Myanmar returning to Miss Universe competition

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar is sending its first contestant in half a century to the Miss Universe pageant, in another sign that the once-isolated Southeast Asian nation is undergoing dramatic change.

Twenty-five-year-old Moe Set Wine, who studied business and marketing in the U.S., was picked among 20 other contenders Thursday night to represent her country at the 62nd Miss Universe pageant in Moscow on Nov. 9.

Thursday night's event was broadcast live on satellite TV.

Myanmar sent its first representative to the pageant in 1959, but stopped in 1962 under the rule of late dictator Gen. Ne Win, who imposed a socialist government on an already conservative Buddhist society.

Myanmar was under strict army rule from 1962 until 2011, when an elected pro-military government took power and began political and economic reforms.

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