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Phnom Penh air quality levels disputed

A man wears a mask as smoke is released from a factory chimney behind him in Phnom Penh. The capital’s air quality is now being measured by a new PM2.5 monitor.

The first readings of the capital’s PM2.5 concentration, a major indicator of air quality, show that levels of the harmful particulates are “still low”, said Thiv Sophearith, chief of the Ministry of Environment’s Air Quality, Noise and Vibration Office, though an environmental specialist yesterday challenged how representative the readings were. In April Cambodia received its first air quality monitor, which detects ultra-fine airborne particles that contribute to dangerous forms of air pollution. The ministry’s readings showed particulate levels exceeded that benchmark on just one day in April, when the mean was 25.8 micrograms per cubic metre.

Australian filmmaker questioned

Australian James Ricketson (centre) steps out of a police vehicle yesterday to be questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on accusations of spying after he flew a drone over an opposition rally.

An Australian filmmaker jailed for alleged espionage in Cambodia claimed he was arrested without a warrant yesterday, as he was hauled to court for questioning. James Ricketson, 68, was arrested on June 3, a day after he was spotted flying a drone over an opposition election rally. He was held for almost a week before being charged with gathering information that could jeopardise Cambodia’s national security – a crime that carries a 10-year prison term. “They arrested me without a warrant, and they do not allow me to meet my lawyer,” Ricketson told reporters at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

UK to maintain Cambodia’s duty-free access

A crane unloads containers from a docked ship at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.

The British government has attempted to assuage the fears of least developed countries (LDCs) including Cambodia by assuring them that they will retain their trade privileges to the United Kingdom following the country’s exit from the European Union, something the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned could put Cambodia’s critical garment and footwear industry on shaky footing. A statement released on Sunday said that despite Brexit, the UK would continue to commit to protect its current trade relations with LDCs, as well as building on existing trade agreements with the world’s poorest countries.

Opposition name smeared by ruling party

Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, seen here speaking at an event last year, recently accused the opposition party of stealing the name ‘Cambodia National Rescue Party’.

The ruling party seems to have a new target in its campaign to criticise the opposition party, taking aim at the very name of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Legal Documentation Centre on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin reportedly accused the CNRP of lifting its name from his now-defunct Khmer Rescue newspaper. “The opposition party stole the name to [make their own], but it was my group’s newspaper,” Chhin was quoted as saying by pro-government media source Fresh News. Prime Minister Hun Sen himself first brought up the issue last week.

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

Comfrel Executive Director Koul Panha speaks to the press at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

As the National Election Committee launched into the recount proc

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