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Opinion: The fall of Saigon

BOSTON — April 29th, 35 years ago, was a day of fear, sorrow, uncertainty in what would be the last day of the Republic of South Vietnam. People milled through the streets, many wailing and in tears. Crowds surrounded the American Embassy as helicopters began the final and humiliating American evacuation after 35 years of effort — first supporting the French, and then on our own.

Vietnamese leader focuses on China, climate change

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s invitation to discuss nuclear security issues with leaders from 46 other nations brought Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Washington this week, but nuclear safety was just part of his agenda. As Vietnam approaches the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and the 15th anniversary of resumed diplomatic ties with the United States, the two former enemies now look toward each other as economic and strategic partners. And each sees, in the relationship, a potential counterbalance to Chinese power.

China's role in Mekong River maintenance

Editor's note: This story comes from our partner, VietNamNet. HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao told participants in the Mekong River Council Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand on April 5 that China is willing to promote cooperation with downstream countries in mitigating droughts and floods, sharing hydrographic technology and information, exchange and training of hydrographic experts, etc.

Vietnam’s forgotten victims

DANANG, Vietnam — At 46, each year of misery seems to have etched new wrinkles around Tran Thanh Dung’s angry gaze. When he was child in the early 1970s, Tran says he witnessed U.S. soldiers shoot his parents — both of whom were communist Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Bent on revenge, he joined the guerrilla group within hours.

A reporter who covered the human soul

TUCSON — For a shot of faith in what’s good about humanity, in the face of so much that isn’t, consider John Nance, who died this week in Ohio. Nance understood that “news” was about people — individuals and societies — not grand events. That made him an uncommonly good reporter. But that was not the half of it. He was a favorite among his colleagues in Vietnam. We loved him for his generous spirit, humor and warmth that touched us all.

Tsunami: Pacific nations wait, and exhale

TOKYO, Japan — Dozens of countries in the Pacific region spent an anxious 24 hours bracing for massive waves after Saturday’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile sent a tsunami coursing halfway around the world. The threat of more devastation attracted blanket TV coverage, as millions, from New Zealand to Russia’s far east, waited to learn whether they would be spared or forced to flee their homes.

Dalai Lama: Blackballed from Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand — In the age of growing Chinese influence, there’s a simple measure of a country’s willingness to test China’s wrath. Will they stamp the Dalai Lama’s passport? Add Thailand to the shrinking list of nations that won’t.

Vietnam: The torture of the Moon Bears

HANOI, Vietnam — An adult female moon bear, clearly drugged, stared with bleary eyes from the "crush cage" that contained her — a cage so small she couldn’t rise on all fours, let alone stand on her hind legs. Not that she could, anyway, in her dazed condition.

Economic worries in Indonesia? Blame the Chinese.

CIPULIR, Indonesia — They say it’s all about location, location, location. But here, sitting outside her store in the corner of the fourth floor of a crowded indoor garments market, Ibu Nasution says the only threat to her business is the Chinese. “When they get here, nobody will buy these clothes anymore. We won’t be able to pay our debts. We won’t be able to eat. Things are going to get bad,” she said, sitting on a dusty stack of tightly wrapped T-shirts.
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