The two boys in the back of the Thai police pickup truck were terrified. Dressed in ragged clothes, they had been caught close to a remote people smugglers' camp in southern Thailand's jungles where authorities found the remains of 26 people in shallow graves on the weekend. "When the police raided the camp we ran away to another one nearby," the eldest boy, 15, from Sittwe in Myanmar, told reporters in Bengali before he was driven away. He and his younger friend, from Chittagong in Bangladesh, had finally been caught wandering on their own, just a 40-minute walk from the first camp where they had been held until people-smugglers abandoned it, leaving behind only bodies and a few sick survivors. Thailand's belated crackdown on human trafficking has created new dangers for desperate migrants as people smuggling gangs try to evade capture, leaving the weak to fend for themselves. Stung by a notorious reputation for being a regional hub, the ruling junta have begun hitting back against smugglers. Camps have been raided and traffickers arrested, including more than a dozen officials. But many fear that push risks further endangering already vulnerable migrants as smugglers play cat and mouse with the authorities in the jungles. Each year tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladesh flee persecution and poverty by making the dangerous sea crossing to southern Thailand, a well-worn trafficking route often on the way south to Malaysia and beyond. Until recently, activists say, they were held in secret camps on the Thai-Malaysia border until relatives paid exorbitant release fees. - Weak left behind - But the recent raids have sent ripples through the region as smugglers move their quarry into even more remote and precarious encampments, according to rights groups. Thai police believe the freshly uncovered settlement near Padang Besar in Songkhla province was vacated just two days before they arrived. Alongside those buried in the unmarked graves, the smugglers left two desperately thin survivors who are now in hospital, and a fresh corpse. The teenage boys were apparently able to escape on foot, but it is not known what happened to the others held there. "The raids have gone up in the last few months and the smugglers keep moving their camps, abandoning those who are too ill to leave with them," Chris Lewa of The Arakan Project, which monitors boat crossings and regularly interviews both survivors and smugglers, told AFP. In recent months traffickers have switched to keeping thousands of migrants on boats in international waters, rather than risk bringing them to Thailand. "There is a huge bottleneck at sea," Lewa said. "That is an even more dangerous situation." Abdul Aziz Kade-in, from the Young Muslim Association of Thailand which works with Rohingya in Songkhla, said smugglers and migrants are frantically looking for new routes. "Migrants will probably stop coming for a while or they might go in a different way such as by sea then go directly to Malaysia or Indonesia," he said. Rights groups have long accused the Thai authorities of turning a blind eye to trafficking -- with previous crackdowns doing little to dent the thriving trade. But the military rulers, who took over in a coup last May, insist they are serious this time and that any officials involved in trafficking will be punished "no matter who they are or which position they hold". - Business and image - Analysts say this recently discovered vigour is partially fuelled by economics. Last month the EU threatened to ban fish imports from Thailand unless it does more to stamp down on illegal practices, including the use of slave labour and trafficked persons on boats. The US has also dumped Thailand, which is faced with a stuttering economy, to the bottom of its list of countries failing to tackle modern-day slavery. "The military government cannot afford to have another economic blow. They therefore have to show to the international community that they are tackling this issue seriously now," said Puangthong Pawakapan from Chulalongkorn University. Paul Chambers, director of research at the Institute of South East Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai, believes the crackdown also has a cosmetic purpose. "As Thailand is now already tarnished for its coup-prone image, the notion that a junta can better crack down on human trafficking is something that nevertheless might diminish the warts from the junta's appearance," he told AFP. In Malaysia, those Rohingya who made it know their relatives are now caught between the whims of increasingly pressured people smugglers and the vagaries of Thai politics. And the recent discovery of mass graves has only created more alarm. "They are worried if their loved ones or friends are among the dead or if they are held in other camps," Saifullah Muhammad, a Rohingya activist in Kuala Lumpur, told AFP. "Or worse still," he added, "dead in another unknown grave." The two frightened teenagers in the back of the police truck have at least avoided such a fate. Many youngsters make the perilous journey, aiming to join families already in Malaysia, or travelling ahead to earn enough money to pay for more relatives to be smuggled out. But now an uncertain future in a detention camp for illegal immigrants, where conditions are harsh, awaits them.
Christina Bobb's comments on Fox News sounded more like an admission to some of Trump's critics.
Newly unsealed documents from the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago put Trump in even worse legal peril, experts say
A federal judge on Tuesday unsealed documents that contain new information on the legal woes facing Donald Trump over the Mar-a-Lago search.
Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton's emails said there would be evidence if Trump declassified documents: 'It can't just be an idea in his head'
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- The Root
Previously The Root wrote about how Senate Republicans have no plan to present to the American people as to why they should take control after the midterm elections. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t helping matters by thinking people still have stimulus money to spend as inflation remains high. With 21 Republican seats up for election, McConnell is facing the hard realization that he may not be getting the Majority title anytime soon.
- Business Insider
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham thinks there's nothing surprising on Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes: 'I think what we would see is hardworking FBI agents doing their jobs'
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- In The Know by Yahoo
American woman dumbfounded by plate after ordering ‘chips and salsa’ in Italy: ‘I’ll never get over it’
A word to the wise: "Chips and salsa" doesn't mean the same thing everywhere.
The right has used this phrase for others, but doesn't think it should apply to them.
- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial in Chicago, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
CHICAGO — For the first time after two decades of swirling allegations, R. Kelly’s former goddaughter has taken the stand as a prosecution witness in a case against the disgraced singer. Dressed in a white blazer with her hair in long braids, the woman, now 37 and testifying at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago under the pseudonym “Jane,” told the jury she had sexual contact with Kelly for the ...
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyAt the risk of awarding the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the weirdest study published in 2022. Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.Scientists
- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
The woman had been testifying for more than four hours Thursday about her clandestine sexual relationship with R&B superstar R. Kelly as an impressionable young teenager when she was asked about one of the central mysteries in the case. Why, after two decades of silence, did she finally decide to come forward and speak out? There was a lengthy, silent pause in the Chicago federal courtroom. ...
- The Hill
The Department of Justice (DOJ) improperly shielded portions of a memo to Attorney General William Barr that concerned whether former President Trump obstructed a special counsel probe into his campaign’s dealings with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Friday. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel on…
- USA TODAY
Frederick Woods, now 70, was 24 when he and two other men kidnapped 26 school children and their bus driver in Northern California and buried them.
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- The Guardian
Cheney releases recording of her call to Harriet Hageman, conceding her loss in the Wyoming US House primary on Tuesday
- Good Housekeeping
Singer Jessie James Decker shared some of her latest designs from her line Kittenish on Instagram and fans are in complete awe of how fit she looks.
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
When someone fully and completely embraces a public life, there really are no personal issues. That dynamic is becoming abundantly clear with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who has fully embraced and cultivated a platform that has resulted in the aggressive pursuit of multiple business interests, has had his football career plunge into mystery with [more]
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The clip will help you keep track of the former president's growing number of attorneys.
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Trump had a habit of keeping documents if he thought "something was cool" or it was "personally advantageous," Haberman said on a podcast.
I'm a former college teacher. I wish parents would teach their kids these 3 life skills before they're done with high school.
The author taught in college for nine years and shares three things all parents should be teaching their kids before they head out to college.