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All monks at Buddhist temple in Thailand fail drug test, defrocked

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday

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monks at Buddhist temple

A Thailand official on Tuesday stated that a Buddhist monastery in central Thailand is now without monks after all of its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked.

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.

According to the authority, the monks have been transferred to a medical facility for drug rehabilitation.

The monks have left the temple, and the local villagers are worried that they cannot perform any merit-making, he said. Worshipers might earn merit by giving food to monks as a good deed.

More monks will be dispatched to the temple, according to Boonlert, so that the locals can fulfil their religious duties. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims that Thailand is a significant transit country for the methamphetamine that enters the country via Laos from Myanmar’s unstable Shan state.

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Pills can be purchased for less than 20 baht (about $0.50) on the street. In recent years, authorities in Southeast Asia have seized unprecedented amounts of meth.

Earlier in January 2022, a Buddhist monk was detained on suspicion of consuming and dispensing methamphetamine pills in a village in the Chaiyaphum region of northeastern Thailand.

According to authorities, the 40-year-old monk Phra Suthorn, who resided at a nearby monastery, had been peddling meth pills, also known as ya ba, or crazy medicine, to youths in the area.

After receiving numerous complaints from locals about the monk’s actions earlier this week, law enforcement officials decided to look into the matter.

Phra Suthorn refuted the allegations, but a later search of his residence turned up a plastic packet containing 36 methamphetamine pills hidden under his bed.

According to authorities, the monk then admitted to consuming and selling drugs, informing investigators that he had been doing both.

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Indian-American Republican Nikki Haley poised to launch 2024 US Presidential bid

Two-time South Carolina Governor and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley is poised to launch her Presidential bid for 2024 US elections on February 15

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Indian-American Republican Nikki Haley

Two-time South Carolina Governor and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley is poised to launch her Presidential bid for 2024 US elections on February 15. Haley, 51, will become the first Republic Party leader to challenge former US president Donald Trump who is seeking the party’s nomination for 2024 polls.

According to a report by the Post and Courier, Haley is soon sending out an invite to her backers in which she has advertised a “special announcement” on February 15 at The Shed at the Charleston Visitor Center, a downtown gathering spot that could draw hundreds of supporters into the heart of the city’s tourism district.

When she enters the race, Haley will be the first contender to join the contest against her former boss, who is currently the sole Republican seeking his party’s 2024 nomination.

According to the South Carolina-based daily, the confirmation of Haley entering the Presidential race came on January 31 from a member of her inner circle. Previously, Haley had famously said would not run against Trump if her former boss decided to run again. However, she has shifted her stance recently citing the need for the US to look toward a different path.

According to the Washington Post, Haley could release a video signalling her plan for a White House bid as soon as this week. Trump, 76, announced his run last year.

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In a recent tweet, Haley said it’s time for a new generation and a new leadership; “and its time to take our country back. America is worth the fight — and we’re just getting started.”

Haley told Fox News last month that the US needs a new leader who can take the country in a new direction.

In the Fox News interview, Haley emphasized that Democrat President Joe Biden, 80, should not be given a second term. When asked if she believes she is up for the job, Haley confidently answered that the current situation in the US demands a new leader and she can be that person who takes America in a new direction.

The next US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 5, 2024.

Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, was born Nimrata Randhawa to Ajit Singh Randhawa and mother Raj Kaur Randhawa, who had emigrated from Punjab to Canada and then to the US in the 1960s. Her father was a professor at the Punjab Agricultural University, and her mother received a law degree from the Delhi University.

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Peshawar suicide bombing: Death toll rises to 93, over 220 wounded

At least 83 people are confirmed dead and more than 150 wounded as bodies are still being pulled from the wreckage of yesterday’s suicide bombing at a mosque in Peshawar city of northwestern Pakistan.

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Peshawar suicide bombing

At least 93 people are confirmed dead and more than 220 wounded as bodies are still being pulled from the wreckage of yesterday’s suicide bombing at a mosque in Peshawar city of northwestern Pakistan.

Bilal Ahmad Faizi, a spokesman for the rescue organisation 1122 said that they are going to remove the last part of the collapsed roof of the wrecked mosque so more bodies can be pulled out from underneath the rubble.

At least nine more bodies were recovered overnight from under the rubble of the mosque’s wall and roof which collapsed due to the blast.

Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for the main hospital in Peshawar, told news agency AFP that 83 people have been confirmed dead and the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from underneath the wreckage.

According to the police, the attack targeted the police officers as more than 20 Pakistani policemen, with coffins draped in the nation’s flag, were laid to rest in an official prayer ceremony with a guard of honour for the fallen soldiers.

The police headquarters in Peshawar is in one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city, housing intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus, and is next door to the regional secretariat.

Peshawar City police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan was quoted as saying that more than 90 percent of the victims were policemen, between 300 and 400 of whom had gathered in the compound’s mosque for prayers.

Police constable Wajahat Ali,23, recounted his horror as he was trapped beneath the wreckage for seven hours with a dead body piled upon him.

Provinces around the country announced they were on high alert after the blast, with checkpoints ramped up and extra security forces deployed, while in the capital Islamabad, snipers were deployed on buildings and at city entrance points.

In a statement Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending the country.

The extreme security breach came on the day United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had been due to visit Islamabad, although the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather.

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Pakistan is also preparing to host an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation on Tuesday as it works towards unlocking a vital bailout loan to prevent a looming default.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the blast as “abhorrent”, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken extended his condolences for the “horrific attack”.

The attack took place on Monday when a suicide bomber walked into the mosque where over 260 people were offering afternoon prayers and detonated his explosive vest causing a massive explosion.

As per reports, the attack took place when worshippers gathered inside were offering afternoon prayers in the mosque in the northwestern city, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordered by Afghanistan.

Police said the roof of the mosque collapsed due to the blast and caved in burying many people underneath the debris.

No terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack; however, officials suspect this has all the markings of being the handiwork of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

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46 dead, 147 wounded in suicide bombing at Peshawar mosque

A suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar city on Monday left at least 28 people dead and left another150 wounded, reports said.

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suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan

A suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar city on Monday left at least 46 people dead and left another 147 wounded, reports said.

As per reports, the attack took place when worshippers gathered inside were offering afternoon prayers in the mosque in the northwestern city, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordered by Afghanistan.

Police officials said a suicide bomber walked into the mosque where over 260 people were offering afternoon prayers and detonated his explosive vest causing a massive explosion. They said the roof of the mosque collapsed due to the blast and caved in burying many people underneath the debris.

Eyewitnesses said they saw blood-soaked survivors limping away from the blast site.

Reports quoted a police officer, Meena Gul, who survived the blast, as saying that he was inside the mosque when the blast occurred but could not provide details on the number of injured and dead in the attack.

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Gul said he was disoriented and all he could hear was cries and screams after the bombing.

Officials said the wounded are being rushed to local medical facilities where many are stated to be in critical condition, raising fears that the death toll may rise.

No terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack; however, officials suspect this has all the markings of being the handiwork of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

In March 2022, an Islamic State suicide bombing left 64 people dead at a minority Shiite mosque in Peshawar, the country’s deadliest terror attack since 2018.

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