Thailand Video News | Thailand to reclassify Cannabis as narcotic from 2025, Fire in Bangkok’s Chinatown injures 30 and damages hotel

On Thailand Video News today, Alex talks about Thailand’s plans to reclassify Cannabis as a narcotic drug in 2025. A fire in Bangkok’s Chinatown has injured 30 people and damaged a hotel while a Bangna brawl has led to the deaths of two teenagers with more injured. A road rage incident in Chiang Mai with a woman using her phone for navigation has triggered massive online debate, and a Thai man has been arrested in Pattaya for extorting a French woman using explicit images. A speedboat with tourists sank off the coast of Surat Thani while on a fishing trip after being hit by large waves. China’s loans have pushed Laos into a debt crisis as their obligations have now almost doubled and Japan and the Philippines are set to finalise a Reciprocal Access Agreement to ease maritime tensions.

Thailand to reclassify Cannabis as narcotic from 2025 

The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand plans to reclassify cannabis and hemp as illegal narcotics from January 1, 2025, focusing on flowers and extracts with THC content above 0.2%. This follows a Narcotics Control Board meeting supporting medical and research uses but opposing recreational use. Activists led by Prasitchai Nunual and M.L. Rungkun Kitiyakorn plan to protest on July 8, opposing the reclassification, which they claim benefits specific capitalists rather than the public. They will occupy a stretch of Ratchadamnoen Avenue on July 7 and march to the Government House on July 8.

Fire in Bangkok’s Chinatown injures 30 and damages hotel 

A fire in Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yaowarat, ignited around 9pm, injuring approximately 30 people and damaging the New Empire Hotel. The fire spread through a 3,200-square-metre area, affecting around 30 wooden residences. Firefighters, with around 40 fire engines, controlled the blaze by 11.16pm and evacuated hotel guests. Most injuries were due to smoke inhalation, primarily affecting senior citizens. No fatalities were reported. A section of Yaowarat Road was closed for safety, and around 280 people were displaced, seeking refuge at Wat Traimit.

Teen brawl in Bangna leaves two dead and several injured 

A late-night brawl among teenagers in Bangna led to the deaths of two boys, aged 15 and 16, and left several injured. The fight, involving former schoolmates with ongoing animosities, erupted outside a residence in Udomsuk 26 alley. Kittisak, 16, was found dead from a head injury inflicted by a rock, while Nopnai, 15, died from multiple stab wounds. Payu, 16, was injured but is now stable. Seven teenagers, including Payu, were arrested. The altercation stemmed from previous conflicts and damages to a motorcycle. The police are investigating further before filing charges.

Road rage incident in Chiang Mai sparks online debate 

A road rage incident in Chiang Mai, involving a woman using her mobile phone for navigation and an aggressive driver, has sparked an online debate. The confrontation occurred when the driver, irritated by Aem’s slow driving in the right lane, tailgated, overtook, and forcibly took her keys, throwing them away. Aem, accompanied by two women and a child, was frightened. The incident was recorded and shared online, leading to mixed reactions. Police are investigating both Aem’s potential traffic violations and the aggressor’s excessive response. If Aem files a formal complaint, the male driver could face charges.

Thai man arrested for extorting French woman with explicit images 

A 40-year-old Thai man was arrested in Pattaya for allegedly extorting a French woman with explicit images. The incident traces back to 2017 when the couple recorded obscene activities while in Thailand. After their breakup, the man, Chalermwut, followed the woman to Vietnam but was expelled from her residence in 2022. Later, he threatened to release explicit content online unless she paid 900 euros. Using social media to enforce his threats, the victim reported him to the Thai Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD), leading to his arrest. Chalermwut admitted to the extortion, driven by feelings of being wronged.

Tourists rescued after speedboat sinks off Surat Thani coast 

A speedboat carrying tourists on a fishing trip sank off the coast of Surat Thani after being hit by large waves. Five people, four men and one woman, were left stranded in the sea but were rescued by nearby fishing boats and the marine police. The incident occurred at 12:20am when the boat took on water and eventually sank despite efforts to pump it out. The marine police, led by Yuranan Meedet, responded to a distress call and safely transported the rescued individuals back to Laem Thuat Pier in Don Sak district.

China’s massive loans plunge Laos into debt crisis 

China’s extensive loans have plunged Laos into a severe debt crisis, raising concerns about its future. Laos’s foreign obligations have nearly doubled, with over half of its $10.5 billion external debt owed to China. This debt mainly stems from infrastructure projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Despite China claiming to aid Laos in managing its debt, critics label this as “debt trap diplomacy,” alleging China uses loans to gain control over strategic assets. Laos’s economic woes are exacerbated by rising global costs and a depreciating currency, with fears of economic collapse looming.

Japan and Philippines to finalise defense agreement amid maritime tensions 

Japan and the Philippines are set to finalise a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) at a “two plus two” meeting in Manila, involving their foreign and defense ministers. The RAA will allow troop deployments on each other’s territory and outline procedures for joint training and accidents. This meeting comes amid escalating maritime tensions between China and the Philippines, highlighted by recent collisions between their military vessels in the South China Sea. The agreement aims to deepen security cooperation and deter China’s aggressive actions. While Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are constitutionally limited to defensive roles, the RAA signals increased military collaboration between Japan and the Philippines.

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