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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

2020.10.01 22:54 500scnds [Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
the below is a reply to the above
Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

2020.09.29 04:57 fgyoysgaxt 20L packing list for 4 years of backpacking SEA

Hi, I made a comment recently about packing in a 20L bag and someone replied that they haven't seen any 20L packing lists for anything other than day trips, so I thought I would talk a little about what I packed. I backpacked SEA for 4 years, I maxed out visa durations wherever I went, but I didn't do any visa runs.
First off, the only thing I bought for the trip was a power adapter, and a travel towel. I got a huge travel towel which was completely unnecessary, before that I was just using a large hand towel (around 1' x 2') which was fine. I want to really stress that you don't need to spend a lot of money for one-bagging, all you need to do is take less stuff.
Ok, with that said, my pack was a GORUCK SD20, I got it second hand for $200, so yeah we are starting off expensive. You definitely do not need an expensive backpack though. My partner had been travelling for over 10 years continually at that point, and was using a $10 backpack from a night market in Bangkok.
Here's the packing list:
Some other items started with me but I got rid of them fairly fast. I brought a graphics tablet with me, a pair of boots, a kindle, some extra lenses, they all went home with in the first year :)
The medkit was overkill, I would probably just take a few Band-Aids and a few paracetamol. That is all I ever used. I actually used the sewing kit once, but a single safety pin would have sufficed.
The DSLR is overkill, but it's nice to have some hobbies to do. After that trip I bought a smaller netbook (surface go) which has a touchscreen, which is a good idea I think.
I carried about a week's worth of clothes and did laundry weekly. I never washed in the sink, I just used laundry services. I was washing less than a kg so it was usually around 50c or less.
I carried clippers so I could cut my own hair, obviously you can just go to the hair dressers, I just find it more convenient to do myself.
Is there anything I had to buy? Yup, toothpaste. I started the trip with boots, and later bought slip on sneakers from GU so I sent the boots home. I bought clothes fairly regularly and swapped them out. I bought a power bank early in the trip, but didn't use it and got rid of it a few months later (I could always charge my phone off my computer so in the rare cases when I did need extra charge, I always had an option).
Is there anything I needed but didn't have and couldn't buy? Nope.
What would I change for next time? Drop the DSLR (it took up a lot of weight), smaller netbook, smaller backpack, drop the clippers (maybe! or change to a battery powered one, maybe!), smaller medkit, no misc electronics (the USB drive saved me once, but I can use my phone on USB drive mode anyway), I don't carry a wallet anymore either.
My main tips are: there are shops in other countries, if you need something you can buy it. There's no need to carry something just to be prepared unless when you need it, you need it now (eg paracetamol). Unless you use it every day at home, you probably won't need it while abroad.
Sorry that was a bit unstructured, I hope it helps someone. If anyone has questions please ask!
submitted by fgyoysgaxt to onebag [link] [comments]

2020.09.25 23:45 allbanglanewspaper Selim siphoned off Tk 13.28cr to Thailand

Selim siphoned off Tk 13.28cr to Thailand
Online casino kingpin Selim Prodhan raked in crores through online gambling in Bangladesh and amassed business firms and a villa in Thailand.

Selim Prodhan
For his investments in Bangkok and Pattaya he was known among many as Thai Don.

He bought most of the properties through laundering the ill-gotten money out of the country after 2018, investigators have learnt.

After almost a year-long investigation in a case filed under the Money Laundering Act against Selim Prodhan and five others last year, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police has come to know about his wealth and properties abroad.

CID officers found evidence suggesting that Selim Prodhan and the five other accused have laundered Tk 13.28 crore they made from an online casino trade.

"Since it will take longer to find the evidence of Selim's money and properties abroad, we have submitted a charge sheet against Selim and the other accused only for laundering Tk 13.28 crore," Special Superintendent of CID's Financial Crime Unit Mostafa Kamal told The Daily Star yesterday.

Officers also pressed charges against Selim's South Korean associate Youngsik Lee, and Bangladeshi associates Akhteruzzaman, Roman, Arifur Rahman and Chowdhury Golam Moula, said CID officials.

Four of them have been arrested and two are on the run.

The investigator found nine businesses, a villa in Thailand and two bank cheques of Tk 6 crore. Besides, 83 bank accounts of the six accused were frozen.

Mostafa Kamal said the investigation officer of the case CID Inspector Shahidul Islam Khan have the permission to launch an independent inquiry to find evidence of Selim's wealth and properties overseas.

Selim also has bank accounts in the USA and has properties in Bangladesh, Kamal added.

Officers are not sure whether Selim has properties in London and Japan.

While he was remanded by the CID, Selim told investigators that after he went to Japan in 1988, he worked at a hotel.

He also claimed that he started a hotel business there, but could not show any document to support his claims, CID officials said.

Selim even stopped paying the rent for his office and home and used to scare the landlords, officials added.

On September 28 last year, Rab arrested Salim at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while he was attempting to flee the country.

Based on information, the Rab conducted a 20-hour raid at his Gulshan office and Banani residence that day.

During the raid, the law enforcers seized around Tk 29 lakh in cash, currencies of 23 countries worth Tk 77.63 lakh, 32 cheque books of three banks, five credit cards, two pieces of spotted deer hide and 48 bottles of foreign liquor.

Rab investigators found that at least Tk 9 crore was deposited in a month to a single payment gateway used for online gambling, with the amount shared equally between Salim and his North Korean partner Doo. The duo had few more online payment gateways.
submitted by allbanglanewspaper to allbanglanewspaper [link] [comments]

2020.09.20 07:11 Steelersgoat Need help! How can I use Chase miles and Ana miles to book a flight to Paris?

So I'm new to award flying and I would love some help. I fly twice a year, once a year to Osaka Japan and an alternating destination with friends and family. I just signed up for the chase preferred and got the 80000 point bonus. Here are my plans over the next 3 years: 3 trips to Bangkok and 4 trips to Osaka using ANA premium economy. I then want to fly to Paris in the fall of 2024. i'll be using my chase to buy the tickets and earn points and then also collect miles on ANA. ANA is not a travel partner of Chase so how can I book a paris flight in the fall of 2024 using both chase points and ANA miles? I really appreciate any help!
submitted by Steelersgoat to awardtravel [link] [comments]

2020.09.16 11:21 Mode2345 These 3 Heartbreak Myths Are Making It Harder To Get Over Your Breakup

Like the Terminator, a breakup is an unrelenting beast.
But unlike that murderous cyborg from the future, a breakup hasn’t just got one target. It’s aim is indiscriminate, and it has no problem wreaking havoc on your self-esteem, sanity, personal hygiene, and anything else it can get its mean, grasping hands on.
In short, it’s grim. And then a bit more grim, with a tiny sprinkle of extra grim on top.
I know—I’ve endured enough heartache. That’s not because I’m a Lothario who women can’t stop throwing themselves at. I’ve just lived a little, put myself out there, taken some risks, and been lucky enough to have found a few people who liked me and wanted to snuggle on the sofa next to me.
However, all of my previous relationships had one thing in common: They ended.
And, as I don’t do well with endings of any kind, the aftermaths were universally awful—that emotional Terminator always pitches up and, like an unwanted house-guest you’re afraid of, hangs around indefinitely.
But one breakup, more than any other, floored me. Moving on seemed impossible. I got well and truly stuck. Inert. Trapped.
In despair, I did what men never did: I talked about it. I’m fairly certain my friend regrets ever making the offer to listen; it must have been excruciating for her. However, for my part, I’m so glad she did, because without her, I’m sure I’d still be stuck in heartbreak purgatory now.
After listening to my story of woe, she dispensed a dose of tough love. And it was her words that jolted me out of my emotional lethargy. Her comments were honest yet compassionate. But, it wasn’t so much what she said as the effect her words had on me. They made me realize why I’d become stuck, and it was all because of what I was telling myself.
Consciously, I knew the relationship had no mileage; objectively, I knew it hadn’t made me happy. Yet that wasn’t what my subconscious was mumbling on about; it was telling me the exact opposite. It was whispering that I’d lost my soulmate, that I’d never find anyone like her again, that I’d now be single forever.
Over and over and over…
What ultimately helped me was, with the help of my friend, directly challenging those three statements. And when I did, I saw them as the nonsense they all were.
  1. I’d lost my soulmate.
It felt that way. Boy, did it feel that way. But, dear Christopher (I told myself), you’re missing a rather important point: You broke up. You’re not still together. If it had been written in the stars, if destiny had preordained you to remain together, you would have. You would’ve found a way through and not finished with each other via text message. You would have endured. You two didn’t.
I have to be honest, it made my argument for her being my soulmate sound a bit hollow. I know love is often illogical, but I couldn’t deny the Spock-like logic of all that.
I was on my way. Next!
  1. I’ll never find someone else like her.
Right, Christopher; this one’s just simply daft. No, you won’t. Unless you plan on dating a clone of her (and you don’t have the technological expertise to build a replica—you’re a drama graduate who can’t even work your toaster), you will obviously never meet anyone exactly like her because she is her—a thoroughly unique individual, just as you are. That’s kind of how it works. Humans are different; they’re not shoes. Different comes with the territory. Behave.
Again, it made perfect sense. But the more I considered this point, the more ‘different‘ actually began to look exciting. None of my previous partners shared many characteristics; if I have a ‘type‘, you wouldn’t know it by looking at any of them. But that was amazing. Thanks to all them, I’d been introduced to The West Wing and the joys of burlesque and had been to places as diverse as Crewe, Rome, and Bangkok. And my world was infinitely richer for having Jed Bartlett and all those other experiences in it (well, I could have quite happily missed out on Crewe).
What else could I experience? What other ‘different‘ things awaited me? Yes—different was good!
That only left one to go…
  1. I’ll be single forever.
Three points, young man.
Firstly, you’re heartbroken and in pain; that’s largely your nonexistent self-esteem talking. Right now, the prospect of putting yourself out there is terrifying. But that’s only because you’re not emotionally strong enough at this moment. Don’t ignore that hurt, and don’t try to bury it. But also, remember those feelings will pass.
Secondly, if that’s what you choose, then that’s what you choose. However, although you can’t guarantee meeting someone special, there’s also a heck of a lot you can do to give fate a helping hand. You’d met your last two partners online; why not a third? Plus, you live in a vibrant, cosmopolitan, world-renown city; there’s thousands of single women in Liverpool. If you want to meet one, nothing is stopping you from getting out there and trying.
Thirdly, so what if you did? I mean, really, so what if you remained single? Would that really be the end of the world? Yes, it would mean adjusting what you believe personal success and happiness to mean, one of the central planks being ‘to be in a relationship.’ But, that’s an idea that has been put there by both society, and your own upbringing; maybe it’s time to reassess those criteria, and maybe being single and being fulfilled in other ways is one of those adjustments.
This last one scared me. Really scared me. But I was right; so much of what I’d deemed to be ‘success‘ were aspects I had never consciously decided upon. Maybe it was time to consciously consider those, and maybe once I had, having a partner wouldn’t be as important to me as it was to others.
However, I was right on the other fronts as well: My current fear of trying again was borne out of being heartbroken, and once that had healed, there really was nothing stopping me from trying again. Whatever path I chose to take, it was mine to choose.
Not to sound cocky, but I was good at this stuff.
Despite the stern talking to and the cold dose of logic, I did still hark back to these three points over the coming weeks. They never really, fully went away. But they did grow quieter with every passing day. Now, they’re an almost silent whisper. At night, once Liverpool goes to bed, I can hear them if I listen hard enough.
But I choose not to.
I’m not yet ready to try again—the last Terminator really did do a fair bit of damage, and I’m still repairing some of it’s handiwork. However, I’m growing closer to being ready. One day soon, I will be. I’ll put myself back out there.
And if that doesn’t work? Well, at the very least, I know what to say the next time that Terminator comes to stay.
By Christopher Donovan
submitted by Mode2345 to heartbreak [link] [comments]

2020.09.07 07:40 LOEXCHANGE LOEX Weekly(September 1, 2020- September 6, 2020)

LOEX Weekly(September 1, 2020- September 6, 2020)
  1. The PC side transaction depth real-time chart is accurately upgraded; the accuracy K-line chart value is upgraded; The compatibility problem has been fixed; the Exchange trading system has been optimized; the project dynamic module has been added; The Bangkok overseas node server is maintained and upgraded; the online project token test. (completed)
  2. The APP side has optimized the handicap display, the interactive experience has been optimized, and the visual design has been optimized; the taker delay has been fixed. (completed)
  3. System maintenance: trading systems and wallets are maintained safely by convention; 30 bugs raised by the business side were fixed. (completed)
  4. Performance optimization: optimization of data cache and optimization of push mechanism. (completed)
This week, LOEx received listing applications from 11 project parties, and conducted business negotiations with 6 project parties. It also investigated the background of project parties, token circulation, project development progress and other information, and is having further detailed discussions with the project parties that has the intention of cooperation.
1.This week, Telegram official communication group 1 and communication group 2, and the customer service staffs answered user questions more than 5321 times.
2.This week, WeChat customer service staffs answered user questions more than 4894 times.
3.This week, the Twitter community answered user questions more than 5067 times.
Coins launched this week: ISD, MI
Overseas business
1.Overseas nodes: A total of 14 overseas partner nodes were contacted, including 9 potential partners nodes and 5 planned partners nodes.
2.Overseas medias: PIVOT, FACEBOOK, TUMBLR
“ LOEX Weekly(August 24, 2020-August 30, 2020)”
New data
The latest data for the LOEx communities in the past week are as follows:
Telegram users increase by 5235+
Twitter users increase by 6346+
Users followed in Feixiaohao increase by 4023+
Ranking in Feixiaohao: 25th
submitted by LOEXCHANGE to loex [link] [comments]

2020.09.03 07:18 HauntedSpy SKs you never might've heard of: Asia

*Note: Russia and Egypt are excluded from this list, since most of their territories are in Europe and Africa. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey are included here because most/all of their territory is located in Asia. In this post, I'll showcase a convicted or suspected SK in each country* on the Asian continent from a list I've been compiling about SKs around the world, which have yet to receive a Wikipedia entry. Each section will contain some info on their crimes, and a link/source from which I got it. I hope you'll find this as interesting as I do. Let us begin. AFGHANISTAN: Shirin Gul (2000s-2004; 28 victims) The Kebab Killer Together with her family, lured men for sex, where she and accomplices would poison and strangle them. They later stripped the victims' cars from the license plates and sold them over the border with Pakistan. Sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. ARMENIA: Maria Torosian (unknown-1900s?; 0-6+ victims) Slightly convoluted case: Torosian was suspected of killing six husbands in her home country, but never proven. She and her family later emigrated to Fresno, CA, in the USA, where her daughter Eliza killed several family members over the years, likely with Maria's help. Committed suicide to avoid arresst. AZERBAIJAN: Elman and Elşən Həsənov (1993; 8 victims) The Cattle Market Killers Father-son duo who killed wealthy cattle farmers between May and July in the Agdäm and Barda Regions. They would lure them with promises of buying their wares, then beat them to death using weapons such as iron rods. Both sentenced to life imprisonment: Elman died behind bars, and Elşən is still imprisoned. BAHRAIN: None to my knowledge BANGLADESH: Babu Sheikh (2013-2019; 10+ victims) Together with two accomplices, burgled into homes in Rajshahi's Natore District that were occupied only by women. Once inside, the trio would rape and kill the victims, before stealing their valuables and fleeing. Numerous innocent men were arrested and wrongfully accused of the various murders. Awaiting trial. BHUTAN: None to my knowledge BRUNEI: None to my knowledge CAMBODIA: None to my knowledge CHINA: Zhou Youping (2009; 6 victims) Gay karaoke singer who hanged six of his partners during sexually abusive choking games between October and November. The men's bodies were then abandoned at the hotels they were killed at. Executed 2014. CYPRUS: None to my knowledge GEORGIA: Venera Obolashvili (1985-2009; 3 victims) Murdered two husbands and an elderly woman so she could appropriate and sell their flats. The first victim was thrown from a train car, the second pushed from a bridge and the last killed in a heated argument. Sentenced to 23 years imprisonment for the final murder. HONG KONG: None to my knowledge INDIA: Sadashiv Sahu (2000-2004; 22 victims) Clothes trader who befriended and gained trust from his victims, before killing them using their own guns, shooting them in the chest. He claimed to have an irresistable urge to kill, and couldn't sleep soundly at night without killing people. Imprisoned, exact sentence unknown. INDONESIA: Siswanto (1996-1996; 12 victims) Homeless pedophile who molested and stabbed to death young boys in Jakarta, usually mutilating the corpses, drinking the blood and even keeping pieces of the victims' skin with him. Sentenced to death, died in prison. IRAN: Farid Baghlani (2004-2008; 16 victims) Misogynist who murdered young girls and women in the port city of Abadan out of pure hatred. Executed 2010. (interestingly, the victims' families celebrated by distributing sweets) IRAQ: None to my knowledge ISRAEL: Vladimir Pinyov(?) [can't translate his surname accurately, if you're fluent in Hebrew please tell me] (1999-2000; 3-5 victims) The Bat Yam Homeless Killer Soviet (likely Russian/Moldovan) immigrant who murdered homeless people in the Bat Yam area, strangling them while they were drinking together. Confessed to five murders, but the last two couldn't be substantiated. Committed suicide while awaiting trial. JAPAN: Yasunori Suzuki (2004-2005; 3 victims) Murdered three women in the span of two months in Nogata, stealing their valuables so he could pay off his debts. Executed 2019. JORDAN: None to my knowledge KAZAKHSTAN: The Borman Gang (1998-2000; 29 victims) Gang of Russian-Kazakh nationals who killed predominantly young women in the Almaty area, usually in sexual assaults, but also killed four men in robberies. After the two leaders were caught, the other members continued killing to divert suspicion, but were captured soon after. Most of the members were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, one died from tuberculosis in prison and another committed suicide before the trial. NORTH KOREA: Park Myung-sik (1990; 12+ victims) The Liver Harvester Between April and September, he butchered young girls and women in the port city of Sinpo, removing their livers and eating them. His reason? He was suffering from cirrhosis, and a shaman had told him that eating a liver per day would cure him of his ailment. Park is thus far the only SK to be officially acknowledged by the North Korean government, although I'm sure there's lots more. Executed 1990. SOUTH KOREA: Kim Yong-won (1994/2005; 4 victims) Cheongju's Yoo Young-chul Killed three women a man in separate incidents, always for petty things, in Cheongju. His senseless murder spree earned him a comparison with one of South Korea's worst: Yoo Young-chul. Sentenced to death. KUWAIT: None to my knowledge KYRGYZSTAN: Amir Suliyev (1966; 7 victims) The Highway Killer Insane truck driver who raped and strangled young girls and women across three Kyrgyz provinces. He was captured after the "ghost" of his final victim began haunting him, and he began rambling about his murders to the doctors at the psychiatric hospital. Committed suicide in the hospital by swallowing rusty nails. LAOS: None to my knowledge LEBANON: None to my knowledge MACAU: None to my knowledge MALAYSIA: Lee Chow Meng (1996-1997; 5 victims) Serial rapist who used his good looks to lure his victims, often sexually abusing or extorting them, but killing five of them as well. His excuse for the murders was that his girlfriend had dumped him because of his appetite for forceful sex. Died in hospital from HIV MALDIVES: None to my knowledge MONGOLIA: None to my knowledge MYANMAR: Penang serial killer (2014; 2-19 victims) Officially connected to the deaths of two women who were found decapitated in the span of three days, but suspected of killing seventeen men in the area since the start of the year. Funnily enough, witnesses have described the suspect's looks as similar of a Tamil superstar. Unsolved. NEPAL: Abhishek Singh (2005-2018; 3-19 victims) Vengeful conman who poisoned various people around the country with the help of his goons. His victims included Maoist sympathisers who killed his father and people he had disputes with, and also included two victims in neighboring India. His final recorded poisoning was of an inmate in prison. Sentenced to life imprisonment. OMAN: None to my knowledge PAKISTAN: Imran Ali (2015-2018; 8+ victims) The Kasur Serial Killer Raped and murdered prepubescent girls in the Kasur area. The case of his final victim, Zainab Ansari, later inspired the Pakistani government to pass a bill to better improve responses to missing children cases. Executed 2018 PALESTINE: None to my knowledge PHILIPPINES: Jesse Ray Otañez (2002; 3 victims) The Albay Killer Together with his mother, he murdered a dentist in Ligao City on March 3rd, slashing her throat. On September 7th, using a homemade .38 caliber revolver, he gunned down an Australian couple in Legazpi. Remained a fugitive for a long time. Captured in 2015, awaiting trial. QATAR: None to my knowledge SAUDI ARABIA: Awdah Ahmad Awdah Salem (2010-2012; 3 victims) The Yanbu Killer Yemeni national who raped and murdered his Indonesian housemaids in a pretty gruesome fashion, pouring acid over the bodies and dismembering them, burying them afterwards. Executed 2012, in the most brutal way possible: crucifixion. SINGAPORE: None to my knowledge SRI LANKA: None to my knowledge SYRIA: Marguerite D'Andurian (1934-1945; 3 victims) Over the course of more than a decade, the Frenchwoman poisoned two husbands and her cousin in three countries: the first in Saudi Arabia, second in Syria and the last back in France. Astonishingly, she was supposed to be executed for the very first murder, but was pardoned by the King. Died in prison TAIWAN: There are several, but autotranslate isn't helping me at finding articles. TAJIKISTAN: The "1997 Tajik Serial Killer" (1997; several murders) Very recent case: this man was arrested in Orsk, Russia after being on the run for 23 years. Little information is available about his crimes, and his name is currently withheld. Awaiting extradition to Tajikistan. THAILAND: Wittaya Jaikhan (2007; 7-8 victims) Security guard in Bangkok who murdered colleagues who slept on the job from January to November in the capital and neighboring provinces. He would try to shake and wake them, before grabbing a metal pipe and beat them to death. Sentenced unknown. TIMOR-LESTE: None to my knowledge TURKEY: Abdullah Aksoy (1962-1967; 13 victims) The Monster of Çumra Kidnapped, sexually assaulted and then murdered men in in Çumra, among them two German archaeologists. After he was arrested for the murder of an elderly man, the rest of the bodies were found buried in the various houses he lived in over the years. He was not suspected, as he regarded as a harmless epileptic. Sentenced to death, committed suicide in prison. TURKMENISTAN: None to my knowledge UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: None to my knowledge UZBEKISTAN: Zohid Otaboyev (2010-2017; 3 victims) Murdered three children in Tashkent's Khobobad neighborhood, later burying their bodies on his property. His reason? He wanted to take revenge on his neighbors, who mocked him with jokes about marriage. Sentenced to life imprisonment. VIETNAM: Trần Văn Điềm (2014; 4 victims) Hooligan who robbed and murdered people in three major cities, stealing their phones and bikes which he later sold. Sentenced to death. YEMEN: None to my knowledge
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2020.08.25 14:12 reddishvelvet Sept 2019 trip report with food recommendations: 2 weeks in Tokyo, Akita, Kakunodate, Hirosaki, Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Hakodate

As I’m currently planning our next trip to Japan for 2021 and loving everyone's recommendations, I thought I’d post a report from our 2019 trip in case it is helpful for others. I know we can’t travel right now but planning for a far off future is helping me get my fix! I’ve included our food and hotels and advice on attractions. This was our second trip to Japan, having previously visited the big attractions in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto in 2015. We’re a couple in our late 20s from London and focused this trip on visiting smaller towns and cities, lots of walking and lots of food.
Transport: We knew we wanted to visit Hokkaido and after we discovered the JR East South Hokkaido rail pass we pretty much planned our trip around this. I highly recommend this pass as it was so cost effective and flexible. As you get 6 days travel within a 14 day period, we could use it throughout our 2 week trip and didn’t feel the need to travel every day so we wouldn’t ‘waste’ a day as we would with the 7 day pass.
Timing and weather: We originally planned to go in October but pushed it back to early September to avoid the rugby world cup (we’re not rugby fans and didn’t want it to impact prices)
We’d been warned about the heat but as most of our trip would be further North we thought we’d be okay. It was very hot in Tokyo - I found it similar to other humid cities such as Bangkok or Singapore so it was manageable if you knew what to expect, drank lots of water and made air conditioned stop offs (London can reach 36℃ in summer but has essentially zero air conditioning, so we love cities that are actually set up to deal with heat!) The only days that the heat was almost unmanageable was Disneyland and Disneysea, where we were out in the sun from 8am to 10pm and running all over the place. If you plan to visit Disney during summer or early autumn I highly recommend staying in an onsite hotel so you can take a midday break and refresh. A typhoon also passed through Tokyo on our first day and we saw some transport disruption.
The weather in Tōhoku and Hokkaido was absolutely perfect and I would definitely recommend going in September. Sunny and warm days of around 24℃ and cooler evenings.
Accommodation: We stayed mainly in business hotels and a few ryokans. I always picked the hotel closest to the station as we were travelling so much, but transport was so efficient and stress free I should have looked more at attractions we wanted to hit instead. I always went for the cheapest smallest room as I knew we wouldn’t spend much time there (hotel rooms are small in lots of European cities as well so I think this is less of a concern for us compared to Americans) There were a few places where I maybe should have gone for the room category up so we could actually move around!
Day 1 - Tokyo
We left London at 3pm and landed at 10:30am the next day at Tokyo Narita. I got hardly any sleep on the plane, but I’ve always been hit badly by jetlag going to Asia so I was prepared for this and didn't plan much for the first day. We ordered sim cards from Sakura mobile and collected them from a counter in terminal 2 arrivals. This took longer than expected and it was past midday by the time we were leaving the airport. Our hotel room wasn’t ready so we dropped our bags and went to lunch before coming back to check in. We were very tired by this point and chilled in the room for a few hours then headed out in the evening to visit Senso-ji temple. It’s nice and serene in the evening with hardly anyone there and we took some cool night time pictures. We also visited the Don Quijote in Asakusa to pick up snacks and kitkats. That night a typhoon passed over Tokyo and there was lots of loud rain and wind - luckily we were so exhausted that we slept right through it!
Food: Lunch at Rokurinsha in Tokyo station for dipping ramen. Queue was around 30 minutes but we were so excited for our first meal of the trip we didn’t mind the waiting and people watching. Recommended for the thick and chewy noodles and huge portions, I preferred the dipping ramen at Fuunji though. Dinner ended up being 7 eleven food and kitkats as we were so tired!
Accomodation: karaksa hotel for 4 nights as we wanted to be convenient for Tokyo station. The price was great (only ¥39,200 for 4 nights) but our room was so, so tiny that we basically couldn't both stand up at the same time! I’d recommend it for location and clean and minimalist design if you get a room above a ‘Hollywood twin’
Travel: Airport limousine to Tokyo station as it dropped off right outside our hotel and we were tired. We had pasmo cards that we actually remembered to save from our previous trip for other travel around Tokyo.
Day 2 - Tokyo
I was short on holiday days for this trip, so spent the first day in my company’s Tokyo office. The only thing of interest was that the overnight typhoon had caused transport issues. I caught the Marunouchi line from Tokyo station and it was running fine but surprisingly empty. It turns out loads of other lines were down until 10am, so lots of people were very late to work. Something to keep in mind if you are travelling during typhoon season and need to get somewhere urgently! We headed to Shibuya for the evening as we wanted somewhere buzzing to walk around and grab dinner. We also bought tickets to Disneysea and Disneyland for the next 2 days at the Disney store in Shibuya
Food: On-Yasai for hot pot on the recommendation of a Japanese friend. All-you-can-eat hotpot and soft drinks was around £25 and it’s ideal for English speakers as you order extra food and drinks through the i-pads on the table.
Day 3 and 4 - Tokyo - Disneysea and Disneyland
I’m a big Disney parks fan and pretty much converted my partner when we visited Disneysea on our last Japan trip (despite him not liking Disney or theme parks!) so this time we visited both Disneysea and Disneyland. My advice is to definitely go even if you don’t like Disney, as the Japanese guests are just as much a unique and charming part of the experience. Just make sure you research the attractions you want to do and get there at least an hour before park opening. Unfortunately, jetlag had caught up with us and I failed to follow my own advice and we arrived 10 minutes after opening on our Disneysea day to massive crowds, which set our whole day back. It was super busy partly because the typhoon the day before meant everyone had deferred by a day and partly because it was the beginning of the Halloween season so you could wear costumes. Keep both of those factors in mind if you visit during September.
Disneyland the next day wasn’t nearly as busy and we got there an hour before opening and had a good head start on all the rides. The Japanese guests' Halloween costumes were amazing and it’s worth going in September or October just to see this. We loved seeing a big group of princesses all eating curry rice at lunch.
Food: We snacked non-stop through the day as snacks were all adorably Halloween themed. We also somehow ended up eating curry both days at Casbah food court and Hungry bear restaurant, which were reasonably priced for theme park food and fixed our curry craving. Casbah is supposed to be 'Indian style' curry but it defintely just tasted like Japanese curry served with naan!
Travel: Train direct from Tokyo station to Maihama and then the monorail to Disney. Even though we were staying in the most convenient location to get there from central Tokyo I would stay on site if going during the summer due to needing a break from the heat during the day.
Day 5 - Tokyo - Sumo
When we knew we’d be in Tokyo during the sumo it became a mission to get tickets. We bought them online when they were released (which was around 2am UK time!) and they go very quickly. I originally tried to get tickets for Tuesday but they sold out by the time I got through to the page so I grabbed Thursday instead. This site has a good guide to buying them We got seats in the B area.
We arrived at Ryogoku at around 11am and stayed until 4:30pm. We would have stayed later if we weren't catching the shinkansen to Akita that evening. It was so interesting watching the different levels of sumos as the day went on. Absolutely a highlight of our trip.
We arrived late into Akita and were immediately faced with a huge blow up Akita dog and multiple Namahage demon statues at the station. During this trip we really looked forward to seeing what the display in a regional station would be!
Food: Lunch at the restaurant in the sumo arena so we could try sumo food (chanko hot pot). Meals were all between ¥1000 - ¥1800. Dinner was our first train bento of the trip (we ate a lot these and always tried to get the local special)
Accommodation: Dormy Inn Akita for 2 nights. Reasonably priced, near the station and with a really nice onsen.
Travel: Activated our JR rail pass today to travel to Akita. We reserved seats on the day with no issue.
Day 6 - Akita and Kakunodate
Weather was beautifully sunny and not at all humid so spent the morning walking around Senshu Park and visiting the shrines. Chatted to a few locals who seemed surprised to see foreigners and asked where we were from. There were also several groups of adorable school children in matching hats taking lessons in the park. Akita itself was quiet and there weren’t many attractions, but we liked slowing down and experiencing a regional town.
Headed to Kakunodate around midday and enjoyed walking around the town and visiting the samurai houses and shops. It was serenely empty and we only saw a few other tourists so the atmosphere was wonderful. I’m sure it’s most beautiful in spring but it was lovely and green in summer.
Food: Tried the Kakunodate local cold udon at this restaurant for lunch. We found the area near Akita station limited for dinner but luckily the Seibu department store has basement restaurants so we ended up at a reasonably priced Tonkatsu place.
Travel: Used another day on our rail pass to get to Kakunodate and back. Train was very empty so no seat reservations needed.
Day 7 - Hirosaki
Left Akita early to travel to Hirosaki. I added a stop here to break up the trip to Sapporo and it was such a good decision. Aomori is so obsessed with apples and we found it so weirdly charming! We passed the massive apple statue at the station and walked to our ryokan to drop off our bags and head to Hirosaki Castle Park. We explored the park and saw the castle, stopping off for some apple pie and kakigori. Then walked to Tsugaru-han Neputa Village and saw all the floats and lanterns for the Neputa festival. There was a tour guide who spoke some english and the rooms filled with floats were spectacular - made me want to attend the festival. The museum desk then called us a taxi to take us to Hirosaki Apple Park to go apple picking. Loved this place - so many different apple varieties and hundreds of apple themed souvenirs! Stayed so long we missed the last bus back and weren’t sure how to call a taxi with limited Japanese so ended up walking back to town, which wasn’t so bad as we got a really nice look at the residential area.
Food: Dinner at this Izakaya. No english menu or english spoken by the staff, so we went for the ¥1800 daily special and ended up with a beautiful selection of seafood. The chef was very interested in where we were from so definitely a time where we wish we spoke more Japanese.
Accommodation: Ishiba Ryokan for 1 night. Very old and atmospheric ryokan with the most charming owner. He spoke brilliant English and even insisted on driving us round town to recommend a restaurant for dinner
Travel: Used another day on our rail pass to get from Akita to Hirosaki.
Day 8 - Sapporo
Our biggest day of travel so far, but it was nice to relax on a train all morning and eat bento boxes. Arrived early afternoon in Sapporo and explored for a bit before heading to Odori Park and spending the rest of the day at Sapporo Autumn Festival. We were thrilled to find out we were visiting during a food festival and had a great time exploring the stalls and trying food from different regions in Hokkaido. Weather was a little cooler but still nice and warm into the evening.
Accommodation: JR East Hotel Mets Sapporo for 3 nights. Our favourite business hotel with great bathrooms right near the station.
Travel: Used another day on our JR pass. This was our most complicated day as we went from Hirosaki to Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate to Sapporo and spent around 6 hours on trains.
Day 9 - Sapporo
We originally planned to take a day trip to Otaru today, but multiple days of lots of walking were catching up to us so we took a chill day instead. We mainly wandered around downtown Sapporo, ate delicious food and did some shopping.
Food: A happy pancake to try Japanese souffle pancakes. So fluffy and so sweet. Sapporo ramen republic for dinner. A whole floor of ramen restaurants. We chose the one with unlimited eggs.
Day 10 - Sapporo
Spent the morning at Sapporo beer museum, although we did the free version without the tour and just headed to the beer hall after. Found the history of Sapporo far more interesting than the beer. Explored the area nearby and then took the subway to Ishiya Chocolate Factory. We thought this place was a bit overpriced (the ‘tour’ you pay for is basically a walk through that overlooks the factory) and very commercial touristy, but still had a great time because the whole thing was fake British themed and so it was incredibly entertaining to be British people there. There were phone boxes and a double decker bus and tudor houses and gardens all done in a slightly Japanese way so it all felt a bit surreal. We also had a Japanese couple stop us to chat and they were delighted when we told them we were English and wanted to shake our hands.
Food: Sapporo Beer Garden for beer and all-you-eat Jingisukan that we grilled ourselves. I’m sure this was quite a touristy place to try it but it was definitely delicious. Fugetsu in Sapporo station in the evening as we were craving okinomiyaki. It was cheap and a great option if you’ve never tried cook-it-yourself as they had instruction videos at all the tables.
Day 11 - Sapporo and Noboribetsu
Spent the morning walking around Hokkaido University campus and visiting Hokkaido University Museum. It was free and interesting but there are very limited english exhibits. After lunch we headed to the station to get a bus to Noboribetsu. We were booked at ryokan so spent the rest of the day soaking in the onsen and eating.
Food: Nemuro Hanamaru for a conveyor belt sushi lunch. We queued for about 40 minutes. Very tasty and well priced sushi and they had some great Sapporo specialities. We also picked up cheese tarts from Kinotoya bake before we left. Dinner was kaiseki at the ryokan and was just as beautiful and seasonal as expected.
Accomodation: Dai-ichi Takimotokan ryokan for 1 night. We’d only stayed at small ryokans before so this place was a bit of a surprise. Lots of different types of onsens that all had different features and hundreds of rooms. There were a few Chinese tour groups that made it less than relaxing. It was a great one-off experience but we definitely prefer the smaller places where you can meet the owner.
Travel: We were planning to use a day of our JR pass to get to Noboribetsu but discovered there was a bus from Sapporo station that dropped off at all the local hotels. This was much simpler with luggage and only cost ¥1100 each.
Day 12 - Noboribetsu and Hakodate
We were up early for more time in the onsen and then set out to walk up Hell Valley and round Oyunuma Pond. The whole place smelled so much like sulphur and was spectacular with the steam rising. There were a lot of tourists and we also saw some school groups, but it thinned out as we moved further away from Hell Valley. We went back to collect our luggage then caught the bus to the station to continue on to Hakodate, arriving early afternoon.
We relaxed a bit too much after checking in to our hotel and then realised we wanted to climb Mount Hakodate before it got dark (we were often taken aback by how early sunset is in summer in Japan) We found the beginning of the route up with some help from an American guy who spoke good Japanese and led us to the tourist information centre to pick up a map. The climb was recommended to take over an hour but we raced up in 45 minutes to catch the sunset. The plan had been to take the ropeway back down, upon reaching the top though we found it had been suspended due to strong winds. Massive queues were beginning to form for the buses down and we knew we’d be waiting for ages, so we made the rash decision to hike back down in the almost dark. It maybe wasn’t the smartest idea; we used our phone torches for light and walked cautiously fast.
Food: We became mildly obsessed with Hakodate burger chain Lucky Pierrot and ended up eating there twice over 2 days and buying branded t-shirts. It was definitely cheap fast food but uniquely Japanese and very delicious.
Accomodation: APA Hotel Hakodate Ekimae for 2 nights. Probably the cheapest hotel we stayed at and it did feel a bit run down. I also wouldn’t recommend staying near Hakodate station as the area felt deserted in the evenings.
Travel: Another day on our JR pass from Noboribetsu to Hakodate
Day 13 - Hakodate
Spent the morning exploring Hakodate morning market and having a seafood breakfast, exploring Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse and Motomachi Park area. Hakodate feels a bit like a bizarro European town due to all the European style buildings and the trams. In the afternoon we took the tram over to Goryōkaku and stayed until sunset. The whole place was beautiful at golden hour but we found ourselves quite cold after dark so had to retreat to the closest ramen restaurant.
Food: We had a super fresh ¥500 seafood bowl breakfast from a place in Hakodate market and snacked on a few other local specialities from stalls. There was lots of themed Autumn food in September so I tried far too many pumpkin, sweet potato and chestnut snacks. We also bought some overpriced Hokkaido melon simply because our curiosity overcame us (I thought it was too sweet) We tried the famous sweet omelette cakes at Pastry Snaffle's and were drawn into Lucky Pierrot again after we found out that each branch has a different menu.
Day 14 - Hakodate and Tokyo
We left early for another long day of travel fuelled by train bentos. The rugby world cup had started the previous day and we arrived back in Tokyo to find many more Western tourists than a week ago. We were staying in Shinjuku so went for a walk around the area and visited Meiji Shrine. As it was a Saturday Harajuku looked uncomfortably busy.
We had tickets to the Robot restaurant that evening, something we’d avoided during our first trip to Tokyo but now thought we might as well experience once. The whole audience seemed to be Scottish and Irish rugby fans, so although it was the most touristy experience of the trip the energy was great and we had a lot of fun.
Food: Wanted to try monjayaki so ended up in a department store restaurant in Shinjuku for more cook-it-yourself okinomiyaki and monjayaki.
Accomodation: Hotel Century Southern Tower for 2 nights. Our priciest hotel of the trip and definitely worth it for location and view.
Travel: Used the final day of our JR pass to go Hakodate to Shin-Hakodate to Tokyo. This was the first time we weren’t able to get seats together when making the reservation on the day of travel, so be aware of that if travelling on the Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen on a Saturday.
Day 15 - Tokyo
Did some final shopping in Shinjuku in the morning and stopped by our favourite coffee place Blue bottle. Visited Nezu Museum in the afternoon and spent ages exploring the garden. Bring bug spray if you go in summer though as I was bitten like crazy! The cafe at Nezu had a long wait so we ended up walking to nearby Sakurai and having a tea tasting instead. It was expensive but a lovely serene experience for the final day. Spent the evening exploring department stores and buyings as many packaged snacks as our suitcases would allow.
Food: Katsukura for Tonkatsu. Highly recommend this place for tonkatsu near Shinjuku station, it put the tonkatsu we’d eaten earlier in the trip to shame. Ebisoba Ichigen for the most delicious shrimp ramen. Our friend had recommended this place for Sapporo and I'm so glad we managed to squeeze it in.
Day 16 - Tokyo back to London
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2020.08.20 18:04 I_did_dit Foster + Partners' cylindrical Apple Central World opens in Bangkok

Foster + Partners' cylindrical Apple Central World opens in Bangkok submitted by I_did_dit to TopDesign [link] [comments]

2020.08.15 09:23 jescobars Moving abroad alone?

I’m in the UK and considering a job based in Bangkok. I’ve always wanted to live abroad at some point in my life, but assumed this would be with a partner or family and never considered doing it solo. I’m currently late 20s and single so I’m worrying a bit about being in a completely new country alone, no friends, no family, new job to settle into... Basically everything new with no home comforts or support network.
Does anyone have experiences of moving abroad alone? What helped you settled in? Was it a positive experience or do you regret it?
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2020.08.14 21:36 Mariamerry786 Doula in Bangkok

Doula in Bangkok
Doula in Bangkok to support you and your partner in pregnancy and childbirth, using prenatal yoga, hypnobirthing method, natural pain relief techniques. Doula is a person who comforts woman before, during and after birth. In her work she can combine yoga, hypnobirthing, massage techniques, aromatherapy, acupressure and so much more. Her role is to support woman and her partner in their birth choices.
Doula in Bangkok
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2020.08.14 09:56 Apple_Slipper Apple Central World Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand (Foster + Partners)

Apple Central World Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand (Foster + Partners) submitted by Apple_Slipper to architecture [link] [comments]

2020.08.12 20:04 I_did_dit Apple Central World Bangkok / Foster + Partners

Apple Central World Bangkok / Foster + Partners submitted by I_did_dit to TopDesign [link] [comments]

2020.08.10 23:05 inetbug M/45 possible 3/2021* trip to Europe* and SE Asia*

I don't see enough middle aged people posting here, I wonder why that is. Is it because we don't travel as often or it that we don't look for travel companions? Anyway I'm looking to meet potential travel companions with similar interests who might be interested in traveling to Europe and Asia next year. I'm planning to go on an extended solo trip some time when travel restrictions loosen up but would certainly welcome a limited travel partner on many portions of the trip. Potential destinations include London, Istanbul, Greece, Egypt and South East Asia including Bangkok, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Maybe also Tokyo and Seoul or other new destinations in Asia. Nothing is set in stone and I'm very flexible with my plans. I am looking to meet like minded individuals who also enjoy peaceful travel on a budget but with a purpose, including cultural immersion and an interest in learning foreign languages, trying different street food, and of course going off the beaten path. I also use my travel time researching untapped investment opportunities, taking classes, playing badminton, and sometimes even real estate. I welcome like minded people regardless of gender, age, background or anything else as long as you share my passion for travel and culture.
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2020.08.10 07:58 LOEXCHANGE LOEX Weekly(August 3, 2020-August 9, 2020)

LOEX Weekly(August 3, 2020-August 9, 2020)
  1. The PC-side V3.2.0 follow-up the development and entered the final stage; PC-side login adds scan code login function; real-name authentication adds the status of review; can view more displays all data in handicap trading order; Bangkok overseas node server maintenance and upgrade; the token test of online project (completed)
  2. The APP version V3.3.17 followed up the development and entered the final stage; APP added usual device login, usual devices support unbinding and rebinding functions; optimized to zoom in and out, optimize visual design; fix pending order delay (completed)
  3. System maintenance: trading systems and wallets are maintained safely by convention; 19 bugs raised by the business side were fixed. (completed)
  4. Performance optimization: optimization of data cache and optimization of push mechanism. (completed)
This week, LOEx received listing applications from 13 project parties, and conducted business negotiations with 6 project parties. It also investigated the background of project parties, token circulation, project development progress and other information, and is having further detailed discussions with the project parties that has the intention of cooperation.
1.This week, Telegram official communication group 1 and communication group 2, and the customer service staffs answered user questions more than 4378 times.
2.This week, WeChat customer service staffs answered user questions more than 4129 times.
3.This week, the Twitter community answered user questions more than 4574 times.
Activity this week: New FTJ Token in "Wheel of Fortune" Activity
Overseas business
1.Overseas nodes: A total of 14 overseas partner nodes were contacted, including 8 potential partners nodes and 6 planned partners nodes.
2.Overseas medias: PIVOT, FACEBOOK, TUMBLR
“ LOEX Weekly(July 27, 2020-August 2, 2020)”
New data
The latest data for the LOEx communities in the past week are as follows:
Telegram users increase by 3876+
Twitter users increase by 3907+
Users followed in Feixiaohao increase by 4376+
Ranking in Feixiaohao: 26th
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2020.08.09 12:57 Gaffer_Gamgee SOME DISGRACE THIS........
Lads and Ladies, we can't be having the gards looking to arrest us and members of our community anymore. We can't be having Irish courts fining ordinary family folk for simple personal possesion, we just can't, not while other people who live like us, people who aspire to the same ideals as we do, can browse freely and in such lavish fashion around the world.
Now, while shopping in a tack-box like this here above is not necessarilly something I would recommend we aspire to, to watch free people do it while we endure social poverty and market isolation under the kosh of prohibition; that's something I find uncomfortably unacceptable to the point where I can tolerate it no more. We cannot let the state continue to get away with its perpetuated, worn-out vendetta against us and we must reclaim our corporeal autonomy, right NOW!
We MUST request our representatives demand compassionate legislative changes during the life of THIS government, and we must come out onto the streets to make it known that anything else will be seen as willful negligence towards the life loving and otherwise law abiding, Irish Cannabis Community.
We need to serve notice of this on Dail Éireann forthwith, and remind them that they are charged with an onus of duty of care towards the integrity of taxpayers that we expect to be in line with our neighbours and trading partners around the world. We will no longer accept criminal association or accountability here in Ireland for a revered and multi-applicable herb that is openly accepted and welcomed from Bangkok to Boston to Barcelona, and we cannot and should not be arresting or otherwise criminally prejuding their own citizens when they come here, for something that is not a crime in their homeland.
The old ways are changing, the tide is about to turn, and it will turn quicker if we can place our collective shoulders to the wheel for but a short while. Don't be frightened by recent events. Its all just a show of aggression and that's all they have. You can see the world is changing for yourself, be a positive force for that change. It is the authorities who are protecting the status quo and it is ultimately the authorities who will have to shift their archaic untenable position.
Come out from the closet under the banner of 'protect and respect' for each other and we can all leave the mask of mediocrity there where it belongs. Rise up my brothers and sisters of Ireland!! I am asking you to speak, very loudly, to everyone..... to whoever will listen to you freely.
Now is the time, let's put prohibition behind us. This year. Stand and be counted. RISE UP!!!
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2020.08.07 12:47 yogaforlifenews Take Time to Look After Your Well Being With an Age Old Alternative Treatment

Take Time to Look After Your Well Being With an Age Old Alternative Treatment
I am not sure about you, but I am always being told to slow down, take a break and take time to look after my well-being - to listen to what my body is telling me and take a step back from the increasingly fast paced life that we find ourselves living in. Honestly, I should probably take heed of this advice I frequently find coming in my direction as there must be a reason why many different people tell me the same thing, and when I think about it, I am constantly busy and in a state of what could be viewed as tension, or stress. I do tend to live life full on and 'full steam ahead' as some say - I actually find it difficult not to when I am living in Bangkok which, if you have ever been here, you will almost certainly agree, is a city that in itself if 'full-on' - it never seems to go to sleep and noise pollution is a phrase that can certainly be applied to most parts of this city, 90% of the time. Especially where I have found myself living is where the city is currently making ready to be its new business district, so new buildings of great heights seem to be flying up almost every other week (this might sound like a complete exaggeration, but I kid you not - this is happening). So everywhere I look I can see building sites and cranes that are almost always in motion, the work never stops. Then there is the added detail that I registered a company here roughly 4 years ago, that I have been steadily developing and growing with the help of my two business partners - each year becoming more busy, with more responsibilities and more of a variety of tasks to complete within consistent monthly delivery dates.
So with all of this in mind, actually it is little wonder why my close friends and families and even my co-workers are often giving me advice to actually take a look at myself in the mirror and forget everything else for a little while to reflect on my own wellbeing - ensure that I am not doing myself some damage now that will in the near or not too distant future have a crippling effect and put a big dampener and everything that has been achieved. Whenever I am receiving these recommendations and advice, something that comes up time and time again and certainly the most frequently mentioned cause of action is to seek out advice from a practitioner of some type of alternative medicine, get some natural treatment and allow them to carry out some of their practiced and age-old methods for analyzing and investigating my body and determine just how good a state it is in at this moment in time. As I am in South East Asia, I am in a good location to seek out this kind of medicine or alternative treatments, therapies and or packages. One of these trusted types of alternative medicines that I have taken quite a liking to, has to be the 1000's of year old method of Ayurveda - where the practitioner has trained extensively in listening and treating the body with what it is asking for to achieve a healthy and complete balance of the elements - earth, fire, wind & water supplements to increase height after 21 .
Where Ayurveda Originated and How It Is Applied to Help Rejuvenate & Re-Balance the Patient
Ayurvedic medicinal practices originated roughly 3000 years ago in India and have evolved gradually over the years, remaining at the heart of ancient Indian culture. The practice also known as Ayurveda; ayur - meaning 'life' and veda meaning 'knowledge' came from the great Rishis or Seers of and ancient India when they sought to find an understanding of the creation and physiology of the human body. They began by ways of deep meditation and thorough spiritual studies to analyse and understand the fundamentals of life, that they then organised into an elaborate system to compile India's philosophical and spiritual texts, called Veda of knowledge. Ayurveda is actually probably the world's oldest know practice of treating the human body and re-establishing true wellbeing. It was first recorded in the Veda which is the world's most ancient known literature and the practice has been passed down the generations orally from teacher to student, and to this day the way of treating different impurities and imperfections found within a person's body has for the most part remained in-tact and the same. This information alone captivates me and leads me towards believing that this would be the alternative medicine for me - if it has lasted for this long then surely it has been proven to achieve great results and surely it can do me wonders, perhaps increasing my daily energy levels and state of true happiness.
I have also in the past had an introduction into another Eastern Medicine, however that was one that originated in China and involved needled being inserted into pressure points across my entire body. If you have not guessed already, I am referring to acupuncture, and even though it is also a way of treating the body that has lasted the times, coming from thousands of years ago, it really was not for me. I found the feeling and even the thought of having needles poking into different parts of my body very uncomfortable and didn't react too well to the treatment - perhaps because of not being able to properly relax while being treated as I have always had a slight fear of needles and wince at the point of insertion. So it is Ayurveda for me and after doing my research, I would recommend it for any of you who are suffering from any kind of illness or unbalanced state of being. Especially if you have already tried various Western medicines that perhaps didn't properly cure you from your unwell state. Why not try a medicine that has been around on this globe longer than anything else I can think of.
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2020.08.03 17:51 buytexnetwork We congratulate all BUYTEX NETWORK leaders for achieving new ranks in July!

We congratulate all BUYTEX NETWORK leaders for achieving new ranks in July!
Dear partners!
We congratulate all BUYTEX NETWORK leaders for achieving new ranks in July!
We would also like to remind you that there are less and less tickets to the official Buytex forum in Bangkok left!
Currently out of the total of 500 tickets there are just 149 left!!!
That being said, there are more and more leaders who keep growing in rank, which means that we'll run out of tickets before the end of the month, because August is the last month of the BUYTEX NETWORK SUMMER PROMOTION!
We wish you the best of luck in reaching the promotion requirements!
To claim your gifts, eligible leaders who achieved new ranks in July should email to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) from the address used for registration with the following information:
▫️ Name
▫️ Login
▫️ Leader rank
▫️ Phone number
▫️ Country
▫️ City
Within a few days you will be contacted by the company representative to further specify the process of receiving your gifts!
Sincerely yours, BUYTEX team.
submitted by buytexnetwork to u/buytexnetwork [link] [comments]

2020.07.30 06:55 GuntherBkk A worthy replacement for my DT990 Pro

Hi guys,
So, a couple of days ago I was told to look for a replacement for my Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro headphones. My partner had enough of the sound they leak while I am using them at the evening / night.
So I did some research and yesterday I had the chance to demo (DT770 Pro, Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless, Audeze Mobius, ...) some interests of mine.
The Audeze Mobius took the crown and I held off purchasing anything yet until I've had a chance to make up my mind only to find out HyperX headsets are essentially reworked Audeze Mobius headphones.
So I looked at HyperX's website. The issue is the amount of different models. I can't demo them (Bangkok is a 2 hour drive for me and just did it yesterday and also unsure which shop would have them all to demo.
So, any people here that have firsthand experience on how they compare to each other? I've read online the Cloud Orbit is the one closest to the original Audeze Mobius. Also, if you have the information, how do these different models perform with music and mainly movies? I am used to the DT990 Pro and very happy with them but the Mobius blows them out of the water when watching movies. I am not easily impressed but they managed that. Not ever I heard anything come close to the Mobius and sound experience it offers for movies (demo was with The Dark Knight).
So any help would be appreciated
submitted by GuntherBkk to HyperX [link] [comments]

2020.07.18 20:38 Travelwriteronthego Looking For a Travel Writing Buddy

Hello! Quick introduction: Before I moved back to Europe last year, I used to live in Southeast Asia as a female (30+) expat - Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Currently I’m working on a short novel idea that captures my experience through the eyes of a female farang character based in Bangkok (what a surprise:). I would like to find a writing partner who has similar interest writing about contemporary Asia or travel as the main focus/framework.
I’m done with my outline and couple of chapters so I’m looking for someone who's working on his/her own project but would like to share the ups and downs of the process. (Thinking of weekly check-ins)
If any interest, please message me here.
submitted by Travelwriteronthego to WriteWithMe [link] [comments]

2020.07.13 08:06 LOEXCHANGE LOEX Weekly(July 6, 2020-July 12, 2020)

LOEX Weekly(July 6, 2020-July 12, 2020)
  1. The PC-side V3.1.9 follow-up development has entered the final stage; the PC side transaction depth real-time chart is accurately upgraded; the accuracy K-line chart value is upgraded; the Bangkok overseas node server is maintained and upgraded; the online project token test. (completed)
  2. The APP side V3.3.14 follow-up development has entered the final stage; the handicap display optimized, the interactive experience has been optimized, and the visual design has been optimized; the taker delay has been fixed. (completed)
  3. System maintenance: trading systems and wallets are maintained safely by convention; 18 bugs raised by the business side were fixed. (completed)
  4. Performance optimization: optimization of data cache and optimization of push mechanism. (completed)
This week, LOEx received listing applications from 12 project parties, and conducted business negotiations with 5 project parties. It also investigated the background of project parties, token circulation, project development progress and other information, and is having further detailed discussions with the project parties that has the intention of cooperation.
Summary of projects launched last week: DOS, MDACX, QCH
Activities of last week: Airdrop Activities for Launch of MDACX
1.This week, Telegram official communication group 1 and communication group 2, and the customer service staffs answered user questions more than 2321 times.
2.This week, WeChat customer service staffs answered user questions more than 3008 times.
3.This week, the Twitter community answered user questions more than 3543 times.
Overseas business
1.Overseas nodes: A total of 10 overseas partner nodes were contacted, including 5 potential partners nodes and 5 planned partners nodes.
2.Overseas medias: PIVOT, FACEBOOK, TUMBLR
“ LOEX Weekly(June 29, 2020-July 5, 2020)”
New data
The latest data for the LOEx communities in the past week are as follows:
Telegram users increase by 2103+
Twitter users increase by 3267+
Users followed in Feixiaohao increase by 2906+
Ranking in Feixiaohao: 24th
My Token ranking: 25th
submitted by LOEXCHANGE to u/LOEXCHANGE [link] [comments]

2020.07.09 03:40 TheManIsNonStop [Diplomacy] High Speed Rail in Southeast Asia

July 2020
Open Diplomacy
With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic over, China has transitioned out of crisis management mode, and is looking to continue its infrastructure investments throughout the region as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Here, we will focus on the China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor and its associated projects. If all of the projects listed below go ahead, China will be disbursing over 100b USD worth of BRI loans to improve transportation and trade infrastructure in Southeast Asia.

The China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor

The Kunming-Singapore Railway

Despite tense relations with many of the nations of Southeast Asia (largely owing to border disputes in the South China Sea), ASEAN is still one of China’s largest trading partners, accounting for 12.83 percent of China’s exports and 12.58 percent of its imports. Meanwhile, China makes up 17.1 percent of ASEAN’s trade.
With the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of trade flowing back and forth between China and the nations of Southeast Asia annually, it stands to reason that the infrastructure in the region is of critical importance to the Chinese economy.
Enter the Kunming-Singapore Railway. Proposed to link the continental portions of ASEAN directly to the Chinese rail network, the Kunming-Singapore Railways proposal involved the construction of several thousand kilometers of new track (in yellow) connecting Kunming to Mandalay and Vientiane, as well as shorter tracks connecting the national rail networks of Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar.
Since work started in the 2000s, much of the railway has been completed, with those few sections of track still under construction slated to open over the next two years. The central route is set to begin operations in 2022, as the Thai portions of the line have already been completed, while the Chinese portion of the route (connecting Kunming to Yuxi to Mohan, a smaller city on the Sino-Laotian border) will open in 2022, while the Laotian portion connecting Vientiane and Boten will open a few months earlier in Q4 2021.
The western route, connecting China, Myanmar, and Thailand, has proven more troublesome. Though the Dali-Ruiling line connecting the Chinese rail network to the Burmese border is set to begin operations in 2022, construction of tracks on the Burmese side of the border has stalled for almost a decade after political turmoil in 2014 brought the project into question. Though Myanmar later changed its stance and rejoined the project in 2018, work still has not started, meaning that the western route will be the last route of the railway to open. Not wanting to see further delays push the project back even further, China has reached out to its friends in Myanmar to see what is necessary to get the ball rolling on this project. China is willing to offer up to 13b USD in Belt and Road Initiative Loans (20-year term with a 7-year grace period, .5 percent interest) in order to help fund the construction of the rail connection, which we believe to be integral to the economic development of Myanmar and the furthering of trade relations between China and ASEAN. This funding is also to be used for the repair of the Burma Railway, which will allow the transport of goods from Myanmar to Thailand.

High Speed Rail Competition

With the first phases of the Kunming-Singapore Railway set to open in the near future, the various countries of Southeast Asia are starting to look at new high speed rail projects to improve certain highly-trafficked sections of the Kunming-Singapore route. Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia are all in the process of performing feasibility studies and tendering bids for the construction of high speed rail projects within their respective countries.
As the two leaders in high speed rail, Japan and China are the largest bidders for these new projects, leaving Tokyo and Beijing battling for influence over Southeast Asia’s future rail network. Several key routes are under contention.
Thailand and China have already cooperated on high speed rail. The country’s Northeastern HSR project, started in 2017 with the goal of connecting the capital of Bangkok to the Laotian border via Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai, is set to begin Phase 1 operations in 2023. When the final connection to the Laotian border occurs in 2027, trains will be able to travel 250 km/h for the entirety of the central route between Kunming and Bangkok. Meanwhile, another Chinese-back HSR project, the Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao HSR Project, is scheduled to open around the same timeframe (2023 for Phase 1, 2026 for Phase 2), connecting the three major airports serving the Bangkok area.
Designed and built by Chinese firms using Chinese rolling stock, the Northeastern HSR project is one of Southeast Asia’s first, and has emerged as a major success story for Chinese HSR investment abroad. In comparison, Japan has struggled to find success in Thailand’s HSR market. The proposed Northern HSR project, connecting Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Phitsanulok in Phase 1, as well as Sukhothai, Lampang, and Chiang Mai in Phase 2, died in 2018 following a feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that found that the route would be wildly unprofitable (the study project daily ridership of 10,000, whereas a daily ridership of 50,000 was necessary to make the route feasible).
With Japan’s recent failures in Thailand in mind, China hopes to deepen its HSR cooperation with the Thai government and crowd Japan out of the country entirely. The Chinese government has reached out to their Thai counterparts to gauge interest in the construction of a 900km long Bangkok-Padang Besar HSR route. This Southern HSR project, first proposed in 2016, would ease the passage of goods from Singapore and Malaysia through Thailand, significantly reducing transit times, as well as improving travel times for passenger rail. With this project completed, there would be a HSR link running directly from China to the Malaysia border.
At Bt152 billion (4.8b USD), the project is expected to be more expensive than the Northeastern HSR project, but significantly less expensive than the Eastern HSR (3 Airports Link) project, which cost Bt224 billion (6.25b USD). The route would be constructed in two phases, with the first connecting Bangkok and Hua Hin, and the second connecting Hua Hin to the Malaysian border at Padang Besar. Phase 1 will be completed in 2024, while Phase 2 will open in 2028.
For funding, China proposes a similar funding blend as used in previous Sino-Thai HSR projects. China will provide roughly 10 percent of the necessary funding directly, while the Thai government will pay 45 percent. The remaining 45 percent will be paid by private investors--in this case, likely the conglomerate of Charoen Pokphand and China Railway Construction Corporation that has built the other HSR projects in the country. Both the Thai government and the private investors will have access to up to 2.5b USD (each) in Belt and Road funding for this project, to be made available in the form of a 20-year fixed term loan with a 7 year grace period at a .5 percent interest rate.
We believe this offer to be highly competitive for three reasons. First, China is offering very competitive financing for the rail network, allowing Thailand to pay off the debt accrued over a long period of time. Second, this rail network would turn Thailand into a major hub for intra-ASEAN trade, as well as for China-ASEAN trade, bringing greater growth to the Thai economy. Third, with all other HSR projects in the country set to operate using Chinese signals and rolling stock, it only makes sense for this project to use the same signaling and rolling stock. This will prevent Thailand from having to maintain two different sorts of stock, and from having to train operators in the usage of two different sets of equipment. In essence, we are hoping that the network effect provided by other Sino-Thai HSR projects will make this offer more enticing.
Vietnam has been planning a high speed rail project for over a decade now, but the finances have simply never lined up. The proposed North-South Express Railway would run along the country’s eastern coastline, connecting Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City while passing through just about every major Vietnamese city along the way. The project is massive both in its cost and scope: with just under 1600 km of track, the line is expected to cost around 56b USD. If construction commences in 2020, project completion is estimated to be as far off as 2050.
Up until now, Japan has been Vietnam’s primary high speed rail partner. Since the project was first proposed in the early 00’s, Japan and its development assistance agencies have regularly applied lobbying pressure to Vietnam to convince the country to purchase Japanese rolling stock and contract Japanese firms for the design of the railway. However, when the project went to the Vietnamese government for approval in 2010, the Vietnamese rejected the proposal, citing concerns that the bill was simply too high (at that time, the 56b price tag reflected over half of the country’s GDP).
With the country’s rapid growth throughout the 2010s, (Vietnam’s GDP more than doubled between 2010 and 2020), the government is once again considering the construction of the North-South Express Railway, with the ambitious goal of starting construction before the end of the year in 2020.
In anticipation of a Japanese proposal for the project, the Chinese government has reached out to Vietnam with its own proposal for the construction. With Canadian firm MorFund Financial Inc. set to contribute 5b USD to the construction of a HSR system in the Mekong Delta region around Ho Chi Minh City, the issue under consideration is how to pay for the remaining 51b USD on the project’s price tag.
China’s proposal would see the project split into three separate phases. Phase 1 would include MorFund’s Ho Chi Minh City HSR project (connecting Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet), as well as a northern project connecting Hanoi to Kunming and Nanning (in China) as well as Thanh Hoa to the South. Phase 1 will be completed by 2028.
Phase 2 will, again, consist of a northern and a southern project, working their way south and north along Vietnam’s coast, respectively. This Phase will be completed by 2035.
Phase 3 will finally see these two routes meet in the town of Hoi An. This phase will be completed by 2045--making the Chinese project five years shorter than its Japanese counterpart.
For financing, China is willing to finance the entirety of the Kunming-Lao Cai and Nanning-Lang Son sections of the track (in other words, the sections within China). For the segments in Vietnam, China is willing to finance 10 percent. Vietnam will be expected to finance 70 percent, while private firms will provide the final 20 percent. As Beijing is cognizant that Vietnam lacks the cash on hand to finance a project of this scope, China is willing to open up the Belt and Road coffers to Vietnam in order to ensure proper financing of the project: Vietnam is eligible for up to 30b USD of Belt and Road loans for this project, to be provided at a 0.5 percent interest rate on a 30-year fixed term lease with a 10-year grace period.
To sweeten the deal, China is willing to work with Vietnam to secure the final round of financing needed to finish the North-South Expressway. If Vietnam accepts the above rail deal, China is willing to provide a 3b USD grant towards the construction of the remaining sections of the Expressway, covering 3/5ths of the 5.1b USD necessary for completion.
China and Malaysia have long cooperated on rail transportation. Over 80 percent of the rolling stock in Malaysia is Chinese, and a Chinese firm is responsible for the construction of the 15b USD East Coast Rail Link project in peninsular Malaysia. Despite this history of cooperation, Malaysia has insisted on playing China and Japan against each other in the bidding for its 350km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR line, which is anticipated to cost somewhere around 10b USD and begin operations sometime in 2026.
As part of the country’s push to secure HSR projects in Southeast Asia, the government of China has reached out to Malaysia with a modified version of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR route. This version would branch out north of Kuala Lumpur as well, passing through the major cities of peninsular Malaysia until it reaches the Malaysia-Thailand border at Padang Besar, where it will connect to the proposed Southern HSR project in Thailand. The creation of this roughly 750km railway would connect Malaysia and Singapore to the high speed route originating in Kunming, allowing the rapid transportation of goods all the way up and down continental Southeast Asia, leading to an unparalleled and unprecedented growth in trade and other economic activity between the groups.
This project will be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 will consist of the current 350km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore proposed route, and will be completed on schedule in 2026, costing the original 15b USD. Phase 2 will then connect this project to the Thai border in the north, and will be completed in 2031. This phase will cost an additional 12b USD.
To fund this project with its total cost of 27b USD, China proposes a 60/30/10 split, in which Malaysia pays 60 percent, private investors pay 30 percent, and China pays the remaining 10 percent. To help with financing, China is willing to provide a loan of 25b on a fixed 20-year term with a 7-year grace period and a 0.4 percent interest rate.
China is hoping that its extensive cooperation with Malaysia in the field of railway construction and operation will make this bid more attractive. This deal has the potential to dramatically increase economic growth in both China and Southeast Asia.
In order to sweeten the deal, China is also looking at providing some funding to the proposed 48km Malacca Strait Bridge connecting Malaysia and Sumatra. At an estimated cost of 10b USD, the bridge would be the longest in the world, and grant Sumatra access to the road and rail networks of continental Asia. China proposes a 45/45/10 split on funding for the project, where Indonesia pays 45 percent, Malaysia pays 45 percent, and China pays 10 percent. Both Malaysia and Indonesia will have access to BRI loans up to the full amount they are expected to contribute to the construction, to be repaid on a 20-year fixed term with a 7-year grace period and a 0.5 percent interest rate.
China has already secured the contract for the single HSR project in Indonesia, set to dramatically decrease travel times on the most populous island, Java. Still, this project is viewed by Chinese policymakers as the first step in a larger infrastructure investment in the island nation, which constitutes the largest economy in ASEAN and one of the most populous nations on Earth.
One of the greatest barriers to the Malacca Strait Bridge has been the Indonesian perception that it would advantage Malaysia far more than it benefits Indonesia. With no bridge connection between Java and Sumatra, Sumatra could become flooded with cheaper goods from Malaysia. Thus, Indonesia has often delayed the project, stating that they refuse to open the Malacca Strait Bridge until the Sunda Strait Bridge, a 27km bridge connecting the islands of Java and Sumatra, can be completed. Given the difficulties Indonesia has had financing the construction of this bridge, this has more or less meant that both projects have sat in the planning phase for decades. Though the government of Indonesia signed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation for a road and double track rail bridge in 2012, the project has since stalled due to funding concerns, with Joko Widodo’s administration shelving the plan indefinitely after coming to power in 2014.
China hopes to finally put this to an end by providing the requisite funding to get both the Sunda Strait and Malacca Strait bridges rolling. In addition to the Malacca Strait bridge outlined above (in the Malaysia section), China has proposed a new financing package for the construction of the 12b USD Sunda Strait Bridge. This package would see Jakarta pay 60 percent of the bridge’s cost, while private investors cover the remaining 30 percent and China pays 10 percent. Like with the other projects discussed above, Jakarta would have access to up to 8b USD in BRI loans on a 20-year fixed term with a 7-year grace period and a 0.8 percent interest rate. If accepted, the Sunda Strait Bridge will provide a rail and road connection between the two islands, to be completed in 2027.
As a complementary bid to the Malacca and Sunda Strait Bridges, China has proposed a HSR project connecting the two bridges through the eastern coast of Sumatra. Assuming a cost of 17m per kilometer (the cost of similar projects in China), this 1000km long HSR project would cost a total of 17b USD. While this price tag is admittedly large, the economic benefits it would bring to Indonesia would be similarly massive: when connected to the existing HSR project on Java, this project would allow goods and passengers to travel from Beijing to Surabaya (on the eastern coast of Java) at speeds of up to 350km/h, with an average speed of about 250km/h. This would provide a massive boon to intra-ASEAN trade as well as trade between ASEAN and China.
Like the other projects, the financing for this project will be split 90/10 between Indonesia and China, using Chinese rolling stock and rail designs. This project will qualify for BRI funding, using a 20-year loan with a 7-year grace period and 0.5 percent interest rate.

Relieving the Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca is the busiest strait in the entire world. With over 94,000 vessels passing through the strait annually, the strait carries about 25 percent of the world’s traded goods, including Chinese manufactured goods and Gulf and African oil destined for East Asian markets like China, Japan, and South Korea. Over a quarter of all oil carried by sea passes through the strait, with an estimated 15.2 million barrels transiting the strait per day in 2011.
Transiting the strait has become increasingly dangerous in recent years. Narrowing down to just 2.8km at its narrowest point, there is a constant threat of collision for ships transiting the strait, such as in 2017, when the USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant ship Alnic MC, killing ten US sailors and injuring another five. This threat is exacerbated by the 34 shipwrecks in the strait, which pose a collision hazard due to the narrow and shallow waters. Meanwhile, annual bushfires in Sumatra can reduce visibility in the strait down to 200m, forcing ships to slow down and increasing the risk of collision.
As Chinese exports continue to grow and East Asia’s demand for oil increases, the strait is posed to become busier in the coming years. Coupled with the construction of the Malacca Strait Bridge, this will make transiting the strait even more difficult. By 2025, some 140,000 vessels will seek to transit the strait annually, while the strait can only accommodate 120,000. In other words, something must be done in order to relieve the congested strait.
The major proposal for relieving the canal is the Thai Canal through the Kra isthmus. First proposed as early as 1677, the Thai Canal would cut a 100km canal through the Kra isthmus, cutting hundreds of miles off of the shipping route through the Strait of Malacca. This shorter trip would reduce the amount of bunker fuel needed by ships, reducing emissions and shipping costs. Some estimates suggest that the canal would save as much as 350,000 USD per trip for a 100,000dwt tanker, shaving somewhere between 9 and 50 cents off of the price of a barrel of oil in China.
Despite these economic benefits, the project has never taken off due to funding and ecological issues. The 28b USD price tag associated with the project is too great for Thailand to pay on its own. This, coupled with the ecological concerns (what is to be done for the displaced wildlife and the damaged ecosystems?) and security concerns (there is an ongoing Islamist/Separatist insurgency in the southern provinces of Thailand’s portion of the Kra isthmus) have prevented the project from moving past the planning stage.
China, as the largest beneficiary of a potential canal, hopes to work with Thailand in order to finally get the project up and running. China is willing to pay up to 51 percent of the cost of the canal, with the remaining 49 percent being split between Thailand (25 percent) and private investors (24 percent). China is also willing to make 15b USD of BRI loans available for the project, with a 0.5 percent interest rate on a 20-year fixed term loan with a 7-year grace period. Assuming construction begins this year, the Canal will be open in 2030. The canal will also be accompanied by a rail link, highway, and oil pipeline spanning the width of the isthmus.
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