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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 […]

Asian News

F-35s Unlikely, Taiwan Upgrades F-16s Fighters to Counter China

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Taiwan is upgrading a fleet of American-made fighter jets, but may scrap ambitions to acquire the more advanced F-35 models, showing the limits of U.S.-Taiwan military cooperation despite a common interest of resisting China. The Air Force should get its first four upgraded F-16 A/B fighter jets in early 2019. The upgrades […]

Asian News

Postpone Vote on Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

(Brussels) – The European Parliament and the European Council should postpone the ratification of the proposed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement until the Vietnamese government takes concrete steps to improve its increasingly abusive human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. In Vietnam’s latest move to restrict rights, a new draconian cybersecurity law went into effect […]

Lao News

Exclusive Report: Bureaucratic Chaos Rife in Hours Before Laos Dam Burst

On the night of July 23, water poured over a saddle dam at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy (PNPC) hydropower project in Champassak, Laos, sweeping away homes and causing severe flooding in up to 12 villages downstream in Champassak and neighboring Attapeu province. More than 40 villagers were killed and dozens were listed as missing, […]

Lao News

New questions asked about Lao dam toll, builder’s role

Civil society groups say govt toll of about 40 is not credible, that 800 or more people could have died in July; while Korean MP claims the firm building the dam altered the design and lowered the height to boost its profit The official death toll given by the government of Laos for the dam […]

Lao News

New Laos land law could block customary rights, women’s titles: analysts

VIENTIANE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new land law may bring greater transparency in land management and modernization of records in Laos, but it could also curb ownership by women, as well as the customary rights of rural and indigenous people, analysts said. The long-delayed legislation is scheduled to be tabled before the country’s National […]

Lao News

Lao Police Shut Down Concert Raising Funds For Rural School

Lao police shut down a benefit concert this week held to raise funds for a local school after objecting to a slogan found on T-shirts sold at the site, Lao sources said. The concert, held on Oct. 14 in the Kaysone district of Savannakhet province in southern Laos, had run for only 40 minutes before […]