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Leader's Rumored Sickness Provides Some Small Hope for Burmese Reform

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Astrology and superstitious belief are part of everyday life in impoverished Burma, where hope for every family hangs on some fortune-teller's prophesy. But there is one prediction no one in the country is prepared to make -- who will succeed ailing leader Than Shwe.

Rumor is rife in Rangoon that the hardhearted general who cherishes his family life is seriously ill with intestinal cancer. ...

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