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Thousands gather in Burma after landmark election

A young boy holds a bust of Aung San Suu Kyi. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of supporters of Burmese political icon have turned out in the streets after the country's freest election in 25 years.

Excited crowds gathered outside the headquarters of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) as the first results of the ballot were read out.

Newspaper front pages show Ms Suu Kyi during polling day. Credit: Reuters

A clear picture of the result is unlikely to be established until Tuesday morning, but the NLD is expected to win the largest share of the vote.

Laws passed previously block Ms Suu Kyi from becoming president, though she has indicated she will stand in a role "above president" should her party win a majority.

Supporters cheer excitedly as early results are read out. Credit: Reuters

The US described the election as "far from perfect", with the military, which has held power since 2011, is guaranteed at least a quarter of the vote

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Angelina Jolie meets female factory workers in Burma

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have met with female workers in Yangon.

Jolie is in the country for a four-day visit in her role as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie looks at a project run by a local group. Credit: Reuters
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Jolie meet with female factory workers at their hostel. Credit: Reuters

1,000 land in Asian refugee 'floating coffin' crisis

Over 1,000 people fleeing persecution in Burma and poverty in Bangladesh have landed in south-east Asia, describing killings, extortion and near-starvation after a harrowing journey at sea.

An increasingly alarmed United Nations warned against "floating coffins" and urged regional leaders to put human lives first. The US urged governments not to push back new boat arrivals.

The waves of weak, hungry and dehydrated migrants who arrived yesterday were the latest to slip into countries that have made it clear they are not welcome.

But thousands more are still believed stranded at sea in what has become a humanitarian crisis no one in the region is rushing to solve.

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Burmese president vows to free prisoners of conscience

Burma's President Thein Sein has promised there will be no prisoners of conscience left in his country's jails by the end of the year.

The Burmese government has faced international criticism for the number of prisoners held for their political and religious beliefs or ethnic identity, the most famous of which was the activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

President Thein Sein also said he had signed a peace deal to end the ethnic conflict in the country and that he believes he is close to a nationwide ceasefire.

Read: Hague: Time for Burma's president 'to bring about lasting reform'

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