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Thailand relaxes 40-year-rule mandating students have identical hairstyles

Pudding-bowl bobs and army-type cuts were for decades the only hairstyles allowed to be sported by Thai schoolchildren — but now looser rules spell new freedom for classroom coiffures. “I am embarrassed having this kind of hairstyle,” 14-year-old Visarut Rungrod told AFP, running his hand over his close-cropped head, adding…

Conservationists descend on Thailand as wildlife conference kicks off

Global conservationists will converge in Bangkok for the start of key endangered species talks on Sunday, as host Thailand faces pressure to curb rampant ivory smuggling through its territory. The plight of elephants and rhinos — threatened by poaching networks driven by insatiable demand for tusks and horn from Asian…

Asian tsunami warnings test post-2004 systems

Giant quakes off Indonesia in which five people died caused panic but little damage, with warning systems introduced after the catastrophic 2004 Asian tsunami proving successful, experts said Thursday. In the tense hours that an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch remained in effect Wednesday, Indonesian meteorologists were monitoring offshore buoys that measured the…

Drug-resistant malaria spreading rapidly in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand

Deadly malaria that is resistant to drug treatment has spread rapidly to the border between Thailand and Myanmar, raising concerns of an uncontrollable epidemic, scientists said Thursday. A pair of studies published in The Lancet and the journal Science showed how the disease is moving fast into new territory and…

Thailand bans ‘Macbeth’ adaptation

Thai censors have banned a film based on William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, saying the tale could sow “disunity” in the politically divided kingdom. In the play, a power-hungry general kills the King of Scotland to take the throne for himself. “The committee agreed that the film ‘Shakespeare Must Die’ contains material causing disunity in…

Iranian bomber misses, blows off own leg

An Iranian man was severely maimed in Thailand on Tuesday after attempting to attack police with a bomb, only to have it explode in front of him, blowing off one of his legs. An initial explosion detonated in the home he was renting, which attracted police attention. He then reportedly…

Thailand arrests suspect after US terror warning

Thai authorities said Friday they had detained a Lebanese man with suspected links to the Hezbollah militant group, after the United States warned of a terrorist threat against tourists in the kingdom. “Foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future,”…

Thai court jails U.S. citizen for royal insult

A court in Thailand on Thursday jailed a Thai-born American for two-and-a-half years for defaming the monarchy — a sentence that the United States criticised as “severe”. The conviction of Joe Wichai Commart Gordon — who appeared in court in shackles — is the latest in a series of cases…

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