Japanese 'baby factory' man wins custody of 13 kids born to Thai surrogates

Feb 20, 2018 - 12:27 PM

The murky case threw the spotlight on Thailand's then unregulated rent-a-womb industry in 2014, and helped push authorities to bar foreigners from paying for Thai surrogates in 2015

POST-VERDICT STATEMENT. Kong Suriyamontol (C-with sunglasses), the Thai lawyer for Japanese national Mitsutoki Shigeta, speaks to the press after his client was granted paternity rights to his children, at a juvenile court in Bangkok on February 20, 2018. Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Senate OKs treaties vs double taxation with Mexico, Thailand, Sri Lanka

Feb 20, 2018 - 6:03 AM

The Senate also concurs in the ratification of the agreement establishing the ASEAN+3 (Japan, South Korea, China) Macroeconomic Research Office or AMRO

Manila Water expands into Thailand

Feb 19, 2018 - 5:25 PM

The Ayala-led water distributor takes an 18.72% stake in Thailand's East Water which holds concession contracts to operate in 11 locations

Global cyberfraud gang's 'co-founder' arrested in Thailand

Feb 09, 2018 - 5:07 PM

Sergey Medvedev is accused of co-founding the 'Infraud Organization,' an online network that stole and sold credit card and other personal identity data, causing $530 million in losses, according to US authorities

SERGEY MEDVEDEV. This handout taken by the Royal Thai Police on February 2, 2018 and received on February 9, 2018 shows Russian national Sergey Medvedev (C), 31, being arrested by Thai police in Bangkok for involvement in a transnational cyber crime gang. Photo by Royal Thai Police/AFP

Thai students taunt 'Rolex General' in latest burst of dissent

Feb 03, 2018 - 6:48 PM

The watch scandal has seized a kingdom growing weary of military rule and sparked a spate of creative protests that are challenging the junta's stranglehold on dissent

'ROLEX GENERAL'. University students carry a parade float mocking Thailand's junta number two Prawit Wongsuwan over a current scandal over his undeclared collection of luxury watches, during the annual football match between Thammasat University and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on February 3, 2018. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Penis whitening fad worries surgeons

Feb 03, 2018 - 12:16 PM

'I think it should not be done in a patient that doesn't need it,' Milanese plastic surgeon Massimiliano Brambilla, who specializes in genital procedures, tells Agence France-Presse

THAI FAD. This promotional handout from 2016 and received by AFP on January 4, 2018 from Lelux Hospital shows a man undergoing a penis whitening procedure at the Bangkok branch of Lelux Hospital.  AFP Photo

Britain to move Bangkok embassy after record sale

Feb 01, 2018 - 7:29 AM

The record £420 million ($596 million) sale of the embassy in Bangkok's Lumpini neighborhood is the UK foreign ministry's biggest ever such deal and the biggest land deal in Thai history

MOVING OUT. In this file photo, a Thai policeman stands guard at the entrance of British embassy in Bangkok, 08 July 2005. Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Thai pollster quits after junta watch scandal survey buried

Jan 29, 2018 - 5:46 PM

NIDA's president Pradid Wanrat, a member of the junta-backed National Legislative Assembly, admits to blocking the poll, citing the ongoing work of the anti-corruption commission and suggested the results could be released afterwards

Ousted Thai party slams fresh election delay to 2019

Jan 26, 2018 - 4:47 PM

Elections will likely be delayed for 3 months and fall some time in 2019, deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwon says, without giving a clear date

PRAWIT WONGSUWON. Deputy Thai Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon (C) delivers a speech during a meeting in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on April 6, 2016. Photo by Madaree Tohlala/AFP

Firebrand who prodded Thai coup indicted on terrorism, treason

Jan 24, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Suthep Thaugsuban is formally charged alongside 8 other Democrat party politicians

SUTHEP THAUGSUBAN. Suthep Thaugsuban, a key leader of anti-government street protests that led to the May 2014 military takeover, answers questions at a press conference in Bangkok on July 30, 2015. File photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/ AFP

Thai cops nab Pakistani passport forger with ISIS links

Jan 19, 2018 - 4:47 PM

Mohammad Iqbal is arrested on January 14 in a Bangkok suburb in possession of Singaporean and Indian fake passports as well as plates and laminates to forge entry visas to France, Italy and Spain

Almond Vosotros to debut in Thai League, but dreams of PBA return

Jan 15, 2018 - 6:50 PM

Almond Vosotros enters the TBSL with mixed emotions including a desire to one day return to the PBA

PLAYING ABROAD. Almond Vosotros looks forward to international experience but admits it's difficult to be away from his family and child. File photo by Czeasar Dancel/Rappler

Japanese crime boss held in Thailand after 'yakuza' tattoos go viral

Jan 11, 2018 - 8:29 PM

The fugitive, Shigeharu Shirai, is arrested by a SWAT team on Wednesday in the sleepy central Thai market town of Lopburi while he was out shopping

SHIGEHARUI SHIRAI. This handout photo taken on January 10, 2018 and received by the Royal Thai Police shows retired Japanese crime boss Shigeharu Shirai (C), 72, being paraded to show his gang-style tattoos to reporters at a police station after his arrest in the central Thai province of Lopburi. Photo by Thai Royal Police/AFP

Not cut out for the job: Thai PM's stunt bemuses public

Jan 09, 2018 - 7:45 PM

Talking to reporters outside Government House on Monday, Prayut turned the media's attention to a life-size likeness of himself after an aide dutifully places the cut-out in front of a microphone

PRAYUT CHAN-O-CHA. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Thailand says drone users must register or face jail, fines

Jan 09, 2018 - 5:01 PM

Anyone using an unregistered drone after Tuesday risks a 100,000 baht ($3,100) fine or a maximum of 5 years' imprisonment, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Office

DRONE REGISTRATION. A new GoPro Karma foldable drone is seen flying during a press event in Olympic Valley, California on September 19, 2016. File photo by Josh Edelson/AFP

Almond Vosotros set for Thailand league debut

Jan 08, 2018 - 7:02 PM

Vosotros packs his bags and is off to Thailand for better opportunities

THAILAND BOUND. Almond Vosotros joins a number of Filipinos in the Thailand Basketball Super League. File photo by PSC-POC Media Group

Zimbabwe family stuck in Bangkok airport for two months

Dec 28, 2017 - 8:08 PM

They lack visas for onward travel, refuse to return to Zimbabwe, and are denied re-entry to Thailand after overstaying, trapping them in limbo at the airport

BANGKOK AIRPORT. This photograph taken on July 25, 2016 shows a passenger at the departure terminal of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Meet Cola, the Thai street dog with 'blade runner' legs

Dec 13, 2017 - 10:51 PM

Cola, the former street pup, nearly lost his life last year after a Bangkok man hacked off his front legs with a sword, now he has new sleek paws: curved "blade runner" prosthetics

BLADE RUNNER. This photo taken on December 12, 2017 shows John Dalley fitting Cola the dog with his new curved 'blade runner' prosthetic legs at Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket. Just over a year after he was brutally maimed for gnawing on a neighbor's boots, Cola the canine is romping across a Phuket beach on sleek new paws: curved "blade runner" prosthetics modelled after those used by Paralympian sprinters. Photo Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Funeral held for Thai cadet at center of army abuse scandal

Dec 11, 2017 - 12:05 AM

There is mounting pressure on Thailand's army to explain what happened to 18-year-old Pakapong Tanyakan

Supicha Tanyakan, the sister of Pakapong Tanyakan, a first year cadet in the Thai army, carries his photo during a cremation ceremony in Chonburi on December 10, 2017. A Thai army recruit whose murky death has raised concerns about the treatment of new conscripts suffered physical assault, his family said on December 10, citing the results of an autopsy as they held a funeral for the cadet. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT

Huelgas, Benedicto clinch Top Asian Elite honors in Ironman 70.3 Thailand

Nov 26, 2017 - 7:25 PM

Filipino triathletes Nikko Huelgas and August Benedicto continue their winning ways in 2017

1-2 FINISH. National athletes Nikko Huelgas and August Benedicto take the top two honors in the Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand. Photo from Foremost Ironman 70.3 Thailand Facebook

How climate change affects ASEAN affairs

Nov 25, 2017 - 5:08 PM

'ASEAN has a big role to play as a conduit for regional and global cooperation to address climate change'

CHANGING INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. Climate patterns may affect international relations through humanitarian crises, migration threats, and an increasing need for greater imports of vital goods

A region in panic: ASEAN doubles down against ISIS threat

Nov 17, 2017 - 11:05 AM

World leaders understand that the ISIS threat is not over and a war could erupt again – in their countries, if not in the Philippines – as they expect the return of Asian fighters from the Middle East

URBAN WARFARE. The war in Marawi City challenged Filipino troops used to fighting in the jungles. Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

What were the other ASEAN countries up to in Manila?

Nov 16, 2017 - 2:00 PM

A rundown of the main concerns and activities of the ASEAN member-states at the 31st Summit in Manila

ASEAN SUMMIT. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and leaders and representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states do the traditional ASEAN handshake as they pose for a photo following the signing ceremony of the ASEAN Concensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of the Migrant Workers at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 14, 2017. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

7 PH soap operas that made waves in Southeast Asia

Nov 14, 2017 - 2:00 PM

Filipino teleseryes have also become popular among our ASEAN neighbors

Miss Earth 2017 candidates share views on ASEAN, love for country

Nov 13, 2017 - 6:50 PM

The Southeast Asian ladies tell us what they want their leaders to push for during the 31st ASEAN Summit, and what they love about their countries

[OPINION] How rich are Filipinos compared to our ASEAN neighbors?

Nov 13, 2017 - 12:01 PM

Compared to our ASEAN neighbors, the Philippines has treaded on a deviant growth path. Now, our poorer neighbors are growing faster than us. As we lead this year’s special ASEAN Summit, we might ask ourselves: How can we bolster our shaky standing in the region?

Meet the spouses of the ASEAN leaders

Nov 12, 2017 - 4:00 PM

Rappler places the spotlight on some of the spouses of the ASEAN leaders, from Brunei's Queen Saleha to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's long-time partner Honeylet Avanceña

MEET THE SPOUSES. Rappler looks at some of the spouses of ASEAN leaders. File photos from

Trump praises Philippines for closing gender gap

Nov 11, 2017 - 8:47 AM

US President Donald Trump makes these remarks ahead of his trip to the Philippines for ASEAN 2017

TRUMP IN VIETNAM. US President Donald Trump speaks on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit, part of the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit, in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 10, 2017. Photo by Anthony Wallace/Pool/AFP

How Facebook has affected ASEAN democracies

Nov 11, 2017 - 8:00 AM

With over 300 million monthly active Facebook users in Southeast Asia, various countries in the region, including those under military or one-party rule, have already seen how Facebook has negatively impacted their democracies

FAST FACTS: Minimum wage in ASEAN countries

Nov 10, 2017 - 3:44 PM

The Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia have the highest minimum wage rates in the region

21 must-try dishes from ASEAN countries

Nov 10, 2017 - 9:58 AM

Each Southeast Asian country offers a remarkable food experience you should not miss

Press freedom: What challenges do ASEAN journalists face?

Nov 09, 2017 - 12:06 PM

Censorship by state authorities, harassment and intimidation by armed forces, and repressive press laws continue to stifle free expression among ASEAN member countries

PRESS FREEDOM. Journalists in ASEAN face threats, censorship, and repressive laws.

Thailand to require fingerprints, face scans for SIM cards

Nov 07, 2017 - 6:00 PM

Officials look at it as one solution to cyber fraud, cyber terrorism, and illegal click farm operations

Funeral for late Thai king Bhumibol draws to a close

Oct 29, 2017 - 9:43 PM

King Bhumibol Adulyadej's children carry golden urns containing his relics from the Grand Palace to two Bangkok temples where they will be housed

Mourners pray for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the procession transferring the relics and his ashes from the Grand Palace to a local temple in Bangkok on October 29, 2017.  A year of official mourning for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was to end after a lavish five-day funeral full of pageantry and religious ritual. / AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU

The week in photos: October 21-27, 2017

Oct 28, 2017 - 2:50 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

CHAT. Pope Francis (R) speaks during a video conference connection with the International Space Station (ISS), at the Vatican on 26 October, 2017. Photo by Osservatore Romeno/AFP

Año is DILG Undersecretary, Abella still Presidential Spox, Thai king | Evening wRap

Oct 27, 2017 - 9:51 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Jee Geronimo

Relics picked from late Thai King's ashes

Oct 27, 2017 - 3:39 PM

The 5-day funeral, which concludes on Sunday and cost some $90 million dollars, has seized the attention of a nation where love for Bhumibol Adulyadej runs deep

ASHES. Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn (L) takes part in a funeral procession where the relics and ashes of his father the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej will be transferred to the Grand Palace from the Royal Crematorium in Bangkok on October 27, 2017. Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Tourists bemused as Bangkok sobers up for Thai king funeral

Oct 26, 2017 - 8:51 PM

Streets are deserted in Bangkok's infamous red light district, where bars and clubs are dark on the eve of the massive funeral for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej

FASCINATION. Tourists walk past an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the eve of his cremation in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, October 26, 2017

Oct 26, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday.

FAST FACTS: Thailand's royal cremation

Oct 26, 2017 - 10:16 AM

Here are a few things to know about the funeral of a king revered as a demi-god, and who reigned for 7 decades

REVERED. A woman holds an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as mourners wait for his funeral to begin in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thais bid final goodbye to beloved King Bhumibol

Oct 26, 2017 - 7:06 AM

(UPDATED) The lavish funeral will give the public a chance to bid an emotional farewell to a king who was crowned in 1950 and soared over decades of Thai history

REVERED. A woman holds an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej with his mother as mourners gather to wait for his funeral to begin in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thai mourners gather ahead of cremation of late King

Oct 25, 2017 - 5:00 PM

The cremation late Thursday will be the biggest Thai royal event for a century and will see colourful funeral processions pass through the capital before his pyre is lit inside a purpose-built site

CREMATION. Police march past a portrait of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej before his funeral outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

Making of a monarch: Thais set to part with the 'people's king'

Oct 24, 2017 - 10:48 AM

The late King Bhumibol Adulaydej is remembered as regal but accessible, rich but unflashy and always dedicated to the Thai people

IN MOURNING. People display images of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a ceremony marking one year since his death, in a field in Ayutthaya on October 13, 2017. Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Killings won't solve drug problem, ex-Thai PM Abhisit says

Oct 21, 2017 - 11:33 PM

Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva reflects on Thailand's own war on drugs, which was similar to President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign

DRUG WAR. Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva delivers a lecture on liberal democracy and post-truth politics at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City on October 18, 2017. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

A year after King's death, Thais prepare for final goodbye

Oct 13, 2017 - 1:52 PM

The past year has drawn out remarkable scenes of collective mourning across the kingdom, with many Thais expunging color from their wardrobes and donning only black and white for most of the year

ONE YEAR. People clad in black in a sign of mourning pray as they listen to Buddhist monks chant mantras during a ceremony led by monks in front of Bangkok's City Hall on October 13, 2017, marking one year since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Thai junta chief vows elections in November 2018

Oct 10, 2017 - 4:40 PM

'In November 2018 there will be an election. Is it clear?' the often gruff leader tells reporters, adding he would announce the exact date next June

THAILAND ELECTIONS? Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha looks on as he walks during a welcoming ceremony for Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena at Government House in Bangkok on November 2,2015. File photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

PH can be ASEAN model for migration policies – World Bank

Oct 09, 2017 - 2:22 PM

A new World Bank study says ASEAN countries should reform their migration policies to boost labor mobility and promote the welfare of migrant workers in the region

MIGRATION. OFWs ready to leave the Philippines for better income opportunities. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Timnas U-19 kalahkan Thailand U-19 3-0

Oct 08, 2017 - 9:40 PM

Blunder di babak pertama membuat Thailand tak lagi bisa melakukan perlawanan

Timnas U-19. Foto diambil dari laman PSSI

Trump hails 'very strong' ties with Thailand

Oct 03, 2017 - 7:10 AM

Describing Prayut's visit as a 'great honor,' Trump offers a symbolic show of unity with the man behind a 2014 takeover that resulted in Washington cutting aid and cooling relations

PRAYUT IN DC. US President Donald Trump and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha take part in a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP

Thailand expects 250,000 to attend late king's cremation

Sep 29, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Spanning four days from October 25-29, the cremation event will be a spectacular and costly affair infused with Buddhist ceremonies, cultural performances and arcane palace rituals that will send Bhumibol Adulyadej's spirit off to the afterlife

BHUMIBOL'S DEATH. A person holds a photo of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej as people react to his death on October 13, 2016 at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. File photo by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP