Something New in Thailand?

In a country plagued with 19 military coups or coup attempts in 86 years, it helps to have the army on your side. That’s why it’s remarkable that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is making a name for himself.

The latest coup came in 2014. Since then, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been in charge. At first, the chaos of civilian government in a bitterly divided country made the military takeover popular with some, but army rule, and the repression needed to sustain it, have since worn thin. After several broken promises, Prayuth now says elections will be held next year. The military junta says it will allow new political parties to form — but not to campaign.

Enter Mr. Thanathorn, a charismatic young billionaire with no history in politics. The army is still throwing dissidents and activists in jail, and Thanathorn told The Guardian this week he will “champion the reduction of the military power in Thai politics.” He knows he risks imprisonment. He says he has received death threats. His party, called “Future Forward,” has attracted enough attention that the army has pressed the country’s electoral commission to shut it down.

Thanathorn may well end up behind bars. His party might be banned. Even if there’s an election, and even if he’s allowed to run, he’ll struggle to win many votes outside the big cities, particularly in the north. But the buzz around his candidacy suggests there’s growing demand for something new in Thailand’s frozen politics.

Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, it has a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. Last week, in furtherance of those commitments, Microsoft shared a grooming detection technique, code name "Project Artemis," by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for twenty years, but he has a problem: his current presidential term ends in 2024, and the constitution prevents him from running for re-election then.

As a result, the question of what he'll do in 2024 has been on the minds of Russia's oligarchs, spooks, bureaucrats, and a lot of ordinary folks, as well. After all, over the past two decades, Putin has made himself, for better and for worse, the indispensable arbiter, boss, and glue of Russia's sprawling and corrupted system of government. As the current speaker of Russia's legislature once said, "Without Putin, there is no Russia." Not as we currently know it, no.


Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until last year, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate, and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

It's been nine years since Libya's long-time despot Muammar Qaddafi was killed in a violent uprising, bringing the oil-rich country to the brink of civil war. That conflict entered a new stage last year when violence between warring factions competing for territory intensified around Tripoli, Libya's capital, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 civilians. In recent weeks, fighting has intensified again, and ceasefire talks have failed. Here's a look at who's who and how we got here.


Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses combating cyberbullying, CCPA and tech "fashion":

What is a "troll score" and is it a realistic way to combat online bullying?

Something that Kayvon Beykpour, head of product at Twitter and I talked about, and the thought was: Twitter doesn't give you a lot of disincentives to be a jerk online. But what if there were a way to measure how much of a jerk someone is and put it right in their profile? Wouldn't that help? I think it's a pretty good idea. Though, you can see the arguments against it.