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Chiang Mai’s sword-wielding song thaew driver charged over intimidating tactics – VIDEO

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Story from Sanook. Video from Thai Rath

The red song thaew driver, who followed a white sedan around the moat road waving a sword in Chiang Mai, has now been charged by the police.

Sanook reports that 69 year old ‘Son’ has now been charged with having a knife in public and behaving in an intimidating manner that could scare the public.

The original video showed the public transport driver tailgating a white Honda Jazz, waving a large knife or sword.

But Son insists he acted because he was “furious about the driving of the man behind the wheel of the white car”.

He claims that the white car was cutting in and out of traffic dangerously before the car braked in a “dangerous manner” three times, almost causing him crash into the back of the vehicle.

He remained adamant that, despite the post being made by a woman, it was a man driving… “a woman would not behave like this, believe me” he told a Channel 7 reporter. Sanook showed the man apologising and doing a wai.

They also reported that the head of the Chiang Mai song thaews as saying that the driver had been warned about his conduct. He said that Son had never been in trouble before.

สี่ล้อแดงชักดาบขู่เก๋งกลางถนน

สี่ล้อแดงเข้าพบ ตร. หลังก่อเหตุชักดาบขู่เก๋งกลางถนน ตำรวจแจ้ง 2 ข้อหา

Posted by Thairath on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

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Drugs

Opium and Heroin seized at Chiang Mai checkpoint

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Large drug busts this week in northern Thailand.

500 grams of heroin and 50 kilograms of raw opium were seized at a Chiang Mai checkpoint by Pha Muang Force soldiers. The cache was confiscated Tuesday evening in the Chai Prakan district’s Pha Hong checkpoint in Tambun Si Dong Yen. The soldiers stopped 2 drivers who aroused suspicion and who promptly fled when stopped. The motorcycle was left with 2 bags, with one containing 500 g of heroin and the other 50,5 kg of raw opium which had been packaged into 31 separate packets.

The bust is part of a line of recent drug seizures that have seen about 30.5 million baht worth of drugs recovered while thwarting the trade networks of 3 major drug rings in the Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Tak provinces. These drug cases have all been linked to Wichit Arphonrungroj, the chief of Phop Phra tambon administrative organization. While Wichit is still at large with police hunting for him, several other arrests linked to the busts have been made. Four warrants were issued and police are actively pursuing more accomplices.

The first raid on Monday in Tak came as police continued investigating and expanding the scope of a huge drug bust in October 2019 where police seized 1.5 tons of crystal methamphetamine. Police later seized 2 million baht of drugs in a bust of a man in Sukhothai. And in Phitsanulok, a 20 year old man was arrested after being unable to clarify the source of 20 million baht wired into his bank account. He had been selling drugs online, using a Facebook page called “Phee Laem Pilok”.

Last December police confiscated drug assets valued at 100 million baht in Bangkok. And just a few weeks ago police took in 100 kg of ketamine and crystal meth in a drug bust in Lat Phrao.

With the Covid-19 pandemic crippling the economy and many jobless and increasingly desperate, Thailand has seen an increase in drug use and trafficking. Add to that the civil unrest in Myanmar, where illegal drug manufacturers are using the turmoil to sneak drugs across a tumultuous border, and Police have seen the need to implement a widespread crackdown on drugs throughout Thailand.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

50 Buddhist nuns positive for Covid at Chiang Mai dharma practice centre

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Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

50 Buddhist nuns have tested positive for Covid-19, causing the Chiang Mai dharma practice centre, where they live, to be closed. The Chiang Mai public health office closed the centre, located in the main city district for 2 weeks from Saturday. People who took part in activities at the centre from April 7 are being asked to take a Covid test at the field hospital in the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The dharma practice centre is also being investigated for allegedly providing other services without permission, including free traditional disease treatments like herniated discs, knee pain, and tendinitis. 20 patients that were first linked to the Covid cluster at the centre have been under care since Friday. Yesterday saw 14 more infections linked to the centre, totalling 34. Today, that number has risen to 50.

Daily cases in Chiang Mai have reached 151, with an investigation into clusters linked to the dharma meditation centre, a nursery in Doi Saket district and a nursery in Muang district, showing most patients contracted the virus from social activities.

3 more clusters were identified with the first being at a company where 13 workers in the same division tested positive for the virus. One of the workers who visited an entertainment venue is thought to have spread the virus to his coworkers. He was asymptomatic and went to work infected, ate meals with coworkers and attended meetings. The workers says he did not know he was infected.

The second cluster sprouted from a funeral in Om Koi district. An infected person participated in the funeral, passing the virus to 7 others. Now, 200 people who were in close contact with the infected person are being tested. The third cluster arose from a party in a direct-sales firm where 25 people were infected.

Today, there are another 2,438 new Covid-19 infections reported in Thailand. The number is a sight drop on Saturday’s total of 2,839 new infections. But Sunday’s totals are often lower due to the reporting from provinces.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Biochar could solve smoke pollution problem in Chiang Mai

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Could biochar clear Chiang Mai's smoky skies?

The emerging technology of biochar may be at the forefront of dealing with Chiang Mai and its globally infamous smoke and air pollution. After another terrible burn season where the air quality was rated among the worst in the world, Chiang Mai is often rated the most polluted city in the world.

As scientists worldwide tackle climate change, Chiang Mai stands out as an example of how animal agriculture is a major and often overlooked part of the climate crisis. While coal burning and gas-guzzling automobiles tend to get the most attention in the climate change debate, food production is a massive contributor to the problem.

Michael Schaefer, an American university professor now running Chiang Mai’s Warm Heart Foundation explains that as people earn more money, they want to indulge in costlier foods such as meat and dairy. With the increased demand for these animal products comes an equally increased need for the staple crops that feed these animals like corn.

Corn growth has become a linchpin of farming in Chiang Mai as well as Myanmar and Laos. This farming feeds animals like chickens and pigs, whose consumption is unlikely to wane in popularity anytime soon. But burning the waste from the corn to feed livestock is what creates Chiang Mai’s massive smoke problem.

Corn is an inefficient crop with only 22% of the plant being edible making the amount of waste to be burned off problematic. The husk, cob, and corn stock have to be cleared before you can plant the next year’s crop. Other methods of clearing the land like tractors or hand picking are just too time-consuming and inefficient when a fire can do the job quickly.

The Warm Heart Foundation has proposed turning this waste in Chiang Mai into biochar, a version of charcoal that’s far more eco-friendly. Biochar can be used to make smokeless briquettes for our barbecues, as well as soil decontaminant and fertilizer. By using the waste from the burn off to create byproducts farmers can essentially have a secondary income source.

Creating biochar does not require expensive high-tech machinery, as smokeless incinerators can be built out of old oil drums or livestock feeding troughs. Putting that carbon-rich biochar back into the soil in Chiang Mai will last for thousands of years and remove it from the atmosphere.

Animal agriculture and food systems contribute 25 to 30% of the greenhouse emissions in the world according to the Our World in Data project from Oxford University. Agriculture accounts for half the usable land on the planet and 77% of that land is farming livestock, even though the animals raised only provide about 18% of the calories the world’s population consumes. Half of all the farming harvests go to feed these animals being raised for consumption. Animal agriculture also uses 15 times more land, 13 times more water, and 11 times more fossil fuel to generate protein.

It’s not a perfect solution for the environment, but a step in the right direction as converting the world to a plant-based diet is not likely anytime soon. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated that farmlands roughly the size of North America and Brazil combined could be returned to nature if everyone stopped eating meat.

Letting nature take its course is still the best way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but without a vegan revolution, this is not likely. If Chiang Mai could start using this biochar production model it would remove hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and create more fertile fields allowing farming land to potentially be decreased and returning some land to nature.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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