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Cops: After Court Escape, Drug Suspect Shoots Wife, Self

American and his wife hoped to make it to Cambodia before capture in Thailand, police say

(Newser) - An American man is accused of stabbing a police officer in order to escape from a Thai court before shooting his wife and himself as authorities closed in. As of Thursday, Bart Allen Helmus and his Thai wife, Sirinapa Wisetrit, were both in serious condition in a hospital’s intensive... More »

Thai King Cleans House Over 'Extremely Evil' Acts

The royal drama continues

(Newser) - Days after demoting Thailand's first royal consort in nearly a century, King Maha Vajiralongkorn is cleaning house. Four royal guards have been fired in addition to the six palace officials let go in the aftermath of Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi 's dismissal. Two male guards who monitored palace bedrooms were... More »

Royal Drama: A Consort Is Stripped of Her Titles

Thailand's king says Sineenat Bilaskalayani was acting like a queen

(Newser) - Some serious drama is unfolding in Thailand's royal palace: The new king has just demoted and publicly castigated a young woman on whom he had bestowed the coveted ranking of royal consort. Sineenat Bilaskalayani, also known as Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, was apparently acting too much like a queen, reports Bloomberg... More »

6 Elephants Die in Attempt to Save Calf

The baby elephant slipped over a waterfall, others followed

(Newser) - A horrible story out of Thailand, where a baby elephant apparently slipped over a waterfall and six elephants ultimately died in the ensuing rescue attempt. Officials at the Khao Yai National Park say all the elephants that died Saturday fell from the "notorious" Haew Narok or "Hell's... More »

Another SE Asian Nation May Be Moving Its Capital

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is considering such a switch to provide relief to overcrowded Bangkok

(Newser) - Bangkok is beset by a slew of issues tied to overcrowding, including pollution, traffic congestion, and even sea level rise. That's led Thailand's prime minister to consider a drastic solution: moving the capital elsewhere. The two options that seem the most feasible in Prayut Chan-o-cha's mind, per... More »

86 of 147 Tigers Rescued From Temple Have Died

Authorities say inbreeding made them vulnerable

(Newser) - More than half the tigers rescued three years ago from a Buddhist temple in Thailand where they served as a popular tourist attraction have died of disease, wildlife officials said Monday. The tigers were vulnerable to illness because of inbreeding, leading to laryngeal paralysis causing respiratory failure, says national parks... More »

Thai King Makes Rare Move With Consort

Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi is the first to be named royal consort in almost a century

(Newser) - Thailand's royal palace has released photos of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his recently anointed royal consort, reports the AP , though the official website hosting the images became inaccessible within a few hours. The photos released Monday show the 67-year-old monarch and Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi in formal regalia as well as... More »

Days Before Coronation Ceremony, a Surprise Queen

Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn announces he's been married to Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn

(Newser) - First an emperor's coronation in Japan; next, one coming up in Thailand. King Maha Vajiralongkorn—who took over the monarchy in 2016 when his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died—will finally have an official coronation ceremony Saturday, and the thrice-divorced leader has a new queen to celebrate with him.... More »

Thailand Has Message for Pair in Hiding Over 'Sea Home'

'Fight the case'

(Newser) - Chad Elwartowski and his girlfriend remain in hiding, possibly in Thailand, after that country's government accused them of building a "sea home" that violates the country's sovereignty. It's a charge that can carry a death sentence, and on Friday, a Thai official urged the couple to... More »

Couple in Hiding After Floating Home Is Raided

'We just want to live,' says Chad Elwartowski

(Newser) - A US man and his girlfriend wanted to be "seasteading" pioneers. Instead they're now in hiding and could face the death penalty. At issue is a floating home they occupied on a 65-foot platform that sits roughly 12 nautical miles off of Phuket, Thailand, in the Andaman Sea.... More »

300-Foot Fall Kills Tourist After Zipline in Thailand Snaps

Zipline, one of the longest in Asia, has been closed

(Newser) - A zipline cable snapped on a course in northern Thailand on Saturday, sending a Canadian tourist to his death. The 25-year-old, who was vacationing with his girlfriend and friends, fell more than 300 feet, authorities in Chiang Mai say, per the BBC . The attraction, Flight of the Gibbon, has been... More »

Oil Rig Workers Spot, Save a Tired Dog at Sea

'Boonrod' was 135 miles off the coast of Thailand

(Newser) - Oil workers about 135 miles off the coast of Thailand saw something in the water that shouldn't have been there: a tired dog, swimming. The pooch made it to the rig, where workers eventually hoisted him to safety, reports the Bangkok Post . It's not clear how the dog... More »

Anti-Junta Party Says It Won Thai Election

Government says vote counts won't be out until Friday

(Newser) - Thailand's election commission says it will release full vote counts from the first election since a 2014 coup on Friday as an anti-junta party claimed it won the most seats and will try to form a government.The commission said Monday it will announce the results of 350 constituency... More »

Princess Hoped to Be Next Thai PM. Then Her Brother Spoke

Country's Election Commission nixes Ubolratana Mahidol's bid after king voices disapproval

(Newser) - Thailand's Election Commission on Monday disqualified the sister of the country's king from becoming a candidate for prime minister in next month's general election, saying all royals have to be above politics and the monarchy must remain politically neutral. The commission's decision came after her brother... More »

As Thai Elections Approach, a Princess and a 'Game Changer'

Royals aren't supposed to run for prime minister, but Ubolratana Mahidol is changing that

(Newser) - A Thai political party on Friday named a princess as its nominee to be the next prime minister, upending a tradition of the palace eschewing politics and upsetting all predictions about what might happen in next month's elections. The selection of Princess Ubolratana Mahidol by the Thai Raksa Chart... More »

Saudi Teen Leaves Twitter After Death Threats

Australia and Canada talking with Thai officials about resettling Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun

(Newser) - Canada and Australia are in talks with the UN refugee agency to accept a Saudi asylum seeker who fled alleged abuse from her family. Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, told reporters the UN was accelerating the case, though he gave no indication of when the process would be... More »

Saudi Teen Who Fled Family Granted Refugee Status

Next stop, Australia?

(Newser) - A Saudi Arabian teenager who barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and pleaded for the world's help has won her fight to be treated as a refugee. The United Nations high commissioner for refugees assessed Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, on Wednesday and determined that she is a legitimate... More »

Saudi Teen Barricaded in Hotel Room Wins Reprieve

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun begs Thai officials not to send her home, saying she'll be killed

(Newser) - A young Saudi Arabian woman who barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok, saying that her life will be in danger if authorities send her back to her family, has won a reprieve. Thailand authorities will allow her to stay, at least temporarily, while they investigate her case,... More »

She Was Teaching in Thailand. Suddenly, She Couldn't Move

Family of 22-year-old Caroline Bradner trying to get her home after Guillain-Barre syndrome diagnosis

(Newser) - Caroline Bradner traveled nearly 9,000 miles to "teach English, to travel, and make a difference in this world." Now the family of the 22-year-old Virginian is trying to get her home after she was suddenly stricken by a rare disorder that left her paralyzed from the neck... More »

Men in a Golf Cart Tried to Cross a River. Their Wives Hit Them

Tragic drowning of tourists in Thailand

(Newser) - A Christmas Day outing at a Thai golf course ended in tragedy for two South Korean tourists who were visiting with their wives. The BBC reports that 76-year-old Jaseoong Ha and 68-year-old Jun Yong Sung drowned in a freak accident Tuesday as they tried to cross the Nan River in... More »

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