News

Lao authorities seem powerless to stop crime in Golden Triangle economic zone

The Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in northern Laos is a haven for criminal activities including prostitution, scamming and drug trafficking, but Lao authorities are essentially powerless to stop it, workers in the zone and police told Radio Free Asia. The zone is a gambling and ...

RFA Lao

The Precarious State of the Mekong

The author Tucker Elliot wrote in “The Rainy Season” about the volatile nature of the Mekong:  “No matter the border, the Mekong has been an indiscriminate giver and taker of life in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It’s a paradox like civilization’s other great rivers – ...

Nicholas Muller

Elderly fleeing Mekong Delta as climate change hits

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – At 63, Nguyen Thi Ngoc landed her first full-time ‘company’ job as a security guard in Ho Chi Minh City. She had never been to a city before taking the job in early 2021, but the former farmer from ...

Nhung Nguyen

Global Survey Sees Seven Out of Ten People Wanting to End Plastic Pollution

Ahead of next week’s inaugural negotiations on what will be included in the UN’s plastics treaty, WWF and Plastic Free Foundation release an Ipsos survey showing that an average of seven out of 10 people polled across 34 countries believe that the treaty should create ...

Phontham Visapra

Talk but no action? Cambodian workers in Thailand see a lot of room for improvement

Thai-Cambodian discussions at the recent ASEAN summit put labour issues on the table. Despite the pleasant chat, migrant workers in Thailand have yet to see what, if any, measures the authorities will adopt to help address their problems. In a bilateral meeting on the sideline of ...

Seoung Nimol

US re-engagement with Mekong region poses opportunities and ambiguity, say CSOs

The US plan to invest over 20 million USD to support Mekong countries in clean energy transition, environmental protection, and regional interconnection was made at the end of the Bangkok APEC meeting. In the eyes of civil societies along the riverbank, the final picture still ...

Yiamyut Sutthichaya

Laos Ranks Lowest in Global English Proficiency Test

The Education First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) conducts the world’s most expansive ranking of adults by their fluency in English. This year’s index featured 111 countries, Laos ranked the lowest on the list and Netherlands ranked the highest.  The countries were divided into five bands: ...

Amrita Paul

Myanmar: Freed filmmaker Toru Kubota returns to Japan

Toru Kubota landed in Japan Friday morning after he was freed from prison and deported by Myanmar’s junta on Thursday.   The 26-year-old filmmaker and video journalist arrived in Tokyo on a scheduled flight from Yangon via Bangkok. Kubota said upon landing that he wanted to express his gratitude ...

Martin Fritz Tokyo

Going nuclear in South-east Asia: Promises, perils and scepticism

Some countries in Asean have made moves or expressed an intention to acquire nuclear power in a bid to meet their burgeoning energy needs and fulfil their commitment to net-zero carbon emissions. Asian Insider looks at why countries in the region have been hesitant over ...

Mara Cepeda, Ang Qing and David Fogarty

Cambodia wildlife official faces 145 years in jail for smuggling long-tailed macaques to US

Federal prosecutors have charged eight people with smuggling endangered monkeys, including a Cambodian wildlife official who was arrested in the US while travelling to a conference on protecting endangered species. The official plus a colleague in that country’s wildlife agency and six people connected to a ...

Associated Press

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