Myanmar's Aid Mess, Obama Ups his Superdelegate Count, Gasoline Price Shock, and More

The U.N. suspends relief efforts to Myanmar; Obama picks up three additional superdelegates.


The U.N. announced this morning that it has suspended food relief efforts to cyclone victims in Myanmar, saying that the country's ruling military junta has repeatedly seized the organization's aid shipments in recent days. "All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," a U.N. World Food Program spokesman said. "For the time being, we have no choice but to end further efforts to bring critical needed food aid into Myanmar..." A spokesman for the Myanmar government acknowledged that the aid had been put under the country's control, but denied that it had been seized. The government, the spokesman said, will be distributing aid "without delay by its own labor to the affected areas." More than 20,000 people have been killed by the impact of Cyclone Nargis since it came ashore last weekend.

Barack Obama has added three more superdelegate endorsements to his delegate count, including the backing of two U.S. congressmen, Rep. Donald Payne of New Jersey and Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon. Payne, a black congressman, was previously supporting Hillary Clinton. "After careful consideration, I have reached the conclusion that Barack Obama can best bring about the change that our country so desperately wants and needs," Payne told The Star-Ledger in Newark. Obama now has 266 superdelegate endorsements to Hillary Clinton's 271.5, and there is wide speculation that the gap will narrow in coming days.

The official start of summer driving season—Memorial Day weekend—is two weeks off and there are increasingly worrisome signs of what it will cost vacationers this year. Oil prices hit a new record of $126.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. Commodities investors have been spurred by a weakening American dollar.

A man who lost two homes to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has now won the largest lottery prize in Louisiana history. Carl Hunter, a 73-year-old small construction company owner, has captured a $97 million Powerball jackpot with a ticket he bought while picking up a gallon of milk at a convenience store.