Human Rights

In 2019, USCIRF again places Laos on its Tier 2

In 2018, religious freedom conditions in Laos trended the same as in 2017. It continued to be difficult to obtain and confirm details about religious freedom violations due to heavy govern-ment censorship and restrictions on freedom of information. Lao officials seek to control all perceived challenges to state authority and often characterize religious and ethnic […]

World News

U.S. Prepared to Strike Iran Before Approval Was Abruptly Withdrawn

(WASHINGTON) — The United States made preparations for a military strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but the operation was abruptly called off with just hours to go, a U.S. official said. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of […]

Asian News

Why Trump Has Gotten Extra Tough in Monitoring China at Sea

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – U.S. President Donald Trump is getting more aggressive toward Chinese activity in a disputed Asian sea compared to his predecessors, because the U.S. government fears China has expanded too far to overlook, analysts in the region believe. The U.S. government has stepped up military support over the past two years for countries […]

Asian News

Drones, big money and cheap drugs: The Laos route spewing meth into Thailand

NAKHON PHANOM, THAILAND (AFP) – As dusk falls along the Mekong River, a nightly dance begins between Thai border security and Laos drug gangs now using drones, scouts and a pool of poor fishermen to shift record amounts of meth into Thailand. Landlocked, secretive and with ungovernable borders, Laos has become a sluice for transporting […]

Lao News

Archaeologists discover more giant stone jars used to dispose of the dead in Laos

It is an archaeological mystery that has perplexed scientists for decades: which ancient civilisation carved huge stone jars for disposing its dead at sites across Laos? Thick jungle, war and unexploded bombs have helped keep the secret, but new Australian-led research has offered tantalising clues. Experts believe the jars are related to an ancient burial […]

Lao News

Vietnam, Cambodia Fall in Rank in Annual US Human Trafficking Report

The U.S. State Department downgraded Vietnam and Cambodia to its next-to-lowest ranking in an annual report on human trafficking released today, pointing to what it called both countries’ continuing failure to make “significant efforts” to combat the trade. The Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report ranks countries around the world as Tier 1, Tier […]