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Need to know:
Police in Bangkok have charged a man in connection with the bomb attack that killed 20 people in the Thai capital nearly two weeks ago.
The man, described as a 28-year-old foreigner by police, was arrested in Nong Jok on the outskirts of Bangkok on Saturday. Investigators say he is likely part of a people-smuggling gang who may have launched the attack in response to a crackdown on their trade. He was found with bomb-making equipment and dozens of fake passports. Thai police said "it's unlikely he is an international terrorist" and more likely that the suspect was acting as a result of a "personal feud."
Despite the trickle of details, the suspect remains shrouded in mystery — or at least Thai police would have us believe as much. There has been much speculation that the suspect is a Turkish national, but that has not been confirmed. He is reportedly being uncooperative, possibly not telling the truth to interrogators and will remain in military custody for at least seven days.
The blast at the Erawan Shrine, a popular tourist destination, was unprecedented in Bangkok, which has struggled with bombings linked to domestic political violence over the past decade. In contrast, the Aug. 17 attack appeared to be an effort to cause large-scale casualties. In addition to killing 20, the bomb injured more than 100 people, mostly tourists. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Want to know:
It's a big effort for two cats. The Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, DC, saved two cats from a meat market in Yulin, China, where their fate was certain, and flew them to the US — a trip that cost about $2,000.
The cats now serve as "ambassadors" for shelter animals in the US. The idea is that they will draw attention and help raise awareness about animal cruelty world wide. Maybe even get some of their new friends adopted.
After all, it's not just in parts of the world where dogs wind up on the menu that animal cruelty is a problem. In the US, 2 million perfectly healthy animals are euthanized every year when they can't find homes.
Look into these sad eyes and tell us you don't care. (Brought to you by the Medill School of Journalism.)
Strange but true:
Pakistani comedian Danish Ali made a video to hit back at how suffering in Pakistan — and other developing countries — is portrayed in the Western media.
In the short clip, a Western photographer speaks to Pakistanis who have lives that are going great but really seems to be fixated on finding suffering in their lives. He manages, still, to make their lives seem bleak.
Ali told GlobalPost that he has "lost count" of the number of times when he was confronted with narrow stereotypes of his native country, and he places the blame on how the Western media portrays Pakistan.
"When I'm abroad it doesn't matter if I'm playing volleyball, or rock climbing, going for a meeting, or a social gathering," he said. "All that the majority of people know about me abroad is that 'oh developing country Muslim he probably hates Western culture, he probably has four wives that he beats every day, I bet he knows about militants and hashish, he must be weird."