islamic world's suffering who alone will be the beneficiaries.
In recent months, education in Myanmar has dominated headlines. A new law to reform Myanmar's outdated education system was introduced to train students to be critical thinkers and law abiding citizens. But the law has also faced significant criticism, because it undermines the autonomy of universities and fails to recognise the formation of student and teacher unions.
Poverty in Myanmar affects ordinary Burmese families and children, with one in four of the population living in extreme poverty, but ActionAid's child sponsorship programme is really helping and making real transformations... That is why I am is backing ActionAid's Christmas appeal to find sponsors for 2,700 children across six countries in the developing world - Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Malawi, Myanmar and The Gambia - who are affected by extreme poverty or conflict to help give them a future.
Wirat Piyapornpaiboon is making the same mistake as McDonalds, but it isn't too late to change yet. He might find dropping the cases now to be personally embarrassing, but even if he wins the cases in a Thai court, he will lose in the court of public opinion, in the media, and in the business world. Any good businessman knows when the time has come to cut your losses and move on. For Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, that time is now.
Since 2010 the Burmese military Government has embarked on an agenda of reform and modernisation, the speed of which has taken many by surprise. The reforms have seen the release of 1,100 political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as the relaxation of restrictions on freedom of the press and of expression...