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Weird World News: Boneheaded bandits starring “Spiderman’ burglar, Mexican go-kart drug smuggler and the glacial ice thief

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Weird World News: Boneheaded bandits starring “Spiderman’ burglar, Mexican go-kart drug smuggler and the glacial ice thief | Thaiger

PHUKET: OUTLAWS are finding more imaginative ways to make a fast buck. This week’s Weird World News is a snapshot of life on the wrong side of the law, and the idiotic ruses bandits around the world are concocting to make money, fast.

Go-kart bandito’s drug-smuggling ruse foiled

A MEXICAN drug runner tried in vain this week to smuggle marijuana into the United States by stuffing his drugs into a modified go-kart and driving through the desert at night.

US border police in Arizona’s Yuma sector seized the off-road go-kart and trailer packed with 217 pounds of marijuana, but the driver escaped on foot into the night.

Officers from Cocopah Tribal Police spotted the single-seater go-kart speeding through the desert about 100 yards away from the border on Tuesday night. They gave chase, and the suspect ditched his go-kart and fled back toward Mexico, The Guardian reported.

The crafty smuggler had spray painted his vehicle desert beige, added off-road tires and an extended trailer.

The go-kart bandito joins a long list of Mexican smugglers using bizarre means to get their drugs into the US. In recent years, microlight aircraft and medieval-style catapults have been the smugglers method of choice.

The go-kart and marijuana, worth an estimated 3,355,000 baht, were confiscated by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The go-kart bandito is still at large.

Thief taps glacier for ice cubes

IT’S not just climate change diminishing glaciers in Chile, ice thieves are also part of the problem.

Last Friday, police arrested a man on suspicion of pinching five tones of ice from a huge glacier in Patagonia so he could sell them as “designer ice cubes” to restaurants and bars.

Local media reports said police intercepted a truck carrying illicit ice valued at about 200,000 baht en route to the capital, Santiago.

The truck driver has been charged with theft and authorities are considering further charges of violation of a national monument, The Guardian reported.

Scientists report the Jorge Montt glacier in Bernardo O’Higgins national park is shrinking by half a mile a year. Jorge Montt is the fastest-shrinking glacier in the world, with the help of climate change – and now ice thieves.

Burglar with ‘Spiderman’ moves in the neighborhood

POLICE have released CCTV footage of a burglar with Spiderman-like moves to end the super-villain’s trail of destruction in the UK.

The burglar entered a supermarket in Litherland, near Liverpool on Tuesday night, by cutting a hole in the roof and then lowering sports bags and himself with ropes.

The video shows the burglar ransacking the store and then climbing back out through the roof, hauling his bags up with ropes.

The Spidey-burglar returned several times to the store that night, making off with about 500,000 baht worth of alcohol and cigarettes.

Police are appealing to the public to help catch the Spidey-suspect.

Click here to see the Telegraph’s video report:

Remember to tune in next week for more of the Phuket Gazette‘s Weird World News round-up.

— Fraser Morton

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Cannabis may ease lung inflammation from Covid-19, study

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Cannabis may ease lung inflammation from Covid-19, study | Thaiger
Stock photo by Washarapol D Bin Yo Jundang for Pexels

Cannabis may help ease and reduce lung inflammation for Covid-19 patients, according to a recent study. Researchers in the study claim the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, cannabinol, or CBD, has anti-inflammatory properties.

More research should be done on how CBD and treating severe lung inflammation from the coronavirus, according to researchers from University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute indicates. Their recent peer-reviewed article in the latest issue of Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity investigates cannabis’ anti-inflammatory qualities.

Covid-19 can cause inflammation that leads to pneumonia which can clog lungs and cause breathing difficulties, an often deadly symptom of the coronavirus. This is why researchers are emphasising anti-inflammatory treatments for infected patients.

“There are drug treatments like Tocilizumab that clears patients’ lungs with a 90% success rate, but the side effects are harsh, including the risk of coronary artery disease and pancreas inflammations. Cannabis may be a key solution since it doesn’t carry such severe negative side effects.”

The CBD treatment made from cannabis does not carry the same effects of THC or smoking marijuana would, though THC has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory but is with more side effects. Cannabis already carries FDA approval, even being used for children with intractable epilepsy.

Aside from anti-inflammatory use, CBD also reduces several factors that contribute to severe Covid-19 cases and also increases proteins that prevent the virus from replicating by activating immune cells. Previous studies with asthmatic animals showed CBD reduced airway inflammation as well as pulmonary fibrosis, which can be an after-effect of Covid-19 damaging and scarring lung tissue causing breathing problems.

The cannabis study on lung inflammation shows that doses up to 1500 milligram a day were safe for up to 2 weeks. The researchers also noted that as an added bonus CBD reduces anxiety, something very useful for the stress of life during a pandemic. Helpfully, cannabis was recently legalised in Thailand and the government has been drafting regulations on importing it.

While the article doesn’t directly link cannabis as a treatment for Covid-19, the evidence on CBD’s effect on lung inflammation, a dangerous symptom of coronavirus, makes further research worthwhile. The researchers urge further research to experiment if cannabis can be directly incorporated into Covid-19 treatment to help with inflammation and anxiety too.

SOURCE: Forbes

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Thailand drafting new regulations for cannabis and hemp seeds

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A new regulations for cannabis and hemp seeds imports is in the works by Thailand’s Agriculture Department. With certain parts of the cannabis plant now off the narcotics list, many are tapping into the market for CBD, or cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component in hemp and cannabis.

With the rising demand for hemp and cannabis, the department is revising regulations to make the rules more clear, according to department’s director general, Pichet Wiriyapapha. Those importing cannabis and hemp seeds will also need to get permission from the department. He says they plan to announce the new plan on cannabis and hemp seed regulations in May.

“Now we have only four strains of hemp developed for higher fibre yield, but not for the strain for higher CBD that is currently required for cosmetics and healthcare products. That is why we do need to actively develop such a strain to respond to the high demand in the market.”

CBD is known for its relaxing effects. Although there is still little research to back the claims, many say CBD can lesson anxiety and depression as well as provide relief for muscle pain and arthritis. In Thailand, CBD is growing in popularity, but parts of the cannabis plant high in the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thai farmers warned of hemp – growing scams

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Thai farmers warned of hemp – growing scams | Thaiger

Thai farmers are being warned of hemp – growing scams after the FDA says some farmers may be approached to grow without gaining permission to import hemp seeds yet. The possible scams have farmers fearing they may be cheated after some have reportedly already started setting up networks in other provinces in preparation to start new enterprises.

According to the FDA, there are only 7 companies currently allowed to import hemp seeds, but they haven’t been given permits yet. Furthermore, none have been told they can start growing hemp as the process has not been solidified. As of now, any company that wants to import the seeds, but notify authorities of where they are getting the seeds from.

They also have to notify authorities of what specific strain of hemp they intend to grow as well as what factories would buy the hemp in order to process it.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is pushing the FDA to start issuing permits for the cultivation, importation and production of hemp seeds as he says it could help farmers increase their incomes, especially after Covid has hit Thailand’s economy hard.

“As for hemp cultivation, each farmer must seek permission individually.”

“A permit to grow hemp cannot be applied to a group of farmers because each one must inform authorities about which land is being set aside for cultivation and when.”

Potential hemp growers can visit www.fda.moph.go.th to get information regarding the application procedures with interested parties needing to contact the FDA to set the process in motion.

Thailand’s Narcotics Control Board agreed late last year to remove cannabis and leaves from its list of banned drugs for medicinal purposes. Now, restaurants are sprouting up nationwide, offering CBD – infused food and drinks for public consumption.

CBD is different from the psychoactive ingredient of THC, which is still currently illegal in Thailand.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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