Southern Discomfort

In his three years in office, Thailand's Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has helmed the best-performing economy in Southeast Asia and enjoyed stratospheric approval ratings. But a series of recent setbacks has many Thais wondering if he's losing his touch. Thaksin's woes began with his slow response to the recent bird-flu crisis, which has killed eight and devastated the country's chicken industry. Then, in quick succession, he was forced to back down from a controversial plan to close entertainment venues at midnight, respond to accusations that he was using his influence to muffle criticism in the local press, watch as thousands rallied...

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