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Searching for new habitats for growing elephant population

Thailand’s success in protecting its elephant population has created a dilemma for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which needs to find new habitats as the number of elephants has begun to expand.
Thailand’s success in protecting its elephant population has created a dilemma for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which needs to find new habitats as the number of elephants has begun to expand. 
 
The elephant is a national symbol for Thais, and more than a century ago, as many as 100,000 of the beasts roamed the country’s forests.  But as agriculture expanded and industrialization gathered pace, forest cover disappeared taking with it the elephants’ natural habitat.

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U-M launches world's first endowed chair of Thai Buddhism after $2M gift

The University of Michigan recently received a gift of $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism to enhance its Buddhist studies program -- one of the largest in North America.
The University of Michigan recently received a gift of $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism to enhance its Buddhist studies program -- one of the largest in North America.
 
This professorship, dedicated to the Thai tradition of Theravada Buddhism, is believed to be the first such chair in the world.
 
More than 150 million people worldwide follow Theravada Buddhism, the tradition of Buddhism practiced predominantly in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia and Laos.
 
The ch

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Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best restaurant

For the second year running Bangkok has nabbed regional culinary bragging rights in Asia with Gaggan taking home the coveted number one spot at the San Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
For the second year running Bangkok has nabbed regional culinary bragging rights in Asia with Gaggan taking home the coveted number one spot at the San Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
 
Shortly after accepting the prize at the award ceremony in Singapore, Chef Gaggan Anand called his mother, tears in his eyes, to let her know he'd won.
 
"She's the owner of me," he said.

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Bill to strengthen anti-human trafficking law passed first reading, fishing trawlers inspection moves forward

The government-sponsored amendment to strengthen Thailand’s anti-trafficking in persons law sailed through the legislative body in the first reading, promising harsher penalties for traffickers, and greater protections for witnesses and victims in trafficking cases. Meanwhile, government officials began inspecting fishing trawlers last week as a key part of Thailand’s stepped-up campaign against human trafficking.
The government-sponsored amendment to strengthen Thailand’s anti-trafficking in persons law sailed through the legislative body in the first reading, promising harsher penalties for traffickers, and greater protections for witnesses and victims in trafficking cases.

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Thai builders expect to sign deal to develop Dawei this month

Two top Thai constructions firms said last week that they expect to sign an agreement this month with the Myanmar government to begin developing the Dawei port and industrial zone on the coast of Myanmar’s southwestern peninsula.
Two top Thai constructions firms said last week that they expect to sign an agreement this month with the Myanmar government to begin developing the Dawei port and industrial zone on the coast of Myanmar’s southwestern peninsula.
 
The project, which has been delayed, promises to open up a new trade route linking the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand through overland road and rail systems joining major ports and industrial zones.  The route would provide an alternative to the congested and pirate-laden waters of the Straits of Malacca.

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Commandos raid organized crime ring in southern Thailand

The challenges faced by Thai security forces in breaking up organized crime were in evidence last week when over 1,000 soldiers and police launched simultaneous raids on 16 locations in the south last week, but the influential figures they were seeking managed to elude capture.
The challenges faced by Thai security forces in breaking up organized crime were in evidence last week when over 1,000 soldiers and police launched simultaneous raids on 16 locations in the south last week, but the influential figures they were seeking managed to elude capture. 
 
Led by Crime Suppression Division (CSD) acting commander Police Colonel Akaradej Pimolsri, the commandos seized large caches of weapons and said they had obtained leads about the whereabouts and criminal networks of the suspects.

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PM takes on education reform as Kaplan opens in Thailand

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said last week that he will personally lead a government “super board” tasked with reforming Thailand’s education sector. Meanwhile, U.S. firm Kaplan International said it will open English-language schools in Thailand and the Kingdom’s public school English-language teachers will undergo a proficiency examination.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said last week that he will personally lead a government “super board” tasked with reforming Thailand’s education sector.  Meanwhile, U.S.

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Thai scientists clone rare swamp buffalo

Few animals are as associated with Southeast Asia as the water buffalo. Last week researchers from Chulalongkorn University presented to the public the first ever swamp buffalo calf cloned from an ear skin cell, at Chitrlada Palace, demonstrating the rising skills of Thai genetic scientists.
Few animals are as associated with Southeast Asia as the water buffalo. Last week researchers from Chulalongkorn University presented to the public the first ever swamp buffalo calf cloned from an ear skin cell, at Chitrlada Palace, demonstrating the rising skills of Thai genetic scientists. 
 
The scientists from Chulalongkorn’s Faculty of Veterinary Science's Research and Development Centre for Livestock Production Technology conducted ten years of research before they successfully cloned the calf.

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9 Hong Kong and Macau restaurants win Thai seal of authenticity

The food scene in Hong Kong isn’t all about the hipster cafes, exotic eateries and burger wars that set tongues wagging. There are some constants too - restaurants serving popular cuisines that never fail to draw a crowd. Thai restaurants are among them.
The food scene in Hong Kong isn’t all about the hipster cafes, exotic eateries and burger wars that set tongues wagging. There are some constants too - restaurants serving popular cuisines that never fail to draw a crowd.

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Campaign against trafficking progressing on several fronts

Thailand’s government took several significant steps last week in its campaign to eradicate human trafficking, including setting up anti-trafficking centers in 37 provinces, banning youths under 18 years old from Laos from entering the Kingdom unless escorted by an adult, rounding up illegal migrants from Myanmar and holding coordinating meetings with civil society and with private sector members of the fishing industry.
Thailand’s government took several significant steps last week in its campaign to eradicate human trafficking, including setting up anti-trafficking centers in 37 provinces, banning youths under 18 years old from Laos from entering the Kingdom unless escorted by an adult, rounding up illegal migrants from Myanmar and holding coordinating meetings with civil society and with private sector members of the fishing industry. 
 
The government also released its annual Trafficking in Persons Country Report.

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