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Recently, Thailand has received lots of negative press when it comes to animal rights and protections in the Kingdom, from its infamous poaching problem to its thriving exotic animal marketplaces on Facebook.

But, fortunately, there is some positive news coming out of the Southeast Asian country as it was recently removed from the list of countries where the illegal ivory trade is a “primary concern”.

The decision made The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), lauded Thailand’s efforts to crack down on its problematic ivory trade, which they said had made real progress.

In 2013, CITES petitioned Thailand and eight other nations to stop the transit of elephant tusks in and out of their countries, but as of now, Thailand is the only country to have its name removed from the list.

According to Thailand attorneys, the victory comes down to stronger enforcement of existing wildlife protection laws that punish illegal traders as well as upgraded regulations.

In particular, the Thai government altered the 1992 Wildlife Conservation Act to include African elephants as a protected species and also passed the 2015 Elephant Ivory Tusks Act, which increases penalties for trading ivory illegally and provides procedures for elephant registration.

The other eight countries still currently on the ivory trade watch list are China, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Uganda, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

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A proposed change to existing immigration law emanating from Trump administration could limit the number of green cards granted to immigrants residing in the US who receive public benefits that exceed a certain amount.

Since the details of the proposed legislation are not clear as of yet, many immigrants using welfare programs have become concerned that their path to citizenship could become blocked in the near future.

The new measure, if passed, would add a huge amount of government benefits to a list that–if used by an immigrant–could disqualify them from being eligible for a green card.

Among the government that might eliminate an immigrant’s chances at a green card are food stamps, housing vouchers, welfare, and Medicaid.

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that immigrants who receive these benefits could end up becoming a “public charge” who is wholly dependent on the state.

According to US immigration lawyer Joe Leeds, marriage and fiance visas comprise a significant portion of US immigration numbers. In order to obtain a marriage or fiance visa, however, the US citizen spouse must certify that he or she will be financially responsible for the new immigrant if they do become a public charge.

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Thai Government Official and 11 Others Arrested for Poaching

October 10, 2018

A Thai government official and 11 other individuals were arrested in Sai Yok Park in Kanchanaburi after being found with severed bearcat paws, a rifle, and other hunting gear. The dozen is suspected of poaching animals in the park. One day after the arrest, authorities found an animal carcass along with bullet shells and a […]

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Thai Police Introduce Slew of New Justice Reforms

October 10, 2018

This week, Thai police working in unison with a justice reform committee introduced a host of new justice reform measures. Headlining the new regulations was the ability of victims to report crimes to any police station across the Kingdom. Before, those looking to lodge a complaint would have to visit the police station within the […]

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