News From Beyond The Weird


I hope you won’t think worse of me for admitting that I read stuff like the BBC’s “Also In The News” page of stories that are maybe unimportant but are interesting and odd, often about eggplants having surprising uses in automobile manufacture or galaxies being found to be akin to peanut butter or, if it’s been a slow-quirky-news day, something got noticed about Genghis Khan. Something that’s had me fascinated popped up on Reuters’s “Oddly Enough” page back on the 4th of March, and I’d like you to savor the piece:

Oops, Congress asked to fix slip-up in Myanmar aid bill

BY ANNA YUKHANANOV

WASHINGTON Tue Mar 4, 2014 7:47pm EST

(Reuters) – The Obama administration is asking Congress to fix a 2012 bill that left a World Bank agency out of a list of 12 international financial institutions that could receive U.S. support to promote development in Myanmar.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) promotes foreign direct investment in emerging markets by protecting private investors from various forms of political risk.

“Because of this technical problem, the United States is still required to oppose guarantees provided by MIGA for private investment in Burma,” the Obama administration said in its budget request submitted on Tuesday to Congress for fiscal 2015, which begins October 1.

Now I realize that you’re all chuckling heartily from that opening, but the article carries on in that vein, explaining how MIGA, with 130 employees, is — brace yourself — one of the World Bank’s smallest institutions, and that the error would if uncorrected prohibit MIGA from carrying out several of its projects in Myanmar, and that relations between the United States and Myanmar have improved rapidly since the military government stepped aside and economic and political reforms began.

I admit I’m just fascinated trying to work out how the article got put into the Quirky News folder and who wrote the headline that promises a giggle at the folly of humanity. But who reports on how that sort of thing happens?