Michael Sullivan

Cambodia needs energy. Almost half of this Southeast Asian country is without electricity. Work will soon be completed on the country's largest hydropower project to date, the Sesan 2 dam, on the Sesan River, a tributary of the Mekong River near the border with Laos.

The dam is an $800 million joint Chinese-Cambodian venture from a company called Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co. Ltd. When it's finished, two nearby villages, Srekor and Kbal Romeas, will be underwater.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, celebrates his first year in office Friday. Since becoming president, he has picked a fight with former President Obama, cursed out the Pope, joked about raping women and declared his "separation" from the United States to pursue a more independent foreign policy with new friends China and Russia.

But none of that really matters at home.

What does matter is that Duterte ran for president promising a brutal, bloody war on drugs. And he's delivered.

She has no phone, no laptop, no Internet and no air conditioning inside her cell. It's 93 degrees outside, but Leila de Lima looks remarkably composed.

The Philippine senator spends much of her time reading and attending to Senate business as best she can, though she isn't allowed to vote. De Lima, a 57-year-old grandmother, was imprisoned in February on President Rodrigo Duterte's orders, after poking the bear one too many times. The charges against her, which she denies, include taking money from jailed drug dealers.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Cambodian government owes the United States about $500 million for a food loan taken out during the Vietnam War. Cambodia says it's not paying. The United States says a loan is a loan. Michael Sullivan has more from Phnom Penh.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The beautiful beaches of Teknaf, along the Bay of Bengal in southern Bangladesh, are almost completely untouched by humans. Wide, with fine-grained brown and gray sand, the shore looks as if it stretches along the sea forever. In fact, the Bangladeshi government bills it as the world's longest beach.

So naturally, developers are lining up to build there and have literally staked out their claims on signs along the road, Marine Drive. When the highway is finished, it will link this place to Cox's Bazar some 50 miles to the north.

With her 8-year-old son's head resting in her lap, Zubaida was sitting at home with some other women from her village in western Myanmar's Rakhine state when the military came — and the gunfire started.

"All the men from the village started running away, and my son ran with them," Zubaida, 25, says. He didn't get far: Myanmar soldiers shot him dead — in the back.

That evening, the soldiers came back.

"They didn't say anything," she says. "They just came with their guns into my house."

Pages