LAOS: The Puritans

A key question: Who runs the land of a million elephants?

Three years ago, Communist Pathet Lao guerrillas emerged from their jungle hideouts and quietly but firmly seized power in the languid nation once known as "the land of a million elephants." Since then, the People's Democratic Republic of Laos has been off limits to most Western journalists. Among the handful of U.S. reporters who have been allowed to visit the country is TIME Hong Kong Correspondent Richard Bernstein. His report:

The thing that is most notably different about Laos today: there are...

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