Sunday, December 04, 2011 11:19 PM -0500 ------ Update at Least Twice a Day

Sep. 26-Oct 2, 2011

Laos According to WikiLeaks (Global Voice)
WikiLeaks has released a set of Laos files that confirmed the country’s underdevelopment, endemic corruption in the bureaucracy, and the fragile state of its environment. Andrew Walker thinks the cables “offer little insight into the upper-level workings of the Lao party-state” but there are other interesting revelations:   "In recent months several cables have appeared
Land in Vientiane soars to over 24 million kip per sqm (LV/VT)
Land in Vientiane is most expensive in the Sihom area, according to a leading real estate agency, Lao Land, with one square metre now selling for 13-24 million kip (US$1,500-3,000). Lao Land Managing Director Ms Thounkeo Sibounheuang said land in the Sihom area is the most expensive in Vientiane because it is a commercial hub. Land here is not only expensive
Xayaburi dam divides Laos & stirs tension over Mekong (Ecologist)
Supporters of a controversial dam in one of Asia's poorest countries say it will bring huge economic benefits. Critics say it could threaten fisheries and rice cultivation, threatening the livelihoods of millions. Brendan Brady reports from Laos Standing over various maps and charts outlining dam proposals, Viraphonh Viravong says the plans that lie before him
A trip to Laotian Deep - conclusion (Phil Star)
That Laotian trip may have bombed from my end, but there were lessons learned — very costly and tiring, if I may so add. I still hanker to return to Laos in the future (the country seems to have great potentials), but the next time around, I will make sure that trip will never be laos like this one I had, but a true winner of a holiday tour.
170b kip (~ US$ 21.3 mil) needed to restore flood-hit irrigation in Laos (VT)
The agriculture sector has asked the government to provide 170 billion kip to expand and repair irrigation systems devastated by recent flooding across the country.  More than 64,400 hectares of rice fields have been damaged by flooding this wet season, of which about 35,000 hectares are in areas where irrigation systems are available, according to
Lao-American: Finding freedom (Daily Globe)
Soom Chandaswang and her family had to have been thrilled to finally arrive in the United States. After all, the family had spent 15 years at the Ban Napho refugee camp in Thailand, fleeing their homeland of Laos in the midst of war. Soom arrived in the U.S. at age 8 and after a short stint in Sioux City, Iowa, has called Worthington home since. 
Laos: U.S. Firms Reassess ‘Frontier’s’ Meaning in Southeast Asia (WSJ)
It has Southeast Asia’s smallest economy. Per capita incomes are only $990, a fraction of levels in nearby Thailand and Malaysia. Yet Laos appears to have something American companies want. In recent weeks an unprecedented number of major U.S. companies — including some that previously paid Laos little heed — have touched down in the little,
Lao Officials Seize Church Building, Convert It into School (Compass)
Authorities in Laos forcibly confiscated a church building in Savannakhet Province on Sept. 14 due to lack of official permission; the church had not applied for a building permit as the country routinely denies such applications, sources said. Christians in Laos often do not risk applying for a building permit as it draws unwanted attention and can preempt any chance
Other stories about Laos around the world
... 3G networks struggle to keep pace with demand in Laos (LV/VT)
... MIA in Laos: Four decades after war, a friend comes home (DP)
... Laos, Brunei bolster cultural ties (VT)
... Lao IT service market surges (LV/VT)
... Follow the Mekong and feel good about it (Age)
... Lao Govt to cap inflow of foreign workers (LV/VT)
... South Korean parliament speaker visits Laos (VT)
... Lao-American: Koung Thai offers taste of east (RHB)
... Laos: New measures to boost revenue collection (LV/VT)
... Northern Laos: Rodents invade rice fields in Huaphan (VT)
... Concrete manufacturer hopes to cement sales growth (LV/VT)
... Laos needs help developing legal aid –Asia Foundation (Trust)
... Authentic Thai-Lao served at Sabaidee (SH)
... Japan helps cultivate sustainable agriculture (VT)
... Laos: Survey to assess progress on MDGs (VT)
... Laos calls for peace, progress at UN meeting (ANN)
... Phu Bia Mining marks new office opening (LV/KPL)
... South Korean NA President to visit Laos (LV/KPL)
... Thai co. invests US$1 million in palm trees plantation in Laos (LV/KPL)
... Lao Govt approves new civil worker quota (VT)
... New storm warning for central Laos (ANN, VT)
... MIA in Laos: A moving tribute (Center Daily)
... 1st Made in Laos Fest to be held in December (LV/KPL)
... Lao renewable energy development achieved (LV/KPL)
... Two arrested for smuggling ecstasy from Laos to Vietnam (TNN)
... Lao Govt outlines plans for flood-affected areas (VT)
... EU project set to boost rice production in Laos (VT)
... Laos: Ministry to close unauthorised clinics (VT)
... Family firm sets sights on Laos (Bangkok Post)
... A trip to Laotian Deep (Phil Star)

September 19-25, 2011

Bombs Still a Threat to Laos (Truth Dig)
Last week, delegates from dozens of countries traveled to Beirut to talk about Laos, where decades after the Vietnam War there are still an estimated 80 million unexploded bombs scattered across fields and forests. Each year, the live remnants of U.S. cluster bombs kill or injure 300 Laotians, many of them children. And the bombs are of particular danger to
Decades after war, millions of unexploded U.S. bombs haunt Laos (iWN or SF)
Liangkham Laphommavong has one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. Her 9-year-old son knows this and protested when, at the start of a recent morning, Laphommavong set off to join a crew of 17 other women who routinely put their lives at risk. Throughout Laos, people like Laphommavong tramp into bucolic rice paddies, woods and rolling hills—landscapes that
Laos: Fixed import tariffs to continue until 2013 (VT)
The government will continue to set a fixed price as a reference for import tariffs on some commodities until 2013, despite calls from international companies to abolish the trade barriers, the Ministry of Finance announced. The Customs Dept. made the announcement at a finance sector meeting held in Vientiane last week. The government will continue to use
Laotian native pleads guilty to bribery scheme (Buffalo News)
Joe Phouthavongsa thought he could do in the United States what people do in his native Laos. And that includes bribing public officials. “I thought it was like my country, where you can buy anything,” he told U. S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara on Tuesday. Phouthavongsa, 49, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to bribing an undercover immigration official in Buffalo as part
Lao president wraps up China visit (XinhuaNet)
Choummaly Saygnasone, secretary general of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and president of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, wrapped up his four-day official good-will visit to China, leaving for home from Beijing on Wednesday. During Choummaly's visit, President Hu Jintao held talks with him, Premier Wen Jiabao and
Lao-Thai Border: Let there be lights (Nation)
Residents of Phon Phisai wait for the 'serpent'' in their stretch of the Mekong River to breathe its fire into the night.  Last October, a record 110 naga fireballs shot up into the air above the mighty Mekong. If you didn't see them last year, make sure you're in Phon Phisai - a district on the outskirts of Nong Khai - on October 12 and 13 or you'll again miss the chance to witness
Orphans threatened for faith in Laos (ONN or MNN)
Eleven Laotian orphans could have the few things they possess ripped out from under them if they continue going to church. Voice of the Martyrs reports that after attending a local church and becoming a Christian, one of the orphans at a government-run orphanage shared the Gospel with his peers. Soon, 10 other orphans turned to Christ and began regularly attending
Chinese, Laotian Presidents pledge to enhance political, economic ties (CRI)
President Hu Jintao and his Laotian counterpart Choummaly Saygnasone held talks on Monday, agreeing to boost bilateral ties in light of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Laos relations. Hu, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, congratulated Choummaly's re-election as president of Laos 
Other stories about Laos around the world
... From Laos, with love (Daily Pioneer)
... FIFA President honoured by Laos (FIFA)
... Japan paves way for Road No. 9 upgrade (VT)
... Laos president concludes North Korea visit (Inv.)
... Cenral Laos: Further flood risk in Borikhamxay (VT)
... Northern Laos: Three killed in landslide in Houaphan (LV)
... N.Korea's Kim Jong Il meets visiting Laos president (ST)
... Laos' 2011 GDP expected to grow 8.3%: IMF (Mena FN)
... U-16 Soccer: Laos through as best third-place side (AFC)
... Lao-Hmong: Modesto synagogue deals in poker champ (MB)
... S Korean parliamentary speaker to visit Malaysia, Laos (MCOT)
... New measure to keep investment projects in Laos on track (ANN)
... Experience Luang Prabang on the eco-friendly e-bike (Travel PR)
... Lao-Canadian: Spicy star returns to its former pad (Thai) (Winnipeg FP)
... Laos - Buying Back the Bombs: a peace BOMB documentary (CAPA)
... MIA in Laos: Long-secret troops decorated for Vietnam-era valor (OAN)
... China, Laos to strengthen exchanges in anti-corruption efforts (Investors)
... Lao President ends fruitful visit to China (VT)
... Laos moves to develop IT market (LV/KPL)
... Water, food urgently needed by flood victims (VT)
... Vientiane province’ GDP grows by 9.3% (LV/KPL)
... Viet Firm To Build Laos Hydro Power Plant (Bernama)
... Laos: New measure to keep investment projects on track (VT)
... Sweden and Finland oppose new dam at the Mekong River (SA)
... Over 200,000 Lao flood victims benefit from WFP, U.S. donation (XN)
... Ask Phoebe: Laos Rugby World Cup fans spot daylight saving slip (NZH)
... Laos, China enhance strategic cooperative partnership (VT)
... Pushing for Dam Construction in Laos (RFA)
... Mekong dams affect 300 million (Guam PDN)
... Pakngum on alert as dam releases more water (VT)
... Swiss govt boosts agriculture training in Laos (VT)
... Mobile phone users in Laos to be registered (VT)
... YLG to offer gold products to Lao investors (Nation)
... Ministry seeks to accelerate transport development (VT)
... Flood recovery requires cooperation: Lao Deputy PM (VT)
... Retail space up for grabs at Vientiane shopping complex (LV/VT)
... Lao-Hmong in US: Police arrest man in hunting-related shooting (PC)
... Thai Immigration Dept comes to the aid of Laos woman forced into prostitution
... Soccer: Riedl set to become Laos coach (ESPN)
... Laos has attractive investment potential (LV/VT)
... ADB readies new aid strategy for Laos (LV/VT)

September 12-18, 2011

Laos: No stopping flow of construction at 'suspended' dam (BP)
Five months after Mekong countries agreed to reconsider the controversial US$3.8 billion (115.25 billion baht) Xayaburi dam project, construction work around the site has continued despite Laos' undertaking to suspend the work.  Bangkok Post Sunday revisited the site and found construction of a major road leading to the dam site is 90% finished. 
Laos: Giving the dam its due (Bangkok Post)
Laos is eager to start construction of the US$3.8 billion (115 billion baht) Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant this year after changing the design to placate the concerns of neighbouring member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC).  Thailand has agreed to take 95% of electricity from the 1,285-megawatt capacity plant, which is being
Lao farmer caught on flight with TNT (NewsDay)
Somewhere in Paris, an airport security team is seriously screwed. Security screeners at Charles de Gaulle Airport somehow failed to notice that passenger en route to Vietnam stashed 500 grams of TNT in his luggage along with a hunting rifle and a trove of bullets, according to Agence France Presse. The passenger was apparently a Lao farmer who
Thai PM to find friendly Laos sweet on China (BP)
Laos feels no resentment about the visit to Vientiane tomorrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, which breaks with the tradition of selecting the northeastern neighbour as the first stop in an Asean sojourn. Thai government leaders have, since the 1990s, picked Laos as the first visit for self-introduction, to send the message to Vientiane that the country is at the top
Asian Devpt Bank raises Lao GDP forecast (VT)
Laos will be able to maintain strong and stable economic growth this year despite increasing global uncertainty, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The bank unveiled its annual publication Asian Development Outlook yesterday, which forecasts 8.1% growth for the Lao economy in 2011. This is higher than the previous projection of 7.7% because of
Bournemouth man died after river 'tubing' in Laos (BBC or Telegraph)
A Dorset man drowned after "tubing" down a river during an adventure holiday in south-east Asia, an inquest has heard. Benjamin Light, 23, of Bournemouth, was on holiday in Laos when he took part in the extreme sport on 13 April at Phoudindaeng Village near Vang Vieng. The court heard the trip on a tube down the river also involved several stops to drink shots of
In Laos, a Campaign to Resurrect Great Coffee (Time or Roaste)
"This is pure arabica, very mild," says Sinouk Sisombat, sampling his brew with a serious, self-satisfied air. "There is some acidity," he continues thoughtfully, "acidity is the mark of a great coffee." Sinouk, who was born in Laos but spent much of his life in France, is the president of the Lao Coffee Association and owner of a 50-hectare plantation on the Bolaven
In Laos, a tale of two dams (Global Post)
In an isolated valley in central Laos where people live mostly in wooden stilt homes accessed by dirt roads, the thick concrete slabs and towering mechanical apparatuses of the Nam Theun 2 dam stand at odds with their surroundings. Stark though the contrast may be, those behind the project’s development say the dam, which produces 1,070 megawatts of electricity
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Lao Women In Held Hostage In Chonburi Brothel (PDN)
... Thai: Good-Neighbour policy [i.e. Laos] (BP)
... Overseas like Laos the land of opportunity (VN)
... Senior Chinese Official Meets Lao President (CRI)
... Soccer U-16: Laos brought back down to earth (AFC)
... Thai PM visits Laos Friday (Nation)
... Thai PM leaves Bangkok for Lao PDR (MCOT)
... Floods show Laos needs early warning (PPP)
... Xiengthong Palace announces soft opening on Oct 12 (BTN)
... Viet study: Xayaburi dam could cause earthquakes (SN)
... Former Indonesian Football Boss Returns to Coach Laos (JP)
... Lao President urges Khammuan to replant after flooding (VT)
... Lao PM meets justice officials via video conference (VT)
... Luxembourg backs opium eradication in Phongsaly (VT)
... Abacus enters into a Joint Venture with Lao Airlines (TB)
... Lao president to pay official visit to North Korea (PD)
... Laos joins neighbours to promote tourism cooperation (VT)
... Keomany Is Laos New Permanent Representative To Asean (Bernama)
... Soft opening of Xiengthong Palace to take place next month (eTurboNews)
... Philippine Malditas return to action in Laos (Inquirer)
... Laos: Ministry aims to raise bar in education (VT)
... Jetwing to manage its first hotel in Laos (DM)
... Heavy rains raise landslide risk (VT)
... Lao tourism faces ‘moment of truth' (VT)
... Soccer: Five star Laos lead the way (AFC)
... Swiss NGO helps pilots earn their wings (VT)
... Lao Airlines' new strategies for brighter skies (XN)
... Petrolimex Wins Laos Investment Contract (Rigzone)
... Lao, Viet leaders vow to boost private investment (VT)
... Lao leaders attend meeting of Asian political parties (VT)
... Communist Laos allows foreign investors to own land (M&C)
... Inquest to start into death of backpacker Ben Light in Laos (BE)
... Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar promote tourism cooperation (XN)
... Experts call for better management of upland development program in Laos (VT)
... Post-Standard photographer Mike Greenlar publishes photo book of postwar Laos

September 5-11, 2011

Laos ... for the best treehouse in the world (WA Today)
THE kids are like mountain goats. As we climb, the views across the rice fields become ever more breathtaking. We'd made the right decision earlier in the day, hiring mopeds for $US10 and heading out to explore the limestone karsts surrounding Vang Vieng. The small town is about a four-hour bus ride north of the Laotian capital Vientiane.  It was once a strategic
Laos to Start Building Mekong Dam This Year, Testing Neighbors (Bloomberg)
Laos plans to start construction this year on the $3.8 billion Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant on the Mekong River after changing the design to placate neighboring countries opposed to the project. Laos completed a review of the dam initiated in April to ease concerns that it would harm rice production and fish catches downstream, said
U.S. Manufacturers Look to Fast-Growing Laos (Industry Week or AFP/ST)
U.S. companies, whose investments trail far behind those of China, Vietnam and Thailand in communist Laos, are turning their attention to the poor but fast-growing nation, an official said Thursday. The US-ASEAN Business Council this week took its first formal delegation to Laos, as part of a regional tour that included Cambodia and Vietnam, said Frances Zwenig, who
Laos: Floods highlight disaster-preparedness needs (IRIN)
Heavy flooding during the northern summer, affecting 10 of the country's 17 provinces, has underlined the need for stronger disaster-management efforts, say experts. Tropical storm Haima struck central and northern Laos on 24 June, with Nock-Ten hitting central and southern areas on 30 and 31 July. More than 300,000 people were affected and 26 died in the two
High food prices benefit farmers in Laos (VT)
The average price of grade A sticky rice was 6,758 kip per kg in July, up from 6,640 kip in June, while the price of pork was 30,690 kip a kg, up from 29,440 kip in the previous month. The price of beef in July was 31,528 kip per kg, jumping from 31,264 kip the month before. Prices of many vegetables also saw minor increases in July. The rising food prices have
Laos: Import of second-hand vehicle parts scrapped (VT)
Second-hand vehicle assembly plants in Laos are eyeing closure due to a shortage of raw materials, after the government imposed import restrictions on second-hand parts. Senior officials from the ministries of Industry and Commerce, Public Works and Transport, Planning and Investment, and Finance reached an agreement on Friday to temporarily halt the import
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Community calls for food aid to be fair (VT)
... Laos, Cuba to focus on economic cooperation (VT)
... Underground cables running in Vientiane discussed (LV/KPL)
... Lao Airlines is satisfactory with increased passengers (LV/KPL)
... Port Hope charity helps bring clean water to Laotian villages (NN)
... Malayan Banking CEO: Has Applied For Banking License in Laos (FB)
... New runway of Luang Prabang Airport suspends to open next month (LV/KPL)
... French Colonial Town of Luang Prabang Hosts Major Running Event in Oct 2011
... Northern Laos: Developer invests over US$ 130 m in Boten Golden City (LV/KPL)
... Maybank Applies For Banking License In Laos (Bernama)
... Laos, Thailand to boost Maybank's regional foothold (BT)
... Laos woman gets the better of Thai businessman (PM)
... Apartment Owner Robbed by Laos Woman (PP)
... Lao Airlines extends cooperation with APG (BTN)
... Laos seeks to end illiteracy by 2015 (VT or AO)
... Philippine shooters bag 2 medals in Laos tourney (Inquirer)
... Airplane part factory construction almost complete (LV/KPL)
... US-ASEAN Business Council Eyes Increased Investment in Laos (LV/KPL)
... UNESCO allays concerns over world heritage sites (VT)
... Serbia to assist Laos in human resource development (VT)
... Jessica Watson Supports WFP School Meals In Laos (AlertNet)
... Vientiane: Kasy district's town centre to relocate (VT)
... Laos: Breakthrough approach required to accelerate development (VT)
... Bangkok Airways Flight PG 942 Luang Prabang to Bangkok Economy Class
... Argonaut Resources annoucnes new gold drill targets identified at Xekong in Laos
... Pink mealybug strikes cassava crop (VT)
... Eating raw fish can lead to liver disease (LV/VT)
... Australia, WFP help fill primary school classrooms (VT)
... Lao PM calls for upgrade of security forces to tackle crime (LV/VT)
... Lao citizens to benefit from Indonesian visa exemption (LV/VT)
... Animal husbandry improves lives of Xieng Khuang villagers (LV/VT)
... Viet Party General Secretary reaffirms Laos friendship (VN)
... Viet Prime Minister to visit Laos (Vietnam News)

Aug. 29-Sep. 4, 2011

Loitering in Laos (Deccan Herald)
With a population of less than 3,00,000, Vientiane, capital of the People’s Republic of Laos — one of the world’s poorest and few remaining officially socialist states — is a modest town by any but Laotian standards. Local attraction: A Buddhist temple in Vientiane. Photo by authorMercifully, it has been spared the terrors of crass capitalist ‘development’, although
Laos: 3.7 million are labour force (LV/KPL)
The current number of labour force aged betwen 16 and 65 is 3.7 million people with the majority of them in agriculture. President of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, Mr. Khamla Lorlonesy told the 6th Congress of Youth Representatives that 76.6 per cent of labour force was in agriculture and forestry sector, 7.8 per cents in industry and construction and the rest
Mystery surrounds man’s death in Laos (Irish Examiner)
MYSTERY surrounds the cause of death of a 38-year-old Irishman who died suddenly while on holidays in Laos. Stephen Keogh of Alden Road, Bayside, Sutton, Co Dublin, was found unwell on his bed on January 19 by a friend. Dublin County Coroner’s Court heard his friend Werner Hollmann came out of the shower to find Mr Keogh on his bed with froth coming from
Dam Bad -- Laos’ Plans to Dam the Mekong... (Earth Island)
Sathian Megboon is a DJ for 94.5 FM, a radio station in northeast Thailand. It’s a fun gig, he says, because the station broadcasts across the Mekong River to Vientiane, the tiny capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, which gives him the chance to take requests from listeners in two countries. Last year, listeners started calling more than usual, but not to ask
Laos' Chinese Migrants (Economic Observer)
The rapid influx of Chinese, including illegal traders and laborers, into Laos is a common topic of conversation for me and my friends back home. Can Lao people cope with the competition? Can the country handle so many illegal migrants? Is there another way of accepting foreign investment without taking in so many foreigners? Laos, where
US investors seek opportunities in Laos (VT)
The number of US investors exploring foreign investment opportunities in Laos is growing, with the country's economy continuing to expand at a rapid rate as the trade liberalisation process continues.  Mr Somdy Douangdy ( second left ) talks to Ms Karen Stewart ( second right ) at the seminar. “Today the number of US companies interested in Laos has increased
Teacher shortages persist in rural areas of Laos (VT)
Many teachers continue to refuse to work in rural areas despite more government incentives to encourage them to teach children in remote regions of Laos. In 2010-11, the government increased its quota for civil servants to allow for the inclusion of 9,600 teachers in an effort to address teacher shortages in rural areas, but while there has been some success with
French woman vanishes into Laos in novel (St. Louis Today)
"In the Fabled East" features Pierre Lazarie, a civil servant in French-controlled Vietnam in the 1930s. He's academically trained in the people of Indochina, so his insights are helpful in penetrating this mysterious part of the French colony. One day, Emanuel Tremier arrives in Lazarie's Saigon office, asking for help in finding his mother, who left France with tuberculosis
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Loving Laos (Australian)
... More hotels for Vientiane (eTN)
... Lao-Thai-Viet: The rise of the dog snatchers (BP)
... Five dengue fever deaths recorded this year (VT)
... India helps infrastructure development in Laos (LV/KPL)
... Private school enrolments rise with new academic year (VT)
... China donates $30,000 to help Laos fight floods (China Daily)
... Lend a helping hand to orphaned children in Luang Prabang (Australian)
... Vietnam denies illegal timber trade with Laos (Vietnam News)
... Vietnam: we're not pillaging Lao jungles (NewsDay)
... Laos, Vietnam to cooperate on culture, tourism (VT)
... U.S. experts help save crocodiles in Laos (UPI)
... Laos Frees 3 Thais Arrested in Savannakhet (TO)
... School year commences, with or without textbooks (VT)
... Irrigation project to benefit farmers in Champassak (VT)
... Colourful exhibition showcases Vietnamese culture (VT)
... Laos' Nam Ngun II hydropower plant start selling electricity (PE)
... To Be Inthavong: Handbags, Airplanes and a Patent Pending (SC)
... SOS Children's nutritional programme gives Thao a new start in life (SOS)
... Laos' garment exports jump thanks to Europe (Trend)
... New survey method could lead to faster UXO clearance (VT)
... Ministry strives to improve education standards in Laos (VT)
... Laos: Veterans of the CIA's secret air force denied again (VS)
... President calls for increased development in Luang Prabang (VT)
... Welcome Message to the Lao-American Alumni Overseas Students Club
... Kasikornbank to Arrange Funding for Laos Hydropower Projects (SFG, BP)
... Laotians in US: Festival of the dead celebrated at Wat Buddhatham-aram in Parkrose
... Meetings demand rising but poor access restrict growth of hotel industry in Vientiane
... Northern Laos: Oudomxay faces a mountain of challenges (LV/VT)
... Horkhaopadapdin keeps the spirit of Buddhism intact (VT)
... Laos: New academic year to open amid concerns (LV/VT)
... New Viet foreign minister pays his first visit to Laos (VT)
... Viet Foreign Minister pays visit to Laos (Vietnam News)
... Opinion: Thailand is culpable in Laos' dam saga (Nation)

August 22-28, 2011

Mountains worth crying over: Laos by motorbike (Crikey)
My fellow volunteer buddies and I decided the best way to see Laos would be by motorbike. I’m not talking scooters, I’m talking off road monsters — 250cc Honda XR beasts. Ten days of dirty, filthy riding through northern Laos, with a bit of help from Remote Asia Travel. I had visions of us riding into towns at sunset rousing sleepy communities from their slumber.
20 endangered Siamese crocodiles hatch in Laos (AP/BND)
One of the world's rarest crocodile species has moved a little bit further from extinction with the hatching of 20 wild eggs plucked from a nest found in southern Laos. Experts believe there could be as few as 300 Siamese crocodiles remaining in the world's swamps, forests and rivers, so the discovery of the nest - the first found in the mountainous, jungle-clad country
Laos: Gold, copper prices boost PanAust profit (Business Spectator)
PanAust says it's cashed up to pursue acquisitions but has downgraded its full year earnings forecast. This follows a 45 per cent jump in first half net profit due to higher gold and copper prices. Net profit for the half year to June 30 was $US77 million ($A73.68 million), up from $US53.2 million ($A50.9 million) for the previous corresponding period. 
Laotian in US: Man struck and killed on I-94 ramp was respected cook (TC)
The man killed Tuesday night by a hit-and-run driver in Minneapolis had survived post-Vietnam War turmoil in Laos as a child to become a respected cook at True Thai Restaurant in Minneapolis. Owner Anna Prasomphol Fieser said Anousone Phanthavong, 38 of Roseville, had left work at the Franklin Avenue restaurant at about 11 p.m. Tuesday night
Thailand revises high-speed rail plan, Laos link shelved (Reuters)
Thailand's new government unveiled a revised plan for the country's high-speed train network Tuesday, prioritizing domestic rail expansion over an ambitious regional connectivity plan being spearheaded by China. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced during her inaugural policy speech to parliament that three routes would be constructed linking Bangkok
Flooding from dam release affects Vientiane residents & crops (VT)
About 300 homes and more than 4,000 hectares of rice and other crops in low-lying areas along Nam Ngum River in Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province, have been flooded after the Nam Ngum I Hydropower Plant released water from its reservoir over the weekend.  Most of the affected people live in Hadxay, Boungphao and Chaeng villages, district Governor
China to finance convention center in Vientiane & bridge over Mekong (CP)
China has agreed to lend Laos US$70.3 million for the construction of a new convention center in Vientiane and other projects, media reports said Monday. The pact was signed Friday in Vientiane during an official visit by Zhou Yongkang, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party, the Vientiane Times reported. The money will fund the construction of
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Lao Airlines purchases two A320s (SM)
... Laos: New taxes delayed until next year (VT)
... Lao garment export sets new record (LV/KPL)
... Flood effects will flow on for months to come (VT)
... Only 10,000 students accepted by Lao universities (VT)
... Vietnam’s cultural week to take place in Laos (Saigon)
... Lao NA leader visits Ninh Binh (VN)
... Flood Causes US$29 Million Loss To Laos Farming (Bernama)
... Lao Airlines To Fly Vientiane-S'pore Flights In 3 Months (Bernama)
... Lao FM inks cooperation documents during visit to China (VT)
... Horwath HTL Reports on State of Hotel Industry in Vientiane, Laos
... Kindergarten reform key to Laos' educational development (XN)
... Lao airline buys Libya-bound Airbus jets (Business Recorder)
... New Lao Youth Committee vows to work for nation (VT)
... Rubber plantations increase malaria risk (VT)
... Schools in flooded provinces to open on time (VT)
... [Laos, one of] 7 global cities where the U.S. dollar goes far
... Lao Govt to sell 30 per cent of state telecommunications firm
... Youth union pledges to build revolutionary idealistic descendants (VT)
... Flood-hit Champassak villagers in desperate need of aid (VT or LV/VT)
... Lao Govt urged to focus on boosting commercial production (VT)
... Chinese FM holds talks with Laos Foreign Minister (XinhuaNet)
... Viete chemical group licensed to mine potassium in Laos (VOV)
... Warning for Nam Ngum residents (VT)
... Flooding in Champassak may cause rice shortage (VT)
... China to push forward pragmatic cooperation with Laos (XN or VT)
... Vietnam, Laos Boost Cooperation In Social Sciences (Bernama)

August 15-21, 2011

Laos takes lead in setting edible cricket standards (M&C)
Laos' Ministry of Health has invited regional experts to join an electronic workshop to prepare standards 'on edible crickets and their products,' United Nations officials said Saturday. The invitation was sent to all regional members of Codex, the joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization commission that sets international food safety
Lao inflation drops below GDP growth (LV/VT)
The inflation rate in July was 7.13 percent, the first time in three months it has being below target GDP growth. The inflation rate in Laos dropped substantially in July as the government increased efforts to address months of rising prices in the country. The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Statistic Bureau announced yesterday that the inflation rate was 7.13%
Work begins on Wattay airport upgrade (VT)
The US$37.6-million Wattay International Airport Upgrade Project began in Vientiane yesterday as part of preparations to host the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) next year. The ceremony to mark the launch of the project was held at the airport in Vientiane after a project agreement was signed between the Lao Civil Aviation Department and the China CAMC
Southern Laos: Floodwaters recede in Pakxe (VT)
The town of Paxse in Champassak province is now free of floodwater after the level of the Mekong River receded over the weekend.  However, 20,000 hectares of crops are still underwater in eight districts of the province, affecting over 12,000 families, according to a report from the provincial disaster management office. “The number of deaths in
After the storms, the rebuilding process continues in Laos (UNICEF)
The tropical storm Haima in late June left villages across four provinces of Lao PDR water logged and destroyed. Over 40,000 people have since been left without homes, livestock and farms.  May’s village in Borikhamxay was in one of the hardest hit areas. It’s been nearly two months since the flooding occurred, and in many locations the waters have still not fully
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Airline Livery of the Week: Lao Airlines (AR)
... SNatur pursues opportunity in Laos (BP)
... Fundraiser to help animals in Laos (YOR)
... The China Alternative – Laos (China Briefing)
... Laos offers exciting future for IPOs (LV/VT)
... Statkraft awards funds for small hydro in Laos (WPM)
... Laos in top ten Chinese new investment destinations (LV/VT)
... 2nd Luang Prabang Film Festival will take place on Dec. 3-10
... Vietnam-Laos national border marking speeds up (VNN)
... Senior Chinese official proposes enhanced China-Laos ties (XN)
... Laos Elvis, King Khampha, Sexes Up Monterey County (MCW)
... Construction work starts on Don Chan development project (VT)
... Champassak residents remain on alert for more flooding (VT)
... Foreign affairs to strengthen relationships and cooperation (VT)
... Hmong in US: Oroville teen becomes Gates Scholar, heads to Stanford
... Lao Govt to address social problems, inflation and flooding (VT)
... Laos exhibition celebrates variety of wedding customs (EcoClub)
... Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen diplomatic relations (VT)
... Not many employees gain an access to Social Security (LV/KPL)
... Laos builds legal system but awareness remains low (Mena FM)
... Vietnam, Laos, Thailand enhance cooperation on drug control (PS)
... Mekong dolphins on brink of extinction - WWF (Reuters)
... Lao Central Airlines to fly by this year’s end (LV/KPL)
... 95 districts nationwide become literate (LV/KPL)
... Fewer poor families in Laos: latest survey finding (VT)
... Laos: Committee calls for stricter enforcement of road regulations (VT)
... ASEAN to decide on reported Burma-Laos deal on chairmanship (Investors)
... Yunnan's "Zhanba" magazine opens office in Laos (Kunming)
... Jumping Giants of Laos (National Geography)
... Midwives save lives in Laos (UN Multimedia)

August 8-14, 2011

Ten Reasons Why Vientiane, Laos, is the World’s Best Capital City (IBT)
Chances are your journey to Vientiane will not be direct, and arriving from Hanoi, Phnom Penh or Bangkok, you will be struck by the immaculate streets of the Laotian capital. Vientiane may just be the cleanest city in all of Southeast Asia. With meticulously angled shrubbery and manicured roadside gardens, you'd hardly believe you were in one of the poorest countries
Can Damming the Mekong Power a Better Life to Laos? (Time)
The 1,170-mile (1,880 km) stretch of the Mekong River that snakes through Laos has long been a quiet backwater used for small-scale domestic trade, localized fishing and folklore. In recent years, however, it has become the focus of a new purpose. "A dam is what I hope for most," says Samboun Bounkeo, the thickly built chief of Thalon, a sloping village of dirt paths
Laos Aims to Be the Hydropower Battery of Southeast Asia (CNBC)
Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia has one goal - to become the hydroelectric battery of a power-hungry region. "Southeast Asia faces huge energy requirements, where growth will average 5-7 percent over the next 10 years," Francois Perrin, Head of Asian Socially Responsible Investment Equities at BNP Paribas Investment Partners told CNBC.
Lao Immigrant Family Learns Son Died in Afghan Helicopter Crash (VOA)
A Lao immigrant family in the United States says one of their members was among the 30 U.S. troops who died last week in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Sengchanh Douangdara has told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa, she was notified of her son's death by military officials on Saturday. The son, John Douangdara, 26, was a master at arms in the elite Navy SEALs
Laos capital sees boom as GDP grows 12% year-on-year: media (CP)
The economy of Laos' sleepy capital Vientiane grew 12 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, media reports said Monday. Vientiane's gross domestic product between Oct. 1 and June 30 reached 21,437 billion kip (US$2.75 billion), up 12 percent compared with the same period in 2009-10, according to the city's planning and
Laos ordered to pay BT1.7 bn in damages (Nation)
The US Federal Court in New York recently confirmed a Malaysian arbitration award in a dispute between Thai-Lao Lignite and the Laotian government over the Hongsa power-plant project, requiring Laos to pay damages of US$56 million (Bt1.7 billion) plus interest.  "Although the New York court's ruling is not the end of the dispute and the Govt of Laos can
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Laos should tighten monetary policy to contain inflation: IMF (LBO)
... Three men charged with illegally transporting 2,000 dogs to Vietnam (BP)
... Documentary follows up on Hmong refugees who settled in Rhode Island
... Jewelry Sale Raises Money, Awareness for People of Laos (WSAW)
... Five dead after rivers overflow in southern Laos (Wire Update)
... Altrusa to hear about Laos literacy program (WDH)
... Lao people face higher living costs (LV/VT)
... Viet local firms eye Lao market (VOV)
... Gold prices continue to surge (VT)
... Five dead as rivers overflow in southern provinces (VT)
... Champassak appeals for govt aid to combat flooding (VT)
... Thaicom mulls pulling out of Laos, Cambodia mobile businesses
... Apollo Tyres leases 10,000 Ha in Laos for rubber plantation (IE)
... Apollo Leasing Laos Land for Rubber Plantation (Tire Review)
... Nam Theun 2 remains shutdown (LV/VT)
... Lao Airlines prepares for free Asean sky (LV/VT)
... Lao bauxite mine development reaches new milestone (LV/VT)
... Four hydropower projects in Saravan set to be cancelled (LV/VT)
... Bangkok Bank launches Laos' Kip exchange service (Nation)
... Champassak authorities on flood alert, sandbagging in Pakxe (VT)
... New incentives to lure more officials to remote areas (VT)
... Lao media targets expanded coverage (VT)
... Lao Environment and Social Project (WB)
... EU Offers New Rules For Lao Exports (Bernama)
... Laos to strengthen protection of migrant workers (VT)
... Lao President visits Hoa Tho Garment Corporation (VOV)
... Floods force Khammuan villagers to seek higher ground (VT)
... Laos Airlines To Take Two A320s Once Destined For Libya (AW)
... Lao, Vietnamese leaders extend bilateral relations (VT)
... Rising Mekong River threatens to flood Champassak (VT)
... New EU trade rules offer Laos better market access (VT)
... Lao Airlines set to open Vientiane-Singapore direct flight (VT)
... Sleepy Vientiane booming (M&C)
... Laos marks ASEAN anniversaries (VT)
... US to continue disease prevention efforts in Laos (VT)
... Nam Theun 2 shuts down to prevent downstream flooding (VT)
... Ord River Resources reports MoU for Laos alumina off-take sale agreement signed

August 1-7, 2011

Losing yourself in Luang Prabang (Calgary Herald)
Luang Prabang was crawling with tourists like ants on a picnic watermelon. There was one main street and it was groaning with the weight of people. Shops, restaurants and tour agencies stood shoulder to shoulder, interrupted by the occasional temple. This was not the magical Laos I was looking for. However, I soon discovered that much like the Laotian
Lawyer: Couple was helping Laotian (Omaha or CT)
A Laotian immigrant at the center of an indentured servitude case testified that at times he felt like a dog being led around by the Omaha couple accused of peonage. But Stu Dornan, the attorney representing the husband and wife, painted Ae Xaypanya as more of a stray animal who was taken in and pampered. Edward and Amphayvanh Alstatt, owners of
Japan finances Vientiane's 23.4-million-dollar airport expansion (M&C)
Japan has granted Laos 1.9 billion yen (23.4 million dollars) in aid to finance the expansion of Vientiane's airport in preparation for an Asia-Europe summit next year, news reports said Thursday. The grant assistance for the Wattay International Airport expansion project was signed Tuesday in Tokyo by Lao Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his Japanese
Laos: Central provinces on alert for further flooding (VT)
Over 10 districts in the central provinces are at risk of flooding, as the water level of the Mekong river and its tributaries continue to rise.  Water levels in Mekong branches have already reached dangerous levels in eight districts of Khammuan province, following torrential rains in the wake of tropical storm Nock-Ten over the weekend. About 100 hectares of rice
Local losers in Lao casino capitalism (Asia Times)
The girl looked no older than 14, a pale and an unconvincing sex goddess peering out from a mobile phone screen, her hair thin and straight. Trying to be sexy, she fondled a pubescent breast. Her knickers had holes, a touching but tawdry detail. Her phone number was displayed on the bottom of the screen. You could call her, the message said, and she would
Laotians in US: Were 2 forced into servitude? (Omaha)
A rare case of indentured servitude is unfolding in federal court, and it has sent Nebraska attorneys back to the law books for a refresher course. Omaha attorney Stu Dornan is one of two lawyers representing a husband and wife accused of forcing a Laotian man and woman into indentured servitude, or peonage. On Monday morning, the Laotian man testified that
Is Laos showing the way? (Nation)
Laos is expected to hire 7,000 skilled foreign workers for development projects as the country lacks its own human resources, the state-run Vientiane Times reported on Friday. The Lao National Assembly approved the 2011-2012 National Socio-Economic Development Plan in June, which authorizes the influx of 7,000 foreign skilled workers to provide expertise
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Mekong reaches warning level in Champassak (VT)
... Laos: Brick, steel makers ordered to upgrade standards (VT)
... Drown in Laos: Trust set up in memory of enthusiastic traveller (RG)
... Laotian in US: Local man key in immigrant bribery arrest (My County Paper)
... Laotian Buddhist Temple in Castle Creek to conduct rare ceremony Sunday
... Vietnam - Laos bilateral trade: US$2 billion by 2015 (Saigon or ND)
... Vietnam, Laos promote cooperation in trade (VOV)
... Laos, Japan committed to mutual support (VT)
... For the people: the Laos collaboration (WellCome)
... Flooded roads making travel difficult in central Laos (VT)
... Laos Fair Comes to Royal Garden Plaza (PattayaPeople)
... US: Hmong congregation gets new church (Lompoc Record)
... Champassak authorities crackdown on illegal timber trade (VT)
... Cambodia & Laos strengthen cooperation on controlling cross-border drugs
... Laos: Illegal Construction on the Xayaburi Dam Forges Ahead (YubaNet)
... Conservationists: Work underway on controversial Mekong River dam (MSNBC)
... U.S. Assistance to Mekong Region Aimed at Preventing Cross Border Conflict
... From jungle to suitcase, Southeast Asia's wildlife faces a bleak future (Australian)
... Don Chan island villagers to be relocated (VT)
... Laotians in Thailand: Trafficking Victims Await Captors’ Trial (RFA)
... Health experts coordinate fight against infectious diseases (VT)
... Laos starts engaging in international economy (Press TV)
... Nock-Ten drenches Laos (VT)
... Tropical storm Nock-Ten brings more flooding (VT)
... Tropical storm Nock-Ten brings more flooding: Laos (AsiaOne)
... Laos: Authorities shut down bear farm that extracted the animal's bile (SF)
... Chinese military vows to enhance cooperation with Laos (China Today)
... Japan to offer Laos 5.2 bil. yen grant aid to improve infrastructure (Kyodo)
... Expanded ministry looks to boost coordination (VT)
... Hospital introduces IT system to support free delivery policy (VT)
... Laos marks anniversary of Cluster Munitions Convention (VT)
... Lao PDR - Reproductive health at a glance (World Bank)
... RtR enhances education for children in Laos (VT)
... Mekong awash with drugs (Bangkok Post)
... Hmong in US: Who’s your farmer? (BVC)

July 25-31, 2011

Vietnam army smuggling timber in Laos: activists (AFP/Yahoo or AP/Y)
The Vietnamese army is playing a key role in smuggling wood from the jungles of Laos, a multi-million dollar activity that threatens millions of livelihoods, a new report said Thursday. Hanoi denied the claim of the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which said its undercover operations revealed one of the biggest loggers in Laos to be a company
Lao forests feeding Vietnam industry (AAP/The West)
Despite an export ban, Vietnamese companies are smuggling logs from the once-rich forests of Laos to feed a billion-dollar wood industry that turns timber into furniture for export to the Europe and the United States, an environmental group says. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency alleged the Vietnamese military was heavily involved in
Bile Trade Rife Despite Ban in Laos (RFA)
Bear bile trade is thriving in Laos though the animal is protected under the law, with a foreign-owned bear farm operating with impunity just outside the country’s capital, according to a resident. The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said local Lao officials have ignored the facility, which is owned by a group of Vietnamese immigrants.
Bungle In The Jungle of Laos (Forbes)
The idea was a Chinese economic colony in the Lao wilderness, and that was okay with Laos. Then the gamblers, hookers and gangsters took over, and that was not okay with China.  Across Asia, once-backward regions have surged in the boom that's lifted millions out of poverty--monuments to the Asian economic miracle. But there have been grand
Two NGOs provides almost 1 biln kip of aid package to help flood victims (KPL)
Save the Children Australia and the European Commission-Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection has provided 81 tonnes of rice, household utensils, construction materials and some relief fund worth 897 million kip, to relieve the flood victims in Sayaboury province. The aid was handed over by Director of the Save the Children Australia to Laos to Vice-Governor
More floods submerge villages in central Laos (VT)
Eight villages in Xebangfay district of Khammuan province have been submerged after the Xebangfay River burst its banks, local authorities reported on Monday. More than 1,000 people living in 386 households in the eight villages have been affected by the flooding but no deaths or injuries were reported. Local authorities said heavy rainfall over the past few days
Laos: Damage from tropical storm Haima nears 700b kip ~ US$ 87.5 mil (VT)
The damage from tropical storm Haima has reached about 700 billion kip, according to the latest assessment by government authorities. The storm hit Laos on June 24, causing widespread flooding and landslides in mountainous areas, with the death toll standing at 17 people, including eight in Xieng Khuang province, five in Vientiane province, two in
PanAust says Laos mine exceeds nameplate capacity (MW)
Gold and copper company PanAust on Monday reported that its 2011 production guidance for the Phu Kham mine remained unchanged, as the operation operated above nameplate capacity. The Phu Kham operation, in Laos, achieved a copper in concentrate production of 15 184 t during the quarter ended June, bringing total copper production for the six months
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Vang Vieng: Down the tube (WAT)
... Laos Shuts Down Bear Farm (RFA)
... Laos: Wild elephants destroy crops (VT)
... Australia supports UXO victims in Laos (VT)
... ASEAN visa free travel moves closer (VT)
... SA man released from prison in Laos (EWN)
... EU Supports Laos Hosting ASEM 2012 (Bernama)
... Laos sets plan to produce 4.2 million tonnes rice (LV/KPL)
... Almost 8,000 students complete upper secondary schools (LV/KPL)
... Over 100 bln kip (~US$ 12.5 mil)  invested in power expansion in northern provinces
... LAOS: Villagers brace for relocation as dam project moves forward (AlertNet)
... Discover the temple treasures of Laos and Myanmar (National)
... Christians Under Fire in Laos (Diplomat)
... 3 Thai tourists arrested in Laos (Nation)
... EIA: Vietnamese Army Smuggles Timber from Laos (HFB)
... Vietnam: Army 'colluding' in Laos deforestation (BBC)
... Lao Authorities Arrest Christians for Evangelizing (CM)
... RS subsidiary beaming country music into Laos (Nation)
... China drub sorry Laos in World Cup qualifier (Football)
... Laos Telecom Company, candidate for Asia Top 100 List (WW)
... Luang Namtha: construction of rubber processing factory kicks off
... Laos pledges to help Vietnam seek fallen soldiers’ remains (VOV)
... The Lower Mekong Initiative Going Strong (VOA)
... Street children to be given a helping hand (VT)
... Toyota eyes 10 percent sales growth in Laos (LV/VT)
... NOSPA holds graduation ceremony for graduates (LV/KPL)
... Lao Authorities Arrest Christians in Two Northern Provinces (CD)
... PanAust Battling Lower Grades, Higher Costs, Valuation Limits (FNA)
... PanAust predicts copper production drop in Laos (Big Pond News)
... Lao-American: Small Arkansas town finally has its Buddhist temple (GD)
... Singapore awards 2011 Singapore Scholarship to Lao student (LV/KPL)
... Economists call for improvements to human resources, administrative procedures
... Ha Tinh intensifies investment in Lao provinces (VOV)
... Hmong New Year money dispute sparks lawsuit (CWH)
... Hmong town idea dries up as visionary vanishes (FB)
... Shaping the Hmong American literary voice (AW)
... Laos and Malaysia ink ICT pact (LBO)
... Muji’s Got a Brand New Bag — in Laos (WSJ)
... Party leaders call for local action in flood recovery (VT)
... Asean boosts cooperation with dialogue partners (VT)
... Nam Theun 2 voted top hydropower project (LV/VT)
... Japan Pledges Over US$5 Billion To Mekong Nations (Bernama)

July 18-24, 2011

Catholics keeping kids away from bombs in Laos (CNA)
“Let’s go find some bombs to play with” is really not what you want to hear from little kids. But in Laos, a country that borders Vietnam, you never know what you’ll hear about deadly explosives. I’m sitting with Bounma, a teenager whose right leg is pocked with shrapnel scars. When he was seven, he and a friend were in the woods, hunting for birds. 
US praises Laos for suspending Mekong dam project (HE)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised Laos as taking a "forward-leaning position" after the tiny, land-locked nation said it had no immediate plans to resume work on a dam across the Mekong River. The project Laos was considering would be the first dam across the river as it meanders through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Magistrate's son in Laos jail (Times Live or SL)
A Western Cape magistrate has vowed to raise hell if her teenage son is not released from an infamous southeast Asian jail by the end of the week. Arno Immelman, the 19-year-old son of Paarl magistrate Anne-Marie Immelman, has been in custody in the infamous Phonthong prison in Laos for the past three weeks. He has neither been charged nor has he appeared
U.S. helps Lao Army fight HIV/AIDS (US Embassy)
The U.S. Embassy, in cooperation with the Center for HIV/AIDS/STI (CHAS), the Ministry of Health, and the Lao People’s Army Military Medical Departmental (MMD), provided a three day Training on HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing with the Lao People’s Army, from July 12-14, 2011, at Dansavanh Hotel in Oudomxai Province. This training was
Dengue kills three in Laos (VT)
In 2010, almost 23,000 people were infected with dengue fever nationwide, resulting in 46 fatalities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the worldwide incidence of infection has grown dramatically in recent decades. Some 2.5 billion people – two fifths of the world's population – are now at risk of contracting the virus. The WHO estimates that currently
Laos: French bank buys 10 percent of BCEL shares (LV/VT)
A major French bank has agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Banque pour le Commerce Exterier Lao (BCEL) from the government after learning of the success of the company. Deputy Minister of Finance Ms Viengthong Siphandone and COFIBRED Chief Executive Officer Mr Yves Jacquot on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding in Vientiane
Laos: Death toll in flooding, landslides jumps to 15 (VT)
The number of deaths in Laos from tropical storm Haima last month has reached 15, according to the latest reports from affected provinces. The number of dead has increased because several roads that were damaged during the storm have not been repaired yet and recovery teams have had difficulty getting to some impacted areas. This means that many
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Soccer: China overcomes early setbacks to rout Laos (CD)
... Tour to Laos, Bangladesh shows how foreign aid is spent (Asahi)
... US: Hmong activist Vaming Xiong to be honored tonight (Sac Bee)
... Rice bank for rice shortage time (LV/KPL)
... Lao coffee demanded for Japan drinkers (KPL)
... Thailand-Laos To Cooperate To Solve Border Problems (B)
... Soccer: China ready to rock Laos in World Cup qualifier (CD)
... Communist Laos fails to hike minimum wage amid rising inflation (M&C)
...  Egat may buy more from Laos (Bangkok Post)
... Vientiane provincial capital project makes progress (VT)
... Lao textiles benefit from South Korean exposure (LV/VT)
... Laos: Agreement on minimum wage increase postponed (VT)
... Laos, Peru agree on visa exemption for government officials (VT)
... BCEL share price continues fall, despite French bank buy in (LV/VT)
... Malaysia & Laos To Sign Agreement On Science, Technology & IICT (B)
... Germany backs forest preservation project in southern Laos (VT)
... Blue ear disease outbreak kills 200 pigs in Vientiane (LV/VT)
... Hmong: Vietnam “Massacre” of Hmong Christians; Pastors “Beheaded”
... Vientiane provincial capital project progresses (VT)
... ASEAN foreign ministers meet in Indonesia (VT)
... Laos, Cambodia join Vietnam in music festival (VN)
... Vietnam backs Lao defence (VOV)
... Four-legged snake a skink (LV/VT)
... Four-legged snake found in Vientiane (VT)
... Viet newspaper opens office in Laos (VT)
... Cabinet members take up new posts (VT)
... Pilot project to expand irrigation in Savannakhet (VT)

July 11-17, 2011

Laos: "Unprecedented" drug trafficking heightens risk to youth (SN)
An upsurge in drug trafficking in Laos is fuelling the potential for drug abuse among the youth, the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) warns. UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Representative to the Lao PDR, Leik Boonwaat, told IRIN the Lao People's Republic was facing "an unprecedented increase in trafficking of
Lao Govt to raise taxes on cars, lower rates on motorbikes (VT)
The government will impose new tax rates on all vehicles within the next three months in a move to encourage more people to use motorbikes instead of cars. The National Assembly approved the scheme last month, giving the green light for the government to lower excise taxes on motorbikes but to increase tax rates on cars as part of efforts to encourage people
Inflation rate exceeds GDP growth in Laos (VT)
The inflation rate continues to rise in Laos, despite measures introduced by the government to limit rising commodity prices. According to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures from the National Statistics Bureau, the inflation rate reached 9.76 percent in May, which is higher than the projected GDP growth rate of around eight percent. This is a concern for
Chinese take a gamble on the pleasures of sin city in Laos (Independent)
It may be well down river from the People's Republic, but the red flag of China flies prominently among other national standards at a jetty on the Thai bank of the Mekong River. Visitors check out with Thai immigration officials, before being ferried upstream in a sleek speedboat to a world of ostentatious casinos and half-built hotels. Welcome to the Golden
South African man mysteriously jailed in Laos (News24)
Ten days after a South African man was taken prisoner in Laos, there was still no news about him. In addition, the agent of Arno Immelman, 19, from Paarl, is now forbidden from leaving Laos. The agent, Kevin Meldue, had been trying his best to contact Immelman since his arrest on June 30.  He could up till now not manage to do this and on Saturday morning he
Imprisoned Lao Pastor ‘Extremely Weak' (CW or CM)
A Lao pastor imprisoned six months ago for holding a “secret meeting” has lost weight under harsh prison conditions and is extremely weak, according to his family. Police arrested Wanna and fellow pastor and inmate Yohan, both identified only by a single name, on Jan. 4 along with several other Christians in central Laos’s Khammouan Province. 
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Lao-Hmong in Australia: Sewing the way (HL)
... MIA in Laos: Pilot's remains finally home (RN)
... WB lends muscle to fight against poverty (VT)
... Chinese company signs up for Wattay airport upgrade (VT)
... Bridge building begins after troubled waters smoothed (VT)
... CBP Dog Sniffs Out Opium in Laos Jacket Shipment (MFC)
... Businesses talk investment opportunities in Laos (VOV)
... Laos speeds up arabica coffee planting as robusta dips (AN)
... Harry Potter Films in Total Have Made More Than All of Laos Last Year (AW)
... Dane Deported from Thailand to Laos (SA)
... Laos, Myanmar expand cooperation (VT)
... Fish stocks replenished on Aquatic and Wildlife Day (VT)
... Laos student visas approved (Irish Times)
... Laos: Two Church Leaders Languish in Prison (WN)
... Lao Govt launches donation drive for flood victims (VT)
... Laos: New minister assumes office (VT)
... Lao-French eager to return home (VT)
... Laos moves towards WTO membership (VT)
... Laos: Ministry urges more aid for flood affected farmers (VT)
... Leopard Capital to launch $75 mln Laos, Cambodia fund (Reuters)
... Rural Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos biomass usage to be boosted (LBO)
... ADB to Help Boost Biomass Use in Southeast Asia (Turkey Weekly)
... F&N eyes big expansion in Indochina (Bangkok Post)
... Greater Mekong: A region with borders (Nation)

July 4-10, 2011

New Laos airline preparing for takeoff (AFP/Google)
Laos's first privately-owned airline said Thursday it plans to enter the region's booming aviation market later this year. Phongsavanh Airlines is aiming for a September takeoff with an initial service to Bangkok, said the carrier's spokesman Viphasouk Saysanavongphet. "But if not we will definitely begin our service before the end of this year," he told AFP.
Laos: UXO casualties down but challenges remain (IRIN/AlertNet)
The number of people involved in unexploded ordnance (UXO) accidents in Laos, the world's most cluster-bombed country, has dropped from an average of 300 a year to 117 in the past two years, according to government statistics. However, the National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action (NRA) [ ] estimates more than 200,000 hectares of
Rains hit PanAust Laos mine, worker killed (BS or NineMSN)
A contractor working for miner PanAust Ltd in Laos was likely killed in a rain-triggered landslide, the company said. PanAust on Tuesday said an excavator operator who was working on road clearance activities off-site from the company's Phu Kham mine had been swept away in a landslide. The company said more than one metre of rain had fallen on
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Lao delegation visits Austria (VT)
... Lao PM to visit Myanmar (PD)
... Calls made for gibbon conservation in Laos (VT)
... President urges Saravan to speed up poverty reduction (VT)
... Vietnamese veterans visit old battlefields in Laos (VOV)
... EVN unit speeds up work on Lao, Cambodian dams (VOV)
... Remains of U.S. Air Force pilot missing from Vietnam War plane crash found in Laos
... Govt reiterates stance on global Lao family (VT)
... Vientiane student claims gold at int'l contest (VT)
... Man Born in Laos Charged in Bislett Murder (ScandAsia)
... Taskforce to examine social problems in Vientiane (VT)
... 1st meeting of China-Laos military cooperation/coordination committee held (DP)
... US senators seek safeguards on Mekong dams (Straits Times)
... Phuket shock allegation: police pandering alien prostitutes (PG)
... Nations unite to save Lao baby (VT)
... Laos, Malaysia Discuss Tourism (Bernama)
... Land title project to be fast tracked in Laos (VT)
... Soccer: Laos oust Cambodia in cup epic (PPP)
... Hmong July 4th Summer Festival in US (Examiner)
... Power lines in flames, but firefighters stay away (LV/VT)
... Lao agricultural products yet to penetrate US market (LV/VT)
... An Giang province develops rice farm in southern Laos (VOV)
... Ministry readies 5,000 tonnes of rice seeds for flood-hit farmers (VT)

June 27-July 3, 2011

Laos: Play by the book (Morning Sydney Herald)
Dave Cauldwell volunteers for a literacy program that delivers books and educational games to children in Luang Prabang province. Two tiny hands cling on to my hips as I tow a human train of 30 children in a playground filled with laughing and screaming. Their teacher leans against a tree smoking a cigarette, with a hint of a smile. Roughly 45 minutes' drive from 
World Bank predicts Lao economic growth at 8.6% (VT or Nation)
Laos' economic growth will remain robust this year with natural resources and the manufacturing sector set to be the main driving forces of growth, according to the World Bank's (WB) latest projection. The bank posts the Lao Eco nomic Update at its website, which estimates that the real GDP growth of the landlocked nation will reach 8.6 percent in
Losing yourself (and everyone else) in Luang Prabang (Vancouver Sun)
Luang Prabang was crawling with tourists like ants on a picnic watermelon. There was one main street and it was groaning with the weight of people; shops, restaurants and tour agencies stood shoulder to shoulder, interrupted by the occasional temple. This was not the magical Laos I was looking for. However, I soon discovered that much like the Laotian
Laos to build 10 hydro-power dams over next five years (Nation)
Laos plans to build 10 hydroelectric dams over the next five years as part of plans to become the "battery of South-East Asia," state media reports said Friday. The 10-plant goal was set in the country's 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2011 to 2015, scheduled for approval by the National Assembly... Of the 10, five are currently under construction. 
Something to declare: in Laos (Age)
Bullfighting? In Laos? I dunno. Sometimes, however, curiosity just gets the better of good intentions. So off my friends and I went for a friendly outing to the bullfight, following the long line of Laotians making their way out of town. "You know, you're probably not going to like what we're about to see," my mate Russ said to the girls in our group. "Actually, I don't think
Lao Govt to impose new tax rates (VT)
The government will introduce new consumption and income tax rates within 90 days after getting the green light from the National Assembly. After two days of debate, 105 assembly members of the 124 lawmakers present voted in support of the amended Taxation Law on Friday during the first session of the 7th legislature of the National Assembly.
Other stories about Laos around the world
... Refugees: From Laos to Pingree Grove (BN)
... 7,000 foreign workers needed in Laos (USNLV)
... Laos, NE can benefit from trade (Assam Tribune)
... Laos delegation seeks better infrastructure (Times of India)
... China, Laos, Vietnam engage in ‘con’ hurling festival (VOV)
... EVNI speeds up power projects in Cambodia, Laos (HW)
... Lao Family Community's July 4th Sports Tournament kicks off (TC)
... Son La plants more markers on Vietnam-Laos border (VOV)
... Stories from a Laos Prison (ABC)
... Laos: PanAust strikes high grade copper (BS)
... High ranking officials visit storm affected areas (VT)
... Lao foreign minister arrives to Ukraine (Kyiv Post)
... Asean nations debate human rights documents (VT)
... North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba offer congrats (XinhuaNet)
... Laos delegation to visit city for trade meet on July 2 (Times of India)
... Kick Back and Chill amongst Southern Laos' Rural Ambiance at the 4000 Island
... Vietnamese investors eye Lao market (VOV)
... Lao FM visits UN Secretary-General (VT)
... Death toll from floods rises to seven (VT)
... Mitr Phol kicks start biomass power in Laos (Nation)
... Asean human rights meeting opens in Vientiane (VT)
... China seeks to enhance Sino-Lao relations: ambassador (PD)
... Mekong dam plans threatening the natural order (Australian)
... Laos' opium poppy cultivation increases 58 pct in 2010 (PD)
... Laos to host 3rd GMS Economic Corridors Forum (XinhuaNet)
... Laos raises profit tax on foreign firms but baulks at beer tax (M&C)
... Soccer: Cambodia beats Laos 4-2 in WCup qualifier (USA Today)
... Vietnam, Laos complete dictionary compilation (VOV)
... Flash flooding kills 6 people in north (VT)
... Laos, Singapore improve anti-trafficking efforts (TN)
... Laos adventure travel firm to premiere in Thailand (Nation)
... Vietnam, Laos Step Up Financial Cooperation (Bernama)
... Swooping in to help Laos (Chicago Tribune)

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