Sports 

Refugee Bahraini footballer boards plane leaving Thailand for Australia: Reuters witness

FILE PHOTO: Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi leaves Thailand’s Criminal Court, in Bangkok, Thailand February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha BANGKOK (Reuters) – A refugee Bahraini footballer with residency status in Australia boarded a plane in Thailand early on Tuesday that would fly directly to Melbourne, where he has lived since 2014 and plays for a local football club. Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, boarded a Thai Airways flight at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport shortly after midnight, according to a Reuters witness. He was seen talking happily as he walked past the…

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Sports 

‘He is a free man’: Thailand releases refugee Bahraini footballer after extradition bid dropped

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand on Monday freed a jailed refugee Bahraini footballer with residency status in Australia, after Bahrain abandoned its bid to seek his extradition, and immigration officials said he was immediately driven to the airport. A police car believed to be carrying Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi is pictured as it leaves the Bangkok’s Remand Prison, Thailand, February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was arrested in November last year at a Bangkok airport while…

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Sports 

Thailand to free refugee Bahraini footballer after extradition bid dropped

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand will free by the end of Monday a refugee Bahraini footballer with residency status in Australia who was arrested more than two months ago, a prosecutor in the case said, after Bahrain abandoned its bid to seek his extradition. A police car believed to be carrying Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi is pictured as it leaves the Bangkok’s Remand Prison, Thailand, February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was arrested in November at…

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Top stories 

Hakeem al-Araibi: Thailand to free refugee footballer

Image copyright AFP A football player and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry will be freed after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request, officials say. Hakeem Al-Araibi, who is a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and was granted political asylum. He was detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol notice requested by Bahrain. He had travelled to the Thai capital on honeymoon. He was sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station. Al-Araibi, 25, denies the charges and human rights activists say he…

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Thailand party accepts king’s opposition to Princess Ubolratana PM bid

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Princess Ubolratana has not addressed the issue of the ban directly The party that nominated a Thai princess to run for PM has said it will comply with the king’s wishes after he opposed the move. The Thai Raksa Chart party is allied to divisive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. On Friday Thai King Vajiralongkorn denounced as inappropriate his sister Princess Ubolratana Mahidol’s unprecedented bid for political power. The candidacy would have broken with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.…

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Technology 

Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as U.S. urges allies to bar Chinese gear

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. FILE PHOTO: A Huawei 5G device is pictured outside an exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded. The 5G test bed…

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Thailand: The life of a 17-year-old in Bangkok

Is it harder to be a teenager now than ever before? Yean has lived in the Thai capital Bangkok her whole life, and like many 17-year-olds the most important things to her right now are her friends, family, and her future. We spend a day with Yean as she shows us what it’s like to grow up in Thailand’s biggest city. Being 17 is a series created by the BBC World Service and Radio 1 Newsbeat looking at how 17-year-olds all over the world spend their Saturdays. Video journalist: Matt…

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Thailand Pabuk: Tourist spots hit by worst storm in decades

Image copyright EPA Image caption Tens of thousands have been asked to evacuate from seaside towns and villages Tropical storm Pabuk has begun pelting southern Thailand with rain and wind, in what is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in 30 years. The storm made landfall at 12:45 local time (05:45 GMT) in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, the meteorological department said. It is expected to move across southern Thailand, hitting popular tourist spots. Thousands of people have left Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh…

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Thailand approves medicinal cannabis – BBC News

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Campaigners had held protests demanding medicinal cannabis be allowed Thailand’s parliament has voted to approve cannabis for medical use, with a key lawmaker calling it a “New Year’s gift” to the Thai people. Recreational use will remain illegal. Marijuana was used in Thailand as a traditional medicine, until it was banned in the 1930s. South East Asia has some of the world’s toughest penalties for drug usage or possession, and Thailand is the first in the region to allow medicinal marijuana. Why are so many…

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British brothers held in Thailand over suspected drug offences

Image copyright Thailand Police Image caption Thai immigration police arrested the brothers on 17 November, it has emerged Two brothers wanted by police in Merseyside over suspected drug trafficking offences have been arrested in Thailand. Joseph and Gregory Mulhare from Wirral were detained on 17 November in Pattaya by Thai immigration police, it emerged. The pair, aged 43 and 38, are being held under warrants from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit. They are suspected of trafficking cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine in the UK. Image copyright Merseyside Police Image…

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