Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe....

Catch a Thailand by the toe (but no pictures, please):

"Still no answers in Bangkok bombing; Officials clash on role of cameras" by Nattasuda Anusonadisai and Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press  August 26, 2015

BANGKOK — The investigation into Bangkok’s deadly bombing turned into a blame game after police said their progress was hindered by faulty security cameras and city hall shot back Tuesday, insisting the cameras are not the problem.

In the absence of solid leads into who carried out Thailand’s deadliest attack in recent history, a debate has emerged about the street-side cameras and whether they are working.

The national police chief first raised the matter on Monday, saying 15 of 20 security cameras along the main suspect’s getaway path were broken, leaving police to use their ‘‘imagination’’ to piece together his movements.

Police Chief Somyot Poompanmoung also said his officers lacked high-tech equipment to clarify images of the suspect, who is seen in a fuzzy video leaving a backpack at the scene minutes before the blast on Aug. 17 that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured.

‘‘Our problems come from the CCTV cameras,’’ Somyot said Tuesday. ‘‘They are installed too high, too far apart, and the camera quality makes them unable to take high-resolution footage.’’

The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority called a news conference Tuesday to reject the criticism of its cameras.

Major Vichai Sangprapai, an adviser to the Bangkok governor, said there are 107 security cameras in the vicinity of the attack, of which four were broken on Aug. 17. However, only one of the faulty cameras was along the suspect’s path, he said.

‘‘There was only one broken camera at Rajaprasong intersection, and that would not distort the investigation,’’ he said. ‘‘Please do not use the impairment of one camera to generalize that all the security cameras in Bangkok are inefficient.’’

The city has installed more than 50,000 security cameras that are constantly monitored and maintained, said Taweesak Lertprapran, head of the BMA’s traffic and transport agency.

Vichai added that the city uses cameras of an ‘‘international standard,’’ but some are designed to monitor the surrounding area while others are for security or traffic purposes, and can zoom in for details.

More than one week after the bombing at the capital’s revered Erawan Shrine, police appeared no closer to tracking down suspects or determining a motive for the attack.

Police have released an artist’s sketch of the main suspect, who was seen in a security video from the open-air shrine, and later on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.


It's catch an elephant by the toe:

"Thailand destroys more than 2 tons of illegal ivory" Associated Press  August 27, 2015

BANGKOK — Thai authorities destroyed more than 2 tons of smuggled ivory Wednesday, in the latest move by the government to avoid possible economic sanctions over a perceived failure to tackle the illicit trade.

Tusks from more than 200 dead African elephants and other items made from ivory, such as jewelry and statues, were spread across viewing tables before being crushed by a machine into small pieces that were to be incinerated later in the day.

‘‘This event shows the international community that Thailand intends to tackle the illegal ivory trade,’’ said Nipol Chotiban, head of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Thailand’s record on ivory is poor. The United Nations body that tries to tackle the illegal ivory trade lists Thailand as the world’s second-biggest end-user market, behind China.


Nothing on Tianjin again today.

Also see:

Ohio zoo sending endangered rhino to Indonesia to mate
Panda mom is caring for only one of her twin babies
Smaller of twin newborn pandas dies
Rescued Vt. pythons relocate to Mass. sanctuary
Vt. woman pleads not guilty to killing two cousins, aunt

They treat animals better than people up there.


Puppy thrown from moving vehicle in Lowell
2½-foot long lizard found on Yarmouth street
Two fish hatcheries in Vermont remain shut four years after Irene
Panda cub is a boy, D.C. zoo says