• Gunshots fired in Rohingya refugee camp, injuring at least 14
• Myanmar’s Arakan Liberation party seeks national-level Rakhine talks
• Myanmar reimposes internet shutdown in Rakhine and Chin states
• Mobile app snafu leaves uncertainty in first phase of picking Democratic nominee for U.S. president
• Turkish counterattack kills 6 Syrian soldiers, monitor says
• In gunmen, attack 20 civilians Killed in Burkina Faso
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Report: Mohammed Hussain
Topic: Health experts warn of cancer risks of chewing betel nuts.
Summary: On World Cancer Day, observed Feb. 4, health authorities warn of the dangers of chewing betel nuts – a habit popular in many Asian countries. At least three out of five men in Myanmar chew, according to the World Health Organization. Dave Grunebaum reports for VOA from Yangon, with additional material from Mohammed Hussain in Washington.
Report: Mohammed Idris Abdullah (stringer)
Topic: Volunteer teacher talks about Plan International’s school in Kutupalong Camp 7.
Translation summary: Mohammed Zia used to teach at a government high school in Rammeyo-bil village in Maundaw township. He fled to Bangladesh in August 2017 and now teaches at a Plan International educational facility in Camp 7 along Kutupalong’s eastern border. Eight other organizations also operate learning centers in the camp, where half the 40,000 residents are under age 17.
The 23-year-old teaches English, math and life skills to 30 male students ranging in age from 14 to 23. (He earns 8,000 takas or $94 a month, which helps support his wife and child.) Zia says the youths were not able to study in Myanmar and points out that even though they want to study Burmese language, learning centers in Bangladesh refugee camps haven’t been allowed to use a Burmese curriculum.
(That will change starting in April. Bangladesh’s government agreed to lift some restrictions on education, allowing Rohingya refugee youths to get a formal education using a Myanmar curriculum from grades 6 to 9. That will smooth what they hope will be their eventual re-entry to Myanmar.)
Plan International provides students with books, bags, pens and pencils, but Zia says he still needs more teaching materials. He said officials have cited limited budgets. But Zia said he’s grateful that the organization has provided educational facilities. He asks that the Bangladesh government and international community continue pressing for more schooling.
2-way: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (stringer) with Hussain in Washington
Topic: Overcrowding in Rohingya refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh.
Translation summary: When Mohammad Islam left Maungdaw township’s Tomburu village in August 2017, it was the third time he was fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar, he said. He previously took shelter in Bangladesh in 1978 and 1991. Now 42, he’s among roughly 1.1 million refugees living in Cox’s Bazar district.
“We are here almost 2.5 years in a very crowded place where our shelters are made with bamboo and tarpaulin,” Islam said. Back home, villagers’ houses were set far apart. Camp structures are flimsy and close together. “It is really very difficult for us to live in this condition.”
Nonetheless, he praised Bangladesh and other governments and NGOs that have provided support. “We only expect to return to our homes with all rights as citizens.”