SOUTHEAST ASIA: A Rice Crisis Is Boiling

Rice is life itself in Southeast Asia, and this year there is not enough to go around. Freakishly bad weather last year has turned the region's usual bare sufficiency into severe shortage. The result: smuggling, hoarding, soaring prices and hungry people.

Thailand, a traditional supplier, has left her rice-buying neighbors in panic by halting exports to fill her own needs. China, usually an exporter, has also cut back sales because of a poor harvest last year. Because of the war, South Viet Nam must still rely heavily on buying U.S. rice.

Indonesia and the Philippines face the worst shortages, but...

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