This radio report by the Australian Broadcasting Company explores the growing calls among the Buddhist clergy within Thailand to make Buddhism the national religion and part of the new constitution.
A 50-year-old woman was killed and dozens were injured Monday when a crowd in southern Thailand stampeded during a sale of a popular amulet supposed to bring good fortune.  More than 10,000 people had camped overnight by a school compound in Nakhon Si Thammarat province waiting to buy the amulets. The victim fell and was trampled on when the crowd rushed the school gates when sales of a new batch of the amulets was set to begin Monday morning. The Jatukam Ramathep amulets for sale Monday are named for the prince of a kingdom that existed in southern Thailand in ancient times.  The phenomenon of the Jatukam amulet started spreading nationally when its original creator, the highly respected policeman Khunphantarak Rajadej, died at age 104 last year. Khunphantarak was believed to possess knowledge of the occult, and more than 200,000 people attended his funeral two months ago.
The Nation

Thai government scientist Songpol Somsri said he has successfully crossbred the durian fruit to create a special type that does not smell as strong. Songpol said the new type of fruit, called Chantaburi No. 1, could broaden the acceptability of the durian, unlocking the door to new American and European customers who are put off by the foul stench of the traditional durian. The nearly odorless durian will obtain final approval in the coming weeks from Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture. However, Durian lovers say they are horrified at the prospect of their beloved fruit without its characteristic stink. “I don’t think it’s possible to make a durian that doesn’t smell,” said Somchai Tadchang, the owner of a durian orchard on Kret island. “Anyway, durians actually smell good. Only rotten durians stink.”
The New York Times