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Comm(Unity) Weekly: Myanmar Coup & Threats to Democracy

MARCH 15, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we share our conversation on Myanmar with Ambassador Derek Mitchell, examine the declining market for secrets, and see how a cellist spreads joy in quarantine.

Weekly Episode

On our latest episode — Ambassador Derek Mitchell, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar from 2012-2016 and President of the National Democratic Institute, addresses the events leading up to the recent coup d’état in Myanmar and the violent crackdown on protestors that is attracting the attention of the world.

Stream Now

Read the latest updates on the Myanmar protests and security forces’ violent responses

Subscribe: YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup:

At President Biden’s Quad Summit with Japan, India and Australia the four leaders committed to providing 1 billion doses of the COVID vaccine
See how these doses might quell Chinese expansionism in Southeast Asia

You’ve been hearing a lot about what a feminist foreign policy might be comprised of, but why should NATO adopt these policies?
Feminist foreign policy represents democratic ideals as a strength

In the Central African Republic, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has little authority, but Russia has other plans for the regime
CAR has potential to be part of Russia’s resource-intensive economic strategy

Salvadorans love their new populist president, Nayib Bukele, leader of the New Ideas party that has gained popularity over the past few years
“New Ideas won a landslide in the legislative and municipal elections”

The U.S. intelligence community has always been a resource for sensitive information, but now it must adjust to an open-source world
Read more about the declining market for secrets

Weekly Entertainment


Famed Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner William Butler Yeats wrote this poem about the small Irish island


Brookings Cafeteria Podcast

Fred Dews interviews in-house Brookings experts about their ideas and the world ahead


The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Peaky Blinders fans – watch Cillian Murphy star in this film that tells the tale of two brothers torn apart by the Irish revolt


NASA Pi Day Challenge

We know Pi Day was yesterday, but have your kids use pi to solve problems faced by NASA scientists and engineers



Get your Irish feast ready for St. Patrick’s Day with this classic side dish, combining creamy mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale

Global Good News

The power of music during lockdown
Patrick Dexter, a cellist from Ireland (and special guest at this week’s Saint Patrick’s Day celebration!), tells CNN about how videos of him playing cello outside his picturesque cottage in Ireland brought joy during this difficult time.

Learn More.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

With spring right around the corner and community members beginning to get access to vaccines, there’s a strong feeling of hope and excitement for what’s to come. We’re so grateful to you for being with us through it all this past year – for joining us for events, discussions, roundtables, and for all your support. Thank you and hope you can join us this Wednesday for a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration!

Amanda Jolly
VP of Programs & Communications

Image Credits: [1] Myanmar protests: Kan Sangtong via Shutterstock; Amb. Mitchell: Twitter @AmbDMitchell; [2] Quad Summit: Yahoo News India; [3] Two men sitting: The Wind that Shakes the Barley still; [4] Colcannon: Food Network; [5] Patrick Dexter: Facebook/cellomayo; [6] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer; [7] Amanda Jolly: Caroline Schaefer

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