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American Alex Dion in custody over murder of Thai national – Sydney

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American Alex Dion in custody over murder of Thai national – Sydney | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wachiro “Mario” Phetmang – Facebook

An American father, charged with the murder of a Thai man in western Sydney last year, is set to remain in custody until his next court appearance in June.

Australian police have charged 38 year old Alex Dion with murder of a Thai national – the body found bound and gagged on a Sydney roadside. He has been charged with the 2018 murder of Wachira “Mario” Phetmang after he arrived in Sydney from California under police guard.

The arrest warrant for Dion was issued last September while he already was in custody on a domestic violence charge in San Diego.

Wachira’s body was discovered by a truck driver in June 2018 bound, gagged and wrapped in plastic. An autopsy revealed more than 20 wounds to his head and had multiple skull fractures.

The 33 year old former cafe and spa worker had been living in Australia for at least the last 10 years, and was a permanent resident at the time of his death. He was last seen alive on May 25, 2018 at a petrol station in the Sydney suburb of South Hurstville.

Dion, a US national, is believed to have left Australia on May 27, more than a week before the body was found and formally identified.

When Australian police held a news conference seeking the public’s help in the case, Dion called them and tried to blame an associate for Wachira’s killing, while also acknowledging that he had Wachira’s credit cards and cellphones with him in San Diego, according to the search warrant.

Dion told police that he had met Wachira at the gas station to purchase drugs but that he left when their associate showed up, a story police claim is contradicted by surveillance footage.



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Entertainment

BTS match long-standing Beatles’ record and reach the Top 6 in 26 countries with new album

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BTS match long-standing Beatles’ record and reach the Top 6 in 26 countries with new album | The Thaiger

South Korean band BTS is making waves across music charts around the world. Their new album ‘Map of the Soul – Persona’ has matched a long-standing Beatles record of having three number one albums on the US Billboard chart in one year. The all-male band comprises RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, all aged between 22 and 27 years old. They debuted in 2013 amid the highly competitive K-Pop industry but have been able to break free and become international superstars selling out stadiums around the world, singing mostly in Korean.

BTS visited Bangkok in at the start of April filling the Rajamangala Stadium for two nights, the only band that has ever achieved two sell-out concerts in the massive sports stadium.

At the same time the seven-member band has reached the number one position in the Billboard Top 100 Artists and their candy-coated new single ‘Boy With Luv‘, with US singer Halsey, has debuted at #8 (this week) in the Billboard Top 100 with most music pundits predicting it will hit the number one spot in the next few weeks. The single is in the Top 30 of 35 world music charts this week.

In the 24 hours following the single’s release, ‘Boy With Luv’ broke the YouTube record for the most views in 24 hours, beating out fellow South Korean K-Pop band BlackPink. ‘Boy With Luv’ was viewed 74 million times in 24 hours!

The band has been flipping between the US and Asia actively promoting their new album and single which was released on April 12, including their much-discussed live performance on Saturday Night Live. Accused of being just another music ‘fad’ BTS continue to break music records and break down stereotypes in the ‘white-washed’ world music industry.

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Election

Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC

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Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of Future Forward Party, says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the Election Commission over allegations he breached the Constitution and the election by holding shares in a media company, V Luck Media, when registering for the March 24 election.

Thanathorn says he will submit his defence with the commission by next Monday and insists on his innocence.

Thanathorn is dismissing the possibility that he could be penalised by the EC by being barred from running in elections for one year, leading to his being disqualified as an MP.

The commission sent Thanathorn a formal notice on Wednesday that he was charged for breaching the Constitution and the MP election law after he was allegedly found to be in possession of 675,000 shares in the media firm when he registered his election candidacy. Thanathorn was given seven days to respond to the charge.

The Constitution and the MPs Election Act forbid poll candidates from being proprietors or share-holders of media companies. Thanathorn insisted that he had transferred all the shares to his mother prior to his candidacy registration and dismissed  the charge against him as part of what he described as “politics of personal destruction.”

The Future Forward Party came in third place, behind Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat, and ahead of the Democrats, in votes from the March 24 poll. The party was only formed in the last year and put up the fiery 41 year old as its leader and prime ministerial candidate.

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Bangkok

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok

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Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | The Thaiger

A random summer storm has struck Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport this afternoon. The freak storm affected more than 18 flights and stranded 3,000 passengers whilst the storm battered the area north of the main city.

At least one flight was re-directed to the nearby Suvarnabhumi Airport and another to U-Tapao Airport.

Strong winds caused a Lion Air mobile airstair to hit a Nok Air aircraft parked nearby, after which all 176 passengers on board the Nok Air flight had to disembark and board another aircraft. Their flight was delayed up to 90 minutes.

The storm disrupted flights in and out of Don Mueang Airport between 2pm and 4pm.

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

A mobile stairwell was more mobile than it was meant to be during the storm

The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand reported that the storm passed at about 3.15pm and normal services at the airport resumed soon after.

During the storm dozens of planes were parked waiting for a take off slot, while dozens others circled in the city’s vicinity waiting for the opportunity to land.

Pathum Thani was also hit by winds, so severe that they blew off a section of the Western University’s concrete wall. The falling debris seriously damaged four cars and two motorcycles owned by university staff and lecturers, though nobody was injured.

The Meteorological Department has forecast summer and electrical storms in the North, Northeast, East and Central regions, including Bangkok tomorrow and into the early part of the weekend.

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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