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Communist-ruled Laos, a one-party state, was described by Reporters Without Borders as an information “black hole” where the government exerts complete control over news outlets. The watchdog group’s 2022 World Press Freedom Index placed Laos 161st out of 180 countries in the index and noted that many of the Southeast Asian country’s 7 million people…

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Analysts: US notches win in wooing ASEAN countries to join economic deal

The United States has scored a win in its efforts to counter Beijing’s influence in Southeast Asia by getting most members of the ASEAN bloc to join the Biden administration’s new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity deal, analysts say. Although IPEF lacks the heft of a formal international trade agreement, according to analysts, the interest…

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