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The US will award two local rights activists Monday for furthering political, economic and social opportunities for Cambodian women.

Ung Chanthol, executive director of the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center, and Ith Mathura, a lawyer at the Center for Social Development, will be honored at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh in a ceremony Monday.

The award is part of the "International Women of Courage" program, which honors emerging women leaders. The annual award program was inaugurated by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on International Women's Day this week.***

The National Election Committee began establishing procedures this week for broadcasts ahead of commune elections that will allow each of the country's 12 political parties equal time to explain their platforms.

Local radio and television will broadcast the segments beginning March 16. Meanwhile, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, a monitoring group, said in a statement that the ruling Cambodian People's Party continues to receive coverage from state and private broadcasters that give it an unfair advantage.

The findings come from a review of broadcasting media including local television and radio, Radio France International, Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America. Government spokesmen declined to comment.***