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Simon Henderson

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At Awards Ceremony, Chief of ACU Discusses Role of Media

A new award honoring the media’s role in combating corruption was on Wednesday presented to five local journalists, whose stories uncovering various corrupt activities show how investigative reporting can help break the shackles holding back Cambodia’s development.

Safari World to Move to Phnom Penh Next Year

Koh Kong Safari World, a curiosity wildlife park owned by tycoon and CPP senator Ly Yong Phat that hosts crocodile shows and orangutan boxing matches, will pack up in October and bring its spectacle to Phnom Penh early next year, according to an administrator.

US Report Details Human Rights Abuses in 2014

The U.S. State Department released its 39th annual human rights report on Friday, reviewing abuses against the citizens of 199 countries and painting a forensic picture of the shortcomings of the Cambodian government’s efforts to protect the rights of its population.

Witness Describes Forced Labor at Kompong Thom Dam Site

A woman who spent several months doing forced labor at the January 1 dam worksite in Kompong Thom province took the stand at the Khmer Rouge tribunal Thursday, describing a punishing workload of heavy labor, even for the sick and injured.

Indian Navy Warships Dock at Sihanoukville Port

Two Indian Navy warships docked at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Tuesday to begin a five-day goodwill visit that will include joint training exercises with the Royal Cambodian Navy, while a pop-up medical camp will provide healthcare to local communities, Indian Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik said Wednesday.

Six Guards Held in Heist; Police Admit to No Evidence

Police in Siem Reap City arrested two more private security guards Wednesday, bringing to six the number of guards now being detained for Monday’s robbery at Lucky Mall, in which thieves forced open two ATMs and made off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

City Hall Follows Through on Drone Ban, Arrests Two Foreigners

Two foreign filmmakers were arrested Tuesday morning after their drone was seen filming in the skies near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Phnom Penh—a flight that provided a litmus test for February’s ban on unauthorized drone operation in the city.

Foreign Tongues

Hundreds of students and curious members of the public packed into a lecture hall at Phnom Penh’s Pannasastra University last weekend for what was billed as Cambodia’s first-ever Khmer fluency competition for foreigners.

Draft Law Sets Legal Drinking Age at 21, Highest in Region

The Health Ministry has drafted Cambodia’s first-ever law to control the sale and consumption of alcohol, which imposes a minimum legal drinking age of 21 and would fine retailers who sell liquor to anyone underage.

Cambodia’s Ranking Drops in Peace Index But Score Goes Up

Cambodia slid five places down the annual Global Peace Index released Tuesday, ranking 111th out of 162 countries surveyed. But despite ceding five of the seven spots it gained in last year’s index—which measures safety, security, conflict and militarization—the country received a slightly higher score than in 2014.

Director Taps Local Folklore for Eco-Drama

Italian filmmaker Jimmy Henderson, an unlikely pioneer of contemporary Khmer-language cinema, began filming in Kampot province last week for his new movie, “The Uninvited,” an allegorical eco-drama set in Cambodia’s distant past.

Former Official Says Trauma Not Due to KR

In her second day on the stand at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, a former regime district official who on Thursday said life under Pol Pot was “decent,” painted a darker picture, telling the court that she kept silent as people under her control regularly disappeared.

Angkor Wat Is No. 1 Landmark, But Indian Copy Inspires Fear

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap City topped another tourism poll this week, named as the world’s No. 1 landmark by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards on Tuesday. But a massive temple under construction in India is once again stirring fears that Cambodia’s iconic monument will be diminished.

Cambodia Hedges Bets as Sea Tensions Rise

As Ashton Carter toured Asia this week amid rising tensions over the South China Sea, Cambodia once again backed China’s position in the dispute, warning that recent remarks by the U.S. defense secretary were “provocative."

Male Victims of Sexual Violence Struggle for Voice

A recent spate of cases of alleged sexual abuse of boys, several involving directors of child welfare NGOs, has drawn renewed attention to the prevalence of such crimes in Cambodia.

Child-Welfare NGO Boss Guilty of Abusing Boys

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Thursday sentenced former French judge and child-protection NGO director Philippe Broaly to 14 months in prison for sexually abusing five boys in his care, but will allow him to walk free within weeks after suspending five months of the sentence, officials said Friday.

Program Promotes Living Off Forests, Without Felling Trees

As Cambodia’s tree cover recedes due to legal and illegal logging, people who live off the forests gathered in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to brainstorm ways to improve the fledgling green economy and increase the chances of preserving their local environments.

Bittersweet End Nears for Embattled Land Dispute Family

From his shack on the edge of a busy junction in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district Monday, 58-year-old Ly Sreang Kheng threw a rock at his feet and shook his head at the thought of a condominium stabbing the skyline on land he has spent years fighting for.

Despite Focus on Tourism, Cambodia Still Struggles to Compete

The World Economic Forum’s “Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015” provided a reality check for Cambodia as it ranked 105 out of 144 countries overall, despite the government placing tourism at the center of its plans to diversify the country’s economy.

Hotels Warned Over Pumping Sewage Into Sea

Senior government officials this week promised temporary closure for hotels and restaurants along Sihanoukville’s heavily touristed beachfront that they say are routinely pumping raw sewage into the sea.

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Witness of history: Who is Cambodia’s Queen Mother?

Today marks the 82nd birthday of Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk of Cambodia. Julio Jeldres, who served as the senior private secretary and special assistant to the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk for 12 years and has written extensively on the Cambodian royal family, provides insight into the life of Cambodia’s Queen Mother, whom he describes as “a witness of history”

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