China, Cambodia, the Philippines, India and Burma are banning or reducing their rice exports in order to conserve enough supply for their local populations. Reasons for supply and demand are complex and theories abound. Iran and Indonesia are expected to place orders to Thailand the middle of this year. Thailand is working on a measure to sell rice at determined prices which are higher than the market price to slow exports. So you can expect the price of rice, especially Basmati and Thai Jasmine to go up adding to inflation.
Meanwhile the Bangkok Post had a front page story warning young boys not to seek early castration. The boys apparently are thinking that castration, comparatively cheaper than a sex change operation, will yield similar results like smooth skin and other femine traits. Now, any doctor performing the surgery on boys below the age of 18 without parental consent could have their medical certificates temporarily revoked. The owners of clinics performing the operation on boys under 18 without parental consent could also face a one-year jail term and a maximum fine of 20,000 baht ($636 U.S.).
There is an uproar in Bangkok about developers building high-rise buildings that reflect heat and sun glare. Developers are supposed to be required to use glass material that reflects no more than 30% sunlight. Hey, this might be the answer to Portland’s grey skies!