US Navy ships will leave Myanmar area due to its refusal of aid

The US military ordered navy ships loaded with relief aid off Myanmar's coast to leave the area Thursday after the country's junta refused to give them permission to help survivors of last month's devastating cyclone. Adm. Timothy Keating, the top commander in the Pacific, ordered the USS Essex and accompanying vessels to depart the Myanmar area after what he said were 15 separate attempts in recent weeks to get the junta's authorization to help with relief efforts. Myanmar's state media has said it feared a US invasion aimed at seizing the country's oil deposits. The UN has estimated 2.4 million people are in need of food, shelter or medical care as a result of the storm, which the government said killed 78,000 people and left another 56,000 missing.