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UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape

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UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | The Thaiger
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State agencies have become embroiled in a case in which an 11 year old schoolgirl (reported as 12 year old in yesterday’s news) is alleged to have been gang-raped by five teenagers last Sunday. The incident, that happened in Saraburi, has flared up after the girl’s father expressed concern that justice was not being served and that the accused had been allowed to go free.

The father says police initially failed to record the rape complaint and that a local politician even tried to negotiate on the suspects’ behalf to get the girl to drop her complaint. He then made inappropriate comments that was caught on video with his comments clearly audible.

As social workers prepared to help the traumatised girl yesterday, her 30 year old father posted another video clip, claiming there had been more than one victim on Sunday night.

In the father’s latest comments, he claims that a 16 year old girl had asked his daughter to chaperone her while she went out with her boyfriend.

According to The Nation, the 16 year old teenager had earlier been falsely accused of being a decoy for the attack, but she said seven youths committed the rape while two others witnessed it, but did nothing.

The father produced a video of an interview with the older girl, in which she denied being a decoy and said she herself had also been raped by three teens on the same evening.

Provincial Police Region 1 deputy chief Pol Maj-General Thanayut Wutthicharasthamrong has ordered an inquiry to establish if local police had assisted the suspects. Thanayut visited the scene, a grocery shop on Pichai Ronnarongsongkhram Road opposite Sara Buri Vocational College, but it was locked as the owner was away.

He said the victim and her parents had been sent to the provincial attorney’s office to be interviewed by female police officers. Meanwhile, the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) said it was on standby in case Saraburi police were deemed to be dragging their feet.

CSD chief Pol Maj-General Jirapop Phuridech assigned a team led by Pol Colonel Arun Wachirasrisukanya, and said it was ready to take over the probe if the victim’s family feared that justice was not being served. However, Arun said he was satisfied that local police had acted according to the book, so the CSD would let local officers continue with the case.

Meanwhile, Chalermphrakiat District’s tambon Pheung Ruang Administrative Organisation Council chairman Sangwan Sitthipanya yesterday submitted his resignation to district chief Kokchai Chairassameekul after he was criticised for intervening in the case.

Sangwan is the man alleged to have stepped in to question the victim, tried to settle the case by way of compensation to aid the suspects, and made an inappropriate comment.

In the clip, posted online, a man, identified later as Sangwan, is heard saying… “Tell me honestly what they did to you. Did you orgasm?”

“Let’s talk first about what we can do. She’s kind of a slut.”

The case has attracted huge attention on social media after the victim’s father, a tattoo artist, posted on his Facebook page a claim that a local administrator, who he said was a relative of one of the suspects, had intervened and offered 10,000-30,000 baht from each boy as settlement money.

The father also posted two video clips, one of which showed the local administrator questioning the victim in front of the suspects and relatives while another showed her father assaulting some of the suspects, a suspect’s father and the administrator.

The assaulted suspects’ parents later filed an assault complaint against the victim’s father. On Tuesday, the victim’s mother vowed to pursue the rape complaint and bring those responsible to justice. The girl’s grandmother said the victim, who claimed she had also received threats of assault from the attackers while she was being raped if she told anyone what had happened, was now stressed and ill, suffering from fever and dizzy spells.

UPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | News by The ThaigerUPDATE: Second victim emerges in horrific Saraburi gang-rape | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Nakhon Si Thammarat hit by floods, more rain expected in the South

Caitlin Ashworth

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Nakhon Si Thammarat hit by floods, more rain expected in the South | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

Flooding in the southern province Nakhon Si Thammarat has affected thousands of residents with some evacuating their homes due to the rising water level. Heavy to very heavy rain is expected to continue in the South and the Thai Meteorological Department is warning residents in the lower southern provinces to beware of severe conditions that may cause flash floods and water runoff.

Flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the past several days has affected 16,709 households with 47,939 people, according to Governor Kraisorn Wisitwong. He says floods hit 351 villages in 15 districts: Cha Uat, Chulabhorn, Thung Song, Mueang, Phra Phrom, Ron Phibun, Tha Sala, Phipun, Nabon, Lan Saka, Sichon, Chalerm Phra Kiat, Chian Yai, Nop Phitam and Khanom

In Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Lan Saka district, a flash flood struck the area when a mass of water rushed down the Khao Luang mountain. Water levels have risen due to the continuous rain, causing the catchment area on the mountain to overflow.

Some residents in the Mueang district had to evacuate their homes. An American English teacher living in the area told The Thaiger she’s opened her doors to her neighbours whose homes are flooded. This morning, the water around her home was up to her knees. She now estimates the water is close to waist level.

Schools throughout the province closed. The Bangkok Post says the Nakhon Si Thammarat airport is open as usual, but the Thai Enquirer reports that most flights have been delayed. A local police officer told the Thai Enquirer that all major roads in the city have been closed.

So far, a total of 291,156 rai of farmland has been flooded, possibly damaging fish farms. In the Tha Sala and Nabon districts, 8 homes have reportedly been damaged.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thai Meteorological Department | Bangkok Post| Thai Enquirer

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon | The Thaiger

The Chinese, like the rest of us, are mostly prohibited from travelling at the moment, but it hasn’t stopped them travelling to the Moon. A Chinese space probe has landed on the surface of the Moon to bring back the first lunar samples in nearly 5 decades. Since the US dropped its Apollo missions to the Moon in 1972, the Earth’s only natural satellite has been a bit lonely.

The Chinese space program has poured billions into its space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the Moon to establish an ongoing lunar base. No Chinese have been participating in the International Space Station.

The Chang’e-5 spacecraft adds to a string of successes for Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space program. Chang’e is the name for the mythical Chinese moon goddess. The probe touched down on the near side of the Moon yesterday. It will spend a total of 48 hours on the surface of the moon before re-uniting with it’s mother-ship which will then bring the lunar probe back to Earth.

The unmanned Chang’e-5 probe will collect lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the Moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity, the first such collections since the 1970s when an unmanned Russian lunar probe conducted a similar mission. The probe is the latest venture by a Chinese space program that sent its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.

If Chang’e-5 returns to Earth successfully, China will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

The probe was launched from China’s southern tropical island of Hainan last week and entered lunar orbit aver the weekend after a 112 hour journey. The probe will collect 2 kilograms of material in a previously unexplored area known as “Ocean of Storms”, a vast lava plain of grey rocks and dust.

The probe will collect samples from the surface and drill a 2 metre deep hole to gather soil and rock samples from beneath the lunar surface as well.

Thomas Zurbuchen, a NASA official from the mission directorate, says the mission was no easy task.

“When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community. Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang’e 5.”

The Chang’e 5 flight is China’s third successful lunar landing. Its predecessor, Chang’e 4, was the first probe to land on the Moon’s lesser-explored far side which is perpetually facing away from the Earth.

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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