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Water shortages spread misery along the Mekong

In Suphan Buri, rice farmer Sanan Phagnguen, 68, has started raising cattle because the drought made it impossible to grow a second crop. (Photo by Adryel Talamantes)

KHON KAEN, Thailand Trucks packed with sugar cane raise clouds of dust as they cross a flat, parched field in northeast Thailand. The stout brown stalks they carry are among the last to be harvested outside Khon Kaen, the region's largest city. But this year's crop in Asia's biggest sugar-exporting nation is leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of sugar farmers, due to a devastating drought.

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