By Timothy Mclaughlin and Hnin Yadana Zaw YANGON (Reuters) - Swathed in crimson robes, 77-year-old Ashin Tilawkar Biwonsa shuffles through a crowded conference room with the help of an aide, his supporters standing in respect as he takes a seat at the head of a table under a portrait of his own image. It is from here, at an unremarkable roadside monastery just outside the city of Yangon, that the abbot is propelling the radical Buddhist group he co-founded into the mainstream of Myanmar's politics. Four bills drafted by his Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, have been passed by parliament and signed into law.
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to about 15 percent of the population, its lowest point in decades, health authorities said Tuesday. "The prevalence of current cigarette smoking among US adults declined from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 15.2 percent in January–March 2015," said the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
The US State Department released over 4,000 more of the emails former secretary of state Hillary Clinton kept on a private server and revealed that some 150 others have been retroactively classified. Reporters and Clinton's rivals as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination began scouring 7,000 additional pages of messages from the mails she handed over earlier this year after coming under fire for operating the unofficial server. "I think it's somewhere around 150," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, adding that the process of reevaluating the remaining unreleased emails was continuing.