Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has launched the second day of coronation activities with a ceremony to grant new titles to members of the royal family. Vajiralongkorn on Saturday took part in an elaborate set of rituals, a mix of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmanic traditions, which established his status as a full-fledged monarch with complete regal powers. He had already been serving as king since the October 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has married the deputy head of his personal security detail in a surprise wedding and given her the title Queen Suthida, just days before his official coronation. He was due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies that will take place over three days this weekend, finishing with a procession through Bangkok. Vajiralongkorn, 66, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.
The Thai navy has begun towing the home of a fugitive American seasteader back to shore as its owner faces a possible death sentence. Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet lived in the structure, known as a seastead, 15 miles from the Thai coast, in order to avoid the jurisdiction of Thai law. Thai authorities have revoked the visa of Mr Elwartowski, a bitcoin trader, and charged both of them with violating Thai sovereignty, punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.
Two major political parties raised doubts on Monday about the accuracy of Thailand’s election results after a party linked to the military took a surprise lead in the popular vote count that suggested the country’s junta chief could remain in power. Unofficial results of the Southeast Asian nation’s first election since a 2014 coup had been expected at 2 p.m. (0700 GMT) on Monday. However, the Election Commission said it would announce only the winners of 350 seats at 4 p.m. (0900 GMT) and a breakdown of votes for those seats would come on Friday.
Thailand’s south is bracing for the country’s most powerful tropical storm in decades, which is expected to disrupt oil and gas production and force thousands of international tourists to flee its beaches and islands. The affected areas include Phuket, Krabi, and Surat Thani, where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao — among the country’s most popular destinations — sit just off the coast. The storm has disrupted the peak period for the Thai tourism industry, which makes up about a quarter of the economy.
Thailand approved marijuana for medical use and research on Tuesday, the first legalization of the drug in a region with some of the world’s strictest drug laws. The junta-appointed parliament in Thailand, a country which until the 1930s had a tradition of using marijuana to relieve pain and fatigue, voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 in an extra parliamentary session handling a rush of bills before the New Year’s holidays.
Renewed calls for a ban on child kickboxing matches in Thailand arose following the death of 13-year-old Anucha Tasako who died of a brain hemorrhage after fighting in a Muay Thai match near Bangkok on Saturday. The Thai parliament is reviewing legislation to ban children under 12 from participating in boxing matches.
Cave divers resumed the mission to rescue the remaining eight boys and their coach trapped in a Thailand cave after four boys were brought out safely on Sunday. Elon Musk created and tested a ‘kid-size submarine’ as a potential aid in the rescue. Officials say the evacuation could take up to four days to complete.
Rescuers will take no risks freeing 12 boys and their football coach who were discovered in a Thailand cave. The boys and their coach have received food, medical treatment, and telephone access to speak to their families. Rescuers must now decide whether to train the boys to dive or wait months for flooding to recede.
A group of twelve boys and their football coach have been found alive in Tham Luang Cave in Thailand but may need to wait months for flooding to recede before they can leave the cave. The group was found by a group of divers late on Monday after having been missing for nine days.