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Matt Surrusco

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Belgian Court Denies New Trial for Pedophile

Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen, who fled to Cambodia last year after being sentenced to 19 years in prison by a Belgian court, was denied a new trial in Brussels on Tuesday, a spokesman for a Belgian NGO said on Wednesday.

Alleged Child Sex Abuser Has Active US Warrants

U.S. court records detail felony child sex charges and outstanding warrants against a Cambodian-American man who was charged in Takeo province last week for alleged crimes against 11 local boys, putting the spotlight on the challenge authorities face in trying to prevent sex offenders from entering the country.

World Bank Approves $100M in Loans for Schools, Rural Roads

The World Bank approved $100 million in loans to Cambodia to bolster secondary education by improving schools and educators’ qualifications, and to make rural roads more navigable and climate-resilient, according to a statement released on Friday.

Slowdown in GDP Growth Projected for 2019

The World Bank on Thursday forecast a slight dip in the country’s economic growth rate by 2019 amid declining foreign investment, rising inflation and a slowdown in the expansion of garments manufacturing, and advised improvements to infrastructure and training to keep the economy on its current strong course.

Villagers Detail Alleged Molester’s Methods

The chief of a village where 11 boys were allegedly molested by a Cambodian-American man said on Tuesday that many local boys, including his son, had spent time unsupervised with the man, who was charged on Monday with procuring child prostitution.

Electricity Access Is Growing, But Divide Persists

Cambodia has been quickly turning on the lights for more households, but access to electricity remains significantly lower in rural areas than in cities, according to a new report from the World Bank.

Probe Catches Four Suspected Drug Traffickers

Following a six-month police investigation, three foreigners and one Cambodian were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on Tuesday after they were arrested last week for allegedly trafficking about 2.7 kg of illegal drugs from Laos, police said.

Deminers, Dogs Contracted to Sniff Out Ordnance in Israel

Twenty-three Cambodian deminers and 12 mine detection dogs have been contracted to work in Israel for the first time and are heading to the Middle East within the next week, representatives of the two countries’ demining agencies said on Monday.

Draft Whistleblowers Law Still Short on Specifics, NGO Says

The Anti-Corruption Unit said it was another step closer to finalizing drafts of its long-awaited laws to protect witnesses and whistleblowers who report corruption, according to a statement, despite warnings that the proposals remained short on specifics.

Five Cambodians Deported From US Arrive in Phnom Penh

Five Cambodians expelled from the U.S. arrived in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said, as Cambodia continued to call for revisions to the 2002 agreement with the U.S. that allowed their deportation.

Machine Operator Not to Blame, Company and Union Say

Representatives of a union and the garment factory where an exploding steam generator killed one worker and injured seven others last week said on Wednesday that the machine operator was not to blame, contradicting claims by a government official earlier this week.

Official Blames Factory Worker for Fatal Generator Explosion

An explosion at a Phnom Penh garment factory that killed one worker and injured seven others last week was caused by an operator who stoked a wood-fired generator because he wanted extra time for lunch, an official said on Monday.

World Heritage Status, Tourists Threaten Angkor Preservation

The global recognition given to the Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap—and other sites around the world that receive U.N. world heritage status—does as much to damage as it does to preserve the historical gem, according to a new research paper.

US to Deport Cambodians This Month

A group of Cambodians facing deportation by the U.S. have been told they will be sent to Cambodia by the end of the month, although one has been granted another opportunity to plead his case, a U.S.-based advocacy organization said.

Microloans Work for Some, Leave Many in Debt

svay chrum commune, Kandal province - Nearly everyone living in Pann Sopheatra’s village, just across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, has either taken out a microfinance loan or knows someone who has.

Microfinance Institutions to Request Assistance From Central Bank

Reacting to the central bank’s announcement of a hard cap on interest rates, the chairman of an industry group representing 84 microfinance institutions on Wednesday said the association would request tax exemptions or cheap loans from the bank to make the arrangement viable.

Will Move to Cap Microfinance Interest Rates Backfire on CPP?

The ruling CPP doubled down on Tuesday on its decision to cap interest rates on microfinance loans as a way to help the poor get out of debt, even as analysts called it a political move that would have long-term negative effects on the rural economy.

Cambodia Must Be Ready for IS, National Police Chief Says

Warning of possible attacks by the Islamic State militant group (I.S.) in Asia, National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun told his officers on Monday to tighten security and scale up counterterrorism efforts.

Cambodian Avoids US Expulsion While Others Await Deportation

A Cambodian man who faced deportation from the U.S. has been released from detention and returned to his family, while at least five others have been told they will be sent to Cambodia in the coming weeks, a U.S.-based advocacy organization said.

Public Perception of Government Anti-Corruption Efforts Diminishes

Though a smaller proportion of Cambodians reported bribing public officials last year, more people indicated the government was doing a poor job fighting corruption than five years ago, according to a new report.