Down and out in Bangkok

A deformed beggar waits for alms in front of a business advertising billboard, Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is turning to reality television to promote his five-day poverty-eradication campaign in Roi Et, one of Thailand's poorest provinces. The 24-hour show will be broadcast nationally to boost his popularity and strengthen the fight against poverty. About 10 percent of Thailand's population lives below the poverty line, two-thirds of them in the northeast. Household incomes in 19 provinces in the region averaged 9,279 baht in 2002 (US$235), according to government statistics.Jan 17, 2006


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