May 16, 2010 |
Thailand's army declared a glitzy shopping district in the center of Bangkok a "live firing zone" Saturday as the death toll rose to 24 on the third day of a bloody standoff between troops and anti-government protesters. Taking cover behind sandbags and on rooftops, troops fired live rounds in a bid to contain the demonstrators, who have demanded that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign, call immediate elections and leave the country. The "Red Shirt" protesters faced the troops down, erecting barriers of tires and bamboo sticks and wielding gas bombs, stones, guns and homemade rockets as they vowed to maintain their two-month siege.
July 23, 1986 |
London fog, Los Angeles smog, Bangkok floods--some images a city can't shake. Here, it's rising water, as certain as the monsoon rains. This year's first flood came in May, a freak early storm. Nearly 10 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, buckets even in a city that annually averages more than 58 inches.
May 12, 1985 |
Murray Head, who "sings" the Top Five single "One Night in Bangkok," isn't black--although some people think he is. "Me, sounding black?," said Head, in mock horror. In conversation, Head--droll, witty and often slashingly sarcastic--sounds like a Shakespearean actor. "It's not that I mind the comparison, but it's so bizarre for anyone to think I sound black. I'm English. I sound so proper and formal. Are these people deaf or what?"
September 8, 2008 |
For those unfamiliar with the Pang brothers' audacious 1999 "Bangkok Dangerous," the new version starring Nicolas Cage will seem like any other fast-food bullet ballet. Viewers who recall that original burst of adrenaline, however, will be left with hunger pangs. The two movies share a title, directors, character names -- and little else. Even the city in this edition feels less like the seamy, gritty, you-are-there Bangkok of the first film than some scrubbed, polished, Vegas notion of the Thai capital.
March 21, 2010 |
Sixty years ago this week, King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrived back in Thailand. The 22-year-old had lived abroad most of his life. Named king four years earlier on his brother's death, he was coming home for his coronation. The royal navy was drawn up for review. A jet squadron soared overhead. Half a million people lined the streets in celebration. As one biographer writes, "To astrologers, the heavens proved the great event: three days before Bhumibol arrived, hail fell on Bangkok for the first time since 1933."
September 4, 2008 |
Nicolas CAGE didn't wind up in Bangkok by accident. As the Oscar-winning actor explains it, there were reasons both personal and professional that compelled him to change gears after the mega-dollar success of the family-friendly action-adventure "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" and travel across the globe in pursuit of a new career iteration. Not least was the impulse to shake up his image by appearing in a foreign-made film. "On my path of film acting, I've been trying to think more and more internationally, trying to have a global mind," Cage said.
May 20, 1985 |
Top 40 radio fans, accustomed to the blunt sexuality of pop goddess Madonna, have recently made a hit out of a song about chess. Yes, chess, that ancient board game usually played according to rigid rules in shattering quiet by intellectual adults. "One Night in Bangkok," a disco rap song about a chess tournament in the Thai city, has been called the unlikeliest Top 10 candidate in recent history, but last Monday the single climbed to No. 3, its peak, on Billboard's record chart. It's now at No.
September 5, 2008 |
Both political parties have staged star-spangled, attack-filled conventions, ensuring a lively start to the fall election season. Pro football kicks off with a full schedule of games from Thursday through Monday, including rivalry match-ups that promise plenty of smash-mouth action. But the fall movie season starts today in more subdued style, with a sole major release hitting the nation's multiplexes: Lionsgate's "Bangkok Dangerous," starring Nicolas Cage and his Hollywood hair.
January 28, 1996 |
Sitting forlornly on the paving stones of the jail courtyard, the young Chinese insists his arrest for illegal immigration was all a mistake. The plea is echoed by 40 other Chinese men sitting around him, haggard from a night in jail after being rounded up at a seedy hotel in a Chinese section of Bangkok. Police tell a different story: That the men, all of them from Chaozhou in southern China's Guangdong province, entered Thailand illegally. "I have relatives here! I have a visa!"
May 20, 2010 |
Recent images of Thai army snipers shooting at anti-government protesters in front of a Louis Vuitton outlet during Bangkok street battles have shocked a world accustomed to postcard scenes of sandy beaches and splashing elephants. Yet even as the spotlight glares harshly on Thailand, analysts say neighboring nations suffer conditions similar to those that have fueled the political crisis in downtown Bangkok, although they've generally managed to keep them in better check and prevent them from becoming as combustible.