Joe Biden set for Mexican border curbs with eye on Donald Trump

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Myanmar’s junta is cracking down on gold and foreign exchange dealers and brokers selling foreign property, announcing 35 arrests in the past two days as part of efforts to stabilize the country’s rapidly depreciating currency.
According to state media, these include five people accused of illegally selling condominiums in Thailand and 14 people arrested on suspicion of destabilizing the exchange rate.
The kyat hit a record low last week, plummeting to around $4,500 on the black market, according to five foreign exchange traders.
For years, the rate of the kyat on the black market has been well above the reference rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar, which is currently 2,100 kyat per dollar.
“The government is working on the stability of the country and the rule of law,” the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said on Tuesday, publishing photos of more than a dozen suspects.
“Security organizations have taken action against businessmen who are hindering the country’s economic development through speculation,” it said.
Another 21 people were arrested on suspicion of destabilizing the price of gold, the newspaper reported on Monday.
The impoverished Southeast Asian country of about 55 million people has been in political and economic turmoil since a coup in 2021, when the military overthrew an elected civilian government after a decade of tentative democracy and economic reforms.
Myanmar’s economy, already fragile after decades of military rule and the pandemic, has been weakened since the coup, with foreign investment drying up, exacerbated by Western sanctions.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, the poverty rate has almost doubled from 24.8 percent in 2017 to 49.7 percent in 2023.
The shadow National Unity Government (NUG), made up of former lawmakers and other opponents of the junta, said the military government had printed large quantities of banknotes and increased military spending since taking power, exacerbating the country’s economic problems.
A spokesman for the junta did not respond to a Reuters call seeking comment.
“As far as we know, they are still printing kyat,” NUG Finance Minister Tin Tun Naing said at an online press conference on Monday.

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