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Driver Killed After Crane Vehicle Overturned on Rail Bridge Over Laos’ Mekong River

A freak accident on an unfinished rail bridge over the Mekong River in Laos has killed a 43-year-old crane truck driver, whose body was discovered nearly 50 miles downstream from where his vehicle was found hanging perilously upside down over raging waters, RFA has learned. The accident occurred on Sept. 15 when the vehicle fell through a guard rail on the bridge in northern Laos’ Luang Prabang province. Authorities and the construction company..

Lao Christians, Government Work to Educate Rural Authorities on Law Protecting the Church

UPDATED at 3:45 P.M. EDT on 2020-09-23 Members of Lao Christian communities are now working with central government officials to inform rural authorities of a law protecting the evangelical church in areas where harassment of Christians continues, Lao sources say. The Law on the Evangelical Church, approved and signed into law on Dec. 19, 2019, allows Lao Christians the right to conduct services and preach throughout the country and to maintain ..

Beyond the Intra-Afghan Talks, Uzbekistan Sees a Bright Future 

AdvertisementThe start of peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government on September 12 sparked unprecedented enthusiasm among Uzbek officials. An eventual peace settlement means a new era of economic development opportunities for Uzbekistan. Only two days after the negotiations began, the Taliban’s top political leader made a statement assuring that they would not allow any threats to Uzbekistan to emerge in Afghanistan. He al..

New Attacks And Village Burnings Swell Refugee Ranks in Myanmar’s Rakhine

Artillery fire from Myanmar military patrol boats and fresh burnings of villages along a river in Rakhine state this month have added at least 17,000 refugees to the ranks of internally displaced civilians, aid workers in the western state said. Armed conflict that erupted in late 2018 between Myanmar forces and the Arakan Army (AA) in parts of Rakhine and neighboring Chin state has now displaced more than 220,000 civilians, according to an esti..

North Korean Appeals Extradition From Malaysia to US

A North Korean businessman on Friday appealed a December 2019 ruling by a Malaysian court that cleared his deportation to America over alleged money-laundering and violations of international sanctions on Pyongyang. Mun Chol Myong, 55, a longtime resident of Malaysia who has been in custody since May 2019, told a Kuala Lumpur High Court judge via his lawyer that he was not guilty of criminal charges filed against him in the U.S. “The extraditio..

Uyghur Youth Held After Posting Rare Videos Criticizing Government From Inside China

A young Uyghur man has been arrested after he published a series of videos that went viral criticizing Chinese authorities over rights abuses against his family and compatriots in the restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) where more than a million Uyghurs are locked up in internment camps. A Xinjiang government official confirmed with RFA’s Uyghur Service on Friday that Miradil Hesen was arrested in eastern China’s Jiangsu province wh..

Vietnamese Police Detain Man for Facebook Criticism of Government in Land Rights Case

Authorities in Vietnam have arrested a Facebook user for sharing his grievances about how the local government has handled a dispute over his family’s land, RFA has learned. Le Van Hai, from Binh Dinh province in the country’s South Central Coast region was charged with “abusing freedom and democratic rights to infringe upon the interests of the state” under Article 33 of Vietnam’s 2015 Penal Code. Local media outlet Youth Online reported the a..

China Named in Ambitious New Anti-Illegal Fishing Strategy for the US Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard has called out China’s massive distant-water fishing fleet for its extractive practices in the waters of its Southeast Asian neighbors and off the coasts of Central America and West Africa. The criticism came on Thursday as the Coast Guard unveiled an ambitious new strategy for tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), and as Vietnam detained a Chinese fishing boat for intruding into waters off it..

Chinese Developer in Cambodia Sanctioned ‘Unfairly’ by US, Cambodia’s Defense Minister Says

A Chinese company sanctioned this week by the U.S. Treasury Department for land grabs, rights abuses, and corruption in Cambodia has been targeted unfairly and is operating in line with the country’s laws, Cambodia’s defense minister said on Friday. The Union Development Group (UDG)—which is building the U.S. $3.8 billion dollar Dara Sakor project including a seaport, resorts, and casinos in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province —was sanctioned by the Tre..

The Real Strategic End Game in Decoupling From China

AdvertisementIn the shadow of the global COVID-19 disaster, governments around the world are rethinking trade practices with China. That effort requires some much-needed reflection about what a real economic partnership should look like. A near perfect example of that kind of partnership is the transatlantic economy. Built on foundations of the Industrial Revolution and then purposefully redesigned for greater success in the aftermath of World Wa..

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