Development plan for robotics gets nod in Thailand

By Chatrudee Theparat

Thailand’s cabinet has approved a robotics development plan as the state pushes to enhance a 200-billion-baht (US$6 billion) investment scheme for the industry over the next five years.

The cabinet also approved a slew of measures to support the development of robotics and other targeted industries to keep up with the Thailand 4.0 policy.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the measures are aimed at encouraging the manufacturing and service sectors to…

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Road accident in Thailand saves 88 pangolins

By Supapong Chaolan

An accident at traffic lights in Thailand’s Kanchanadit district has proved the salvation of 88 protected pangolins probably intended for use in traditional medicines, and by restaurants, in China.

Kanchanadit police station received a report a crash involving three vehicles at traffic lights, with the driver at fault quickly fleeing the scene. 

The drivers of the other two vehicles, a pickup truck and a sedan, said they had stopped at the…

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Chiang Mai turning used coconuts into compost

By Cheewin Sattha

Fragrant young coconuts are a popular drink with local people and tourists in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, but disposing of the emptied nuts has long been a costly problem – until the municipal office recently began recycling them as compost.

About 10 tonnes of the shells and husks of young coconuts are discarded in the district every day after people enjoy the refreshing liquid inside them, usually through straws inserted in a hole cut at the top.

It had been costing…

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‘Leaning’ tower of Bangkok sparks panic

Online reporters and Kanana Katharangsiporn

A social media alert that a high-rise under construction near Bangkok’s Ploenchit intersection appeared to be leaning over stirred brief panic on Tuesday, but it was just the unusual design being revealed as the contractor removed the covering.

A Twitter user posted photos of the Pathumwan building with a hashtag for JS100 traffic radio, saying that it appeared to be leaning towards the adjacent high-rise condominium building, Noble…

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Thai police’s joke mistress memo goes viral

By Prasit Tangprasert and Wassayog Ngamkham

Police in a Thai city have said that a sergeant’s memo saying he had to miss a daily national anthem session in order to take his mistress on a business trip was a practical joke played by his colleagues.

The memo, dated Sunday and written by Pol Sen Sgt Maj Amnuay Waifah of Soeng Sang police station in Nakhon Ratchasima to his boss, has been widely circulated on social media.

It says he decided not to attend the morning gathering…

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Lazy, fat macaque in Thailand for release after strict diet

An obese long-tailed macaque rescued from a lazy gluttonous life of limitless food from over-generous tourists to Thailand has shed over two kilogrammes since being placed on a diet and is now ready for release back into the wild.
Officials of the Wildlife Conservation Office were on Thursday preparing to return the 15-year-old primate to Khun Kala Monument, an attraction known for its horde of long-tailed macaques, in Bangkok’s seaside district of Bang Khun Thian, Thai media…

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Myanmar police seize 30 million speed pills

Myanmar authorities have seized 30 million methamphetamine pills and arrested four suspects in the border town of Tachileik in Shan State, opposite Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai.

The three men and a teenage girl were arrested when narcotics suppression officers searched a building in the town on Tuesday afternoon. They found 85 sacks containing a total of 30 million speed pills, according to a source at the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau. 

They also sized three pickup trucks,…

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4.2m meth tabs, 26kg crystal meth, 40kg ketamine seized in Thai capital

Drugs with a combined street value of more than 100 million baht (US$2.99 million) were seized and a suspected dealer was detained for questioning in a raid carried out at a luxury rental house in Ramkhamhaeng area of Bangkok late Monday night, local police said.

The joint operation by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) and the Patrol and Special Operation Division (PSOD) – also known as the 191 police – took place at about 11.30pm on Monday at a rental house on Ramkhamhaeng Road in Min…

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Disgraced monk arrives in Bangkok to face charges

By Teddy Fredrickson

Disgraced former monk Nen Kham arrived in Bangkok from the United States on Wednesday night with a team of prosecutors and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials.
Wirapol Sukphol, 38, formerly Nen Kham, was escorted from California on an airliner to Tokyo and was switched to Thai Airways International flight TG677 for the final leg to Bangkok.

He wore Buddhist robes despite having been dismissed from the clergy.

DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang…

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Thai police to charge prankster ‘My Mate Nate’

Police in Thailand will charge online prankster Nathan Bartling, 24, over putting coins on the rail tracks for trains to run over and making a cat fight a scorpion on his YouTube channel “My Mate Nate”.

Police Colonel Alongkorn Sirisongkram, chief of the Prawet police, said on Tuesday Mr Bartling would be charged with trespassing under a 1921 law on railways and highways and with cruelty to animals.

Mr Bartling has been told to report to Prawet police to acknowledge the…

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Jet-setting monk being brought back to Thailand

Disgraced former monk Nen Kham, wanted in Thailand on arrest warrants for public fraud and sex with underage girls, will be escorted back from the US to Thailand, arriving on Wednesday night, to face charges.

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Paisit Wongmuang said on Tuesday that Wirapol Sukphol, 38, formerly Nen Kham, had not filed an appeal after a California court approved his extradition.

A team of prosecutors and DSI officials were dispatched to the US to bring Mr…

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Father arrested in Thailand at drug party with year-old son

Police raided a drug party in the southern Thailand business hub of Hat Yai and arrested six partygoers, including a man who had his baby son with him.

Police Capt Thanarak Borriraknarakul, chief of the anti-drug operation, said methamphetamine pills and crystal meth were found in the room at the Pink Resort, in the municipal area, during the pre-dawn raid.

Police detained six people after their urine samples tested positive for the drugs. They were charged with possession of illegal…

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Young Thai teen boxes to support her grandmother

By Phubet Faithes

A 14-year-old girl taught Muay Thai by her father is boxing successfully in competitions in her home province and nearby, helping support her grandmother and pay off the family house.

Wijitra “Ann” Boon-in, a student at Ban Dan Lan Hoi Wittaya School in Ban Dan Lan Hoi district, said on Wednesday her late father was a Muay Thai boxer. He had passed his love of the sport on to her and began training her when she was in Grade six. She started fighting in the…

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Better munching with insects

By Nillapat Sanchaichana

In the face of impending food scarcity, edible insects are a newfangled protein alternative. Modern food science and technology allows culinary creativity for bug-eating beyond what one can imagine. From the creepy crawly that may not seem appetising, today we have chocolate-coated crickets, scorpion vodka, crispy silkworms and cricket snacks in myriad flavours ranging from seaweed to barbecue to cheese.

These products are increasingly crawling up the shelves….

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Thai customs puts 300 vehicles on auction block

The Customs Department in Thailand went ahead with the auctioning of 300 confiscated cars and motorcycles on Thursday, a week after the original auction was abruptly cancelled due to issues over registration of the vehicles raised by the country’s Department of Land Transport (DLT).

The department last week cancelled the auction after the DLT raised fears it could be used to launder illegally imported cars. It also asked if any of the vehicles were still subject to court…

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Cigarette buying age in Thailand raised to 20

A toughened tobacco control law takes effect in Thailand Today, raising the legal age to buy cigarettes to 20 and barring tobacco firms from indirect advertisements via corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Welcoming the amended law regulating tobacco consumption, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said yesterday the 2017 Tobacco Control Act was designed to cut the number of teenage smokers while protecting non-smokers’ health.

The stricter law was…

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Wedding off, then on in Thailand again as dowry dispute ends

By Prasit Tangprasert

A groom in the who on Saturday walked away with his relatives from a wedding following a dispute over the dowry, has agreed to pay for the expenses incurred and return to marry his girlfriend after the embarrassment has died down, said the bride’s father Boonsuan Wareesri.
The planned wedding at Ban Phutsa village in tambon Rangkayai in Thailand’s Phimai district turned into an embarrassment after the groom, Adirek Chadachan, and his relatives arrived from…

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An unlikely star is born from Thailand’s pig problem

By Apipar Norapoompipat

Pattanadon Taesakul didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he had the bright idea of buying a miniature piglet. After coming across a booth selling baby pigs at an electronics expo in the Muang Thong Thani suburb north of Bangkok, the 25-year-old tool shop owner was smitten by their cute and cuddly appearance. Promised that they wouldn’t grow any larger, he bought one for 3,000 baht (US$88) and named her Junior.

Raising her in his home and…

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Ten-year old in Thailand asks provincial governor for help and gets it

By Chinnawat Singha

A 10-year-old student’s letter describing her family’s poverty and fear their ramshackle home would fall down in a strong wind has touched the heart of the governor in central Thailand, and help is forthcoming.
Siriporn Suthinphueak, a student of Prathom 5 in Wat Mahavanaram School in tambon Hua Ror of Muang district, addressed her handwritten plea to governor Supachai Iamsuwant.
She has two younger brothers, aged eight and four, and they live mostly with…

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Man electrocuted grabbing bag of cash from power lines in Thailand

By Manit Sanubboon
A man was electrocuted while trying to recover a bag of money tied to a balloon snagged on high-voltage power lines on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred beside Suwansorn Road near Phra Prong village in Kabin Buri district.
After rushing to the scene, Kabin Buri police found a man, identified as Ratthawut Phanompha, 20, lying unconscious near a 20-metre-high power pole opposite a local shrine. A 10-metre long bamboo stick with a sickle tied around one end, and a…

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