18 Stories

How Escape From N. Korea Leads to Online Sex Work in China

'WaPo' details lives of women fleeing from one bad situation to another as online sex 'video chatters'

(Newser) - "Why are our lives so different, just because of where we are born?" That's the question posed to the Washington Post by Suh, a 30-year-old North Korean woman now being held in a Bangkok detention center after being busted by local cops while trying to cross from Laos... More »

Obama, Duterte Meet Face-to-Face

They exchanged 'pleasantries' before dinner

(Newser) - President Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met informally on Wednesday in a holding room before attending a gala dinner at a regional summit, Philippine officials say. The brief meeting took a little sting out of the soured relations caused by Duterte's intemperate language in referring to Obama earlier... More »

Obama's Visit to Laos the First for Sitting President

He acknowledges secret war, pledges money to clear bombs

(Newser) - President Obama did something on Tuesday that no other US president has done: He visited the tiny nation of Laos. And while he did not explicitly apologize for America's secret bombing of the nation during the Vietnam War, he acknowledged it and said the US has a "moral... More »

Were Laos' Huge Stone Jars Used to Decompose Bodies?

February find provides a new clue

(Newser) - The discovery in February of an ancient burial site could provide a clue for unraveling the mystery of the Plain of Jars—a region in central Laos that is littered with thousands of stone jars, Live Science reports. There are more than 90 jar sites (some with up to 400... More »

All Passengers Killed in Laos Plane Crash

Thai official puts death toll at 44

(Newser) - A Laos Airlines flight crashed today in the Southeast Asian country, killing all 44 people aboard, an official in neighboring Thailand said. Sek Wannamethee said the flight from the Lao capital of Vientiane to Pakse in southern Laos crashed at about 4pm local time. He said the flight crashed 4... More »

Worst for Wildlife: Vietnam

New WWF report ranks China second, Laos third

(Newser) - Rhinos, tigers, and elephants don't fare so well in Vietnam: The Asian country is the worst when it comes to wildlife crime, says the WWF in its first report on the matter. Rhinos are in danger there because citizens believe the horns have medicinal value; legalized tiger farms also... More »

Clinton Makes Historic Visit to Laos

She's the first US secretary of state there in five decades

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton just keeps racking up the miles , today becoming the first US secretary of state to visit Laos in more than five decades, in a test of whether a place the United States pummeled with bombs during the Vietnam War could evolve into a new foothold of American... More »

Pocket of Asia Yields 208 New Species—in 1 Year

Mekong region's amazing biodiversity under threat, WWF warns

(Newser) - It's a region that produces a new species every other day: Carnivorous plants that can eat mice, birds, and lizards. An all-female species of lizard that reproduces by self-cloning. Brightly colored geckos bathed in orange, yellow, blue, and green markings. A noseless monkey that looks like it's wearing... More »

In Laos, Bringing Books to Children—Via Elephant

The story of one American expatriate's local publishing company

(Newser) - In Laos, many children had never seen a book until “Uncle Sasha” came to town. American Sasha Alyson first visited the impoverished country in 2003, and was struck by the lack of books for children. “Many [kids] don't even know what a book is. Sometimes you have to... More »

Vietnam Vet Receives Medal of Honor Posthumously

Bravery in Laos was a secret for decades

(Newser) - President Obama awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor today for an act of bravery the military had covered up for decades. Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger was killed while helping three wounded comrades onto an evacuation helicopter during an attack on a US outpost in Laos. But for years, the... More »

Rare 'Asian Unicorn' Captured in Laos

Sadly, it died shortly after capture

(Newser) - Laos villagers caught a rare animal known as the “Asian unicorn,” only to have it die while in their care. No biologist has reported seeing a Saola, which actually has two horns, in the wild; all existing pictures have been taken by villagers or automatic cameras, the BBC... More »

Pregnant Brit Gets Life Sentence in Laos

Convicted of trafficking 1.5 pounds of heroin

(Newser) - A pregnant British woman convicted of drug trafficking in Laos last year has been handed a life sentence, AFP reports. Samantha Orobator, 20, who was nabbed while trying to board a plane to Thailand, had been found found guilty of trafficking 1.5 pounds of heroin, said a UK embassy... More »

Laos May Send Pregnant Brit to UK Prison

20-year-old accused of drug smuggling denies she was raped in prison

(Newser) - A pregnant British woman jailed in Laos could be allowed to serve her sentence in the UK if she is found guilty of drug smuggling, CNN reports. British and Laotian officials signed a prisoner transfer agreement yesterday after meeting in London to discuss the case of Samantha Orobator, 20, who... More »

Pregnant Brit Won't Face Laos Death Penalty

Law prohibits execution of those with child; lawyer still can't see her

(Newser) - Samantha Orobator, the Briton jailed in Laos on heroin-smuggling charges, will not face the death penalty because she is pregnant, CNN reports. The 20-year-old was, however, denied access to a British attorney who flew in with assurances they could meet. The lawyer “was refused her first visit,” a... More »

Brit Mom Pleads for Pregnant Daughter in Laos Prison

(Newser) - The mom of a pregnant London woman who may face a Laotian firing squad for drug smuggling pleaded with government officials to save "my baby, my angel," reports the Telegraph. "I'm appealing to the British government, to the Laos authorities, to please release her. I'm down on... More »

Pregnant Brit May Face Laos Firing Squad

(Newser) - A young pregnant Londoner could face a firing squad in Laos if she's convicted of drug smuggling charges in a trial that begins today, reports the Guardian. Samantha Orobator, 20, has not been allowed legal representation in the nine months she has been languishing in notorious Phonthong prison, and it's... More »

Scars of War Remain for Laotian Farmers

Land littered with bombs makes subsistence farming a more dire proposition

(Newser) - As if surviving as a farmer in the developing world wasn't hard enough, for those in Laos there is an extra—often deadly—complication. The US littered the Southeast Asian nation with 2 million tons of explosives during the Vietnam War, one-third of which remain precariously unexploded, and responsible for... More »

10 Arrested in Laos Takeover Scheme

Plotters led by former Laotian general and US military officer

(Newser) - Ten suspects were arrested in six Californian cities today for conspiring to overthrow the government of Laos. The plotters included a former general in the Laotian army and a former US military officer who was a covert operative during the Vietnam War, the AP reports. Most of the group were... More »

18 Stories