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New Mekong dam will soon wipe out endangered Irawaddy dolphin, enviros say

SI PHAN DON, Laos — They might not be as adventurous as Flipper, but every couple of minutes the light gray head and back of a freshwater dolphin breaches the surface. These aren’t trained sea mammals in a theme park. We’re in southern Laos on the mighty Mekong, Southeast Asia’s powerhouse river. Globally, it’s second only to the Amazon in fish diversity. The Mekong is also the natural habitat of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin — at least until construction begins on a massive dam later this month.

49 believed killed in Laos plane crash

Dozens are believed dead after a Lao Airlines plane crashed as it approached Pakse airport near the Thai border on Wednesday afternoon, in an incident likely caused by poor weather.  A total of 49 people — including 44 passengers and five crew members — were in the ATR 72 aircraft when it crashed into the Mekong River, according to CNN. 

South Korea warns North not to harm returned defectors

If the nine young defectors are deemed ideological enemies of the state, three generations of their families will also be arrested or exiled to the remote countryside, while the offenders themselves could live out the last of their days in one of six penal colonies.

North Korean escapees forced to return home, to rights groups' concern

The US State Department has expressed concern over the case and urged "all countries in the region to co-operate in the protection of North Korean refugees within their territories."

Laos to start building Mekong 'mega dam' this week

The government in Laos says construction of its controversial dam on the Mekong river will begin in a few days' time.

Vang Vieng, Laos: backpacker mecca turned disaster magnet?

VANG VIENG — The idea is captivating. People are driven two miles upriver, then float down the Nam Song on inflated inner tubes, stopping to party hard along the way. But the reality differs.

On Location: Laos — Water wars

LAOS — Nine new dams are in development in Laos, as its energy-hungry neighbors look on expectantly.

In Laos, a tale of two dams (Video)

NAKHAI PLATEAU, Laos — Experts say there is uncertainty about the dams potential effects, but the government has already pledged to sell a bulk of the electricity generated to Thailand.

Illegal logging: from the rainforest to your dining room

BANGKOK — The majority of this trade’s customers are in America, which has imported an estimated $2 billion in Vietnamese furniture so far this year.
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