Disney’s Zootopia features Malaysia in exclusive art

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Disney’s latest film Zootopia is coming to SouthEast Asia in more ways than one.

Zootopia 1

The movie from Walt Disney Animation Studio – which opens in Malaysia on Feb 25 – boasts of work by artists hailing from all over the world including Singapore and Thailand.

Together with directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, the artists worked on the film for many months. Zootopia tells the story of a city filled with various animals in which rookie cop Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) – the first bunny on a police force – crosses paths with a scam artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).

Zootopia 2

In line with the release of the film, an exclusive special series of South-East Asia-themed art has been drawn by Fawn Veerasunthorn, a Thai story artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Veerasunthorn was responsible for visualising the script into panels of drawings for Zootopia.

Zootopia 3

This exclusive art features drawings of the movie’s main characters, Nick and Judy, with local iconic landmarks in Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.

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Three women detained over possible link to #Bangkok Sathorn bomber

3 woman

A combined force yesterday searched a female-only apartment complex in Bangkok’s Din Daeng area and detained three women for questioning.

The operation was part of an investigation into the suspect behind the Sathorn pier bomb. The suspect, who wore a blue shirt, was caught on CCTV carrying a bag and leaving it on Taksin Bridge before kicking it into a canal on August 17. It exploded the following afternoon without causing any casualties.

In yesterday’s joint operation, luggage and a computer were seized and fingerprints and DNA evidence collected to check for links to the Erawan Shrine and Sathorn bombings.

An informed source said that two female students rented the room before the mother of one of the students arranged for a middle-aged woman to stay with them two months ago.

The source said that a police probe found that three men, who were believed to have fled the country, had left items at the apartment.

An initial search of the apartment did not uncover any bomb components or substances used in bombs, the source added.

Sriwara said the search stemmed from information that an individual involved in the bombings had left personal items at the apartment a few days ago.

The authorities wanted to get details on that individual and possibly come up with a sketch of the person after speaking with the three women, he said.

She arranged a taxi

“We cannot confirm if the person that left the items was among those wanted in this case. We can just say it wasn’t Wanna Suansan,” he said, in reference to the Thai woman wanted in connection with the case.

Another informed source said that initial inquiries found that the mother’s friend who resided at the apartment might be linked to the man in a blue shirt who carried the Sathorn Pier bomb. It is thought she may have arranged a taxi to get him to the pier.

She is also believed to be the person who collected personal items of another suspect in the case at an apartment located between Soi On Nut 44 and 46 police searched on Saturday night.

Source: The Nation

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Erawan bomb suspect arrested

Erawan bomber 1
Turkish suspect arrested in Bangkok with bomb making equipment.

Police arrested an Arab-looking man at a rented room in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district Saturday afternoon and found a lot of bomb making tools and materials.

The arrest took place at Poon-anand apartment in Nongchok district in eastern Bangkok. A large quantity of explosive-making materials were found at the apartment.

Initially, police said the suspect was a Turksih but Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri late said the suspect carried a fake Turkish passport.

As a result, police could not yet confirm his nationality yet.

Prawut said the suspect was not the bomber but might belong to the movement as police found bomb making materials in his room, including 0.5-mm ball bearings used in the bombs that exploded at the Erawan Shrine and the Sathorn pier.

The arrest was made after about 100 police and troops surrouned the apartment at at 1:30 pm.

Among things found were 0.5 cm diametre ball bearing similar to those found at the bomb sites at Ratchaprasong Intersection and Sathorn pier. The Ratchaprason attack happened on August 17.

Police and troops surrounded the apartment building on Soi Chuamsamphan 11 for about two hours before making the raid.

Several senior police officers joined the raid, including Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sriwarah Rangsitpramkul and Crime Suppression Division Commander Maj Gen Akkaradej Pimolsri.

The suspect was renting rooms No 412 and 414 on the fourth floor of the apartment, a police source said.

The explosion at the Erawan Shrine on August 17 killed 20 victims, mostly foreign tourists. I also injured more than 100 others.

A man in yellow shirt was seen leaving a backpack under bench in the shrine compound shortly before the bomb went off.

Feeds from security cameras led to facial sketch of a foreigner who appeared like an Arab. A police source said the arrested Turkish looks resemble to the facial sketch of the bomber.

Sriwarah said the suspect rented about three to four rooms and police were checking the rooms.

Sriwarah confirmed that police found some materials in the suspect’s rooms that were similar to those used in the two bombs.

Sriwarah added that the suspect had started renting his room in July.

 

Erawan bomber 2

Erawan bomber 3

Police has scheduled a press conference for 6pm.

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Orangutans found in cages on Phuket to return to #Indonesia

Oran

Thailand will return 14 orangutans to Indonesia five years after they were found in cages on the side of the road in Phuket.

Authorities found 13 Sumatran orangutans in Phuket in 2010, apparently bound for a private zoo.

The 13 orangutans were held in Khao Pra Thab Chang wildlife breeding centre in Ratchaburi province, where they bred one more orangutan.

Indonesia submitted a letter this month to request their return and agreed to pay for the transportation of the orangutans.

A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft will fly to Thailand to pick up the orangutans on Sept 7, reported the Bangkok Post.

Orangutans are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and there are just over 7,000 Sumatran orangutans left.

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Op de Fiets van Phnom Penh #Cambodia naar Woerden #Netherlands

Woerden
Toen we uit Phnom Penh vertrokken fietste een hele vriendengroep de eerst 40 kilometer met ons mee.

Woerden - PPPrecies 226 dagen geleden vertrokken twee Woerdenaren op de fiets vanuit Cambodja. Gisteren passeerden ze na 12.300 kilometer de gemeentegrens van Woerden, een schat aan ervaringen rijker.

Als Jolanda Zwetsloot (36) en haar man Brecht van der Laan (35) hun avontuur in één zin moeten vatten, dan is het: de wereld is veel mooier dan ons wordt wijsgemaakt door de media.

Bang
Jolanda Zwetsloot: ,,Op een van de laatste dagen in Duitsland kwamen we aan de praat met een aardige, oprecht bezorgde Duitse. ‘Cambodja? Je had wel dood kunnen wezen! Lezen jullie geen krant dan? Kijken jullie geen tv?’ Nee, wij kijken geen tv. Daar word je alleen maar bang gemaakt. De wereld is echt veel mooier. Wij hebben werkelijk alleen maar aardige mensen meegemaakt. Die keren dat we bang waren, was voor een storm of zwaar onweer.”

Vier jaar geleden was het Woerdense stel naar Cambodja geëmigreerd om te helpen het land weer op te bouwen. Zij in de hulpverlening, hij in de duurzame energie. Mountainbiken was hun hobby en in hun vrije tijd maakten ze lange tochten.

Toen met kerst vorig jaar hun contracten afliepen en ze besloten hadden terug naar Nederland te gaan, zeiden ze ‘met een gekke bek’ tegen hun vrienden: ‘We gaan fietsen’. Twee weken later vertrokken ze op nieuwe bikes met tassen achterop.

Wildkamperen
,,Een tent hadden we niet bij ons. In Azië kan je overal goedkoop overnachten in guesthouses. Maar in het onmetelijk China lagen die zo ver uit elkaar dat we toch een tentje moesten kopen. We hebben veel wild gekampeerd,” meent Zwetsloot.

,,Toen we uit Phnom Penh vertrokken fietste een hele vriendengroep de eerst 40 kilometer met ons mee. Elke dag maakten we iets mee, dat nieuw was, dat we nog niet wisten of kenden. In Cambodja spraken we de taal nog, maar dat hield op aan de grens,” vervolgt ze. ,,Van lang niet alle landen bestaan goede kaarten. In Laos reden we op een mooi, brede geasfalteerde weg, die alsmaar smaller en slechter werd. Totdat die in de bush ophield. Het kostte ons een dag om terug te fietsen.”

,,Toen we in Vietnam aankwamen,” gaat ze verder op de wereldreis, ,,was het daar Vietnamees nieuwjaar: drie weken groot feest. Overal werden we uitgenodigd om het mee te vieren. En overal kregen we voedsel voor onderweg. Soms wel een paar kilo.”

Smerig
,,In de richting van China werden de toiletten steeds smeriger. En in China zelf waren het vijf gaten naast elkaar. Je zit gewoon naast elkaar, maar ook dat went. We hebben in de uitlopers van de Himalaya een pas beklommen van 4700 meter. Het dak van de wereld. Dat was een soort van expeditie.”

,,Het viel met lekke banden erg mee. Wel hadden we pech dat in Servië het achterwiel van Brecht bezweek onder het gewicht de bagage. Een vriendelijke voorbijganger heeft de fietsen ingeladen en ons 45 kilometer verderop bij een fietsenmakertje afgezet. Dat was heel erg aardig van hem,” meent ze.

Voetbal en oorlog
,,In bijna elk dorp op de route kwamen mensen hun huizen uit om ons te verwelkomen. Op de fiets door de wereld trekken, dat kennen ze niet. Ze wilden alles van ons weten. En ja, iedereen denkt dat wij heel goed kunnen voetballen. Arjan Robben, hé. In veel landen zagen we sporen van oorlog, vernielde huizen, granaatinslagen. Laos, Cambodja, Servië, waar niet eigenlijk. Dat zet je wel aan het denken. In Europa merk je dat je met elke kilometer weer langzaam went aan het leven in Nederland. Dat is heel anders dan dat je in het vliegtuig stapt. Dan heb je ineens een cultuurschok.”

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#Bangkok, We deserve better than Thai police’s bumbling bombing investigation

Nana1

To reassure nervous tourists after Thailand’s worst terrorist attack in memory, Police Chief Somyot Poompanmoung went straight to the beating heart of Bangkok’s lucrative tourism industry and made an announcement.

“I suspect that he may have left,” he said about the main bombing suspect in a press conference at notorious Nana Plaza last Friday.

He then canvassed the redlight district assuring punters that they could continue their boozing and prostitution-mongering without fear of a deadly attack.

Nana2

At one point in the evening he was aptly photographed in front of a girlie bar named Suckers.

In their relentless drive to “return to normal” (i.e. keep the tourist bucks flowing) after the bombing, police may have overlooked and contaminated evidence. Human remains reportedly fell from a tree near the blast site two days after the explosion. A BBC reporter found shrapnel across the street from Erawan Shrine days after the attack, and when he tried to hand it over to police they said their headquarters was “closed.”

Yet Somyot has publicly blamed mainly his men’s lack of “modern equipment” for the fruitless investigation so far. “We have difficulties with technology and data,” he added.

Perhaps it’s not modern equipment that they need, so much as basic modern forensic training.

The Thai police have taken their eyes off the ball with a public show of force and horses called “Operation Lock Down the City, Raid the Bandits’ Nests,” which saw 142 arrests totally unrelated to the bombing. Typically, their messaging is totally un-coordinated, with conflicting statements given to media every step of the way… often by the same police officer. And predictably, they’ve butted heads with Bangkok City Hall after accusing them of failing to keep CCTV cameras operational.

It’s easy to joke about how bumbling the Thai police investigation has been, but for the families of those killed and injured this is no laughing matter.

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Source: Coconuts

Thai Government moves to head off tourist fears

Thai Army
Lack of equipment retards blast probe

The government is vowing to ratchet up patrols to provide security and is moving to assure foreigners that travel to Thailand is safe.

The regime is preparing to issue a statement to the international community today, even as police admit their probe into the Erawan shrine blast has been retarded by a lack of modern equipment.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned authorities to release the statement, said government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Bomb probe slows: Police chief blames inferior equipment.

According to the statement as read to the foreign media on Sunday by Maj Gen Sansern, “You will be safe during your stay in Thailand and you will also experience friendliness, smiles and kindness that we always provide.”

The blast at the Erawan shrine in the Ratchaprasong area last Monday killed 20 people and wounded 130. Fourteen of the dead and many of the wounded were foreigners.

Another bomb went off at the Sathon pier on the following day, but no one was harmed.

“The government wants to assure everyone the situation is under control,” the statement says.

“There will be reinforcement of both uniformed and plain clothes officers providing security in every spot to ensure optimum safety.”

The administration is also relaying a message to foreigners planning to visit Thailand, saying: “The government wants all of you have confidence that you will be safe during your stay in Thailand.”

The statement will be translated by the Foreign Ministry and distributed to Thai embassies overseas, said Maj Gen Sansern. It comes after 23 countries and territories last week issued advisories about travel to Thailand.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she was concerned about tourism prospects for the rest of the year following the blast.

Tourism is seen as the only growth engine boosting the Thai economy at a time of slumping exports. Last year, it contributed 16% of the country’s GDP of 12 trillion baht.

Speaking on TV Sunday, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said the Royal Thai Police Office reported the investigation was making “modest” progress.

He said the relatives of 14 foreigners and two Thais, killed in the shrine explosion, had received financial assistance from the Justice Ministry and the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

A total of 100 requests for financial assistance have been lodged and the government will speed up payments, Col Winthai said. Fifty-two people remained in hospital Sunday, he added.

DUTCH:

Bomaanslag Bangkok: Thaise overheid komt met verklaring om toeristen gerust te stellen

‘Toeristen zijn veilig in Thailand’, dat is in het kort de verklaring die de Thaise overheid heeft opgesteld om buitenlandse toeristen gerust te stellen.

De regering heeft een verklaring opgesteld, die vertaald zal worden en via de Thaise ambassades in het buitenland zal worden verspreid. daarin laat de regering weten dat de situatie onder controle is. Er komen meer politieagenten zowel in uniform als in burger die voor bewaking en veiligheid zullen zorgen (zie foto). De verklaring komt nadat 23 landen hun reisadviezen voor Thailand hadden aangescherpt.

De regering maakt zich zorgen om het toerisme die goed is voor 16 procent van Thailand’s bruto binnenlands product en als enige sector in de economie wel groeide. 

NCPO-woordvoerder Winthai laat weten dat de politie een bescheiden voortgang boekt in het onderzoek naar de daders van de twee aanslagen in Bangkok. De nabestaanden van 14 omgekomen buitenlanders en twee Thais hebben van de overheid een financiële tegemoetkoming ontvangen. In totaal zijn 100 verzoeken om financiële hulp gedaan. In het ziekenhuis liggen nog 52 slachtoffers.

Politiecommissaris Somyot zegt dat de politie de politie groep van verdachten kent. Hij wil niet zeggen of het buitenlanders of Thais zijn. De trage voortgang van het onderzoek is volgens hem de oorzaak van verouderde apparatuur. Hulp van andere landen bij het onderzoek wil hij niet.

Bron: Bangkok Post – http://goo.gl/Ertcqg

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