Thailand Bans Surrogacy For Foreigners To Stop Its “Womb Rental” Industry

Thailand’s interim parliament passed the law on Thursday after two big surrogacy scandals last year.

Thailand’s parliament has passed a law that bans foreigners from paying Thai women to be surrogates, in a bid to end the country’s role as a “fertility tourism” destination after a series of scandals.

A woman who identified herself as a surrogate mother at a news conference north of Bangkok in Sept. 2014. Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Thailand’s new law, passed by its interim parliament on Thursday, bans paid surrogacy by both Thais and foreigners, the BBC reported. Thai married couples, or married couples with one Thai member, can still use a surrogate if they do not pay for the service and if the woman used is over 25 years old.

Although the law appears to have been passed primarily to stop paid surrogacy, some Australian media reported that it also only allows heterosexual couples to use surrogates.

Thailand’s surrogacy industry came under the spotlight last year after a surrogate mother said an Australian couple abandoned their baby boy Gammy when he was born with Down’s Syndrome, taking home only his sister.

Surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua poses with Gammy at a hospital in southeastern Thailand in Aug. 2014. Apichart Weerawong / AP

The couple denied the accusation, saying that they would have been happy to take the boy but the surrogate mother decided not to give him up. Gammy remained with her and was later granted Australian citizenship to grant him access to medical care.

The case sparked public outrage over the lack of laws controlling international surrogacy — and that outrage intensified when it emegered that the man in the couple had been jailed in 1997 for sex offences involving girls aged under 13.

And last August, Interpol launched an investigation into a Japanese man who used Thai surrogate mothers to have 16 children, raising fears that he was running a “baby factory” and planning to traffic the infants.

Surrogate babies that Thai police suspect were fathered by a Japanese businessman shown during a news conference in Bangkok in Aug. 2014. Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Mitsutoki Shigeta denied the accusations and said he just wanted a large family, The Guardian reported at the time, citing his lawyer. The children were taken into care by the Thai social services and some of the mothers launched custody cases in January, the Japan Times reported.

As one of the few Asian countries where commercial surrogacy was not specifically outlawed, Thailand had become a go-to destination for couples from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Associated Press reported.

Thai immigration policemen question Vietnamese women allegedly lured into becoming surrogate mothers in Thailand, in Bangkok in Feb. 2011. AFP / Getty images

Thailand’s international surrogacy industry was dubbed a “womb rental business” by some of its detractors, especially following last year’s scandals. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in most countries — exceptions include India, Russia and some U.S states, the BBC has reported.

The remaining big market for international surrogacy in Asia now is India, where the industry is worth $400m a year but the women themselves are often poorly treated, Al Jazeera has reported.

An Indian surrogate mother in Mumbai in Nov. 2012. Jonas Gratzer / Getty

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Two reported dead in shooting at Kentucky college

Two people are reported dead in Hazard, Ky., tonight after a shooting at Hazard Community & Technical College. Two suspects are in custody, and a press conference is scheduled for 9 p.m.

@katiewymt reporting one shooter, but two in custody. Police not calling this a school shooting, just happened in the parking lot of HCTC.

— Nathan Lyttle (@NathanWYMT) January 16, 2013

President of Hazard Community and Technical College says at least three people were hurt in a shooting in a parking lot at about 6 p.m.

— HLpublicsafety (@HLpublicsafety) January 15, 2013

#HCTC Two people reportedly turned themselves in at state police hq in Hazard in re: to shooting, Tpr. Tony Watts said.

— HLpublicsafety (@HLpublicsafety) January 16, 2013

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: We just got this image from the scene of tech school shooting in Hazard, KY. 2 dead, 1 injured.…

— WOWK (@WOWK13News) January 16, 2013

RT @hlpublicsafety: #HCTC Pres Stephen Greiner said officials “have no idea at this point” what prompted the shooting.

— heraldleader (@heraldleader) January 16, 2013

Talked to my mom after the shooting at HCTC. She was almost in tears & said, “I never thought it would happen here.”

— Shawn Reynolds (@WCL_Shawn) January 16, 2013

Pulled out of HCTC at 5:00, from getting brent and the shooting happened at 5:15!! Were very lucky. Praying for those who lost their lives!

— staci caroline (@stacimelton) January 16, 2013

So thankful to hear my mom’s voice. Shes an HCTC employee. Praying for her staff and students. #thankfulbutpraying #PrayersforHCTC

— Cassity Riffe (@cassityjune) January 16, 2013

Twitchy will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.

The incident is the second school shooting reported today, following an incident in St. Louis, Mo. Our prayers are with the victims.

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Media spin ‘what difference does it make?’ into Hillary’s ‘takedown’

As Twitchy reported this morning, Secretary of State Clinton shamefully diminished the lost lives of four dead Americans by answering Sen. Johnson’s probing and excellent questions with “at this point, what difference does it make?”

Now, New York Times’ Jim Roberts, along with fellow travelers like actor Sebastian Roché (citing lapdogs at The Huffington Post), double down on the shameful. They disgracefully spin it as Hillary’s “takedown” of Sen. Johnson.


— Sebastian Roché (@sebroche) January 23, 2013

And thus concludes the Hillary Clinton Takedown of the GOP Show. Let this be a lesson, teabags. Do NOT mess with Hillary.

— Mona Hussein Obama (@MonaB2010) January 23, 2013

I’m gonna need a clip of Hillary’s takedown of Sen. Johnson ASAP.

— Charles Crain (@charlescrain) January 23, 2013

Hillary Clinton tells Sen Ron Johnson how it is… #Benghazi #MustSee

— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 23, 2013


The sane rightly give them the business.

@nytjim @youtube Takedown? Are you in media or part of Benghazi media cover-up team in Hillary’s back pocket? Follow @sharylattkisson

— Local Voter Elxn2014 (@Elxn2014) January 23, 2013

.@nytjim Leave it to the NYT to declare Hillary’s hysterical refusal to acknowledge State’s tragic negligence a “takedown.”

— Just Karl (@justkarl) January 23, 2013

.@nytjim Claiming that a @youtube was responsible, rather than gross negligence on Benghazi security? What difference does it make?

— Just Karl (@justkarl) January 23, 2013

Precisely. What difference does it make? That’s not a “takedown.” It’s reprehensible and an utter disgrace.

Much like most of the media.

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You May Love Eating Chocolate Now, But These Facts Will Make You Love It Even More.

Do you love chocolate? Of course you do. You’re reading this sentence, so I assume you have a pulse. Well, here are some more reasons why it’s the best–as if tasting amazing wasn’t enough. If you don’t love chocolate, HOW? Before you get into your explanation, check out these pieces of smooth, creamy information and make sure that you actually don’t like chocolate and aren’t just supremely confused. Check them out!  

1.) The amount of caffeine in chocolate is actually quite low compared to coffee, tea, and other things often ingested to boost one’s energy.

2.) Chocolate is a natural painkiller.

3.) The sensation one receives from chocolate melting in their mouth can cause a more intense and longer-lasting pleasure than kissing.

4.) One chocolate chip will give you the energy to walk 150 feet.

5.) 40% of the world’s almonds are produced to be used in chocolate products.

6.) Dark chocolate aids the “good” bacteria in your body.

7.) Eating chocolate can help prevent tooth decay.

8.) Cacao beans were used by the Maya as currency.

9.) Hershey produces more than 80 million chocolate “Kisses” every day.

10.) Chocolate’s scent increases the amount of relaxation-inducing brainwaves.

11.) Regularly eating dark chocolate reduces ones risk of heart disease.

12.) Eating chocolate will not result in breaking out with acne.

13.) Technically speaking, white chocolate is NOT chocolate.

14.) Eating dark chocolate can help protect your skin from being damaged by the sun.

15.) Chocolate is thought to be a good, all-natural cough suppressant.

16.) Eating dark chocolate can help improve your vision in low-contrast situations.

17.) The anti-oxidants in chocolate will keep you looking young.

18.) Eating dark chocolate can help curb other less-healthy cravings.

19.) Chocolate-related business kept the founder of Hershey’s from boarding the Titanic.

20.) Chocolate milk is as effective of a post-workout recovery as many of the protein shakes sold in stores.

(via Distractify, Elite Daily)

I can’t remember the last time facts made me this hungry. See? The next time your mother/significant other/roommate tells you to stop eating chocolate, you can let them know you’re just being healthy.

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Premiere: Hot Sugar Does Terrible Things In New “Sinkies” Video

“You can get away with horrific crimes in broad daylight without getting caught if you smile politely,” he tells BuzzFeed Music.

Nick Koenig a.k.a. Hot Sugar’s new video for his song “Sinkies” is a drug-fueled trip down a Harmony Korine-esque wormhole.

Nick Koenig a.k.a. Hot Sugar Shore Fire Media

It’s ultimately about love, lost connections, and how we communicate and survive in the age of the internet. But it starts with some good old-fashioned threats of dog homicide.

“When we were filming, during one of the takes, a business man came up to us and said ‘I have a bulldog just like him,’ Hot Sugar tells BuzzFeed Music via email. “The camera was across the street so there was no way of assuming that what we were doing was for a film. When he realized the dog I was holding was attached to a terrified old lady’s arm (while she held up a wad of cash in the other hand), he looked back at me disappointingly and continued his walk down the street shaking his head. You can get away with horrific crimes in broad daylight without getting caught if you smile politely.”

The lady ultimately pays up and the dog — a Frenchie named Morticia that, Hot Sugar says, is “the price of a small car” — goes thankfully unharmed.

From there the video gets weirder and more warped. “Sinkies is a word my ex-girlfriend came up with to describe the feeling of having your heart drop into your stomach — whether it be caused by jealousy, defeat or just plain depression,” Hot Sugar says.


The track is a stuttering, jittery, ethereal mess that will likely give you the sinkies. Typical Hot Sugar, basically. His unique production style — his songs are made entirely out of sounds he records on the street and builds audio collages with the samples — has won him lots of influential fans, ILoveMakonnen among them. “He’s a bonafide musical genius,” Broad City music supervisor Matt FX Feldman, who uses Hot Sugar’s music on BC, tells BuzzFeed Music. Perhaps that’s why he’s already, in his young career, the subject of a documentary, Hot Sugar’s Cold World, which is an official selection at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and is described as “a fly-on-the-wall look into the life of a modern-day Mozart.”

On “Sinkies” Hot Sugar says he worked in the sounds of an ATM machine, a dollhouse burning, the wind blowing over his family tombstone, and a girl blowing out candles seductively, among other things.


“Since I wanted to make a sad song I also used Elliot Smith’s piano (at my friend’s studio in L.A.). Also, I lit bottle rockets and other fireworks indoors with Martin Starr about a year ago. A lot of the drum crashes are slow motion fireworks exploding,” Hot Sugar says.

Watch Hot Sugar’s “Sinkies” — premiering exclusively on BuzzFeed Music — in full below. Hot Sugar’s new album God’s Hand is out now.

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The 2013 Twitchys: Top 20 deleted tweets of the year

twitchys 2013

When politicians, journalists, and celebrities write ill-considered tweets, they often reach for the “delete” button as quickly as they can, hoping to erase the evidence of their foolishness before anyone notices. Unfortunately for them — but fortunately for you! — that trick hardly ever works. Thus, we present the twenty best deleted tweet events of 2013!

Note to Twitchy app users: In order to see all of the deleted tweets, you may need to load the post in your browser.

20. In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, actress Kirstie Alley said that white people like to murder black people. Or something.


“We”? Was Kirstie admitting to some sort of crime? Of course not, but those are the kinds of mistakes one can make when in a hurry to jump aboard a bandwagon.

19. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx recently called “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson a racist, homophobic “a-hole.” We pointed out the time the Mötley Crüe bassist used the N-word. Oh, and the time he hurled an anti-gay slur. We’re generous like that.  After we published our post, sneaky Sixx quietly deleted his tweets.!/NikkiSixx/status/413924928258191360!/NikkiSixx/status/413925720398651392

And the award goes to …!/NikkiSixx/status/413930001549905920

Now Sixx is singing a new tune.

18. CBS News’ White House correspondent Major Garrett is not f-ing kidding about your shirty business. In a rare hat trick of deleted tweet, funny typo, and accidental tweeting of DM, Garrett showed Twitter he’s not to be messed with!!/MajorCBS/status/301006957173673984

17. Whenever there’s an attack on American soil, if there’s any question about the intentions of the attacker, you can be assured that lefties will scramble all over themselves to blame conservatives, and if you’re lucky, the Tea Party. But usually it’s not a U.S. Forest Service PR rep!!/ForestInsider/status/323927693114609665

You would think that the “Director of Public Affairs for the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service” might be more careful about her relations with the public. But you would be wrong.

16. Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, has a history of making sensational claims about Gov. Scott Walker. (Correction: He is the former communications director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party.) Last year, he suggested that Walker defended criminals who commit “boy rape.” This year, he took it a step further, making a comparison between the Republican Governor and serial killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer:!/gjzielinski/status/307527092168433664

It was a tough call, but the honor goes to this one:!/gjzielinski/status/307529620037713920

15. Like a lot of liberals, the Democratic mayor of New Jersey’s fourth-largest city believes that the problems with were caused by Republican shenanigans:!/MayorBollwage/status/391691820113358849

By the way, what the heck is “robot calling”?

14. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s people “confirmed” that shots were fired outside the White House when the real story was that some idiot was throwing firecrackers.

13. “Real journalists” really wanted the story of the Sandy Hook father who was “heckled” by gun rights supporters to be true, even though it definitely was not. Even some lefty outlets like Slate admitted they blew the story. CNN’s Anderson Cooper must have gotten the memo just before he deleted this tweet:


12. Van Jones wants you to know that Fox News is “PATHETIC.” Unfortunately for him, the Photoshop that “proved” his point was a fake.


11. A former Afghanistan Ambassador falsely accused U.S. soldiers of killing the last lion in Kunar province. Problem is, there are no lions in the wild in Afghanistan, and the photo is fake.!/AmbassadorJawad/status/415815989725765632


10. Agence France-Presse’s Emal Haidary definitely wasn’t the only one who tweeted out a bogus story about Sarah Palin arriving in South Korea for Nelson Mandela’s funeral, but he may have been the only professional journalist to do so.

She is more confused than I, lools,
Sarah Palin Arrives in South Korea for Mandela Memorial…— Emal Haidary (@menh0) December 11, 2013

9. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour wished human rights abuser Robert Mugabe a happy birthday:!/camanpour/status/304707026586570752

How sweet! After deleting her celebratory tweet, and replacing with a more benign recognition of the milestone, she tried to act as if she had been ironically tweeting. Then why delete it, Alanis Morissette?

8. When “Fast and Furious” movie star Paul Walker died last month, Jezebel editor Erin Ryan took the occasion to show everyone just how classy she can be:!/morninggloria/status/406984650503245824

After doubling down on her hatred and blaming conservatives, she deleted the tweet. But not before we took notice.

7. Given the trash that flows freely out of Sarah Silverman’s gutter mind without apology, it took a lot for her to top herself and tweet something so awful that she was forced to delete it. Oh, here it is:!/SarahKSilverman/status/350027506272829440

Actually, Gov. Perry had found the word offensive and painted over the epithet. After deleting the three separate times she deceptively insulted Perry, Silverman tried to explain it away by saying the tweets were too negative. That hasn’t stopped her before.

After her pitiful walkback, she was spanked for losing her ongoing fight for laughs.

6. Pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen usually tweets benign inspirational Christian messages, which made this deleted tweet the “best unintentionally awesome tweet ever”:

Either Osteen was radically changing his stance on lust, or he didn’t quite see all the possible hilarious interpretations of his well-meaning message. Since he deleted it, we imagine it was the latter.

5. What’s a list of worst tweeters without the man, the myth, the toupee, the one and only (thank God) Donald Trump? In one little tweet, the Donald embarrassed organizers who invited him to speak at CPAC when he ridiculously announced that Ashley Judd was “going to be a great candidate” for U.S. Senate:!/realDonaldTrump/status/311471076972580864

He deleted the tweet, and covered by trying to blame Karl Rove. Judd decided not to run, but unfortunately The Donald continues to tweet.

4. We’re not sure what we did to have Britain dump their useless political commentators on our shores, but it sure isn’t helping international relations to have Piers Morgan make bogus claims to satisfy his gun-grabbing gluttony:!/piersmorgan/status/379744807167340544

Musket is picking up a sweet 2013 Twitchy award for this one:!/piersmorgan/status/379749140734828545

Morgan was just salivating at the chance to to blame the AR-15 for the Washington Navy Yard shooting, but he had to delete his tweets after he learned that the accused shooter didn’t use an AR-15. Oddly, this tweet is still live:

3. Remember when Rolling Stone magazine insulted everyone by featuring a rock ‘n roll cover of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tzarnaev? Its senior editor thought he’d defuse the situation by making an obscene joke to make light of the furor. Didn’t work:

He deleted the tweet and apologized for the joke, but not for the offensive cover that imagined Tzarnaev as a rock star.

2. Coming in at number two of the top deleted tweets of 2013 is the ridiculously obscene insult blithely tweeted by a foul-mouthed staffer at The Onion against the 9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis:!/TheOnion/status/305900584278556672

Wow. You like to be edgy, Onion, but you pirouetted right over the edge on that one, and Twitter was not amused!

1. And now, the number one deleted tweet of 2013 honor goes to … Geraldo “Capone Vault” Rivera! Long before Barack Obama made the selfie devoid of all coolness, Geraldo sent a selfie via Tweet that “launched a thousand breakfasts”:

With just one press of the send button, Geraldo made an entire internet turn in revulsion, and forever lose its innocence. Truly, we will never be the same thanks to the terrible tweeting of that stomach-turning selfie on that day that will live in tweetfamy.

* * *

If your favorite deleted tweet didn’t score a Twitchy award, stay tuned. More awards are on the way.

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‘Unintentional satire': Michael McKean takes a shot at Sarah Palin

What has actor Michael McKean invoking the Unintentional Satire Department? The link leads to a — gasp! — gold Sarah Palin medallion from Alaska Mint.

What’s not satirical: a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the medallion will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a service organization for wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not only that: the description of the medallion is decidedly nonpartisan: “This 1 oz. gold medallion honors Alaska’s Sarah Palin. As Alaska’s first woman Governor, she had a reputation of being against ‘business as usual’. She was thrust into the national spotlight when she was chosen to be John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.”

And that’s it. It’s nothing to make Palin look foolish, and if it raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project, we’re all for unintentional satire.

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Poor Richard: Trumka stomps foot over invalidation of NLRB recess appointments

It’s hard out there for a thug. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is beside himself over the news that the DC Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board to be invalid. The Senate wasn’t actually in recess when the appointments were made.

Fully expect radical DC Circuit decision to be reversed, and that other courts will uphold the President’s recess appointment authority

— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) January 25, 2013

If the court’s ruling stands, many more board appointments could be in jeopardy. Poor Richard. How could things possibly get any worse?

And union membership is at an all time low, happy Friday @richardtrumka!

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 25, 2013


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Community Post: Can You Match The State To Its Motto?

No cheating!

    1. “To Infinity and Beyond”
    2. “North to the Future”
    3. “The Last Frontier”

    1. “Eureka!”
    2. “Whoa!”
    3. “I Have Got It”

    1. “Love”
    2. “Friendship”
    3. “Modesty”

    1. “Freedom For All”
    2. “Equal Rights”
    3. “Equality Above All”

    1. “Onward”
    2. “Forward”
    3. “Backward”

    1. “With Love, All Things Are Possible”
    2. “With God, All Things Are Possible”
    3. “With Coal, All Things Are Possible”

    1. “Business”
    2. “Industry”
    3. “Commerce”

  1. New Hampshire

    1. “Live Free”
    2. “Live Free or Die”
    3. “Live Free, Die Young”

    1. “Truth”
    2. “Faith”
    3. “Hope”

    1. “If You Seek A Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You.”
    2. “Great Lakes, Great Times”
    3. “Pure Michigan”

    1. “The People Rule”
    2. “The State Rules”
    3. “O’Doyle Rules”

    1. “Wisdom, Justice, Excess”
    2. “Truth, Moderation, Wellness”
    3. “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”

  2. Maryland

    1. “Men and Women Together”
    2. “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words”
    3. “Womanly Deeds, Manly Words”

    1. “I Lead”
    2. “We Lead”
    3. “We Follow”

    1. “Gold and Silver”
    2. “Silver and Gold”
    3. “All is Gold”

    1. “Mountaineers Are Always Free”
    2. “Mountaineering Since 1863”
    3. “The Border State”

    1. “Freedom and Unity”
    2. “Moderation and Unity”
    3. “Honesty and Unity”

    1. “By and By”
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Brooklyn Nets Owner Denies The Team Is Currently For Sale

Owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s representatives told BuzzFeed News that, despite reports, “nothing was imminent” when it came to unloading the NBA franchise.

1. Bloomberg reports that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokorhov will sell the Brooklyn Nets. He’s owned the team since 2010.

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

2. According to the report, the $1 billion Barclays Center — the Nets’ Brooklyn home — will not be for sale.

STAN HONDA/AFP / Getty Images

3. However, in a statement to BuzzFeed News, Prokhorov’s team denies the Nets are for sale at this time:

As we have said for many months, ownership is always open to listening to offers — that’s just good business. There is nothing imminent in terms of a sale of any stake in the team.

4. If the team does go up for sale, Prokhorov might have been enticed by last year’s sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The Clippers, which the league demanded be sold following the release of racist remarks by then-owner Donald Sterling, went for $2 billion. Previous team sales were far less lucrative: the Milwaukee Bucks went for $550 million; Sacramento Kings for $534 million; Memphis Grizzlies for $350 million. Like the Clippers, the Nets are the team of lesser dominance in a large market.

Bloomberg reports an early estimate for the team is around $1.3 billion. He bought the team for $223 million.

Rumors of Prokhorov’s interest in selling the team surfaced in late 2014.

5. Last week, it was announced that the Atlanta Hawks are also for sale.

6. The 2015 Nets are 16-22 on the season, but are holding on to the 8th seed in the middling Eastern Conference.

Alex Goodlett / Getty Images

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