Update 12:52 p.m.: It turns out releasing about 600 political prisoners was enough for the U.S. to make its own show of goodwill. The New York Times is now reporting an announcement from Hillary Clinton that the U.S. will resort full diplomatic relations with Myanmar. “An American ambassador will help strengthen our efforts to support the historic and promising steps that are now unfolding,” she said.
Original: In yet more heartening move from Myanmar (or if you prefer Burma), we learn this morning that nearly 600 political prisoners have been released on pardons from President Thein Sein -- though the U.S. probably wants more. "Myanmar state radio and television announced that the 651 detainees were being freed to take part in 'nation-building,'" reports the AP, "nation-building" not being the line you use when your country is doing great to begin with. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi estimates 591 of those released are political prisoners. This comes on the heels of a peace treaty of sorts signed by an longtime ethnic rebel fighters and the government Thursday. Both were demands made by Hillary Clinton during her historic visit to the country back in November, but by our math, that one-two mea culpa from Myanmar might not be enough to please the U.S., which is considering dropping its longtime sanctions against it. Back in November, Obama administration counted "1,600 political prisoners" it'd like to see more of let free. So today's release, it seems, is about 1,000 short.