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Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), one of Thailand’s top retailers, recently won the bid to acquire UK-based Tesco’s Asian massive chain of supermarkets and convenience stores for over $10 billion.

CP beat out the TCC Group Co beer brewing dynasty and Chirathivat family’s Central Group for the deal.

The deal brings the Lotus brand name back under the CP umbrella after being separated for over two decades–CP originally sold the retail chain to the UK retail giant Tesco in 1998.

The merger will be officially be done through the CP Retail Development Co, a Thailand private limited company.

After the deal, CP will now own 87% of Tesco Lotus stores in Thailand and %100 in Malaysia.

The merger, however, has raised red flags to some who think that the deal only furthers the monopolization of Thailand’s retail sector.

As it stands now, CP already owns the entirety of Thailand’s ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience store empire and its popular Siam Makro supermarket chain.

Before the deal officially goes through, it will have to be reviewed by the Office of Trade Competition Commission (OTCC) who will examine whether it constitutes a market monopoly.

The agency will either issue an approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval of the merger.

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R. Kelly’s attorney is arguing that some charges against his client should be dropped due to an “unconstitutional” law in New York state that bans people with sexually-transmitted diseases from engaging in intercourse.

The embattled R&B singer has been charged with numerous sex-related offenses, including child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.

The New York law in question states that it is illegal for anyone to have sex with another if they knowingly have an “infectious venereal disease”.

R. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, says the law is “unconstitutional” because it infringes on the privacy of individuals and makes it illegal “to have private, consensual sexual intercourse”.

Individuals who commit crimes and are blacklisted from Thailand can get their ban from Thailand reversed in court.

“This statute is facially unconstitutional. It prohibits sexual intercourse by anybody who has an STD. The definition is vast, ranging from HIV to yeast infections … It includes HPV and ‘scabies,’” Greenberg wrote in the motion filed in Brooklyn.

“It does not require that the disease be passed on, nor does it allow the consenting adults to have sexual intercourse if the venereal disease is disclosed beforehand. It does not permit the use of a condom, or account for modern-day suppression drugs.”

One of R. Kelly’s alleged victims stated that the singer had given her genital herpes without telling her beforehand that he carried the disease.

R. Kelly’s trial is set to begin on October 13. He faces 13 criminal counts.

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Judge, Who Shot Himself in a Yala Courtroom Last Year, Commits Suicide

March 9, 2020

A Yala judge recently committed suicide and left behind an emotional letter that spotlights the need for judicial reform in Thailand to ensure the independence of trial courts. Khanakorn Pianchana, who previously headed the trial court at Yala Provincial Court Thailand’s southern border region, made headlines last October when he attempted suicide in a courtroom […]

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Judge Okays Nation’s First Safe Injection Site in Philadelphia

March 5, 2020

A federal judge has ruled that the nation’s first supervised injection site in Philadelphia does not violate federal law. A non-profit called Safehouse lobbied the city government to allow them to open a site where addicts could administer heroin and other drugs under medical supervision in a safe environment. The safe injection sites will also […]

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