Bangkok

Thai monks start hunger strike to protest high-profile temple raid

Seven Buddhist monks began a hunger strike on Wednesday to protest against Thai authorities' continued occupation of their temple complex, as a high-profile search for a former abbot hit the one-week mark with no sign of the target.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

Thai monks clash with police on fifth day of high-profile temple raid

Several monks were injured early Monday in clashes with Thai police at a Buddhist temple where thousands of officers have been searching for a former abbot wanted on money laundering and land encroachment charges.

Senior US commander urges return to democracy in Thailand

The United States' Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B. Harris on Tuesday urged Thailand to return to democracy. Harris was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 36th Cobra Gold multilateral military exercise, which is co-hosted by the Thai and US armies.

Thai junta pushes through media regulation bill despite protests

Thailand's National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) on Monday insisted on pushing through the controversial media regulation bill criticized by local media as a form of state control.

Czech sex offender suspected of spreading HIV deported from Thailand

Thai police have deported a Czech national believed to be infected with HIV and wanted by Interpol for sex-related crimes, an official at the country's main airport confirmed on Tuesday.

85 dead in flood-battered southern Thailand as heavy rain persists

Flash floods in southern Thailand left 85 people dead and affected more 1.7 million others since December, the country's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said Monday.

Crackdown on cheap tours to dampen Chinese New Year in Thailand

Tourist arrivals from China to Thailand during this year's Chinese New Year are forecast to drop by 9 per cent compared to last year due to the Thai government's crackdown on cheap tour packages launched last year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said on Monday.

Thai king requests change to constitution; election delay possible

Thai King Rama X has requested a change to the draft constitution, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of the ruling military junta said on Tuesday, which could delay this year's planned election.

Floods kill 25, impact more than one million in southern Thailand

Flash floods in southern Thailand have left 25 dead and affected over one million others since the start of the year, as heavy rains caused the worst floods in the region in decades.

Thailand moves closer to death penalty for corrupt politicians

Thailand on Monday moved one step closer to approving the death penalty for politicians found guilty of corruption.

19 dead in flood-battered southern Thailand

Flash floods in southern Thailand have left 19 dead and affected nearly a million others since New Year's day, the country's Crisis Prevention Centre said Sunday.

Thailand denies fake rice export to US following viral Facebook post

The Thai government on Wednesday denied rice exported from Thailand contains plastic, following a Facebook post from the United States that went viral online claiming rice from Thailand is mixed with plastic.

Crash kills 25 in Thailand, amid soaring road accident casualties

A pickup truck and a passenger van were set ablaze after crashing on Monday in Thailand's Chonburi province, killing 25 passengers and injuring 2 others, police told dpa.

Road accidents kill 42 in Thailand on first day of watch period

Forty-two people were killed and 565 others were injured in road accidents in Thailand on Thursday, the first day of an annual police watch period, an official said.

Facebook denies error in Safety Check tool for Bangkok bomb scare

Facebook on Wednesday denied the false crisis notification - the so-called Safety Check - for a Bangkok explosion the previous day was made in error.

Police withdraw from stand-off at controversial Thai temple

Thai police on Tuesday called off a raid on a controversial Buddhist temple until the new year, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha told reporters on Tuesday.

Hacktivists leak Thai officials' personal data in protest at new law

A group of hacktivists on Thursday leaked the personal data of at least 3,000 Thai police officers and exposed the Identity Card information of 3,000 government officials in an ongoing cyber protest against a newly passed cybercrime law.

Truck ploughs into dozens of vehicles in upscale Bangkok district

A truck ploughed through a police checkpoint in an upscale Bangkok neighbourhood on Wednesday, injuring at least 18 people and smashing dozens of vehicles, local media reported.

Scientists discover 163 new species in Asia's Mekong region

Scientists discovered 163 new species in Asia's Greater Mekong region last year, according to a report released Monday by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Thai prime minister: "no exception" for BBC on royal insults

Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-ocha said in a press conference Wednesday there is no exception for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in regards to being prosecuted for lese-majesty after the broadcaster published online a controversial biography on Thailand's new King Rama X.

Southern Thailand's floods kill 14, affect half a million

Floods in southern Thailand have killed 14 people and affected nearly 520,000 since December 1, a disaster official told dpa on Monday.

Thai anti-junta activist arrested for allegedly defaming new king

A prominent Thai student activist was arrested early Saturday for allegedly defaming the country's newly proclaimed king by sharing a biography written about him by BBC Thai on his Facebook page.

Thailand's crown prince becomes King Rama X

Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed King Rama X in a pre-recorded address broadcast on television late Thursday.

New law proposal could strengthen Thailand's national cyber security

Thai authorities may launch a national cyber security committee that will see the junta leader and the military making calls on issues considered harmful to the country's internet and digital infrastructure system.

Bus crash death toll rises to 18 in northern Thailand

The death toll in a northern Thailand bus crash has risen to 18, police told dpa late Tuesday.

Leaked video sparks uproar about violence in Thailand's military

A leaked video of a Thai military sergeant violently caning a recruit continued to cause uproar Sunday, shining a spotlight on training methods employed by Thailand's military.

Thai government to subsidise more rice as all lobby for farm support

The Thai government Monday unveiled two new rice subsidy programmes worth half a billion dollars, part of politicians' attempts to build support among farmers dismayed by a crisis of low rice prices.

Thai junta introduces new rice subsidy despite failure of last one

The Thai junta on Tuesday introduced a new rice subsidy programme similar to the scheme introduced by the government they overthrew.

Chats will not be monitored in Thailand, LINE app says

Private chats on the mobile phone application LINE will not be monitored, a company representative told dpa Monday, following the Thai government's request for the company to monitor and report content deemed to violate the lese-majesty law.

Tourist activities in Thailand to go ahead amid mourning period

Thai authorities are offering free entry to certain museums, archaeological sites and historical parks across the country until the end of January 2017 to attract more visitors to the country, local media reported.

Thailand's new king to be named soon as funeral rites continue

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hinted Tuesday that there could be a swift succession to the Thai throne, beginning as early as 15 days from now, as royal funeral rites continue to be performed.

Coronation of next Thai king could be delayed by one year

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the coronation of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn could be delayed by one year, following his request for time to grieve for his late father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Regent named as Thailand enters second day of mourning

Former Thai prime minister and Head of Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda has assumed the role of regent for the country's vacant throne in accordance with the constitution, the Thai government confirmed late Friday. 

Royal procession carries late Thai king to Grand Palace

A royal procession carrying the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej travelled from Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace on Friday, passing tens of thousands of people paying tribute to their beloved monarch for the last time.

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, world's longest reigning monarch, dies

Following the death of the world's longest reigning monarch, Thailand faces an uncertain future. The king's unifying power, derived from a common touch and his devotion to Buddhism and the poor, held the country together through decades of political turmoil.

Thailand's ailing monarch remains in unstable condition at hospital

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej remains in unstable condition at a Bangkok hospital where he is on a ventilator while being treated for liver problems and a blood infection, the royal palace said in a statement Wednesday.

Thailand's floods kill three, submerges tens of thousand of homes

Monsoon floods in Thailand have killed three people and submerged more than 68,000 households, officials said on Friday.

Thailand to test pregnant women in Zika-prone areas

Pregnant women living in areas of Thailand prone to Zika outbreaks are to be tested for the virus, the Thai Health Ministry said on Monday.

Thailand says two newborns diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly

Thailand on Friday confirmed that two newborns have been diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus for the first time in South-East Asia.

Tens of thousands of households crippled by flooding in Thailand

The seasonal monsoon has caused flooding in many parts of Thailand, affecting over 20,000 households, with some of the country's top tourist destinations submerged in water, the irrigation department told dpa on Tuesday.

Bangkok ranked world's number 1 travel destination, topping London

Bangkok is the world's top destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals, according to an annual ranking released Thursday.

Death toll rises to 27 in Thailand ferry accident

The death toll from a ferry accident in central Thailand has risen to 27 after a 3-year-old boy was found dead in the river, officials said.

Death toll rises to 15 in Thailand boat accident

The death toll from a boat accident in central Thailand has risen to 15 after one victim died in hospital, officials said.

Pokemon characters recruited for police briefing in Thailand

The mobile game craze Pokemon Go made an unlikely appearance at a police briefing in Thailand on Saturday, thanks to a ruling from the country's prime minister.

Bangkok to launch special police squad to crack down on Pokemon Go

Bangkok City Police will launch a mobile police squad aimed at catching drivers playing the popular mobile application Pokemon Go, local media reported Monday. 

Former Thai premier denies role in bomb attacks

Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra denied on Friday that she or her political allies were responsible for last week's deadly bomb attack after accusations by analysts and on social media. 

Thai military court approves arrest warrant for bombing suspect

A Thai military court on Tuesday approved an arrest warrant for a suspect believed to be involved in last week's deadly bombing attacks in five provinces, local media reported.

Single mastermind behind Thai bomb attacks, police say

Thai police said on Sunday that one mastermind was behind the recent wave of bomb attacks across the country.

Deadly bombings in Thailand likely politically motivated, police say

A series of deadly bombings across central and southern Thailand that left four people dead and more than 30 injured was likely triggered by the political situation in the country, Thai police said Friday.

Thai police chief blames "local elements" for multiple bomb attacks

A series of bomb attacks across central and southern Thailand that killed 4 people and injured over 30 others, including foreign tourists, was likely to be the work of "local elements," Thai police said Friday. 

Security heightened after "coordinated" bomb attacks in Thailand

Security was increased at key locations in Thailand Friday after a series of bomb attacks in central and southern areas killed at least four people and injured many more, including foreigners.

Explosions at Thai tourist seaside resort kills 1 injures 22

At least one person is dead and 22 more are injured after two explosions late Thursday at a Thai tourist resort, officials said.

Thai junta chief: elections set for November 2017

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday that elections will be held in November 2017 after a junta-backed constitution was approved in a referendum on the weekend. 

Thailand approves military-drafted constitution in referendum

A majority of voters in Thailand on Sunday approved a military-drafted constitution in a referendum, paving the way for elections in 2017. 

Thais urged to vote on military-drafted charter

Thais were urged on Sunday by both major political parties and the ruling government to go to polls to decide on a junta-drafted constitution, the first democratic vote in the country since the military took power in May 2014.

Pokemon no go at Thai polling stations

Thailand's military government has said that Pokemon Go players should refrain from playing the game near polling stations as Thais vote on a constitutional referendum on Sunday. 

South China Sea dispute to dominate ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting

Foreign ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were to meet Sunday in Vientiane, with the South China Sea dispute expected to dominate.

Thai junta issues order allowing closure of broadcasters

Thailand's military government gave state regulators the ability to close television and radio stations, according to details of a new executive order published Thursday. 

Report: No joint ASEAN statement over South China Sea ruling

The 10 members of the Association of South-East Asians Nations have abandonned attempts to agree a joint position on this week's ruling dismissing China's claims over the South China Sea, a media report said.

Island or reef? The legal question on the South China Sea formations

An international arbitration tribunal Tuesday upheld almost all of a claim by the Philippines against China's claim to a large swathe of the South China Sea.

Thai news outlet searched by junta for subversive material

Thai authorities searched the premises media outlet Prachathai Tuesday, two days after one of its journalists was arrested, it tweeted.

Thai junta denies targeting media after journalist arrest

Thailand's military government denied accusations on Monday that it was deliberately targeting the media one day after a local journalist was arrested for possessing documents deemed critical of the proposed constitution.

South Korea to ban Volkswagen vehicles suspected of falsified reports

South Korea is to ban the sale of Volkswagen models suspected of passing the local approval process with falsified reports and will also revoke certifications, a media report said Monday.

Cambodian political analyst shot dead in Phnom Penh

Thousands of supporters were accompanying killed Cambodian political analyst Kem Ley's body to temple, where the first stages of his Buddhist funeral were to be observed Sunday evening, after he was gunned down in a Phnom Penh street earlier.

Three astronauts take off bound for International Space Station

The next three crew members of the International Space Station took off from Kazakhstan early Thursday, NASA said.

Thailand off US human trafficking blacklist despite skepticism

The US has removed Thailand from its blacklist of the worst nations for human trafficking, despite skepticism from rights groups operating within the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi diaspora visit tightly controlled by Thai junta

The visit to Thailand by Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was held under tight control by Bangkok's military government on Thursday.

Tokyo stocks tumble on Brexit fears

Japanese shares fell around 3.5 per cent on Monday as uncertainty continued to hang over Britain's referendum on its European Union membership.

Thailand marks 70th anniversary of king's accession to throne

Thailand on Thursday marked the 70th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne.

Japan protests Chinese navy ship sailing past islands

A Chinese navy ship sailed near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands early Thursday, prompting a formal diplomatic complaint from Tokyo, a news report said.

North Korea newspaper editorial praises "wise politician" Trump

North Korean state media praised US presidential candidate Donald Trump as a "far-sighted" and "wise politician," news reports said Wednesday.

Thai speedboat captain charged over fatal accident

The captain of a Thai speedboat that capsized killing at least three tourist has been arrested, police said Friday.

One killed after Rohingya escape detention camp in Thailand

A Rohingya migrant was shot by police after he and 20 others escaped from a Thai government detention camp on Monday, local officials said.

17 dead; 1 missing after dormitory fire in Thailand

At least 17 children were killed and five injured in a fire at a girls' dormitory at a school in northern Thailand, police said Monday. 

Thais march in Bangkok to protest two years of military rule

At least 100 people gathered in Bangkok on Sunday to call for more freedom as the country marked its second anniversary under military rule. 

Obama under pressure to address human rights during Vietnam visit

Activists called on US President Barack Obama to make human rights a central theme of his upcoming visit to Vietnam.

Pyongyang presses tourists for hard currency amid sanctions

North Korea is targeting foreign visitors as a source of hard currency amid increased international sanctions, news reports said Tuesday.

North Korea probably capable of fitting nuclear warhead on missile

North Korea is probably capable of fitting a nuclear warhead onto one of its existing missiles, a think tank said Monday.

Plane crash kills 12 in Papua New Guinea

A light plane crashed while trying to land in Papua New Guinea, killing 12 people, Australian officials and news reports said Thursday.

Panama Papers firm hits back after data leak

The law firm at the centre of a massive data leak, detailing how money was funnelled to shell companies in tax havens, hit back late Monday at "inaccurate" media reports about its work.

One dead, five injured in overnight bomb attacks in southern Thailand

At least one person died and five other people were injured after seven bombs exploded overnight in southern Thailand, local media reported Thursday.

Pollution-related deaths in China

Air pollution caused 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, according to the Global Burden of Disease report released by British medical journal The Lancet.

New Zealand begins final vote on new flag

New Zealand Thursday began the final vote on whether to change its current flag to a new design featuring a silver fern.

US, China say they are closer to UN resolution on North Korea

Top US and Chinese diplomats said Tuesday they had made progress on a UN resolution on North Korea, news reports said.

Death toll in Fiji cyclone climbs to 29

The death toll from the cyclone that hit Fiji over the weekend climbed to 29, local media reported Tuesday.

Beijing deploys missile system to disputed island in South China Sea

China has deployed two batteries of sophisticated surface-to-air missile launchers to a disputed island in the South China Sea.

South Korea warns of Pyongyang "collapse" over nuclear programme

South Korean President Park Geun Hye said Tuesday that Pyongyang's nuclear programme will not bolster the North Korean regime but "will only hasten its collapse," news reports said, at a time of heightened tension between the two sides.

Report: 2015 "extraordinarily safe year" for airline industry

The year 2015 was an "extraordinarily safe" one for the commercial aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Monday.

South, North Korea close joint industrial zones amid tensions

South Korea on Thursday began removing its citizens from a jointly run industrial park on the border with North Korea, a news report said.

Over 100 arrested in fishing industry crackdown in Thailand

An anti-trafficking task force focussed on the fishing industry in Thailand has arrested 102 human traffickers since it was established in May 2014, an official said Tuesday. 

China arrests 21 over alleged 7.6-billion-dollar online Ponzi scheme

Chinese authorities have arrested 21 people suspected of involvement in a 50-billion-yuan (7.6-billion-dollar) online Ponzi scheme, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

2017 election date for Thailand regardless of constitution approval

Thailand would hold elections in 2017 even if a draft-constitution did not pass a referendum, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday.

Former Australian premier Abbott to recontest parliament seat

Australia's ex-prime minister Tony Abbott will recontest his parliamentary seat in the next federal election, local media reported Monday.

Aeroplane debris found on southern Thai coast

A large piece of aircraft debris found on the south-eastern Thai coast was being investigated, media reported Sunday.

Thailand, Australia pledge anti-terrorism pact

Thailand and Australia vowed to sign an anti-terrorism pact and to cooperate in the fight against regional terrorist threats, local media reported Saturday.

UN urges Thailand to drop charges against student activists

The United Nations called on Thai authorities Friday to drop all charges against 11 student activists arrested for violating a ban on political gatherings.

Thai man gets nine years in prison for anti-monarchy Facebook post

A Thai man was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday for posting anti-monarchy messages on Facebook, his lawyer said.

Study finds under-reported disease to be endemic killer

A study has found that the bacterial disease melioidosis was responsible for the deaths of up to 89,000 people worldwide in 2015.

Seoul begins propaganda broadcasts as world weighs nuke test response

Highly sensitive propaganda broadcasts on the inter-Korean border began again Friday, a news report said, as world powers pushed for sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear test earlier this week.