The week's news at a glance.
The Laotian government has begun inviting Hmong fighters who fled to the mountains in 1975 to lay down their weapons and rejoin society. During the Vietnam War, the CIA trained some 35,000 Hmong, a minority in Laos, as a secret army to fight the communists. After the war, when communists took over Laos, thousands of Hmong who escaped across the border to Thailand were airlifted to the U.S., but many others had to hide in the jungles. The government has finally implemented an unofficial amnestyat least partly because the U.S. has offered to normalize trade relations with Laos if the country stops persecuting the remaining Hmong. So far, several hundred Hmong have emerged from hiding.