Leopards, panthers, bear, other animals saved from luggage at Thai airport
A baby panther receives veterinary treatment after being rescued from luggage at a Bangkok airport Friday.
May 13th, 2011
09:13 AM ET

Leopards, panthers, bear, other animals saved from luggage at Thai airport

Thai police confiscated two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear, one macaque monkey and one marmoset from the luggage of a man as he tried to board a flight from Bangkok to Dubai on Friday, Thai authorities and an anti-trafficking group reported.

The animals were alive and received immediate veterinary care, according to the group, the FREELAND Foundation, which monitored the arrest.

The suspect, Noor Mahmoodr, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, was charged with possessing endangered wildlife and smuggling endangered wildlife, said Col. Kiattipong Khaosum-arng of the Thai nature crime police. Mahmoodr was released on bail pending trial, police said.

“We believe Mahmoodr has done this several times already, and there is a network involved in this case,” Kiattipong told CNN.

He said police received a tip that the smuggling attempt would happen Friday morning and were waiting at the airport to make an arrest.

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Filed under: Animals • Bears • Crime • Thailand • World
Thais claim squirt-gun fight record
Revelers spray each other with squirt guns at a Bangkok shopping mall Wednesday, marking the start of the Thai New Year.
April 14th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

Thais claim squirt-gun fight record

Revelers in Thailand celebrated the Thai New Year on Wednesday by dousing each with water, in one case in record numbers.

Bangkok's Central World Shopping Plaza and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration claimed the Guinness World Record for a water-pistol fight, with 3,471 participants spraying each other for 10 minutes, according to a report in The Nation. The old record was 2,671 squirters for five minutes in Spain in 2007, the report said.

The Thai New Year, known as Songkran, begins on April 13 and last three days, although local celebrations can begin sooner and end later. Thais offer Buddhist prayers and city dwellers visit their hometowns during the holiday, but the joy of drenching each other is the holiday highlight. Take a look at water fights around the country from the Bangkok Post.

And Myanmar has its own New Year water celebration, specifically motorists getting doused on a Yangon road. Watch the iReport here.

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Filed under: Thailand • World
Longest kiss record: 32 hours and counting
Fourteen couples started the longest-kiss marathon in Pattaya, Thailand.
February 14th, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Longest kiss record: 32 hours and counting

Their lips locked for more than 32 hours, seven couples were still in the running Monday to claim the title of world's longest kiss and $6,500 in prizes.

Fourteen couples began the marathon smooch in Pattaya, Thailand, on Sunday, and seven were still in the running Monday afternoon, The Nation in Bangkok reported.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Holidays • Thailand
November 16th, 2010
12:58 PM ET

Suspected arms dealer arrives in New York

 

Viktor Bout with Thai authorities in October.

Alleged international arms dealer Viktor Bout, inspiration for a lead character in the film "Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage, was extradited to the United States on terrorism charges Tuesday. The mustachioed Russian arrived in New York on a U.S. chartered jet from Thailand.

Bout had been held in a Thai jail since March 2008 when he was arrested in a sting operation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Agents posed as members of Colombia's rebel group FARC.

Bout is accused of supplying weapons to war zones from Sierra Leone to Afghanistan. He says  he's innocent.

The Russian government is upset about the extradition and has called the move "illegal." Russian officials blamed the United States for exacting "unprecedented political pressure" on Thai courts.

Bout has rarely given interviews, though one example stands out which was published in 2003 in the New York Times. Journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun wrote a book about Bout. In August, Farah wrote in Foreign Policy about why Bout may not stand trial.

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Filed under: Colombia • New York • Terrorism • Thailand • Viktor Bout
November 8th, 2010
10:27 AM ET

Thousands flee Myanmar into Thailand

Thai troops run for cover as fire from the Myanmar side of the Thai-Myanmar border spilled into Thailand on Monday.

About 10,000 people from Myanmar fled across the border into Thailand on Monday to escape fighting between Myanmar government forces and a splinter group of rebels of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, military and border officials told CNN.

The rebels and Myanmar forces clashed over control of the town of Myawaddy, which sits across the Moei River from Mae Sot, Thailand. The Thailand-Burma Friendship bridge connects the two towns.

Lt. Col. Vannathit Wongwai, commander of Thailand's 3rd Region Army, said Myanmar military officials told him they had retaken control of Myawaddy at 5 p.m. local time after bringing in 500 reinforcements to battle the Karen splinter group. FULL POST

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Filed under: Myanmar • Thailand • World
July 27th, 2010
10:41 PM ET

Group: Dams would doom Mekong River's giant catfish

The Mekong giant catfish is the world's third-largest freshwater fish species, the WWF says.


Dams proposed for the Mekong River in Southeast Asia would drive the world’s third-largest freshwater fish species to virtual extinction, according to a World Wildlife Fund report

Any of the 11 hydropower dams planned for the river’s mainstream south of China would prevent the Mekong giant catfish from migrating to its spawning grounds, the WWF said Tuesday in a news release. 

The catfish, with a maximum length and weight of nearly 10 feet and about 770 pounds, are too big to swim across such dams, said Dekila Chungyalpa, director of WWF’s Greater Mekong Program. 

FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Cambodia • Laos • Thailand • Vietnam • World
July 25th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Bangkok shopping area bombed

A bomb exploded Sunday in front of a busy shopping area in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least one man, authorities said. Ten others were wounded an taken to three hospitals, according to a government emergency center. The 51-year-old man died while hospitalized for his injuries, authorities said.

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Filed under: Thailand
May 19th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Thai protests, primaries, juvenile sentences

A Thai anti-government protester runs beside a burning shop Wednesday in Bangkok.

Thai protests The deadly standoff between the Thai government and protesters reached a boiling point Wednesday as security forces surged into Bangkok's Lumpini Park, with at least five people dead in the largest offensive on protesters since demonstrations began. Residents in the capital took to rooftops and anxiously watched news reports, while some fled with precious keepsakes as they feared a mini-civil war was coming. For those who decided to stay and are now trapped in Bangkok, there is only one thing left to do: hunker down.

Midterm election primaries Voters sent mixed signals in Tuesday's primaries in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. They tossed out a longtime senator, picked a Tea Party-backed candidate and forced a Democratic senator into a runoff.  CNN's political analysts give their take on what it all means and how it may affect midterm elections in November.

FULL POST

May 19th, 2010
06:51 AM ET

Thai forces surge into protest area as standoff comes to a head

Fires burn downtown Bangkok after Thai security forces pushed back against protesters.

The deadly standoff between the Thai government and protesters reached a boiling point Wednesday as security forces surged into Lumpini Park, with at least five people dead in the largest offensive on protesters since demonstrations began.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand • Uncategorized
May 18th, 2010
11:45 PM ET

Bangkok waits to see who blinks

Dozens of troops waited in alleyways before dawn preparing to make a move toward the protesters. The government had warned the Red Shirts on Monday to get out by 3 p.m. local time.

On Monday the crackdown never surfaced. Then a glimmer of hope: The streets were relatively quiet as talk of negotiations surfaced on Tuesday, giving weary Bangkok residents a bit of hope this would be resolved soon and peacefully.

That didn't happen.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand
May 18th, 2010
06:50 PM ET

Troops begin massing in central Bangkok

Several hundred military troops began massing in central Bangkok early Wednesday - the largest movement of forces since clashes broke out last Thursday between opposition protesters and government security officials.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand
May 17th, 2010
10:43 AM ET

Bangkok residents: We feel like hostages

Gunshots and explosions ring out. Soldiers, police and army trucks rumble through neighborhoods in the Thai capital; a plane flies overhead. Businesses are shuttered as barbed wire lines the streets.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand • World
May 17th, 2010
07:52 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil spill, Thai protests, pesticides and ADHD

Gulf oil spill – Almost a month after an oil well ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, BP says its latest attempt at capping the gushing crude is working, while the Obama administration vows it won't rest until the company cleans up the spill and addresses its impact. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and BP America Chairman Lamar McKay will appear before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at 2:30 p.m. Monday to assess the response to what some lawmakers are calling a "catastrophe."

Thai protesters Thousands of anti-government protesters remain on the streets of downtown Bangkok, Thailand, as a deadline issued by Thai authorities to evacuate the area passes. On the scene in Bangkok, CNN's Sara Sidner reports tensions have reached a boiling point between both sides battling over the current political crisis. In the wake of the violence embassies have been closed and tourists have been advised to stay away from Bangkok. And to make matters worse, the Thai finance minister reported the protests have begun impacting the economy and have had an "incalculable impact on investor confidence."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Haiti • Health • Thailand
May 14th, 2010
12:05 PM ET

At least 7 dead, 101 injured in Thai anti-government clashes

A police truck burns in the background of anti-government protests in Bangkok, Thailand.

[Updated at 12:05 p.m.] At least seven people have died and 101 have been injured Friday in clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces in Bangkok, Thailand, hospital officials report.  FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand
May 14th, 2010
05:28 AM ET

World update: One dead, two seriously hurt in Thai violence

Red shirt demonstrators set off fireworks in the red shirt camp in Bangkok on Friday.

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Friday:

Thailand protests - Violence erupted in Thailand on Friday, a day after an opposition leader was shot in downtown Bangkok. Protesters took to the streets amid gunfire. One person died from clashes Friday and two are in critical condition, a local hospital director said.  All three were shot. More people were injured, including a journalist from a French TV station shot in the leg. Read the full story

Oil spill - A U.S. congressman says he will launch a formal inquiry into how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after learning of independent estimates that are significantly higher than the amount BP officials have provided.

FULL POST

May 13th, 2010
12:16 PM ET

Thai protester shot, killed during violent clashes with police

An anti-government protester throws a rock at Thai riot police.

[Updated at 12:13 p.m.] An anti-government protester was shot and killed Thursday as a tense standoff continued on the streets of Bangkok.

Gunfire rang through the streets as the situation became increasingly volatile.

Earlier, the leader of the Red Shirt movement, Seh Daeng, was shot in the head while being interviewed, according to a journalist who witnessed the shooting. He was in critical condition.

iReport: Are you there? Send photos, videos

What are the Thai protests about?

Read full CNN.com story

[Updated at 10:50 a.m.] Video footage taken just after the shooting in Bangkok showed the leader of anti-government protests lying on the ground, dressed in camouflage, as frantic protesters attempted to move him and get help.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand
May 4th, 2010
07:52 AM ET

Thai 'red shirt' protesters appear to accept deal

Anti-government protesters who have been blocking off central Bangkok appear to have reached a deal with the government, their leaders told demonstrators Tuesday.

FULL POST

April 26th, 2010
12:38 PM ET

Thai king speaks for first time in political crisis

For the first time amid the political upheaval raging in Thailand, the nation's revered king spoke out Monday, calling on new judges to help stabilize the country.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand • World
April 22nd, 2010
07:28 PM ET

Thailand grenade attacks kill at least 2, wound dozens

Some of the injured are evacuated from a blast site in Bangkok Thursday.

[Updated at 7:28 p.m.] Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 1:05 p.m.] At least two people were killed in a string of grenade attacks in Thailand's capital that wounded dozens of others, the country's deputy prime minister said Thursday.

iReport: Are you there? Share stories, photos or video of the scene.

[Updated at 11:22 a.m.] The Thai prime minister called an emergency meeting Thursday after five grenade explosions near anti-government protesters injured several people.

Estimates of the number of injured ranged from 13 to 30 as a result of explosions near a train station on Silom Road in the Thai capital. iReport: See photos from protest

Read CNN.com story about the tense standoff in Thailand

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva plans to meet with emergency officials and top military leaders to discuss the explosions, said Panitan Wattanayakornn, a government spokesman.

The blasts happened near a train station where anti-government protesters known as the Red Shirts are gathered, said Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd, spokesman for the Center for Resolutions under Emergency Situation.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Thailand • World
April 16th, 2010
05:19 PM ET

Thai PM hands security control to military

Thailand's prime minister handed security operations entirely to the country's military Friday after three anti-government protest leaders' bold escape from a hotel surrounded by security forces.

"The important problem now is the terrorism," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said, referring to what authorities say is a terrorist group mixing among protesters. He spoke in a televised broadcast after three days of silence amid the tumult in his country.

FULL POST

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