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  • Apple tells Thai activists they are targets of ‘state-sponsored attackers’

    At least 17 people including protest leaders have received alerts about devices possibly being compromised

    Thai activists who have called for reform of the monarchy are among at least 17 people in Thailand who say they have been warned by Apple that they have been targeted by “state-sponsored” attackers.

    Warnings were sent to the prominent activists Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampa, according to Panusaya’s sister May and the administrator of Arnon’s Facebook page. Panusaya and Arnon are in pre-trial detention after leading demonstrations calling for the power of the monarchy to be curbed.

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    25 November 25 2021
    Thailand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/25/apple-tells-thai-activists-they-are-targets-of-state-sponsored-attackers
  • Thai student accused of mocking king with crop top protest denied bail

    Lawyers say judgment demonstrates increasingly harsh stance taken by authorities over lese-majesty law

    It was last December that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a Thai student activist, and her friends strolled into a shopping mall in Bangkok wearing crop tops. They ate ice cream and carried dog-shaped balloons. Phrases such as “I have only one father” were written in marker pen on their skin.

    Now, four of them are in pre-trial detention over the outing, which royalists say was an insult to the monarchy.

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    23 November 23 2021
    Thailand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/23/thai-student-accused-of-mocking-king-with-crop-top-protest-denied-bail
  • Pandemic hits mental health of women and young people hardest, survey finds

    Survey also finds adults aged 18-24 and women more concerned about personal finances than other groups

    Young people and women have taken the hardest psychological and financial hit from the pandemic, a YouGov survey has found – but few people anywhere are considering changing their lives as a result of it.

    The annual YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project found that in many of the 27 countries surveyed, young people were consistently more likely than their elders to feel the Covid crisis had made their financial and mental health concerns worse.

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    23 November 23 2021
    Coronavirus
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/23/pandemic-hits-mental-health-of-women-and-young-people-hardest-survey-finds
  • The elephant in the room: a Thai village’s unwelcome guests – photo essay

    Humans have encroached on the animals’ habitat – now villagers face daily raids as the elephants break into their homes in search of food

    It was around midnight when Kittichai Boodchan heard two loud crashes coming from in front of his home. He knew immediately what was happening. An elephant was outside, and it wanted the family’s stash of bananas.

    Boonchuay, a local bull from the nearby Kaeng Krachan national park notorious for his habit of raiding the village in search of snacks, had come to call. Kittichai had earlier bought 200kg of bananas to sell and, although stored inside, the sweet scent had undoubtedly piqued Boonchuay’s interest.

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    13 November 13 2021
    Global development
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/13/the-elephant-in-the-room-a-thai-villages-unwelcome-guests-aoe
  • Thai king flies to Germany as monarchy reform calls persist

    Analysts say Maha Vajiralongkorn’s trip abroad could be sign he considers situation is under control

    Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has reportedly flown to Germany in what is believed to be his first trip abroad since pro-democracy protests escalated last year, breaking long-held taboos to call for reforms to the monarchy.

    The German tabloid Bild reported that Vajiralongkorn arrived on Monday in Bavaria, where it said he and his entourage of 250 people and 30 royal poodles had booked an entire floor of the Hilton Munich airport hotel for 11 days.

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    12 November 12 2021
    Thailand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/12/thailand-king-flies-germany-monarchy-reform-calls-persist
  • ‘Our children may not want to be farmers’: living on the frontline of global heating

    From extreme weather obliterating homes to rising sea levels ruining crops, climate breakdown is a terrifying daily reality for many

    Throughout the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, the Guardian will be publishing the stories of the people whose lives have been upended – sometimes devastated – by the climate breakdown.

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    11 November 11 2021
    Climate crisis
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/11/children-may-not-want-to-be-farmers-living-on-the-frontline-of-global-heating
  • Thai court rules calls for curbs on monarchy are ‘abuse of freedoms’

    Constitutional court’s ruling in case against three protest leaders is denounced as ‘judicial coup’

    A Thai court’s ruling that protesters’ calls for reform of the monarchy amounted to an attempt to overthrow it has been likened to “a judicial coup”.

    Thailand’s political establishment was shocked last year when the leaders of a wave of youthful protests that broke a long-held taboo in calling for curbs on the royal family issued a 10-point list of demands, including that the royal budget be reduced and that the king not interfere with politics.

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    10 November 10 2021
    Thailand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/10/thai-court-rules-calls-for-curbs-on-monarchy-are-abuse-of-freedoms
  • Thailand reopens to vaccinated tourists after 18 months of Covid curbs

    Country is allowing visitors from 63 countries to visit without need to quarantine

    Thailand has opened its borders to vaccinated travellers from more than 60 countries , the largest restart of tourism yet in south-east Asia where borders have mostly remained shut throughout the pandemic.

    Starting on Monday, Thailand is allowing visitors from 63 countries to visit without the need to quarantine.

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    1 November 01 2021
    Thailand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/01/thailand-reopens-to-vaccinated-tourists-after-18-months-of-covid-curbs
  • From Roys to royals, succession battles are raging the world over

    For edge-of-the-seat drama, the TV dynasty can’t match the power struggles of leading families in Japan, Saudi Arabia … and Britain

    Being a royal has probably never been tougher, as Princess Mako of Japan, a niece of Emperor Naruhito and daughter of Crown Prince Akishino, might complain if she weren’t so well brought up. Mako married the love of her life, Kei Komuro, last week. But rather than celebrate a fairytale romance, the Japanese public sniffed disapproval.

    Komuro is a commoner with a mildly unconventional background who once briefly sported a ponytail. This caused a national trauma. Traditionally-minded Japanese were scandalised. To get her man, Mako had to renounce her royal title and become plain Mrs. Even so, opinion in Tokyo is deeply conflicted about modern royalty.

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    31 October 31 2021
    Succession
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/31/from-roys-to-royals-succession-battles-are-raging-the-world-over
  • Andrew Turton obituary

    My husband, Andrew Turton, who has died aged 83, was a social anthropologist of northern Thai peasant life and culture. For four decades his work was associated in some way with Thailand and south-east Asia.

    He was born in Bristol, to George Turton, a regional transport manager for the Hovis company, and Joan (nee Tointon). His father was killed in April 1944 while on active service in the RAF, when Andrew was not quite six. As the son of an old boy who had died in the war, Andrew was awarded a scholarship to Charterhouse school in Godalming, Surrey. He then received a state scholarship and a place at Cambridge University to read modern languages.

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    29 October 29 2021
    Anthropology
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/oct/29/andrew-turton-obituary