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An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

The latest: Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country's leader, later cut Suu Kyi's sentence to two years, the Times reports.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticized as politically motivated.

The big picture: Suu Kyi has been detained since the military overthrew the elected government and seized power on Feb. 1.

  • Suu Kyi could be sentenced to a total of 102 years in prison if convicted of all charges, which she denies. Other charges she faces include corruption and illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios.

Of note: Myanmar security forces have killed hundreds of activists and arrested thousands of others following massive protests since the coup.

What they're saying: The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar said in a statement ahead of Suu Kyi's sentencing it was "horrified by reports that security forces opened fire against, ran over, and killed several peaceful protesters."

  • "The Burmese military regime’s unjust conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and the repression of other democratically elected officials are yet further affronts to democracy and justice in Burma," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
  • "The regime’s continued disregard for the rule of law and its widespread use of violence against the Burmese people underscore the urgency of restoring Burma’s path to democracy," he added. "We urge the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all those unjustly detained, including other democratically elected officials."

What to watch: Lawyers for Suu Kyi and two colleagues also convicted Monday were expected to appeal their sentences, AP notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Rohingya refugees sue Facebook over Myanmar hate speech

Internally displaced Rohingya peoples at a market area in the Baw Du Pha IDP Camp in Myanmar. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Rohingya refugees accused Facebook in a $150 million lawsuit filed Monday of amplifying hate speech against the persecuted minority Muslims in Myanmar via algorithms and failing to take down inflammatory posts.

Why it matters: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been killed in Myanmar in what the UN deemed a genocidal campaign. Tens of thousands of others have been displaced, notably following a massacre by Myanmar's military in 2017.

Updated 14 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.