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Topic: Woman cut rope holding painters 26 floors high

A resident of a high-rise condominium in Thailand cut the support rope for two painters, apparently angry she wasn’t told they would be doing work, and left them hanging above the 26th floor.


The woman is facing attempted murder and property destruction charges, and could face a prison term up to 20 years.


One of the painters, a Myanmar national named Song, told the Thai media that he and his friends had lowered themselves from the 32nd floor to repair a crack on the building.


When he reached the 30th floor, he felt that the rope was heavier and when he looked down, he saw someone on the 21st floor open a window and cut his rope. He tried asking for help from other units, but nobody was in. The third colleague continued to support them from the top floor until a couple rescued them.


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Topic: Thai chain’s cannabis pizza: trendy but won’t get you high 泰國連鎖餐廳的大麻披薩:夠時髦卻不會讓人飄飄然

One of Thailand’s major fast food chains The Pizza Company has introduced "Crazy Happy Pizza", an under-the-radar product topped with a cannabis leaf. It’s legal but won’t get you high.


"It’s just a marketing campaign. And you can taste the cannabis and then if you have enough, you may get a bit sleepy," said the general manager.


The Crazy Happy Pizza is a mashup of toppings evoking the flavors of Thailand’s famous Tom Yum Gai soup along with a deep-fried cannabis leaf on top. Cannabis is also infused into the cheese crust and there’s chopped cannabis in the dipping sauce. A 9-inch pie costs only 499 baht.


Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to remove specific parts and extracts of cannabis from its controlled narcotics list in December 2020, and later allowed them to be used in foods and beverages.

泰國在2020年12月成為首個將大麻特定部位和萃取物移出致幻毒品的東南亞國家,之後更允許在菜品或飲料中使用大麻。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1499658 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1503512

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Topic: Parched fields force Thailand to look beyond rice

Thailand has long served as one of the globe’s main rice bowls, but chronic water shortages are pushing the country to move away from a grain that dominates its fields and has defined a way of life for generations.


Laddawan has spent the past forty years coaxing rice from her plot in central Thailand, but she is tired of watching her farmland squeezed dry by increasingly severe droughts.


"I plan to replace some rice paddies with limes," she told AFP after attending a government-run workshop urging farmers to diversify their crops.


At a workshop held in Nonthaburi province near Bangkok, Laddawan was sold the seeds fruit trees.


These alternatives will drastically reduce water consumption but also break the monoculture that has deteriorated Thai soil for decades.


"We have no choice, we need to adapt," Laddawan said, explaining that she used to plant three rice crops annually, but next year will only have enough water for one.


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Topic: Thai hotel brews up coffee from elephant dung 泰國酒店從象糞中煮出咖啡

For those who like their coffee with a strong nose Thailand could be the ideal destination, after a blend made from elephant dung was put on sale by an upmarket hotel chain.


The Black Ivory blend, made from coffee beans digested and excreted by Thai elephants, is billed as producing a particularly smooth cup.


But it is not cheap, with Anantara Hotels saying the "naturally refined" coffee costs a staggering $1,100 per kilogram -- making it one of the most expensive blends in the world.


"Research indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein," the Thai-based hotel group said in a statement.


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Topic: The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand’s Lungs


Crouched on the ground in a dimly lit factory, women picked through the discarded innards of the modern world: batteries, circuit boards and bundles of wires.


They broke down the scrap — known as hazardous electronic-waste, or e-waste — with hammers and raw hands. Men, some with faces wrapped in rags to repel the fumes, shoveled the refuse into a clanking machine that salvages usable metal.


As they toiled, smoke spewed over nearby villages and farms. Residents have no idea what is in the smoke — plastic, metal, who knows? All they know is that it stinks and they feel sick.


The factory, New Sky Metal, is part of a thriving e-waste industry across Southeast Asia, born of China’s decision to stop accepting the world’s electronic refuse, which was poisoning its land and people. Thailand in particular has become a center of the industry even as activists push back and its government wrestles to balance competing interests of public safety with the profits to be made from the lucrative trade.


Last year, Thailand banned the import of foreign e-waste. Yet new factories are opening across the country, and tons of e-waste are being processed, environmental monitors and industry experts said.


“E-waste has to go somewhere,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, which campaigns against trash dumping in poor countries, “and the Chinese are simply moving their entire operations to Southeast Asia.”


“The only way to make money is to get huge volume with cheap, illegal labor and pollute the hell out of the environment,” he added.


Each year, 50 million tons of e-waste are produced globally, according to the United Nations, as consumers grow accustomed to throwing away last year’s model and acquiring the next new thing.The notion of recycling these gadgets sounds virtuous: an infinite loop of technological utility.


But it is dirty and dangerous work to extract the tiny quantities of precious metals — like gold, silver and copper — from castoff phones, computers and televisions.


For years, China took in much of the world’s electronic refuse. Then in 2018, Beijing closed its borders to foreign e-waste. Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia — with their lax enforcement of environmental laws, easily exploited labor force and cozy nexus between business and government — saw an opportunity.


“Every circuit and every cable is very lucrative, especially if there is no concern for the environment or for workers,” said Penchom Saetang, head of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand, an environmental watchdog. Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/349813/web/