Thaksin glides around the globe and flim-flams every nation

Thailand peripatetic former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has turned up in Cambodia, where he has been named a special economic advisor to the government. As Thailand's current government is seeking Thaksin extradition on corruption charges, they're not too thrilled about this development and have recalled their ambassador from Cambodia:

[Thai prime minister] Abhisit accused Cambodia of interfering in Thailand's internal affairs, and a foreign ministry official said bilateral co-operation agreements would be reviewed.

"Last night's announcement by the Cambodian government harmed the Thai justice system and really affected Thai public sentiment," Mr Abhisit said.

The Cambodian government claims they want to take advantage of Thaksin's business expertise, though it's likely also relishing the chance to irritate Thailand. The two countires have been engaged in border skirmishes in recent months.

It's been an interesting year for Thaksin, who has demonstrated a Carmen Sandiego-like ability to generate controversy around the world while evading arrest. In April, he was named an honorary Nicaraguan ambassador and granted a passport by Daniel Ortega's government. He was also granted a residency permit in Germany under false pretenses a few months later with a member of his entourage claiming to be German intelligence agent. 

So, gumshoes, where will Thaksin turn up next?



Iraq's useless bomb detecting technology

The New York Times published an absolutely brilliant story today about the bomb detecting wands yielded by Iraqi security forces. Though the piece is written in the even-handed language you expect from the NYT, you can still practically hear the journalist screaming about how ridiculous this whole subject is.

You have the Iraqi general who claims: "I know more about bombs than anyone in the world."  There's the description of how the bomb-detecting wand works: a human operator, who must be well-rested and have a steady body temperature, inserts cardboard cards into the device, which does not have batteries or any other source of power. The piece even concludes with the reporter's failed attempts to use the wand to detect a grenade and pistol in plain sight on the table in front of him.

When you have facts like these, you don't even need editorials.