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Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld a death penalty sentence given to two migrant workers from Myanmar who were convicted of murdering two British tourists.

In 2015,  Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge and the killing of David Miller on Koh Tao, an island paradise known for backpackers and scuba diving.

The two had met at a diving resort before being found dead on the beach from head wounds just a few days later.

The Supreme Court upheld the ruling after examining the forensic results.

The two convicted men have long maintained their innocence and are currently seeking a royal pardon.

Some rights groups have argued that the men were treated unfairly by authorities throughout the investigation and were used an easy scapegoat to silence a story that blew up internationally, potentially damaging Thailand’s prized tourism industry.

During the investigation, it was also shown that police committed multiple mishaps, and some claiming that the police mishandled DNA evidence.

Police on Koh Tao were also accused of torturing the two Myanmar citizens in an effort to coerce a confession.

The families of the victims were initially skeptical about the convictions of the two migrant workers, but after examining the most recent rulings and evidence, they eventually backed the conviction.

Thailand has been in hot waters with the international community recently for its renewed interest in using the death penalty as a deterrent for crimes, according to Thailand criminal defense attorneys.

Last year, Thailand executed a man for the first time since a 2009 moratorium on the practice was instated.

Read the full story here.

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John Oliver Blasts US Legal Immigration System

by Admin on September 18, 2019

On his popular HBO show LastWeekTonight, comedian John Oliver skewered the US legal immigration system, smacking down the common talking point that people wanting to immigrate to the US should “get in line” and come in “the right way”.

In truth, as Oliver points out, the legal immigration process in America doesn’t provide a clear or realistic pathway for many people at all.

One rule in the US states that no country should make up more than 7% of the total legal immigration population coming to the US per year.

This means immigrant hopefuls from populous countries like China, India, or Mexico oftentimes have to wait decades if they want to enter the country legally.

Oliver also points out that only “direct” family members are permitted to permanently reside in the country legally as an immigrant, meaning no cousins, no aunts, no uncles, no grandchildren, or no grandparents–just kids, parents, and spouses or fiancees.

Oliver then categorizes legal immigration into “good luck” and “bad luck”.

What Oliver means by “good luck”, is people that apply for the legal immigration lottery.

The problem with this category is that literally millions of people apply for the lottery every year, while only 50,000 are accepted.

As Oliver notes, this is roughly the same odds as becoming a victim of gun violence in America.

The “bad luck” category means those who seek asylum in the US.

These refugees make up a significant portion of the US legal immigration, but in recent years, the Trump administration has been trying hard to limit this number as much as possible.

Basically, Oliver points out that in reality there are very few legal routes to US citizenship, green card status, or another form of legal permanent residency.

For this reason, he argues, it should be no surprise that millions of people enter America every year and stay as illegal immigrants.

Read the full story here.


Thai Immigration Boast About New Biometrics Identification System

September 16, 2019

Thailand immigration officials have praised the new biometrics identification system now being used in Thai airports. The biometrics system, in just the last three days, has already nabbed eight foreigners trying to transit through Thailand using fake passports. Three of the suspects were an Iranian family transiting to the UK in search of asylum. Another […]

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Thailand’s Strict Restrictions on Gambling Aren’t Working

September 16, 2019

In Thailand, almost every form of gambling is banned, with the exception of the national lottery, which fills state coffers, and horse racing, a favorite among Bangkok’s hi-so types. Thailand’s current gambling laws date all the way back to the 1935 Gambling Act. Under the strict law, everything from casinos to online betting is prohibited. […]

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