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UN: Time of the Essence to Resolve Korean Peninsula Tensions | Phuket News
A U.N. envoy says time is of the essence to resolve tensions on the Korean Peninsula peacefully. Jeffrey Feltman, the U.N.’s under-secretary-general for political affairs, visited North Korea this week, holding meetings with Foreign Minister Ri Yoing Ho and Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk. North Korean state media say the two sides have as a result agreed to communicate regularly. KCNA, North Korea’s state run news service, said Saturday this latest development is a result of a Feltman’s recent four-day visit to the isolated nation. Tense, dangerous security issue A U.N. spokesperson said the three diplomats “exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today.” North Korean state media said Feltman’s visit “contributed to deepening the understanding between the DPRK and the U.N. Secretariat.” DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea’s official...
Wavering US Olympic Commitment Worries South Korea | Phuket News
Mixed messages from the United States and concerns of a North Korean provocation could undermine South Korea’s plans to use the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics to further peace and reconciliation efforts. On Sunday, Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in an interview with Fox News that the full U.S. Olympic team would participate in the winter games to be held in South Korea in February. However, she again left open the possibility that heightened security concerns could force the U.S. to reconsider this commitment. Haley said,
Japan-US-S.Korea drill to test missile tracking | Phuket News
TOKYO: The United States, Japan and South Korea will hold two days of missile tracking drills starting on Monday, Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force said, as tensions rise in the region over North Korea's fast-developing weapons programmes....
Chile welcomes first Chinese pear imports as step towards greater commercial reciprocity | Phuket News
Dec 18, 2017 Chilean and Chinese representatives hold launch event at Santiago supermarket as two countries look to deepen trade relationship SANTIAGO, CHILE, 18 December, 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) have presented the first imports of Chinese pears to Chile. To celebrate the arrival, an official launch was held on Friday 15 December 2017 at the Jumbo supermarket in Santiago, where point-of-sale promotions took place. The special event was attended by Chile's Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche; Ángel Sartori, National Director of Chile’s Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG); the Chairman of the Board of ASOEX, Ronald Bown; the Agricultural Attaché of Chile in China, Carlos Parra; and representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Chile, together with Gavin Fan, vice-president of Chinese exporter Hebei JinZhou Great Wall Economy Trade Co, and specialist consultant Feng Chunguang from China Entry...
What tech tools to use now and next to work remotely | Phuket News
Remote working can save employers and employees money, but unless you have the right tools, it can also leave workers disconnected and struggling to communicate. It took a host of technological developments – from mobile devices to high-speed internet – to allow employees in different locations to connect and work together. Now a new generation of innovators are creating the tools to make remote workers more productive and collaborative than ever. Just like being in the same room Face-to-face communication matters. As Justin Kruger at New York University has shown in his report Egocentrism Over E-mail, misunderstandings are common over email, even when we think we’re getting our point across well. There’s no substitute for eye contact, body language and vocal inflections. Videoconferencing software allows us to benefit from these subtle aspects of communication even when employees are in far-flung places. An easy place to start is with free options such...
Flight highlights Chinese tourist interest in Antarctica | Phuket News
Reports of a tourist flight over Antarctica highlight China's growing interest in the poles....
China's Tencent, JD.com invest $863 million in online retailer Vipshop | Phuket News
BEIJING, Dec 18- Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Monday it would lead an $863 million investment in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings Ltd, upping its rivalry in retail with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.. Tencent will invest $604 million in exchange for a 7 percent stake in Vipshop, while e-commerce firm JD.com Inc- a long-standing ally- will......
Hua Yong: Chinese artist freed in time for daughter's birthday | Phuket News
Chinese activist Hua Yong had made an emotional farewell video to his daughter before his arrest....
New Nan-Luang Prabang bus service launched | Phuket News
NAN: A new daily bus service has begun between Nan and Luang Prabang in Laos, via Xayaburi. The 373-kilometre-long trip takes about 10 hours and tickets cost 660 baht....
Best countries in Asia for a woman to live in | Phuket News
THE Philippines is home to paradise beaches, a deadly war on drugs and Islamic militants in its south. It’s also the best Asian country to live in if you’re a woman. A new report from the World Economic Forum has found the Southeast Asian country to be the most gender-equal country in Asia in its annual Global Gender Gap Index. The index ranks 144 countries based on how they perform in four “pillars”: economic participation and opportunity, education, political empowerment, and health and survival. It uses data from the world’s most respected institutions, like the International Labour Organization, the UN Development Program and the World Health Organization, as well as WEF’s own perceptions survey. On health, it looks at the sex ratio at birth and how both genders fare in terms of years lost to disease and disability. In education, literacy gaps as well as primary, secondary and tertiary enrolments, are considered. SEE ALSO: Pakistan,...
Five Thais receive life sentences for murder of Lao women | Phuket News
FIVE THAI nationals who were hired to kill two Lao women in Thailand last September have been asentenced to life in prison, Kalasin attorney Ratchada Jureerat said yesterday. The five still maintain their innocence and plan to appeal the case. Kalasin Court ruled on October 31 that gunman Okart Tangjaimandeekul, 36, Chalermpong Chaisawai, 32, Thongchai Teechandramat, 24, Punnapop Phusilataen, 53, and Kulnant Saengsopon, 37, were guilty of premeditated murder, illegally possessing guns and ammunition, conspiring to hide or destroy bodies to conceal the cause of death, and destroying documents, he said. Local police spent 84 days investigating the case and interviewed 40 witnesses. A police source said a piece of paper on which one of the victims had written down a suspect’s cell phone number was found at the scene of the crime. Police traced the phone number to discover one of the perpetrators, which led to the further arrests....
Trump’s Extra Day in Asia to Send Symbolic Message of Concern | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump's extra day of participation at a major Southeast Asian nations' leadership event next week will help lift his image among counties where officials are unsure about what he plans to do in a region that’s increasingly dominated by China, analysts say. Trump will extend his stay in Manila through Nov. 14 for the East Asia Summit, according to news reports from Washington. That event brings together 18 heavyweight leaders from the region of more than 4.5 billion people, including heads of state from China, Japan and Russia. Analysts say the appearance will send a message that Washington cares, at least symbolically, about Asia. Asian leaders have waited since Trump took office in January to start any trade negotiations that would replace the U.S. withdrawal from the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership and clarify whether he will pursue a freedom-of-navigation policy in the disputed South China Sea despite...
IMPACT delighted with the success of BMAM & GBR Expo Asia 2017 | Phuket News
Nov 06, 2017 Picture:  BMAM & GBR Expo Asia 2017, the international exhibition and conference on building maintenance, facilities management and green building, concluded its 10th edition on a high note on September 2017. Occupying 6,750 square meters of exhibition space with 150 exhibitors from nine countries; two international pavilions (Singapore and Japan), the annual event attracted 5,421 trade visitors from 33 countries, including Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, USA and Vietnam. Mr. Loy Joon How, General Manager, IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd., said, “IMPACT organized the show this year, with the aim of promoting smart building technology in response to the government policy of ‘Thailand 4.0’. During the show, there were numerous technologies showcasing the smart building management – ranging from smart security and safety; smart facility; smart energy-saving; to ‘Smart City’ demonstration. The grand highlight, ‘Smart Home Showcase’, showcased the next generation...
Thailand moves up to 26th rank on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 | Phuket News
Thailand’s ranking on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 moved up to 26th from the 46th last year from 190 countries worldwide. Thailand now stands third in Asean in terms of Ease of Doing Business, behind Singapore, which remains second, and Malaysia, which moves down one notch overall to 24th globally. Other Asean members’ performances in the 2018 report:  Brunei ranks 56th (up 16); Cambodia 135th (down 4); Indonesia 72nd (up 19); Laos 141st (down 2); Myanmar 171st (down 14); Philippines 113th (down 14) and Vietnam 68th (up 14). According to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018, Thailand made significant improvement in six areas, including starting a new business, getting electricity, getting credit, protection of minorinvestors, tax payment and enforcing contracts. Thailand among the top 10 improvers By region, economies in East Asia and the Pacific implemented 45 reforms in the past year. The region is home to two of the world’s top...
Thai firm to run Lao port on Mekong | Phuket News
Chiang Rai: Laos is poised to launch a new port checkpoint in the Mekong River early next year to handle regional traffic while a Thai firm has won a contract to develop and operate the port for a period of 40 years....
Two arrested with huge drug haul in Nong Khai | Phuket News
A man and a woman were arrested with 168,000 methamphetamine pills and 38 kilogramme of “ice” or crystal methamphetamine in Nong Khai on Friday (Nov 3). Pol Maj Gen Surachai Khuantechakupt, the acting Provincial Police Region 4 commissioner, said the arrests and the seizure of the drugs were made near a railway station at Ban Nong Kham in Tambon Nong Kom Ko in Nong Khai’s Muang district after the police obtained information from an informant that a large quantity of drugs would be smuggled across the Mekong River from Laos. He identified the suspects as Sakda Kaewmukda, 34, and Wanpen Thetsrimuang, 57, both from Nong Khai. Apart from the drugs, of which street value is estimated at 79.2 million baht, the police also searched their houses and seized in their possession two cars, two pick-up trucks, four motorcycles and two safes containing gold ornaments, land title deeds and bank accounts. The suspects...
Vietnam Tech Startups Seek Next Phase | Phuket News
There’s a short but not-so-simple question facing Vietnam’s technology startup fans: Now, what? The communist country was not immune to the startup craze that swept the globe, but much of the early period was spent talking about tech and all the local potential. In what could be called the next phase of the craze, Vietnam now hopes to go beyond just talking. The focus now is on getting entrepreneurs to deliver on their pitches and meet concrete benchmarks, whether that’s to turn a profit, expand overseas, or find “exits” for their businesses, such as through acquisitions. At a basic level, Vietnam has what's needed to be a place prime for startups. Citizens have high literacy rates and math proficiency, which eases the path to creating an army of programmers for the economy. The country also has a balance that combines, on the one hand, a large consumer market on par...
Butcher praised for saving Lao woman in suicide attempt | Phuket News
Netizens are full of praise for a pork butcher after he saved the life of a Lao woman who tried to take her own life by jumping into a stream in Don Mot Daeng district of Ubon Ratchathani province on Oct 27. On that day, while Anon Thatawat, a butcher from Ubon Ratchathani’s Lao Sua Kok district, was driving past a bridge across the Se Bok stream he saw the Lao woman in her 30s crying on the bridge railing. He stopped his car to talk to the woman, but she kept crying. He call hotline 1669 for police and rescuers to help.  After about 20 minutes of talking, the woman jumped into the stream. Mr Anon jumped into the strong currents and was able to save her. Mr Anon admitted that he was not a good swimmer but his determination to save the woman’s life helped him to successfully...
Rohingya crisis: Burmese military slammed after clearing itself of any wrongdoing | Phuket News
HUMAN RIGHTS groups have accused the Tatmadaw army of Burma (Myanmar) of whitewashing after it claimed on Monday that its troops had not attacked any civilian Rohingya Muslims during so-called “clearing operations” in Rakhine State. In reporting the findings of a supposed investigation posted to the Facebook page of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team, the Burmese military claimed that none of its soldiers had acted improperly in responding to attacks on security force outposts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on Aug 25. More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh since then, 80 percent of whom are thought to be women and children. Burmese security forces and Buddhist vigilantes have been accused by many in the international community of mass killings, arson and rape. SEE ALSO: Suu Kyi pushes female empowerment as UN flags rape, torture of Rohingya women Mohammad Shobaik, 12, a Rohingya refugee boy...
Rohingya crisis: Burmese military slammed after it clears itself of any wrongdoing | Phuket News
HUMAN RIGHTS groups have accused the Tatmadaw army of Burma (Myanmar) of whitewashing after it claimed on Monday that its troops had not attacked any civilian Rohingya Muslims during so-called “clearing operations” in Rakhine State. In reporting the findings of a supposed investigation posted to the Facebook page of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team, the Burmese military claimed that none of its soldiers had acted improperly in responding to attacks on security force outposts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on Aug 25. More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh since then, 80 percent of whom are thought to be women and children. Burmese security forces and Buddhist vigilantes have been accused by many in the international community of mass killings, arson and rape. SEE ALSO: Suu Kyi pushes female empowerment as UN flags rape, torture of Rohingya women Mohammad Shobaik, 12, a Rohingya refugee boy...
Militant Buddhism is on the march in Southeast Asia – where did it come from? | Phuket News
EVEN ten years on, the first mental image that comes to mind with regard to Theravāda Buddhism is that of Burma’s Saffron Revolution of August – September 2007: thousands of Buddhist monks peacefully demonstrating in the streets of Yangon, Mandalay, Pakokku, Sittwe and other towns against the ruling military junta. These peaceful monks still exist, although many of them went into hiding, or fled abroad. But the Burmese monks in the headlines today are preaching violence instead of peace, and “firm action” instead of meditation. It’s not just in Burma that this militant Buddhism is on the rise: it’s also surfacing in the other two leading Theravādin countries: Sri Lanka and Thailand. In all three countries, Buddhists make up the vast majority of the population: 70 percent in Sri Lanka, 88 percent in Myanmar, and 93 percent in Thailand. One could be excused for thinking that there is nothing to worry about: with such towering demographic majorities, Buddhists are surely to...
Critics Blast Trump for Human Rights Silence on Asia Trip | Phuket News
President Donald Trump returns from a 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia with a pocketful of business and trade deals and, arguably, improved relations with a number of important countries in the region. But critics say those benefits have come at the expense of America's reputation as a champion of human rights.
Militant Buddhism is on the march in South East Asia – where did it come from? | Phuket News
EVEN ten years on, the first mental image that comes to mind with regard to Theravāda Buddhism is that of Burma’s Saffron Revolution of August-September 2007: thousands of Buddhist monks peacefully demonstrating in the streets of Yangon, Mandalay, Pakokku, Sittwe and other towns against the ruling military junta. These peaceful monks still exist, although many of them went into hiding, or fled abroad. But the Burmese monks in the headlines today are preaching violence instead of peace, and “firm action” instead of meditation. It’s not just in Burma that this militant Buddhism is on the rise: it’s also surfacing in the other two leading Theravādin countries: Sri Lanka and Thailand. In all three countries, Buddhists make up the vast majority of the population: 70% in Sri Lanka, 88% in Myanmar, and 93% in Thailand. One could be excused for thinking that there is nothing to worry about: with such towering demographic majorities, Buddhists are surely to some extent safe and secure...
Expectations High for Tillerson to Press Myanmar on Rohingya Crisis | Phuket News
The plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar was more of a footnote than a focus when U.S. President Donald Trump mingled with Southeast Asian leaders in the Philippines. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to address the issue head on in a visit to Myanmar on Wednesday as calls mount for the Trump administration to adopt a stronger stance on the crisis. Moe Thuzar, a fellow with the Singapore-based ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, told VOA the visit would signal a continuation of U.S. policy towards Myanmar and an indication that Trump’s administration is interested in the country as part of its overall policy towards Asia. Though this is Tillerson’s first visit to the country and represents the most high-level outreach of the administration to date, he spoke with Aung San Suu Kyi, who serves as State Counselor and Foreign Minister,...
Myanmar Military Denies Atrocities Against Rohingya, Replaces General | Phuket News
Myanmar's army released a report on Monday denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces, having days earlier replaced the general in charge of the operation that drove more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. No reason was given for Major General Maung Maung Soe being transferred from his post as the head of Western Command in Rakhine state, where Myanmar’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, launched a sweeping counter-insurgency operation in August. “I don’t know the reason why he was transferred,” Major General Aye Lwin, deputy director of the psychological warfare and public relation department at the Ministry of Defense, told Reuters. “He wasn’t moved into any position at present. He has been put in reserve.” U.N. official tours refugee camps A senior U.N. official, who had toured the refugee camps in Bangladesh, on Sunday accused Myanmar’s military of conducting organized mass rape and other...
Rohingya crisis: Organisation warns of 200,000 extra arrivals in coming weeks | Phuket News
HUMANITARIAN agencies are warning of further challenges to come amid the crisis in Rakhine State, Burma (Myanmar), including a possible exodus of 200,000 more people into Bangladesh as well as chronic malnutrition among children in the camps. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said on Friday that it is expecting a further 200,000 arrivals in the coming weeks. This would bring the total number of refugees in Cox’s Bazar to more than 1 million people, “exacerbating an already unimaginable humanitarian crisis,” it said. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), meanwhile, said it was redoubling its efforts to combat malnutrition in refugee camps. One in four children in Kutupalong – now one of the world’s largest refugee camps – are thought to be suffering from malnutrition. A Rohingya refugee child drinks river water as he and his companions wait to be taken to a refugee camp after crossing the Naf River...
Suu Kyi pushes female empowerment as UN flags rape, torture of Rohingya women | Phuket News
BURMA’S (Myanmar) de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the empowerment of her country’s women in a speech on Sunday, just hours before the UN special envoy accused Burma’s military of “systematically” targeting Rohingya women for gang-rape and torture. Suu Kyi made her remarks in a speech at the Asean Business and Investment Summit where she argued for “positive change in women’s rights.” According to Interaksyon, she said the tradition to look upon men as superior to women in her country is still very much the norm. And throughout the region, she said, “women are still missing out on opportunities in countless areas.” “The social norm that equates women with unskilled labour and perceives them as mere homemakers incapable of making decisions is one of our biggest challenges,” she said. #ABIS 2017 #ASEAN #Daw Aung San Suu Kyi#Myanmarhttps://t.co/Ihv9coxBES pic.twitter.com/bD0H29LRxV — Oo Ko Linn (@OoKoLinn1) November 13, 2017 Pushing...
Suu Kyi pushes female empowerment as UN warn of rape, torture of Rohingya women | Phuket News
BURMA’S (Myanmar) de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the empowerment of her country’s women in a speech on Sunday. Hours later, the UN special envoy accused Burma’s military of “systematically” targeting Rohingya women for gang-rape and torture. Suu Kyi made her remarks in a speech at the Asean Business and Investment Summit where she argued for “positive change in women’s rights.” According to Interaksyon, she said the tradition to look upon men as superior to women in her country is still very much the norm. And throughout the region, she said, “women are still missing out on opportunities in countless areas.” “The social norm that equates women with unskilled labour and perceives them as mere homemakers incapable of making decisions is one of our biggest challenges,” she said. #ABIS 2017 #ASEAN #Daw Aung San Suu Kyi#Myanmarhttps://t.co/Ihv9coxBES pic.twitter.com/bD0H29LRxV — Oo Ko Linn (@OoKoLinn1) November 13, 2017 Pushing for...
Indonesia central bank holds key rate at 4.25%, as expected | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Indonesia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged on Thursday, as expected, as it aims to maintain financial stability following the much-anticipated rate hike by US Federal Reserve....
Thai golfers in 2nd, 3rd positions at Indonesian Masters | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place after the first round of the Indonesian Masters on Thursday, while Phachara Khongwatmai (65) was tied in third position with Kim Giwhan....
Indonesia Court Denies Effort to Ban Extramarital Sex | Phuket News
Indonesia’s constitutional court has rejected a petition that would criminalize all consensual sexual relations outside of marriage. Thursday’s 5-4 ruling was a victory for gay rights activists, who feared the petition targeted the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for persecution. The petition was filed by a conservative group, the Family Love Alliance, which was seeking a change in Indonesian law that would apply the definition of adultery to all Indonesians, regardless of their marital status. The court ruled that the legislature, and not the court, had the authority to change the country’s laws. Under current Indonesian law, sex is only illegal if it involves a minor. Indonesia’s LGBT community has been the target of a growing hostility that threatens the world’s largest Muslim-majority country’s reputation for tolerance and moderation. Conservative government officials and religious groups have made harsh anti-gay statements, and police have raided gay-themed parties and clubs...
Jakarta is the most Instagrammed city in Asia | Phuket News
INSTAGRAM and travel pretty much go hand-in-hand these days. For some, you haven’t truly visited a place until it’s been captured on camera and shared with your fellow ‘grammers. And as our love of travel only increases, so too will the #wanderlust posts and envy-inducing holiday snaps. In fact, #travel came in the top 10 most used hashtags of 2017 and #travelphotography gained the most in popularity over the last twelve months, highlighting our ever-growing obsession with hitting the road less traveled. Of the many photogenic cities across the world, not all are created equal in the eyes of the ‘gram. In their list of Top 10 for 2017, the social media platform shows those cities that received the most geotags this year. While the Americas and Europe dominated the list, one Asian city made it in – Jakarta, Indonesia. #explorejakarta Photo today by @fakeinframe.cy taken around Kota Tua, Central Jakarta...
Top Indonesia court rejects attempt to criminalise gay sex | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Indonesia's top court has ruled against petitioners seeking to make gay sex and sex outside marriage illegal....
Chinese overwhelm tourist infrastucture | Phuket News
The kingdom of golden temples, white-sand beaches and smiling hosts is also a land of overcrowded airports, epic traffic jams and littered seashores....
Bollywood – a little piece of India in the heart of Phuket | Phuket News
In the cultural melting pot of Phuket, people of Indian extraction have long played an integral role in the growth of the island. A prime example of this is the Sethi family, whose forebears came to Thailand more than a century ago to seek their fortune amidst the roiling activity of the tin mining and rubber booms....
Phuket’s Live 89.5 gets into the spirit with Christmas Giveaway | Phuket News
PHUKET: Class Act Media’s Live89.5, the island’s leading radio station, is getting into the Christmas spirit with more than B150,000 in prizes donated by generous partners from across Phuket to be given away in just one week....
Japan, US, South Korea to Practice Missile Tracking | Phuket News
The United States, Japan and South Korea will hold two days of missile tracking drills starting Monday, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force said, as tensions rise in the region over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons programs. The United States and South Korea conducted large-scale military drills last week, which the North said made the outbreak of war “an established fact.” North Korea has fired missiles over Japan as it pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. sanctions and international condemnation. On Nov. 29, it test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which it said was its most advanced yet, capable of reaching the mainland United States. Sixth missile-tracking drills This week’s exercises will be the sixth drills sharing information in tracking ballistic missiles among the three nations, the defense force said. It did not say whether the controversial THAAD system would be involved. The installation of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude...
Japan, US, South Korea to hold missile tracking drill amid North Korea crisis | Phuket News
The U.S., Japan and South Korea will hold two days of missile tracking drills starting on Monday....
UN: Time of the Essence to Resolve Peninsula Tensions | Phuket News
A U.N. envoy says time is of the essence to resolve tensions on the Korean Peninsula peacefully. Jeffrey Feltman, the U.N.’s under-secretary-general for political affairs, visited North Korea this week, holding meetings with Foreign Minister Ri Yoing Ho and Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk. North Korean state media say the two sides have as a result agreed to communicate regularly. KCNA, North Korea’s state run news service, said Saturday this latest development is a result of a Feltman’s recent four-day visit to the isolated nation. Tense, dangerous security issue A U.N. spokesperson said the three diplomats “exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today.” North Korean state media said Feltman’s visit “contributed to deepening the understanding between the DPRK and the U.N. Secretariat.” DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea’s official...
Water wars | Phuket News
China is accused of withholding crucial river data that is essential to prepare for floods....
Ex-Army captain to face murder charge as body identified | Phuket News
SI SA KET police chief Pol Maj-General Suradech Dentham has instructed police to file two additional charges of premeditated murder and concealing a body against former Army captain Supachai Paso, 30, today in relation to the disappearance of Juthaporn Oun-on, 37, a Si Sa Ket-based local administration organisation official. Supachai was dismissed from the military after he was charged with illegal detention, stealing Juthaporn’s car, using fake documents and destroying another person’s documents leading to damages. He has denied all of the charges. The announcement of new charges followed a confirmation by the morgue of Bangkok’s Police General Hospital that a human skull, bones and other items found last week near the 2305th paramilitary ranger base in Ubon Ratchathani’s Nam Yeun district belonged to Juthaporn, who had been missing since July 3. Meanwhile, Juthaporn’s parents and relatives prepared to collect her remains from authorities yesterday and to host a religious...
Junta leader to use absolute power to speed up infrastructure project | Phuket News
The junta leader has announced that the regime will use its absolute power to speed up development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). On 24 October 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, announced after the ministerial meeting that the government is preparing to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to speed up development of the EEC, according to the Thai News Agency. Section 44 will be used while the EEC Bill is being considered by the National Legislative Assembly. Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office, said land appropriation will be included in the EEC Bill in order to foster investor confidence. “I confirm that if the bill is enacted, [it] will not go against the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) Order because its regulations are written in compatible way,” said Sansern. “The main point is that formerly, town planning had...
Typhoon Khanun is no threat to Thailand | Phuket News
Typhoon Khanun has weakened to tropical storm with its centre now at 390 kilometres east of Hanoi, the Meteorological Department said on Monday morning (Oct 16).  In its forecast issued at  5.00am today, Khanun has weakened from typhoon to tropical storm with wind speed of 111 kilometres an hour  in its centre and is moving west at the speed of 15 kilometres an hour. The storm with heavy rainfall and gusty winds is now on its path to Hainan Island and Gulf of Tonkin on Monday. It will weaken to depression and low pressure trough and change course of South China and northern Vietnam to central Vietnam as the result of the arrival of  the high pressure from China moving into Vietnam and northern Laos. The storm will have no direct impact on Thailand, it said. But the Meteorological Department warned however that as the monsoon trough is crossing the...
Northeastern residents told to brace for more rain from Khanun | Phuket News
The Meteorological Department on Sunday (Oct 15) told people in the Northeast to brace for more rain, starting today until Wednesay with the eastern part of the region to be first affected as a result of Khanun tropical storm. In its 8th announcement issued today, the Weatherman said that, as of 4 am today, Khanun tropical storm was covering the upper part of the South China Sea or the eastern side of Hainan island, with its epic centre at 19.6 latitude north and 116.7 longitude east. The tropical storm has a wind speed of 110 kph at its centre and is moving northeastern-ward at a speed of 20kph. The storm is predicted to sweep through Hainan island, then the Tonkin Bay and will hit landfall in southern Hanoi, Vietnam, either Monday or Tuesday the latest before it will weaken into low pressure cell over upper Laos. This will bring more...
Khanun tropical storm is forming but has no direct impact on Thailand | Phuket News
The Meteorological Department issued the latest announcement on weather condition on Saturday saying the tropical depression in the East of the Philippines has now strengthened to tropical storm and us moving to the South China Sea. In its announcement late today, the department said the “Khanun” tropical depression has now gained strength and developed to tropical storm. Khanun is now moving into the centre of the South China Sea at 10.00am at the wind speed of 65 kilometres an hour at the centre. It is moving 26 kilometres an hour towards Hainan Island and Upper Vietnam. It said the tropical storm is expected to weaken fastly to depression as it makes landfall on the upper Vietnamese coast and an upper region of Laos during October 15-17. It weakens because of the arrival of the high-pressure wind from China that will cover Vietnam and the upper region of Laos. But it...
Latest Drug-resistant Malaria in Mekong Region May Skirt 'Superbug' Status | Phuket News
Som Aun contracted malaria after moving to the Thma Baing district of Cambodia's Koh Kong province in 2002. Four years later, two of his children contracted the disease. For five years, his son, An, now 19, and daughter, Sreyna, now 12, remained infected because no effective treatment was available, he told VOA Khmer.
Report: World's Biggest Slum Population Poses Risk for East Asia | Phuket News
East Asia and the Pacific, home to the world's largest slum population of 250 million people, need to invest more in urban planning to reduce risks like flooding and conflict, the World Bank said Tuesday. The rapidly urbanizing region is also the most disaster-stricken in the world, it said, with many residents living in poor-quality housing on flood-prone land with limited access to basic services, it said.
China is pushing Thai tourism towards new records for 2017 | Phuket News
All markets showed strong growth, said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. In the first half of this year, Thailand welcomed 17.3 million tourists, generating Bt876 billion for its economy. TAT targets Thailand to finish 2017 with Bt1.81 trillion in tourism-related gains. A leading bank research centre, KResearch, has revised its tourism forecast for Thailand upwards to 35.20 million this year, representing a surge of 8.2%. Earlier in the year, Kasikorn Research Centre forecast international visits would hit 34.15 million with an estimated revenue of THB1.79 trillion. Now the bank’s research centre says revenue could top THB1.81 trillion. The revision followed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports release of tourism performance data for January to July that showed tourist arrivals topped 20.41 million up 4.5% on year-on-year. Ministry estimated revenue from tourism, during the seven months, reached THB1.03 trillion up 6.1%. Thailand expects to enjoy continued growth both in tourist arrivals and tourism...
Thailand hits 33 millionth tourist arrival, on its way to new record year | Phuket News
The Thai tourism industry hit a new record with the arrival of the 33 millionth visitor, and is now well on its way to exceed the projected targets of 34 million arrivals and 1.81 trillion Baht (US$ 50 billion) in tourism revenue earnings in the full year. Ms. Julie Nathalie A. Ceyssens, the 33 millionth tourist, also dubbed ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’, was greeted at Suvarnabhumi Airport with a warm welcoming ceremony by senior executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and other private sector industry representatives. Ms. Ceyssens arrived in Bangkok this early morning at 05.55 Hrs., with Thai Airways International’s Flight TG935 from Brussels, Belgium. Thailand records 33 millionth visitor arrival, set to hit annual target https://t.co/G8PVPmAwaZ #Thailand #ThaiTourismNews #TTOT pic.twitter.com/7JOfYpdf56 — TAT Newsroom (@TheTATNews) December 15, 2017 This is the first time that she is visiting Thailand, and will be spending 15 days with her boyfriend, enjoying...
Typhoon Doksuri Batters Vietnam With Rain, Winds | Phuket News
Typhoon Doksuri slammed into central Vietnam Friday with maximum sustained winds of 135 kilometers (84 miles) per hour, blowing off roofs, and felling trees and electricity poles. Disaster official Ngo Duc Hoi in Ha Tinh province, where the typhoon made landfall Friday, said six coastal districts were feeling the brunt of the storm. There are no immediate reports of casualties amid gusts of up to 185 kph (115 mph) and heavy rain. Agriculture Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong told state television VTV that people’s safety was the government’s top priority. Doksuri swept through the Philippines on Tuesday as a less powerful tropical depression, killing at least four people and leaving another six missing. The Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a report that as of early Friday morning, 79,000 villagers in high risk areas in five central provinces had been evacuated and another 210,000 were to be moved to safety ahead...
Football: Syria to host World Cup play-off against Australia in Malaysia | Phuket News
SYRIA have confirmed they will host the first leg of their FIFA World Cup Asian play-off against Australia on October 5 in Malaysia. Syria, who have played all of their ‘home’ qualifiers in Malaysia since FIFA banned them from hosting matches in their war-torn country, have never qualified for the World Cup finals. Victory over Australia in the two-legged tie – the second leg of which will take place at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on October 10 – would send Syria into a further play-off. SEE ALSO: Asia’s 11 most amazing, interesting and scenic sports stadiums – in pictures They or Australia will have to negotiate a way past the fourth-placed side from the North and Central American qualifying group – a spot currently occupied by United States – to book their place in Russia next summer. Syria’s clash with Australia will be their fifth straight ‘home’ match at Hang Jebat Stadium in...
Rohingya Refugee Finds Identity Helping Others Resettle | Phuket News
For most of his life, Hamidul Hassan says he has struggled to find an identity. As a Muslim Rohingya living in Myanmar, he had no passport, lacked the freedom to worship his religion, was not free to travel and had no formal education. He says his only hope for a future was to leave the only country he ever knew. So, in 2012, he fled to neighboring Bangladesh before reaching Malaysia. When he eventually arrived off an airplane as a refugee resettling in the United States in 2015, he spoke no English. Finding a mission in US But just two years later, Hassan has found his voice … and a mission. “Except Burmese, I speak five different languages,” he told VOA. “Bengali, Hindi, Malaysia, English and my own language, Rohingya.” English is a recent addition to his resume but has created exhaustive demand for Hassan’s services in Fort Wayne’s growing...
Rohingya child refugee dies in Thai immigration detention | Phuket News
THE situation of refugees in Thailand is again under scrutiny, with a rights group calling for the investigation of a child who died in immigration detention on Nov 2. Fortify Rights is calling for an immediate investigation into the death of a 16-year-old Rohingya Muslim named Zainab Bi Bi, who reportedly collapsed in Thai detention in late October with bleeding on her brain and died six days later. “Zainab Bi Bi’s death is a tragedy that should spur Thai authorities to take immediate action to end the indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers,” said Amy Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights. SEE ALSO: Bangkok migrant raids lead to arrest of 19 children Fortify Rights said the girl had been detained in Thai immigration facilities for years after being trafficked from Burma (Myanmar) in 2014. “Instead of receiving the highest level of care and protection as a refugee child, Zainab Bi...
US Congress Weighs Sanctions on Myanmar Military Over Rohingya Crisis | Phuket News
Proposed sanctions against the Myanmar military should move quickly through the U.S. Congress due to strong bipartisan support, lawmakers told VOA. The Burma Sanctions Bill in the House of Representatives and a companion bill in the Senate would apply economic pressure on military generals with the aim of ending the ongoing violence inflicted on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Security Council demands Burma end ‘excessive military force’ in Rakhine | Phuket News
THE United Nations Security Council has called upon the government of Burma (Myanmar) to end what it called “excessive military force” and intercommunal violence in Rakhine State, in a statement de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s office said it “regrets”. On Sunday the Security Council condemned attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) against Burmese security forces on Aug 25 while also condemning subsequent violence and reported “human rights violations and abuses” perpetrated by the Tatmadaw army. So-called “clearing operations” by the Burmese military have resulted in the exodus of more than 607,000 people into neighbouring Bangladesh in less than three months. Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Sittwe airport after visiting Maungdaw in the state of Rakhine November 2, 2017. Source: Reuters SEE ALSO: Aung San Suu Kyi says she wants ‘more compassionate home for all mankind’ The office of State Counsellor Suu Kyi...
Begging the world to help the Rohingya | Phuket News
THEIR ages probably range from four to seven years old and their only entertainment is to roam around the camp, which in the scorching afternoon can see temperatures rising to as high as 38 degrees celcius. I have been seeing them every day for the past five days and I still can’t get used to it. Their eyes pierce you as they stare right into yours. They don’t have anything to do except wait for the days to go by. The camp is is the Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh, just kilometres from the border with Burma (Myanmar). The current population of the camp is around 800,000. More than 600,000 people have arrived in less than 3 months. SEE ALSO: Rights experts ‘deeply disturbed’ after Burma fact-finding mission
US Lawmakers Propose Sanctions on Myanmar Over Rohingya Crisis | Phuket News
U.S. lawmakers have proposed sanctions against Myanmar’s military over the treatment of the Rohingya ethnic group, as U.S. President Donald Trump leaves for a 12-day tour of east Asia in which he will meet with members of Myanmar's government at a regional summit. The bipartisan legislation was introduced Thursday in the Senate, and Friday in the House of Representatives, both calling for renewal of trade and import restrictions on Myanmar, which is also known as Burma. The restrictions are meant as punishment for the military’s treatment of the Muslim Rohingya people in northern Myanmar's Rakhine state. McCain, Engel speak out Senator John McCain said the Senate’s legislation “would hold accountable the senior military officials responsible for the slaughter and displacement of innocent men, women, and children in Burma, and make clear the United States will not stand for these atrocities.” Speaking for the House legislation, Representative Eliot Engel said lawmakers...
Pressure over Burma as Trump, Tillerson leave on Asia tour | Phuket News
UNITED STATES lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would impose targeted sanctions and travel bans on military officials from Burma (Myanmar) over treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State. Introduced the day before Republican Donald Trump leaves on his first trip to Asia as president and signalling the strongest attempt to date for Washington to deal with the Rohingya crisis, the legislation would reimpose some sanctions lifted last year as Burma returned to democracy. The bill would bar the US from supplying most assistance to the country’s military until perpetrators of atrocities against the Rohingya are held accountable. It does not, however, Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who still enjoys strong support among some US officials. SEE ALSO: ‘Make nice’: Trump’s first visit to Asia to be a test in diplomacy Aerial view of a burned Rohingya village near Maungdaw, north of Rakhine state, Myanmar September...
UN Refugee chief urges Security Council to act on Rohingya crisis | Phuket News
THE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has told the Security Council that it must act to ensure security and respect for human rights in Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar), as his Assistant High Commissioner visited the troubled region. Grandi addressed the UN Security Council on Thursday, highlighting that a lack of international cooperation has meant the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide is approaching 66 million – up from 42 million in 2009 when his predecessor last addressed the 15-member council. The Commissioner opened his speech by recounting he was in Bangladesh on the Burmese border several weeks ago, which he described as the “most rapid refugee exodus” since the mid-1990s and a “stark illustration” of the failure to address root causes of conflict. Failure by the Council to prevent conflict and provide sustainable piece had created “human tragedy on a dramatic scale,” he said. Rohingya refugees continue...
UN Refugee chief urges Security Council to act on Rohingya | Phuket News
THE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has told the Security Council that it must act to ensure security and respect for human rights in Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar), as his Assistant High Commissioner visited the troubled region. Grandi addressed the UN Security Council on Thursday, highlighting that a lack of international cooperation has meant the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide is approaching 66 million – up from 42 million in 2009 when his predecessor last addressed the 15-member council. The Commissioner opened his speech by recounting he was in Bangladesh on the Burmese border several weeks ago, which he described as the “most rapid refugee exodus” since the mid-1990s and a “stark illustration” of the failure to address root causes of conflict. Failure by the Council to prevent conflict and provide sustainable piece had created “human tragedy on a dramatic scale,” he said. Rohingya refugees continue...
Aung San Suu Kyi makes first trip to Rakhine State | Phuket News
DE FACTO leader of Burma (Myanmar) Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday made her first visit to restive Rakhine State since violence broke out two months ago, where she told local people “not to quarrel”. More than 607,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma into Cox’s Bazar in neighbouring Bangladesh since Aug 25, when militants launched attacks on Burmese security forces sparking so-called “clearing operations” across the Rakhine. Burma’s Tatmadaw army has now been accused of arson, extrajudicial killings and rape. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has faced heavy international criticism for not taking a higher profile in responding to what UN officials have called “ethnic cleansing” by the military. SEE ALSO: Rights experts ‘deeply disturbed’ after Burma fact-finding mission Rohingya refugees continue their way after crossing from Myanmar into Palang Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh November 2, 2017. Source: Reuters/Hannah McKay SEE ALSO: ‘No hope’ in Aung San...
Indonesia politician's graft trial delayed by stomach woes | Phuket News
JAKARTA: A top Indonesian politician accused of involvement in one of the country's biggest corruption scandals told a court on the first day of his trial he's suffering a stomach complaint, forcing a postponement while his medical condition is checked....
Indonesia to ban Bitcoin from 2018 in latest internet crackdown | Phuket News
BEGINNING next year, transactions involving Bitcoin will be banned in Indonesia, an official said on Tuesday as the cryptocurrency’s value zoomed above US$13,000. Bank Indonesia said it planned to impose a regulation prohibiting Bitcoin transactions that would take effect in 2018, the Jakarta Post reported. Bank Indonesia Head of Transformation Onny Widjanarko was quoted as saying the regulation on digital currencies would be issued in the near future. “Currently, there is no single regulation for those who carry out transactions using Bitcoin,” Onny said in Jakarta (via kompas.com). SEE ALSO: Indonesia to unblock Telegram, combat Islamic State channels The central bank, he said, was currently carrying out a thorough study on whether the regulation should primarily involve Bitcoin while having a separate regulation on other cryptocurrencies. Onny said the bank also urged merchants not to accept Bitcoin as a payment instrument as it would not be held responsible for any losses. ...
US citizen on the loose as more inmates escape Bali prison | Phuket News
A DRUG suspect is being hunted by Indonesian police after escaping from Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison. Local police said on Monday that 32-year-old US citizen Cristian Beasley climbed the prison wall along with a fellow American Paul Anthony Hoffman – the second breakout of foreign inmates this year. The Kerobokan prison, about 10 km from the main tourist beaches in the Kuta area, often holds foreigners facing drug-related charges. Beasley was being held on drug charges but had not yet been sentenced. SEE ALSO: Indonesia: Four foreigners escape from Bali prison using tunnel “It is thought that the prisoner escaped … by cutting through the steel bars above the ceiling,” said Badung Police Chief Yudith Satria Hananta in a statement. Beasley is believed to have then used a rope to climb down a wall before getting over a perimeter wall in an area being refurbished. He is thought to have...
SIAL Middle East to host over 12,000 meetings for world food experts | Phuket News
Dec 11, 2017 Region’s fastest growing food & drink trade exhibition opens tomorrow Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11 December 2017: The 8th edition of SIAL Middle East, the region’s fastest growing business trade event for the food, drink and hospitality industries, opens tomorrow (Tuesday 12 December) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), and in strategic partnership with the government body, over 24,000 food experts are expected to take part during the three-day show. His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director-General of ADFCA, stressed that the 8th edition of SIAL Middle East will create real opportunities to meet the influencers in food and date palm industries, as well as to build new and promising partnerships ensuring...
New Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Seen as Ally of President | Phuket News
The new head of Indonesia’s armed forces, Air Force chief Hadi Tjahjanto, is seen as a close ally of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who had a tense relationship with the retiring General Gatot Nurmantyo, an outspoken figure who is thought to have political ambitions of his own. Tjahjanto was sworn in last Friday and has spent several stints in Solo, the Central Java city that is also the hometown of current President Jokowi, who was the city’s popular mayor before he ascended to the nation’s highest office. Tjahjanto’s and Jokowi’s families are said to be close and the appointment will likely be a relief for the latter, who is the first Indonesian president without military ties. Tjahjanto also served as Jokowi’s “military secretary” from 2014 to 2016. He grew up in an Air Force family in East Java and was reportedly known as “otak setan,” or demon brain, as a...
Indonesian parliament speaker quits amid graft investigation | Phuket News
JAKARTA: The speaker of Indonesia's parliament, who is being investigated for his suspected involvement in a $170 million graft scandal, has tendered his resignation, two members of the assembly said on Monday....
Who is an ‘Heir(-Apparent)?’: An old issue that is still new today | Phuket News
Metta Wongwat   Apart from the problem of interpreting the legal meaning of the term ‘defame’ in Article 112, where the current standards of the courts use a very broad interpretation, the scope of the royal persons protected by the law has a similarly problematic interpretation, despite the fact that the law clearly specifies only four positions, namely, the King, the Queen, the Heir-Apparent and the Regent.   The position that seems to be the most problematic is  ‘heir-apparent’. This has been a delicate issue for many years. Documents that will confirm this issue in fighting a case be used for the defense are extremely difficult to access. What is strange is that this is still the case even when we have entered the reign of King Rama X.     The underlying reasons for the judges’ frustration can be found in the cases involving Princess Sirindhorn, including those of...
Family, friends called to honour Phuket expat Reinhard Haiber | Phuket News
PHUKET: Friends and family are invited to join services for long-term Phuket expat Reinhard Haiber, who passed away earlier this week....
Major road to close for Central Phuket pedestrian bridge | Phuket News
PHUKET: Traffic Police have cautioned motorists to beware delays at the Darasamut Intersection next week as the pedestrian bridge is installed across Wichit Songkram Rd to link Central Festival Phuket and the new B20 billion “Central Phuket” mega-mall under construction across the road....
[VIDEO] Whats On Guide || Dec. 15 - Dec. 22 | Phuket News
|:| WHATS ON GUIDE |:| Shela lets you in on events happening around #Phuket this week, from December 15th - December 22nd and more! For more Phuket Events, click EVENTS at the top!...
Arrest of Hells Angels drugs suspect highlights leading problem facing Pattaya | Phuket News
The arrest of Luke Joshua Cook and his Thai wife in Bangkok on drugs charges is one small cog in a large wheel of crime concerning the international trade in hard drugs. One of the places that this trade impacts is Pattaya as well as Bangkok, reported TNA. Cook, 34, and Kanyarat Wechapitak, 40, were connected to the 2015 abduction and murder of Wayne Schneider in Pattaya. They are also believed to be behind the dumping of 50 kilos of methamphetamine that washed ashore off Sattahip. This was part of a larger shipment of 500 kilograms. Information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) lists European Mafia – of which Cook is a part – as being the number two problem group in the world for international drug running and other major crime. Reporting on the issue Thai News Agency said that European Mafia manifests itself in...
Phuket hotels take united stand in joining UN #CleanSeas campaign | Phuket News
PHUKET: The Phuket Hotels Association consortium of more than 65 hotels and resorts on the island have joined the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) #CleanSeas campaign in a clear statement of unity to take action to protect and preserve the region’s natural beauty....
HKU Chemist Professor Vivian Yam led research generates industrial-competitive materials and technologies for Organic Light-Emitting Devices and Organic Photovoltaics | Phuket News
Dec 16, 2017 Picture:  Recent advances in the design of high-performance phosphorescent emitters have led to the leap-forward development of organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and their applications in commercial electronic products, including computer monitors, cellular phones, and high-density televisions. Nowadays, almost all commercially available OLED materials are iridium(III) phosphors, with most of the key patents held by foreign countries, including US and Europe. This currently takes up more than 90 % of the OLED market, and the industry usually needs to pay high licensing fees for mass production. With the funding support of RGC Theme-based Research Scheme, a multi-institutional team that integrates multi-disciplinary efforts from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and City University of Hong Kong (CityU), and the complementary expertise of chemists, physicists, materials scientists, and device...
The Tsinghua Laboratory of Brain and Intelligence and the Future Laboratory unveiled | Phuket News
Dec 16, 2017 Picture:  On December 15th, the Tsinghua Laboratory of Brain and Intelligence (THBI) and the Future Laboratory, Tsinghua University (THFL), were officially unveiled. Among the attendees at the ceremony were Hua Jianmin, the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress, former State Councilor and Secretary General of the State Council, as well as the Chairman of Tsinghua’s Committee of Strategic Development; Xu Guanhua, member of the Standing Committee of the 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, former Minister of Science and Technology, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Institute for Global Change Studies at Tsinghua; Wu Qidi, former Vice Minister of Education and Director of Tsinghua’s Center for Engineering Education; Zhang Jingan, former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Science and Technology, former Chief of the Science and Technology Daily, Deputy-Director...
'Crowdfunding his death' | Phuket News
Thailand seeks to boost market share of Medical tourism in Asia | Phuket News
Asia continues to be the top medical destination in medical travel, as Asian medical destinations continue to offer better and cheaper medical procedures and care than most other medical destinations. In countries such as Singapore and Thailand, government agencies have been set up to help market their expertise globally. Thailand accounts for maximum share of the Asia medical tourism market, being followed by India and Singapore. South Korea stands at the fourth spot in the year 2016 and is likely to almost double its market share by the year 2022. Plans to target new markets are part of Thailand’s campaign to shore up its medical tourism industry. Looking towards newer markets The Thai government is looking towards newer markets, such as China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, to take advantage of the growing affluence in those countries and the rising demand for professional health care. The Tourism Authority of Thailand...
Thailand hopes increased investment in EEC by Japanese investors | Phuket News
Thailand yesterday welcomed a large delegation of top Japanese investors visiting the country to mark the 130-year relationship between the two countries. Leading the 570 high-level business people is Mr Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment. The delegation was welcomed at Government House by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. The delegation included representatives from the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan (SMRJ). The delegation will be in Thailand until today. Gen Prayut told the Japanese delegation that he warmly welcomed them and greatly appreciated their interest in helping local businesses to move ahead in the global arena. He stated that he was especially looking forward to the local workforce developing into a major international force with the technological and know-how transfer from Japan. Developments of smart products...
Bednets Dramatically Reduce Malaria Cases in Laos | Phuket News
Sep 11, 2017 Picture:  Testing and treatment also combine to save lives August 2017—The deep green forests of Songkhone district in Laos’s Savannakhet province are attractive to look at, and draw a lot of attention from villagers who forage and hunt between the trees. Long days looking for wild pigs, birds, grasshoppers and bamboo to feed the family stretch into the night, and people often sleep in the forest. Unprotected from the elements, their warm bodies attract hungry mosquitoes. Many are laden with malaria. And many bite. Noy*, a 30-year-old rice and cassava farmer, was among those bitten. Although farming is his main job, he often goes into the forest to look for food. Last year, after coming back from a three-day trek through the woods, he started to get a fever. His mother, Vang*, a 50-year-old widow and mother of five children, explained that she took him to...
Plan mulled to expand hi-speed rail system | Phuket News
Transport officials are devising a plan to expand the high-speed train project from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai in the far Northeast, aiming to step up work to build a rail network from Thailand to Laos and China....
From flags to food poisoning: Ranking the six biggest PR blunders of the SEA Games | Phuket News
MALAYSIANS have been basking in the glow of their team’s performance at the SEA Games – with Monday declared a public holiday in lieu of the 145 gold medals won by the host nation. The Games, though, were not without controversy, with some of the organisation being criticised, and netizens in some countries claiming Malaysia’s high medal tally was not exclusively down to their sporting prowess. With the dust having settled on the 29th SEA Games, and the torch now handed to Philippines ahead of the 30th Games in 2019, we take a look at six of the most prominent controversies to emerge during Kuala Lumpur 2017. SEE ALSO: SEA Games: Malaysia profit from home comforts to win 145 golds – but history shows staying at the top will not be easy 6) All was not well on the buses Before competition had really got going, the bus driver ferrying the...
Asian Construction Week all set for its second edition | Phuket News
Aug 31, 2017 Picture:  Bangkok, Thailand – Asian Construction Week, consisting of three co-locating exhibitions in the construction & building development industries: Concrete Asia, BMAM Expo Asia and GBR Expo Asia, is all set to open the doors on 20 September 2017 over a three-day show period, at Hall 5-6, IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand. This trade event features 13,250 sqm of exhibition space, including an outdoor demonstration area (Concrete Asia – 6,500 sqm and BMAM & GBR Expo Asia – 6,750 sqm), showcasing a comprehensive range of products and services. Asian Construction Week is jointly organized by Asian Concrete Construction Institute (ACCI), Globe International Events Consultancy Pte. Ltd. (GIEC), IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd and Sphere Exhibits Pte. Ltd. Mr. Loy Joon How, General Manager, IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd shared, “Asian Construction Week is an effective industry platform to capitalize on the rapid developments of...
SEA Games: Malaysia profit from home comforts to win 145 golds – but history shows staying at the top will not be easy | Phuket News
COMPETITION is over at the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, with hosts Malaysia the clear sporting winners – even if the organisation of the Games has come in for much criticism. From a purely sporting sense, though, Malaysia have dominated their home Games, winning five of the seven gold medals available on the final day to take their overall tally to 145. Thailand, in second place, won 72 gold medals, with Vietnam claiming 58 and Singapore 57. The performance of Malaysia on home soil was an enormous improvement from two years ago in Singapore, when they won 62 gold medals and finished fourth in the table. SEE ALSO: SEA Games: Malaysia hit 140 gold medal mark and eye clean sweep in diving – but lose to Thailand in men’s football final And it follows a pattern of SEA Games host nations, who perform well above their usual level when the...
Thai-Lao vehicle, accident insurance agreement signed | Phuket News
VIENTIANE - Bangkok Insurance Plc on Wednesday signed a reciprocal deal with APA Insurance of Laos on vehicle and accident cover for their respective clients during visits to the other's country....
Vague commitments by the US vs. billions of dollars of cash-rich China | Phuket News
Two important events are having a significant influence on existing security arrangements in Asia Pacific. The result of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), led by President Xi Jinping, and US President Trump’s abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is that many Asian states are re-orientating their long-held policy towards the two giants. Vague commitments by the US towards its traditional Asian allies, coupled with offers of billions of dollars in infrastructural investments by cash-rich China, have the potential to disrupt the usual order of things in Asia. Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, and Xi’s policy of ‘deep pockets’ for China’s neighbours have already made several US loyalists recalibrate their alliances. The starkest shift has come from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Despite having long-standing issues with China after a standoff over Scarborough Shoals in the South China Sea, and the Philippines being one of the US’s trusted allies in Asia, Duterte...
SEA Games: Malaysia hit 140 gold medal mark and eye clean sweep in diving – but lose to Thailand in men’s football final | Phuket News
MALAYSIA won another 29 gold medals on the penultimate day of SEA Games competition in Kuala Lumpur – but were denied men’s football gold by Thailand. Thailand were 1-0 winners at Shah Alam Stadium, courtesy of an own goal from goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli. Malaysia needlessly conceded a corner shortly before half-time, from which Haziq inexplicably punched the ball into his own net under no real pressure. Victory saw Thailand win the tournament for the third time in succession, following up their wins in Myanmar four years ago and Singapore in 2015. SEE ALSO: SEA Games: Hosts Malaysia hit golden target of 111 – with two days of competition still to go Malaysia coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee refused to blame his goalkeeper, saying: “It’s a difficult situation for Haziq, and the mistake can happen to any player. “We cannot blame him, he’s still young and still learning.” There was better news...
Senior US Lawmakers Target Myanmar Military With New Sanctions | Phuket News
Senior U.S. Republican and Democratic lawmakers proposed targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on Myanmar military officials on Thursday over the treatment of the country's Rohingya Muslim minority, one of the strongest efforts yet for Washington to intervene in the humanitarian crisis. Announced the day before Republican President Donald Trump leaves on his first trip to Asia since taking office, the legislation would reimpose some sanctions lifted last year as Myanmar returned to democracy. It would bar the United States from supplying most assistance to the country's military until it has been certified that perpetrators of atrocities against the Rohingya are being held accountable. The measure does not target Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, head of Myanmar's civilian-led government and a Nobel peace laureate who still enjoys strong support among some U.S. officials. But congressional aides said it is intended to underscore a strong desire among many members of Congress...
Bangladesh Envoy to US: Atrocity Against Rohingya 'Ethnic Cleansing' | Phuket News
With seemingly no end to the crisis that has displaced some 600,000 Muslim minority Rohingya from Myanmar, senior U.S. State Department officials are traveling to Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh this week to address humanitarian and human rights concerns and explore ways to improve the delivery of aid. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel for the first time as the top U.S. diplomat to Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on November 15 to address the Rohingya crisis and U.S. support for Myanmar's democratic transition. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday she is joining the delegation led by Simon Henshaw, acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, to Cox's Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh, where refugee camps serve as temporary homes to tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees. She tweeted saying: ​Earlier Thursday, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi traveled to the country's conflict-torn northern Rakhine state...
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Visits Troubled Rakhine State | Phuket News
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi traveled to the troubled northern Rakhine state for the first time since the start of a brutal military campaign against minority Rohingya Muslims. Aung San Suu Kyi met Thursday with the Rohingya Muslim community in Pandawpyin Village near Maungdaw.  She also traveled to the Myanmar-Bangladesh border and met with the families of the Border Guard Police Force at the Taungbro Bangladesh-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. VOA's Burmese service reports Myanmar's de facto leader told Rohingya villagers she wants to see the reconstruction of their community, urging those tasked with implementing reconstruction plans to take villagers’ specific needs into account. She called on villagers to speak out about their needs and concerns before implementation begins.   Aung San Suu Kyi said she expects reconstruction to go smoothly and concluded her talk by expressing her eagerness to provide proper education for the children in areas affected by violence....
‘Make nice’: Trump’s first visit to Asia to be a test in diplomacy | Phuket News
TEN months into his presidency, any picture of US President Donald Trump’s definitive policy on the Asia Pacific region remains unclear. As he sets off for his maiden visit to five countries in the region on Friday, Asia waits in trepidation to see what this unpredictable president will bring. Trump has so far proven to be somewhat of a curve-ball president when it comes to foreign policy. While some of his fiery campaign trail rhetoric has come to fruition – such as withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – regional leaders have been relieved to see that there are others he has stepped back from, such as his threats to abandon allies who didn’t pay their fair share for defence. But whether he will push his isolationist agenda in keeping with his message of “America First,” essentially abandoning the Obama-era pivot, or extend the arm of diplomacy and collaboration,...
Expect nuclear proliferation in East Asia says former US Secretary of State | Phuket News
FORMER US Secretary of State and Cold War strategist Henry Kissinger has warned that East Asia is racing towards nuclear proliferation now that North Korea has developed nuclear weapons of its own. In an interview with The New York Times, the former Nixon administration official and nuclear strategist, said he had little doubt where things were headed. “If they continue to have nuclear weapons,” he said of North Korea, “nuclear weapons must spread in the rest of Asia.” “It cannot be that North Korea is the only Korean country in the world that has nuclear weapons, without the South Koreans trying to match it. Nor can it be that Japan will sit there,” he added. “So therefore we’re talking about nuclear proliferation.” SEE ALSO: North Korea threatens Australia with ‘disaster’ Kissinger’s comments come as tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated in recent months, with Pyongyang firing missiles over Japan and...
Expect nuclear proliferation in East Asia – former US Secretary of State | Phuket News
FORMER US Secretary of State and Cold War strategist Henry Kissinger has warned that East Asia is racing towards nuclear proliferation now that North Korea has developed nuclear weapons of its own. In an interview with The New York Times, the former Nixon administration official and nuclear strategist, said he had little doubt where things were headed. “If they continue to have nuclear weapons,” he said of North Korea, “nuclear weapons must spread in the rest of Asia.” “It cannot be that North Korea is the only Korean country in the world that has nuclear weapons, without the South Koreans trying to match it. Nor can it be that Japan will sit there,” he added. “So therefore we’re talking about nuclear proliferation.” SEE ALSO: North Korea threatens Australia with ‘disaster’ Kissinger’s comments come as tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated in recent months, with Pyongyang firing missiles over Japan and...
Police said Burmese maid shot herself in right side – but lawyer says she was left handed | Phuket News
A top lawyer has demanded that the case of a young Burmese maid found shot dead at her employer’s house in Ratchaburi be reopened. The police dismissed it as suicide but the evidence tells a different story, lawyer Ranarong Kaewphet told Daily New Online. Now the family want justice after going to the embassy for help in the latest case of a Burmese person apparently not receiving justice. Ranarong itemized three key points in the case after 17 year old Wan was found shot. * She was shot in the right side and the gun was found in her right hand – but she was left handed. * There were TWO shell casings found on the floor. * The maid had managed to open her employer’s gun safe to get the gun. In addition Ranarong said that no proper procedure was done to forensically examine the corpse of the dead...
‘They shot my two daughters in front of me’: Rohingya’s heartbreaking stories of loss | Phuket News
IF THERE’s anything positive about the sprawling Rohingya refugee camps near Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, it’s that the residents – despite their appalling recent experiences and obvious deprivation – are at least safe here from Myanmar’s military. I’ve been visiting Rohingya refugee camps close to the Bangladesh/Burma (Myanmar) border, and the scale of the forced migration is truly horrifying. Land unoccupied in late August is now a cramped shanty city of bamboo, tarpaulin and mud that seems to go on forever. Interviews in the camps paint a desperately sad picture. The details of these interviews are invariably confronting and often distressing, and explain why so many Rohingya fled Burma so quickly. SEE ALSO: UN appeals for more support for Rohingya in ‘arc of misery’ A farmer becomes understandably emotional when he tells me: I lost my two sons, and two daughters. At midnight the military come in my house and burnt...
Burma: Drone usage lands Malaysian, Singaporean journalists in trouble | Phuket News
TWO journalists – a Malaysian and a Singaporean – were detained in Burma (Myanmar) over the weekend for operating a drone without permission. The journalists – Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia – plus their interpreter Aung Naing Soe and driver Hla Tin have been detained since Friday for flying a drone near the parliament in Burma’s capital Naypyitaw. Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said the journalists detained on Friday worked for a Turkish broadcaster and were apprehended after making a unauthorised video recording of the Hluttaw Building (House of Representative) at Naypyitaw, the New Straits Times reported. #Myanmar media identified detained foreign journalists as 44 yr old #Singaporean male, Lau Hon Meng,female 47 yr old #Malaysian Mok Choy Lin pic.twitter.com/75UChhOWsH — May Wong (@MayWongCNA) October 27, 2017 It said the government was monitoring the case and will render the “necessary consular assistance accordingly.” SEE ALSO: US...
Burma: Thousands rally in support of military amid growing global criticism | Phuket News
MORE than 2,000 people marched in Yangon on Sunday in support of the country’s military after it has drawn severe criticism from the international community for violence in northern Rakhine state that has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Demonstrators carried banners praising Min Aung Hlaing, commander in chief of Burma’s (Myanmar) military, and criticising the global community for “pressuring” the army over their treatment of the Rohingya population. The crowd included Buddhist nationalists and monks. Burma laboured under military rule for 50 years until November 2010 when military rule was replaced by a new military-backed civilian government. SEE ALSO:  US mulls sanctions over Burma’s treatment of Rohingya “The Tatmadaw is essential for the country, it protects our ethnic groups, races and religion,” protester Nan Aye Aye Kyi told AFP (via DW) as the rally made its way through Yangon. “Tatmadaw” is the official name of...
Vietnam prosecutes bank officials | Phuket News
HANOI: Vietnam has prosecuted five former officials of the unlisted Dong A Bank for violating rules that
Mitsubishi to promote electric vehicles in Indonesia | Phuket News
TOKYO: Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Monday it will join forces with the Indonesian government to promote electric vehicles in the Southeast Asian country, as the government ramps up efforts to reduce CO2 emissions....
Hardline Indonesian Muslim groups burn US, Israeli flags | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Hardline Muslim groups in Indonesia burned photos of US President Donald Trump, as well as US and Israeli flags, on Monday during a protest outside the US embassy against Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel....
Diphtheria deaths in Indonesia spark immunisation campaign | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Indonesia has begun a campaign to immunise 8 million children and teenagers against diphtheria after the disease killed 38 people, mostly children, since January....
Bali jailbreak: US inmate escapes notorious Kerobokan prison | Phuket News
Reports suggest the man and another inmate escaped by climbing over the prison wall....
American man escapes from prison in Indonesia's Bali | Phuket News
BALI: An American citizen detained for a drug offence has escaped from a prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali....
LGBT activists in Indonesia face rising death threats | Phuket News
“THE EXTREMISTS called and told us they planned to attack. We called the police beforehand, they wouldn’t come … [they] showed up at the very end and watched us be beaten.” Advocates for the rights of Indonesia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are facing increasingly “frequent, personal, and violent” threats according to a new report released on Friday by Front Line Defenders, a watchdog. Research for the report included interviews with 25 human rights defenders working on the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) rights across the archipelago, the vast majority of whom reported having received death threats. SEE ALSO: Why are LGBT Indonesians under siege? Islamist protesters gather in Tarakan, Indonesia, on Nov 4, 2016. Source: Antoni Halim / Shutterstock According to the report, 23 out of 25 rights advocates had received death threats since the beginning of 2016, “and their partners or family...
LGBT activists in Indonesia face rising death threats, lack of police protection | Phuket News
“THE EXTREMISTS called and told us they planned to attack. We called the police beforehand, they wouldn’t come … [they] showed up at the very end and watched us be beaten.” Advocates for the rights of Indonesia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are facing increasingly “frequent, personal, and violent” threats according to a new report released on Friday by Front Line Defenders, a watchdog. Research for the report included interviews with 25 human rights defenders working on the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) rights across the archipelago, the vast majority of whom reported having received death threats. SEE ALSO: Why are LGBT Indonesians under siege? Islamist protesters gather in Tarakan, Indonesia, on Nov 4, 2016. Source: Antoni Halim / Shutterstock According to the report, 23 out of 25 rights advocates had received death threats since the beginning of 2016, “and their partners or family...
Thousands of Indonesians protest Trump's Jerusalem move | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Thousands protested outside the US Embassy in the Indonesian capital on Sunday against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, many waving banners saying
Crackdown on road control | Phuket News
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has launched a project to regulate the use of main roads and pavements across all 50 districts in Bangkok....
Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables | Phuket News
PHUKET: Patong Mayor Chalermluk Kebsup and Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) Director Watcharin Prapa this morning (Dec 14) jointly presided over a large meeting to update on Patong’s underground cable project at the PEA office in Patong....
PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Mystery gymnast? Cancer patient sues wife! Too fast, too heavy? || December 14 | Phuket News
PHUKET XTRA - December 14 Mystery gymnastics at airport? Cancer patient sues own wife! Too fast, too heavy? Malaria getting owned in Thailand? Toons run raises over B800 million! Con artist released, then arrested! Hosted by: JP Mestanza || #Phuket...
Phuket prepares for Heroines Festival 2018 | Phuket News
PHUKET: The two-week Thao Thepkassatri and Thao Srisoonthon Festival will return from March 3-17, 2018, celebrating the defeat of Burmese marauders attempting to take Phuket in 1785....
Qatar Airways opens new Doha-Chiang Mai route | Phuket News
Thailand celebrated the start of Qatar Airways’ latest direct non-stop service from Doha to Chiang Mai, bringing significant new sources of traffic by allowing visitors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to connect to the Northern Thai city via the airline’s hub in Qatar. The welcome ceremony was presided over by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports (below picture, 5th from right). Qatar Airways will operate four flights per week on the Doha-Chiang Mai route with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which features 24 seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class. The seasonal service will operate from December 2017 until May 2018, and resume once again for the Winter 2018 season in October 2018. H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said “We are excited to be adding historic Chiang Mai as our fourth destination in Thailand to our extensive global...
Japan submits study on high speed train project to Thailand  | Phuket News
Japan has recommended Thailand construct the first 380-kilometre section of the 672km Thai-Japanese high-speed train route, says Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. Japan has finished the feasibility study of the first 380-kilometre section of the 672-kilometre Thai-Japanese high speed train route and the Japanese Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mr Takao Makino submitted submitted the study to Mr Arkhom on Dec 14. Mr Arkhom said the first section is from Bangkok to Phitsanulok, covering a total distance of 380 kilometres with an investment cost of 280 billion baht. The study along with investment recommendation will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval in three months. Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith He said that the 380-km route would be split up to shorter distance of 50-100 kilometre sections so that construction could be started early. He expected that the ministry could issue bidding conditions or TOR (terms of references) by the...
No charges for motorcyclist who rammed off-duty Phuket policeman’s car | Phuket News
PHUKET: No action is to be taken against a 57-year-old motorcyclist who rammed an off-duty Patong policeman’s car as the car made a turn into a motorbike showroom on Thepkasattri Rd yesterday (Dec 13)....
Career con artist free after Phuket bust, arrested again | Phuket News
Yet after his release, the suspect, 55-year-old Yongyut “Chai” Tongkam, returned to his hometown in Nakhon Sri Thammarat only to be taken into custody again – this time on three outstanding warrants for his role in similar scams in Ch......
Phuket slow loris touts escape officials | Phuket News
PHUKET: The Chief of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Conservation Centre in Thalang said that a recent inspection of Karon Beach following telephone calls directly to him stating slow loris touts were working the beach led to no arrests as the touts had disappeared by the time he had arrived....
Phuket DMCR officials appeal for help in finding ‘coral sitting’ diver | Phuket News
PHUKET: Officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket Office have appealed to the public for any information that will help them identify and locate the diver captured in a photo sitting on coral at Racha Yai Island over the weekend....
PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Meteor shower! Elephant riding? Angry governor! || December 13 | Phuket News
PHUKET XTRA - December 13 Meteor shower front-row seats! Elephant riding! Angry governor orders changes! B3 million gambling con! Stricter driving tests? Hosted by: JP Mestanza || #Phuket...
Phuket officials target deadly overloaded trucks | Phuket News
PHUKET: Officials from the Phuket office of the Department of Rural Roads (DRR) today (Dec 13) set up a weigh station checkpoint at an intersection where a 31-year-old woman was killed and her 3-year-old son left injured by an overloaded cement truck in August....
Suhaib Ilyasi: India TV crime show host jailed for wife's murder | Phuket News
Suhaib Ilyasi, who fronted a crime series called India's Most Wanted, is sentenced to life in jail....
Some Pakistani Experts See No End to Nation's Economic Slide | Phuket News
Pakistan's economy has been on a steady downward slide with no end in sight, some experts say, with the currency dropping, foreign exchange reserves dwindling, the trade deficit spiking and the benchmark stock index at an 18-month low. The civilian government is at odds with the powerful military, creating an uncertain political landscape that keeps investors on the sidelines. The ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is on trial for corruption, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has fled the country after also being charged with graft, raising questions about the prospects of turning things around. The International Monetary Fund isn't happy about all the red ink and has questioned how Pakistan could pay back funds for a massive hydroelectric project that China has offered to build. Islamabad has pulled out of the project, at least for now. Rupee's value The U.N. Economic and Social Survey for Asia and Pacific's (UNESCAP) 2017 report warned...
Class of 77 | Phuket News
China's 1977 college entrance exams brought in a generation that would change the country forever....
Montreal Police Arrest Laotian Man on US Most-Wanted List | Phuket News
Canadian police officers chased down and caught a Laotian-born alleged drug smuggler who is on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement list of its 10 most wanted criminals.   Montreal police said this week Katay-Khaophone Sychanta, 35, tried to flee on foot along a bike path, but officers caught him for alleged drug possession. Fingerprint checks revealed his identity. He was arraigned Thursday on charges of drug possession, obstructing the work of police and false documents.   Sychanta faces earlier drug charges in Ontario as well as those in the United States.   Sychanta was born in Laos and was first indicted in 2005 in Michigan. The ICE most-wanted list says he evaded capture on drug charges in the U.S. and continued to supervise a drug-smuggling organization based near Windsor, Ontario. ICE said he has a history of violence and has allegedly made threats against Homeland Security Investigations unit agents...
No fishing  after copper contaminated water  | Phuket News
Local authorities in Kumpavapee district of Udon Thani province have put up signs warning villagers living in  Ban Nadee village of Tambon Phasook not to use water and fish in Huey Sampard canal after it was found to be contaminated with heavy  metals. The warning by Udon Thani deputy governor Mr Somwang Puangbangpho came after environmental scientists detected metal contamination in the water of the canal passing Ban Nadee village. Scientists collected water from the canal for laboratory  examination after a truck loaded with metal  deposits from Laos crashed and fell into the canal. Samples of  water collected from the site of the crashed truck along a 300-metre distance downstream showed heavy copper contamination. Meanwhile test of soil and stream sendiments collected downstream  from a distance of 100 metres from the crashed truck showed heavy contamination of copper, lead, zinc, and arsenic poison, indicating poor quality  of surface water which...
SEA Games: Seven up for Vietnamese sensation Nguyen Thi Anh Vien as she adds two more golds in the pool | Phuket News
SOMETHING special was going to be required to upstage the dominant Singaporeans in the pool at the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games – and that something special is the performances of Nguyen Thi Anh Vien. The 21-year-old Vietnamese swim star, nicknamed The Little Mermaid, added two more gold medals to her haul on the penultimate day of competition. She has dominated her events at the National Aquatic Center in Bukit Jalil, winning seven gold medals and three silvers, and breaking two Games records and a further three Vietnamese national records. Nguyen, who won eight gold medals, a bronze and a silver in Singapore two years ago, has maintained her dominance of Southeast Asian women’s swimming with some remarkable performances. SEE ALSO: Cambodia win first gold medal of SEA Games while Philippines become first ice hockey champions The seemingly tireless all-rounder from Can Tho won the 50m backstroke and 400m individual medley...
Cambodian court jails critic over comment on troop deployment | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH - A Cambodian court jailed an opposition politician for five years on Friday over a Facebook post in which he criticised the deployment of troops to the border with Laos....
Cambodia win first gold medal of SEA Games while Philippines become first ice hockey champions | Phuket News
THE wait is over for Cambodia, who finally won their first gold medal of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on day five – in the women’s petanque doubles. The Cambodian pair of Ke Leng and Ouk Sreymom defeated Thailand’s Phantipha Wongchuvej and Pataratida Meepak 13-10 to win the country’s first SEA Games gold since the men’s Chinlone-Linking team in sepak takraw two years ago. The Khmer Times reported a delighted and emotional Sreymom as saying: “We were confident as we knew [from the group stage] that we could beat them. “Of course we are happy to bring back a gold medal for the country.” SEE MORE: SEA Games: 16 Malaysian athletes at host contingent’s hotel in Kuala Lumpur hit by food poisoning The medal saw Cambodia jump from tenth to eighth in the table in one move – and left Brunei, Laos and Timor-Leste as the only nations yet to stand...
Cambodia, Laos find common ground after border row | Phuket News
Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng has met his Lao counterpart, just weeks after a row between the two countries saw Prime Minister Hun Sen deploy troops to the Stung Treng provincial border....
SEA Games: Hosts Malaysia hit 50 gold medal mark as Singapore continue to dominate in the pool | Phuket News
HOSTS Malaysia – who have targeted 111 gold medals at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games – hit their first major milestone as they passed the 50 mark on day four. Malaysia added 10 gold medals on a hectic day of SEA Games competition, standing atop the podium in athletics, squash, karate, swimming, tenpin bowling and gymnastics. Malaysia are already closing in on their tally of 62 gold medals from Singapore two years ago, when they finished fourth in the medal table behind Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. And they are almost halfway toward their ambitious target of 111, a tally that has not been surpassed since Indonesia won a staggering 182 on home soil six years ago. SEE ALSO: SEA Games: Singapore win three swimming golds while Vietnam’s Nguyen continues record-breaking form In the pool, though, it was Singapore who dominated again on the third day of competition. They won five of...
Trafficking in wildlife, especially pangolin, from Malaysia into Thailand | Phuket News
Traffickers in wildlife in Malaysia have increasingly switched to land routes instead of boat in their smuggling of endangered wild animals and plants from Indonesia and Malaysia into Thailand before being smuggled out through Laos into Vietnam and China, according to Somkiart Sunthornpitakkul, director of Wildlife and Plants Protection Office, and Prat Kongthong, chief of the wildlife inspection checkpoint in Padang Besar. The two wildlife officials said that Thailand is just a transit for the smuggled wild animals, especially Pangolin anteaters which are a favourite delicacy by Chinese and Vietnamese. Prat noted that along a 12-kilometer stretch of Thai-Malaysian land border between the Perlis state and Sadao district of Songkhla, there are 11 “risky” points where smuggles use to sneak wild animals into Thailand. He said that most of the smuggled Pangolins were force-fed with flour and energy drinks in order to increase their weight so they can be sold...
Typhoon Hato to cause more rain in upper Thailand Aug 24-25 | Phuket News
The upper part of Thailand will have more rain on Aug 24-25 as typhoon Hato is expected to make a landfall over southern Guangdong, China, on Wednesday(Aug 23) afternoon, according to the 11am announcement of the Thai Meteorological Department. As of 10am on Wednesday, typoon Hato was moving over the upper South China See with a maximum sustained wind of about 8 knots or 150 kilometres per hour. It was moving in the westerly direction and expected to make a landfall over southern Guangdong, China, on Wednesday afternoon.  After that it will be downgraded into a tropical storm and then a tropical depression. On Aug 25, it will be downgraded into a low pressure cell over upper Vietnam and Laos.  People travelling to the affected areas are advised to check weather conditions before the departure. As a result, more rain is expected in upper Thailand on Aug 24-25. The post Typhoon Hato to cause more rain in upper Thailand Aug 24-25...
SEA Games: Singapore win three swimming golds while Vietnam’s Nguyen continues record-breaking form | Phuket News
SINGAPORE ruled the pool on the second day of competition at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, grabbing three gold medals. Vietnam also won two gold medals – courtesy of Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who now has three golds at these Games – while there was one gold for Thailand. Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who endured a difficult World Aquatics Championship in Budapest last month, won his second gold medal of the Games as he led the Singapore men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team to victory in a new Games record. Schooling’s compatriot Zheng Wen Quah cruised to his 13th SEA Games gold medal as he won the 200m butterfly by more than three seconds. SEE ALSO: The fastest man in Southeast Asia: Khairul Hafiz Jantan wins SEA Games 100m title There was further joy in the pool for Singapore when Roanne Ho Ru’En won the women’s 50m breaststroke in...
Rights experts ‘deeply disturbed’ after Burma fact-finding mission | Phuket News
UNITED NATIONS human rights officials last week left a Bangladeshi refugee camp “deeply disturbed” by accounts of alleged abuses by the Tatmadaw army of Burma (Myanmar). The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reports at least 607,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma into Cox’s Bazar in neighbouring Bangladesh since Aug 25, when militants launched attacks on Burmese security forces sparking so-called “clearing operations” across the Rakhine. Three prominent officials from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) visited Cox’s Bazar where Unicef says 61 percent of the refugees are children, many of whom are suffering from malnutrition. Bangladesh’s social services department has identified and registered 22,484 orphaned children. In a statement, the FFM described hearing accounts of killings, rape, torture, arson and aerial attacks by Burma’s army. A police officer stands in a house that was burnt down during the days of violence in Maungdaw, Myanmar, on Aug 30, 2017. Source: Reuters/Soe...
Rohingya crisis ‘spinning out of control’, leaders must act – aid officials | Phuket News
THE humanitarian crisis affecting Burma’s (Myanmar) Rohingya Muslims is “spinning out of control” as the world fails in its response, aid officials said on Thursday. “We’ve seen a massive increase in violence not just between armed actors but also civilians, which is tearing families apart and leaving people to feel completely abandoned and disenfranchised,” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Burma military has blocked most international agencies, including the UN, from parts of northern Rakhine state, where security forces are accused of raping and massacring Rohingya Muslims. SEE ALSO: UN appeals for more support for Rohingya in ‘arc of misery’ More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed the border to neighbouring Bangladesh since Aug 25, when coordinated Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts sparked a ferocious counter-offensive by the Burmese army. Rohingya refugees line up to receive humanitarian aid in...
Tokyo is apparently the world’s safest city, unlike Southeast Asian capitals | Phuket News
JAPAN’s ultramodern, megacity capital Tokyo has been named the safest city in the world by a newly released index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU’s Safe Cities Index 2017 entitled Security in a rapidly urbanising world ranked 60 world cities across 49 indicators regarding digital, health, infrastructure and personal security. Tokyo’s top spot is credit to the city’s high ratings in digital security and health security. Interestingly, Asian cities dominated both the top and bottom ten of the index for their respective safety ratings. A number of cities in the Asia-Pacific were ranked even worse in terms of security than far more violent capitals in South America, Africa and the Middle East. SEE ALSO: Being Japanese is the best nationality in Asia Vendors sell food on the street in downtown Yangon, Burma, 13 February 2017. Source: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock At number 31, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia...
Kofi Annan to hold briefing on Rohingya crisis as Security Council heads to Burma | Phuket News
FORMER United Nations chief Kofi Annan is expected to provide details of a report on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma (Myanmar) during an informal meeting with the Security Council on Friday. According to the Yahoo! News (via the AFP), Jeffrey Feltman, the UN’s top political affairs official, will travel to the country on Friday for four days of talks on the crisis. “Feltman will be holding consultations with Myanmar to address these urgent issues,” said a UN official. Annan in late August presented the final report by the special advisory commission on Rakhine state. Annan, who chairs the commission, did this at the request of Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Among others, the report called for Burmese authorities to take urgent action to address the plight of the Rohingya, who are not recognised as citizens and have faced decades of discrimination from the country’s Buddhist majority....
Kofi Annan will hold briefing on Rohingya crisis as Security Council heads to Burma | Phuket News
FORMER UN chief Kofi Annan is expected to provide details of a report on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma (Myanmar) during an informal meeting with the Security Council on Friday. According to the Yahoo! News (via the AFP), Jeffrey Feltman, the UN’s top political affairs official, will travel to the country on Friday for four days of talks on the crisis. “Mr. Feltman will be holding consultations with Myanmar to address these urgent issues,” said a UN official. Annan in late August presented the final report by the special advisory commission on Rakhine state. Annan who chairs the commission did this at the request of Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Among others, the report called for Burmese authorities to take urgent action to address the plight of the Rohingya, who are not recognised as citizens and have faced decades of discrimination from the country’s Buddhist majority....
Police press royal defamation charge for comment on ancient King | Phuket News
The police have decided to press royal defamation charges against Sulak Sivaraksa, a renowned royalist and lèse majesté critic, over a public speech about King Naresuan, who ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom 400 years ago. On 9 October 2017, Puangthip Boonsanong, a lawyer representing Sulak, said the police took Sulak, 84, to the Military Court of Bangkok and submitted to the military prosecutor the case file in which he is accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law. The military prosecutor will decide on 7 December 2017 whether to indict. Lt Gen Padung Niwatwan and Lt Gen Pittaya Vimalin filed a complaint at Chanasongkram Police Station in 2014. They accused Sulak of defaming the ancient king during a public speech on “Thai History: the Construction and Deconstruction” in October 2014 at Thammasat University, Bangkok. In the speech, Sulak said the legend of the elephant battle between...
Police press royal defamation charge against historian for criticising ancient King | Phuket News
The police have concluded to continue to press royal defamation charge against Sulak Sivaraksa, a renowned royalist and lèse majesté critic, for a public speech about King Naresuan, who ruled the Ayutthaya Kingdom 400 years ago. On 9 October 2017, Puangthip Boonsanong, lawyer representing Sulak, said the police took Sulak, 84, to the Military Court of Bangkok and submitted the casefile in which he is accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, to the military prosecutor. The military prosecutor will finalise whether to indict the historian on 7 December 2017. Lt Gen Padung Niwatwan and Lt Gen Pittaya Vimalin filed the complaint at Chanasongkram Police Station in 2014. They accused Sulak of defaming the ancient king during a public speech on “Thai History: the Construction and Deconstruction” in October 2014 at Thammasat University, Bangkok. In the speech, Sulak said the legend of the elephant...
No simple solution to the Rohingya crisis | Phuket News
THE crisis in Rakhine State in Burma (Myanmar) is reaching a fever pitch. As more Rohingya Muslims continue to flood over the border to Bangladesh and reports of “ethnic cleansing” continue to dominate the headlines, the plight of this vulnerable community seems almost hopeless. It is reported that over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the military offensive that has raged since Aug 25 after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army camp, killing 12 people. A campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population followed the attack, with human rights groups and news organisations accusing the Burmese military of burning down Rohingya villages, murdering innocent people and falsely blaming the atrocities on the rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). SEE ALSO: Here’s why Suu Kyi’s speech has met with global criticism The Burmese government continues to lay blame at the feet of the “terrorist” rebels,...
Divided Asean urged to act on Rohingya crisis | Phuket News
THE ASSOCIATION of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has been urged to take urgent action on the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, which has seen more than half a million Rohingya Muslims flee into Bangladesh in little over a month. Amnesty International sent a letter to the Asean Secretary on Friday – Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano – calling upon the regional bloc to end “grave human rights abuses” against the stateless Rohingya population of Burma (Myanmar). “Asean is failing to take a stand as one of its member states carries out a violent campaign of ethnic cleansing,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. SEE ALSO: Burma accused of crimes against humanity over Rohingya exodus Philippine’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Cayetano gives a speech at Asia Society in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2017. Source: Reuters/Amr Alfiky SEE ALSO: Indonesia positions...
Rohingya Mobile Reporter Network Crumbles in Myanmar     | Phuket News
Human rights groups and Rohingya community news outlets say they are facing a crisis in gathering detailed information about the Myanmar military crackdown in Rakhine, largely because the five-year-old network of Rohingya
APEC’s role in facilitating regional integration for the well-being of all | Phuket News
Mr. Warrick Cleine, Chairman & CEO of KPMG in Vietnam and Cambodia, touched on specific issues for internal APEC trade and what lies ahead for both the bloc and Vietnam. ■ How do you view the development of internal APEC trade over the last few years? Have such developments met the bloc’s potential? APEC’s role in facilitating regional integration has proven essential in promoting trade and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, reducing trade barriers between members, harmonizing standards and regulations, and streamlining customs procedures have enabled goods to move more easily across borders. Significant achievements are reflected in many different angles. For example, intra-regional trade increased over seven-fold and reached $20 trillion in 2015; outpacing the rest of the world. Average tariffs fell from 17 per cent in 1989 to 5.6 per cent in 2014. The number of tariff lines enjoying zero per cent APEC tariffs increased...
Royal Academy of Cambodia director says CNRP’s dissolution a boon to democracy | Phuket News
The Royal Academy of Cambodia director and representatives of smaller parties have hailed the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) by the Supreme Court a boon to democracy in the kingdom, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Wednesday (Nov 22). “Democracy in Cambodia is completely good, has not disappeared and proceeds smoothly, and it is not restricted like the opposition says,” Sok Touch, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told a roundtable he organized on Tuesday (Nov 21). The roundtable, titled the “Democratization process in Cambodia in the absence of the opposition party”, was attended by government officials, representatives of the ruling CPP and smaller parties, including the royalist Funcinpec and LDP. Touch said the disbanding of the CNRP does not undermine multiparty democracy, noting that minor parties are still on the electoral playing field – a proof of a continuing vibrant multiparty democracy. The...
aCommerce Raises $65M in a Series B Led by Emerald Media | Phuket News
The region’s leading ecommerce enabler and e-distributor will continue to build successful multi-channel retail, distribution and marketing strategies for brands such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars. aCommerce Co. Ltd. announced today that it has closed a US$65 million Series B funding round. The company is Southeast Asia’s leading ecommerce enabler and e-distributor in four markets that enables over 260 brand clients such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars to sell to the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets. The newest funding round is led by Emerald Media, a pan-Asian platform established by global investment firm KKR to fund growth investment opportunities across Asia. Participants in the round also include existing backers Blue Sky, MDI Ventures and DKSH, with North Ridge Partners advising. The US$65M investment in aCommerce will be channeled into: Further augmenting the company’s brand-centric tech platform that allows clients to “plug in” and distribute through...
International Surrealism Now 2017/18 Art Exhibition to be Held in Portugal | Phuket News
Nov 21, 2017 Portuguese surrealist painter Santiago Ribeiro finds new and unusual avenues to showcase his art and promote the international art exhibit In an attempt to take art to the people en masse – and promote the largest group exhibit of surreal art this winter -- Portuguese surrealist painter Santiago Ribeiro is teasing the public with flash images of his work in the most famous intersection of the world: Times Square. Ribeiro’s vivid, colorful paintings will be shown sporadically – flashed on random days at random times -- on the Nasdaq OMX Group screen in New York City until Dec. 31, 2017. They will be up for three whole minutes on the Reuter’s screen for each appearance – ample time for tens of thousands of pedestrians to catch a glimpse. The pieces are part of the International Surrealism Now exhibit, which is to open at the multimedia POROS...
Thais keen on QR code payment use | Phuket News
Close to a quarter of Thais are aware of QR code as a payment method -- the highest in Southeast Asia -- and almost half would like to use it on a regular basis, according to a study commissioned by Visa....
Park chiefs add big bikes to banned list | Phuket News
Big bikes will be banned from national parks to keep the forests in their pristine state and undisturbed, according to the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department....
Woman tricked out of B3mn by Phuket con gang | Phuket News
PHUKET: Officers from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and Thalang Police yesterday (Dec 12) arrested two men and one woman who are said to be part of a four-member gang who conned a woman out of more than B3 million in a gambling con after pretending to be interested in doing business with her....
Touting elephants okay, says Phuket wildlife official | Phuket News
PHUKET: An official from the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office today (Dec 13) told The Phuket News that there will be no action taken against elephant touts who provide rides to tourists on the island’s beaches....
Phuket Governor ends lifeguard crisis, targets airport woes, floods | Phuket News
PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong today unleashed an angry tirade at officials for the flood of problems that are plaguing Phuket, starting with the lifeguard crisis but also taking aim at the poor state of Phuket International Airport and the lack of proactive action to prevent flooding, especially in Patong....
PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Patong power cables! Krabi viewpoint closed? EU 'friends' Thailand! || December 12 | Phuket News
PHUKET XTRA - December 12 Famous Krabi viewpoint off limits? Patong power cables going underground- AGAIN! EU & Thailand resume talks! Aussie womans leg amputated? Thailands road MOST dangerous? Hosted by: JP Mestanza || #Phuket...
Surin Beach seawall will go ahead, vows MaAnn | Phuket News
PHUKET: Chief of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) MaAan Samran has assured that construction of the seawall at Surin Beach will go ahead despite experts stating that building the seawall will seriously damage coastal resources instead of preventing beach erosion....
Phuket Governor rails as project to bury Patong cables underground stalls | Phuket News
PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong this morning ordered Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) officials to get moving on having power cables in Patong installed underground after the project silently stalled in May this year....
Phuket event raises awareness on breast cancer | Phuket News
PHUKET: An event held in Phuket Town yesterday (Dec 11) raised awareness on breast cancer prevention, post-operation care and had participants taking part in a demonstration during which they helped create implants similar to those used in breast-reconstruction surgery....
PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Headless corpse found! Prison guard sex scandal? Tax-free run! || December 11 | Phuket News
PHUKET XTRA - December 11 Headless body, skull found! Prison guard sex scandal! Missing man at sea? Government: Toons [tax-free] run! Phang Nga Bay world heritage site? Hosted by: JP Mestanza || #Phuket...
Australian student has leg amputated after Phuket motorbike crash | Phuket News
PHUKET: Despite clear assurances from doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town to the contrary, an Australian woman has had to have her leg amputated after it was crushed by a bus in a motorbike accident in Phuket....
Patong project to clear cable tangles gains speed | Phuket News
PHUKET: The ongoing project to tidy up unsightly cables of tangles along the streets of Patong is inching ahead, with the chief of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) denying that the project is progressing at a snail’s pace....
French prime minister defends his $415,000 private flight from Tokyo to Paris | Phuket News
Edouard Philippe could have taken a French government plane just two hours later....
With Wary Eye on Volcano, Airlines Resume Bali Flights | Phuket News
A volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali has rumbled to life with a series of eruptions that temporarily disrupted some international flights to the popular tourist destination and dusted nearby resorts and villages with a thin layer of ash. Mount Agung erupted Saturday evening and three times early Sunday, lighting its cone with an orange glow and sending ash 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) into the atmosphere. It is still gushing and the dark gray clouds are moving toward the neighboring island of Lombok, a direction that is away from Bali’s airport, where nearly all scheduled domestic and international flights were continuing Sunday. Australian airline Jetstar, which canceled nine flights to and from Bali on Saturday evening, said most of its flights will operate normally Sunday after its senior pilots assessed it was safe to fly. However it warned that the movement of the ash cloud is highly unpredictable and...
Creating 'vertical villages' in Singapore | Phuket News
In Singapore planners are creating
Thai woman implicated in Bt1-bn Chinese ‘heritage’ scheme | Phuket News
The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and the Crime Suppression Bureau have arrested a Thai woman who was allegedly involved in a money-laundering network led by Chinese national Qinduan Zhang, who allegedly bilked 33,000 of his compatriots to invest about Bt1 billion in a bogus “reclaiming national heritage” scheme. The Thai suspect, Aim-on Jitjak, was detained on Wednesday following the arrest of her Chinese husband, Zewen Pu, and faces extradition to China, said AMLO acting secretary-general Pol Maj-General Rommasit Viriyasant. Aim-on and Pu are among five people that the AMLO has asked Thai police to arrest since October 20 after they were linked to the network, as Chinese authorities have targeted the group since last August and seized assets worth Bt346 million. The Chinese investigation indicated that Chinese suspects had fled to Thailand and Thai accomplices were involved in the case, leading the AMLO to file a formal complaint on October...
Half a million and counting as major engine milestone marked | Phuket News
Dec 14, 2017 Picture:  A JCB business which has powered its way to international success today celebrated the production of half a million engines - enough to stretch from London to Paris. Four cylinder diesel engines first began rolling off the line at JCB Power Systems in Derbyshire in November 2004 when the company employed just 64 people and in the first year of production less than 10,000 engines were produced. The Foston-based business has grown dramatically since then and the workforce now stands at almost 400. Now employees have celebrated the production of 500,000th engine and staggeringly, if all half million engines were laid out end-to-end, they would stretch from London to Paris. JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “There have been many great achievements at JCB over the years and engine manufacturing is a truly great success story. In 2004 we relied entirely on external suppliers for our...
Gujarat: Counting of votes starts in India PM's home state | Phuket News
Counting of votes in underway in Gujarat, which Narendra Modi's party has governed for 22 years....
US Presses Thailand to Downgrade Ties with North Korea | Phuket News
The U.S. has urged Thailand to downgrade diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea, a senior Thai official said Thursday after meeting with an American envoy, as the Trump administration pushes ahead with a global campaign to further isolate the nuclear-armed pariah state. General Wanlop Rugsanoah, secretary-general of Thailand's National Security Council, told AFP the request was made during his meeting with U.S. special envoy for North Korea Joseph Yun, who arrived in Bangkok Wednesday evening for a two-day trip to the kingdom.
China Accuses US of Meddling Over Potential US Navy Visits to Taiwan | Phuket News
China submitted an official protest with the United States Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a measure that could result in U.S. naval warships visiting self-ruled Taiwan. Trump signed into law Tuesday defense budget legislation that authorizes the possibility of mutual visits by naval ships between Taiwan and the U.S. Should any such visits occur, they would be the first since the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 and established relations with China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing that while sections of the law pertaining to Taiwan were not legally binding, they violate the
Ratchanok beats world’s No 1 Tai Tzu-ying in straight sets | Phuket News
Ratchanok Intanon showed her top-form performance by beating the world’s No 1 player from Taiwan, Tai Tzu Ying in two straight sets at the BWF World Superseries in Dubai on Thursday (Dec 14). Ratchanok defeated her Taiwanese rival 21-18 and 21-17 to clinch a place in the semi-final round. In the All England Open final last March, Tai defeated Ratchanok. This was the second victory for Ratchanok who in her opening Group B match overcame the world’s fifth-ranked South Korean Sung Ji-Hyun 21-19 and 21-16 in just 47 minutes. Ratchanok’s next match of the Group on Friday (Dec 15) will be against Chen Yufei, a rising star from China whom Ratchanok has never defeated in their three previous encounters.   Chen Yufei also beat South Korean Sung Ji-Hyun in two straight sets, 21-16 and 21-13. This will prove to be a tough fight for Ratchanok. The champion of this tournament...
'Flirty secretary' smart assistant taken offline in China | Phuket News
The avatar, which could be made to flirt and dance, is offline after a suggestion it objectified women....
As Tibetans in India Opt for Citizenship, Will They be Less Committed to Tibetan Struggle? | Phuket News
Since taking Indian nationality six months ago, events organizer Lobsang Wangyal is relaxed when he travels abroad. Time-consuming exit permits and extra scrutiny at airports that Tibetan refugees routinely face are a distant memory. As he wheels in his bags to catch a flight to Bangkok at the New Delhi airport, he recalls the hassle, the time and the money spent trying to get travel documents and answer embarrassing questions at airports. “Then from the big queue I will be brought on the side for questioning. It feels very strange, not nice, as if I have done something wrong,” he said. Wangyal petitioned the court and got an Indian passport after the Delhi High Court directed authorities to give citizenship to Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1987 as per the law. Those born after 1987 must have an Indian parent. Following the court ruling, some Tibetans, like Wangyal,...
As Tibetans In India Opt for Citizenship, Some Fear Weakened Commitment to Tibetan Struggle | Phuket News
India has the world's largest Tibetan exile community, whose members have lived as stateless refugees for decades. But in recent months, some Tibetans are opting for Indian nationality following a ruling that those born in India between 1950 and 1987 are Indian citizens. Amid murmurs that this could weaken the Tibetan cause, the Tibetan exiles say they cannot continue to live as stateless people. Anjana Pasricha has this report from New Delhi....
Philippines to start easing foreign business restrictions | Phuket News
MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed government agencies to scrap or start easing barriers that foreigners face in multiple business and employment sectors, part of moves to liberalise an economy long criticised as restrictive....
SEA Games: Malaysia open up healthy lead at top of medal table as Games swimming records tumble on day two | Phuket News
HOST nation Malaysia have pulled away from their rivals at the top of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medal tally following a thrilling second day on which five swimming records were broken. Malaysia already have 24 gold medals, compared with the 13 won by their closest pursuers in the medal table, Singapore. Vietnam (eight), Indonesia (seven) and Thailand (six) occupy positions three to five on the medal chart, but the table is set to change dramatically as athletics and karate get underway on Tuesday. Day two of official competition, though, belonged to the swimmers. SEE ALSO: SEA Games: Squash competition halted as players involved in bus crash on way to venue Malaysia’s Welson Sim, Indonesia’s Gede Simon Sudartawa, Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Anh Vien and Singapore’s Joseph Schooling – one of the biggest stars at the Games – all broke SEA Games records in the pool. There was also a new Games...
'Lost legacy' | Phuket News
The industry trade body Ukie is calling for greater ethnic representation in games and in the creative process....
Thailand's July tourist arrivals up 4.8% - ministry | Phuket News
International tourist arrivals in Thailand rose 4.8% in July from a year earlier, led by visitors from China, Malaysia, Laos, Korea and India, the tourism and sports ministry said on Friday....
Hun Sen creates new brigade after border row with Laos | Phuket News
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has visited troops in Stung Treng province along the border with Laos, where he announced the creation of a new brigade following tensions between the countries....
Bangkok expat with Kenyan wife slams Air Asia for “racial profiling” and “humiliation” at Don Mueang airport | Phuket News
A man has gone online to complain about Air Asia after he says that he and his Kenyan wife and cousin were humiliated at Don Mueang airport. He said this happened to people “traveling while black”. Philip Culbertson said that he had to wait for 60 minutes before tickets were issued as what he claimed as unnecessary “racial profiling” took place for his wife and cousin. He said that eventually he had to rummage through his pockets to show $800 to enable them to go to Laos for a two night break. Mr Culbertson said that he and his wife have all the legal documents for their stay while he is working in Bangkok. The cousin had shown sufficient funds in Nairobi before her visa was issued to Thailand. In an open letter to Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes he said that he is a frequent flyer but this is the worst airline or airport experience he has...
Myanmar opts for domestic power generation | Phuket News
Plans are underway to generate electricity from local power plants even though China, Thailand, Laos and India have offered to sell their electricity to Myanmar, a senior official of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) said....
SEA Games: Can Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh deliver Malaysia’s first gold medal of the Games? | Phuket News
THE focus will very much be on Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh when the archery gets underway at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Wednesday. The 26-year-old, who won three gold medals in Singapore two years ago, will be looking to deliver Malaysia’s first gold on home soil this time in the women’s individual compound. There are four medals on offer on Wednesday – in the men’s and women’s individual compound, and then two in sepak takraw. In the archery, Fatin will be the hot favourite to get the host nation off to a flying start, when she competes at the National Sports Council Synthetic Turf Field in Bukit Jalil. SEE MORE: The SEA Games do not officially begin until Saturday – but the action is already well underway in Malaysia Across six days of competition – with a break at the halfway point on Saturday – 10 gold medals will be...
Pheu Thai raps govt for trial claims | Phuket News
Inflamed by claims that local administrative organisations (LAOs) are using state funds to cover the transport costs of supporters of former premier Yingluck Shinawatra at her rice scheme trial on Aug 25, Pheu Thai members on Monday denounced these as groundless....
Visa extension scheme to push medical hub target | Phuket News
Thailand's healthcare and wellness business is expected to thrive with the government's visa extension scheme for people from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV) and China who come to the country for medical treatment....
Six day ultimatum – Cambodia to Laos. | Phuket News
Cambodia’s PM has issued a six-day “ultimatum” to Laos – to remove a group of troops who have allegedly trespassed across their border, or face a military response. “We don’t want to have a dispute with Laos, but we also cannot allow the situation remain like this anymore,” said PM Sen, adding that he was running out of patience with “the invasion” by Laos troops. New York Post is reporting that at least 30 soldiers are said to have crossed over from Laos in April. They were allegedly trying to stop Cambodian military engineers from building a road in the area. PM Sen says that officials had ordered the troops to leave, but they “did not retreat.” He also claims to have called the Laotian PM several times over the past few months and received no response. Cambodia and Laos share a 540 kilometre land border, most of it unguarded....
Cambodian leader says border crisis with Laos averted | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who threatened Friday to use force over a border crisis with neighbouring Laos, announced Saturday that the situation had been peacefully resolved after he made a lightning trip for face-to-face talks with his Laotian counterpart....
Aung San Suu Kyi portrait removed at Oxford amid Rohingya exodus | Phuket News
A PORTRAIT of Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed from the entrance of St Hugh’s College, her alma mater at the University of Oxford, amid a major humanitarian crisis in the Southeast Asian nation’s Rakhine State. The college’s student newspaper The Swan reported last week that the portrait was replaced and moved to a “secure location” ahead of students arriving at St Hugh’s for the beginning of semester. The Burmese State Counsellor’s image has been replaced with a painting by Japanese artist Yoshihiro Takada. SEE ALSO: Burma propaganda likens Rohingya to pests, says UN fact-finding mission Suu Kyi studied at the University of Oxford in the 1960s. She has previously said her time at Oxford “helped me to understand the people of Burma, who wanted to live a happy life and had never been given the opportunity to live one.” A Rohingya refugee girl reacts as people wait to receive aid in Cox’s...
Burma, Bangladesh to agree plan for repatriation of Rohingya refugees | Phuket News
BURMA (Myanmar) reasserted its aim on Monday to return Rohingya refugees to their homes in Rakhine State after over half a million fled to Bangladesh in recent months. After meeting in the capital Dhaka, Bangladeshi and Burmese officials agreed on Monday to set up a working group to plan the repatriation of the 507,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to escape an ongoing army crackdown. “The talks were held in a friendly atmosphere, and Myanmar has made a proposal to take back the Rohingya refugees,” Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said after meeting Burmese official Kyaw Tint Swe. “What Bangladesh has been saying is that we want to settle this issue peacefully and both countries have agreed to that,” he added, as reported by Al Jazeera. SEE ALSO: Half a million Rohingya refugees have now fled into Bangladesh Win Myat Aye, Burma’s Union Minister, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief...
The Road to Mandalay review – intensely moving drama about Burmese migrants | Phuket News
Midi Z offers no happy endings in this compassionate, ripped-from-the-headlines story about a couple determined to make a better life in ThailandThis slow-burn drama with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot follows the ups and downs of a young Burmese-Chinese woman fleeing poverty in Myanmar to work illegally in Thailand. It’s an intensely moving film with a heart-and-soul lead performance by Ke-Xi Wu as Lianqing. Wu’s face barely moves, but her eyes register Lianqing’s feelings moment to moment, from the vertigo of homesickness at the start to her steely determination to make a better life in Thailand. The movie begins with Lianqing handing over her family’s life savings to people smugglers. On the journey she meets Guo (Kai Ko), a sweet guy who unselfishly takes her place in the boot of the Jeep (he has paid extra for a seat). When they reach Bangkok, Guo gets a job at his cousin’s textile factory...
Rohingya militants deny links to Al Qaeda, Islamic State | Phuket News
THE ROHINGYA militant group fighting the Tatmadaw military of Burma (Myanmar) in the country’s northern Rakhine State has rejected accusations that it is linked to international jihadist organisations. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) issued a statement via its Twitter account on Wednesday in which it “categorically” denied any ties with transnational terror groups, amid fighting with the Tatmadaw military of Burma (Myanmar) in Rakhine State. “ARSA feels that it is necessary to make it clear that it has no links with Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Lashkar-e-Taiba or any transnational terrorist group, and we do not welcome the involvement of these groups in the Arakan conflict,” it said. SEE ALSO: Rohingya crisis: Cambodian opposition leader in exile Sam Rainsy calls for ‘restraint’ International jihadist group Al Qaeda earlier this week called for Muslims worldwide to “punish” Burma for “crimes” against the Rohingya Muslim minority...
Rohingya crisis: Cambodian opposition leader in exile Sam Rainsy calls for ‘restraint’ | Phuket News
CAMBODIA’s exiled co-founder of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy has called upon the leader of Burma (Myanmar) Aung San Suu Kyi to “show restraint” and respect for human rights regarding the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State. Rainsy, who has been in self-imposed exile since 2005 over fear of arrest by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, took to Twitter on Thursday to state that “the core of Lord Buddha’s Teaching is compassion & respect for the lives of all creatures on earth, starting with people.” Renewed violence has gripped Burma’s northern Rakhine State since Rohingya Muslim militants attacked the outposts of security forces on Aug 25. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) now reports at least 370,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the past three weeks. SEE ALSO: Rohingya crisis a ‘textbook example’ of ethnic cleansing 1. I respectfully call on the #Myanmar people and authorities to...
Rohingya crisis: Why Turkey’s Erdogan has appointed himself voice of the oppressed | Phuket News
THE EMERGING humanitarian crisis that has been rocking Burma (Myanmar) – where an estimated 370,000 Rohingya have been forced out of the country – has prompted broad international condemnation. But so far it has translated into little concrete action. United Nations (UN) human rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein has called the Rohingya’s plight a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” following a similar statement from UN Secretary General António Guterres. While Western countries have been slow and hesitant to respond, leaders of Muslim-majority countries – particularly Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan – have sought to place as much international pressure as possible on the Myanmar government. The strongest and most vocal response of all has come from Turkey. Indeed the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, appears to have appointed himself as the international voice of the Rohingya Muslims. SEE ALSO: From Chechnya to Jakarta, calls for end to Rohingya persecution Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan waits for the arrival...
Emergency Supplies En Route to Rohingya Children | Phuket News
Trucks carrying emergency supplies to children affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis are making their way to Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of members of Myanmar's Rohingya community have fled for safety, the U.N.’s children’s agency said Thursday. Up to 400,000 Rohingya so far have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh and, according to UNICEF, about 60 percent of them are children. “There are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF’s Representative in Bangladesh. “Conditions on the ground place children at risk of high risk of water-borne disease. We have a monumental task ahead of us to protect these extremely vulnerable children.” The aid sent by UNICEF includes water, sanitation supplies, clothing and other essentials, the agency said, with more supplies scheduled to arrive throughout the coming weeks. UN chief speaks of ethnic cleansing The aid announcement comes a day after U.N. Secretary-General António...
Tourism body says Burma one of the ‘most welcoming and friendly countries’ on earth | Phuket News
AMID ongoing violence in its northern Rakhine State, Burma (Myanmar) has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Attacks by armed rebel groups are resulting in the burning of villages of the marginalized Rohingya Muslim community, extrajudicial killings, and shootings of civilians attempting to flee. In response to a situation the United Nations has labelled a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” the Myanmar Tourism Marketing released a statement insisting that the country is “one of the most welcoming and friendly countries in the world.” While the violence is centered in the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung away from the tourist-heavy areas of Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan, the general sentiment around the embattled nation could affect inbound numbers. TTG Asia reported that travelers are being warned to stay away from Myanmar altogether as more travel advisories are being issued and overseas bookings are being canceled. Seriously @cntraveller?
Rohingya crisis: Al Qaeda calls for Muslims to ‘punish’ Burma | Phuket News
INTERNATIONAL jihadist organisation al Qaeda has called for Muslims to support the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority of Burma (Myanmar). Almost 400,000 stateless Rohingya asylum seekers have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh in recent weeks amid fighting in Burma’s restive Rakhine State. Al Qaeda warned that Burma would face “punishment” for its “crimes”. The exodus of Muslim refugees from Buddhist-majority Myanmar was sparked by a fierce security force response to a series of Rohingya militant attacks on police and army posts in the country’s west on Aug 25. SEE ALSO: Rohingya crisis a ‘textbook example’ of ethnic cleansing The Islamist group behind the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States issued a statement urging Muslims around the world to support their fellow Muslims in Myanmar with aid, weapons and “military support.” “The savage treatment meted out to our Muslim brothers … shall not pass without punishment,” al Qaeda said in a...
UN Chief Assails 'Ethnic Cleansing' of Myanmar's Rohingyas | Phuket News
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday the displacement of hundreds of thousands of members of Myanmar's Rohingya community can only be described as ethnic cleansing.
Temporary border checkpoint with Cambodia upgraded | Phuket News
The cabinet on Tuesday (Nov 21) approved the Foreign Ministry’s proposal to upgrade Ban Khao Din temporary border checkpoint in Sa Kaeo’s Khlong Hat district to be another permanent checkpoint, according to Nathaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Nathaporn said Ban Khao Din checkpoint has been upgrade because it has been used by a large number of both Thai and Cambodian people. In 2016, 1,156 Thai people crossed this border checkpoint into Cambodia and more than 1 million Cambodians travelled past it into Thailand, while the values of imported and exported goods through it were 3,587 million baht and 2,984 million baht respectively. Regarding transport facilities, there is a concrete bridge, 9 metres wide and 51 metres long, across the border which is connected by an asphalt road with two traffic lanes on the Cambodian side. On both sides of the border there are already...
Cambodia, Myanmar to promote ancient temples | Phuket News
Cambodia and Myanmar have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the flow of national and third-country tourists to the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap and to the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar....
Cambodia's Major Food Source is Slowly Dying | Phuket News
Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake, which lies in the center of the country, is home to hundreds of species of fish that provide the Southeast Asian nation with up to 60 percent of its protein. But the lake's rich fishery is at risk because of overfishing, pollution and hydroelectric dams. VOA's Kevin Enochs reports....
China supports Cambodia's crackdown on opposition | Phuket News
BEIJING: China supports Cambodia's efforts to protect political stability and believes it will smoothly hold elections next year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Cambodian counterpart, after the country's main opposition party was dissolved....
China supports Cambodia's crackdown on political opposition | Phuket News
BEIJING: China supports Cambodia's efforts to protect political stability and believes it will smoothly hold elections next year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Cambodian counterpart, after the country's main opposition party was dissolved....
‘Climate of fear’: Cambodian court charges journalists with espionage | Phuket News
A CAMBODIAN court on Saturday charged two journalists with espionage for filing news reports to a US-funded radio station, prompting local journalists to write an open letter calling for their release. Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were arrested Nov 14 over their installation of broadcasting equipment to allegedly report back to the agency’s office without permission from the government. The two were charged with “providing information that is destructive to national defense to a foreign state”, when they were caught filing stories to RFA, said Ly Sophana, a spokesman at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. If convicted, the men face up to 15 years in prison. Both had formerly worked for Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) that closed its Phnom Penh offices in September after nearly 20 years of operation, citing a government crackdown on free press. RFA has maintained, however, that it has had no ties with the two journalists...
Singapore, Vietnam stocks outperform SE Asian peers | Phuket News
Singapore shares rose slightly more than 1% on Tuesday on expectations that its economy grew at a faster pace than initially estimated, which may dispel worries that the affluent city-state is too dependent on its tech products....
Vietnam stocks electrified as deals prompt 're-rating' | Phuket News
HANOI: Vietnamese stocks have taken off in November -- with the benchmark VN Index rising more than 10% -- as foreign investors rushed to expand their footprints in the fast-expanding economy....
Mount Royal University – Combining classes and community | Phuket News
 Mount Royal University has been committed to quality post-secondary education since its beginnings more than 100 years ago. While Mount Royal has transformed since then, some things will never change. The university remains committed to providing intellectually engaged learning opportunities in classes led by passionate professors. The university motto: Quam bene non quantum, Latin for “how well, not how much”, truly captures Mount Royal’s vision of ensuring quality over quantity when it comes to teaching. Mount Royal offers an array of bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates in subjects like English, Sociology, Psychology, Business, Nursing, Education, Public Relations, Biology, Environmental Science and Geology. Mount Royal University is located in Calgary, the most populated city in Alberta with over 1.2 million residents, but city’s large size is dwarfed by its extensive parkland mixed with urban city links. Built upon prairie land, with the Rocky Mountains ascending dramatically to the west, Calgary is a hub for...
Vietnam approves bill letting banks be declared bankrupt | Phuket News
HANOI: Vietnam's national assembly on Monday gave authorities the ability to declare troubled banks bankrupt, through an amendment to a law on the operation of credit organisations, the government website said....
Thai Jasmine Rice Variety Named Best In The World | Phuket News
Nov 19, 2017 Picture:  The World Rice Conference at its annual meeting in Macau on November 8 declared Thailand’s fragrant Hom Mali variety the world’s best rice, maintaining Thailand’s number one rank a second year in a row after several years of lower rice quality due to floods, droughts and a mishandled rice pledging scheme. Thailand’s Khao Dawk Mali 105 brand won the title, while the second and third ranks went to Cambodia’s Phka Rumdoul fragrant rice and a jasmine rice variety from Vietnam, respectively. The rice samples are judged according to five criteria, both before and after cooking, including appearance, texture, moisture, aroma and length of grain. Seven counties – Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar – competed for the title, entering 21 different rice varieties. For Thailand it is a major boost, as it had lost the title to Myanmar in 2011, Cambodia...
Generation Z frets over changing world | Phuket News
Generation Z students are feeling unprepared for the problems the
Stargazers get regional portal | Phuket News
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) will open a regional observatory for the public in Chachoengsao province on Feb 2 next year to mark the 150th anniversary of the full eclipse predicted by King Rama IV....
Phuket divers blasted for coral damage | Phuket News
PHUKET: A Facebook conservation group (Go Eco Phuket) has blasted dive tour operators for damage to coral reefs at Koh Racha Yai, saying that a surge in dive tour numbers is a reason for the increasing amount of damage....
Police arrest Phuket drug dealer after 10km chase | Phuket News
PHUKET: A 37-year-old Thai man was arrested for drug possession on Saturday following a 10 kilometre chase by police....
Rescue workers search for Ukrainian man missing in Phuket sea | Phuket News
PHUKET: A number of rescue workers are today (Dec 11) continuing a search for a 27-year-old Ukrainian man who went missing after going into the sea at Patong Beach yesterday....
Overloaded transformer forces Phuket underpass to close for repairs | Phuket News
PHUKET: The Darasamut Underpass on the bypass road in front of Central Festival Phuket will be closed to traffic in both directions tonight and early tomorrow morning (Dec 11-12) while workers repair overhead lights and the transformer that powers them....
Thai man, 18, dead after crashing motorbike into Phuket canal | Phuket News
PHUKET: An 18-year-old Thai man died in the early hours of yesterday morning after driving his motorbike into a canal in Wichit....
49 fined over canal discharges | Phuket News
Wastewater has been discharged into the Saen Saep canal from 412 different locations along the city waterway, according to a Pollution Control Department (PCD) survey released yesterday....
Phuket police hope skull found matches body in drain | Phuket News
PHUKET: Police have found a skull they believe belongs to a body found in a roadside drain in central Phuket over the weekend, and have dispatched the remains to Forensic Police experts in Surat Thani for examination....
Call center scam goes wrong as con artists dial Phuket policeman’s number | Phuket News
A call center scam attempt went wrong when scammers pretending to be police officers unknowingly called Chief of Region 8 Investigation Department Col Boonlert Onklang. The scam attempt was filmed and broadcast live on Facebook by user ‘Pee Bua Bua Nong King King’, who refers to Col Boonlert as ‘father’ in the video, on Thursday (Dec 7). The callers, one of whom claimed to be Deputy Commander for the Royal Thai Police Prajuab, told Col Boonlert that he was under investigation for having sent a package containing B100,000 in cash and a suspicious banking book to a woman overseas called Ms Wilai Chantawong. “I can help you close your bank account temporarily so the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) can investigate your financial record,” one scammer can be heard telling Col Boonlert on speaker phone. “But you will need to transfer your money to this account. After the investigation is complete, the...
Education Corner: Studying drama stimulates creativity and builds confidence | Phuket News
Increasingly in today’s world, communication is seen as the key to success, and the ability to express ideas clearly and confidently through speech is seen as essential to a student’s future study and employment opportunities....
Kims Yoga: Taking life at a snail’s pace | Phuket News
Hello and welcome to December, we are at the end of our Yin journey this year....
Phuket Opinion: Beauty to behold | Phuket News
PHUKET: The project to have Phang Nga Bay and parts of the Andaman coast declared a Unesco World Heritage Site is of monumental importance....
AirAsia X Q3 results hit by rising costs | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Bhd said it swung into a net loss in its third quarter from a year earlier, blaming higher costs and lower unit revenues particularly in its main markets of Malaysia and Thailand....
Thailand’s State-owned firm reform: for better or worse | Phuket News
A state-owned enterprise is somewhat an anomaly as it is neither public nor private in nature. It is owned by everyone and yet no one. It’s raison d’etre is often the delivery of public services and yet most operate commercially. How to deal with state-owned enterprises has been a constant challenge facing many governments. Thailand has had her share of stateowned enterprises reform. In the year 2001, during the then-Thaksin Shinawatra administration, the national oil and gas company, the PTT, was corporatised then subsequently partially privatised through the stock market. The listing of the Airport Authority of Thailand, which became the AoT Plc, and the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand, which became MCOT Plc, followed in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The privatisation scheme facilitated the mobilising of private capital that helped to expand these enterprises. At the same time, mandatory compliance to the more stringent stock market rules governing disclosure,...
Kuala Lumpur crowned the most expat-friendly city in Asia | Phuket News
MALAYSIA has been named the “biggest winner” in a study examining expat experiences around the world. The Internations survey places Kuala Lumpur 4th in the overall list of 51 cities ranked best to worst for expats to set up home in, with Manama, Prague, and Madrid just slightly ahead. The city is highly appreciated for how easy it is to settle down and feel at home in such a short space of time. The study was formed using responses from nearly 13,000 people living and working abroad, Expat Insider 2017 is one of the most extensive expat studies worldwide. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of expat life in 51 cities, the survey ranks them by a variety of factors from the area’s quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, as well as finance and housing. SEE ALSO: Malaysia: A growing Hybrid rebrands, relocates Kuala Lumpur home According to all these rating...
EU palm oil resolution 'will affect millions' | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Millions of people running small-time oil palm plantations will suffer if the European Parliament goes ahead with
Malaysia planning to regulate cryptocurrencies | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has begun work on a regulatory structure for digital currencies such as bitcoin, its central bank governor said on Wednesday....
Singapore to use driverless buses 'from 2022' | Phuket News
The government plans to let commuters hail on-demand shuttles using their mobile phones....
Airbus exploring single-pilot, autonomous aircraft | Phuket News
Singapore: Airbus SE is looking to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners, helping cut costs for carriers, chief technology officer Paul Eremenko said....
Singapore opens test circuit for autonomous vehicles | Phuket News
Singapore has opened a test circuit for autonomous vehicles in a bid to play a role in developing standards for their use on public roads....
Taiwan Responds Quickly to Chinese ‘Island Encirclement’ Drill | Phuket News
Taiwan is confident of its defenses and responded quickly to Chinese air force “island encirclement” drills this week, the self-ruled island’s government said, denouncing the rise in China’s military deployments as irresponsible. China considers self-ruled and democratic Taiwan to be its sacred territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring what it views as a wayward province under Chinese control. Tensions have risen in recent days after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened that China would invade Taiwan if any U.S. warships made port visits there. On Monday, Chinese jets carried out “island encirclement patrols” around Taiwan, with state media showing pictures of bombers with cruise missiles slung under their wings. US port visits And on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year, which authorizes the possibility of mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the...
China's central bank raises interest rates after Fed rise | Phuket News
Beijing is trying to stop money from moving out of the country in search of stronger returns....
China meets Australian ambassador amid 'influence' debate | Phuket News
Jan Adams met officials in Beijing on Friday amid strained relations between the countries....
Australia accused China of political interference, and Beijing isn't happy | Phuket News
China summoned Australia's envoy to lodge a complaint over allegations of Chinese interference in politics Down Under....
China lifts market rates in surprise move, following Fed hike | Phuket News
China's central bank raised interest rates for its reverse repos and medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans....
China lifts market rates, following move by Fed | Phuket News
China's central bank raised interest rates for its reverse repos and medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans....
China just released a bunch of economic data that was in line with expectations | Phuket News
China released latest official data on fixed-asset investment, industrial production and retail sales on Thursday....
Chinese state press slams Western 'paranoia' for suspicions of infiltration | Phuket News
China is hitting back at countries expressing concerns about the East Asian country's rising influence in their domestic matters....
Philippines president ‘likely to return police to drugs war soon’ | Phuket News
MANILA: There is a
‘Brace for more bloodshed’: Duterte signals resumption of deadly drug war | Phuket News
“BRACE for more bloodshed,” campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday following a speech from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signalling a resumption of his deadly drug war. Speaking to soldiers of the Special Operations Command, Duterte said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) may not have enough capability to implement the anti-drug campaign on its own and he has no choice but to return the operation to the Philippine National Police (PNP). “As of now, just to parry, I designated PDEA as the sole agency. Whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely, it will increase the activity,” he said, as quoted by Rappler. SEE ALSO: Duterte changes tack in drug war amid mounting protests, declining popularity US President Donald Trump speaks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during the gala dinner marking ASEAN’s 50th anniversary in Manila, Philippines, November 12,...
Philippines: 8 years on, no justice for victims of Maguindanao massacre | Phuket News
OVER the course of few years, thousands of hectares of banana, oil palm and corn plantations have dotted the village of Salman in Ampatuan township, Maguindanao province in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Its fast progress is one of few success stories in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a poverty-stricken region largely brought by the decades-old armed conflict waged by various Islamic groups fighting for self-determination. Behind Ampatuan township’s economic gains, however, is a horror story that shocked not only the Philippines but also the entire world eight years ago on Thursday. SEE ALSO: Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists A student protests on the first anniversary of the country’s worst election-related violence during a rally near the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010. Source: AP SEE ALSO: Still no justice: Philippines to mark Maguindanao massacre...
Philippines to Extradite Priest Accused of Molesting US boys | Phuket News
A Philippine official says the government is preparing to extradite to the United States a Filipino Catholic priest who is facing charges of sexually molesting two boys in two North Dakota churches in the 1990s.   Philippine Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras told The Associated Press Wednesday that Fernando Laude Sayasaya was arrested over the weekend in Calamba city south of Manila and would be flown back to the U.S., which sought his extradition under a treaty.   Paras says the priest has been charged in a North Dakota court over the alleged sexual advances on two underage siblings from 1995 to 1998, including by separately touching them, in North Dakota. Sayasaya flew back to the Philippines for Christmas in 1998 and never returned.    ...
Asian Countries Quicken Economic Ties by Playing down Human Rights | Phuket News
Asian nations are overlooking human rights issues to focus instead on trade and investment, challenging rights-concerned Western countries to catch up in the deal-making process. Countries in the region of 4.5 billon people, home to the world’s fastest-growing economies, normally observe a tacit ban on criticizing one another’s internal affairs, Asian analysts say, including a deadly campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines and strife between the government of Myanmar and its ethnic Rohingya minority. When the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held summits last week in Manila with eight outside governments, including the U.S. and China, single-country domestic struggles seldom came up despite pressure from overseas rights groups. “By and large I think Asian countries don’t entangle or don’t enmesh economic projects with domestic affairs, with human rights,” said Daniel Chua, deputy head of graduate studies with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological...
Laos, Cambodia to withdraw troops from disputed border area | Phuket News
The leaders of Cambodia and Laos vowed on Saturday to recall troops from a disputed border area where tensions have been flaring for months, after the prime ministers held an emergency meeting. Some 30 Laos soldiers have been stationed in Cambodia’s northern Stung Treng province since April to halt the construction of a road, according to Cambodian leader Hun Sen. The spat escalated on Friday when Hun Sen started sending military vehicles up to the area, giving Laos an ultimatum to......
Laos to withdraw troops as Hun Sen visits | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia and Laos reached an agreement on Saturday for Lao soldiers to pull back from their shared border after Cambodia accused Laos of sending troops into its territory, the leaders of both countries said....
Accelerating Thailand’s SEZ Programme | Phuket News
Aug 10, 2017 Picture:  Approved in 2014, Special Economic Zones are now considered pivotal to Thailand’s structural renaissance. When it comes to developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Thailand was something of a late starter. Since approving its first five pilot locations in 2014, Thailand has made considerable efforts to catch up with its ASEAN neighbours. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said that the SEZ programme was now an integral part of Thailand 4.0. The countrywide initiative is aimed at manoeuvering the economy out of the
Asia Leads the Way in Online Sales | Phuket News
Asia-Pacific is the largest region in terms of online retail sales, containing both the largest market – China – and the fastest-growing – India – according to a recent report by the US research group, Forrester Data. The study reveals that the region’s total online retail sales in 2016 were estimated at about US$861 billion, set to rise to US$1.4 trillion by 2021, accounting for about one-fifth of total retail sales. By 2021, China – with sales estimated at about US$1.089 trillion – would be the first trillion-dollar market, while also accounting for 80 per cent of all e-commerce sales in the Asia-Pacific market. Meanwhile, the value of India’s online retail sales market is expected to reach US$64 billion by 2021, following a blistering five-year period of 31.2 per cent average annual growth. This is particularly impressive given that the sector has had to contend with several significant obstacles, including...
Cambodia PM accuses Laos of border violation | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday accused neighbouring Laos of sending troops into Cambodian territory in April and set an Aug 17 deadline for their departure, warning that he was mobilising soldiers to the border area....
Vietnamese man with rhino horn arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport | Phuket News
Officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport’s wildlife checkpoint apprehended a Vietnamese passenger who was bound for Luang Prabang in northern Laos along with a rhino horn which had been cut into five pieces on Tuesday afternoon. Vietnamese national Foong Ngab Ha, travelled from Angola and stopped for transit at Dubai and Bangkok before continuing to Luang Prabang. Officials questioned and searched the man at Suvarnabhumi Airport after an X-ray machine detected items suspected to be rhino horn parts in his two bags. They found the large rhino horn cut into five pieces. The passenger was charged with violating the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, the Customs Act and the Animal Epidemics Act and was handed over to Suvarnabhumi Airport Police for further legal actions. The Nation The post Vietnamese man with rhino horn arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport appeared first on Samui Times....
Hard-pedaling Soft Power, China Helps Launch $13B Belt and Road Rail Project in Malaysia | Phuket News
China and Malaysia broke ground on Wednesday on a $13 billion rail project linking peninsular Malaysia's east and west, the largest such project in the country and a major part of Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure push. The planned 688-km (430-mile) East Coast Rail Link will connect the South China Sea, large parts of which are claimed by China, at the Thai border in the east with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca in the west. It is among the most prominent projects in China's controversial Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a modern-day
PM does not know whether “Ko Tee” is dead or alive | Phuket News
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said Tuesday (Aug 8) that he could not confirm a report in the social media that Wutthipong Kotthammakul, alias Ko Tee, was dead in Laos. “I have seen the image (in the social media), but no one has reported (to me).  I don’t know where the image came from,” said the prime minister when asked about the report of Ko Tee’s death. Both Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said they were not aware of Ko Tee’s death. Mr Wutthipong is a hardcore member of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). The army chief said he had not seen the social media report in question and, therefore, he could not say the image shown in the report was that of Ko Tee or not.  However, he noted that the image could be faked. “These images can be edited or...
Fake printing ink cartridges seized in Nonthaburi raid | Phuket News
Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECSD) police on Monday raided a company in Nonthaburi’s Bang Buathong district and seized a large quantity of fake printing ink cartridges of various brand names and printing ink production equipment worth about 30 million baht. The company, Orbit Printing, is located at house number 72/1 in Moo 9 village, Tambon Bangrak Pattana. The ECSD police were accompanied in the raid by representatives of Hewlett-Packard Development Co. The police seized a large quantity of fake printing ink cartridges of various brand names including HP, Canon, Epson, Brother and Samsung and printing ink production equipment as well as five big bikes and two pick-up trucks, worth altogether about 30 million baht. Kullada Wanwichit, 19, who said she was the owner of the company and fake printing products, was arrested. Ms Kullada was charged with illegally having fake products of various brand names in possession for sales. The...
Employers warned to bring their undocumented migrant workers for registration by Monday | Phuket News
Employers who have undocumented migrant workers under employment are warned to bring them for registration within the deadline on Monday because the deadline will not be extended. Mr Waranont Pitiwan, director-general of Employment Department, said on Sunday that the Labour Ministry had mobilized officials from all departments concerned to interview both the employers and their employees and then issued them with certificates so that the migrant workers can go to the designated centers for nationality verification to be completed in 30 days. In order to speed up this process in case an employer has more than 10 migrant workers under employment, he recommended the employer to prepare necessary documents such as employment contracts, records of salary payments and employee’s registration in order to speed up the process of documentation. In case of domestic workers, Mr Waranont said the department had prepared interview manuals for officials to be used in interviewing...
Al-Qaida Warns Myanmar of 'Punishment' Over Rohingya | Phuket News
Al-Qaida militants have called for support for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face
Al Qaida Warns Myanmar of "Punishment" Over Rohingya | Phuket News
Al Qaida militants have called for support for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face
Al Qaeda Warns Myanmar of "Punishment" Over Rohingya | Phuket News
Al Qaeda militants have called for support for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face
Rohingya crisis a ‘textbook example’ of ethnic cleansing | Phuket News
THE UNITED NATIONS’ most senior human rights official has labelled the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Burma (Myanmar) a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” pulling no punches in his criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government amid a humanitarian crisis. Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was “appalled” by the Burmese military’s “disproportionate” response to Rohingya militancy in the restive Rakhine State. Al Hussein condemned reports of security forces burning Rohingya villages, extrajudicial killings, and shooting civilians attempting to flee, regarding violence since Aug 25 sparked by attacks on police and military posts that killed at least 12 Burmese officials. SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence “Last year, I warned that the pattern of gross violations of the human rights of the Rohingya suggested...
Rohingya situation a ‘textbook example’ of ethnic cleansing | Phuket News
THE UNITED NATIONS’ most senior human rights official has labelled the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Burma (Myanmar) a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” pulling no punches in his criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government amid a humanitarian crisis. Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was “appalled” by the Burmese military’s “disproportionate” response to Rohingya militancy in the restive Rakhine State. Al Hussein condemned reports of security forces burning Rohingya villages, extrajudicial killings, and shooting civilians attempting to flee, regarding violence since Aug 25 sparked by attacks on police and military posts that killed at least 12 Burmese officials. SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence “Last year I warned that the pattern of gross violations of the human rights of the Rohingya suggested...
Rohingya militants call ceasefire as Bangladesh warns of genocide in Burma | Phuket News
THE ROHINGYA militant group fighting the Tatmadaw military of Burma (Myanmar) in the country’s northern Rakhine State has declared a ceasefire amid a conflict which has caused the flight of almost 300,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighbouring Bangladesh over the past two weeks. The group, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), announced via its Twitter account a one-month “cessation of offensive military operations” on Sunday to enable “humanitarian actors to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis in Arakan State.” Arakan is the former name of Rakhine State. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that 290,000 Rohingya have fled over the border from the Rakhine into Bangladesh over the past two weeks. SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence “ARSA strongly urges the Burmese government to reciprocate this humanitarian pause by ceasing military offensive operations and participate in assisting the...
Rohingya crisis: Dalai Lama says Buddha would have helped Muslims | Phuket News
TIBETAN spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that Buddha would “definitely” have helped Muslims, in relation to violence against the Rohingya minority in the restive Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar). “Those people you see who, sort of harassing some Muslims then they should remember Buddha in such circumstances, Buddha helping. Definitely help to those poor Muslims,” said the Dalai Lama on Sunday. Burma’s population is almost 90 percent Buddhist. “So still I feel that, so very sad. Very sad,” he added. The Dalai Lama has said the Buddha would have helped Muslims in Myanmar. pic.twitter.com/Q63ca4U8HJ — Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) September 10, 2017 SEE ALSO: Pope confirms trip to Burma, Bangladesh amid Rohingya violence Burma’s northern Rakhine has seen renewed violence after the militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly unleashed attacks at around 30 police posts with homemade explosives, knives and sticks on Aug...
Rohingya Rebels Call for Humanitarian Cease-fire | Phuket News
Rohingya insurgents in Myanmar have called for a month-long cease-fire starting Sunday in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach those affected by the conflict. Fighters from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), as they call themselves, launched an attack on dozens of police posts and an army base late last month, leading to the displacement of more than 300,000 people. In a statement Saturday, the group encouraged aid groups to “resume their humanitarian assistance to all victims of the humanitarian crisis, irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the cease-fire period.
Rohingya Insurgents Call for Humanitarian Cease-fire | Phuket News
Rohingya insurgents in Myanmar have called for a monthlong cease-fire starting Sunday in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach those affected by the conflict. Insurgents from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked dozens of police posts and an army base late last month. Fighting led to the displacement of more than 300,000 people. In a statement Saturday, the group encouraged aid groups to
Rohingya Crisis Viewed as Possible Tool for Extremists | Phuket News
As tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state have escaped across the border to neighboring Bangladesh, analysts warn that the situation could become a lightning rod and a recruiting tool for foreign militants if it remains unaddressed.
After CNRP dissolution, what happens next for Cambodia? | Phuket News
LAST Thursday, the Supreme Court of Cambodia dissolved the only credible opposition party at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, effectively making the country a one-party state ahead of next year’s general election. The ruling to disband the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) – which includes a five-year political ban for 118 of its members – has been met with almost universal criticism from the international community. The United States has withdrawn its support of the National Election Committee on grounds that next year’s election “will not be legitimate, free, or fair.” United States is gravely concerned that #Cambodia dissolved main opposition party #CNRP on baseless, politicized allegations. Cambodia should reverse course: undo dissolution, free @KemSokhaCNRP, and respect multiparty democracy as enshrined in Cambodia’s constitution. pic.twitter.com/wjdye6hH8J — Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) November 17, 2017 They have also said they will be taking “concrete steps” to try and reverse the government’s...
Defiant Hun Sen tells US to cut all aid to Cambodia | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen challenged the United States on Sunday to cut all aid after it announced it was ending funding for a general election next year in response to the dissolution of the main opposition party, media reported....
US Pulls Cambodia’s Election Funding; Hun Sen Says Cut It All | Phuket News
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen challenged the United States on Sunday to cut all aid after it announced it was ending funding for a general election next year in response to the dissolution of the main opposition party, media reported. Hun Sen, the strongman who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, has taken a strident anti-American line in an increasingly tense run-up to a 2018 election that has included a crackdown on critics, rights groups and independent media. The United States announced on Friday it was ending funding for the election, and promised more “concrete steps,” after the Supreme Court dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) at the request of the government, on the grounds it was plotting to seize power. The party denied the accusation. The pro-government Fresh News website reported that Hun Sen said in a speech to garment workers that he welcomed the U.S....
Thai navy to host International Fleet Review to mark 50 years of Asean | Phuket News
The Royal Thai Navy will host the International Fleet Review to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Asean with more than 5,000 commanders and troops from 40 countries participating in the event held at Pattaya Bay of Chon Buri province. The official opening of the event on Nov 19 will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. On Nov 20, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will be on board HTMS Thalang to preside over the review of the international fleet in Pattaya Bay.  It will be a show of might of 25 ships of various countries including the United States, Cambodia and Myanmar, and 15 Thai ships, 40 in total. The Thai ships will be led by HTMS Chakrinarubet and HTMS Ang Thong. A rehearsal of the parade of the international fleet took place on Saturday, Nov 18, with navy chief Admiral Naris Prathumsuwan inspecting the readiness before...
U.S. calls for release of Cambodian opposition leader | Phuket News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday called on Cambodia to release an imprisoned opposition leader and reverse its decision to ban the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. ...
Tropical depression to bring rain Nov 19-21 | Phuket News
Rain and isolated heavy rain is likely in the East, the lower Central including Bangkok, and the South on Nov 19-21 as a result of a tropical depression, the Thai Meteorological Department warned at 5pm on Friday (Nov 17). As of 4pm on Nov 17, the tropical depression over the western Philippines with sustained winds of 55 kilometres per hour was moving west-northwest with a speed of 27 kilometres per hour. It is expected to make a landfall over lower Vietnam and Cambodia during Nov 19-21. Therefore, rain and isolated heavy rain is likely in the following provinces: Nov 19-20: Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Bangkok and vicinity, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Surat Thani. Nov 20-21: Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket and Krabi. People are warned of possible flash floods and strong winds. Moderate wind waves about 2 metres...
US, EU Talk Tough on Cambodia | Phuket News
Preferential access to Cambodia’s biggest export market could be removed and senior government officials banned from doing business with U.S. companies in response to a court ordered dissolution of the country’s opposition, statements released Friday suggest. Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday to dissolve the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and ban 118 of its members from politics for five years for what it determined was a treasonous plot they hatched with U.S. officials to overthrow the government. The ruling comes ahead of a national ballot next year and follows large electoral gains at both the previous parliamentary and local elections for the CNRP — in both cases winning more than 40 percent of the vote. The European Union, White House and U.S. Senate have all issued strong statements threatening concrete actions in response to the decision — which effectively dismantles any semblance of democracy in the country. A motion...
Heavy rain again from Sunday | Phuket News
Heavy rain is expected in the lower Central Plains including Bangkok, the East and the upper South from Sunday as a depression moves in from Vietnam and Cambodia, the Meteorological Department warned on Friday....
FCCT cancels press briefing after meeting with authorities | Phuket News
After two meetings with security officers, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) released a statement on 15 November 2017 announcing the cancellation of a press briefing, “Vietnam — 165 Prisoners of Conscience, 999 Years Behind Bars”.    The cancellation came after two meetings with soldiers and police officers at Lumpini Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.   According to the FCCT, the press briefing was to be hosted by Boat People SOS, a nonprofit organisation devoted to Vietnamese-American civic and political activism. The event was originally scheduled for 15 November.    “The panellists were intending to discuss the overall human rights situation in Vietnam, the imprisonment of at least 165 prisoners of conscience with heavy sentences, and the recent launch of the NOW! Campaign, an initiative by 15 human rights organisations around the world, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of these men and women,” the statement read.  ...
Trump Claims 'Tremendous Success' of Recent Trip to Asia | Phuket News
In his speech Wednesday, a day after returning from a 12-day Asia trip, U.S. President Donald Trump boasted of
China, Philippines bullish over improving bilateral relations | Phuket News
CHINESE Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed confidence the improving relationship of the two countries will be sustained, despite their ongoing dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea. The two leaders held an extended bilateral meeting in Malacanang on Wednesday where they also witnessed the signing of 14 agreements on security and economic cooperation and infrastructure development. Li was on an extended stay in Manila after attending early this week the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits themed “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” SEE ALSO: China ‘elated’ by Philippines foreign policy under Duterte – state media Duterte noted that Li’s visit “is a momentous occasion for the Philippines as it marks the first visit of a Chinese Premier to Manila in 10 years. “This shows the great strides that we have accomplished in the bilateral relations between our two countries since I assumed [office],” he...
5 Highlights from the Southeast Asian ecommerce landscape | Phuket News
The region of Southeast Asia is a diverse and fragmented landscape having disparate infrastructure and fickle government regulations, making it hard for global brands to find a one-size-fits-all solution to conquer $238 billion in market potential. However, despite the diversity of each country, there is a common theme apparent for ecommerce in the region as can be gathered in ecommerce landscapes in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Here’s what we have discovered from the Southeast Asian ecommerce landscape in 2016. 1. The domination of Lazada – or soon, Alibaba One player that has succeeded in making a name for itself in every country across the region is Lazada Group. In Thailand, around 50% of online shoppers make purchases through a social network – making it the biggest social commerce market in the world The company, introduced by Samwer Brother’s Rocket Internet in 2012, has dominated monthly web traffic by millions in almost every country. Their recent acquisition by Alibaba has...
Trump Criticized for Failing to Press Human Rights on Asia Trip | Phuket News
Critics are accusing President Donald Trump of abandoning America’s principles of human rights and press freedom during his just-completed trip to Asia. In separate critiques, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders charged Trump with effectively condoning rights abuses and anti-press practices of some of Asia’s most notorious authoritarian regimes. “The United States’ voice on human rights has basically disappeared,” Human Right Watch Asia Director Brad Adams told VOA. “President Trump is providing the region’s authoritarian leaders with a blank check,” added Daniel Bastard, head of Reporters Without Borders' Asia-Pacific desk. The press freedom group criticized Trump for allowing Chinese President Xi Jinping to prohibit reporters’ questions during what was billed as a “joint press conference” during their meeting in Beijing. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the question and answer session had been canceled “at Chinese insistence.” In a statement, Reporters Without Borders noted that then-President...
Couple rides scooter from Malaysia to England | Phuket News
ONE Malaysian couple has taken the idea of “adventure of a lifetime” to a new level. In an ambitious and awe-inspiring move, Mohd Alfishahrin Zakaria, 31, and his wife Diana Latief, 30, traveled from Klang in Malaysia all the way to London, England, on nothing more than their humble moped. Lovingly dubbed “Miss Orange,” their unassuming Honda RS150R took them through an impressive 25 countries, covering more than 27,000km. SEE ALSO: Malaysia: Indigenous rights group honoured for leaving no one behind BLUE LAKE Posted by Mohd Alfishahrin on Monday, June 19, 2017 Stops along the way included the jade-green paddy fields of the Thai countryside, the soaring peaks of Nepal, the Himalayan reaches of India, hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, Turkey, the canals of Venice, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, and finally the historic city of London, England. Posted by Mohd Alfishahrin on Sunday, June 18, 2017 This epic journey, which...
3 issues that will dominate Malaysia’s election | Phuket News
AS WE approach the end of the year, it is evident that Malaysia won’t have its general election in 2017. But given the government needs to be dissolved within the first half of 2018, it’s definitely not far off. During the 2013 general election, the winds of change could be felt strongly. Malaysia’s popular vote went to the opposition, although the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition – which has ruled since the country’s founding – retained power. This time around, however, neither BN or the newly formed opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan inspire much confidence from voters. Corruption scandals Malaysian Indians prepare for the Hindu festival Diwali in October 2017. Source: Lee Lian Kong Then comes the third category – race and religion. This is what will rile people up the most because of the social contract that Malaysia has been subjected to since the colonial times of the British when...
ScreenSingapore to Feature High-Profile Film Veterans | Phuket News
Nov 20, 2017 Picture:  Third Southeast Asian Film Financing Project Market reveals shortlist SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - ScreenSingapore, together with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), has announced the full slate of film dignitaries who will be speaking at the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Conference. The third edition of the SAFF Project Market also released its shortlist, with 15 projects from across Southeast Asia.
Visit of China Envoy to North Korea Watched Closely | Phuket News
Envoys from the United States and China recently traveled to the Korean peninsula, just days after President Donald Trump wrapped up his first trip to the region. The visits, particularly the journey of a Chinese envoy to North Korea, which Trump has called a “big move,” has raised expectations that efforts toward a diplomatic solution may be gaining some traction. Song Tao, a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, met in Pyongyang with senior North Korean officials Saturday. According to North Korea’s state media, the two exchanged views about issues of mutual concern on the situation of the Korean peninsula and region, as well as bilateral relations. Diplomatic trips So far, Chinese officials have been tight-lipped about the trip. At a regular press briefing, Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Song Tao is still in North Korea, but provided few new details. State media reports have portrayed the trip as...
Singapore’s PM takes jabs at Malaysia, Indonesia | Phuket News
SINGAPORE’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday launched criticisms of its larger neighbouring countries Malaysia and Indonesia. Speaking about Singapore’s foreign relations at the People’s Action Party (PAP) Convention, Lee said that there would be “always ups and downs” in bilateral relationships and that the country should “work towards relations that benefit both sides.” Off the back of the Asean Summit in Manila, Philippines, last week, Lee said “where relations are going well, we should not take them for granted. More importantly, when relations are down, we must not get flustered or cower.” SEE ALSO: Why are Malaysia and Singapore fighting over a burger? As an example of a possible point of friction with its neighbours, the PM pointed to the historically disputed island of Pedra Branca on the easternmost point of Singapore. “We thought the issue was permanently settled long ago because in 2008 the International Court of...
Singapore PM takes jabs at Malaysia, Indonesia | Phuket News
SINGAPORE Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday launched criticisms of its larger neighbouring countries Malaysia and Indonesia. Speaking about Singapore’s foreign relations at the People’s Action Party (PAP) Convention, Lee said that there would be “always ups and downs” in bilateral relationships and that the country should “work towards relations that benefit both sides.” Off the back of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila, Philippines last week, Lee added that “where relations are going well, we should not take them for granted. More importantly, when relations are down, we must not get flustered or cower.” SEE ALSO: Why are Malaysia and Singapore fighting over a burger? As an example of a possible point of friction with its neighbours, the PM pointed to the historically disputed island of Pedra Branca on the easternmost point of Singapore. “We thought the issue was permanently settled long ago because...
US Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes in the Philippine sea | Phuket News
THE US military on Wednesday said an aircraft carrying 11 people on board has crashed in the Philippine sea while en route to an aircraft carrier, in the latest accident involving its armed forces in Asia. Without mentioning the fate of those on board, the US 7th Fleet website their identities are “being withheld pending next of kin notification”, Channel News Asia reported. “Personal recovery is underway and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff,” it said. The statement added that the USS Ronald Reagan is conducting search and rescue operations and that the cause of the crash is not yet known. SEE ALSO: At least 3 injured, 7 missing after US Navy destroyer collides with merchant vessel off Japan  The US Seventh Fleet operates in the largest of the US Navy’s numbered fleets. It oversees about 70-80 ships and submarines at any given time in the...
Bali’s Mt Agung billows smoke 700m into the air in small eruption | Phuket News
AN active volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali has erupted for the first time in 50 years, emitting a plume of smoke and ash reaching 700 metres into the air. Authorities have not raised the alert status and there have been no reports of flight disruptions. Mount Agung, on the eastern reaches of the island, let out the small eruption on Tuesday evening Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said on Twitter. He also urged people to remain calm, stay away from areas within a 7.5km radius of the volcano, and to follow the instructions of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. Gunung Agung meletus mengeluarkan asap dan abu kelabu tebal dengan tekanan sedang pada 21/11/2017 pukul 17:05 WITA. Tinggi letusan maksimum 700 meter dari puncak kawah. Status Siaga (level 3). Radius 6-7,5 km dilarang ada aktivitas masyarakat. Masyarakat dihimbau tenang. pic.twitter.com/bw63qSbh2y — Sutopo...
China and India are fiercely competing to control an airport that basically nobody uses | Phuket News
India is looking to buy an empty airport in southern Sri Lanka to counter Beijing's growing presence in the country....
Chinese Shoppers Will Add a New Germany to the Global Economy | Phuket News
Dec 12, 2017 Picture:  Chinese consumers are increasingly young, wealthy and eager to spend. They are an essential part of the global growth engine. China's growth may be slowing, but its consumer economy is still growing - and growing fast. According to a new report, Chinese consumption is growing by 10% a year, faster than any other country on the planet. By 2021, China will add $1.8 trillion in new consumption - roughly the size of Germany's consumer economy today. A quarter of all consumption growth across major economies is down to China. The report was launched by BCG and AliResearch (the research arm of Alibaba, one of the world's biggest retailers) in a session at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017 in Dalian. Young, Wealthy and Connected So what's driving this rapid growth? The report named three principle factors behind China's frenzied spending....
China Observes Landmark Anniversary of Nanjing Massacre | Phuket News
China marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre at the hands of Japanese imperial forces with a call for the two Asian neighbors and rivals to
No war: Kim Jong Un and Trump just ‘love control’ says Dennis Rodman | Phuket News
FORMER basketball star and unlikely diplomat Dennis Rodman has said that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump are “pretty much the same people” because they both “love control”. Speaking to the AFP in Beijing, China on Tuesday, Chicago Bulls veteran Rodman said that the war of words between the two leaders had been harmless “entertainment” and that there was no genuine risk of nuclear war breaking out. “Ain’t nobody got no finger on the button,” he said. “They [just] love control.” SEE ALSO: ‘Let’s just meet’: US ready for talks with North Korea, no pre-conditions Considered a close friend of Kim’s and also somebody who has been fired by Trump on the reality television program Celebrity Apprentice, Rodman told the AFP that he had hoped to arrange a trip to Pyongyang while in China after visits to Tokyo and Guam. ...
Google to open artificial intelligence centre in China | Phuket News
Silicon Valley giants are focusing heavily on artificial intelligence and its future applications....
China's GDP growth set to plunge to near 30-year low in 2018, ADB warns | Phuket News
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Trump Diplomacy Inaction | Phuket News
Harrison George President Trump has just been to China. Just before he arrived, the trial of Taiwanese NGO worker Lee Ming-cheh was streamed online from Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province. Lee had been arrested on 19 March when he crossed the border from Macau.  He then disappeared into the gulag that is the Chinese judicial system. He had not been seen for 6 months before his trial for “subverting state power” under a new Foreign NGO Management Law. It seems his crime was promoting Western democratic values and a multi-party system in China. At his trial he appeared tired and his ‘confession’ seemed to come from a prepared script. Trump enthused about his ‘great chemistry’ with Xi Jinping.  But he didn’t talk to him about Lee Ming-cheh. *         *         *         *         *         * Just before Trump arrived in China, Huang Qi told his lawyer on 3...
Mocked online, Indonesian house speaker taken into custody | Phuket News
INDONESIAN parliamentary speaker Setya Novanto has been taken into custody by the country’s anti-corruption agency. Accused of causing state losses of US$170 million linked to a government program to issue electronic identity cards known as E-KTP, Setya was transferred from hospital to a detention facility operated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Sunday night. Setya’s arrest was delayed as he was treated in a Jakarta hospital after a car crash. He is one of the most high-profile figures to be targeted by the independent KPK, which has the power to prosecute those investigates for graft. SEE ALSO: 90 percent of Southeast Asia’s poor live in Indonesia and the Philippines On Sunday night, Setya told reporters he was still suffering from vertigo after the crash that he said had injured a leg, an arm and his head. “I thought I would be given time for recovery, but I obey the...
Philippines’ Duterte offers China 3rd telecom carrier slot | Phuket News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to China an opportunity to operate a new, third telecommunications carrier in the country, his spokesman said Monday. The move is aimed at breaking a telecoms duopoly in a country that is said to have the slowest internet speed in the Asia Pacific. It is […]...
South Korea Vying with China as New Benefactor for Philippines | Phuket News
South Korea is vying with China to help develop the Philippines, as the aid recipient’s president crafts a multi-country foreign policy with no clear favorite. South Korean President Moon Jae-in told counterparts from the Philippines, as well as nine other Southeast Asian countries at regional summits last week, that Seoul was “the best partner to share the experience” of economic growth. South Korea, he said, can aid the others in high-tech, railways, clean energy and water management. The Philippines stands near the front of the line for that assistance, analysts say. China pledged $24 billion in aid in October 2016 and last week signed 14 economic cooperation agreements, including one covering railways. Japan's prime minister announced $8.8 billion in economic support last month. South Korea wants to keep up, especially with China, to ensure the Philippines stays in a U.S.-led alliance of Asia-Pacific countries, said Herman Kraft, political scientist at...
Asean labour ministers back Thailand's new migrant law | Phuket News
Labour Minister Sirichai Distakul joined Asean ministers to sign the CLMVT (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) Joint Declaration on Safe Migration to strengthen regional efforts to end decades of illegal labour in five Southeast Asian nations....
Hong Kong chief executive puts faith in trade ties | Phuket News
Thailand has the potential to be the economic hub of Asean and the main gateway to its neighbouring countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), said Hong Kong's chief executive....
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Urge North Korea to Comply With UN | Phuket News
Southeast Asian foreign ministers expressed grave concern Saturday about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula stemming from long-range missile tests by North Korea that “seriously threaten” global peace and security. Taking a stronger tone than it has previously on the standoff, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) called for North Korea to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program and make a positive contribution to regional peace. The statement was issued separately, rather than included in ASEAN’s customary communique at the end of the foreign ministers meeting. Regional Forum on Monday Following the foreign ministers meeting is Monday’s annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which gathers 27 foreign ministers, including those of Russia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, China and North Korea, to discuss Asian security issues. “We strongly call upon (North Korea) as a participant of the ASEAN Regional Forum, to positively contribute...
Australian, Cambodian Women Sentenced for Operating Illegal Surrogacy Center | Phuket News
An Australian woman and two Cambodian associates will spend the next 18 months in prison for operating a commercial surrogacy center in Cambodia. Tammy Davis-Charles was sentenced Thursday in a court in the capital, Phnom Penh, along with two Cambodian associates, nine months after she was arrested and detained. The trio acted as intermediaries between local women and foreign couples, mainly from Australia, seeking to become parents. The couples paid Davis-Charles as much as $50,000 for her services, with the surrogate mothers receiving $10,000 to carry the children. Davis-Charles and the two Cambodians were also charged with falsifying documents. Southeast Asia has been a popular destination for would-be parents overseas, thanks to much lower costs than other nations. But Thailand banned the practice after numerous allegations of exploitation, with Cambodia doing likewise last year. The trade has shifted to neighboring Laos, which has yet to ban or restrict commercial surrogacy....
Are Thai NGOs tools of the junta?: Pinkaew Laungaramsri | Phuket News
Tools of the state. Political opportunists. Foes of democracy. These are all rather harsh descriptions of NGOs. But for Pinkaew Laungaramsri from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Social Science, they are truly the roles many NGOs have played in recent Thai political history. This opinion piece, an excerpt from Prachatai’s new book A Molten Land: The Mandatory Transition, is perhaps one of the most fierce criticisms of NGOs in Thailand yet. But still, it is one that NGOs and civil society must heed. When Thailand’s new constitution granted the junta greater powers, while depriving the people of their rights, where was resistance from civil society? NGOs: an extension of the state bureaucracy? For a long time now, I have observed a trend whereby Thai NGOs are morphing into an extension of the state bureaucracy. More and more NGOs are choosing to work alongside the state, to the point where they...
The Laos teenagers beating poverty and getting an education as novice monks | Phuket News
Each dawn, lines of teenage monks in orange robes criss-cross the temple-studded streets of Luang Prabang, the religious heart of Laos and the storied seat of kings and colonisers. They gather in the gloom to receive alms – normally freshly cooked rice or snacks – from the faithful, a ritual that weaves spiritual and practical bonds between the novice monks and the community they serve. It is the centrepiece of the strict daily routine undertaken by hundreds of novices drawn from......
Thai high school students bag home 49 medals in mathematics Olympiad in india | Phuket News
Thai students bagged home 49 medals from  India International  Mathematics Competition held in Lucknow from July 25-31. The 10 Thai teams comprising 34 students from 24 schools nationwide grabbed 11 gold, 16 silver, 15 bronze, and seven honourary medals  they won in individual, team, group, overall and special categories. The winning of  49 medals  made Thailand to grab second position at the mathematical Olympiad for high school students this year. Singapore came top on the list of the awards. The director of the Bureau of Educational Innovation Development at the office of the Basic Education Commission Mrs Nijwadee Charienkiatbovorn said Thailand sent 10 teams from 24 schools to compete in the India International Mathematics Competition : InIMC 2017. She said the competition saw 135 teams comprising 540 students  from 26 countries taking part. They include Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Laos,...
Thai anti-junta activist abducted by armed men in Laos, rights group claims | Phuket News
An exiled Thai opposition activist and outspoken critic of Thailand’s ruling junta has been abducted in Laos, a rights group said on Tuesday, calling on authorities in Thailand and Laos to investigate the disappearance. Wuthipong Kochathamakun, a member of the “red shirt” movement that has backed populist governments led by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has been in hiding in Laos since 2014, according to Thai authorities. Wuthipong said earlier this year he was......
Government in dark on 'Kotee capture' | Phuket News
The government and security officials have refused to confirm rumours that fugitive red-shirt hardliner and lese majeste suspect Wuthipong
Suspected Loatian drug lord denies charges | Phuket News
Xaysana Keopimpha, a Laotian national who is suspected to be a major drug lord with a network that spans Asean countries, denied drug charges filed against him and two Thais on Monday at Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Criminal Court. It is the second lawsuit linked to 3.38 million yaba pills. Xaysana, 42, who was nabbed by Thai police when he arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok from Phuket in January, was indicted on July 27 along with two Udon Thani men, Chumphon Panomprai, 42, and Ratchapol Ratsapolpakorn, 28. They are facing charges of conspiracy to traffic in drugs and having yaba pills in their possession from July 2015 to December 2016. The prosecutors also objected to any bail release for the trio, who have been in detention since their arrest, on the grounds of being a likely flight risk and the seriousness of the crime which saw a large haul of drugs...
US: Aid in Myanmar Must Reach Those in Need | Phuket News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is reminding Myanmar, also known as Burma, that while Washington supports the fight against violence in northwestern Rakhine state, humanitarian aid must reach those in need. Haley released a statement Friday saying,
US Says ‘Very Concerned’ About Situation in Myanmar's Rakhine State | Phuket News
The U.S. State Department says it is
Stop looking to Suu Kyi for a solution – she’s the problem | Phuket News
NOT long ago, the mention of Aung San Suu Kyi conjures ideas of courage, bravery, grace and dignity in the face of almighty adversity. The myth, the woman became a shining beacon of hope, not just for Burma, but for the world. As a collective, we looked upon her as an inspiration to us all, someone who taught us the value of freedom. She was almost unique in her ability to stir this sentiment across national borders and political ideals. These days, such feelings towards our political leaders are almost unheard of. In a sea of corruption and self-interest, Suu Kyi stood out as a selfless champion of the people. Perhaps it was unrealistic to pin the hopes of a nation on one woman. Indeed, it seems many still do. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson this week, while praising her as “one of the most inspiring figures of our age”,...
Indonesia positions itself as diplomatic actor in Rohingya crisis, but to what effect? | Phuket News
AS THE WORLD’s largest Muslim-majority state, Indonesia has long been vocal on issues affecting Muslim communities across the globe. For example, it has never established diplomatic ties with Israel so as to express solidarity with the Palestinian people. In recent weeks, Indonesia along with Turkey has led diplomatic efforts to end renewed violence in northern Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar) which according to the United Nations has seen more than 164,000 Rohingya Muslims flee into Bangladesh since August 25. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo personally released a statement calling for violence to be “stopped immediately” and for Burma’s government to provide “protection to all citizens including Muslims in Myanmar.” SEE ALSO: From Chechnya to Jakarta, calls for end to Rohingya persecution Anger over Burma’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims is steadily building in Indonesia. In November last year, an Indonesian man was arrested with a large quantity of bomb-making material over an...
Why are Malaysians joining IS? | Phuket News
A SENSE of global injustice towards Muslims seems to be the driving force radicalising Malaysians to join or support terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS). Local men detained at a Malaysian prison reveal they were driven to view IS as a saviour to save them from their sense of hopelessness in the face local injustice faced at home as well as on Muslims overseas such as the Rohingyas and those in Marawi, Dr Maszlee Malik said at a forum “Politicisation of Islam” yesterday night in Kuala Lumpur. “To them, what is the solution to the global injustice towards Islam? The United Nations (UN) is a big failure, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is a cloud of dictators. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? Come on,” Dr Maszlee said. “They need a hero. ISIS is the hero that brings hope and a vision of a ‘foreign utopia’.” The assistant professor at the International...
Stop looking to Suu Kyi for a solution. She’s the problem. | Phuket News
NOT long ago, to think of Aung San Suu Kyi was to conjure ideas of courage, bravery, grace and dignity in the face of almighty adversity. The myth, the woman became a shining beacon of hope, not just for Burma, but for the world. As a collective, we looked upon her as an inspiration to us all, someone who taught us the value of freedom. She was almost unique in her ability to stir this sentiment across national borders and political ideals. These days, such feelings towards our political leaders are almost unheard of. In a sea of corruption and self-interest, Suu Kyi stood out as a self-less champion of the people. Perhaps it was unrealistic of us. We pinned the hopes of a nation on one woman. Indeed, it seems many still do. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson this week, while praising her as “one of the most inspiring...
US Deeply Concerned About Rohingya Crisis | Phuket News
The United States is expressing deep concerns and says it is in close contact with Myanmar’s government on the situation in that country’s northwestern Rakhine State, where tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh.   “We have publicly and privately discussed this issue at the highest levels.  We are also in touch with Burma’s neighbors and other international partners,” a spokesperson from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific affairs told VOA on Wednesday. Myanmar is also known as Burma.   “We remain deeply concerned by sustained reports of significant violence and the impact on civilian populations, including the Rohingya community,” he added.   The State Department, however, said it welcomed indications Myanmar’s government is committed to providing access to humanitarian aid via the Red Cross.   Fleeing violence   The latest round of violence began August 25...
3 things you should know about Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize | Phuket News
Country leaders get criticised all the time for not doing the right thing. But when it comes to Aung San Suu Kyi and the backlash she now faces for her reaction to the recent Rohingya crisis, the backlash has an added dimension to it: She’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner. More than thousands have fled their homes in Burma’s Rakhine State after an attack by a few Rohingya insurgents late August prompted the country’s military to retaliate by burning their homes and opening fire. Many are wounded and in dire conditions, as they set on an exodus to neighbouring Bangladesh – a situation the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warn is a risk of ‘ethnic cleansing’. SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence Suu Kyi was supposed to fix this when she became the country’s de facto leader after the country’s 2015 general...
Rohingya crisis: How social media adds fuel to the flame | Phuket News
AS the armed conflict in Rakhine State continues to escalate, forcing over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes, another war rages online as social media becomes the battlefield for winning hearts, minds and international support. The impact of social media in the latest clashes is proving a powerful tool with counter-narratives being thrown from each side. Since the Aug 25 attacks on security posts by armed rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), there has been a slew of inflammatory material making the rounds on the Internet. The volume and often unreliable sources of this information are making the truth increasingly difficult to determine. With media access in the region highly restricted, this provocative and often false social media buzz is shaping the narrative surrounding the conflict and widening the gulf of understanding between the sides and their supporters. SEE ALSO: From Chechnya to Jakarta, calls for end to Rohingya persecution...
How social media is worsening the Rohingya crisis | Phuket News
AS the armed conflict in Rakhine state continues to escalate, forcing over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes, another war rages online as social media becomes the battlefield for winning hearts, minds and international support. The impact of social media in the latest clashes is proving a powerful tool with counter-narratives being thrown from each side. Since the Aug 25 attacks on security posts by armed rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), there has been a slew of inflammatory material making the rounds on the Internet. The volume and often unreliable source of this information is making the truth increasingly difficult to determine. With media access in the region highly restricted, this provocative and often false social media buzz is shaping the narrative surrounding the conflict and widening the gulf of understanding between the sides and their supporters. SEE ALSO: From Chechnya to Jakarta, calls for end to Rohingya persecution...
Cambodia faces U.S., EU action after banning opposition | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States stopped election support for Cambodia with a promise of more
International organizations decry Supreme Court’s dissolution verdict on CNRP | Phuket News
International and regional organizations decried the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) as Prime Minister Hun Sen hailed the decision, saying it was based soundly on the principle of “rule of law”, The Phnom Penh Post reported on Friday (Nov 17). Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson called the decision the “death of democracy” and a “political killing of the Paris Peace Accord” whereas the International Commission of Jurists labelled the ruling a “human rights and rule of law crisis”. The Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights said Cambodia was now ushering in a “new era of de facto one party rule”. CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the decision was the “end of democracy” in Cambodia. CNRP deputy vice president Mu Sochua decried the decision but predicted a democratic change would still come about.  She called on international donors to take the most needed step of...
New light-rail system planned for Phnom Penh | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia plans to have a new, electric mass transit system built and running in the capital by 2023, when it hosts the Southeast Asian Games, with the help of Japanese know-how....
Cash and carry Makro ready for business in Phnom Penh | Phuket News
Makro has opened its first supermarket in Phnom Penh, providing a one-stop shopping solution to a wide range of businesses....
Cambodia faces U.S., EU action after banning opposition ahead of elections | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States promised
Cambodia faces international action after banning opposition | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States promised
Cambodia under fire after dissolving opposition party | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's government faced international criticism on Friday after the main opposition party was dissolved ahead of elections and the European Union raised a potential threat to vital trade preferences....
Cambodia Faces Threat of Trade Sanctions | Phuket News
Cambodia’s government faced international criticism Friday after the main opposition party was dissolved ahead of elections and the European Union raised a potential threat to vital trade preferences. The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved Thursday by the Supreme Court at the request of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose rule of more than three decades was under threat at next year’s general election. The CNRP leader, Kem Sokha, was arrested for treason Sept. 3, charged with planning to take power with American assistance. Hun Sen’s critics called the dissolution of the CNRP an attempt to steal the election and the death knell for democracy in a country where Western donors have spent billions of dollars since 1993 trying to build a multiparty system after decades of war. EU, US important markets “An electoral process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded is not...
‘Destruction of democracy’ in Cambodia as opposition party dissolved | Phuket News
CAMBODIA’s government faced international criticism on Friday after a Supreme Court ruling saw the dissolution of the country’s only credible opposition party, effectively making Cambodia a one-party state. The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved on Thursday evening on charges of treason after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government accused them of plotting to take power with the help of the United States. CNRP leader, Kem Sokha, was arrested on Sept 3 and remains in jail awaiting trial. The court ruling – that included a five-year political ban for 118 members of the CNRP – was met with widespread criticism, with Hun Sen’s critics calling it a power grab by the former Khmer general ahead of next year’s national election. #CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann on the Supreme Court decision to dissolve the opposition party #Cambodia https://t.co/JyHv52e9iy pic.twitter.com/ktgF9jq8v3 — The Phnom Penh Post (@phnompenhpost) November 16, 2017 “This is the end...
Cambodia under fire after dissolving main opposition party | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's government faced international criticism on Friday after the main opposition party was dissolved ahead of elections and the European Union raised a potential threat to vital trade preferences. ...
Sonia Gandhi retires as India Congress party president | Phuket News
Her son, Rahul, has been elected unopposed as the new president of India's main opposition....
Vietnam's Largest IT Company Touts Free Trade for Growth | Phuket News
Eleven countries meeting at the APEC summit in Da Nang agreed Saturday to seek a trans-pacific free trade agreement, despite the world’s largest market - the United States - pulling out of the deal.  Vietnam is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of freer trade as it expands rapidly growing exports, including technology.  VOA’s Daniel Schearf visited Vietnam’s largest technology company, FPT, and has an exclusive interview with its chairman in Danang....
Vietnam’s Largest IT Company Touts Free Trade for Growth | Phuket News
Vietnam’s largest technology company may get a boost from a free trade deal brokered at APEC meetings in Da Nang this month to replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Eleven countries meeting at the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, agreed to seek a trans-pacific free trade agreement, despite the world’s largest market - the United States - pulling out of the deal.
Duterte warns war with North Korea would ‘end humanity’ | Phuket News
A WAR with North Korea would bring about the “end of humanity,” Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte warned, in the strongest comments yet against military action following US President Donald Trump’s departure from the region. In his closing remarks at the ASEAN summit on Tuesday in Manila, Duterte predicted a war on the Korean peninsula would result in “nuclear holocaust.” He also accused North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of “toying with these nuclear bombs,” according to Al Jazeera. Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a news conference on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Pasay, metro Manila, Philippines, November 14, 2017. Source: Reuters/Dondi Tawatao ”We cannot start a war with the North Korean crisis looming ahead. There are dark clouds there. We better pray,” Duterte told the audience. “If all of those missiles and the (intercontinental ballistic missile) ICBM’s would explode,...
South Korea sets sights on Southeast Asia | Phuket News
SOUTH KOREA’s President Moon Jae-in has arrived back in Seoul, after an eight-day trip to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines during which he unveiled a new policy aimed at deepening ties with the region. The New Southern Policy will aim to boost South Korea’s trade, cultural and diplomatic ties with the ten members of the Asean grouping, which is collectively home to half a billion people and represents the fourth largest economy in Asia. “Before anything else, I myself will visit all 10 Asean countries during my presidency to share our deep friendship,” Moon said during a meeting with 500 business leaders from across Asean during the Asean-South Korea summit on Monday. Jokowi (second right), his wife Iriana Widodo (right), Moon (second left) and his wife Kim Jung-Sook pose on the veranda of the Bogor palace in Bogor, Indonesia, on Nov 9, 2017. Source: Reuters/Adek Berry/Pool “Korean diplomacy in Asia...
Growing Trust Leads to China-Southeast Asian Discussing Code for Disputed Sea | Phuket News
China's agreement with 10 Southeast Asian nations to start substantive talks on a code of conduct for a disputed sea shows a new level of trust among governments that stood divided just over a year ago. Leaders from Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed Monday in Manila to kick off talks that will convert a framework code of conduct into a real set of rules for avoiding accidents on the South China Sea. Four Southeast Asian nations as well as Taiwan vie with Chinese claims to the crowded sea that’s prized for fisheries, fossil fuels and commercial shipping lanes. China claims about 90 percent of it. It has upset the others since 2010 by building artificial islets for occupation and militarizing some. Reversal of hostilities In mid-2016 China lost world court arbitration to the Philippines over the legal basis for its maritime claims after it had...
South Korea sets its sights on Southeast Asia | Phuket News
SOUTH KOREA’s President Moon Jae-in has arrived back in Seoul, after a eight-day trip to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines during which he unveiled a new policy aimed at deepening ties with the region. The New Southern Policy will aim to boost South Korea’s trade, cultural and diplomatic ties with the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) grouping, which is collectively home to half a billion people and represents the fourth largest economy in Asia. “Before anything else, I myself will visit all 10 ASEAN countries during my presidency to share our deep friendship,” said Moon during a meeting with 500 business leaders from across Asean during the Asean-South Korea summit on Monday. SEE ALSO: Asean at 50: Region marches towards peace and development, away from human rights Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (2nd R) and First Lady Iriana Widodo (R) and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In...
China, ASEAN to Begin Talks on S. China Sea Code of Conduct | Phuket News
Foreign policy analysts remain skeptical about the agreement between China and Southeast Asian nations to officially start negotiations on a legally binding code of conduct to resolve disputes in the South China Sea. Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Beijing announced their intention to begin talks during the 20th annual summit in Manila on Monday. The move comes 15 years after the adoption of loose guidelines for actions in the contested sea that are now largely seen as ineffective. Beijing claims more than 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea, including smaller tracts that Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines say fall under their own flags. While the United States has consistently encouraged ASEAN and China to find a way to avoid conflict in the South China Sea, Washington appears to be cautious about the latest development.
Duterte Berates Canada's Trudeau at End of Summit in Philippines | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attacked Canada's Justin Trudeau at the end of a summit of Asian and Western nations for raising questions about his war on drugs, a topic skirted by other leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump. At the traditional news conference by the host nation at the end of the summit on Tuesday, Duterte was asked how he had responded to the Canadian prime minister's raising the issue of human rights and extrajudicial killings in his anti-drug drive.
Trump 'Very Proud' of Trip to Asia, Says Progress Made on Security, Trade | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is
Cambodian Strongman's Trump Outreach Falls Flat | Phuket News
The White House has resisted gushing overtures Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made this week to U.S. President Donald Trump in Manila, issuing a stiff rebuke Tuesday to the strongman over his moves to dismantle Cambodia's democracy. Hun Sen lavished praise on Trump the day before, declaring him “a great man to me,” while beseeching the U.S. president to muzzle criticism of his ongoing crackdown on civil society, the press and the opposition. The Cambodian premier extolled Trump’s “non-interference” foreign affairs policy at the ASEAN summit in Manila, in a speech that came as Hun Sen continues to accuse the U.S. embassy of leading a plot to topple his government. He made the same accusation to justify jailing opposition leader Kem Sokha while moving to dissolve Kem Sokha's Cambodia National Rescue Party. In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said Matt Pottinger, the senior director for Asian affairs and...
The party's ‘not over yet’ for emerging markets' dream rally | Phuket News
Bulls will retain the upper hand in emerging markets in 2018, according to a new survey, but some assets could be in for a reality check....
Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims want in | Phuket News
More governments and companies see Islamic finance as a stable funding alternative to the conventional banking system....
'Ticking Time Bomb' as Pacific Children Bear Mental Scars of Climate Disasters | Phuket News
Each time teenager Freddy Sei hears the rumble of thunder, sees rains pound the earth in his small coastal village or watches strong winds whip palm trees, he is gripped with fear. The 15-year-old lives in Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation that two years ago was ravaged by monster cyclone Pam with Freddy watching as huts were blown away and water rushed in to submerge his village of South River on Erromango island.
Afghan Youth Team Beats Pakistan to Win Asian Cricket Championship | Phuket News
Afghanistan defeated Pakistan Sunday, winning their first under-19 cricket Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur, offering a rare opportunity for celebrations in a country desperate for a break from relentless rounds of deadly violence. Batting first, the Afghan team scored 248 runs in their allotted 50 overs. The opposition Pakistani side while chasing the target was dismissed within 23 overs for just 63 runs, enabling Afghans to win the match by a massive margin of 185 runs to lift the championship trophy. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted his pride in the team, posting to his official Twitter account: “Indeed, our young colts showed that our future in cricket is bright.” And Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted, though he is out of Afghanistan on an official trip, “I feel proud to congratulate our nation on this very unique, rare and prideful occasion of our country’s cricket as Afghanistan’s U19 clinches...
Messe Frankfurt announces acquisition of Beijing Traders-Link Plus International Exhibition Co Ltd | Phuket News
Nov 19, 2017 Picture:  BEIJING --( ASIA TODAY )-- Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, Greater China’s headquarters of the global leading trade fair organiser Messe Frankfurt GmbH has acquired a major proportion of Beijing Traders-Link Plus International Exhibition Co Ltd, organiser of the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Expo (AMR) in Beijing. The agreement of the acquisition was signed in Shanghai on 10 November 2017 between Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and Beijing Traders-Link Plus International Exhibition Co Ltd. In the agreement, both parties accorded to form a new joint venture company named Messe Frankfurt Traders-Link (Beijing) Co Ltd, in which Messe Frankfurt will hold the majority interest. This acquisition is also strongly supported by industry associations: the China Automotive Maintenance Equipment Industry Association (CAMEIA) and the China Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (CAMRA), who are also the co-organisers of Automotive Maintenance & Repair Expo (AMR). Messe Frankfurt is present in 178...
Goldman wins dismissal of lawsuit in U.S. over ties to Malaysia leader | Phuket News
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has won the dismissal of a $510 million lawsuit in New York brought by a private equity firm that accused the Wall Street bank of shortchanging it in a merger to
Bunker Fuel Regulations a Central Topic at Bottom of the Barrel Technology Conference Bahrain | Phuket News
Nov 17, 2017 Picture:  With the deadline looming for the implementation of the bunker fuel regulations in 2020, it is not surprising that this will be the dominating subject for discussion at Euro Petroleum Consultants’ upcoming BBTC MENA 2017 – Bottom of the Barrel Technology Conference taking place on 4-5 December in Bahrain. The result of the International Maritime Organisation’s MARPOL VI means that the refining industry will need to convert around 150mte of residue to 0.50 mass % sulphur, therefore, having a massive impact on refinery configuration and operations. “Whilst any regulatory compliance always provides challenges, it can also offer many opportunities such as driving future investments, projects and technological advances” explains Colin Chapman president of Euro Petroleum Consultants (EPC), the organisers of the event. “Our esteemed panellists and speakers at the conference will be discussing the challenges and opportunities including the potential international and regional impact on...
Malaysian bureaucrat fired after 2,000 days of absence | Phuket News
A CIVIL servant from Malaysia’s Education Ministry was finally sacked recently after being absent from work for over 2,000 days, highlighting the level of leniency afforded to the government’s bloated workforce. The country’s Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said this was among the severe cases of disciplinary problems that prompted the government to take action against errant civil servants. In his speech during the launching of the ministry’s integrity day, Mahdzir urged the civil servants to uphold integrity to avoid being dismissed from their jobs. SEE ALSO: Malaysia’s Islamic preachers: Who are they, really?  “This incident happened in a rural school and we do not actually know how the employee could be absent for up to 2,000 days,” he said as quoted by Channel News Asia (via Astro Awani). “We don’t know what the problem was – the principal was persuading the employee to come to work for years,” he added. ...
A Malaysian government worker was only fired after 2,000 days of absence | Phuket News
A CIVIL servant from Malaysia’s Education Ministry was finally sacked recently after being absent from work for over 2,000 days, highlighting the level of leniency afforded to the government’s bloated workforce. The country’s Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said this was among the severe cases of disciplinary problems that prompted the government to take action against errant civil servants. In his speech during the launching of the ministry’s integrity day, Mahdzir urged the civil servants to uphold integrity to avoid being dismissed from their jobs. SEE ALSO: Malaysia’s Islamic preachers: Who are they, really?  “This incident happened in a rural school and we do not actually know how the employee could be absent for up to 2,000 days,” he said as quoted by Channel News Asia (via Astro Awani). “We don’t know what the problem was – the principal was persuading the employee to come to work for years,” he added. ...
Journalists Charged for Bringing Drone into Myanmar | Phuket News
Three journalists and their driver could face up to three years in prison for allegedly violating Myanmar's import-export law by bringing a drone into the country as part of a documentary they were doing for Turkish state television TRT. Mok Choy Lin of Malaysia, Lau Hon Meng from Singapore, local journalist Ko Aung Naing Soe, and driver U Hla Tin were arrested in the capital Naypyidaw on October 26 after interviewing a legislator and then bringing out the drone to get aerial footage of the parliament building. They already have been sentenced to two months in jail on a summary conviction for breaking the country's 1934 Aircraft Law. TRT says the journalists obtained all the required permits to do their story, but the arresting officer said they had not declared the drone when they entered the country. In seeking to have the import charge dropped, their attorneys claim the four...
Indonesia Unveils Plan to Roll out 1,000 Eco-Mosques by 2020 | Phuket News
Worshippers in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, are set to go green with a new initiative that aims to establish 1,000 eco-mosques by 2020. Launched this week by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the initiative will help the mosques to source renewable energy, manage their water and food needs sustainably, reduce and recycle waste and provide environmental education. The project will see the top Muslim clerical body work with the private sector, the government's health and planning ministries, universities, and other religious groups in a bid to boost environmental awareness in communities across the country.
Thailand takes three spots in Forbes’ richest as Red Bull joins the list | Phuket News
Three Thai families – Chearavanont, Chirathivat and Yoovidhya – are now included in the Asia’s richest families of 2017 list published by Forbes magazine.  Two of the richest Thai families are in the top ten of Forbes, claiming fourth and tenth spot. For the first time The Yoovidhya family, the maker and marketer of Krating Daeng and gold Red Bull energy drinks in Asia, has made the 2017 Forbes list of Asia’s richest families, trailing two other notable Thai clans: the Chearavanonts and the Chirathivats. The Chearavanont family, took the fourth spot on the list with a net worth of $36.6 billion. The family behind Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, one of the world’s largest purveyors of animal feed and livestock, got a nearly $9-billion boost to its wealth, partly due to a surge in the value of its holding in Chinese insurer Ping An. Samsung’s Lee family lose No. 1 spot...
Singapore train struck by lightning | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: The city-state’s beleaguered rail system can’t catch a break. Days after a software glitch caused a train collision that injured more than 30 people, lightning struck a train on the same line. Literally....
Scoot overtakes SilkAir and narrows the gap with SIA in economy market | Phuket News
SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) – Scoot is now about a third as big as SIA in the market; adjusting capacity is part of SIA’s overall strategy to deal with competition on all fronts. Booking an economy seat on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight may become more difficult in the future, as the premium carrier takes […]...
Why Singapore is training professional gamers | Phuket News
With the global e-sports market set to hit $1.5bn in three years, Singapore is helping train professional gamers....
Singapore to raise taxes as government spending increases | Phuket News
SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) – Singapore will be raising its taxes as government spending on investments and social services grows, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Nov 19. “(Finance Minister) Heng Swee Keat was right when he said raising taxes is not a matter of whether, but when,” he said at the People’s Action […]...
Foreign investment hotspots in Asia Pacific | Phuket News
Cross-border real estate investment in the Asia Pacific region could achieve a record high this year as foreign investors shore up interest and seek assets in greener pastures beyond borders. As it stands, year-to-date intra-regional cross-border transaction volumes have already exceeded the previous 10-year record high in 2015 (1Q15-3Q15) by 30 per cent, and is currently a 21.8 per cent step up from its 10-year average (2007-2016). Singapore the main source of intra-regional capital Chinese would be the largest group of foreign investors if inter-regional flows were part of the picture. But in the context of intra-regional capital flows (which only considers deployment within Asia Pacific), Singapore continues to dominate with year-to-date foreign investments currently standing at US$5.6 billion. China (US$2.1 billion) and Hong Kong (US$2.9 billion) were ranked second and third respectively given a significant portion of capital are recycled between the two closely-integrated countries. These three countries make...
Over 5,200 firms in Singapore tap government scheme to stay manpower-lean | Phuket News
SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) – The scheme helps SMEs reduce their reliance on foreign manpower and drive productivity and business growth through the use of technology. Over 5,200 companies have benefitted from a government program to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce their reliance on foreign manpower, adopt manpower-lean initiatives, create better-paying jobs and […]...
Cloud Connect China to be Held in Two Cities in 2018 | Phuket News
Dec 12, 2017 Picture:  SHANGHAI, Dec. 13, 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- As new technologies like cloud computing, big data, AI and so forth are promoting enterprises'construction of informatization, Cloud Connect China, one of the most influential events in cloud computing industry hosted by UBM in China, will be upgraded in 2018 after the successful conclusion of the 5th edition in 2017 with the debut of Interop - one of the max events in global networking market for more than 30 years. To enhance the participation of end-user enterprises and to optimize the cloud strategy and practices in a thorough way, Interop & Cloud Connect China 2018 will be held twice a year in two cities for the first time with one in May in Shanghai and the other in September in Zhengzhou, still in the form of conferences and an expo. Five Years' Success with High Reputation Cloud...
Free money from China comes with strings — as one country's learning the hard way | Phuket News
It's entirely up to Beijing in deciding who gets what and when. Pakistan offers a cautionary tale....
Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition 2018 announces its show theme THINKLIGHT Embracing Changes | Phuket News
Dec 12, 2017 Picture:  GUANGZHOU --( ASIA TODAY )-- The 23rd edition of the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (GILE), the most influential and comprehensive lighting and LED event in Asia, is set to take place from 9 ‒ 12 June 2018, at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou, China. Thanks to the positive response from the industry, the “THINKLIGHT” show concept will return and continue to develop at the 2018 show under the theme of “Embracing Changes”. As the lighting industry continues to undergo its digital revolution, thoughts are now turning to how lighting can expand its scope by becoming fully connected and a ‘smartʼ device. Commenting on next year’s show theme, Ms Lucia Wong, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said: “Digital lighting has well and truly arrived. The question we as an industry face is how do we tackle these changes...
Man Yue Technology Wins 'The Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Innovative Technology Achievement Award - Innovative Technology' | Phuket News
Dec 12, 2017 Picture:  [12 December 2017 - Hong Kong] Man Yue Technology Holdings Limited (
Digital Domain's Original VR Creation "Micro Giants" To Be Featured at Sundance Film Festival | Phuket News
Dec 11, 2017 Picture:  HONG KONG, Dec. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Domain Holdings Limited (the
British Banker Appeals Conviction of Double Murder in Hong Kong | Phuket News
A British banker sentenced to life in prison for the gruesome murders of two Indonesian women went before a Hong Kong court Tuesday to appeal his conviction. Rurik Jutting was convicted last year of the 2014 murders of Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih in his luxury apartment. Jurors were shown graphic video Jutting took on his cellphone of him torturing Sumarti and snorting cocaine. The body of one of the murdered women was discovered stuffed in a suitcase. The court rejected the 32-year-old Jutting's attempt to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility from alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual disorders. The Cambridge University graduate watched from the defendant's box during Tuesday's hearings as his lawyers argued the judge incorrectly instructed the jurors in the original case on assessing their client's psychiatric maladies. The hearing will resume Wednesday.  ...
Senior Australian politician resigns over China ties scandal | Phuket News
China bites back with a scathing op-ed addressing rumors that it is attempting to buy political leverage in Australia....
Philippine military backs Duterte’s terrorist tag on the NPA | Phuket News
The Armed Forces of the Philippines are supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration that the New People’s Army (NPA) is a terrorist group, The Manila Times Online reported on Monday. “We totally agree with the Commander-in- Chief in calling the NPA terrorists because it is clearly reflected in the numerous criminal, lawless, terrorist acts they have been committing against defenseless and innocent civilians,” AFP spokesman Maj-Gen Restituto Padilla Jr. said in a statement on Sunday. Duterte said on Saturday he would issue an announcement calling the NPA a terrorist group as he reaffirmed that he would not pursue peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF). The peace talks with the communists were called off by Duterte in July after a string of attacks by the NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, against government forces in North Cotabato and...
Philippines' Duterte spokesman: Ban on open pit mining remains | Phuket News
MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has not lifted a ban on open pit mining, his spokesman said on Monday, amid plans by a government panel to seek the removal of the policy....
Eyewitness: the Rohingya horrors and Aung San Suu Kyi’s whitewash | Phuket News
IT WAS a bright autumn morning, and I had just dropped off my two children at nursery and was scrolling through Twitter, when I spotted a video of another mother’s two children. The youngest was a one-year-old boy, the same age as my own youngest; the other, his nine-year-old sister, had been carrying him for miles. She was weeping, the tears from her terrified eyes indistinguishable from the rain pouring off her short black hair and drenched clothes. A Rohingya child, she had fled from the one of the many scenes of horror inflicted by the Burmese (Myanmar) military on Muslim areas across the country’s beleaguered Rakhine state, where hundreds of villages have been burned to the ground and where fleeing people have been killed by landmines and children beheaded. As I struggled to get my front door key into the lock, I found I was crying too. The UN has called the Myanmar military’s campaign against...
Philippine troops detained, tortured civilians in Marawi – report | Phuket News
PHILIPPINE troops detained and tortured civilians trying to flee the besieged city of Marawi during a five-month battle with militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group, Amnesty International alleged on Friday. In the first human rights analysis of the conflict, the rights group documents how the IS-allied militants targeted Christian civilians for the worst of the abuses, including at least 25 extrajudicial killings, mass hostage-taking, and extensive looting of civilian property. The report also highlighted the destruction of entire neighbourhoods and death of civilians due to the extensive bombing carried out by the Philippines armed forces. And accused the military of detaining and ill-treating civilians, as well as looting. Damaged houses, buildings and a mosque are seen inside Marawi city, Philippines, October 25, 2017. Source: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco Witnesses also described efforts to hide their Christian neighbours and attempts to smuggle them out of the city in a bid to...
Philippine Fight Against Muslim Rebels Keeps Thousands Homeless | Phuket News
Refugees from a deadly midyear war between government troops and Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines say they are not ready to go home, after an announced end to the fighting, over fears of lingering danger and a possible lack of reconstruction money. The fate of as many as 364,000 evacuees from Marawi, a city on the violence-prone southern island of Mindanao, will challenge government agencies to head off new clashes and rebuild the heavily damaged city before the former inhabitants give up and move away for good. “It will take a long time. It’s not easy to really reconstruct everything,” said Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, a University of the Philippines political science professor who helped a former administration negotiate peace in Mindanao. ​Fleeing to refugee camps People’s houses were burned, destroyed or “pulverized,” to use the words of 43 families living at an evacuation center run by the nearby city of...
Rights group: Militants, troops violated law in Marawi siege | Phuket News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Amnesty International says it has documented violations of humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes, during the five-month conflict between Philippine government troops and Islamic State-allied militants who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi. The human rights group said Friday all sides in the fighting were guilty of violations. […]...
Xaysana, 2 others denied drug charges | Phuket News
Suspected Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha and two Thai men have denied drug charges filed against them by the prosecution and vowed to fight the case in court. Mr Xaysana and the Thai suspects, Chumphon Phanomprai, and Ratchapol Ratsapolpakorn,  have been charged with collaborating to commit drug offences and having methamphetamine pills in possession with intent to sell. The three were brought from detention to the Criminal Court on Monday morning for a pre-trial examination. They denied the charges and vowed to fight the case in court. The Criminal Court set Sept 25 for another pre-trial examination. Mr Xaysana was earlier indicted in another case in the Criminal Court on drug charges. In this case, Mr Xaysana and other suspects, who are still at large, were accused of smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamine pills into the country from Laos. The post Xaysana, 2 others denied drug charges appeared first on Thai...
Thailand a bright spot for regional education | Phuket News
Thailand has the potential to become a regional hub for education particularly among students from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam because of its comparatively low tuition fees and high-quality international schools, according to education experts....
Dong Phyayen-Khao Yai mountain range eyed as “second home” for tigers | Phuket News
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation plans to turn the Dong Phyayen-Khao Yai mountain range in the Northeast to be the “second home” of tigers as part of the department’s ambitious policy to double wild tiger population in Thailand by the year 2022. On the occasion of the World’s Tigers Day on July 29, the department head Mr Tunya Netithamkul said that there are now about 200 tigers in the kingdom with most of them concentrating in the Tenasserim mountain range bordering Thailand and Myanmar, especially Huay Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary in Uthai Thani province, Salak Phra wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi and Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai mountain range. He noted there there is a good news that two young tigers whose mother was killed by poachers in Huay Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary were recently spotted by camera traps in nearby Mae Wong national park in Nakhon Sawan province....
Flood situation in Sakon Nakhon municipal area remains critical | Phuket News
The flood situation in the municipal area of Sakon Nakhon province remains critical on Sunday as flood water is still slowly being pushed out of the area. Officials concerned said that it would take another week for the flood water to be discharged out of the municipal area into Nong Harn lake, then into Kam river and, finally, into the Mekong river which is 123 kilometres away. Meanwhile, the Royal Irrigation Department is stepping up effort to increase the number of huge water pumps up to the target of 26 from the present four which was installed since Friday. The department officials said that the additional water pumps would be installed at eight “bottlenecks” where water flow is slow in order to accelerate the water floor out of roads. They expected roads in the municipal area to be passable in the next two years if there is no more rain....
Flood situation in Sakhon Nakhon municipal area remains critical | Phuket News
The flood situation in the municipal area of Sakhon Nakhon province remains critical on Sunday as flood water is still slowly being pushed out of the area. Officials concerned said that it would take another week for the flood water to be discharged out of the municipal area into Nong Harn lake, then into Kam river and, finally, into the Mekong river which is 123 kilometres away. Meanwhile, the Royal Irrigation Department is stepping up effort to increase the number of huge water pumps up to the target of 26 from the present four which was installed since Friday. The department officials said that the additional water pumps would be installed at eight “bottlenecks” where water flow is slow in order to accelerate the water floor out of roads. They expected roads in the municipal area to be passable in the next two years if there is no more rain....
One more day of rain forecast for Northeast | Phuket News
Isolated heavy rainfall is likely in the upper Northeast today as the active low pressure area that degraded from tropical depression
Can Alipay Conquer Asia? | Phuket News
Jul 28, 2017 Picture:  In Southeast Asia, the deafening sound of road construction work reflects the fierce competition among China, Japan and South Korea for lucrative infrastructure projects. But in stores and shopping malls, the sound of Alipay transactions indicates China’s even-greater ambition to establish its home-grown mobile financial services abroad. Ant Financial Services Group, a spin-off from the Alibaba Group that runs the e-wallet and online payment service Alipay, is pushing into the markets of the northern member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) even faster than China invests in basic infrastructure there. At King Power, Bangkok’s largest duty free store some 15 kilometers from the Thai capital’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, a group of free-spending Chinese tourists is going on a shopping spree right before hopping on a plane home. At the cash register, the women pull out their mobile phones instead of wads of paper...
Warning out on tropical depression “Sonca” | Phuket News
People are advised to brace for severe weather condition and possible flash floods from today (July 26) until Friday (July 28), according to a warning issued by the Thai Meteorological Department today. As of 1am today, the depression moved from Laos to cover the Northeast of Thailand.  Its center was over Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan provinces, with a maximum speed of about 55 kilomtres per hour. At 7am, the storm downgraded to an active low pressure over the Northeast, the lower North and the upper Central. It is expected to dissipate by July 28. As a result, widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy rain is likely to hit the North, Northeast and Central regions.  People are advised to be prepared for severe weather conditions and possible flash floods until July 28. On July 26, provinces likely to be affected are: Phrae, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok,...
Is Thailand ready to tackle child sex trafficking? | Phuket News
THE CONVICTION of 62 individuals in Thailand largest human-trafficking trial, including an army general, police officers, local politicians and other influential individuals, indicates that Thailand has the systems, procedures and willingness to tackle human trafficking. With the criminals in this landmark case successfully brought to justice, Thailand may now be ready to begin tackling child sex traffickers who continue to destroy the lives of vulnerable children from Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, hill tribes communities and impoverished families. Alongside the sexual abuse and the loss of childhood these traffickers inflict on their victims, their criminal activities also blight Thailand’s international reputation. An apparent lack of impetus to crack down on these criminal networks remains a reason for Thailand’s poor ranking in the US Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which was unveiled by the US Secretary of State in June. SEE ALSO: NGO used state-of-the-art tech to take down...
VOA Exclusive: ASEAN, China Expected to Endorse Initial Code of Conduct in South China Sea | Phuket News
After more than 15 years of intermittent talks, ASEAN member nations and China are expected to endorse the draft framework for a non-binding code of conduct that commits to cooperation rather than confrontations in the contested South China Sea, the Voice of America Khmer service has learned. The draft framework is expected to be endorsed by ASEAN foreign ministers and China's foreign minister at the weeklong post-ministerial conference hosted by the Philippines, the current holder of ASEAN's revolving chairmanship. The meeting in Manila begins August 2. A regional official who did not want to be named provided VOA Khmer with the draft framework of the code of conduct (COC), which would
What has happened to Malaysia’s support for the Rohingya? | Phuket News
I AM a big advocate of open borders because I believe migration is – or should be – a universal human right. Point is, the world doesn’t belong to any one person or persons. And centuries ago, that’s what people did – they navigated the world to find the best living conditions. After all, if we’re constantly arguing against discrimination of skin colour, ethnicity, religious belief or culture, then why should it be okay to judge or discriminate a person based on his or her country of origin? Last week, over a thousand Rohingya refugees in Malaysia converged at the Burmese (Myanmar) embassy in the Kuala Lumpur capital to protest the atrocities allegedly committed by their government against their people. SEE ALSO: Rohingya protesters rally near Burma embassy in Malaysia The Rohingya crisis in Southeast Asia has been ongoing for decades and has led to hundreds of thousands fleeing Burma to...
From Chechnya to Jakarta, calls for end to Rohingya persecution | Phuket News
MUSLIMS and other protestors have shown solidarity for the persecuted Rohingya minority in Burma (Myanmar) over renewed violence in the country’s restive Rakhine State. More than one million people attended a rally in Grozny, the capital of Muslim-majority Chechnya in Russia on Monday holding signs that read “Stop Genocide in Myanmar” and “Stop Killing Myanmar Muslims.” Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov addressed the crowd, criticising the Russian government’s lack of action on Burma to responses of “Allahu akbar”, reported France 24. Tens of thousands protest in Russia's Grozny in solidarity with #Rohingyas#Rohingya pic.twitter.com/S0gvUsd8Fb — Press TV (@PressTV) September 4, 2017 SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence In Moscow, 20 people were arrested for causing a disturbance outside the Burmese embassy on Monday. Almost 1000 showed up to protest outside the building on Sunday. Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif on Monday took to...
Rohingya Crisis: Protests from Chechnya to Jakarta call for end to persecution | Phuket News
MUSLIMS and other protestors have shown solidarity for the persecuted Rohingya minority in Burma (Myanmar) over renewed violence in the country’s restive Rakhine State. More than one million people attended a rally in Grozny, the capital of Muslim-majority Chechnya in Russia on Monday holding signs that read “Stop Genocide in Myanmar” and “Stop Killing Myanmar Muslims.” Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov addressed the crowd, criticising the Russian government’s lack of action on Burma to responses of “Allahu akbar”, reported France 24. Tens of thousands protest in Russia's Grozny in solidarity with #Rohingyas#Rohingya pic.twitter.com/S0gvUsd8Fb — Press TV (@PressTV) September 4, 2017 SEE ALSO: ‘This is a true crisis’: UN calls for shelter for Rohingya fleeing violence In Moscow, 20 people were arrested for causing a disturbance outside the Burmese embassy on Monday. Almost 1000 showed up to protest outside the building on Sunday. Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif on Monday took to...
Rohingya crisis: Nobel laureate Malala calls on Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn violence | Phuket News
HUMAN rights activist Malala Yousafzai has called on fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the “shameful” treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Burma and put an end to violence in Rakhine State. The 20-year-old, who survived being shot by the Taliban in Pakistan, said her “heart breaks” when she hears of the suffering of the minority group and questioned, if Burma is not their home, “then where is it?” In the statement released on Twitter on Monday, Malala called on Burma to grant citizenship to the Rohingya people who have lived in the region for generations but are still considered by many in the Buddhist majority country to be illegal immigrants. My statement on the #Rohingya crisis in Myanmar: pic.twitter.com/1Pj5U3VdDK — Malala (@Malala) September 3, 2017 Burma’s de facto leader Suu Kyi has remained noticeably silent on the issue of Rohingya persecution leaving many to see...
Aid Groups Fear Worsening Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Rakhine Violence | Phuket News
International refugee agencies and relief workers in Bangladesh and Myanmar are concerned about worsening conditions for the thousands of people who have fled sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Vivian Tan, the Asia press director for the U.N. refugee agency, is in Bangladesh and told VOA’s Burmese service that there is a shortage of shelter for the more than 18,000 people who have fled over the border from Myanmar. The International Organization for Migration and other aid groups have told VOA’s Bangla service that as many as 20,000 more people are staged just inside Myanmar, hoping to enter Bangladesh. In Myanmar, some communities are packed with internally displaced people, and relief workers fear that the lack of food safety and personal hygiene facilities could spread infectious diseases, a VOA journalist reported. People began flowing out of their villages in Rakhine Aug. 25, after a group of Muslim insurgents launched a...
Malaysia: Columnist sparks controversy for criticising Rohingya protests as ‘causing trouble’ | Phuket News
A CONTROVERSIAL columnist has angered many over a Facebook post in which she slammed Rohingya protests as “causing trouble” and creating traffic in the Malaysian capital. Responding to a demonstration of some 1,200 largely Rohingya Muslim refugees in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Boo Su-Lyn of the Malay Mail Online wrote that “if they’ve already come here for refuge and jobs, they shouldn’t be causing trouble and traffic jams.” Posted on her Facebook page where she declares she “believe[s] in freedom of speech, equality and personal freedoms,” Su-Lyn wrote that “I personally think foreigners shouldn’t be allowed to do street demos here.” SEE ALSO: Two dozen bodies wash up in Bangladesh as Rohingyas desperately flee Burma If they've already come here for refuge and jobs, they shouldn't be causing trouble and traffic jams Posted by Boo Su-Lyn on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Protesters on Tuesday were calling for an end to violence against...
Malaysia: Columnist sparks controversy for criticising Rohingya protests | Phuket News
A CONTROVERSIAL columnist has angered many over a Facebook post in which she slammed Rohingya protests as “causing trouble” and creating traffic in the Malaysian capital. Responding to a demonstration of some 1,200 largely Rohingya Muslim refugees in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Boo Su-Lyn of the Malay Mail Online wrote that “if they’ve already come here for refuge and jobs, they shouldn’t be causing trouble and traffic jams.” Posted on her Facebook page where she declares she “believe[s] in freedom of speech, equality and personal freedoms,” Su-Lyn wrote that “I personally think foreigners shouldn’t be allowed to do street demos here.” SEE ALSO: Two dozen bodies wash up in Bangladesh as Rohingyas desperately flee Burma If they've already come here for refuge and jobs, they shouldn't be causing trouble and traffic jams Posted by Boo Su-Lyn on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Protesters on Tuesday were calling for an end to violence against...
Two dozen bodies wash up on Bangladesh as Rohingyas desperately flee Burma | Phuket News
AUTHORITIES in Bangladesh on Thursday recovered the bodies of nearly two dozen ethnic Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, who made a desperate bid to flee the worst violence involving the Burma (Myanmar) minority in at least five years. According to Benar News, Bangladesh police said they recovered 23 bodies in all since the outbreak of violence in the restive Rakhine state began on Aug 24. The bodies of 19 people were found washed up ashore on a remote beach in Southeastern Bangladesh on Thursday after their boat capsized in an attempt at crossing the Naf river that separates the Burma-Bangladesh border. Mohammad Main Uddin Khan, officer-in-charge of a local police station confirmed that all the victims were Rohingyas fleeing Burma to enter Bangladesh. He said two other boats capsized on Tuesday night leading the discovery of four other bodies. On Tuesday night two other boats capsized and local residents...
Rohingya protesters rally near Burma embassy in Malaysia | Phuket News
PROTESTERS rallied in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to highlight the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority amid a new outbreak of violence in the Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar). Some 1,200 mostly Rohingya Muslims – holding placards that read “Stop killing Rohingya” – took to the streets of Malaysia’s capital to appeal for an end to the violence. “Dead, they are all dead, they were shot,” said a 20-year-old Rohingya demonstrator, who gave his name as Niamutullah. SEE ALSO: Rohingya ‘had to drink toilet water’ in Malaysian detention – report “I have not been able to contact them for two days,” he said as he shook his head and covered his face with his hand. More than 18,000 Rohingya, many sick and some with bullet wounds, have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after a series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine state led to clashes....
UN Security Council Meets on Myanmar Violence | Phuket News
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says at least 18,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims have escaped to neighboring Bangladesh in the past week. They fled after a series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in Myanmar's north Rakhine State triggered new fighting with the army. Amid reports that the security forces have been involved in extrajudicial killings, the burning of villages and attacks on ethnic Rohingya communities, thousands more people have headed toward the Bangladesh border. In a closed-door U.N. Security Council briefing Wednesday, Ambassador Matthew Rycroft urged all parties to reduce tensions. He also called on Myanmar's de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, to show strong leadership.
Sonia Gandhi retires as son Rahul takes over India’s National Congress party | Phuket News
Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, 71, stepped down formally as the National Congress president on Saturday, describing her 47-year-old son Rahul as the party’s new hope after it ran up recent defeats in state elections. Saturday’s handover ceremony at party headquarters in New Delhi followed Rahul’s unopposed election in a Congress party vote last Monday. Rahul’s elevation […]...
Fourth Generation of Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty Takes Charge of India's Congress Party | Phuket News
India's opposition Congress Party workers celebrated Saturday as Rahul Gandhi from India's famous Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty took over as president of the party. Hopes are high that the 47-year-old leader will revive the party, which has suffered several crushing defeats over the last three years....
Cambodia's main opposition party dissolved by Supreme Court | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's highest court dissolved the main opposition party on Thursday, leaving authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen clear to extend more than three decades of power in next year's election as rights groups decried the death of democracy. ...
Cambodia High Court Dissolves Opposition Party, Cementing One-party Rule | Phuket News
Cambodia's Supreme Court has dissolved the country's main opposition party in a ruling likely to cement Prime Minister Hun Sen's already expansive grip on power. Thursday's unanimous ruling by the nine-member court also bans 118 members of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party from any political activity for the next five years.  The court sided with a lawsuit filed by Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party, accusing the CNRP of being involved in a foreign-backed plot to topple the government. The United States and other countries accused by the ruling party have denied backing any subversive plots. The ruling caps a crackdown on dissenting voices launched by the prime minister ahead of next year's parliamentary elections. The repressive moves include the arrest of CNRP leader Kem Sokha on charges of treason, which led half of the party's lawmakers to flee, and the closure of The Cambodia Daily, one of the...
Supreme Court dissolves opposition CNRP | Phuket News
As anticipated, the Cambodian Supreme Court this evening (Nov 16) ordered the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), according to Phnom Penh Post Online. “The Supreme Court decided to recognize the Interior Ministry’s lawsuit and decided to dissolve the CNRP and ban their 118 senior (officials) from joining politics for five years starting from the day of the verdict,” said presiding judge Dith Munty. The historic ruling by the high court will also see all the CNRP’s 118 senior officials banned from politics for five years, including president Kem Sokha and exiled former leader Sam Rainsy. Cambodian opposition party deputy leader Kem Sokha (R) raises his fist during his speech at the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) headquarters in Phnom Penh on September 9, 2016. Worse still, the CNRP will lose all 489 of its commune chiefs and all 55 of its seats in the National Assembly...
Cambodia's Supreme Court Dissolves Opposition Party | Phuket News
Cambodia's Supreme Court has dissolved the country's main opposition party in a ruling likely to cement autocratic Prime Minister Hun Sen's already firm grip on power.   Thursday's unanimous ruling by the nine-member court also bans 118 members of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party from any political activity for the next five years.  The court sided with a lawsuit filed by Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party, accusing the CNRP of being involved in a plot to topple the government. The verdict was announced by Chief Justice Dith Munty, a high-ranking member of the ruling party. The ruling caps an apparent crackdown on dissenting voices launched by the prime minister ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.   The repressive moves include the arrest of CNRP leader Kem Sokha on charges of treason, which led half of the party's lawmakers to flee, and precipitated the closure of The Cambodia Daily,...
Cambodia's main opposition party dissolved | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Thursday, giving Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party a clear run in a general election next year....
Cambodia top court dissolves main opposition CNRP party | Phuket News
PM Hun Sen, who has ruled for decades, now faces no serious challenge ahead of elections next year....
FLASH: Cambodian opposition party dissolved | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's Supreme Court has ruled to dissolve the country's main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party....
Supreme Court to decide on CNRP’s fate today | Phuket News
The Supreme Court of Cambodia is scheduled to announce a decision on the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) today (Thursday), according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Thursday. Although protests have been banned and CNRP officials have been pressured not to travel to Phnom Penh, a security lockdown was imposed in central areas of the capital with multiple layers of barricades on every street leading to the court and heavy presence of police. Journalists and civil society observers were prevented from passing through roadblocks since this morning, but were later let in under police escort. The hearing started at 8.30 am while about 50 reporters and observers were waiting outside the court. Phnom Penh municipal police chief Chhoun Sovann who was present outside the courtroom told a Post reporter the heightened security was due to terrorism events in foreign countries. There are nine judges who...
Vietnam stocks up, other SE Asia markets mixed | Phuket News
Vietnam stocks climbed for an eighth straight session on Tuesday to close at their highest in nearly a decade....
Trump Wrapping Up Asia Tour Dominated by North Korea, Trade | Phuket News
President Donald Trump is wrapping up 12-day, five-nation tour of Asia dominated by talks on the North Korea nuclear threat and bolstering trade. After talks in Manila on Monday with the prime ministers of Australia and Japan, Trump promised to make a
Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair Draws to Successful Close | Phuket News
Nov 12, 2017 Picture:  12 November 2017 – The 10th edition of the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair concluded yesterday (11 November). The fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), was held from 9 to 11 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A total of 1,070 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions presented exquisite wines from around the world. Nearly 20,000 trade buyers from 70 countries and regions attended the three-day Wine & Spirits Fair, up 2.3 per cent from last year. Attendance from individual countries recorded encouraging growth, including the Chinese mainland, Malaysia, Vietnam, France, the United States, Australia and Chile. Over 25,000 public visitors attended the fair on Saturday when it was open to ticketed public visitors aged 18 and above. The blend of trade and public participants created a vibrant platform for business. New mainland customs facilitation scheme...
Vietnam stocks surge, other SE Asia markets slip | Phuket News
Vietnam shares closed at their highest in nearly a decade on Monday, while other Southeast Asian stock markets gave up early gains to close lower on uncertainty over a US tax reform deal....
Duterte brags he murdered as a teenager | Phuket News
DURING a state visit to Vietnam, firebrand Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has bragged that he had killed somebody when he was just 16 years old. “When I was a teenager, I had been in and out of jail, rumble here and there,” said Duterte last week while talking to the Filipino community, as quoted by the New York Times. “At the age of 16, I already killed someone.” Stating that he had stabbed the victim over “just an exchange of dirty looks”, Duterte urged his audience to imagine what he could do as president. The comments were made on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang. Duterte admits killing person when he was a child, says he has no problem doing it again now that he’s president. Translation: “At the age of 16, I killed somebody. I stabbed him. Only because our...
Trump Promises ‘Major Statement’ on Trade After Trip | Phuket News
Two became three as a scheduled Monday morning meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was expanded to include Japan’s Shinzo Abe. The change underscored the growing three-way relationship concerning regional security, especially regarding how to respond to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, as well as countering China’s increasingly assertive maritime territorial claims. “The key for us is to ensure very close trilateral cooperation so as to bring peace and stability on the ground,” said the Japanese leader, who has been displaying a united front against North Korea with Trump. “We’ve got the same values and the same focus on ensuring that the North Korean regime comes to its senses and stops its reckless provocation and threats of conflict in our region,” Turnbull said. “Peace and stability have underpinned the prosperity of billions of people over many decades, and we’re going to...
Vietnam and US sign $12 billion in trade deals | Phuket News
President Trần Đại Quang and President Donald Trump witnessed the signing of co-operation agreements worth a total of US$12 billion, mostly in aviation, petroleum and seaports between Việt Nam and the US after their talks in Hà Nội on Sunday.  The signing ceremony took place in the presence of President of Việt Nam Trần Đại Quang and President of the US Donald Trump, within the framework of the US President’s official state visit to Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of VNA The national carrier Vietnam Airlines and American aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney signed a $1.5 billion contract of the selection of aircraft engines and support services for 20 Airbus A321NEO aircraft. The two parties also signed a memorandum of understanding on maintenance contracts covering these engines. The deal between Vietnam Airlines and Pratt & Whitney includes 44 Pure Power Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines in accordance with comprehensive terms of...
Duterte brags that he murdered as a teenager | Phuket News
DURING a state visit to Vietnam, firebrand Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has bragged that he had killed somebody when he was just 16 years old. “When I was a teenager, I had been in and out of jail, rumble here and there,” said Duterte last week while talking to the Filipino community, as quoted by the New York Times. “At the age of 16, I already killed someone.” Stating that he had stabbed the victim over “just an exchange of dirty looks”, Duterte urged his audience to imagine what he could do as president. The comments were made on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang. Duterte admits killing person when he was a child, says he has no problem doing it again now that he’s president. Translation: “At the age of 16, I killed somebody. I stabbed him. Only because our...
Cartoon repression | Phuket News
Hsu Mao-sung explains how he faced censorship working as one of Taiwan's early comic book artists....
Report: N. Korea’s Last Nuclear Test Caused Quake That Killed Dozens | Phuket News
An artificial earthquake caused by a North Korean nuclear test in September reportedly caused buildings to collapse and killed scores of people, including schoolchildren, South Korean media reported this week. On Sept. 3, North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, successfully detonating a hydrogen bomb — one that could fit onto an intercontinental missile (ICBM). The blast produced two shallow earthquakes in the Punggye-ri region, where North Korea's nuclear test facility is located, U.S. and Chinese government seismologists reported at the time. Authorities in Japan, South Korea and numerous nongovernment experts in the United States confirmed that the earthquakes were likely the result of a nuclear test. Nearby village badly damaged An unnamed source, who recently visited a village about 8 kilometers from Punggye-ri, described the damage to the South and North Development (SAND), a research institute that works with defectors from the North, according to the South Korean newspaper Chosun...
Malaysia’s Islamic preachers: Who are they really? | Phuket News
MANY Malaysians seem to be very angry with Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) preacher and officer, Zamihan Mat Zin. Local police are even investigating the cleric for sedition, because of something he said during a speech in Johor, Malaysia’s southernmost state. Zamihan stands accused of sedition because in his speech, he labelled the Chinese unclean when referring to how a laundromat in the state had put up a signage saying they don’t serve non-Muslims. In that same ceramah, he also criticised an unnamed member of royalty who was apparently unhappy with the laundromat and decreed that the sign be taken down. SEE ALSO: Sultan of Johor wants to scrub Malaysia of Muslim-only laundromat As a person of authority in Islam, it was irresponsible of Zamihan to say such a thing, especially so when we live in a multiracial and multireligious society like Malaysia. In my opinion, it reeks of racism, bigotry,...
N.Korea double the score on Malaysia at Buri Ram | Phuket News
BURI RAM: North Korea won on neutral ground again Monday, moving the national soccer team closer to a spot at the 2019 Asian Cup....
First Pracharat “Phu Khao Fai Kradong” forest park opened in Buri Ram | Phuket News
The National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department on Monday (Dec 18) opened Phu Khao Fai Kradong forest park in Buri Ram province as the first forest park under the “Pracharat forest park project,” intended to be a 2018 New Year gift for the Thai people to have areas for recreation and study of nature. Gen Surasak Karnjanarat, the natural resources and environment minister, presided over the opening ceremony. Under the department’s plan, there will be 35 Pracharat forest parks all over the country. Six of them will be opened as the pilot parks for the entire “Pracharat forest park project.” Phu Khao Fai Kradong forest park in Buri Ram is the first of the six pilot parks. Pracharat forest parks are intended to be located in or near the towns. They can be used for various activities such as exercise, recreation and study of nature. Thanya Netithammakul, director-general of...
NrgEdge & PetroEdge sign MoU with Asia Pacific University | Phuket News
Nov 13, 2017 Picture:  APU Collaborates with PetroEdge and NrgEdge to Address Needs in the Oil, Gas & Energy Industry Kuala Lumpur, 8 November 2017: Singaporean oil, gas and energy training provider, PetroEdge Pte Ltd, and the leading network for oil, gas and energy professionals in Asia Pacific, NrgEdge Pte Ltd, enters into a partnership with Malaysian private university, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) today. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by key representatives from each organization; Professor Ron Edwards, Vice Chancellor of APU, and Dr Lau Chee Yong, lecturer at APU School of Engineering; as well as Mohammad Khalid, Chief Technology Officer of NrgEdge, and Mohd Anas Asalem, Regional Strategic Partnerships Manager of NrgEdge. Under this partnership, APU will benefit from NrgEdge’s expertise in its networking portal, in which APU students and academic staff will utilize the NrgEdge portal to communicate via forums, projects...
Singapore growth could top 3% in 2017, PM Lee says | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says his country is expected to exceed expectations this year by recording economic growth above 3%....
2017 ASTA China Summit Opening up Guiyang's Tourism Market in North America | Phuket News
Nov 19, 2017 Picture:  GUIYANG, China, Nov. 16, 2017 -- American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) joined with Guiyang Municipal People's Government and Guizhou Provincial Tourism Development Committee when entering China for the first time. Aiming at the status quo of Chinese tourism market, they jointly established a platform for tourism professionals from home and abroad. Featuring treasured tourism route recommendations, tourism innovation, tourism negotiation and transactions and discussions about tourism industry development. Through
Fostering Autonomous Learning and Critical Thinking | Phuket News
Nov 19, 2017 Picture:  Who would have thought that a vocational high school in the small city of Miaoli could attract high schools from Japan and Korea to engage in exchanges in Taiwan? Miao-Li A&I develops students’ critical thinking capacities on top of honing their hands-on skills, sparking a revolution in their minds. Whirring sounds emanate and sparks fly from a cutting lathe in the machine workshop at National Miao-Li Agricultural & Industrial Vocational High School. Sweat pours from students wearing protective goggles. In one corner, Swane Bryan, a Canadian student of Jamaican descent, her dyed red hair piled into a bun, runs a saw blade back and forth, practicing cutting iron. She shows no signs of fatigue. “She’s doing a great job considering she’s a beginner,” says her teacher, Mr. Chiu, responsible for one-on-one instruction in English in the machine shop. Bryan, who chose to come to Taiwan...
US Destroyer Damaged by Japanese Tug Boat in Pacific | Phuket News
A U.S. guided missile destroyer sustained minimal damage Saturday when a Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into it during a towing exercise in Sagami Bay off central Japan in the Pacific Ocean. The Navy said in a statement the USS Benfold sustained had scrapes on its side, though no one was injured on either vessel.
Local officials in Khon Kaen alerted to help get rid of New Guinea flatworms | Phuket News
Local administration and community leaders in Khon Kaen province have been instructed by provincial health officials to inform people in their localities about the presence of New Guinea flatworms in the province and to help get rid of them. Chaibancha Hongka, a health official in Kranuan district, said that a report and a picture showing what claimed to be New Guinea flatworms was recently posted in the social media and initial examination confirmed that it was. He added that officials were mobilized to search for the carnivorous invasive worm in order to have them exterminated before it could threaten the environment and kill native species such as earthworms and snails. Mr Chaibancha said officials had taken pictures of the New Guinea flatworms and had them disseminated to local administration officials and community leaders to warn them of the worms so they could help in getting rid of them. The spreading...
Kerry Logistics Named Care & Positive Work Environment of the Year at Supply Chain Asia Awards 2017 | Phuket News
Nov 17, 2017 Picture:  Hong Kong, 17 November 2017 - Kerry Logistics Network Limited ('Kerry Logistics'; Stock Code 636.HK) was named Care & Positive Work Environment of the Year at the Supply Chain Asia Awards 2017 (the 'Awards') in Singapore. Kerry Logistics was commended for its commitment to creating value for its employees through rewarding careers, an embracing workplace and a healthy work-life balance. As the Group continues to expand, it will constantly invest in people development and recruit industry professionals as well as young talents of different cultures to build a winning team. Robert Tan, Managing Director of South and Southeast Asia, Kerry Logistics, said,
Singapore suspends trade ties with North Korea | Phuket News
The move comes about two months after the UN agreed tough new sanctions on Pyongyang....
Indonesia bourse sets record | Phuket News
Most Southeast Asian stock markets soared on Friday, with Indonesia setting a record a day after its central bank held key policy rate unchanged, while Singapore and the Philippines posted strong gains on the back of upbeat regional economic data....
Growth 'vital for Asean success' | Phuket News
Asean has high potential to build up regional prosperity and stability but, to be successful, the regional bloc needs robust internal growth, regional integration, and strong collective leadership, former Singapore premier Goh Chok Tong says....
Robert Gates says a North Korean nuclear warhead will soon be an accepted reality | Phuket News
The former Pentagon chief also says that while China has influence over North Korea,
China slams livestreaming after 'rooftopper' death plunge | Phuket News
BEIJING: A young Chinese climbing enthusiast's fatal fall from a skyscraper while making a selfie video on a $15,000
China Displays Clout at Internet Conference But Some Doubts Remain | Phuket News
China made an impressive display of its clout in the digital economy during a three-day internet conference in Beijing last week by pulling together the participation of U.N. agencies, the World Telecom Union and CEOs of major US based IT companies like Google, Apple and Cisco System. The conference started with a message from Chinese president Xi Jinping who said, “China would never close its doors. They will only be open wider and wider going forward.” But at the same time, Xi and Wang Huning, one of the ruling Communist Party’s seven most powerful men, emphasized the need for “cyber sovereignty,” which allows individual countries to establish cyber boundaries to protect their respective sovereign interests. Xi said that besides benefits, “the internet has also brought many new challenges to the sovereignty, security and development interests of nations across the world.” The Cyber Administration of China, which organized the World Internet...
Is China using social media to infiltrate Germany politics? | Phuket News
Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said some 10,000 German citizens have been targeted in an intelligence operation by Chinese spies, who primarily used the professional networking platform LinkedIn to infiltrate political circles. “Chinese intelligence services are active on networks like LinkenIn and have been trying for a while to extract information […]...
China accuses Australian media of racism and paranoia | Phuket News
China accused Australian media of racism and paranoia in its coverage of the East Asian country on Monday in the latest verbal exchange between Beijing and Canberra about alleged Chinese meddling in Australia. “This type of hysterical paranoia had racist undertones, and is a stain on Australia’s image as a multicultural society,” the People’s Daily newspaper […]...
China denies using social media to infiltrate German politics and business circles | Phuket News
China denied Monday that it has been using social media to infiltrate German politics and business, a day after Germany’s domestic intelligence service had accused Beijing of targeting German citizens using the professional networking platform LinkedIn. “We hope the relevant German organizations, particularly government departments, can speak and act more responsibly, and not do things that are […]...
Maritime hotline hints at warming Tokyo-Beijing ties | Phuket News
Tokyo and Beijing have agreed to introduce a hotline system to prevent accidental clashes in the East China Sea from escalating into more serious confrontations, the latest indication that the two governments are looking to forge a less confrontational relationship.       Critics warn, however, the underlying hostility that has dogged bilateral relations for decades will not […]...
Greens demand law against global warming | Phuket News
A national reform panel on natural resources and the environment is pushing for a draft bill to fight global warming and climate change which is the first of its kind in the country, says a member of the panel and green economist....
Great Place to Work in Greater China Honors 'Best Companies to Work for(R) 2017' at their annual Conference and Awards Ceremony | Phuket News
Dec 10, 2017
Australian senator resigns over links with China | Phuket News
CANBERRA: An influential Australian opposition lawmaker known as
China pledges P1.15 billion in grants for rehabilitation of Marawi | Phuket News
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to provide 150 million renminbi or about P1.15 billion in grants to the Philippines for the rehabilitation and relief of war-torn Marawi City, according to The Manila Times Online Thursday.  The pledge was made during a meeting between Mr Li and President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang on Wednesday. Speaking a joint press conference, Mr Li said China was supportive of the Philippine government’s efforts to fight terrorism. The grant agreement, titled “Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation,” was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Domingue 3 rd and China’s Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziyang in the presence of Duterte and Li. Premier Li expressed confidence that the Philippine government would be able to complete Marawi’s rehabilitation “at very early date.” He also said that the time has come for China and the Philippines to accelerate cooperation. During the meeting with Mr Li, Duterte highlighted...
Illicit wildlife trade uncovered as dozens of Laotian elephants illegally sold to Chinese zoos, filmmaker claims | Phuket News
Dozens of elephants from Laos are being illegally bought by China to be displayed in zoos and safari parks across the country, according to wildlife investigator and filmmaker Karl Ammann. According to Ammann, so-called captive elephants in Laos sell for about £23,000 (US$30,000) before being walked across the border into China by handlers or “mahouts” near the border town of Boten. Thereafter they are transported to receiving facilities, which buy them from the agents for up......
Dozens of Laotian elephants illegally sold to Chinese zoos, filmmaker claims | Phuket News
Dozens of elephants from Laos are being illegally bought by China to be displayed in zoos and safari parks across the country, according to wildlife investigator and filmmaker Karl Ammann. According to Ammann, so-called captive elephants in Laos sell for about £23,000 (US$30,000) before being walked across the border into China by handlers or “mahouts” near the border town of Boten. Thereafter they are transported to receiving facilities, which buy them from the agents for up......
Thai-Myanmar border market hit by floods | Phuket News
Border market in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai was flooded after Mae Sai river overflowed banks and flooded houses and border markets along both sides of the river. The water level in the fast-flowing Mae Sai river overflowed banks following continuous rains that lashed Chiang Rai and several other northern provinces during the past few days and yesterday (July 24). The fast rising water caused concern for local residents living on both banks of the Mae Sai river as they watched the water surging into the Thalor market and the parking area of a duty-free shop in Myanmar’s  Tachileik province. Meanwhile the water level in the Kok river which flows past Chiang Rai town also rose quickly and strongly. The strong current swept away a sand sucking boat of a private firm and boats and pontoon of Chiang Rai Provincial Administration. All were swept and stuck at a water...
Philippines: Nationwide smoking ban starts today, Govt urges public support | Phuket News
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s office is encouraging the public to get behind the nationwide smoking ban that was implemented across the country today, July 23. “This Executive Order is another milestone where the government gives priority to the right to protect public health,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press statement, as reported by Inquirer.net. The nationwide smoking ban in public areas was signed by President Duterte on May 16. “The implementation of this EO is a realization of our dream of a tobacco-free future,” Abella said. “Together, let us give our full cooperation and support to the smoke-free establishments in public and enclosed places.” The new legislation means smoking will be completely banned in places such as educational institutions, hospitals and venues where food is prepared. Indoor areas like elevators and stairwells will also be smoke-free. SEE ALSO: Philippines: Duterte signs order banning smoking in public spaces The order also...
Higher Lao tariffs could doom border market | Phuket News
UTTARADIT: An increase in import duties by Laos could force the closure of the border market in Ban Khok district of this northern province unless Thai authorities step in to help, local traders say....
Rebalancing Malaysia's Economic Growth | Phuket News
Jul 20, 2017 Picture:  Belt and Road investment priorities and boosting the northern states are fuelling expansion of the country’s Special Economic Zones. The development of Malaysia's growing number of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is being shaped by several investment requirements related to the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as by a change in government priorities. As the Malaysian government seeks to diversify the country's economy, it faces three key challenges that all have implications for the SEZ sector. It is keen to rebalance economic growth across the country while looking to nurture innovation in the digital-technology sector. It is also determined to capitalise on new opportunities emerging from the ASEAN integration programme. East Coast Economic Region With inward investment focused almost exclusively on Kuala Lumpur and the southern states of Selangor and Johor, promoting interest in the country's northern regions is considered vital to rebalancing the economic...
Thailand should leave ‘no stone unturned’ after 62 found guilty of trafficking | Phuket News
MORE needs to be done to ensure that human traffickers are brought to justice and Rohingya migrants are protected, rights groups said on Thursday, after a trial in which 62 people were convicted of crimes including trafficking and murder. A Bangkok court convicted the 62, including a general, police officers and provincial officials, on Wednesday at the end of Thailand’s biggest ever human-trafficking trial. The trial began in 2015 after the discovery of more than 30 bodies in shallow graves near the Malaysian border in what authorities said was a jungle camp where traffickers held migrants hostage until relatives paid ransom for their release. The discovery led to more than 100 arrests. Many of the dead were believed to be Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority from Burma, many of whom seek refuge in mostly Muslim Malaysia.  Thailand has not released a full report on the graves or the results of forensic tests....
Thailand: Court hands down 21 guilty verdicts in major trafficking trial | Phuket News
A JUDGE handing down verdicts in Thailand‘s biggest human trafficking trial on Wednesday had announced 21 guilty verdicts by mid-morning from 103 defendants, with judgments expected to last late into the day. Some of those found guilty of trafficking were also convicted for taking part in organised transnational crime, forcible detention leading to death, and of rape. The legal process in handing down verdicts is lengthy in Thailand and it may take hours before the judge reveals the exact sentences for those convicted to a packed Bangkok court. The defendants, which include a Thai army general, police officers, local politicians and Burmese nationals, are accused of smuggling and trafficking migrants on the Thai-Malaysia border. SEE ALSO: Ensure justice in Thailand’s largest-ever human trafficking trial – watchdog  Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the ruling junta, asked Thais not to put the blame for trafficking on military figures, a reference to the army general...
The 2017 US trafficking in persons report: A critique | Phuket News
Ralph Simpson The US State Department recently issued its 2017 edition of the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report). As might be expected, China, with over three million people living in modern slavery, has once again been downgraded to Tier 3 (countries whose governments do not fully comply with minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so), a ranking it held for a single year in 2013.  However, one must ask why China was upgraded from Tier 3 in 2014, and why the downgrade now, for this is by no means clear from the reports for the two years. This one correction aside, it is difficult to find much to compliment about the report and its State Department authors. Among the bewildering decisions: India remains on Tier 2, despite having more slaves that any other country (18 million according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index). Indonesia...
Laos: Decades after America’s ‘secret war’, unexploded bombs still hinder development | Phuket News
MORE than four decades after the last bomb fell from the skies above the remote and landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos, its countryside remains littered with deadly remnants from a conflict which long-ago faded into distant memory for many in the West. For the people of Laos however, the harmful impacts of the Vietnam War continue to reverberate deep into the 21st Century. A covert nine-year US bombing campaign resulted in more than two million tonnes of ordnance being dumped on Laos between 1964 and 1973. This campaign was dubbed the ‘Secret War’, as the raids were conducted without the authorisation of Congress and without the knowledge of the American public. During the onslaught around 30,000 people were killed or injured, and an additional 20,000 civilians have since been maimed by unexploded ordnance (UXO) left behind. Bomb casings stacked at a scrap metal yard in Phonsavan, Laos, March 2011....
Burma: Russian woman jailed for six months for wearing sandals in temple | Phuket News
A RUSSIAN national has been jailed for six months with hard labour for wearing sandals in a Buddhist temple and violating visa rules in Burma (Myanmar). The Myanmar Times reported on Wednesday that having spent a month in jail for entering three temples in the Nyaung-U township near Mandalay, the woman was slammed with another six months behind bars for violating the conditions of her Burmese visa. Authorities said that her sentence was “the minimum punishment” and that visa offences could see people jailed for up to five years. “When she entered the pagoda wearing footwear, all the people including the pagoda trustees told her not to do it,” said an official from the Burmese immigration department. “But she didn’t accept it. She asked for a copy of the law which forbids the footwear inside the pagodas.” The court slapped the woman with a fine of MMK500,000 (US$370), but she...
Pope confirms trip to Burma, Bangladesh amid Rohingya violence | Phuket News
THE VATICAN has officially confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh in November, as violence flares again between Rohingya militants and security forces in Burma’s restive Rakhine State. With Catholic media reporting the rumoured trip for a number of weeks, the Holy See Press Office confirmed on Monday that Francis will visit Burma’s largest city Yangon and its capital Nay Pyi Taw from Nov 27 to 30 before going to Dhaka in Bangladesh from Nov 30 to Dec 2. Pope Francis is a vocal advocate for the rights of Burma’s stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, and will become the first Pontiff in history to travel to the country. SEE ALSO: Burma: Thousands flee Rakhine State amid worst violence in years The announcement came amid renewed violence against the Rohingya, after the militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly unleashed attacks at around 30 police...
Burma: Thousands flee Rakhine State amid worst violence in years | Phuket News
ROHINGYA Muslim and Rakhine Buddhist civilians have fled Rakhine State in the thousands as fighting killed more than 100 people over the weekend – the worst violence to hit the restive northwest of Burma (Myanmar) in five years. The mass escape from the northern part of Rakhine state was triggered by widespread coordinated offensives by Rohingya insurgents wielding sticks, knives and homemade bombs in attacks on Friday on 30 police posts and an army base. The violence occurred just days after release of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State handed down its final report, in which it recommended that Burma improve monitoring of its security forces and hold those accused of human rights abuses accountable. The Dhaka Tribune reported on Monday that hundreds of Rohingya are stranded in “no man’s land” on the Burma-Bangladesh border, as security forces on both sides seek to prevent movement across the border....
Burma: At least 32 dead as Rohingya insurgents stage major attack | Phuket News
MILITANTS in Burma (Myanmar) on Friday staged a major coordinated attack on 24 police posts and an army base in an offensive that left 21 of them dead and another 11 members of security forces killed. The fighting – still going on in some areas – marked a major escalation in a simmering conflict in the northwestern state since last October, when similar attacks prompted a big military sweep beset by allegations of serious rights abuses. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, or “Faith Movement”, which instigated the October attacks, claimed responsibility for the early morning offensive, and warned of more attacks. According to the State Counselor’s Office statement, some 150 men allegedly attacked Infantry Base 552 and an explosive device was used in an attack in Maungdaw, the Irrawaddy reported. The statement said another 150 men allegedly attacked a police station at...
Malaysian censorship laws take a hit after refugee films stifled | Phuket News
FORTIFY RIGHTS has echoed calls from local rights groups for the Malaysian government to repeal the country’s Film Censorship Act, after several films about refugees were censored including one about Rohingya child brides in Malaysia. Activists say the Film Censorship Board (LPF) officials came to the Refugee Festival in Kuala Lumpur late last week, subsequently demanding the partial censorship of Bou, a film about trafficked brides from Burma (Myanmar), and total ban on Kakuma Can Dance about refugee hip hop dancers in Kenya. “This censorship is unconstitutional and violates the rights of the filmmakers,” Fortify Rights executive director Amy Smith said in a statement on Wednesday. SEE ALSO: Humanity before security: The human face of the refugee crisis Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution guarantees Malaysian citizens freedom of speech, assembly and association. Rohingya children recite the Quran at the Madrasah Rahmaniyah managed by the Parents Association of Rohingya in Klang, Malaysia,...
Burma: Insect named after beloved naturalist David Attenborough | Phuket News
A NEWLY-IDENTIFIED, 100-million-year-old species of damselfly discovered in the Kachin State of Burma (Myanmar) has been named after iconic British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Attenborough’s name was chosen for the creature – found preserved in an amber fossil from the mid-Cretaceous period when dinosaurs still roamed the earth – in honour of his recent 90th birthday and because of his passion for dragonflies. “Dragonflies in amber are extremely rare and the recent discoveries by my Chinese colleagues are a new window on the past. It is tradition in taxonomy (the naming of a new species) to contact the person concerned,” said co-author of the study Professor Edmund A. Jarzembowski as quoted by the EurekAlert! science news outlet. SEE ALSO: Two new bird species discovered in Borneo ...
India will deport all Rohingya refugees – govt | Phuket News
THE INDIAN government has declared all of an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims within its borders “illegal” and that it will deport them, regardless of United Nations refugee status. India’s Minister for Home Affairs Kiren Rijuju told parliament last week that local authorities have been directed to identify, arrest and deport “illegal immigrants” including some 14,000 Rohingyas who are officially registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “They are doing it, we can’t stop them from registering. But we are not signatory to the accord on refugees,” said Rijuju as quoted by the Hindustan Times newspaper. The minister, a prominent member of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi’s government, cited India’s limited resources to host refugees and claimed Rohingya migrants pose a national security threat. SEE ALSO: Pope Francis to highlight Rohingya plight in first papal visit to Burma “As far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants. They...
Asean at 50: Region marches towards peace and development, away from human rights | Phuket News
“WE WON’T declare war, we just ask to get our land back,” said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last Friday, providing a window of six days for Lao troops he accused on encroaching on the kingdom’s territory to leave. The very next day, they did. Fifty years ago, prior to the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), this kind of chest beating may well have sparked a full-scale war between Cambodia and its neighbours. “The likelihood of member-states resorting to war or the threat of war to resolve disputes among each other has been reduced to virtually zero,” said A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi, Head of the Asean Studies Program at Jakarta-based thinktank the Habibie Centre. “This is a far cry from the uncertain and distrustful situation that the region was in prior to 1967.” SEE ALSO: Asean Literary Festival celebrates art, free speech and 50 years of regional...
Pope Francis to highlight Rohingya plight in first papal visit to Burma | Phuket News
ACCORDING to Catholic media outlets, Pope Francis will undertake the first papal visit to Burma (Myanmar) in November, where he will focus on promoting the rights of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community. While news of the papal visit has not been officially announced, leaks from sources in the Vatican have confirmed a planned historical visit to Burma and Bangladesh, reported the Union of Catholic Asian News on Monday. The Pope reportedly received a personal invite from Burma’s President Htin Kyaw, a decision which has led to an angry backlash among hardline Buddhist and ultranationalist groups on social media. SEE ALSO: No rights for the Rohingya: Bangladesh PM words will fall upon deaf ears He will visit the capital Naypyidaw to meet with senior government figures before travelling to the country’s largest city Yangon, but will not go to the restive Rakhine State, where most Rohingya live. While Burma and Bangladesh...
Burma: Pope Francis to highlight Rohingya plight in first papal visit | Phuket News
CATHOLIC media outlets are reporting that Pope Francis will undertake the first papal visit to Burma (Myanmar) in November, where he will focus on promoting the rights of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community. While news of the Pope’s visit has not been officially announced, leaks from sources in the Vatican have confirmed a planned the historical visit to Burma and Bangladesh, reported the Union of Catholic Asian News on Monday. The Pope reportedly received a personal invite from Burma’s President Htin Kyaw, a decision which has already caused an angry backlash among hardline Buddhist and ultranationalist groups on social media. SEE ALSO: No rights for the Rohingya: Bangladesh PM words will fall upon deaf ears He will visit the capital Naypyidaw to meet with senior government figures before travelling to the country’s largest city Yangon, but will not go to the restive Rakhine State where a majority of the Rohingya...
Cambodia court considers dissolving opposition party | Phuket News
Half the opposition's MPs have already fled the country, after their leader was charged with treason....
Court expected to dissolve Cambodian opposition today | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: A court ruling due on Thursday is widely expected to see Cambodia's only opposition party in parliament dissolved in the latest move by authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen to remove threats to his power ahead of elections next year....
Cash, Oaths, Holy Water: The Quest by Cambodia's Ruling Party to Identify True Supporters | Phuket News
The ruling Cambodian People's Party has seemingly never had a firmer grip on power.  The CPP dominates government administration, the military and the judiciary, and has eliminated or outlasted all of its political opponents. But its apparent supremacy masks a serious and growing problem: The more control the party exerts, the less certainty it has about whether anyone truly supports it. As it moves to further consolidate its power in the run-up to the July general election, the government is preying on some superstitious segments of the population and manipulating the trust many villages place in local officials. And as this plays out, the government has drawn international concern due to the continued detention of Kem Sokha, the leader of the political opposition, the subsequent flight of opposition leaders, and a crackdown on nongovernmental organizations and media. On Tuesday, after a U.S. delegation met with Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn...
Cambodia opposition braces for dissolution | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian opposition leader said Wednesday that he expects his political party to be dissolved in a Supreme Court ruling this week, a move that would further descend the nation into authoritarianism ahead of next year's general election....
Cambodia former opposition leader announces return | Phuket News
Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy announced his return to politics on Wednesday after resigning as head of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) earlier this year....
Rights group calls for release of two Mother Nature activists | Phuket News
A group of about 20 human rights and environmental organizations have demanded the Cambodian government to release two Mother Nature activists who have been held in pre-trial detention for two months with no trial date scheduled, according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Tuesday (Nov 14). The local and international organizations which include Adhoc, Licadho and Cambodian Centre for Human Rights said in a statement released on Tuesday that the two activists, Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, have been wrongfully detained on spurious charges and are in poor health conditions. Both were arrested on September 13 after they filmed two sand-bearing ships on the open ocean. They were charged with incitement and making unauthorized recordings of a person in “a private place”. The two vessels were about 4 kilometres from a Special Economic Zone belonging to tycoon and CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat. Mother Nature has documented and criticized...
With China in Shadows, Japan Seeks to Advance Economic Power | Phuket News
Japan is stepping up aid and investment in Southeast Asia to help its multinationals do business across the continent while vying with political rival China for long-term influence over smaller neighboring countries. The wealthy Asian nation is helping build a train line near Manila, a seaport in Cambodia and new support for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal following the U.S. withdrawal in January -- to name just three recent offers for Southeast Asia. This week Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits in Manila to meet leaders of 10 association member states. They agreed to enhance a 9-year-old ASEAN-Japan trade agreement. The super-modern Asian nation hopes to secure a hassle-free, land-and-sea transit route as far as Africa, Abe's spokesman Norio Murayama said. Southeast Asia is along the route. Japan, Asia's second largest economy after China, looks to the smaller countries for land, cheap...
Bangladesh scraps rice deal with Cambodia | Phuket News
DHAKA: Bangladesh has cancelled its first-ever deal with Cambodia to import 250,000 tonnes of white rice over a delay in shipments, officials at the state grains buyer said on Tuesday....
Trump Promises ‘Major Statement’ on Trade | Phuket News
President Donald Trump says he will have “a major statement” on trade when he returns to Washington following a 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia. Speaking on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines Monday, Trump said “We’ve made a lot of big progress on trade.” He added that his Asia trip has generated $300 billion “in sales to various companies, including China.” However, he offered no details on the coming trade announcement. His comments came at a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN with the leaders of Japan and Australia. He said the three were discussing trade, North Korea and other subjects. Earlier, as regional leaders gathered at a colorful ceremony to open this year’s ASEAN summit in Manila, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sidestepped the sensitive issue of combating illegal drugs, which he himself had raised. In opening remarks at the plenary session of the 31st summit...
Duterte: Trump Unlikely to Criticize Police Killings of Drug Suspects in Manila | Phuket News
As regional leaders gathered at a colorful ceremony to open this year’s ASEAN summit in Manila, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sidestepped the sensitive issue of combating illegal drugs, which he himself had raised. In opening remarks at the plenary session of the 31st summit of the Association of Southeast Asian leaders Monday, he called illegal drugs a menace that threaten “the very fabric of our society,” without mentioning methods to control the crime. “I apologize for setting the tone of my statement in such a manner, but I only want to emphasize that our meetings for the next two days present an excellent opportunity for us to engage in meaningful discussions on matters of regional and international importance,” Duterte told 17 other heads of state after also mentioning a recent fight against Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines as well as the broader threat of terrorism. Duterte’s war on drugs...
Trump calls North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘short and fat’ | Phuket News
UNITED STATES President Donald Trump lashed out again at North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un via Twitter over the weekend, calling him “short and fat” in an alleged response to Kim calling him “old.” Infamous for lashing out at his enemies on Twitter – particularly North Korea – Trump sent the latest anti-Kim tirade on Saturday during a visit to Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam. Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me
Trump calls North Korean dictator ‘short and fat’ | Phuket News
UNITED STATES President Donald Trump lashed out again at North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un via Twitter over the weekend, calling him “short and fat” in alleged response to Kim calling him “old.” Infamous for lashing out at his enemies on Twitter – particularly North Korea – Trump sent the latest anti-Kim tirade on Saturday during a visit to Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam. Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me
Philippines’ Duterte Sure Trump Won’t Rebuke His Bloody Drug War | Phuket News
Asia experts say they do not expect President Donald Trump to raise human rights issues and concerns about extrajudicial killings when he meets Monday in Manila with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Southeast Asia Looks for Outside Allies Amid Internal Struggles | Phuket News
Senior officials from 10 Southeast Asian countries, including some of the world’s fastest-growing, expect joint progress at summits in the Philippines this week on trade, investment and security with help from major world powers. But analysts say they are unlikely to get too far. Heads of state from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) arrived one by one Sunday for a series of summits in Manila through Tuesday. They came to sign a free-trade agreement with Hong Kong and issue a proclamation on protecting migrant workers. Some will share tips at a forum Monday on how small enterprises can get money to vie with big ones. The leaders are widely expected to endorse efforts toward a denuclearized North Korea and peace in the South China Sea, where four ASEAN members dispute resource-rich tracts of water with Beijing. Separately they may consider a resolution against terrorism and extremism....
Trump in Manila for ASEAN Summits | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump landed in Manila Sunday for summits with eager but suspicious Southeast Asian leaders.   Trump’s Air Force One reached Manila shortly before 6 p.m. local time after about 3,500 Filipino protesters tried to march on the U.S. Embassy. The protesters shouted for Trump to leave and accused the U.S. government, a former Philippine colonizer of about 50 years, of looking for overseas wars. “We know America has been launching war all over the world, in all the third-world countries they are trying to get into,” said protester Kristine Cabardo, 23. “U.S. imperialism in the first place brings only war and destruction.   One protest banner read “Dump Trump — #1 Terrorist!”   Thousands of riot police blocked protesters, who were organized in part by a minor left-leaning political party, from reaching the embassy or any venues where Trump is scheduled to attend summits organized by the Association...
Southeast Asia Look for Outside Allies Amid Internal Struggles | Phuket News
Senior officials from 10 Southeast Asian countries, including some of the world’s fastest-growing, expect joint progress at summits in the Philippines this week on trade, investment and security with help from major world powers. But analysts say they are unlikely to get too far. Heads of state from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) arrived one by one Sunday for a series of summits in Manila through Tuesday. They came to sign a free-trade agreement with Hong Kong and issue a proclamation on protecting migrant workers. Some will share tips at a forum Monday on how small enterprises can get money to vie with big ones. The leaders are widely expected to endorse efforts toward a denuclearized North Korea and peace in the South China Sea, where four ASEAN members dispute resource-rich tracts of water with Beijing. Separately they may consider a resolution against terrorism and extremism....
Trump Arrives in Manila for ASEAN Summits | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump landed in Manila Sunday for summits with eager but suspicious Southeast Asian leaders.   Trump’s Air Force One reached Manila shortly before 6 p.m. local time after about 3,500 Filipino protesters tried to march on the U.S. Embassy. The protesters shouted for Trump to leave and accused the U.S. government, a former Philippine colonizer of about 50 years, of looking for overseas wars. “We know America has been launching war all over the world, in all the third-world countries they are trying to get into,” said protester Kristine Cabardo, 23. “U.S. imperialism in the first place brings only war and destruction.   One protest banner read “Dump Trump — #1 Terrorist!”   Thousands of riot police blocked protesters, who were organized in part by a minor left-leaning political party, from reaching the embassy or any venues where Trump is scheduled to attend summits organized by the Association...
Chinese President Xi makes state visit to Vietnam | Phuket News
HANOI: Vietnam gave Chinese President Xi Jinping the red carpet treatment Sunday at the start of a state visit, as the two communist neighbors try to broaden their economic ties and work on resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea....
As Mount Agung erupts, here’s what you need to know | Phuket News
RESIDENTS and tourists alike wait in anticipation as Mount Agung on Indonesia’s holiday hotspot, Bali, looks set for a serious eruption. The popular tourist island has been on high alert since September after seismic tremors were detected indicating the volcano was coming back to life. Small eruptions began last Tuesday when clouds of smoke and ash were emitted from the mountain’s peak. Since then, the eruptions have been ramping up with local volcanologist fearing a large eruption could be imminent. With over 2,000 tourists stranded at the airport, and its closure extended until at least 7am on Wednesday, people are wondering what’s going on and are they safe? Are people in harm’s way? On Monday, authorities ordered 100,000 residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately. An 8-10 km exclusion zone has been imposed around the summit. At the time of writing (Tuesday 5pm local time) this has not changed....
Experts fear a repeat of Agung devastating eruption in 1963 | Phuket News
Volcano experts and scientists have said that Mount Agung’s recent behavior matches the buildup to the devastating 1963 eruption that left 1,600 people dead and spew enough debris into the sky – about one billion metric tonnes – to lower global temperatures a notch of 0.2-0.3 degree Celsius for about a year, according to The Jakarta Post Online on Tuesday. “What we are seeing at the moment are small explosions, throwing out hot gases and fragments of molten rock, or ash,” said David Pyle, a volcano expert at the University of Oxford. He said the present activity was quite similar to the start of the eruption in 1963, adding that the probability of a large eruption is high, but it may take some days or weeks to unfold. Mark Tingay, a geologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia said the eruption has now moved on to the next, severe...
As Bali volcano leaves travelers stranded, some worry future tourists will stay away | Phuket News
Passengers in Bali's airport were stranded for a second full day as the Mount Agung volcano here continued to spew ash....
North Korean soldier 'defects across DMZ' | Phuket News
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UN: There Are 258 Million International Migrants Today | Phuket News
An estimated 258 million people have left their birth countries and are now living in other nations — an increase of 49 percent since 2000, says a U.N. report on international migration released Monday. The biennial report released on International Migrants Day said the percentage of the world's people who are international migrants has increased modestly from 2.8 percent in 2000 to 3.4 percent this year.   But the report from the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs said the percentage living in high-income countries rose from 9.6 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2017.  
Dramatic Video Shows Escape, Shooting of N. Korean Defector | Phuket News
A North Korean soldier made a desperate dash to freedom in a jeep and then on foot, being shot at least five times as he limped across the border and was rescued by South Korean soldiers, according to dramatic video released by the U.S.-led U.N. Command Wednesday. Colonel Chad G. Carroll, a spokesman for the U.N. Command, told reporters in a live TV briefing that the North violated the armistice agreement ending the Korean War by firing across and physically crossing the border in pursuit of the soldier. North Korean soldiers fired about 40 rounds at the defector, who remained hospitalized after two rounds of surgery. The video shows the soldier speeding down a tree-lined road, past dun-colored fields and shocked North Korean soldiers, who begin to run after him. He crashes the jeep near the line that divides North and South, near the Joint Security Area (JSA) where North...
Watch: Dramatic footage shows escape of North Korean defector | Phuket News
NEWLY released footage shows that North Korean border guards were in hot pursuit behind a soldier who defected by crossing the border into South Korea on Nov 13. As doctors announced on Wednesday that the man had regained consciousness, the UN Command (UNC) in Seoul released CCTV footage of the anonymous soldier being shot at by North Korean border guards. His wounds showed he had been shot five or six times. According to the UNC, North Korea violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement which in-effect ended the Korean War, reported South Korea’s news agency Yonhap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=0fNy_tWYkd4Video can’t be loaded: Dramatic moment North Korean soldier makes mad-dash across DMZ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=0fNy_tWYkd4) SEE ALSO: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: Parasites inside North Korean defector highlight poverty One soldier from the North Korean People’s Army (KPA) crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) for a few seconds during the pursuit said Chad Carroll, Director of...
Asia markets trade higher after US stocks reach record highs | Phuket News
Markets in Australia, South Korea and Japan rose in morning trade, and the dollar fell against a basket of currencies....
Trump administration lists North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism | Phuket News
NORTH KOREA has been reclassified by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move intended to place further pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program and welcomed by Japan and South Korea. President Donald Trump announced the move during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, which he declared “should have happened a long time ago.” “In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump told reporters at the White House. SEE ALSO: Trump calls North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘short and fat’ North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the Sungri Motor Plant, in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on November 21, 2017. Source: KCNA via Reuters “So we strongly welcome that decision and it mirrors the determination of the international community on bringing North Korea back to its senses.”...
‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: Parasites inside North Korean defector highlight poverty | Phuket News
DOCTORS treating the North Korean soldier who was shot by his colleagues while defecting from the isolated country said they found “an enormous number” of parasites in his body. South Korean doctor Lee Cook-jong said the condition of the patient was stable, but the number of worms in his body is contaminating his body and complicating his recovery, the BBC reported. The soldier’s condition is also thought to shed light on life in North Korea. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 years as a physician,” Lee told reporters. “I have only seen something like this in a textbook.” The doctor explained the longest parasitic worm recovered from the unnamed soldier’s body stretched a staggering 27cm long. SEE ALSO: US, South Korea vow for ‘peaceful’ solution to North Korea conflict  The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, may confirm what many experts and previous defectors have...
New sleeping medicine, Etizolam, found in southern border provinces | Phuket News
The Medical Science Department has found for the first time Etizolam, an effective anti-anxiety medicine that is similar to benzodiazepine class of medicines, in three southern border provinces during September and October. Medical Science Department chief Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai said Monday that ten samples of the new sleeping medicine which were seized by police in Narathiwat and Yala provinces were sent to the lab of the Medical Science Centre for tests. Etizolam which is known by its street name as Erimin 5 or Happy 5 was manufactured by Sumitomo in Japan. An intermediate-acting hypnotic drug, it was first synthesized in 1962 by a team of Hoffman La Roche. But since early November 2015, it has ceased to be manufactured in Japan. Erimin 5 was prescribed for the short-term treatment of patients with severe insomnia, but in recent times, patients have been prescribed with other hypnotics like Etizolam. Erimin 5 is...
Xi Tells Duterte China Will Work to Safeguard South China Sea Peace | Phuket News
China will work with Southeast Asian countries to safeguard peace in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping said on Saturday in a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who pledged to handle issues with Beijing in those waters bilaterally. China claims almost the entire strategic waterway through which about $3 trillion worth of goods pass every year, building and militarizing artificial islands. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have conflicting claims there.
Huge Malaysia-bound drug haul made | Phuket News
SONGKHLA: Five members of a suspected transnational drug trafficking gang have been arrested in Hat Yai, with 200,000 speed pills and 81 kiloghrammes of crystal methamphetamine destined for Malaysia seized....
Ministers Reach Deal on Pacific Trade Without US | Phuket News
In a major breakthrough, trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries said they reached a deal Saturday to proceed with the free-trade Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that was in doubt after President Donald Trump abandoned it in January. A statement issued early Saturday said an accord had been reached on
Eco-Tourism off Jiangjun’ao Isle | Phuket News
Nov 10, 2017 Picture:  When the South Penghu Marine National Park was established in late 2014, local fishermen feared for their livelihood due to restrictions on fishing and other conservation measures. Meanwhile, guided snorkeling and scuba-diving excursions are providing new sources of income, putting the area on the eco-tourism map. Straddled between Taiwan proper and the Pescadores Islands (Penghu County) lie the 18 partially inhabited isles of Wang’an Township. From April 2018, day excursions to these scattered, remote isles will become feasible, with scheduled ferry services from Tainan’s Jiangjun fishing port to Dongji Islet taking just 90 minutes one-way. Thanks to abundant marine life, the waters around these far-flung islets are veritable divers’ paradises, while the isles themselves boast quaint, picturesque 300-year-old villages with houses in the traditional Penghu architectural style. There are plenty of pastimes – rowing a canoe, eating a bowl of soup with rabbit fish and...
Singapore suspends trade relations with North Korea | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: The city-state has suspended trade relations with North Korea, the latest of Pyongyang's major trade partners to cut commercial ties under toughening UN sanctions over its weapons programme, a customs notice obtained on Thursday showed....
Singapore welcomes rare blue macaw parrots | Phuket News
Singapore and Brazil are working together to bring two blue macaw species back from near-extinction....
Why we need Greener buildings for healthier workers | Phuket News
When we think about green buildings, we are often interested in aspects like energy consumption and efficient energy usage to minimize the environmental impact. While these are critical elements, we often overlook how green buildings also impact the health, wellbeing and productivity of their occupants. If your workplace is in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, you will probably notice very poor management of air conditioned facilities with employees wearing a sweater of being sick. Studies have linked air conditioning use to increased sickness in office workers and more frequent visits to ear, nose and throat specialists.  While air conditioners cannot account for the lower humidity aspect of the cold-causing viruses, as the New York Times reports, air conditioners can dehydrate the mucous membranes of the nostrils, which could make the nose a more attractive environment for viral reproduction. So perhaps blasting your air conditioner can make your body somewhat more susceptible to infection. Employees spend a majority...
Singapore train hits stationary one, injuring 25 | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: A Singapore train collided with a stationary one, injuring 25 people and dealing another blow to a network that has faced public criticism in recent years for frequent breakdowns....
Hong Kong is the safest country to travel in the world | Phuket News
ASIA-PACIFIC nations managed to nab the three top spots in the world’s safest countries for travel, according to a new ranking by security website Backgroundcheck.org. The American company placed autonomous territory Hong Kong in its top spot, with Singapore and Japan coming in second and third respectively. The metrics used to create the rankings include crime, security, tourism and natural disasters. The full top 10 is below: Hong Kong Singapore Japan Spain United Kingdom France Germany Canada Norway Australia SEE ALSO: Hong Kong has the most sustainable transport system in the world The survey described the Chinese territory as an “East Asian destination where a woman or man can walk any street at any time of day or night without fear.” “With a substantial and well-developed tourist sector, widespread use of English, and a fast, efficient and modern subway system, travelers to Hong Kong will continuously feel at ease,” the report said. Hong...
Russia, India, China affirm partnership against terrorism | Phuket News
THE THREE global powers of China, Russia and India condemned terrorism and reaffirmed their trilateral partnership to combat violent extremism during the 15th meeting of their respective foreign ministers on Monday. Meeting in New Delhi, Russia also pressed India over its lack of support for China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative to build trade and infrastructure links across Asia and Europe, suggesting it find a way to work with Beijing on the project. The powers issued a joint communique which asserted “those committing, organising, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice”, reported The Hindu. It was made clear that the cooperation was not directed at any nation, despite India’s long-standing tensions with neighbouring Pakistan over accusations it supports terrorism. SEE ALSO: Chinese army tells India to learn ‘lessons’ from Doklam standoff A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders...
Union Medical Healthcare Partners with SAIF Accelerate Strategic Layout in China Initiated from Chongqing | Phuket News
Dec 11, 2017 Picture:  (11 December, 2017) Union Medical Healthcare Limited (
Inside China's 'virtue schools' for women | Phuket News
Sam Dastyari: Australian senator to quit after China scrutiny | Phuket News
Sam Dastyari's resignation follows controversy over his dealings with a wealthy Chinese businessman....
Water Pump and Clean Energy Heating Zones debut at the 2018 ISH China & CIHE | Phuket News
Dec 12, 2017 Picture:  HONG KONG --( ASIA TODAY )-- Preparation for ISH China & CIHE 2018 – China International Trade Fair for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Sanitation & Home Comfort Systems is in full swing with 80 percent of the exhibition area already reserved. Organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd and Beijing B&D Tiger Exhibition Co Ltd, the fair continues to gain strong momentum in the industry. The 2018 edition will again utilise all eight halls, occupying over 106,800 sqm of exhibition space, at the New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing from 22 – 24 May 2018. Nearly 1,300 exhibitors will bring together some of the world’s highest quality HVAC products including boilers, wall-hung boilers, radiators, home comfort solutions, floor heating systems and components, control systems, clean energy heating solutions and much more. In 2017, ISH China & CIHE welcomed 61,612 buyers from 43 countries and regions,...
Russia Urges India to Back China's Belt and Road Initiative | Phuket News
Russia threw its weight behind China's massive Belt and Road plan to build trade and transport links across Asia and beyond, suggesting to India on Monday that it find a way to work with Beijing on the signature project. India is strongly opposed to an economic corridor that China is building in Pakistan that runs through disputed Kashmir as part of the Belt and Road initiative. India was the only country that stayed away from a May summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote the plan to build railways, ports and power grids in a modern-day recreation of the Silk Road. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said New Delhi should not let political problems deter it from joining the project, involving billions of dollars of investment, and benefiting from it. Lavrov was speaking in the Indian capital after a three-way meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and...
Duterte says he feels insulted by Canadian PM Trudeau | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he felt insulted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for raising his concern on human rights abuses and drug- related extra-judicial killings in his war on drugs, The Manila Times Online reported on Wednesday (Nov 15). Speaking with the media after the closing of the 31 st Asean Summit and related meetings on Tuesday night, Duterte said he told Trudeau that raising the two issues was “a personal and official insult”. However, he said that he would not explain his policies to foreign countries because he was only responsible to explain his side to his countrymen. “I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult. That is why you hear me throwing down epithets, cursing and saying b***sh**, everything. It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know exactly what is happening in this country. You do not investigate,” said...
Trump Skips East Asia Summit at End of 5-Nation, 12-Day Overseas Trip | Phuket News
With official events running behind schedule in the Philippines, U.S. President Donald Trump decided – at the last minute – to skip attending the East Asia Summit, a key regional strategic dialogue. VOA White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman reports from Manila, the president, however, declared his overall visit to Asia a success....
Philippines: Nationwide public smoking ban to kick off on July 22 | Phuket News
RODRIGO DUTERTE’S government’s ban on smoking in public will be in force across the country as of this Sunday, the Philippines Health Department confirmed last Friday. Government spokesman Dr Eric Tayag has said “implementation will be July 22,” reiterating the Executive Order (EO), signed by the president, on establishing smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces legally takes effect 60 days after its initial publication in newspapers. “The effectivity of the EO is 60 days after publication, not after signing,” he said as quoted by the state Philippine News Agency. On the back of his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs in the Philippines, Duterte is reportedly making good on a campaign promise. The new legislation means smoking will be completely banned in places such as educational institutions, hospitals and venues where food is prepared. Indoor areas like elevators and stairwells will also be smoke-free. SEE ALSO: Philippines: Duterte signs order...
Australia must tackle ‘dire’ situation in human rights talks with Laos – NGOs | Phuket News
SET TO ENTER the fifth round of human rights talks with Laos on Tuesday, civil society groups have called upon the Australian government to criticise a lack of progress regarding basic rights and freedoms in the one-party Southeast Asian nation. The Australia-Laos Human Rights Dialogue is set to be held in the Laotian capital of Vientiane on July 18 and 19, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reports to have received numerous submissions from local civil society organisations. Australia is one of only two countries which has regular bilateral dialogue on human rights issues with the tiny communist state of Laos. Coincidentally, this year the two countries mark 65 years of diplomatic relations. The most recent Dialogue was held in Canberra in 2015. SEE ALSO: ‘Wombs for rent’ business flourishes in communist Laos A statement from the Australian embassy in Vientiane earlier this year highlighted that:...
China keen to make Laos part of chain | Phuket News
Laos's special economic zone is expected to become part of a planned cooperation pact between Thailand and China linking their flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and Kunming SEZ....
Thailand to become ‘medical hub’, new 10 year visa launched | Phuket News
Voice TV quoted a government minister as saying that the medical tourism visa for Asian nationals was being expanded. People from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China would be able to stay in the kingdom for up to 90 days up from a previous 15 – 30 day allowance. Deputy government minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn said that this would bring in more money to the country in what is termed the “Medical Wellness Tourism” sector. He called Thailand a “Medical Hub”. The story also referred to the previously announced ten year visa for nationals from 14 countries including the UK, US, Germany and Japan. To qualify for this people must be over 50, have 3 million baht or earnings of 100,000 baht per month up and sufficient health insurance. They will still have to report every 90 days, said Voice. They mentioned that this visa would include a wife and dependents...
Patients from five Asian countries now eligible for 90-day stay | Phuket News
The government has extended the stay for patients from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), as well as those from China, who come to Thailand for medical treatment from 30 to 90 days, in accordance with its ambitious plan to turn the country into a medical hub....
Thailand Greenlights First Phase of $5.5B Railway Project with China | Phuket News
Thailand's Cabinet on Tuesday approved construction of the first phase of a $5.5-billion railway project to link the industrial eastern seaboard with southern China through landlocked Laos, as part of a regional infrastructure drive by Beijing. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the Thai ruling junta, made use of an executive order last month to pave the way for the project, which has been beset by delays, including negotiations on loan terms. The first phase encompasses six railway stations on a 250-km (155-mile) high-speed line linking the Thai capital of Bangkok and the northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima.
Thailand Greenlights First Phase of $5.5-bln Railway Project with China | Phuket News
Thailand's Cabinet on Tuesday approved construction of the first phase of a $5.5-billion railway project to link the industrial eastern seaboard with southern China through landlocked Laos, as part of a regional infrastructure drive by Beijing. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the Thai ruling junta, made use of an executive order last month to pave the way for the project, which has been beset by delays, including negotiations on loan terms. The first phase encompasses six railway stations on a 250-km (155-mile) high-speed line linking the Thai capital of Bangkok and the northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima.
Despite Winning Freedom, Many Former Fishing Slaves Struggle | Phuket News
On the day they were freed from slavery, the fishermen hugged, high-fived and sprinted through a stinging rain to line up so they wouldn't be left behind. But even as they learned they were going home, some wept at the thought of returning empty-handed and becoming one more mouth to feed. Two years have passed since an Associated Press investigation spurred that dramatic rescue, leading to the release of more than 2,000 men trapped on remote Indonesian islands. The euphoria they first felt during reunions with relatives has long faded. Occasional stories of happiness and opportunity have surfaced, but the men's fight to start over has largely been narrated by shame and struggle. Some of them are lucky to find odd jobs paying pennies an hour in cramped slums and rural villages in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. Others must travel far from home for back-breaking labor. Some suffer night...
Memories of a struggle | Phuket News
Goans remember the day in 1961 when they won freedom from Portugal and joined independent India....
Thailand approves long-delayed US$5.2 billion rail link to China | Phuket News
Thailand’s military government on Tuesday approved US$5.2 billion to build the first stretch of a high-speed railway that will ultimately link Bangkok to southern China, a massive joint infrastructure project with Beijing that has been dogged by delays. The project is part of China’s huge regional infrastructure plan to build a high-speed rail network connecting the southern city of Kunming with Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Construction has already begun in Laos but the......
Asian business set to reap 5 trillion dollars from sustainable development | Phuket News
John Draper Far from costing governments’ and companies’ money to meet the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a major report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC), an alliance of business leaders, economists, trade unionists and civil society actors, details how businesses and governments can actually benefit. Asian businesses stand to obtain five trillion dollars in business opportunities from countries meeting the new ‘Global Goals’. Yet with Thailand only ranking 100th in the 2016 Global Sustainability Competitiveness Index (GSCI), Thai companies may be unable to reap this windfall. Asia is encountering multiple environmental and social burdens, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and transformations in land use. For instance, over 40% of arable land in China and India is now degraded due to local pollution, climate change, or topsoil erosion. And, in the GSCI, Thailand ranks a derisory 153rd in natural capital due to water management problems,...
Rights Group Slams Myanmar's Upper House for Defamation Law Amendment | Phuket News
A leading human rights group is criticizing Myanmar's legislators for backing a new amendment to the telecommunications law, saying the amendment which allows bail for those charged with using online media for defamation does little to bring the law up to international freedom-of-speech standards. On Wednesday, the Upper House passed an amendment to Section 66(D) of the Telecommunication Law of 2013 in a confidential vote. The Lower House is expected to vote on the amendment next week. Phil Robertson, the Asian affairs assistant director of Human Rights Watch, told VOA Burmese that the amendment to allow bail for those accused of defamation is like putting a Band-Aid on a wound gushing blood.
Myanmar Police Detain Journalist Ahead of Defamation Trial | Phuket News
Police in Myanmar have detained a prominent journalist, accusing him of attempting to flee the country shortly before his trial on defamation charges brought by a follower of a Buddhist monk who has stirred up anti-Muslim hatred. The detention of Swe Win, the editor of the nonprofit online news outlet Myanmar Now, is the latest in a recent series of actions against journalists in the country that rights advocates say violate freedom of expression. “Swe Win is a principled journalist with a towering reputation for exposing injustice,” Matthew Smith, head of the group Fortify Rights, said in an emailed statement. “This is yet another feeble attempt to criminalize journalism. Journalism is not a crime.” Swe Win was taken by police on Monday to the central city of Mandalay. His lawyer said he was detained Sunday as he prepared to board a flight to Thailand to make arrangements for the news...
Myanmar Court Agrees to Speed Up Trial of Journalists | Phuket News
A court in northern Myanmar agreed Friday to expedite the trial of three journalists charged with violating a law that provides up to three years' imprisonment for people who assist groups that are deemed illegal. A lawyer for the three journalists, Maung Maung Win, said the court in Hsipaw in northern Shan state agreed to hold sessions every Friday, instead of at intervals of roughly two weeks. He said a bail request has been submitted for the three. The journalists from the Democratic Voice of Burma and The Irrawaddy, both multi-format news services, were arrested June 26 after returning from a drug-burning ceremony organized by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, an ethnic guerrilla group that is fighting the government. Their detention has been sharply criticized as a violation of press freedom.
Burma: UN replaces chairman probing alleged abuses amid perceived bias | Phuket News
THE United Nations’ Human Rights Council has replaced the chairwoman of a team investigating allegations of killings and rape by Burma‘s (Myanmar’s) security forces, it said on Thursday, amid concerns over her perceived bias. Indian Supreme Court advocate Indira Jaising was initially named to chair the fact-finding mission, which has a focus on the western state of Rakhine that is home to the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority. Council president Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli had decided to replace Jaising with Marzuki Darusman, a former attorney-general of Indonesia who has previously conducted rights investigations on North Korea, the council said in a statement from its headquarters in Geneva. Jaising was appointed to lead the panel in May, after a resolution passed by the Human Rights Council in March calling for a team to be sent to look into the abuse claims. The panel’s two other members, Harvard-trained Sri Lankan lawyer Radhika Coomaraswamy and...
Trial of 3 Myanmar Journalists Marred by Lack of Access, Transparency | Phuket News
When the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee visits the country, the government sometimes prevents her from visiting certain locations, normally areas affected by ongoing conflict.  On her most recent trip, her third under the new government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, she wanted to travel to Hsipaw, a hilly town in northern Shan State, to visit three Myanmar journalists being held in the local prison. UN official prevented from meeting with jailed journalists  “However, despite Hsipaw being a tourist destination and frequented by foreigners, I was not allowed to go there,” she told reporters at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon on Friday evening as her trip concluded.  For anyone following the case, the development was not surprising. The high-profile trial of the three reporters, who stand accused of associating with an ethnic armed group in Myanmar, has gotten off to a...
South Korea prepares for arrival of 30 Burmese refugees next week | Phuket News
SOUTH KOREA is expecting to take in a total of 30 Burmese (Myanmar) refugees next week as part of a resettlement programme led by the United Nations, according to a local report. Korea Herald quoted the Justice Ministry as saying the first batch of refugees, comprising 23 Burmese nationals of four families currently placed in a Thailand refugee camp, will touch down at Incheon Airport on Tuesday. The remaining refugees, a family of seven, will land in the country in August. The arrival of the first batch is part of the South Korean government’s three-year pilot project, offering 86 Burmese refugees permanent resettlement in the country. In 2015, South Korea took in 22 Burmese refugees, and another 34 last year. The ministry said the government was assessing the outcome of the pilot project to decide whether to extend the resettlement programme in future. SEE ALSO: Burma: UN probe ‘can only...
US presses Burma to cease military ties with North Korea | Phuket News
BURMA’S military has maintained ties with North Korea, even though the civilian-led government denies any cooperation, and the Trump administration is pressing for a complete break-off of remaining links, current and former US officials said. Washington made its case to Burma’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during a visit to the country this week by the US special envoy for North Korea. US Ambassador Joseph Yun’s trip to Burma underlined continuing US worries over North Korean links that date back to Burma’s decades of military rule, according to a senior State Department official on Friday. “It was an opportunity to message that any engagement with North Korea, particularly military engagement, is counterproductive to trying to end this threat that North Korea poses to the region and to the globe,” the official told Reuters, speaking on...
NGO used state-of-the-art tech to take down Thai general | Phuket News
A THAI non-governmental organisation combating human slavery said it relied on state-of-the-art technology to gather evidence that aided in the conviction of an army general in a human trafficking case described as the country’s biggest to date. Following at least 62 guilty verdicts handed out by a Thai court, including the 27-year prison sentence of Lt. General Manas Kongpaen, the Thailand-based Freeland Foundation on Friday detailed its account of how it helped authorities obtain valuable information that led to charges against 103 suspected traffickers over the last three days. In a statement, Freeland said on the morning on Jan 11, 2015, Thai police stopped five vehicles at a checkpoint on highway 408 in the Hua Sai district in the Southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Found crammed in the trucks were 98 people, all showing signs that they were victims of trafficking. Three drivers fled the scene, while another...
Russia promises to send team to observe Cambodia’s elections next year | Phuket News
Russia has promised to send a team of observers to Cambodia for the national elections next year and will discuss with the Cambodian government over the latter’s request for debt forgiveness, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Tuesday (Nov 14). Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly told Prime Minister Hun Sen during their meeting on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Manila on Sunday that Russian would provide support for Cambodia’s national elections and would send a team of observers to monitor the elections. Hang Puthea, spokesman of the National Election Committee, confirmed Russia’s promise to help in monitoring the elections next year, but both sides are yet to meet to discuss the issue in details. The pledge from Russia came days before the high court of Cambodia will make a decision this week whether to dissolve the opposition CNRP over the treason charge against its leader, KemSokha....
Cambodia's opposition seeks US help amid crackdown | Phuket News
WASHINGTON: Cambodia's leader is destroying a political opposition movement that threatens his three-decade grip on power and he's accusing America of plotting his downfall. An influential opposition figure is in Washington is wondering if she'll get any help at all....
Hun Sen brushes aside international community’s recognition of elections in Cambodia | Phuket News
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has brushed aside calls that the international community must recognize next year’s national elections, saying he didn’t care whether the elections will be recognized or not, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Monday. Addressing a youth event in Phnom Penh on Friday, Hun Sen appeared to be responding to a statement by US Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday that it was “impossible for the US and its allies to recognize the legitimacy” of the 2018 elections if, among other conditions, Cambodia National Rescue Party president KemSokha were not released from prison. “We are determined to adhere to a multi-party democracy with regular elections, and others should not threaten us that they will not recognize the elections,” he said, adding that the only thing he cared about is that of the Cambodian people. He continued, pointing out that there is no law requiring foreign entities...
Cambodian Netizens Face New Risks as Government Tightens Online Controls | Phuket News
In Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest countries, the rapid improvement in internet connectivity and availability of affordable smartphones has been a great leveler. Many of its roughly 15 million urban and rural inhabitants have gained, in a short time, access to mobile internet and social media, which provide relatively free communication and independent, nongovernment sources of information. Some tech-savvy Cambodian activists, like Ngeth Moses, began to harness the internet to foster social change years ago. Ngeth Moses, head of the Media/ICT Unit with the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights in Phnom Penh, has campaigned online through social media platforms for political freedom and human rights causes. Ngeth Moses has also trained dozens of members of NGOs and youth organizations on how to use online campaigning and online expression platforms, such as Open Cyber Talk. In the past year or so, however, the optimism among activists about the...
Hun Sen: Polls don't need international recognition | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday said the 2018 national election result does not require international recognition to be valid -- the latest sign of his determination to hold on to power after almost 33 years in office....
Short-term work contracts set to be phased out in Cambodia | Phuket News
Garment industry employers and unions have met Labour Ministry officials to discuss measures to reduce the use of short-term work contracts in the sector....
Vietnam, US firms sign MoUs during Trump's visit | Phuket News
Vietnamese and US companies on Sunday signed memorandums of understanding on gas development, automobiles, as well as aircraft engine purchase and support during US President Donald Trump's visit to Vietnam....
“Warm and cordial” first brief encounter between Duterte and Trump at Apec sidelines | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump met for the first time for a brief conversation on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Saturday, according to The Manila Times Online on Sunday. Special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go said in a text message that the two leaders told each other “See you tomorrow”. Palace spokesman Harry Roque told reporters in Vietnam that the encounter was short but it was “warm and cordial”. The two leaders will be meeting each other on the sideline of the Asean summit in Manila today (Sunday). Prior to their first meeting, Duter and Trump had talked on the phone at least twice, discussing issues of common concern such as the crisis in the Korean Peninsula. Trump also expressed support for Duterte’s war on drugs which has been heavily criticized at home and abroad....
Trump Touts Benefits of Trade with Vietnam | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is seeking two-way trade with Vietnam that will benefit both countries. After meeting in Hanoi Sunday with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Trump told a joint press conference, “For trade to work, all countries must play by the rules. I am encouraged that Vietnam has recently become the fastest growing export market to the United States. Mr. President, I applaud your efforts to implement economic reforms and increase Vietnam’s trade and investment in all directions. The United States is enthusiastic about reforms that promote economic prosperity for all Vietnamese citizens.” He added, “We just had a great discussion about American goods and services coming into Vietnam. Two-way street. I am confident that American energy, agriculture, financial services, aviation, digital commerce, and defense products are able to meet all of your many commercial needs. And, in fact, not only meet them but what we do...
Trump, Vietnam’s Quang to Discuss Trade, Economic Ties  | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump is meeting Sunday with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to discuss trade and economic ties. Trump arrived to a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Hanoi, and was greeted by children waving U.S. and Vietnamese flags and a military band. On Saturday, he had heaped praise on Vietnam, saying the southeast Asian nation is
Prayut sets out Apec vision | Phuket News
Thailand is gearing up to prepare manpower with the skills to meet the challenges of the digital age through high-quality education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Vietnam yesterday....
TPP trade deal will not impact Rcep: China | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal will not impact prospects for the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (Rcep) pact, China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday....
N. Korea Slams Trump for Trying to Halt Its Nuclear, Missile Programs | Phuket News
North Korea denounced U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday for trying to halt the North's nuclear and missile programs. The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued its first official statement on Trump's trip to Asia, saying it
Trump Touts Vietnam as 'One of the Great Miracles of the World' | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump heaped praise on Vietnam Saturday, saying the southeast Asian nation is
Trump Arrives in Hanoi | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, Saturday evening for a state banquet, followed by a day of meetings with Vietnamese leaders. He has been in Danang, where he attended the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, one of several such events during his five-country Asian tour. At the close of the meeting Saturday, the 21 member nations issued a statement expressing support for free trade and closer regional ties, without any mention of Trump’s “America First” doctrine. WATCH: Leaders of US and China Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths ​Two views on trade On Friday, Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, offered starkly contrasting views of the direction for trade in Asia in separate speeches to regional business leaders Trump told the APEC CEO Summit that he is willing to make bilateral trade agreements with any country in the Indo-Pacific region, but he firmly rejected multinational...
Bali’s Mount Agung volcano forces airport to close for second day | Phuket News
The airport on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali will remain closed for a second day as ash continues to gush from the nearby Mount Agung volcano, an airport spokesman said Tuesday. Ngurah Rai International Airport was closed on Monday after authorities warned that the volcano risked a major eruption at any moment. Read more: Mount Agung volcano […]...
Bali volcano: Mt Agung ash shuts airport for second day | Phuket News
Massive plumes of dark ash reached as high as 3km (2 miles) from the summit of the rumbling volcano....
7th International Conference on Building Resilience to be held in Bangkok November 27-29 | Phuket News
Nov 27, 2017 Bangkok, Thailand --( ASIA TODAY )-- Over 300 international and Thai academics, practitioners, professionals and policymakers are all set to participate in the 7th International Conference on Building Resilience to be held in Bangkok from 27-29 November. The conference focuses on using scientific knowledge to inform policy and practice in disaster risk reduction. Experts from all geographical regions will share state of the art research and discuss how the science community could best support the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which defines the global course of action over the next 15 years. During the consultations and negotiations that led to the finalization of the SFDRR, strong calls were made to develop practical and evidence-based guidance to support implementation, ensure engagement and ownership of action by all stakeholders, and strengthen accountability in disaster risk reduction. For the evidence-based decision and policy making,...
Taiwan's comic book heroes | Phuket News
Hsu Mao-sung explains how he faced censorship working as one of Taiwan's early comic book artists....
US Points Finger at North Korea for Global Cyberattack | Phuket News
The Trump administration is officially accusing North Korea of launching a crippling cyberattack that affected hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe earlier this year.
North Korea may have ICBM capable of reaching US this year, says South Korea | Phuket News
But no sign of an imminent nuclear test has been detected, added South Korea's spy agency....
Doctors shocked by ‘enormous number of parasites’ found in North Korean soldier | Phuket News
DOCTORS treating the North Korean soldier who was shot by his colleagues while defecting from the isolated country said they found ‘an enormous number’ of parasites in his body. South Korean doctor Lee Cook-jong said the condition of the patient was stable, but the number of worms in his body is contaminating his body and complicating his recovery, the BBC reported. The soldier’s condition is also thought to shed light on life in North Korea. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 years as a physician,” Lee told reporters. “I have only seen something like this in a textbook.” The doctor explained the longest parasitic worm recovered from the unnamed soldier’s body stretched a staggering 27cm long. SEE ALSO: US, South Korea vow for ‘peaceful’ solution to North Korea conflict  The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, may confirm what many experts and previous defectors have...
Defector’s Condition Indicates Serious Health Issues in North Korea | Phuket News
Parasitic worms found in a North Korean soldier, critically injured during a desperate defection, highlight nutrition and hygiene problems that experts say have plagued the isolated country for decades. At a briefing Wednesday, lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong displayed photos showing dozens of flesh-colored parasites, including one 27 cm (10.6 in) long, removed from the wounded soldier’s digestive tract during a series of surgeries to save his life. “In my over 20 year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Lee said. The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, may confirm what many experts and previous defectors have described about the food and hygiene situation for many North Koreans. “Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country,” said Choi...
Surgeons Remove Worms, Other Parasites From North Korean Soldier | Phuket News
Surgeons treating a North Korean soldier who was severely wounded by gunfire while escaping to South Korea have removed dozens of parasites from his body, including presumed roundworms as long as 27 centimeters (11 inches), hospital officials said. The soldier, whose name and rank have not been disclosed, defected to South Korea last Monday by driving a military jeep near a line that divides the Koreas and then rushing across it under a barrage of bullets. Hospital officials said Saturday that it was too early to tell whether he will make a recovery. While treating the wounds, surgeons found the large parasites, which may be reflective of poor nutrition and health in North Korea's military, the hospital said. Doctors measured the soldier as being 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) tall, but weighing just 60 kilograms (132 pounds).
2 nabbed as sex ring exposed | Phuket News
Two key suspects -- a Thai woman and a South Korean man -- have been arrested for alleged involvement in a sex trafficking ring which forced Thai women into prostitution in South Korea....
Hospital says N. Korean soldier’s condition stabilizing | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The condition of a North Korean soldier severely wounded by gunfire while escaping to South Korea is gradually improving after two surgeries but it’s too early to tell whether he makes a recovery, hospital officials said Saturday While the soldier’s vital signs are stabilizing, he continues to remain unconscious and […]...
N. Korea Refuses to Negotiate Because of US-S. Korea Drills | Phuket News
North Korea said Friday that it would not hold talks with the United States and South Korea on its nuclear weapons program as long as the two countries continued to hold joint military exercises.
Senior Chinese Envoy in North Korea Amid Chill in Ties | Phuket News
The highest-level Chinese envoy to North Korea in two years arrived in the country's capital on Friday to try to improve relations that have soured over Beijing's tightening of sanctions and expressions of support for U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for more pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Song Tao's official mission is to brief North Korean officials on the outcome of China's ruling Communist Party congress held last month. He is visiting as President Xi Jinping's special envoy, according to Chinese and North Korean state media, but no other details about his itinerary or whether he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been announced. After arriving, Song met with Choe Ryong Hae, a vice chairman of the ruling party and one of the most senior leaders after Kim. The visit is seen as an effort by Xi to explore a new...
Reuters: North Korea Rules Out Negotiations on Nuclear Weapons | Phuket News
North Korea on Friday ruled out negotiations with Washington as long as joint U.S-South Korea military exercises continue, and said that Pyongyang's atomic weapons program would remain as a deterrent against a U.S. nuclear threat. In an interview with Reuters, Han Tae Song, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, brushed off the new sanctions which the Trump administration has said it is preparing, as well as the possibility of North Korea being added to a U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism. South Korea and the United States agreed on Friday to keep working for a peaceful end to the North Korean nuclear crisis, but a U.S. envoy said it was difficult to gauge the reclusive North's intentions as there has been
New political foes Malaysia, N.Korea meet on Buri Ram pitch | Phuket News
BURI RAM: Amid political tension between the two countries, North Korea and Malaysia are about to face each other in a pair of Asian Cup qualifiers in neutral Thailand....
MINISO Accelerates Development in the Vietnam Market, Planning to Open 500 Stores by 2019 | Phuket News
Nov 09, 2017 Picture:  HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- According to data released by Vietnam's General Statistics Bureau, Vietnam's retail market grew by 10.2% over the previous year to $118 billion in 2016. Vietnam ranked the sixth in the list of the world's most attractive retail markets, behind India, China, Malaysia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The huge potential of Vietnam's retail market has attracted many retail brands to develop in, including Japanese designer brand MINISO, which began to further develop in the Vietnamese market this year, for bringing
Badminton megastar Lee Chong Wei’s biopic to smash into cinemas 2018 | Phuket News
LED by mostly first-time actors, the film about the world’s top badminton athlete and his rise to sports superstardom will be released somewhere in 2018. Directed by Malaysian Teng Bee, the film will chronicle the Malaysian athlete’s life from his days as an aspiring young athlete in the Malaysian state of Perak. “It is very humbling to have a movie made about me,” Lee said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. Lee Chong Wei biopic has finished filminghttps://t.co/7Ok3jecDm8 pic.twitter.com/oDCP9IblEu — Azizi Othman (@AziziOthmanMY) November 9, 2017 Lee is one of badminton’s biggest stars, having held the global no. 1 spot from August 2008 until June 2012, the only Malaysian to do so for more than a year. The national hero is also a triple silver medalist at the Olympic Games and four-time champion of the All England Open, the oldest and most prestigious badminton championship in the world....
Malaysia's central bank keeps interest rate steady | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged on Thursday, but raised the possibility it may review monetary accommodation to adapt to improving economic conditions in the country and globally....
Malaysia September factory output misses forecast | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's industrial production in September expanded at a pace well below expectations, as growth slowed across all sectors....
Bangkok second-most visited city in the world after Hong Kong | Phuket News
According to Euromonitor International and its annual Top City Destinations Ranking, covering 100 of the world’s leading cities in terms of international tourist arrivals, Bangkok is the second-most visited city in the world after Hong Kong. According to the report, Hong Kong was the most visited city in the world, benefiting from its strategic location and relationship with China, followed by Bangkok, which has overtaken London in 2015. Bangkok (21.2 million visitors) beat London (19.2 million), which is ranked third followed by Singapore (16.6 million), Macau (15.4 million), Dubai (14.9 million), Paris (14.4 million), New York (12.7 million), Shenzhen (12.6 million) and Kuala Lumpur (12.3 million). Asian cities dominate the global destination rankings thanks to the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism. In 2010, 34 cities from Asia Pacific were present in Euromonitor International’s ranking. This jumped to 41 cities in 2017 and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025....
22nd Asian Television Awards 2017 Nominations Announcement | Phuket News
Nov 08, 2017 Picture:  SINGAPORE, Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The highly anticipated Asian Television Awards returns for the 22nd season, bringing you nominees from the best of Asia's television. Set to take place on 30 November and 1 December 2017, at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, this year's Asian Television Awards sees 267 nominees from 19 Asian countries competing in 42 award categories, including new category -- 'Best Scriptwriting for Web Programme/ Series'. Highlights of award categories this year include 'Best Drama Series', 'Best Comedy Programme', 'Best Entertainment Presenter/Host', 'Best Actor in a Leading Role', 'Best Actress in a Leading Role', 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role', 'Best Actress in a Supporting Role', and 'Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/ Actress'. Best Drama Series Riding on the success of K-pop fever, Korean television receives four nominations in the 'Best Drama Series' category, featuring KBS' Love in the...
British Royals' Visit to India Clouded by Leaked Finances | Phuket News
Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, have begun a two-day visit to the smog-choked Indian capital as leaked documents about his own financial dealings threatened to cloud his trip. The Prince of Wales was meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday night, and planned to visit a school on Thursday. New Delhi is the last stop on the royal couple's 11-day Asian tour, with earlier visits to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Reports by British media in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists indicate the heir to the throne's private estate invested in an offshore carbon credit trading company and then lobbied for two climate change deals to be altered. Nearly 7 million files were leaked from the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby....
Quick Sign Off on TPP Trade Deal Far From Sure at Asia-Pacific Meeting | Phuket News
Continuing disagreements over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal ditched by U.S. President Donald Trump mean 11 remaining members may not be ready to give it a wholehearted go-ahead at a summit this week, officials said on Wednesday. Clear agreement on proceeding without the United States would be a boost for the principle of multilateral free trade pacts over the bilateral deal-making that Trump argues will give a better result for American workers. The TPP is also a counterweight to China's growing regional dominance. Japan has been lobbying hard for agreement on the sidelines of this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam. However, officials from several member states said there was less appetite to move ahead quickly from some members - notably Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia. The pact aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across a bloc whose trade totalled $356 billion last...
Hong Kong is the safest city to travel in the world | Phuket News
ASIA-PACIFIC nations managed to nab the three top spots in the world’s safest countries for travel, according to a new ranking by security website Backgroundcheck.org. The American company placed autonomous territory Hong Kong in its top spot, with Singapore and Japan coming in second and third respectively. The metrics used to create the rankings include crime, security, tourism and natural disasters. The full top 10 is below: Hong Kong Singapore Japan Spain United Kingdom France Germany Canada Norway Australia SEE ALSO: Hong Kong has the most sustainable transport system in the world The survey described the Chinese territory as an “East Asian destination where a woman or man can walk any street at any time of day or night without fear.” “With a substantial and well-developed tourist sector, widespread use of English, and a fast, efficient and modern subway system, travelers to Hong Kong will continuously feel at ease,” the report said. Hong...
Chinese AI Pioneer YITU announces plans to establish R&D Hub in Singapore | Phuket News
Nov 14, 2017 Picture:  Singapore will become the gateway for YITU to expand in the rest of the world SHANGHAI - YITU Technology, a Chinese pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI), announced plans to set up a Research & Development (R&D) Hub in Singapore, bolstering Singapore's AI applications in the area of security and finance. The plans were discussed at a visit to YITU's Shanghai headquarters by officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), where they witnessed YITU's award-winning facial recognition technologies. AI is one of the key frontier technologies that the Singapore Government will harness and build capabilities in, positioning the Smart Nation as a regional focal point for the fast growing industry. When YITU's R&D Hub is established in Singapore, it will be their first R&D Hub outside of China.
DHL announces HK$2.9 billion expansion plan for its Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong | Phuket News
Nov 14, 2017 Picture:  With an expected 50% increase in annual throughput, the expanded Central Asia Hub will further boost the company's global multi-hub strategy HONG KONG, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- DHL Express, the world's leading international express services provider, today announced that it will launch an approximate HK$2.9 billion expansion plan for its Central Asia Hub (CAH), in partnership with Airport Authority Hong Kong. This multi-year expansion brings DHL's commitment for this strategic hub to approximately HK$4.5 billion. The expansion is timely as the CAH has recorded an average 12% year-on-year growth in its shipping volume in the past decade. As one of three global hubs for DHL, the expanded CAH will continue to act as the core hub of the DHL Express global and Asia Pacific regional network, handling more than 40% of its total Asia Pacific shipment volumes. Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express, said:...
Singapore steps up fintech initiatives | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) unveiled a raft of new initiatives on Wednesday to further the city’s push into financial technology, including a project to improve banks’ ability to detect money launderers and others on blacklists, and a tie-up with the Canadian central bank on cross-border payments....
Singapore: Netizens demand live feed from Parliament of ‘multi-million dollar’ ministers | Phuket News
NETIZENS in Singapore have launched a petition to initiate a live video feed of parliamentary sessions to see their highly-paid representatives “do their jobs” amid growing demand for greater transparency and accountability in the tiny rich nation. The online petition created on Change.org, was launched recently in wake of Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat’s remark last week that “the reason why we (Parliament) don’t have a live feed is because this is not in great demand”, Singapore’s The Independent reported. SEE ALSO: One more for Singapore: Port wins Guinness World Record for container image  The petition was set up by netizen Chee Hong Lau, who plans to deliver it to parliament and Leon Perera, the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) of the opposition Worker’s Party who proposed the live feed of the sessions in the House last week. At press time, the petition...
China Touts Anti-Corruption Drive to Promote 'Clean Corridor' With Pakistan | Phuket News
China has stressed the need for Pakistan to guard against “external interferences” and prevent domestic “disturbances” for promoting the construction of massive infrastructure and energy projects under a multi-billion dollar bilateral economic corridor. Visiting Chinese Assistant Minister of International Department Wang Yajun made the remarks Monday while briefing a large audience in Islamabad. Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), more than $62 billion in Chinese investment during the next 15 years will lead to building of a network of roads, rails, communications, special economic zones, and power plants in Pakistan. The corridor aims to provide landlocked western China access to international markets through the southwestern Pakistani Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, while addressing Islamabad’s energy needs and economic development. Beijing considers CPEC as the flagship project of its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “I want to express our strong conviction and determination to press ahead the CPEC to deliver more...
France Offers Chinese Primer in Mastering Wine Industry | Phuket News
After dominating industries like textiles, electronics and mobile phones, powerhouse China is setting its sights on a new sector.  Experts predict that by 2020, the country will rank just behind Spain as the world’s biggest wine market, fueled by both domestic production and foreign imports. That means training Chinese students to cultivate their palates and their business acumen, as Lisa Bryant reports for VOA from Dijon, capital of the eastern Burgundy region....
Russia urges India to line up behind Belt and Road | Phuket News
NEW DELHI: Russia threw its weight behind China's massive Belt and Road plan to build trade and transport links across Asia and beyond, suggesting to India on Monday that it find a way to work with Beijing on the signature project....
How Chinese spies used LinkedIn to snoop on German politicians | Phuket News
More than 10,000 German citizens had been contacted on LinkedIn by fake profiles from China, according to Germany's BfV....
The many dimensions of Chinese influence | Phuket News
One of the biggest questions in current global affairs is how a rising China shapes the world beyond its borders. The scale of China’s rise has had huge impact on the world. Size brings its own natural and inevitable influence: its economic dimension transforms nations from being ‘price-takers’ to being ‘price-makers’ in the international economy and its political dimension carries heft through political and military power. But what kind of influence will China seek, how will it seek it, and to what ends as it gets used to its new found power? These questions were central to the deliberations of the 19th Party Congress and its attempt to define a new and confident role for China in the international community. While the 19th Party Congress received notice most for its elevation of President Xi Jinping in the pantheon of China’s governing Communist Party, what Xi’s report to the Congress said...
Big recall of baby milk products ordered | Phuket News
Britain and China are among the countries affected by the recall of baby milk formula products....
Instant noodle giant aims to boost paltry market share in China with healthy ramen | Phuket News
Japanese instant noodles maker Nissin Foods will sell premium products to more health-conscious Chinese consumers....
Canada's Trudeau Raises Human Rights With Philippines’ Duterte | Phuket News
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he raised the issue of human rights with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose crackdown on illicit drug trafficking has led to the deaths of thousands of people. Trudeau told reporters in Manila Tuesday he
Detained US Basketball Players Returning Home from China | Phuket News
Three American college basketball players detained in China on shoplifting charges are on their way home, after President Donald Trump asked his Chinese counterpart to personally intervene in the case. Trump brought up the matter of the UCLA players in talks with Xi Jinping during his visit to Beijing last week.
Trump Skips East Asia Summit at End of 5-Nation, 12-Day Trip | Phuket News
With official events running behind schedule in the Philippines, U.S. President Donald Trump decided – at the last minute – to skip attending the East Asia Summit, a key regional strategic dialogue. The president, however, declared his overall visit to Asia a success....
Trump Criticized for Failing to Confront Asian Leaders on Human Rights Abuses | Phuket News
Human rights activists are criticizing President Donald Trump for failing to press Asian leaders on rights abuses during his five-nation swing through East Asia. VOA White House correspondent Peter Heinlein reports the issue came to a head during Trump’s final stop in the Philippines....
Trump, At Last Minute, Skips East Asia Summit | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump has, at the last minute, skipped the plenary session of the 18-nation East Asia Summit with events running behind schedule. Trump instead headed to Air Force One to leave the Philippines. The plane lifted off from Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, more than 30 minutes earlier than had been planned. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was called on to stand in for Trump at the summit. White House officials explained that Trump said what he intended to say at the summit during an earlier lunch for leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A major reason for adding an additional day in the Philippines to Trump’s schedule had been to allow him to attend the East Asia Summit, a key regional strategic dialogue. Trump concluded his five-nation, 12-day trip to Asia with no major policy announcements but declared it “a tremendously successful...
Trump in Asia: Trade rules ‘have changed’ under his watch | Phuket News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Wrapping up an Asia tour, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that all countries that trade with the U.S. “know that the rules have changed.” “The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion,” Trump tweeted from Manila, the final stop before he arrives back in Washington later […]...
Trump, Duterte push peaceful resolution of South China Sea row | Phuket News
UNITED STATES President Donald Trump has backed the stance of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to peacefully resolve the South China Sea dispute for the sake of regional stability. The two leaders held their first formal bilateral meeting on Monday in Manila as part of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits themed “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” In a joint statement released Tuesday, the two countries reiterated their commitment to uphold the freedom of navigation and overflight and the exercise of self-restraint over the disputed maritime territory largely claimed by China. SEE ALSO: Trump sparks protests as world leaders gather for Asean summit in Manila Satellite photo shows Chinese-controlled North Island, part of the Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea, on September 29, 2017. Source: Planet Labs/Handout via Reuters Duterte said he had relayed to Xi the concerns of Asean member states...
Duterte calls on close cooperation to combat terrorism and drugs | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (Nov 13) urged his fellow Asean leaders and its dialogue partners to help in tackling terrorism, illicit drugs and in maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asian region, according to The Manila Times Online on Tuesday. In his opening speech for the 31st Asean Summit held at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines in Pasay City, Duterte warned that terrorism and illicit drugs pose a real menace to peace and stability of the region. He said he expected the next two days would provide an excellent opportunity for the Asean leaders and their dialogue partners to engage in meaningful discussion on matters of regional and international importance such as terrorism and violent extremism, citing the siege of Marawi City by the IS-linked Maute terrorists. During the speech, he thanked Asean countries and other world leaders for extending help in the fight against the terrorists...
Migrant worker law triggers regional exodus | Phuket News
Human Rights Watch (HRW) The Thai government should halt enforcement of a new migrant workers’ law that imposes excessive criminal penalties and has caused thousands of migrant workers to flee Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the government enacted the Decree Concerning the Management of Foreign Workers’ Employment on June 23, 2017, tens of thousands of registered and unregistered migrant workers from Cambodia, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam have fled Thailand, fearing arrest and harsh punishment. The new law imposes disproportionate criminal penalties on migrants who work without a permit, mandating up to five years in prison and fines between 2,000 to 100,000 baht (US$60 to US$2,935). “Threatening unregistered migrant workers with long prison terms and large fines will just make it easier for corrupt officials and unscrupulous employers to abuse and exploit them,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Thailand needs laws that protect the rights of migrant workers—not that instill fear and set...
COE prepares training for Chinese engineers in high-speed train project | Phuket News
A team of engineers and architects from the Council of Engineers and the Architects Council of Thailand is scheduled to leave for China end of this month to discuss with the Chinese authorities about holding training sessions for Chinese staff working in the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed train project. The swift move was seen as a progress in the joint venture project followed the recent exercise of Section 44 by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on June 15 that has cleared technical and legal hurdles which delayed the 252-kilometres railway project for several years. Under the June 15 order of the prime minister, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is to hire a Chinese state enterprise to supervise the construction of the railway project.The firm must be certified by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. The firm will oversee the design of the railway infrastructure as well as rail and electrical...
Police in Thailand Say Ivory Trade Crackdown Successful | Phuket News
Efforts by Thailand's government to curb sales of ivory have been successful, following criticism of widespread trafficking in the country, police said Friday. Police announced that since January, officials have seized two elephant tusks and 422 tusk fragments in a single case, while in all of last year they seized 99 tusks and 22 tusk fragments in multiple cases.   Deputy Police Commissioner Gen. Chalermkiat Sriworakhan said the drop in the number of cases showed that strict enforcement had deterred traffickers.   “We have made serious efforts to block elephant ivory from being smuggled into the country and sent on to another country,” Chalermkiat said, referring to past smuggling schemes. Now, “if they do get in the country, we do not let them leave,” he said. “If we are able to block ivory from being smuggled out of the country then we will destroy it,” he said. “We have been...
Police in Thailand Say Ivory Trade Crackdown Is Successful | Phuket News
Efforts by Thailand's government to curb sales of ivory have been successful, following criticism of widespread trafficking in the country, police said Friday. Police announced that since January, officials have seized two elephant tusks and 422 tusk fragments in a single case, while in all of last year they seized 99 tusks and 22 tusk fragments in multiple cases.   Deputy Police Commissioner Gen. Chalermkiat Sriworakhan said the drop in the number of cases showed that strict enforcement had deterred traffickers.   “We have made serious efforts to block elephant ivory from being smuggled into the country and sent on to another country,” Chalermkiat said, referring to past smuggling schemes. Now, “if they do get in the country, we do not let them leave,” he said. “If we are able to block ivory from being smuggled out of the country then we will destroy it,” he said. “We have been...
Announcement issued to ease registration by undocumented migrant workers | Phuket News
The Ministry of Labour has issued a ministerial announcement governing the employment of migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. The announcement which is enforceable as of June 23 until December 31 is in response to the government’s decision to ease the labour problems caused by the alien workers’ decree that seeks harsher penalties against undocumented migrant workers and their employers. Under the announcement, published in the Royal Gazette on July 6, migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar who have a passport, a temporary passport, a travel document or a certificate of identity (CI) with a visa stamp can apply for a work permit with the employment service office in their respective provinces or in Bangkok. Registration fees are 300 baht for a new work permit or extension of a work permit. A new permit is good for up to March 31, 2018. A migrant worker who was granted...
Thai PM Halts Migrant Labor Law After Protests | Phuket News
Thailand’s military government has been forced to set a six month grace period for new migrant labor laws with harsh penalties, after protests and panic among workers and employers. Migrant labor has a crucial place in the Thai economy, with up to 2.7 million workers from neighboring Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia working in fisheries, construction, agriculture, and processing. But a June 23 government decree came with little prior public consultation with workers, trade unions or employers, leading to a rush by workers back to their home countries and crowded bus stations and border checkpoints. The decree, part of Thai efforts to control unregulated labor in the country, set out harsh penalties, including prison terms and penalties on undocumented workers of up to $2,700. A minimum wage for a migrant worker is about $200 a month. Employers were also targeted with fines of more than $23,000 for each illegal worker found...
New Thai Labor Rules Send Migrant Workers Packing for Home | Phuket News
Fearful that Thailand's new labor rules will get them into trouble, tens of thousands of migrant workers are returning to neighboring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, causing hardship to themselves and their Thai employers. Labor regulations that took effect June 23 could give foreign workers without proper permits up to five years in prison, while their employers could face fines of up to 800,000 baht ($23,500). Officials and workers' advocates estimate that roughly 30,000 workers have returned home since the rules took effect. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, under pressure from industries employing the migrants, says he'll institute a 120-day extension of the deadline for worker registration. Thailand has about 2.6 million foreign workers, mostly from its poorer neighbors Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Half are estimated to be working illegally....
Malaysia mulls action against Burma for blocking UN probe on Rohingya abuses | Phuket News
MALAYSIA says it will look into taking action against Burma (Myanmar) over the latter’s refusal to allow investigators from the United Nations to investigate alleged abuse of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority group. The Star quoted Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying the government will seek consultation with its foreign ministry on options for diplomatic action against Burma, which is part of the Asean regional intergovernmental organisation. “I will discuss with Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman. We will look into the latest report of the ongoings in Myanmar (Burma),” he told reporters on Sunday. SEE ALSO: Burma: Govt to refuse entry to UN team probing Rohingya abuses Late last week, the Burmese government refused entry to the UN team planning to conduct a fact-finding mission in Rakhine state, home to the majority of the country’s estimated one million stateless Rohingya. Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the Ministry...
Thailand, China to Sign $5 Billion Rail Infrastructure Agreement | Phuket News
In a major boost to Thailand's transportation infrastructure, the military government is set to sign a more than $5 billion agreement with China for a high-speed rail network. The first stage of the rail, the 252 kilometers from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, is a key step in a line that, once complete, will stretch more than 1,260 kilometers to Kunming, in China's Yunnan province. The next stages will reach the Thai border with Laos.  Analysts see the rail line as an extension of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, expanding regional trade and investment. The project also highlights China's growing regional influence. The agreement, expected to be signed in July, follows almost two years of delays in negotiations, with final details of the contract still to be made public. The deal has also raised widespread criticism of the government's use of powerful clauses in an interim charter. Economic boost for...
Analysts: Thailand Taking Bet on Legalizing Casinos | Phuket News
More than 80 years after Thailand introduced gambling laws, analysts say the nation is betting on legalizing casinos in hopes of boosting tourism and being a player in regional casino development. Gambling in Thailand is officially banned, apart from the state-run lottery and betting on horses at the Bangkok Turf Club; but, illegal betting and underground casinos have proliferated. Visanu Vongsinsirikul, a lecturer in economics at Dhurakij Pandit University, and a specialist in the gaming industry, said a decision on casino gambling is likely after the next general elections, expected in late 2018. “After the election this issue [of the casinos] will be raised again. When the election passes it means the government has the rights of the [electorate]. So the government will dare to make a decision about this. I’m quite sure that Thailand will have a legal casino, they will have in the near future,” Visanu told VOA....
In Suu Kyi's Myanmar, Concern Rises Over Press Freedom | Phuket News
In the old, military-ruled Myanmar, it would not have been a surprising scene: three journalists, bound together in chains, raising shackled hands in unison and speaking out against their repressive government. But this moment, captured on video by a local news organization, the Democratic Voice of Burma, was not from another era. It was recorded Tuesday, and it underscores how little has changed in the Southeast Asian country since the party led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and longtime opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi won elections a year and a half ago. “Just look at these chains. This is what we get for being journalists,” said Lawi Weng, one of three reporters detained by the military on June 26 for covering a drug-burning ceremony organized by an ethnic rebel group in the northeast. “How can we say this is democracy?” Weng asked before entering a police van headed back...
Myanmar Grapples With Legacy of Independence Hero 70 Years After Assassination | Phuket News
Long lines wrapped around the block of downtown Yangon’s historic Secretariat building on Wednesday, with schoolchildren, adults and groups of friends waiting to get a rare glimpse of Myanmar’s history. Closed to the public most of the year, the sprawling red-brick edifice was built by the British and turned over to the Burmese during independence in 1948. But months before, on July 19, 1947, an act of terrible violence occurred within its walls. Political rivals gunned down nine people, including Aung San, the father of future Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Seventy years later the killings are enmeshed in the national psyche. July 19 is “Martyrs’ Day.” But as Myanmar emerges from decades of military rule, the legacy of Aung San is coming in for new scrutiny, with some wondering whether the official version of his life fails to capture a far more complex portrait. “For half a century...
Burma: UN probe ‘can only aggravate’ Rakhine tension, envoys told | Phuket News
BURMESE leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s security adviser told diplomats on Tuesday that a UN mission looking into allegations of rape, torture and killings of Rohingya Muslims would only “aggravate” troubles in the western state of Rakhine. Burma has declined to grant visas to three experts appointed by the United Nations in May to look into allegations of abuses against the powerful armed forces. Last week, the US ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Nikki Haley, called on Myanmar to accept the mission, which was mandated in a Human Rights Council resolution. “We dissociated ourselves from the decision because we found that it was less than constructive,” said National Security Adviser Thaung Tun, speaking to UN officials and diplomats, including US. Ambassador Scot Marciel. The decision of other countries – including China and India – to join Burma in distancing themselves from the resolution was a “principled stand”, Thaung Tun said. “We feel that...
Ensure justice in Thailand’s largest-ever human trafficking trial – watchdog | Phuket News
A HUMAN rights watchdog on Tuesday called on Thailand to ensure justice against traffickers of Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi nationals, ahead of a verdict in a major trafficking trial involving more than 100 defendants that has been beset by allegations of intimidation. Fortify Rights said the Criminal Court Division for Human Trafficking in Bangkok was scheduled to begin delivering verdicts in the country’s largest-ever mass human trafficking trial on Wednesday, July 19. Throughout an unprecedented effort by the Thai authorities to hold human traffickers accountable, Fortify Rights said witnesses, interpreters and police investigators in the cases have been subjected to unchecked threats. The group said it had documented abuses against ethnic Rohingya Muslims detained in closed-door shelters, violating their right to liberty. Some witnesses in the trial also reported being physically abused. SEE ALSO:  Thai govt eyes upgrade in US human trafficking report “This may be the end of an...
Burma: Ultra right-wing monk calls for Suu Kyi’s govt to step down | Phuket News
AN influential Burmese ultranationalist monk has called on the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) government to step down amid the intensifying rift between her administration and the outlawed Ma Ba Tha group. In an 11-minute video posted on Facebook, Ashin Wirathu – popularly known as U Wirathu, made the call following the government’s July 15 deadline for the Ma Ba Tha (Association for Protection of Race and Religion) to remove their signboards, the Irrawaddy reported on Monday. “The NLD government better step down. Don’t touch Ma Ba Tha. Ma Ba Tha is not the opposition, ” U Wirathu was quoted as saying in the video clip. “Ma Ba Tha is protecting the nationality, which the government cannot do.”  “Ma Ba Tha is the association protecting the religion and Sasana. The government is not an expert in that sector. Don’t blame on Ma Ba Tha and make...
Burma: US envoy makes visit, govt insists no links with North Korea | Phuket News
Burma (Myanmar) has no military ties with North Korea, a Burma official said on Monday, as a United States diplomat responsible for North Korea arrived for talks in which he is likely to seek assurances on efforts to isolate it. Ambassador Joseph Yun was set to meet Burma‘s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the military’s commander in chief in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Monday, according to the US Embassy in Yangon. Yun attended a conference in Singapore over the weekend focusing on tension on the Korean peninsula over the North’s unrelenting nuclear and missile programmes. SEE ALSO: UN Security Council members unanimously condemn North Korea missile test Yun’s trip to Asia was announced after North Korea’s test on July 4 of an intercontinental ballistic missile it says can carry a large nuclear warhead. Some experts believe it has the range to reach Alaska. Burma is the only other stop on his trip, pointing to...
Thai jasmine rice named the world’s best rice | Phuket News
Thailand was voted to have the best fragrant rice in the world in the latest global competition held in Macau, China yesterday. The competition, the 9th edition of the World Rice Conference, saw seven counties competing for the world’s best rice title – Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar – entering 21 different rice varieties. Thailand’s Hom Mali (fragrant) rice came out on top, taking home the title of World’s Best Rice to win the world’s title two years in a row. Came second and third are Cambodia and Vietnam. Last year, Thai fragrant from Chiang Mai took home the coveted prize at the eighth edition of the event. Commerce Minister Aphiradee Tantraporn said that award is as an affirmation of Thai rice’s acceptance globally, adding that this will encourage more promotion of Thai fragrant rice. World’s Best Rice took place for the first time in...
Cambodia marks independence from France | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodians on Thursday marked the 64th anniversary of the country's independence from France by releasing doves and balloons into the sky at the Independence Monument in the capital Phnom Penh....
Cambodia PM: '100:1 odds' on dissolution of opposition party | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: The odds of the dissolution of Cambodia's main opposition party now stand at 100 to 1, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday, ahead of a court ruling expected to decide the matter next week....
US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia | Phuket News
The United States has suspended its $2 million funding next year for demining operations in eastern Cambodia as relations between the two countries has deteriorated following Phnom Penh’s repeated criticism of the US in the past several months, according to Phnom Penh Post. Heng Ratana, general director of Cambodia Mine Action Centre, said he received a letter from the Norwegian People’s Aid, Cambodia’s partner in the demining efforts, informing the US decision to stop funding the project in the eastern part of Cambodia, Phnom Penh Post reported on Tuesday (Nov 8). The funding cut follows months of acrimony between the two countries, with Prime Minister Hun Sen repeatedly pointing the fingers at the US for its purported role in an alleged conspiracy to topple his administration. Ratana said he met with State Department officials in July and had subsequently held consultations on the CMAC’s funding for 2018.  At no point,...
US Demining Cut Provokes Cambodia | Phuket News
A U.S. decision to cut funding for a demining program in Cambodia threatens to further worsen a feud between Phnom Penh and Washington. On Tuesday, it emerged through local media reports the U.S. had decided to discontinue annual funding in 2018, worth about $2 million, to clear explosive remnants of war in Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly responded to the surprise decision by declaring he will stump to raise the money, according to a senior Cambodian demining official. No public explanation has been given for the cut, and both the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), the final recipient of the funding, and Norwegian People’s Aid, which administer the money, say they do not know why the funding has been discontinued. CMAC Director General Heng Ratana said he had no warning of any cut to the funding before he received notification Monday about the decision. The money covered the salaries...
US cuts $2m funding to Cambodia's mine removal effort | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: The United States will cut $2 million in funding next year to Cambodia's leading landmine clearance body, the group said on Tuesday, in what it called a bid to silence government criticism about Vietnam War-era bombs dropped by the US....
As election looms, allegations of vote tampering in Malaysia | Phuket News
AN independent poll watchdog is alleging fraud by the country’s Election Commission (EC) after further investigations reveal more army personnel have been registered as voters in military bases that have yet to be completely built. Bersih 2.0, a coalition for free and fair elections, claims that the EC is fully aware of this illegal transfer of army personnel voters to the incomplete army bases, which are all located at seats where the ruling Barisan Nasional leaders had won with only thin majorities in the previous general election. “The EC had actually set up localities for these new camps,” the coalition’s co-chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah, told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. “This means the EC was very much aware of what it’s doing,” Maria said. The coalition said the EC had failed to check whether these army bases are valid locations to register voters in as provided for under...
“Cambodian traffickers almost killed me, now my life is ruined” | Phuket News
After working as a diving instructor, Didier Ruckh joined a company working with the military police in Cambodia to protect the forest against deforestation and stop illegal trafficking of animals. In a mission for 3 years in the Caramones mountains, he did his best to preserve that wonderful natural habitat but it didn’t end well. His job was to patrol, even under heavy rain, every single days and night because the traffickers never stop to try their best to take those precious things out from the forest in order to sell them at the black market. He got into physical confrontation many times even with the local villagers because they didn’t want them to take out their “traffickers friends” to the court. This is how Didier got a lot of unfriendly people around him but kept believing in his mission to preserve and protect this place of paradise. On February 21th...
Trump Leaves APEC, Arrives in Hanoi | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, Saturday evening for a state banquet, followed by a day of meetings with Vietnamese leaders. He has been in Danang, where he attended the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, one of several such events during his five-country Asian tour. At the close of the meeting Saturday, the 21 member nations issued a statement expressing support for free trade and closer regional ties, without any mention of Trump’s “America First” doctrine. WATCH: Leaders of US and China Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths ​Two views on trade On Friday, Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, offered starkly contrasting views of the direction for trade in Asia in separate speeches to regional business leaders Trump told the APEC CEO Summit that he is willing to make bilateral trade agreements with any country in the Indo-Pacific region, but he firmly rejected multinational...
Trump pushes ‘America first’ during tough trade talk in Asia | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump stood before a summit of Asian leaders keen on regional trade pacts and delivered a roaring “America first” message Friday, denouncing China for unfair trade practices just a day after he had heaped praise on President Xi Jinping in Beijing. “We are not going to let the United […]...
Trump Heads for Hanoi, Meetings With Vietnam's Leaders | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump is in Vietnam for a second day of meetings with Asian economic leaders after championing a strong “America first” agenda in an address to regional business leaders. Trump attended the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang on Saturday, one of several summits he is planning to attend during a five-country Asian tour. Later Saturday, he left for Hanoi, the capital, to attend a state banquet before formal meetings Sunday with Vietnam's president and prime minister. The U.S. president attended the summit’s welcome event and gala dinner Friday evening, where he was seen shaking hands and exchanging a few words with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House has said the two leaders may have a brief chat during the summit but are not planning to hold substantive talks. Following the summit, Trump will travel Saturday evening to Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, for a state banquet. WATCH: Leaders of...
Pullout from Pacific Rim trade pact leaves US on sidelines | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a far-reaching Pacific Rim trade pact has scarcely dented the push for freer trade in the region, judging from the frenetic growth of exports of clothing and shoes, cellphones and computers from booming Vietnam. The nation of 95 million is thriving from surging trade […]...
11 Trade ministers reach deal on Pacific trade without US | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — In a major breakthrough, trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries said they reached a deal Saturday to proceed with the free-trade Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that was in doubt after President Donald Trump abandoned it. A statement issued in the early hours Saturday said an accord was reached on “core elements” […]...
US, South Korea Begin Drills in Warning to the North | Phuket News
The United States and South Korea started joint naval exercises Saturday that will involve three U.S. aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea. The four-day drills that began in waters off South Korea’s eastern coast come as President Donald Trump continues a visit to Asia that has been dominated by discussions over the North Korean nuclear threat. The battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will successively enter the exercise area during the drills that run until Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The three carriers will be likely together in the drills around Monday, according to a South Korean military official, who didn’t want to be named, citing office rules. The exercises will also involve 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships. The Aegis technology refers to...
Trump to Meet Asian Leaders at APEC Summit | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump is in Vietnam for a second day of meetings with Asian economic leaders after championing a strong “America first” agenda in an address to regional business leaders. Trump is attending the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang on Saturday, one of several summits he is planning to attend during a five-country Asian tour. The U.S. president attended the summit’s welcome event and gala dinner Friday evening, where he was seen shaking hands and exchanging a few words with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House has said the two leaders may have a brief chat during the summit but are not planning to hold substantive talks. Following the summit, Trump will travel Saturday evening to Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, for a state banquet.   WATCH: Leaders of US and China Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths On Friday, Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping,...
2-way trade plans take ministry flak | Phuket News
DA NANG: Thailand insists on supporting multilateral free trade, despite US President Donald Trump reiterating his America First policy again at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday....
Trump Wishes Happy Birthday to US Marine Corps | Phuket News
United States President Donald Trump on Friday wished a happy birthday to the Marine Corps, honoring its 242nd year in existence.
Highest level of volcano alert in Bali | Phuket News
Bali raised the alert to the highest level and increased the exclusive zone to 10 kilometres radius of Mount Agung as an eruption could be imminent with the volcano belching huge plumes of smoke, according to The Jakarta Post Online on Monday. Senior state volcanologist Gede Suantika said Mount Agung was belching thick grey smoke more than 2-3 milies into the sky early Monday. About 25,000 people living nearby the mountain have already left their homes and evacuated since the volcano first started to spew smoke last Tuesday. However, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho called for people to remain calm. Ask from the volcano has been covering villages nearby volcano and officials have distributed thousands of face masks to local residents. The airport in Denpasar, Bali’s capital, a top holiday destination, has been closed and this has affected tens of thousands of tourists. Also, the airport on Lombok...
Bali Top Level Volcano Alert Sparks Evacuation, Airport Closure | Phuket News
Authorities on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali have raised the volcano alert to the highest level as Mount Agung continues to churn and belch menacing-looking ash and smoke. Officials have extended the danger zone around the rumbling volcano, a move that means as many as 100,000 people need to evacuate. The high level alert also forced officials to close the resort island's airport early Monday, canceling 445 flights and disrupting travel for 59,000 people. Frustrated passengers say they had no prior warning. Reuters reports some stranded travelers in Bali are making the best of the situation and have gone to Mount Agung's observatory post to witness the eruption. Bali is Indonesia's top tourist destination, with its Hindu culture, surf beaches and lush green interior attracting about 5 million visitors a year. Mount Agung began rumbling and sending ash clouds into the sky on Tuesday. Indonesia lies on the Pacific...
Bali volcano: Warning over dangerous mud flows | Phuket News
Volcanic mud flows called lahars - also known as cold lava - have been seen near Bali's Mount Agung....
Bali’s Mount Agung volcano erupts, prompting mass evacuation order | Phuket News
Indonesian authorities on Monday raised the alert level of an erupting volcano in Bali to the highest level, ordering up to 100,000 people within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the crater to evacuate. Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said the alert was raised “in anticipation of the possibility and imminent risk of disaster.” Mount Agung, an active […]...
Thousands stranded as volcano in Indonesia erupts, officials announce highest alert level | Phuket News
Thousands of passengers have been impacted as the airport in Bali was closed following activity from a volcano....
Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes airport | Phuket News
KARANGASEM, Indonesia: Authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people Monday from an expanded danger zone around an erupting volcano on Bali that has forced the island's international airport to close, stranding tens of thousands of travellers....
Indonesia's Bali Raises Volcano Alert to Highest Level | Phuket News
Authorities on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali have raised the volcano alert to the highest level as Mount Agung continues to churn and belch menacing-looking ash and smoke. Officials have ordered all people within 10 kilometers of the mountain to evacuate. But while the activity on Mount Agung looks frightening, the head of Indonesia's geological agency, Kasbani (one name) says he does not expect a major eruption. He says the alert was raised because the volcano began pouring out magma instead of steam and that officials must be
Mount Agung: Bali volcano alert raised to highest level | Phuket News
Fears of an imminent major eruption lead to further evacuations and the island's airport is closed....
SET opens up 3.59 to 1,735.90 | Phuket News
Thai stocks opened up 0.21% at the start of trade this morning....
North Korea rules out negotiations on nuclear weapons | Phuket News
North Korea on Friday ruled out negotiations with Washington as long as joint U.S-South Korea military exercises continue....
Moment quake hit South Korea | Phuket News
The 5.4 magnitude tremor hit the port city of Pohang, and was followed by dozens of aftershocks....
US, South Korea vow for ‘peaceful’ solution to North Korea conflict | Phuket News
BOTH the United States and South Korea declared on Friday they are working towards a “peaceful” resolution to tensions with North Korea, vowing to continue pressuring Kim Jong Un’s regime towards denuclearisation. South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Lee Do-hoon and his American counterpart Joseph Yun met in South Korea on Friday, at the sidelines of an international conference on disarmament co-hosted by the United Nations. “There is no doubt that both of the presidents want to find a peaceful way in regard to North Korea’s nuclear issue. So we discussed them and we agreed the pressure campaign has to be a central element,” said Yun as quoted by South Korea’s state news agency Yonhap. SEE ALSO: Trump calls North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘short and fat’ The high-level meeting came after US President Donald Trump met South Korea’s Moon Jae-in during a bilateral summit...
Chinese Envoy to Head to North Korea, Hopes to Improve Ties | Phuket News
China was preparing Friday to dispatch its highest-level envoy to North Korea in two years in a bid to improve chilly relations, after President Donald Trump last week urged Beijing to use its influence to persuade Pyongyang to cease its nuclear weapons program.   Song Tao will report on the outcomes of China’s ruling Communist Party congress held last month and visit counterparts in his role as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, according to Chinese state media. China has given no other details about his itinerary or said whether he’ll meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.    The visit could be seen as a “starting point to explore new China-North Korea relations,” said Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea expert at South Korea’s Kyungnam University. China initiative  Xi wants to take the initiative on the North Korean nuclear issue to head off further pressure from Washington, Lim said. ...
US, Japan Naval Forces Annual Exercise Seen as Signal to Pyongyang | Phuket News
U.S. and Japanese naval forces have begun their annual bilateral training exercise, seen as a show of force amid North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests. More than 14,000 U.S. personnel are participating in 10 days of drills, which will include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem, USS Chafee and USS Mustin, and a maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron. The exercise in the waters surrounding Okinawa is designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations. It is meant to pressure North Korea and send a strong signal to Pyongyang of America's ability to rapidly mobilize a potent military force. The drills begin as China announced Thursday a
Russia’s Failing WADA Compliance Risks Korea Olympics Ban | Phuket News
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has refused to reinstate Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), declaring it to still be non-compliant with the global sports watchdog’s rules and raising the risk Russian athletes could be banned from the South Korean-hosted Winter Olympics in February 2018. At a meeting in Seoul Thursday, WADA’s Foundation Board approved the recommendation from its Compliance Review Committee, which had said Russian authorities still refuse to acknowledge the findings of a damning July 2016 WADA-commissioned report that found systemic, state-sponsored doping in Russia. Russia also refuses access to test samples in a sealed Moscow anti-doping laboratory and there remain problems of getting access to Russian athletes for testing in some cities, said committee head Jonathan Taylor. WADA declared Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency non-compliant in November 2015 after investigating evidence of a state-sponsored drug program, which was first revealed by German TV ARD a year earlier. WADA mapped out a...
Russia’s Status for 2018 Winter Games at Risk | Phuket News
The World Anti-Doping Agency has refused to lift its suspension of Russia’s anti-doping agency, jeopardizing Russia’s hopes of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. In a decision reached Thursday during its meeting in Seoul, WADA said it was upholding its decision because Russia’s anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, refuses to admit that Moscow conducted a state-sponsored doping program.  The program was uncovered in a report compiled by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren concerning allegations of a scheme to tamper with Russian athlete’s urine samples during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in an attempt to hide doping positives. WADA also demanded that RUSADA allow access to urine samples at its Moscow testing laboratory as a further condition of reinstatement. Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping program at Thursday’s meeting. Zhukov also added that an unconditional acceptance of the McLaren...
South Korea earthquake halts major exam for university entry | Phuket News
The nationwide college entrance exam was postponed after the second strongest quake on record....
Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok : No.1 show in ASEAN region | Phuket News
Nov 07, 2017 Picture:  The fourth edition of Beyond Beauty ASEAN-Bangkok (“BBAB”), held at IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Center, has enjoyed another record-breaking year, with visitor and exhibitor numbers both up significantly on 2016. 13,098 visitors attended the Southeast Asian beauty and cosmetics trade event between 21 and 23 September 2017 – 10% more than last year. A record 664 companies exhibited – up 55% from 2016. BBAB has claimed its place as the leading trade show in this category, in the ASEAN region. This was the most international BBAB ever, with 664 exhibiting companies from 18 countries. 18 international pavilions including China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and USA were present. Polish and French brands exhibited for the first time ever, to get their share of the booming Thailand market. Loy Joon How, General Manager, IMPACT...
Jailed Malaysian opposition leader to undergo surgery | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: The family of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called for the government on Tuesday to guarantee that he will receive required medical treatment without any interference when he undergoes shoulder surgery on Sunday....
As election looms, allegations of vote-tampering arise in Malaysia | Phuket News
AN independent poll watchdog is alleging fraud by the country’s Election Commission (EC) after further investigations reveal more army personnel have been registered as voters in military bases that have yet to be completely built. Bersih 2.0, a coalition for free and fair elections, claims that the EC is fully aware of this illegal transfer of army personnel voters to the incomplete army bases, which are all located at seats where the ruling Barisan Nasional leaders had won with only thin majorities in the previous general election. “The EC had actually set up localities for these new camps,” Bersih 2.0’s co-chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. “This means the EC was very much aware of what it’s doing.” The coalition said the EC had failed to check whether these army bases are valid locations to register voters in as provided for under Regulation 13...
Myanmar workers dumped in plantation to be deported | Phuket News
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: Immigration authorities will send back 29 Myanmar nationals found in a rubber plantation after being abandoned on Monday by the driver supposedly taking them to jobs in Malaysia....
Test of Chinese Vessel in Contested Sea Adds Speed Bump to Diplomacy | Phuket News
China’s announcement of a super-sized reclamation vessel for use in the disputed South China Sea stands to rile much of Asia as well as the U.S. government during a month of meetings among the region's top leaders. Beijing has begun testing Asia’s largest deep-water dredging vessel, the Tian Kun Hao, according to the state-run China Daily’s website Sunday. The report said the140-meter-long vessel can dredge 6,000 cubic meters of land per hour up to 35 meters under the sea floor. The vessel can accelerate the creation of artificial islands, a process that would let it expand control of the South China Sea where most natural features are too small for development. “From a diplomatic angle, it does not transmit a positive message at this moment,” said Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan. “I don’t know why they are doing this, because based on the traditional Chinese...
Malaysia to liberalise bond market | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will liberalise regulation around bond issuance early next year to boost retail participation in the bond and sukuk markets typically dominated by high-net worth individuals and institutional investors, the capital markets regulator said....
Airport video shows N.Korean official with murder suspects | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: A North Korean embassy official and a manager of Air Koryo, the national airline, met suspects wanted for the killing of Kim Jong Nam shortly after the murder, according to video recordings shown at the trial in Kuala Lumpur on Monday....
Policeman testifies that 4 N. Koreans fled after Kim killing | Phuket News
SHAH ALAM, Malaysia (AP) — A police officer testified Monday at the trial of two women accused of killing the half brother of North Korea’s leader that four suspects at large believed to have plotted with the women were North Koreans who fled Malaysia immediately after the assassination. Police investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che […]...
Singapore’s netizens demand parliamentary live feed of ‘multi-million dollar’ ministers | Phuket News
NETIZENS in Singapore have launched a petition to initiate a live video feed of parliamentary sessions to see their highly-paid representatives ‘do their jobs’ amid growing demand for greater transparency and accountability in the tiny rich nation. The online petition created on Change.org, was launched recently in wake of Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information, Chee Hong Tat’s remark last week that “the reason why we (parliament) don’t have a live feed is because this is not in great demand”, Singapore’s The Independent reported. SEE ALSO: One more for Singapore: Port wins Guinness World Record for container image  The petition was set up by netizen Chee Hong Lau, who plans to deliver it to parliament and Leon Perera, the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) of the opposition Worker’s Party who proposed the live feed of the sessions in the House last week. At press time, the petition...
mybitwallet introduces Payment Request feature | Phuket News
Nov 13, 2017 Picture:  Singapore/Tokyo, Nov 11 - JCN Newswire - mybitwallet, a world-wide, online payment services e-wallet, is pleased to announce the availability of a new Payment Request feature for businesses and individual users of the mybitwallet payment service. The new feature offers an easy and convenient way for merchants or other users to request and collect online payments from among mybitwallet account holders and send custom Payment Requests with complete tracking and payment receipts which are automatically sent to both parties with each transaction. The new service is designed for any number of everyday situations. It is for friends or colleagues who simply want to share the expenses of food and drink easily among themselves. It is for borrowers who may wish to repay their debts incrementally, or for service providers who may want to receive monthly or periodic payments. By using this service, anyone with mybitwallet...
Pacific Rim Countries Reach New Trade Deal Without US | Phuket News
Trade ministers of the remaining 11 countries of the expansive Pacific Rim trade pact abandoned by U.S. President Donald Trump reached a deal early Saturday to salvage the agreement without participation by the United States. Previously known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), it now will be known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). “Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership,” the 11 nations said in a statement. Setback for US “It’s a huge setback for the United States,” according to Deborah Elms, executive director of the Singapore-based Asian Trade Center. “If you are an exporter this is deeply damaging.” Elms said that while some large U.S. corporations might find alternative ways, with their global networks and subsidiaries, to take advantage of the CPTPP through their global networks, America’s smaller agricultural...
Hong Kong Optical Fair Attracted 16,000+ Buyers, up 7 per cent | Phuket News
Nov 09, 2017 Picture:  Emerging Markets See Good Growth and High-end Brands Tipped to be Top Sellers 10 November 2017 – The 25th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair closed today. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association, the three-day fair (8-10 November) attracted a record of more than 16,000 buyers from 103 countries and regions, up seven per cent over the previous year. The number of buyers from numerous emerging markets rose significantly, including the Chinese mainland, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Sizable growth in buyers was also recorded from mature markets, such as Singapore, Taiwan, France, the UK and Canada, the number of buyers from Hong Kong also grew. Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, said the results highlight the Optical Fair’s role as a major promotion and sourcing platform for...
Eco Expo Asia 2017 announces record-breaking exhibitor and visitor numbers with an elevated international participation | Phuket News
Dec 11, 2017 Picture:  HONG KONG --( ASIA TODAY )-- The 12th edition of Eco Expo Asia, held from 26 ‒ 29 October 2017 at AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong, concluded with record-breaking numbers. The expo was jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and co-organised by the Environment Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The four-day fair welcomed 335 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, including 16 overseas and local pavilions and group participations. The 2017 edition saw a record number of 14,029 visitors from more than 100 countries and regions, a 4% increase from last year. There was also a noteworthy 30% increase in overseas visitors at the fair which emphasises the strong international status that Hong Kong enjoys as well as Eco Expo Asia’s position as a global platform for the environmental protection industry. Eco Expo...
German intelligence warns of Chinese cyberspying | Phuket News
BERLIN: The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency warned on Sunday that China is using social networks to cultivate lawmakers and other officials as sources....
In Your Face: China’s all-seeing state | Phuket News
China has been building what it calls
Inaugural Yidan Prize Award Ceremony Honors Outstanding Contributions to Education | Phuket News
Dec 10, 2017 Picture:  HONG KONG - (ACN Newswire) - The world's largest education prize, the Yidan Prize laureates accepted the inaugural awards and received gold medals from The Honorable Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, at the Yidan Prize Award Presentation Ceremony held Sunday (12/10) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Each of the laureates will receive HK$30 million (about US$3.87 million) to recognize their distinguished contributions to global education and to help fund their future work. Carol S. Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, received the Yidan Prize for Education Research. Her groundbreaking research on the power of the
German spy agency warns of Chinese Linkedin espionage | Phuket News
Germany's spy agency says China is using the site to gather information on politicians....
Wild elephant attacks a bus | Phuket News
An elephant attacked a bus in southwest China while its driver was inside....
Best Design winners revealed — Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Grand Ceremony | Phuket News
Dec 10, 2017 Picture:  Thursday, December 7th, 2017 - Taipei, Taiwan - Tonight, the Best Design winners were announced at the Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Grand Ceremony, in the spec-tacular Eslite Spectrum Performance Hall, inside Taipei’s historic Songshan Cultural & Creative Park. The 2017 Grand Ceremony featured immersive, interactive art installations by Bito. The iconic Golden Pin trophy was reimagined as a kinetic sculpture at the entrance to the theatre, spinning on a fixed axis. Keng-Ming Liu, Director of Bito (Taiwan’s leading motion design studio), returned as Ceremony Director for a second year. His vision for the 2017 Grand Ceremony, “Hui” (Convergence), places Taiwan at the meeting point of designers from all over the world; connecting designers with the huaren community. The premiere of Bito's Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Opening Film stunned the audience at the ceremony with its abstract, evocative visuals, and deeply affec-tive soundscape. The...
The top minds in global design converge at the Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Forum | Phuket News
Dec 10, 2017 Picture:  Thursday, December 8th, 2017 - Taipei, Taiwan - The Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Forum was held yesterday at the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Performance Hall in Taipei City's Xinyi District, where a panel of presenters representing Europe, Asia, and the U.K. brought forth their ideas on the award ceremony's unifying theme — the concept of “Hui” (Convergence). Introduction to the speakers, hosted by Lulu Hsia Kazuo Tanaka, President of GK Design Group (Japan) Public design & public nature of the design First to the stage was Kazuo Tanaka, CEO of Tokyo's integrated design firm GK Design Group. With Tanaka at the helm, GK has brought together product, graphic, and public space design, and the latter that was the focus of his talk. In designing the sleek, futuristic trains that take passengers from Haneda Airport into the heart of Tokyo, Tanaka re-marks on the project’s core...
In Your Face | Phuket News
China has been building what it calls
Duterte mocks journalists as ‘spies’ during meeting with Trump | Phuket News
PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte has mocked journalists present at his bilateral meeting with United States counterpart Donald Trump as “spies”. The comments were made as the two presidents posed for photos ahead of their closed-door meeting in Manila on Monday, on the sidelines of the 31st Association for Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit. “We will be talking on matters of interest to both the Philippines and – with you around, guys, you’re the spies. Yes, you are. (Laughter.)” said Duterte, as quoted by the White House Press Office, after declining to answer questions from the media. “This is not a press statement.” SEE ALSO: Trump sparks protests as world leaders gather for Asean summit in Manila Trump – whose presidential campaign was defined by open hostility to the news media and labelling negative coverage of himself as “fake news” – laughed along with Duterte. Trump laughs as Duterte shuts down...
Trump wrapping up Asia trip with meetings with US partners | Phuket News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Donald Trump is wrapping up his extensive trip to Asia with an international summit and one-on-one meetings with international partners, including his Philippine host who is overseeing a bloody drug war. Trump was meeting Monday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dining with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ahead […]...
Trump Praises Philippines’ Duterte, Human Rights Take Backseat | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, virtually ignoring discussion of Duterte's human rights record in carrying out thousands of extrajudicial killings in his war against drug suspects. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said human rights “briefly came up in the context of the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs” as Trump met for 40 minutes with Duterte in Manila.   But Duterte spokesman Harry Roque disputed that account, saying, “There was no mention of human rights. There was no mention of extralegal killings. There was only a rather lengthy discussion of the Philippine war on drugs with President Duterte doing most of the explaining.” Rights groups had called on Trump to end his five-nation Asian trip with a statement condemning Duterte’s killing of drug suspects in a far-reaching campaign. Human Rights Watch says that since mid-2016 security forces and “unidentified gunmen” have killed at...
Trump Promises 'Major Statement' Following Asia Trip | Phuket News
In a series of meetings with other Asia-Pacific region leaders Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump discussed security cooperation and deepening trade ties. VOA White House bureau chief Steve Herman reports from Manila, capital of the Philippines, and the last stop on the president’s 5-nation, 12-day Asia trip....
Philippines: Duterte belts out evergreen song under Trump’s ‘orders’ | Phuket News
FIREBRAND President Rodrigo Duterte unveiled his softer side on Sunday evening when he “serenaded” his US counterpart Donald Trump with a popular Filipino love song. According to Rappler, Duterte sang the popular classic “Ikaw” (You) with famous songstress Pilita Corrales during the gala dinner of the 31st Asean Summit. A video of Duterte crooning the number was tweeted by Public Works Undersecretary Karen Jimeno. The 45-second clip saw Duterte saying he did so at Trump’s request. “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited a duet with Ms Pilita Corrales upon the ‘orders’ of the commander in chief of the United States,” Duterte said at the end of the song. SEE ALSO: Duterte offers to host ‘world summit’ on human rights  Trump and Duterte were among 19 leaders at the glittering gala in the Philippines capital ahead of the annual summit. One of the song’s verses, translated from Filipino, begins: “You are the light...
Trump-Duterte: US president hails 'great relationship' | Phuket News
The US president did not raise human rights concerns about the brutal war on drugs in the Philippines....
UN Presses Asia Pacific to Support Migrant Worker Rights, Reform | Phuket News
The United Nations says Asia Pacific countries need to address issues surrounding the rights of migrant workers as international talks move toward a Global Compact on migrant labor. The Global Compact’s rise, with a final agreement set for 2018, was a result of the migrant crisis faced by the European Union with the influx of refugees and migrants from North Africa since 2015. The U.N.’s Special Representative on migrant labor, Louise Arbour, says states can no longer ignore the issues of labor migration in a globalized economy. “It has become increasingly clear that globalization has opened up more opportunities for people to migrate and that it has been in everybody’s interest not to curtail migration, actually, but to facilitate safe, orderly, regular migration,” Arbour told VOA. Arbour, a Canadian lawyer and jurist, is overseeing the international consultations setting the framework for the draft document to be negotiated among U.N. member...
Thailand calls on US to help in anti-trafficking efforts | Phuket News
THAILAND on Wednesday defended its efforts to stop human trafficking after the United States kept it on a trafficking watch list and urged US officials to visit the country and see first hand its efforts. Thailand is a regional center for migrant workers who come from poorer, neighboring countries including Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in search of jobs. Rights groups say millions are vulnerable to abuse, including forced labour, in various Thai sectors including the country’s multi billion dollar seafood industry. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report said Thailand reported more investigations, prosecutions and convictions of trafficking cases but it did not demonstrate “increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period”. It added that Thailand did not “convict officials complicit in trafficking crimes, and official complicity continued to impede anti-trafficking efforts”. “What I want to see is perhaps more cooperation from the US and for them to come to...
Rights Groups Call for International Community to Press Laos on Jailed Activists | Phuket News
Human rights groups say the international community, including the United Nations, needs to press Lao authorities on human rights issues. The calls come amid a string of harsh jail terms handed down by Lao courts against critics of the Communist government. Rights groups point to Laos’ failures in taking “significant steps to remedy” a poor human rights record and tough restrictions on freedom of speech, association and assembly.   Three Lao migrant workers were recently sentenced to jail terms of between 12 and 20 years for comments posted on social media while in Thailand and because they attended a protest outside the Lao Embassy in Bangkok.   The three — two men, Somphone Phimmasone, Soukan Chaithad and a woman, Lodkham Thammavorg — were arrested when they returned to Laos after posting the messages critical of the Laos government on social media in Thailand.   Harsh sentencing The United Nations Human...
Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia torch US$1 billion of seized drugs in massive bonfire ceremonies | Phuket News
Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia torched nearly US$1 billion worth of seized narcotics on Monday, a defiant show of force as police struggle to stem the rising flow of drugs in the region. The burnings, to mark the UN’s world anti-drugs day, follow another year of record seizures of narcotics from the remote borderlands of Myanmar, Laos, southern China and northern Thailand. Myanmar in particular remains one of the world’s great drug-producing nations, a dark legacy of decades of......
Myanmar and Thailand torch US$1 billion of seized drugs mostly produced near Chinese border | Phuket News
Myanmar and Thailand started torching nearly $1 billion worth of seized narcotics on Monday, a defiant show of force as law enforcement struggles to stem the rising flow of drugs in the region. The burnings, to mark world anti-drugs day, follow another year of record seizures of narcotics from the remote borderlands of Myanmar, Laos, southern China and northern Thailand. Myanmar remains one of the world’s great drug producing nations, a dark legacy of decades civil war in its frontier......
Human Trafficking a Hidden Toll of Indonesian Fisheries Wars | Phuket News
Indonesia’s eye-catching moves to secure its fisheries under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo are, on one hand, an extension of the resource nationalism that has touched nearly every industry, from mining to palm oil, in the island nation. But the fisheries battle is not just about natural resources. It’s also about human resources, namely trafficking and labor abuse of fishermen from Indonesia and neighboring countries. Because the fishing industry in Southeast Asia is lightly regulated, exact numbers of victims are hard to come by. But there are signs that it is huge. A single 2016 investigation by the Associated Press discovered 4,000 fishermen, from Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand, who were being trafficked in Indonesia’s Maluku islands. A different investigation, also from 2016, by the International Organization for Migration, spoke to more than 1,100 trafficking victims in Indonesia. “The men labor under conditions more reminiscent of the 11th century than the 21st,”...
New Thai human rights commission organic law a no brainer | Phuket News
John Draper The ongoing debate on the organic law on the new Thai National Human Rights Commission focuses on the selection process and level of authority of the NHRC, i.e., whether it can advise the Constitutional and Administrative Courts. The regime’s official position is that the NHRC should be more diverse and should meet the international human rights Paris Principles, a somewhat paradoxical position given it was under the regime that the NHRC was downgraded according to the Paris Principles. Civil society also emphasizes greater diversity and that there should be a stronger emphasis on the NHRC investigating human rights abuses. The solution is simple: according to the Human Rights Risk Index 2016 (Fourth Quarter) report, Denmark is the best performing country in the world. Denmark also scores high on other civil liberties and freedoms indices, for instance ranking fourth in the world in the Human Freedom Index 2016,...
Thais in Laos fined for spreading Buddhism | Phuket News
UTTARADIT - Ten Thai nationals have been released after being fined 15,000 baht each by Lao authorities for spreading the Buddhist faith and setting up a branch monastery in a village, local authorities said....
Consultation process has cleared Pak Beng dam in Laos | Phuket News
Construction of the controversial Pak Beng dam in Laos is to start now that the consultation process concluded on Monday, despite demands from local and international civil society groups for a day of the construction until the release of an environmental assessment report from the Mekong River Commission due later this year. The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Thursday that the MRC’s joint committee met on Monday to formally conclude the consultation process. The conclusion of the consultation process came just days after environmental group International Rivers said there were still significant outstanding concerns regarding the quality of studies and information relied on during the Prior Consultation to assess environmental and social impacts on the Mekong River. Cambodia’s NGO Forum also expressed similar concern at a meeting in Phnom Penh last week. A representative of the MRC secretariat said in an email on Wednesday that the committee could have...
Gang of rogue former cops wanted for car thefts | Phuket News
KHON KAEN - Police in the Northeast are hunting a gang of rogue former cops stealing vehicles for resale either locally or in Laos....
DDC Director General opens activities to mark ASEAN Dengue Day 2017 | Phuket News
Director-General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) Jessada Chokdamrongsuk presided over the opening of a campaign against dengue to mark ASEAN Dengue Day 2017 under the “United Fight against Dengue” slogan at Plabai plaza in Krabi province. The objective of this year’s ASEAN Dengue Day is to promote public-private collaboration to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes. According to a recent survey, there are more than 69,000 dengue patients in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The death toll was 57. Thailand recorded a total of 11,000 dengue patients with the death toll of 21 people during January to May this year. The DDC Director General urged the public to keep their houses clean and make sure that there are no dark corners where mosquitoes can take shelter. He also suggested the general public to cover water containers in and around the house with lids, in order to eliminate the...
Burma: Rohingya villagers tell media of abuses during army crackdown | Phuket News
ROHINGYA Muslim women lined up to tell reporters of missing husbands, mothers and sons on Saturday, as international media were escorted for the first time to a village in Myanmar‘s northern Rakhine state affected by violence since October. “My son is not a terrorist. He was arrested while doing farm work,” said one young mother, Sarbeda. She had bustled her way — an infant in her arms — through several other women telling reporters their husbands had been arrested on false grounds. In November, Burma‘s army swept through villages where stateless Rohingya Muslims live in the area of Maungdaw. Some 75,000 people fled across the nearby border to Bangladesh, according to the United Nations. UN investigators who interviewed refugees said allegations of gang rape, torture, arson and killings by security forces in the operation were likely crimes against humanity. Burma’s government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied most...
Burma vows ‘no restrictions’, escorts media to restive Rakhine | Phuket News
BURMA pledged on Wednesday “no restrictions” on journalists visiting the troubled state of Rakhine this week, in the first official trip to include foreign reporters to mostly Rohingya Muslim villages affected by violence since October. Eighteen Burmese nationals and foreigners representing international media, including Reuters, arrived in the state capital of Sittwe on Wednesday ahead of a government-escorted visit to the northern areas of Buthidaung and Maungdaw, where most residents are stateless Rohingyas. “There are no restrictions regarding the areas that you can report from,” said Thet Swe, a director at the Ministry of Information’s News and Periodicals Enterprise. “We didn’t arrange any ‘for show’ places for news reporting,” he said. SEE ALSO: Burma must ‘fully cooperate’ in UN inquiry on crimes against Rohingya – US  Last year, Burma‘s army unleashed a crackdown in the area after Rohingya militants attacked posts near the Bangladesh border, killing nine police officers. Some 75,000 people fled...
Burma: Villagers allegedly ‘trapped’ during land grab operation for Thilawa project | Phuket News
LOCAL police and Thilawa town officials have erected a wall around the homes of 39 families in the port town, purportedly as part of an “aggressive” land confiscation operation for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, a rights group claimed on Wednesday. According to the Washington-based Earth Rights International (ERI), local administrators came with 150 policemen, prisoner trucks and the Fire Department last month to construct the wall across land the families are said to still own. The villagers, intimidated by the sheer size of the delegation of enforcers, did not dare protest the construction. The wall, however, effectively cuts these families off from their surrounding areas. The group said the families, whose livelihoods depend heavily on farming, are “trapped” as they are fenced. The wall reportedly prevents them from cultivating the land they traditionally use for farming, even as farming season approaches. SEE ALSO: Burma: Coal plan sparks ire as...
Burma: Coal plan sparks ire as govt struggles to keep lights on | Phuket News
OPPOSITION to a planned US$3 billion coal-fired power plant in eastern Burma (Myanmar) is highlighting the challenges facing Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in crafting a coherent energy policy in one of Asia’s poorest and most electricity-starved countries. With only a third of the country’s 60 million people connected to the grid and major cities experiencing blackouts, finding investors is tough for Burma and it is now looking at options, from coal to deep-sea gas, to boost its power supply. Burma has reserves of natural gas, but most existing offshore production is exported under agreements struck during the junta era, while new blocks will not come on stream for some years. Coal would be one of the quickest ways to ramp up power generation but, as protests against the proposed 1,280 megawatts (MW) project in the eastern Kayin state show, the option is unpopular in Burma. SEE ALSO: Starvation hits Burma’s Rakhine state as food...
Burma must ‘fully cooperate’ in UN inquiry on crimes against Rohingya – US | Phuket News
THE United States on Monday called on Burma (Myanmar) to allow a United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Burma‘s Rakhine state. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council established the inquiry in March, but Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Burma‘s civilian government and also its foreign minister, has rejected the allegations and opposes the mission. A Burmese official said on June 30 that the country would refuse entry to the U.N. investigators. The US ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Nikki Haley, said, “It is important that the Burmese government allow this fact-finding mission to do its job.” “The international community cannot overlook what is happening in Burma – we must stand together and call on the government to fully cooperate with this fact-finding mission,” she said in a statement.  SEE ALSO: Starvation hits Burma’s Rakhine state...
US Urges Myanmar to Allow UN Inquiry Into Crimes Against Rohingya | Phuket News
The United States on Monday called on Myanmar to allow a United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council established the inquiry in March, but Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar's civilian government and also its foreign minister, has rejected the allegations and opposes the mission. A Myanmar official said on June 30 that the country would refuse entry to the U.N. investigators. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Nikki Haley, said,
Starvation hits Burma’s Rakhine state as food supplies dwindle | Phuket News
SEVERE food shortages are intensifying an already insecure and vulnerable part of Burma (Myanmar), leading to a worsening humanitarian plight for its predominantly Rohingya population. According to a new report by World Food Program (WFP), starvation, malnutrition, and a desperate lack of access to food is plaguing the restive Rakhine State. The current food vacuum has left over 225,000 in search for a diminishing amount of food that is left. The heavy food shortage is taking place in Rakhine State’s northern Maungdaw and Buthiduang, locations known for bursts of violence, driven by a tumultuous ethnic tension that has proven unstable. The zone is heavily controlled by the presence of an authoritarian security force, Tatmadaw, known for restricting and persecuting the 90 percent majority populace of ethnic Rohingya. Famine is an exasperating new element in the region; a component that will undoubtedly affect the social crisis that already afflicts the area. While...
Burma: Govt to take action against banned Ma Ba Tha offshoot – minister | Phuket News
AUTHORITIES in Burma (Myanmar) have vowed to take action against any attempts by the outlawed Ma Ba Tha group following the hardline Buddhist association’s move to rebrand itself to circumvent the government-imposed ban. Religious Affairs Minister Thura Aung Ko said this in response to the formation of the Buddha Dhamma Parahita Foundation, signalling mounting tensions between the democratically elected government and the influential ultra-nationalist group linked to incidences of hate speech and religious violence with the country’s minorities. “The State Sangha committee (government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist monks) has announced the illegality of Ma Ba Tha as a whole group or as an individual member,” Aung Ko was quoted by Myanmar Now on Friday. The minister said the formation of the newly-formed foundation was a “trick” by the dissolved Ma Ba Tha, also known as the Committee to Protect Race and Religion, to reform itself under a different name. Although...
Burma: Govt mulls change to law seen as violating free speech – Suu Kyi | Phuket News
BURMA (Myanmar) is considering amendments to a law that human rights monitors say violates free speech and has been used to jail journalists and activists, leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Thursday. Following a recent spate of arrests of reporters, the United States and the European Union have raised concern that despite Burma electing its first civilian government in about half a century, its media face increasing curbs. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has a majority in parliament – and many of its lawmakers are former political prisoners – but the party has not until now prioritised repealing laws that previous governments used to quash dissent. “About 66(d), the legislature is considering amendments to that particular law,” Suu Kyi told a news conference, referring to a broadly worded clause of the Telecommunications Law that prohibits use of the telecoms network to “extort, threaten, obstruct, defame, disturb, inappropriately influence or intimidate”....
Chinese airlines eye Cambodian market | Phuket News
Three more Chinese airlines will enter the aviation market in Cambodia in the near future, with the number of routes connecting Chinese and Cambodian cities also expected to rise, according to an industry insider....
10 southern provinces warned of heavy and very heavy rain today until tomorrow | Phuket News
Depression Damrey has covered Cambodia with its epi-centre about 150 km northeast of Phnom Penh at about 4 am today (Nov 5) and it is now moving westward at a speed of 20 km/h and is expected to weaken into low pressure cell, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. The department also warned people in 10 southern provinces to brace for heavy and very heavy rain from today until Monday as a result of low pressure cell which is covering the lower part of the South. This may case flash flood and river orverflows, it added. The 10 provinces facing torrential rain are Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phetthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Krabi, Trang and Satun. The Weatherman also warned fishermen and sailors to exercise caution when venturing out to the sea, predicting waves about 2-3 metres high in Gulf as well as the Andaman Sea. People living on...
Angkor ticket revenue up 71% | Phuket News
Ticket sales revenue at Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia rose 71.5% year-on-year to US$84 million in the first 10 months of this year, reflecting the 85% rise in daily admission fees....
Khmer fighters ‘Come out to Play’ in Bangkok | Phuket News
Full Metal Dojo 15: ‘Come out to Play’ is set for the Insanity Nightclub in Bangkok this evening with Meas Meul and Tharoth Sam flying the flag for Cambodia at Southeast Asia’s most exciting mixed martial arts promotion....
Facebook Faceplants in Cambodia | Phuket News
A trial change to the Facebook news feed in Cambodia and other small countries is stirring criticism of the U.S. tech giant, which champions interconnectivity and openness, but is famously opaque when it comes to how its own product makes critical decisions about information sharing. Their rollout of dramatic trial changes to the news feed in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia in mid October has been handled no differently - with rattled content producers still unaware even of if or when it will end. The only real source of information is a blog post from the head of their news feed - Adam Mosseri, with the company declining media requests for a two-way dialogue to date. “We always listen to our community about ways we might improve News Feed,” he said in the post late last month lamenting misconceptions some had about the experiment - which was dropped...
Cambodia urges Thais to sign trade deal | Phuket News
Cambodian officials have asked their Thai counterparts to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cross-border trade as soon as possible to avoid complications for transportation companies when new Thai regulations on cross-border trade comes into effect in mid-November....
Cambodia’s ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business report further slips | Phuket News
Starting a business in Cambodia remains a tough challenge as the country has slipped further down the World Bank’s Doing Business report for the second year in a row, ranking 135 out of a total of 190 countries, according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Thursday. Cambodia dropped four places in the index – or eight places in the past two years – due to lack of much-needed reforms despite boasts by Cambodian officials of relatively liberal foreign investment regime. The report shows that the Cambodian government has not made a single positive or measurable reform over the past year. It shows that starting a business remains a challenge with the kingdom ranking 183 – the worst in the region –in the category due to burdensome startup procedure. The average time to complete all the steps necessary to legally start a business is 99 days. Another tough spot for...
Cambodia Beer signs advertising deal with Manchester City FC | Phuket News
Khmer Beverages Ltd, producer of Cambodia Beer, has recently signed an advertising deal with Manchester City FC to advertise its products on advertising boards during the English Premier League club’s matches, according to the Phnom Penh Post Online on Wednesday (Nov 1). The three-year renewable deal marks one of the first times a Cambodian product will be pitched on the international stage. Logo of Cambodia Beer will now scroll on the advertising boards for Manchester City’s matches while Cambodia Beer can use the club’s footballers to brand its products, said ImSothearith, director of communications of Khmer Beverages Ltd on Tuesday. “This is a new trend for people to see Cambodia’s products displayed on the international stage, and will be a source for national pride, said the director, adding “this is the first time ever that a Cambodia brand will be displayed in one of the most-watched sports leagues in the...
Dazzling Man City disappearing into the distance | Phuket News
LONDON: Manchester City soared above the fog swirling round the Etihad Stadium to demolish Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 and leave the rest of the Premier League peering into the distance in search of Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team on Saturday....
Japan to Send Largest Warship to US Military Exercise Near Korean Peninsula | Phuket News
Japan announced Friday it would send its largest warship to join three U.S. aircraft carriers in exercises in waters near the Korean Peninsula, a display of military force meant to pressure North Korea as U.S. President Donald Trump attends an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.
White House: Trump, Putin Shake Hands at APEC Summit but No Sidelines Talk | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shook hands and exchanged a few words Friday at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit dinner in Vietnam. The brief encounter came after the White House attempted Friday to put to rest speculation that Trump might hold talks with Putin on the sidelines of the summit. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two leaders may have a brief chat, but will have no substantive talks.
Leaders of US and China Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths | Phuket News
The leaders of the United States and China offered starkly contrasting views of the direction for trade in Asia in separate speeches to regional business leaders Friday. VOA White House bureau chief Steve Herman reports from Da Nang in Vietnam....
Trump Marks Veterans Day in Vietnam | Phuket News
President Donald Trump marked his first Veterans Day in office saluting American veterans in Vietnam, home to one of the most polarizing conflicts in U.S. history.   Trump on Friday traveled to Danang, Vietnam, site of an American air base during the war, and met with seven vets who had returned to the country where they lost comrades.   Thanking the veterans, Trump said:
Apec summit: Trump and Xi offer competing visions for trade | Phuket News
The US and Chinese presidents lay out competing views for global trade at a summit in Vietnam....
First lady Melania plays tourist as Trump departs Beijing | Phuket News
BEIJING: As US President Donald Trump left Beijing on Friday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, first lady Melania stayed behind to play tourist, viewing pandas at a zoo and visiting the Great Wall of China....
Trump’s APEC speech emphasises ‘America first’ | Phuket News
UNITED STATES President Donald Trump’s speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit has talked tough on trade and North Korea, again reiterating his administration’s ‘America first’ agenda on the world stage. Speaking in Danang, Vietnam on Friday, Trump praised an “Indo-Pacific dream” and said that the United States was happy to see its “old friend in the region” flourish economically in recent decades, describing economic development in Asia as “nothing short of miraculous”. Nevertheless, Trump repeatedly emphasised his ‘America first’ trade policy, insisting that the US had been unfairly treated by other players in the global economy. SEE ALSO: World’s most powerful men want ‘win-win cooperation’ over North Korea, trade https://t.co/CcKCtRQ99M — Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 6, 2017 “Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organisation,” said Trump, blaming his predecessors for inaction. “From this day forward, we will compete on a fair...
Trump: 'US will not be taken advantage of any more' | Phuket News
US President Donald Trump criticises the current trade imbalance between the US and Asian countries at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam....
Trump: 'US will not be taken advantage of anymore' | Phuket News
US President Donald Trump criticises the current trade imbalance between the US and Asian countries at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam....
No Trump-Putin Talks on APEC Summit Sidelines, White House Says | Phuket News
The White House Friday attempted to put to rest speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump might hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific economic summit in Vietnam. Both presidents are attending the summit, and may have a brief chat, but will have no substantive talks, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides,” Sanders said in a statement issued to reporters. “There is no formal meeting or anything scheduled for them. The statement did, however, hold open the possibility that the two leaders might have an informal conversation while they are both in Danang for the summit proceedings. “They’re going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say...
Thousands of Tourists Stranded as Bali Volcano Spews Ash | Phuket News
A volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali sent plumes of smoke and steam thousands of meters into the air Sunday for the third day in a week, triggering flight disruptions and leaving thousands of tourists stranded. Indonesian and regional authorities heightened flight warnings around Bali’s Mount Agung on Sunday as the volcano’s eruptions sent a plume of volcanic ash and steam more than 6,000 meters into the skies. The airport on the neighboring Lombok island was closed but Ngurah Rai, Bali's main airport, remained open. Flight cancellations stranded roughly 7,000 domestic and international passengers, according to the airport's latest report. Senior volcanologist Gede Suantika asked residents in the local community to stay calm.  About 25,000 people have already been evacuated from the slopes of Mount Agung to shelters.
Airlines get 'Red Warning' over Bali volcano | Phuket News
JAKARTA: The Mount Agung volcano on Bali erupted with greater force Sunday, prompting some airlines to cancel flights to and from the popular resort island and forcing an international airport on a nearby resort island to close, according to local officials....
Thais planning travel to Bali are asked to register with Thai embassy in light of volcano eruption | Phuket News
The Thai Embassy in Jakarta has asked all Thais who want to visit Bali to register with the embassy or make online registration due to volcano eruption in the famous tourist destination. The embassy posted a statement in its Facebook page saying that Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali erupted on Saturday evening and three times on Sunday, spewing volcanic ash 4,000 metres into the sky. The Indonesian government has declared high alert and banned anyone to get within 7.5 kilometre radius of the volcano whereas airlines have been issued a “red warning” about the danger of volcanic ash in the sky close to Bali. Although the main airport in Denpasar, capital of Bali, remains operation as normal, some airlines have cancelled flights. Ash cloud is reportedly drifting over Lombok island, prompting the closure of the main international airport there.   The post Thais planning travel to Bali are asked...
Bali's erupting volcano raises air travel warnings | Phuket News
DENPASAR: Indonesian and regional authorities heightened flight warnings around Bali's Mount Agung on Sunday as the volcano's eruptions sent a plume of volcanic ash and steam more than 6,000 metres into the skies above the popular holiday island....
Bali's Mount Agung sent a thick plume of smoke 4,000m (13,100 feet) into the sky. | Phuket News
Some flights were cancelled after Bali's Mount Agung emitted a thick plume of smoke which reached 4,000m (13,100 feet)....
Mount Agung: Bali volcano activity prompts 'red warning' | Phuket News
It emphasises the danger of volcanic ash in the skies after Mount Agung emits a huge plume of smoke....
PAT urged to hurry Laem Chabang refit | Phuket News
Deputy Transport Minister Pailin Chuchottaworn has urged the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) to expedite its expansion plans for Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri, to keep up with Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiatives next year....
Robots 'are here to give us a promotion,' not take away jobs, says research firm | Phuket News
By 2020, AI will generate 2.3 million jobs, exceeding the 1.8 million that it will remove, Gartner said in a report....
South Korea quake was second-strongest on record | Phuket News
In an unprecedented step, authorities have delayed the all-important nationwide college entrance exam....
S. Korea to deport US man for trying to cross to North Korea | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Wednesday it will deport an American man detained for allegedly attempting to cross the mine-strewn border into North Korea. South Korean soldiers caught the man, about 59 and from Louisiana, entering a civilian-controlled area just south of the 4-kilometer (2 1/2-mile) -wide Demilitarized Zone without a special […]...
South Korea Rattled by Rare 5.4-Magnitude Quake | Phuket News
A rare earthquake of magnitude 5.4 rattled South Korea on Wednesday, its second most powerful quake on record, shaking buildings but causing no major damage or injuries. The quake struck about 9 km (5 miles) north of the southeastern port city of Pohang, the Korea Meteorological Administration said in a news briefing. Tremors were felt across the country but operations at nuclear reactors were not affected, the state-run nuclear operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co said in a statement. South Korea has relatively little seismic activity, compared with Japan to the east. Its strongest quake on record was magnitude 5.8 in September last year....
China Sends Special Envoy to North Korea | Phuket News
China is sending a special envoy to North Korea later this week. The official Xinhua news agency says Song Tao, the head of China's Communist Party's external affairs department, will leave for North Korea on Friday to discuss China's recently concluded national congress with North Korean officials. The report gave no further details about Song's upcoming trip to Pyongyang. China is North Korea's largest trading partner and closest diplomatic ally, but relations between the two have become frayed recently. Beijing is upset with Pyongyang over the regime's continued tests of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, in defiance of numerous international sanctions, and has backed a series of new United Nations sanctions imposed on the North. U.S. President Donald Trump urged China and other regional leaders to increase their efforts to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula during his just-concluded five-nation, 12-day trip to Asia. But China fears that...
5.4 quake in southeast South Korea causes some minor damage | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook South Korea’s southeastern coastal region Wednesday afternoon, breaking some windows and crumbling walls near the epicenter. No casualties were reported. The quake was centered off the coast about 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles) northwest of the port city of Pohang, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. […]...
Quake shakes southeast South Korea | Phuket News
SEOUL: A 5.4-magnitude earthquake shook South Korea's southeastern coast on Wednesday afternoon, but no casualties were reported. People evacuated buildings near the epicentre and the shaking was felt in Seoul....
Thai woman murdered in South Korea back at home today | Phuket News
The body of a 29-year-old Thai woman from Nakhon Ratchasima province who was murdered in South Korea early this month was flown to Bangkok early Wednesday morning amid tears of her family. Ms Chutima or Ple Uthaikham who lived in Ban Sa Krok in Nong Bua Sa-ard sub-district of Bua Yai district was flown home on Thai Airways’ Flight TG 657 from Soul. Her father Samrit Ploenjitcharoen was also on the flight from South Korea. He flew to South Korea to identify his daughter and produced official documents to the Korean authorities to secure her body back home for funeral. Samrit said on arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport that there was no new development in connection with the motive of the murder. The South Korean police said only that the murderer is mentally deranged. No details of the arrest of the murderer was revealed, he said. But earlier report said the...
Malaysia: Climate change behind Penang’s devastating floods | Phuket News
MALAYSIAN authorities are taking steps to help the thousands of people in its northeastern states of Penang and Kedah who have been hit by one of the worst floods in its history, the country’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Jaafar said today, adding that climate change is one of the causes for the abnormal downpour. At least 7 have been reported dead and thousands have been affected by floods that have submerged cars, damaged buildings and uprooted trees last weekend. Heavy monsoon rains exacerbated by the effects of climate change have caused water levels to rise up to 2.7m, the minister said. “It all ties up to climate change. The warmer the Earth is, the more water it absorbs. This means the heavier rain,” Wan Junaidi said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. “Climate change is real. Thousands of scientists believe in it, only a...
Leadership for the 21st Century : Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT) | Phuket News
In 2004, Chandran Nair founded the Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT) in Hong Kong, an independent think-tank whose executive education programmes have reached more than 1,500 executives in 15 countries. Mr Nair authored several books, including Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet, The Other Hundred and, in 2015, The Other Hundred Entrepreneurs, and is a sought-after speaker for his work on sustainable development. How did you develop the idea for GIFT? I was intrigued by the many changes taking place in the world, yet there wasn’t a general “Asian narrative.” I felt that with the rise of Asia, there needed to be one that was pertinent and relevant to the challenges.Much of the discourse that was taught in schools was through the lens of the West. I thought that this was totally irrelevant to our world, and wanted to set something up that started to bring...
Thai shuttler Nitchaon wins World Grand Prix title in Germany | Phuket News
Thailand’s woman shuttler Nitchaon Jindapol finally beat her Malaysian foe Zhang Beiwen in the Bitburder Badminton Open 2017 finals in Saarbrucken on Sunday (Nov 5). Nitchaon, the world’s No 15, defeated the world’s No 12 Zhang of Malaysia 21-17, 15-21, 21-19 to return to her second World Grand Prix Gold title in four years. The Thai shuttler was engaged in a neck-and-neck duel with her old foe before she narrowly won in 69 minutes with a repertoire of shots. The 26-year-old Nitchaon from Phuket won her first World Grand Prix title here in 2013. Last year she also reached the final but lost to He Bingjiao of China 11-21 18-21. Nitchaon played Zhang Beiwen four times in the past but the Malaysian player led her 3-1 in their lifetime record. Yesterday, Thailand’s women doubles also won the Japanese shuttlers in the final. Second seeded Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai beat...
Heavy Rain, High Winds Force Malaysians to Flee | Phuket News
Military forces were deployed Sunday to help thousands of displaced people in Malaysia’s northern state of Penang, officials said, as floodwater rose from more than 24 hours of incessant rain. At least 2,000 people had been evacuated and 80 percent of the state was hit by typhoonlike winds and heavy rain, chief minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement. He said floodwater had risen to 3-4 meters (10-12 feet). Lim also warned in a Facebook post that more rain was expected and advised residents to stay at home. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the National Security Council was coordinating with police and the military to assist flood victims after a request for assistance from Penang. Hundreds of trees were toppled and roads were submerged, leaving many areas practically paralyzed, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported. At least two people had been killed, it said. “We remain fearful that...
Three killed, thousands displaced by floods in Malaysia's Penang | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Military forces were deployed on Sunday to help thousands of displaced people in Malaysia's northern state of Penang, officials said, as floodwater rose from more than 24 hours of incessant rain....
Five killed, thousands displaced by floods in Malaysia's Penang | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Military forces were deployed on Sunday to help thousands of displaced people in Malaysia's northern state of Penang, officials said, as floodwater rose from more than 24 hours of incessant rain....
Thailand beats Malaysia to retain Asean futsal championship | Phuket News
The Thai men’s futsal team successfully clinched the Asean futsal championship for the 13th time by coming from behind to beat Malaysia 4-3 in an extra time in the championship match at Pu Tho Stadium in Vietnam on Nov 3. In the championship match, Thailand, the defending champion, met Malaysia, which beat Vietnam 5-1 in the semi-final. Thailand earlier beat Malaysis 6-3 in a group match. In the championship match, it was Malaysia that made a good start, leading Thailand with a score of 2-0. In the 12th minute, Thailand followed to 2-1 with a goal from Anachot Sosawaeng. The score at half-time was 2-1. In the second half, Malaysia advanced with another goal by Muhammad Awaluddin Hasan, leading Thailand with the score of 3-1. Thailand made it 3-2 in the 27th minute when Sorasak Poonjangreed sent the ball for Muhammad Osamanmusa to beat the Malaysian goal keeper. In the 31st...
Boeing Signs Deal to Sell 300 Planes Worth $37 Billion to China | Phuket News
Boeing Co said it signed an agreement on Thursday to sell 300 planes to China Aviation Supplies Holding Company worth $37 billion at list prices, one of several deals announced during a state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing. General Electric Co said it had signed jet engine deals worth $2.5 billion and a $1 billion agreement for power plant equipment and services. State-run China Aviation Supplies, which leases planes to Chinese airlines, said the Boeing agreement covered 260 B-737s and 40 B-777s and B-787s. The breakdown between firm orders and non-binding commitments was not immediately available. Analysts said, however, that some of the orders may be among more than 300 from undisclosed buyers posted this year, and it was not clear how much of the China deal was new business. The new agreement also may overlap substantially with a similar, 300-plane agreement Boeing signed during Chinese President...
“New Guinea flatworm” found at many spots in country | Phuket News
A large number of users of the social media have sent their information on and images of the “New Guinea flatworm” to siamensis.org Facebook page from many parts of the country including Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Chon Buri, Loei, Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok. The reports of the spotting of the flatworm happened after the Thailand Biodiversity Conservation Group confirmed on its website siamensis.org that New Guinea flatworms have been found in Thailand. New Guinea flatworm is native to New Guinea and Northern Australia. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this species as one of the World’s 100 Worst Invasive Alien Species. According to Nonn Panitvong, of siamensis.org, one of the group’s members found the flatworm eating a snail in his house in Lam Lukka district of Pathum Thani on Oct 31. It was promptly identified as New Guinea Flatworm by the expert. On Nov 6, Siamensis posted the report on its...
Singapore detains two for 'terrorism-related' activities | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: The city-state said on Thursday it has detained a Singaporean man and a woman for affiliations to radical Islamist groups under the country's tough security law that allows for detention without trial....
Datacloud Asia 2018 appoints Industry Luminaries to Lead Awards Judging Panel | Phuket News
Nov 09, 2017 Picture:  Award Categories to Showcase Data Center Services, Energy, Innovation and the Above and Beyond LONDON / SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - Two revered data center executives have been appointed to lead the judging panel for the Datacloud Asia 2018 awards. Joshua Au, Head of Data Center, A*STAR, joins as Chairman, and Billy Lee Kok Chi, Advisor and formerly Founding Chairman of the Malaysian Data Center Association, as Vice Chairman. With an extended panel of Judges, the Datacloud Asia Awards for 2018 aims to be globally relevant and give recognition to the most innovative companies and people in the sector. The Awards ceremony, which includes a gala dinner, will be held on the evening of 22nd March at the prestigious Capella Hotel in Singapore.
MUFG seeks to buy 40% of Bank Danamon from Temasek | Phuket News
TOKYO/SINGAPORE: The core unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is looking to buy a 40% stake in Bank Danamon Indonesia for around 200 billion yen (58 billion baht), a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday....
Best Asian countries to live in if you’re a woman | Phuket News
THE Philippines is home to paradise beaches, a deadly war on drugs and Islamic militants in its south. It’s also the best Asian country to live in if you’re a woman. A new report from the World Economic Forum has found the Southeast Asian country to be the most gender-equal country in Asia in its annual Global Gender Gap Index. The index ranks 144 countries based on how they perform in four “pillars”: economic participation and opportunity, education, political empowerment, and health and survival. It uses data from the world’s most respected institutions, like the International Labour Organization, the UN Development Program and the World Health Organization, as well as WEF’s own perceptions survey. On health, it looks at the sex ratio at birth and how both genders fare in terms of years loss to disease and disability. In education, literacy gaps as well as primary, secondary and tertiary enrolments, are considered. SEE...
Guotai Junan International Wins International Award Honor Receives Gold Award of The Asset Corporate Awards 2017 | Phuket News
Nov 08, 2017 Picture:  [8 November 2017, Hong Kong] Guotai Junan International Holdings Limited (with its subsidiaries, as
China Is Now Making Some of the Most Powerful Guns on the Planet | Phuket News
China’s People’s Liberation Army has traditionally relied on foreign and Communist bloc weapons manufactured in China under license—or not. China’s first modern, locally designed and produced assault rifle is the QBZ-95, currently standard issue across the People’s Liberation Army and China’s internal security force, the People’s Armed Police. Like the rest of China’s military revolution over the past quarter century, its small-arms revolution is a remarkable achievement. Now, however, as the PLA undergoes an unprecedented modernization, a new generation of locally designed and manufactured light weaponry is arming China’s armed forces, from handguns to light machine guns. China’s first modern, locally designed and produced assault rifle is the QBZ-95, currently standard issue across the People’s Liberation Army and China’s internal security force, the People’s Armed Police. The weapon first entered Chinese service in the mid-1990s. The QBZ-95​ is a so-called “bullpup” rifle, meaning the trigger and fire-control group are placed...
China looks to nuclear option to ease winter heating woes | Phuket News
China is looking to deploy nuclear power to provide reliable winter heating, raising public safety concerns....
Embracing controversy | Phuket News
The teenagers were found to have engaged in an
In the Land of Gandhi, journalists are still a prime target for murder | Phuket News
FOR more than one reason, India remains a hazardous place for journalists irrespective of who is in power in the national or provincial capitals. Around five media workers are killed annually and that has not been improved for decades. The vibrant media fraternity of India observed an unusual Gandhi Jayanti last month as scores of scribes across the country organised protest demonstrations in different locations with the sole demand of ensuring safety, security and justice for working journalists. The reason behind demonstrating anger on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on Oct 2 was ongoing violence against the journalists in different forms in the world’s largest democracy. Different press clubs, media bodies and civil society organisations formed human chains, symbolic protests and also took out processions in support of the demand. SEE ALSO: Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists Protest against murder of gauri lankesh at sangrur, Punjab...
Fourth Generation of India’s Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty Takes Charge of Congress Party | Phuket News
A fourth generation of India’s powerful Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty came to the helm of the Congress Party Saturday as Rahul Gandhi vowed to rebuild a “Grand and Young Old party.” But the 47-year-old leader faces a daunting challenge in emerging as a credible challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and rebuilding the party that was in power for most of the seven decades since independence but suffered a crushing defeat in 2014. The lone contender in the election for the top post in the party, Gandhi, long know as “heir apparent” takes over from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who was its head for 19 years. His father, Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother, Indira Gandhi were prime ministers. Gandhi, whose leadership skills have long been questioned, mounted a strong attack on Modi after taking charge at a function in New Delhi. “The Congress took India into the 21st century, while the Prime...
Rahul Gandhi takes Congress helm | Phuket News
NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India's most famous political dynasty, has formally taken over as president of the main opposition Congress, which is struggling to gain ground against the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi....
'You are the light' - Philippines' Duterte croons at Trump's request | Phuket News
Manila, (REUTERS) - President Rodrigo Duterte crooned a hit Filipino love song at a dinner in Manila for leaders from across Asia, explaining later that it was
India: In the land of Gandhi, journalists are still a prime target for murder | Phuket News
FOR more than one reason, India remains a hazardous place for journalists irrespective of who is in power in the national or provincial capitals. Around five media workers are killed annually and that has not been improved for decades. The vibrant media fraternity of India observed an unusual Gandhi Jayanti  last month as scores of scribes across the country organised protest demonstrations in different locations with sole demand of ensuring safety, security and justice for working journalists. The reason behind demonstrating anger on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October was ongoing violence against the journalists in different forms in the world’s largest democracy. Different press clubs, media bodies and civil society organisations formed human chains, symbolic protests and also took out processions in support of the demand. SEE ALSO: Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists Protest against murder of gauri lankesh at...
Philippines’ Duterte belts out evergreen song under Trump’s ‘orders’ | Phuket News
FIREBRAND President Rodrigo Duterte unveiled his softer side on Sunday evening when he ‘serenaded’ his US counterpart Donald Trump with a popular Filipino love song. According to Rappler, Duterte sang the popular classic “Ikaw” (You) with famous songstress Pilita Corrales during the gala dinner of the 31st Asean Summit. A video of Duterte crooning the number was tweeted by Public Works Undersecretary Karen Jimeno. The 45-second clip saw Duterte saying he did so at Trump’s request. “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited a duet with Ms Pilita Corrales upon the ‘orders’ of the commander in chief of the United States,” Duterte said at the end of the song. SEE ALSO: Duterte offers to host ‘world summit’ on human rights  Trump and Duterte were among 19 leaders at the glittering gala in the Philippines capital ahead of the annual summit. At one point Duterte took the microphone to sing “Ikaw” (You) with Corrales....
Meth, Synthetic Drug Escalation a New Threat for Asia Communities | Phuket News
The United Nations says it sees an escalation in the production and use of amphetamines and synthetic drugs as a new threat for communities in Asia. In northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, the weekend seizure of almost two million methamphetamine pills came as traffickers attempted to breach a police checkpoint. One trafficker was shot dead as a combined force of soldiers and police confronted the traffickers near in the infamous Golden Triangle region of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. News of such large seizures of methamphetamines and potent synthetic drugs and heroin come with increasing frequency, even for a region long known at the frontline of drug trafficking. A recent assessment by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted a massive escalation in methamphetamine production and seizure rates. “A total of 287 million methamphetamine tablets were seized in East and South East Asia in 2015, a more than...
Fudan University and ASEAN Academic Institutions Jointly Set Up the Network of ASEAN-China Academic Institutes | Phuket News
Jun 17, 2017 Picture:  On May 28, 2017, Fudan University and nine academic institutions from ASEAN countries signed the MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON CO-ESTABLISHING THE NETWORK OF ASEAN-CHINA ACADEMIC INSTITUTES, with the establishment of the Network of ASEAN-China Academic Institutes (NACAI). According to the operating mechanism of the MOU, the Center for China’s Relations with Neighboring Countries of Fudan University (CCRNC-Fudan) shall be the permanent secretariat responsible for coordinating the NACAI activities. Assistant to the President of Fudan University CHEN zhimin, Chancellor of University of the Philippines Diliman Michael Lim Tan, Pro-rector of University of Yangon Aung Kyaw, and Vice President of National University of Laos Phout Simmalavong gave the opening addresses during the signing ceremony. The founding members of the NACAI include Institute of Asian Studies of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Brunei Darussalam), Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of Royal Academy of Cambodia (Cambodia), Center for China’s Relations...
Thailand faces losing tourists to neighbours | Phuket News
Expanding air traffic to the region could lead to lost travel opportunities for Thailand in the future as tourists fly directly to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), say foreign tourism buyers at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus in Chiang Mai yesterday....
Thai PM to showcase the country’s strengths at “Thailand’s Big Strategic Move” | Phuket News
Bangkok, June 13, 2017 – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, along with the economic ministers team led by Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong, and Industry Minister Dr. Uttama Savanayana, and jointly with The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), will present Thailand 4.0 strategic development plan to global investors via the upcoming “Thailand’s Big Strategic Move” conference during June 22-23. The conference will also highlight the country’s key strategic plans and implementation to move the country following the Thailand 4.0 model, aiming for promising growth over the next 20 years. It will be a significant forum to showcase Thailand’s and the capital market’s attractiveness to both local and international institutional investors. SET President Kesara Manchusree said that this will be the first time for SET to join the government sector in organizing the conference. Investors will gain insights in macro perspectives on policies, measures, and tangible progress...
Australian in Cambodia Surrogacy Case Says She Consulted Lawyers | Phuket News
An Australian woman charged with providing commercial surrogacy services in Cambodia said Tuesday she launched her business only after consulting three local lawyers who assured her that her clinic was legal. Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy last year after becoming a popular destination for would-be parents seeking women to give birth to their children. Appearing in court Tuesday in orange prison clothes, Tammy Davis-Charles said the Cambodian women at her clinic served as surrogate mothers to 23 babies, all of whom are now with their biological parents in Australia and the United States. The surrogates were paid $10,000 for each pregnancy, she said. Davis-Charles, who said she is a nurse and married with six children, and two Cambodian associates were charged last year with acting as intermediaries between parents and pregnant women and falsifying documents. They face up to two years in prison. Developing countries are popular for surrogacy because costs...
Opportunities and Challenges in the Logistics Sector in Cambodia | Phuket News
Over recent years, Cambodia has benefited greatly from rising production costs in China and the resultant realignments in the supply chain. Consequently, it has emerged as a competitive alternative manufacturing base for light manufacturing relocation within Southeast Asia. Cambodia’s garment and footwear industry, which accounts for over 70% of the country’s exports, is the country’s main user/driver of logistics activities, and it has a significant effect on the volume of freight shipments to and from Cambodia. Over the past five years, Cambodia’s trade growth has been remarkable, with exports and imports increasing by an average of 16% and 11% respectively per year.   Moving forwards, it is expected that Cambodia’s trade levels will increase further still. Partly this is due to the aforementioned ongoing adjustments in regional supply chains. Additionally, the ASEAN region is becoming increasingly competitive, due to the trade bloc’s continued drive towards regional integration. Following the establishment...
Thai man jailed 35 years for insulting monarchy on Facebook | Phuket News
A THAI court has sentenced a 34-year-old man to 35 years in prison for insulting the monarchy on Facebook in what is one of the heaviest punishments ever handed down for breaking the kingdom’s tough lese majeste laws. The military court in Bangkok convicted Wichai, whose last name was not revealed, of 10 counts of lese majeste for posting pictures and footage of the royal family on a Facebook account purportedly belonging to a different user, Channel News Asia reported (via the AFP). The man’s last name was withheld to prevent ostracism of his family by the public. SEE ALSO: Thai junta vexed by awarding of Korean rights award to lese majeste detainee A non-governmental organisation that tracks royal defamation cases, iLaw, said the man was accused of using the Facebook account to slander a former friend. “The court punished him with seven years per count. Altogether he was given 70 years,...
Chinese man jailed for stamping on Genghis Khan portrait | Phuket News
A man is convicted of inciting ethnic hatred after trampling on the Mongol ruler's portrait....
Au Bon Pain heads for CLMV | Phuket News
Mudman Plc, an authorised franchisee of Au Bon Pain bakery chain in Thailand, has obtained the rights to expand the bakery into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV)....
Rare white tiger dies in Singapore Zoo | Phuket News
VETERINARIANS in Singapore are forced to put down a rare White Tiger at the national zoo to prevent it from suffering from its deteriorating health condition. Local media reported the 17-year-old tiger called Omar had to be put down as its health took a turn for the worse. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a statement said Omar was suffering from a type of skin cancer called melanoma, which keepers and veterinarians had monitored closely. Omar, Singapore Zoo's white tiger, dies after failing health https://t.co/ZfTIBmdQcp pic.twitter.com/Dafn7pCkRN — The Straits Times (@STcom) June 8, 2017 The WRS said the cancer had developed on Omar’s eyelid and that the team had also monitored for joint degeneration. “Recent reassessment had seen worsening of his health and the difficult decision was made to euthanise him to prevent further deterioration of his quality of life,” it said, as quoted by Channel News Asia. SEE ALSO: Malaysia: Cancer-stricken Sumatran rhino...
Japan, Laos PMs meet in Tokyo to talk development | Phuket News
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisolith met Wednesday in Tokyo to discuss implementation of a plan to spur development in Laos and other issues....
Myanmar Journalists Grapple With Lack of Access, Legal Fears | Phuket News
After militants from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority launched deadly attacks on border guard posts in October, several journalists sped to Maungdaw in northern Rakhine State to cover the military operation that followed. But they soon discovered they would be allowed to document little. Wearing a flak jacket and helmet, Kaung Htet, the 34-year-old director of photography at the Myanmar Times, arrived at a roadblock with colleagues and was told to head back for security reasons. “The problem is you can’t expect the permission from the authorities, from the government authorities, with police or soldiers ... it's almost impossible.  We told them, we explained to them, that’s our profession, we know all the risks,
Media Groups Criticize Arrest of 3 Journalists in Myanmar | Phuket News
When three journalists were arrested last week after reporting in territory held by an outlawed rebel group in northeastern Myanmar, government officials were quick to blame the journalists. A spokesman for the president’s office told The Associated Press that members of the media have to inform security forces before reporting in conflict zones, and that if they violate any law, “he or she will have to face the charge.” The charge in this case is a section of the Unlawful Associations Act, a colonial-era statute that could mean jail sentences of up to three years each for The Irrawaddy reporter Lawi Weng and the Democratic Voice of Burma’s Aye Naing and Pyae Bone Naing. There has been rising concern about the deteriorating state of press freedom in Myanmar and the reluctance of Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government, which came to power last year, to challenge the army over rights...
EU urges Burma to uphold media freedom after arrests of journalists | Phuket News
THE European Union on Monday called on the Burmese (Myanmar) government to uphold media freedom in the country, saying there have been a “worrying” number of arrests and prosecutions of journalists in recent months. The statement by the European bloc came in wake of last week’s arrests of three Burmese journalists who were covering a drug-burning ceremony by an ethnic armed group the government considers an illegal organisation. The EU said the journalists were being arrested or prosecuted for carrying out their duties Burma and this runs contrary to media freedom, independence and pluralism, which are “at the heart of any democracy”. “The right to freedom of opinion and expression is a human right guaranteed to all, and it constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and development based on the rule of law,” the EU said in...
Analysis: Myanmar arrests journalists under colonial-era law | Phuket News
Myanmar has accused Reuters reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act, a little-used hangover from colonial rule. Sam Zarifi, secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), said the law can ensnare working journalists
US Concerned About Reuters Journalists Held in Myanmar | Phuket News
The U.S. embassy in Myanmar said Friday it was concerned that there had been no word on the whereabouts of two Reuters journalists three days after they were detained, and that authorities had not allowed their families to visit them. Myanmar's Ministry of Information said on Wednesday that the reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and two policemen, faced charges under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act, though officials have since disclosed that they have not been charged. The 1923 law carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. The journalists had worked on stories about a military crackdown in Rakhine state, which has triggered the flight of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to southern Bangladesh since the end of August.
EU Urges Myanmar to Protect Free Speech after Arrests of Journalists | Phuket News
The European Union on Monday urged Myanmar to protect journalists from
Thailand: Thousands of Burmese migrant workers flee amid new labour rules | Phuket News
TENS of thousands of workers have fled Thailand, most of them for homes in neighbouring Burma (Myanmar), immigration officials said on Monday, after new labour regulations adopted by the military government sparked fear and panic among the migrant community. Millions of workers from poor neighbours, such as Cambodia and Burma, form the backbone of Thailand‘s manual labour force, with industries such as the multi-billion-dollar seafood business heavily reliant on foreign workers. Since taking power in a 2014 coup, Thailand‘s ruling junta has attained varying degrees of success in campaigns to regulate the foreign workforce, spurred partly by media reports that unregulated workers faced exploitation by employers. SEE ALSO: Thailand calls on US to help in anti-trafficking efforts  About 60,000 workers left between June 23 and 28, and the number has risen since, an Immigration Bureau official said. “They were of all nationalities, but the biggest group was from Myanmar (Burma),” Deputy Commissioner Pornchai...
Burma: Watchdog wants probe into alleged torture, death of civilians in Shan State | Phuket News
A HUMAN rights watchdog on Monday demanded for an investigation into the alleged torture of dozens of civilians from a village in Burma’s (Myanmar’s) restive northern Shan State last week. Fortify Rights, a Southeast Asia-based non-governmental organisation, claimed Burmese security forces arbitrarily detained and tortured the civilians. The group also said villagers made the discovery of a dead body of one of the men who had been taken by the military. Fortify Rights Chief Executive Officer Matthew Smith said the authorities should immediately investigate the alleged violations and hold perpetrators accountable. “The army continues to terrorise ethnic communities with torture, arbitrary detention, and unlawful killings while the civilian government fails to act,” he said in a statement. In recent weeks, Burma’s military has engaged in deadly clashes with ethnic minority rebels in the northern Shan State. The US state department and rights groups have also raised concern over the detention...
Thailand: Police re-open probe into Belgian tourist’s ‘suicide’ | Phuket News
THAI police said on Friday they were re-opening an investigation into the death in April of a Belgian tourist which was ruled a suicide at the time after online posts voiced concern that she may have been murdered. The body of Elise Dallemange, 30, was found in a jungle on Koh Tao island, where British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered on a beach in 2014. Police said Witheridge, 23, had been raped and bludgeoned to death and Miller 24, had suffered blows to his head. Thailand, famous for its beaches and cultural sites, is a regional tourist magnate and the tourism industry is a major income generator. SEE ALSO: UK releases advisory for families dealing with criminal deaths in Thailand  Posts on social media this week said Dallemange had booked a ticket to Chumphon province, on the mainland, and that her luggage arrived after her death, implying...
Burma: Govt to refuse entry to UN team probing Rohingya abuses | Phuket News
BURMA (Myanmar) will refuse entry to members of a United Nations probe focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, an official said on Friday. The government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had already said it would not cooperate with a mission set up after a Human Rights Council resolution was adopted in March. “If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come,” said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital, Naypyitaw. “Our missions worldwide are advised accordingly,” he said, explaining that visas to enter Burma would not be issued to the mission’s appointees or staff. SEE ALSO: Burma: Group demands release of journalists nabbed for covering ethnic militia’s event Suu Kyi, who came to power last year amid a transition from military rule,...
Malaysia was upgraded in the US trafficking chart. Here’s why critics say it was undeserved | Phuket News
IN May 2015, screaming headlines confirmed the discovery of 139 bodies buried in the jungles of Wang Kelian in the Malaysian state of Perlis, not far from the Thai border. The graves revealed a hidden network of jungle camps used by traffickers to hold their captives as they negotiated payment terms and ransom demands. In the graves were mostly the bodies of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in neighbouring Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladeshis, two races that routinely fall victim to trafficking on this side of the world. The grim find followed a similar discovery of 32 shallow graves just weeks prior in Thailand, in what was described as a “waiting area” for illegal migrants before they are sent across the border to Malaysia. Both the discoveries were made during the infamous Southeast Asian humanitarian crisis, when thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees boarded rickety boats to cross illegally into Malaysia, Thailand...
Cambodia opposition leader Kem Sokha loses Supreme Court appeal for release | Phuket News
CAMBODIAN Supreme Court rejected an appeal to release opposition leader Kem Sokha on Tuesday, saying his continued detention on charges of treason was needed so the court can “guarantee public order” as the likely dissolution of his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) nears. Kem Sokha was arrested in a Sept 3 midnight raid on his home in Phnom Penh. Since then, he’s been under 24-hour surveillance while he awaits trial. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison. His arrest comes amid a crackdown on critics of authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of next year’s general elections. Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party has intensified a crackdown against political opponents, independent media and human rights groups in recent months, forcing the closure of several news outlets. SEE ALSO: Hun Sen says it’s a done deal – Cambodia’s opposition will be shut down Lawyers for the CNRP leader had...
Cambodia's top court rejects appeal to free opposition leader | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: A top Cambodian court rejected an appeal to free opposition leader Kem Sokha on Tuesday saying his release could be a public risk as the threat of dissolution looms over his opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)....
Cambodia plans to close all unofficial border crossings | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Interior Minister Sar Kheng has renewed his demand that officials close all unauthorised entry points to Cambodia to prevent human and drug trafficking and other transnational crimes....
Vietjet links Ho Chi Minh City to Phuket and Chang Mai | Phuket News
Vietjet has begun selling tickets for two new routes, linking Ho Chi Minh City to the Thai tourist destinations of Phuket and Chiang Mai. To celebrate the launch of the new routes, Vietjet is offering 180,000 promotional tickets priced from only 0 dong (Bt0), excluding taxes and fees, from October 25-27th at the “golden hours” from between midday and 2pm. Promotional tickets will be applied for all international routes to Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok; Seoul and Busan in South Korea; Hong Kong; Kaoshiung, Taipei, Taichung and Tainan (Taiwan); Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; Yangon; and Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Flights must be taken between November 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018 (excluding national holidays). The Ho Chi Minh City-Chiang Mai route will operate from December 12, and Ho Chi Minh City-Phuket route will operate from December 15. On the HCM-Phuket route, Vietjet will operate a return flight every...
Thai embassies, consulates hold ceremonies | Phuket News
ROYAL THAI embassies and consular offices around the world yesterday hosted events to offer floral tributes to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej coinciding with the time of the Royal Cremation Ceremony in Thailand. The Foreign Ministry instructed 94 missions in more than 70 countries with whom Thailand has diplomatic relations to organise ceremonies for guests, officials and Thais who live and work in those host countries. Countries in the same or similar time zones as Thailand – GMT+7 – held the sandalwood flower-laying event at the same time as in Bangkok. In places in very different time zones, such as countries in North America, the ceremony was held as per local convenience but not before the symbolic Royal Cremation in the capital. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn last week granted royal boxes to the 94 missions for symbolic use in their ceremonies. While many Thai embassies held the...
International Participation in MYCONTENT this Sunday | Phuket News
Oct 24, 2017 Picture:  Dubai, 24 October 2017 -- (ASIA TODAY) -- Dubai will play host to the 8th edition of MYCONTENT & the 10th edition of Dubai International Brand Licensing Fair, part of the Big Entertainment Show, this October from 29 to 30, 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 8. MYCONTENT is a dedicated event in the region catering to the demands of media content providers across all platforms, and over the years it has truly become the leading entertainment content and media marketplace in the MENA region. The show brings together representatives from TV stations and broadcasters, production companies, distributors, agents, licensees, investors and government officials all under one roof. The two exclusive events, MYCONTENT and Dubai International Brand Licensing Fair, part of the Big Entertainment Show, are expected to witness a remarkable participation from more than 150 companies from over 50 countries....
How the Orphanage Scam Harms Kids and Encourages Abusers | Phuket News
Latest Orphanages in Cambodia have become a way of using children who shouldn't be in them to glean charity dollars from tourists - with a risk of the children being abused as well....
Trump: ‘Unfair Trade Undermines Us All’ | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Vietnam repeating his call for fair trade, saying not all of America’s trading partners are following the rules. In a speech to APEC CEOs in Danang Friday, Trump said, “In the end, unfair trade undermines us all.” Having arrived in Vietnam from Beijing, where he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump again called the U.S. trade imbalance with China unacceptable. He said he did not blame China for taking advantage of the situation, but in a remark that seemed aimed at the Chinese, he strongly criticized countries that he said force foreign companies to enter into joint ventures to do business. “We will not remain silent as American companies are targeted by state supported entities,” he said. Trump, on a 12-day sweep across east Asia focused on trade and North Korea, is in Vietnam to attend an APEC summit, where leaders of...
Trump at Apec summit: US will no longer tolerate trade abuses | Phuket News
He calls for trade deals based on mutual respect, in a speech at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam....
'We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses': Trump lashes out at China and others | Phuket News
President Donald Trump addressed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday against a backdrop of regional trade tensions....
China's Xi preaches 'openness' and 'cooperation' after Trump comes out swinging | Phuket News
Chinese President Xi Jinping is delivering a speech at the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam....
Japan hopes to see election in Thailand next year | Phuket News
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he hoped to see the general election in Thailand next year. The hope for next year’s election was expressed by Mr Kono during a bilateral meeting with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai as they attended the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Danang, Vietnam on Nov 7. According to the website of the Thai Foreign Ministry, Mr Don offered his congratulations on Mr Kono for his reappointment as the Foreign Minister while the Japanese Foreign Minister assuring of his cooperation to work with Thailand. The Japanese counterpart also said he hoped Thailand could hold election in 2018. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said earlier that general election will be held in November next year. At the meeting, the two also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, including the South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula, and  the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Both...
President Trump addresses key Apec summit in Vietnam | Phuket News
Trade is expected to dominate the agenda during an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation gathering....
'We will not tolerate' trade abuses: Trump lashes out at 'unfair' practices | Phuket News
President Donald Trump addressed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday against a backdrop of regional trade tensions....
Trump Arrives in Vietnam for APEC, US Veterans | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Danang Friday, the next leg of his 12-day sweep across east Asia in which he is discussing trade, diplomatic relations and North Korea. Trump is in Vietnam to attend an APEC summit, where leaders of the major economies in the region will discuss growth and regional cooperation. While there, he will also attend a meet-and-greet gathering with U.S. veterans living in Vietnam. Some members of Danang's U.S. veteran community have told the South China Morning Post that they are looking forward to Trump's visit, while others said they are skeptical about the president's performance. Trump, who is 71, did not serve with U.S. troops in Vietnam. He has been criticized for his five draft deferments, four of which were student deferments and the final one for medical reasons that he has attributed to heel spurs. He also drew fire from members of the Republican Party in 2015...
Trump’s China Stop Provides Feel Good Breather, but Challenges Remain | Phuket News
President Donald Trump’s two-day stop in China saw the signing of $250 billion in deals between the world’s two biggest economies and the two countries aligning themselves closer in resolute opposition to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. But analysts say little new ground was broken on trade or North Korea, an issue that will continue to top President Trump’s agenda as he travels to Vietnam and attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. And the true test of the feel-good foundation forged during the meetings, analysts said, is likely to come in the days, weeks and months ahead. Big deal? By design, the $250 billion sum of the deals was meant to provide a sharp contrast to the $300-500 billion deficit that exists between the United States and China, something Trump called “horrible” before departing for his 12-day trip to Asia. Chinese state media have kicked into overdrive hailing the visit as...
Indonesian Golkar Party Faces Tense Times | Phuket News
Indonesia's ongoing effort to arrest the Speaker of the House, Setya Novanto, for corruption has been playing out in headlines with melodramatic turns, from a hospital stay to a car crash to a house raid. But beyond serving as a test for Indonesia's anti-corruption efforts, an additional consequence is the fractures the scandal threatens to expose within the Golkar Party, the country's longest-lasting party and one of its major political forces. It was the ruling party for 26 years during and immediately after the Suharto dictatorship. Novanto was anointed the party's chairman in 2015, but was relieved of his duties Tuesday because of the corruption case against him. Novanto has reportedly threatened to name names of other politicians within Golkar involved in the ID Card scandal. He is in the custody of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which has until November 30 to begin questioning him before getting embroiled in...
Black Friday – the world’s gluttonous orgy of excess | Phuket News
HAPPY Black Friday everyone! Yep, the gluttonous orgy of excess is upon us once more. The American tradition that defies belief is going global. Welcome to the festival of spending that sees people cast out their nearest and dearest for the latest trinket; the celebration of greed that sees people trample over nice old ladies as they suddenly realise they need that electric potato slicer with built-in Wi-Fi. It’s all fairly laughable, and the YouTube videos of fighting families and fisticuffs in the electronics aisle that inevitably surface following the event make it almost worth it – almost. It’s the only shopping holiday with its very own death count: 10 deaths, 105 injuries since 2006. Special mention goes to the Target shoppers who stepped over Walter Vance as he lay dying in the aisle. And this is only the damage done in the immediate throes of bargain hunting. The damage...
Indonesian startup wages war on plastic with edible cups | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Jakarta food and beverages retailer Ong Tek Tjan sells ice cream in cups his customers can eat afterwards, instead of throwing away - they are made from seaweed and taste like jelly, in flavours from peppermint to green tea....
'Mr Police' lands Indonesia police job | Phuket News
A former construction worker is given role at a police station because of his name....
Group calls for Indonesian forces to stop virginity tests | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Indonesia's military and police continue to perform abusive virginity tests on female recruits three years after the World Health Organization declared they had no scientific validity, an international human rights group said Wednesday....
Krungthai claims Energy Earth forged loan papers | Phuket News
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is looking into a case in which a coal importer is accused of using forged documents to obtain loans from Krungthai Bank (KTB)....
Reserve Bank of Australia takes confident tone in December meeting minutes | Phuket News
A more upbeat tone was evident in the Reserve Bank of Australia's December monetary policy meeting....
Seoul: N. Koreans Fire 40 Shots at Defector, Hit Him With 5 | Phuket News
Four North Korean soldiers fired 40 rounds at a comrade fleeing into South Korea and hit him five times in the first shooting at the jointly controlled area of the heavily fortified border since 1984, the South's military said Tuesday. South Korean soldiers did not fire their weapons, but Monday's incident occurred at a time of high animosity over North Korea's nuclear program and Pyongyang has expressed intense anger over past high-profile defections. The soldier is being treated at a South Korean hospital after a five-hour operation for the gunshot wounds he suffered during his escape across the Joint Security Area. His personal details and motive for defection are unknown and his exact medical condition is unclear. South Korea's military said he suffered injuries in his internal organs but wasn't in a life-threatening condition. But the Ajou University Medical Center near Seoul said the soldier was relying on a breathing...
Seoul: N. Koreans fired 40 shots at defector, hit him with 5 | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Four North Korean soldiers fired 40 rounds at a comrade fleeing into South Korea and hit him five times in the first shooting at the jointly controlled area of the heavily fortified border since 1984, the South’s military said Tuesday. South Korean soldiers did not fire their weapons, but Monday’s […]...
North Korea Says US Carrier Groups Raise Nuclear War Threat | Phuket News
North Korea warned Monday that the unprecedented deployment of three U.S. aircraft carrier groups “taking up a strike posture” around the Korean peninsula is making it impossible to predict when nuclear war will break out. North Korea's U.N. ambassador, Ja Song Nam, said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres that the joint military exercises with South Korea are creating “the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean peninsula.” Along with the three carrier groups, he said, the U.S. has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers “which existed during the Cold War times.” He also said the U.S. is maintaining “a surprise strike posture with frequent flights of B-1B and B-2 formations to the airspace of South Korea.” “The large-scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails, which the U.S. staged for a whole year without a break in collaboration with its followers to stifle our republic, make...
Thai Economy to continue upturn in 2018 | Phuket News
The Thai economy this year is poised to grow close to 4%, the highest rate since 2012. There are three main reasons for growth this year: a recovery in exports, continued robust growth in tourism, and high farm incomes in the first half of the year. However, growth has been so far concentrated in the sectors that are related to exports and tourism, while farm incomes have softened in the second half of the year. Will these growth factors extend into next year? Will incomes of mid- to low-income households benefit from growth? Can government measures to help low-income households and boost consumption help stimulate the economy? These are the questions that will be discussed in this article. Growth of the Thai economy this year has been largely supported by the recovery in exports, which would extend into next year. This is in line with the recovery of Thailand’s major...
Seoul: N. Koreans fire at soldier trying to defect to South | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded a fellow soldier who was crossing a jointly controlled area at the heavily guarded border to defect to South Korea on Monday, the South’s military said. North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South Korea across the border. But it’s rare for a […]...
129m passengers use 6 airports run by AoT in fiscal 2017 | Phuket News
A total of 129.20 million passengers travelled through the six airports operated by the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) in fiscal 2017 (October 2016-September 2017), a 7.73% increase from the previous year, said AoT president Nitinai Sirisamatthakarn. The six airports operated by the AoT are Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fah Luand in Chiang Rai. According to Mr Nitinai, in fiscal 2017, the AoT provided services for a total of 823,574 flights, an increase of 6%, or an average of 2,250 flights per day. Of the total, 415,338 were international flights (3.13% increase) and 408,236 domestic flights (9.10% increase). AOT president Nitinai Sirisamatthakarn The total passenger traffic was 129.2 million, an increase of 7.73%, or an average of 354,000 per day.  Of the total, 72.54 million are international passengers (an increase of 6.57%) and 56.66 million domestic passengers (an increase of 9.26%). A total of...
TAIWAN EXPO Innovex Pavilion to promote Taiwan-Malaysia digital team ups | Phuket News
Nov 03, 2017 Picture:  The Innovex Pavilion at TAIWAN EXPO Malaysia will be showcasing the innovative powers of Taiwanese e-commerce companies at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on Nov. 9-11, 2017. Aiming to further Taiwan-Malaysia e-commerce cooperation, the Innovex Pavilion will be introducing top startups from Taiwan to their Malaysian industry peers. The 8 stars of the Youth Development Administration, Ministry of Education “U-Star” program, including ACCUPASS, Whoscall, and PicSee, will be presenting their digital innovations at the pavilion during the 3-day expo. In addition to providing networking and partnership opportunities, the pavilion will be introducing the visitors to 160 product offers from 34 Taiwanese companies, including a Halal showcase that will enable direct placing of orders for Halal-certified products from Taiwan. The leading B2B portal of Taiwan, Taiwantrade.com, and B2B2C online marketplace iDealEZ.com will be putting up a special exhibit to treat the visitors to a beauty...
Melaka Art and Performance Festival Returns! | Phuket News
Nov 02, 2017 Picture:  -Over 45 World Class Artists Gather to Transform the Majestic City of Melaka Into a Canvas for Live Art MELAKA, Malaysia, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's largest and only site-specific art and performance festival on a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Melaka Art and Performance Festival (MAPFest), returns to Bukit St Paul, Bandar Hilir Melaka from 24 to 26 November 2017 from 10AM to 10PM. Mustering together performers from Australia, Russia, Indonesia, United States, Japan, Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium and El Salvador, more than 45 artists will gather to brighten the streets of Melaka with various solo and collaborative art performances. Top highlight includes the Mapping Programme; site-specific performances improvised based on artists' disciplines and dance movements taking place in the afternoon at various sites in the vicinity of Bukit St Paul. Cerita Pendik is a collection of short works under...
Royal council wants sedition probe against Mahathir over his “Bugis pirates” remark | Phuket News
The Sultan of Selangor is incensed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad’s alleged derogatory remarks against the Bugis community and wants a sedition probe against him, according to The New Straits Times Online on Thursday (Nov 2). In a statement, Selangor Council of the Royal Court secretary Hanafisah Jais said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah viewed Dr Mahathir’s remarks with grave concern and disappointment. She said members of the council, after a meeting with the sultan on Thursday, were of the opinion that a sedition probe was warranted against the former prime minister. Hanafisah said Dr Mahathir’s  statement delivered on Oct 14 at the Sayang Malaysia, was aimed at inciting hatred, feelings of insult and other negative perceptions against the Bugis community by calling them pirates, robbers and criminals. She added that Dr Mahathir also directly insulted the genealogy and ancestry of the Selangor Sultanate as its lineage is Bugis. The...
Malaysia export growth slows to 14.8% in September | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's September exports rose 14.8% from a year earlier, slowing in pace for the second month in a row, despite strong demand for manufactured goods in China and Europe....
Chile places focus on fruit exports at Indonesia event | Phuket News
Nov 02, 2017 Against the backdrop of a prospective Chile-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement, Indonesian fruit importers took part in a one-day event examining opportunities for growth JAKARTA, INDONESIA, 02 November, 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The Embassy of Chile in Indonesia, the Trade and Commercial Office of Chile in Indonesia and the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) have organised a workshop for Indonesian fresh fruit importers aimed at further boosting exports to the Southeast Asian country ahead of an expected Chile-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement. The one-day activity, which was held on 1 November, focused on providing importers and retailers with an overview of the 2016-17 Chilean fresh produce export campaign and a preview of the upcoming season. Staged at the Chilean Embassy in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, the event was hosted by the Chilean Ambassador, Gonzalo Mendoza Negri, and Chile’s Agricultural and Commercial Attaché to Indonesia, Juan Enrique Moya....
Emirates Derma 2017 opens in Abu Dhabi today | Phuket News
Nov 02, 2017 Abu Dhabi --( ASIA TODAY )-- United Arab Emirates, 2 November, 2017: The 1st edition of Emirates Academy of Dermatology, Aesthetics and Laser Conference & Exhibition, started today in Abu Dhabi with the participation of 300 delegates and specialists in the field of dermatology and laser. Following the ribbon-cutting and official opening ceremony, Dr. Abdel Wahab Al Fouzan, President of the Pan Arab League of Dermatology, Prof. Yoshiki Miyachi, President of Asian Dermatological Association, and a number of key figures, leading skin specialists and top-notch speakers from the UAE and abroad toured the exhibition area, where they were briefed about the local and international skin care brands and latest advances in skin treatments displayed by exhibiting companies. Commenting about the 1st edition of Emirates Derma, Dr. Hassan Galadari, Conference Chairman, said, “Emirates Derma is a first of its kind event in the capital Abu Dhabi, which...
BuildTech Asia 2017 sets new attendance record as it expands internationally | Phuket News
Nov 02, 2017 Picture:  - Industry transformation and regional partnerships took centre stage at this year’s trade show Singapore, 2 November 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The 7th edition of BuildTech Asia concluded on 26 October with a record number of visitors and international participation since its inception. A key anchor event of the Singapore Construction Productivity Week, BuildTech Asia 2017 welcomed some 11,000 professionals, technology experts and distributors from the built environment sector. Organised by Sphere Exhibits and hosted by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), BuildTech Asia 2017 featured a variety of cutting-edge technologies and solutions in Asia. Over 130 exhibitors showcased virtual reality, drones, smart solutions and other productive technologies in addition to staple exhibits such as construction machinery, equipment, building materials, architectural solutions, and quality finishes at the building technology trade show from 24 to 26 October 2017. At the opening ceremony of the Singapore...
Buri Ram to host Malaysia vs N. Korea qualifiers | Phuket News
HONG KONG: North Korea and Malaysia will play their Asian Cup qualifying matches in Buri Ram, the Asian Football Confederation has announced, after earlier attempts to stage the matches fell victim to political tensions....
Trafigura Pte Ltd Launches its Global Commodity Trading Apprentice Programme in Singapore | Phuket News
Nov 08, 2017 Picture:  PRNewswire/ -- Trafigura Pte Ltd (
Singapore ranks top spot as the world’s most welcoming city for tourists | Phuket News
Singapore was named by a new travel index as the world’s most welcoming city for tourists with the Republic earning an overall score of 8.22 out of 10 in safety, world-class airport and willingness to host tourists, according to the Straits Times Online on Wednesday(Nov 8). The index, published on October 31 by holiday website TravelBird, ranked a total of 100 cities worldwide, according to factors such as expert opinion, port of entry, safety, happiness, English proficiency and openness to accommodating tourists. According to the index, Singapore earned a perfect score of 10 for port of entry, a score of 8.9 for safety and 8.6 for openness to tourists. It received an overall score of 8.22, with Stockholm’s 8.02, Helsinki’s 8.01, San Francisco’s 8 and Rotterdam’s 7.98 rounding out the top five spots. Bottom-ranked cities include Moscow, Hanoi and Hungary’s Budapest. Thousands of cities were first examined based on data...
A*STAR IME’s new multi-chip fan-out wafer level packaging development line to drive innovation and growth in semiconductor industry | Phuket News
Nov 07, 2017 Picture:  State-of-the-art Fan-out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP) development line will enable IME’s consortium members spanning across the industry value chain to develop cost-effective advanced packaging solutions, and spur high-volume manufacturing of next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) technologies Singapore --( ASIA TODAY )-- A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has established a development line to accelerate the development of fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) capabilities for next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The FOWLP development line, which is built upon existing infrastructure at IME’s facilities at Singapore Science Park II, and its new facilities at Fusionopolis Two, will allow IME and its partners (see Annex A for list of partners) to develop technologies that serve a wide range of markets such as that of consumer electronics, healthcare and automotive. The IoT is set to become the next growth driver for the semiconductor industry, as demand for internet-connected devices...
LINE Ads Platform Names AppsFlyer as Certified Ads Measurement Partner | Phuket News
Nov 07, 2017 Picture:  SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - AppsFlyer, the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, has been certified as Ads Measurement Partner through LINE Corporation's Marketing Partner Program, allowing marketers to quickly and easily measure and optimize campaigns with the fast-growing mobile messaging and communication portal.
Singapore stocks lead Southeast Asia markets | Phuket News
Singapore shares climbed nearly 1% on Tuesday to their highest close in more than two years and Indonesia marked a record close as broader Asian markets inched up to decade highs, underpinning sentiment in Southeast Asia....
World’s most invasive alien flat worm surfaces near Bangkok’s eastern outskirt | Phuket News
One of the world’s list of 100 worst invasive alien species known as the New Guinea flatworm, or scientifically called Platydemus manokwari, has been found on the soil of Lamlukka district of Pathumthani, in Bangkok’s eastern outskirt. The finding of this species of large predatory land flatworm was revealed on the Facebook page of siamensis.org after a poster, Mongkol Antachai, posted the pictures of a worm which is eating a snail at the backyard of his home in Lamlukka.on October 31. He asked whether anyone know what kind of worm species it is. A conservationist known as Yingyos Larpeong then answered it is the New Guinea flatworm. He then went to the poster’s home along with another expert in biodiversity to collect sample of the worm for examination and later confirmed it is the New Guinea flatworm. Expert from the biodiversity conservation group, or Siamensis.org, Dr Nonn Panitwong, also confirmed...
President Duterte sings duet 'on Trump's request' | Phuket News
The Philippines president takes to the stage at the Asean summit to sing a duet
"Dump Trump" protest erupts ahead of Philippines summit | Phuket News
MANILA: Riot police used water cannon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the US embassy in Manila on Sunday, just a few hours before the arrival of President Donald Trump in the Philippines for a regional summit and the last leg of his Asia tour....
Thailand: Drop defamation charges against Burmese workers | Phuket News
Human Rights Watch (HRW)  Thai authorities should drop criminal defamation charges against 14 Burmese migrant workers who alleged that their employer violated their labor rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Proceedings in the case will begin in Don Muang Magistrates Court in Bangkok on June 7, 2017. “The Thai government should not allow an employer to criminalize these migrant workers for reporting what they describe as horrendous and unlawful labor conditions,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The charges against these 14 workers should be dropped, and Thailand’s criminal defamation law should be abolished.” The 14 workers submitted a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) in July 2016, accusing Thammakaset Farm – a chicken farm in Lopburi province – of subjecting them to grueling work conditions that included up to 20 hours of work per day, forced overtime, and being compelled to sleep in chicken rearing areas overnight....
Animal farms fuel cruel, illegal trade in rare wildlife | Phuket News
BOKEO PROVINCE, Laos -- The tiger paced back and forth in its cage, groaning mournfully. A second big cat slept soundly in the corner, while a third stared blankly at the bars....
Thai AirAsia launches daily Danang-Bangkok route | Phuket News
Thai budget carrier AirAsia has launched a new route between the central city of Danang and Bangkok, Thailand, seven days a week, starting from June 9. The city’s tourism promotion centre said it’s the third airline operating the Bangkok-Đà Nẵng route after Bangkok Airways and Vietnam Airlines. Daily flights will depart from Đà Nẵng at 12pm and arrive in Bangkok at 1.20pm, while the flights from Bangkok will depart at 10.10am and arrive in Đà Nẵng at 11.30am. AirAsia began offering a Kuala Lumpur-Đà Nẵng route, with four weekly direct flights, in 2014. According to the centre, the new route would offer more chances for tourists traveling between Việt Nam’s central region and Bangkok. Last year, Bangkok Airways operated four flights per week with 144 Economy class seats on an Airbus 319. In 2014, local travel firm Viettravel also offered direct charter flights between the city and Bangkok on Thai...
Dismembered Woman’s Final Words: ‘If I Survive, Then You Die’ | Phuket News
A woman accused of murder told her sister she only meant to hurt her victim as an act of revenge – at least until the woman threatened to kill her if she survived the attack. That’s when she allegedly sawed her in half. That’s the story police said they got from Prapasiri Somsri on Wednesday, whose sister Preeyanuch “Preaw” Nonwangchai remains on the run along with two others for the gruesome May 23 murder. “She said she and her friends only planned to lure her somewhere to assault her in revenge,” Prapasiri, 34, said, recounting a Monday night phone call in which her sister allegedly described the murder. “But then the woman said, ‘If I survive, then you die,’ so she became enraged.” As police hunted for 24-year-old Preeyanuch and the other two suspects, they led a fourth suspect already in their custody through “re-enacting” the grisly crime today. Wasin...
Suspect in dismembered body case caught | Phuket News
One of the four suspects wanted in the grisly murder of a 22-year-old karaoke bar worker has been arrested in Laos and will be handed over to police in Khon Kaen....
Alibaba to Lead $1b Round into Chinese Food Delivery Startup | Phuket News
Alibaba and its finance affiliate, Ant Financial, are in talks to lead a round of at least US$1 billion into Ele.me, one of China’s leading food delivery startups. The financing from Alibaba and Ant Financial will value Ele.me at $5.5 billion to $6 billion and help it compete with a rival service backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. Once completed, the deal would mark the country’s second-largest startup fundraising effort so far in 2017, surpassed only by ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing’s $5.5 billion round. While meal-delivery businesses around the world have struggled for profits, China’s two largest Internet companies see on-demand services as a way to promote their lucrative online payments services. Growth in domestic food and restaurant transactions also outstrips many other retail segments in the world’s second largest economy. Read the rest of the story here. Travel app Camboticket raises seed round The ticket booking app received a US$100,000 investment...
Investors in, poor out: junta’s land policy after 3 years in power | Phuket News
Kongpob Areerat After three years of the junta’s ‘returning happiness’ mission, the country’s poor and ethnic minorities are still suffering from the junta’s ‘return the forest’ policy while the junta opens up more land for investors and cuts environmental regulations for big business. “In the next 10 years, the suspension of land rights will be a big issue….the Special Economic Zones in Thailand are modelled after those in Lao. It’s like a process of buying a whole nation in which large areas of land are being bought by investors. We don’t even know what they will do with the land,” says Pinkaew Laungaramsri, Asst Prof in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Chiang Mai University. About a month after the coup d’état in May 2014, the Thai junta issued National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 64/2014, a master plan to replant forests nationwide, which lays out...
Thai dissent says training ‘civilian warriors’ to overthrow junta | Phuket News
An exiled Thai opposition activist has issued a defiant call to arms, saying he is training “civilian warriors” to oust the military government in an unusual show of opposition to the junta that took power in a 2014 coup. Wuthipong Kochathamakun, who authorities believe is hiding in neighbouring Laos, is a rare voice of dissent following a military crackdown on critics that has largely silenced even the most outspoken opposition figures. Wuthipong is a member of the “red-shirt......
Laos asks for longer hours at checkpoints | Phuket News
Travel operators in Laos have urged the Thai government to extend the closing time at border checkpoints to promote tourism in both countries....
Exiled redshirt suspected of army hospital bombing: army commander | Phuket News
The army grand commander has said an exiled extremist redshirt could be behind the recent blast at a hospital run by the army, adding the junta might bring back military trials for those who commit crimes against national security.   On 25 May 2017, Gen Charlermchai Sitthisat, the Royal Thai Army’s supreme commander, revealed authorities have compiled a list of suspects who could be behind the recent bombing of Phramongkutklao Hospital, a Bangkok hospital run by the Royal Thai Army.    One suspect is Wuthipong ‘Ko Tee’ Kachathamkun, the leader of a hardcore red-shirt group who is living in exile in Laos. The commander said the junta has already asked the Lao government to deport him but have received no response.   He emphasised that the accusation is merely an initial assumption, since the investigation is only at early stages.    “Right now, people being hunted by the police are...
Illegal gun prisoners to join army | Phuket News
The army will recruit 33 prisoners jailed for illegal gun production or modification as technicians and service officers, Justice Minister Prajin Juntong said on Saturday....
Myanmar Mobile Project Helps Lift Young Workers Out of Poverty | Phuket News
It’s six o’clock in the evening, Saw Ku Do reviews his English lessons shortly after finishing an 11-hour shift serving food and sweeping the floor at the tea shop where he works. “Dog, cat, pig,” he said while looking at his notebook. Saw Ku Do, age 15, only has a second grade education. He dropped out of school to go to work to help support his family. He says his parents are day laborers and struggle to take care of their six children. “It’s not that I didn’t want to stay in school but I felt sorry for my parents,” Saw Ku Do said. “When we are broke we have to borrow money and have to repay with interest so it’s very difficult.” Saw Ku Do said he gets one day off every other week and makes the equivalent of about 60 U.S. dollars per month. He sends most of...
Myanmar Journalists Charged Over Visit with Ethnic Rebels | Phuket News
Three Myanmar journalists who reported on a drug burning ceremony by ethnic rebels have been charged with violating a law that provides up to three years' imprisonment for people who abet illegal groups.   The three were detained as they were returning from a ceremony in northern Shan state held by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, which is among several guerrilla groups fighting against the Myanmar government.   Toe Zaw Lat, a senior journalist at the Democratic Voice of Burma, said Wednesday that two of his reporters, Aye Naing and Pyae Bone Naing, and Lawi Weng of The Irrawaddy online news service have been officially charged under the Unlawful Association Act.   Groups that advocate freedom of expression say the arrests reflect government hostility toward the media.    ...
Myanmar Rebels Accuse Army of Arresting Journalists to Hide Reality of War | Phuket News
The arrests of three journalists who visited a ceremony held by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Myanmar this week are part of a deliberate attempt to block information about the conflict, a spokesman for the group said, alleging that dozens of similar cases have occurred this year with civilians. TNLA Major Tar Parn La said in an interview with VOA the Myanmar military wants to “cut off the connection between” the group and the public. “That’s why they are trying to stop the media,” he said. “It means you are not allowed to contact the rebels and not allowed to expose the real situation of the war to the people.” The TNLA, which is one of several ethnic armed groups in Myanmar engaged in intermittent clashes with the military, with a new bout of fighting occurring as recently as this past week, condemned the arrests in a...
Fate, whereabouts of arrested Burmese journalists still unknown – reports | Phuket News
QUESTIONS are being raised in Burma on the whereabouts of the three journalists taken into military custody on Monday as they were returning from an event held by an outlawed ethnic armed group. The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), whose staff are among those detained, said it was told the journalists would be handed over to the police “as soon as possible” and would also be charged, although it received no confirmation on the law to be used on the group. It is widely believed the journalists will face charges under the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act, which prescribes a prison term of up to three years for those convicted. But in his remarks to DVB, presidential spokesman U Zaw Htay would not confirm this. He only claimed the journalists were being treated well at an undisclosed military “guesthouse” and that “action will be taken in accordance with the law”. “But...
Three reporters arrested by Burmese military in ethnic areas | Phuket News
The Burmese military of Tatmadaw has arrested three reporters and four other people on charges of associating with the ethnic Taang armed group, according to the Myanmar Times Online report on Wednesday. The arrest was made on Tuesday as seven people were travelling in two cars which were stopped by the Tatmadaw near Phayargyi village in Namsan township in northern Shan State. The three reporters are U Aye Naing and U Pyae Bone Naing from Democratic Voice of Burma and U Thein Zaw from the Irrawaddy News. Ko Kyaw Zwa Moe, an editor for Irrawaddy’s English version said they have only learned that one of their reporters was arrested through the military’s statement. The military statement said the detainees were returning from Myothit village in Namwan township where TNLA have outposts and camps. The statement accused the seven detainees of associating with the ethnic Taang armed group. U Than Win...
Is Aung San Suu Kyi failing on her own terms? | Phuket News
IT’S BEEN just 18 months since the historic election that brought democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her party to power in Burma (Myanmar), but it would seem the international favour she once enjoyed has begun to flag. Scrolling through major media outlets today you might come across headlines like: “Up to 150 children under five die each day in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar” (The Guardian); “Aung San Suu Kyi: Turning her back on Rohingya?” (AlJazeera); or “Suu Kyi defends slow progress of Myanmar’s peace process” (The Straits Times). None paint a particularly rosy view of the achievements of the woman who helped the National League for Democracy (NLD) secure a landslide election victory in October 2015 after 50 years of military rule. When Suu Kyi came to power, she promised change, peace, and unity. She also said at a press conference a month after polls, “I would...
Officials: Detained Myanmar Journalists to be Charged Under Colonial-era Law | Phuket News
Three Myanmar reporters detained at an undisclosed location by the army will be charged under a colonial-era statute against
Burma: Group demands release of journalists nabbed for covering ethnic militia’s event | Phuket News
A GLOBAL rights watchdog is demanding freedom for three Burmese (Myanmar) journalists detained Monday for covering a drug-burning ceremony by an ethnic armed group the government considers an illegal organisation. Amnesty International (AI) in a statement condemned the arrests, saying such action only exacerbates the culture of fear and intimidation the media in Burma have been forced to operate under. The arrests also come amid heightened concern about restrictions on free speech under Burma’s first pro-democracy civilian government headed by national heroine Aung San Suu Kyi. “These journalists must be immediately and unconditionally released, and allowed to resume their work freely and without fear. “Their arrests send a chilling message to Burma’s already embattled media,” said James Gomez, AI’s director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. SEE ALSO: Burma: Religious tensions simmer as madrassas shuttered The three journalists – Aye Nai and Pyae Phone Naing, both from the Democratic Voice...
Reports: US Secretary of State to Take Myanmar, Iraq Off Child Soldiers List | Phuket News
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to take Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and Iraq off a list of countries that use or recruit child soldiers, in an announcement set for Tuesday, according to media reports. The Reuters news agency reported last week that by delisting those countries, Tillerson is overruling recommendations from State Department experts and senior diplomats. Reuters also cited officials as saying the announcement is expected to be made as part of the department's annual Trafficking in Persons report. The list, created through the Child Soldier Prevention Act, prohibits offending nations from receiving certain kinds of U.S. military aid.  In response, Human Rights Watch on Monday called on Tillerson to keep Myanmar and Iraq on the list. Taking Burma and Iraq off the list
Burma, Thailand torch narcotics worth US$800m for World Drug Day 2017 | Phuket News
OFFICIALS in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand burned illegal narcotics worth more than US$800 million on Monday to mark the UN day against drug abuse and trafficking. The move came even as authorities struggle to stem the flood of illicit drugs in the region, with Thailand’s justice minister last year saying the country’s war on drugs was failing. In Thailand’s Ayutthaya province, more than 9 tonnes of drugs with a street value of over THB20 billion (US$590 million) went up in smoke including methamphetamines, known locally as “yaba” or “crazy drug”, according to police. Myanmar and Thailand torch $1 billion of seized drugs https://t.co/UJUvar1Ej8 pic.twitter.com/rmxCxuXASk — FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) June 26, 2017 “Currently, we are able to take down a lot of networks, including … transnational networks bringing drugs into Thailand … to be shipped to Malaysia and other countries,” Sirinya Sitthichai, Secretary-General of the Office of Narcotics Control Board, told...
Asean Today: Israel Says Sorry Over Flag; VIDEO Priest Glides and Sings; Hun Sen's Son Seeks Power | Phuket News
Around the Region Australian actor set to take son home; Philippines priest sings, glides on hoverboard; Son of Cambodia's PM to seek election; Vietnam short of tourism staff....
Cambodia parliament vote puts opposition future in limbo | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's parliament voted to change party laws on Monday to re-distribute seats if a party is dissolved after the government filed a lawsuit earlier this month to dissolve the main opposition party, part of an escalating political crisis....
Cambodia's political prince submits to its strongman | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: With Cambodia's opposition warning of the imminent death of its democracy, the historic rival who once beat Prime Minister Hun Sen in an election said there was no option but to work with the strongman....
Double Win as Kerry Logistics Takes Home Two Top Awards at Payload Asia Awards 2017 | Phuket News
Oct 13, 2017 Picture:  Hong Kong, 13 October 2017 Kerry Logistics Network Limited ('Kerry Logistics'; Stock Code 636.HK) continued to reinforce its leading position in the air cargo industry by taking home the Global Logistics Provider of the Year award for the fourth consecutive year and the Regional Express Provider of the Year award for the first time at the Payload Asia Awards 2017 ('the Awards') held in Singapore last night. Organised annually by Payload Asia Magazine, the Awards celebrate excellence in the global air cargo market. Kerry Logistics was nominated by multinational corporations and evaluated based on its unique market leadership, outstanding operational performance and passion to drive innovation. All winners were selected through a dual-track programme which comprised voting by the public and an international panel of expert judges, reflecting the recognition from customers and peers in equal measure. On winning the awards, Gary So, Deputy Managing...
How do Cambodians feel about Hun Sen’s war on democracy? | Phuket News
CAMBODIA’S Prime Minister Hun Sen has been taking drastic action to dismantle any credible opposition and silence dissent in the country, in what is being seen as an unashamed attempt to remain in power come the general election next year. In recent months, the government has jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha on allegations of treason and threatened other Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) members with arrest. In response to the threats, more than half of CNRP lawmakers have fled abroad fearing for their freedom. The culmination of Hun Sen’s efforts to eradicate any opponents came last week when the government filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court demanding the opposition party be dissolved ahead of next year’s crucial national elections – a move that Hun Sen is now touting as a boon for democracy. SEE ALSO: Cambodian government files lawsuit to dissolve main opposition party On Thursday, discussing a proposal to...
After Hun Sen’s war on democracy, how to the Cambodian people feel? | Phuket News
CAMBODIAN Prime Minister Hun Sen has been taking drastic action to dismantle any credible opposition and silence dissent in the country, in what is being seen as an unashamed attempt to remain in power come the general election next year. In recent months, the government has jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha on allegations of treason and threatened other Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) members with arrest. In response to the threats, more than half of CNRP lawmakers have fled abroad fearing for their freedom. The culmination of Hun Sen’s efforts to eradicate any opponents came last week when the government filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court demanding the opposition party be dissolved ahead of next year’s crucial national elections – a move that Hun Sen is now touting as a boon for democracy. SEE ALSO: Cambodian government files lawsuit to dissolve main opposition party On Thursday, discussing a proposal to...
CPP’s yet another move to finish off the opposition CNRP | Phuket News
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) looks set to move yet another step to drive a nail in the coffin of the CNRP by taking over all the opposition’s 489 commune chief seats in the event of its dissolution, according to the Phnom Penh Post Online on Friday. CPP spokesman Sok Eysan confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft amendments to the election law which would allow the CPP to take all the CNRP’s commune chief seats when the opposition party is dissolved. The newly-proposed article 20 states that if a political party abandons its seats or is removed, the seats will be distributed to candidates of other political parties that competed in the commune election within 14 days.  It has been forwarded to the Legislative and Justice Committee of the National Assembly, where the CPP has all the votes it needs to pass it intact. According to...
Kingsman banned in Cambodia over 'negative portrayal' | Phuket News
The Hollywood blockbuster portrays the country as a haven for villains, the authorities say....
Cambodia's Fledgling Democracy in Question | Phuket News
As Cambodia’s ruling party prepares to dissolve the main opposition party and pass legislation that will hand their formidable bloc of seats largely to a notoriously corrupt third party, the countries who spent billions building democracy here are reacting with little more than statements expressing concern. Representatives of the EU, U.S. and Australia have all stressed the importance of competitive elections and urged the release of opposition leader Kem Sokha, who was jailed on treason charges, but declined to discuss concrete responses that critics have proposed, such as withdrawing aid or targeted sanctions. Japan, the second biggest donor to Cambodia after China, did not respond to VOA's inquiries. Democracy at risk Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday described the Paris Peace Accords, the document that brought about the United Nation’s democratizing mission in Cambodia in the early 1990s, as a “ghost.” The accords upheld multiparty elections as a key...
Duterte offers to host ‘world summit’ on human rights | Phuket News
PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte has claimed his country is willing to host a “world summit” on human rights, despite widespread criticism over his administration’s deadly war on drugs and undermining of the national human rights commission. The firebrand leader, who spoke in a news conference late on Thursday while in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, said the summit should focus on human rights violations not just in the Philippines but globally. At least 7,000 people have been killed in anti-drug operations since Duterte took power last June according to official police statistics, with some rights groups estimating the figure is more like 13,000. Pres. Duterte arrives in Vietnam for #PHAPEC2017. #PartnerForChange #DuterteVietnam2017 pic.twitter.com/g08YVyCk9e — Presidential Comm (@PresidentialCom) November 10, 2017 SEE ALSO: Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists Critics say executions are taking place with zero accountability, allegations that the Philippines police...
Trump Heads Next to Vietnam for APEC, US Veterans | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump moves on to Vietnam on Friday in the next leg of his 12-day sweep across east Asia in which he is discussing trade, diplomatic relations and North Korea. Trump is headed to Vietnam to attend an APEC summit, where leaders of the major economies in the region will discuss growth and regional cooperation. While there, he will also attend a meet-and-greet gathering with U.S. veterans living in Vietnam. Some members of Danang's U.S. veteran community have told the South China Morning Post that they are looking forward to Trump's visit, while others said they are skeptical about the president's performance. Trump, who is 71, did not serve with U.S. troops in Vietnam. He has been criticized for his five draft deferments, four of which were student deferments and the final one for medical reasons that he has attributed to heel spurs. He also drew fire from...
Asia-Pacific nations agree in principle to proceed with TPP | Phuket News
MINISTERS from 11 nations across the Asia-Pacific region have agreed in principle to proceed with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement despite the withdrawal of the United States under President Donald Trump. Asked by reporters about the results of a meeting of TPP ministers, Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said “(they) agree in principle”, adding that the ministers had finalised “a list of suspensions” – clauses that would be suspended to avoid renegotiating the whole agreement. Talks on the TPP, ditched by Trump in one of his first acts in office, have been held on the sidelines of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the Vietnamese resort of Danang. Clear agreement on proceeding without the US would be a boost for the principle of multilateral free trade pacts over the bilateral deal-making that Trump favours, but some countries have appeared reluctant to hurry. SEE ALSO: Vietnam grapples with deadly...
President Trump to address key Apec summit in Vietnam | Phuket News
Trade is expected to dominate the agenda during an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation gathering....
The plight of Vietnamese dissidents | Phuket News
Will President Trump raise the issue of jailed political dissidents when in Vietnam?...
Trump-Putin Meeting Likely at APEC Summit, but US Officials Urge Caution | Phuket News
There’s nothing official yet, but sources close to President Donald Trump are hinting he is likely to hold talks Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Vietnam. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, traveling with the president on his 12-day Asian tour, kept the rumor mill going Thursday.
In China, Trump Strikes Gentler Tone on N. Korea, Trade | Phuket News
President Donald Trump struck a markedly softer tone on touchy subjects like North Korea and trade with President Xi Jinping of China Thursday, and highlighted his
A Trump-Putin Meeting Friday? It's Not Clear | Phuket News
Is a meeting in Vietnam between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on or off? On Thursday, it was not clear. Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told Russian news agencies that the two leaders would meet Friday on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Danang. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cast doubt on that, saying it is not clear whether there is enough progress on important pending issues between the two countries to merit top-level face-to-face talks.
Haiti Tops Index of Nations Worst-hit by Extreme Weather in 2016 | Phuket News
Haiti, which was hit last year by its strongest hurricane in 50 years, has been ranked the country worst-affected by extreme weather in 2016, in an index published on Thursday. Zimbabwe, which suffered severe drought followed by floods, came second. Fiji, recovering from the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the island nation, was ranked third in the Climate Risk Index published annually by research group Germanwatch. Fiji is president of this year's U.N. climate talks, where small island states are pushing for urgent action to curb planet-warming emissions, which are expected to bring worse storms, floods, droughts and rising sea levels.
Bali volcano spews smoke and ash again | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Mount Agung, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali, spewed grey smoke and ash as high as 700 metres, but the authorities have not yet raised its alert status....
Bleak Outlook for Indonesia’s Long-Persecuted Ahmadiyya | Phuket News
Many of Indonesia’s religious minorities celebrated last week when the government allowed citizens to list faiths outside the six state-sanctioned religions on their national ID cards. But the ruling changed little for Muslim Indonesians who identify with minority strains of Islam, like Ahmadiyya, and still face discrimination in the world’s largest Muslim country. The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in 19th century India and came to Indonesia in 1925. Today it counts about 400,000 adherents. Ahmadiyya has many distinctive teachings, including that Muhammad is not necessarily the last prophet of God, that Jesus was crucified and resurrected (which most Muslims reject), and that religious history progresses in 7,000-year cycles. It has courted controversy since its earliest years in Indonesia. Back in 1929, when the nation was still under Dutch rule, the modernist, conservative Indonesian Sunni movement called Muhamaddiyah issued an indirect fatwa against Ahmadis, nominally targeting those who don’t believe Muhammad...
Financial relief for digital TV on the cards | Phuket News
The government has agreed in principle to help relieve the financial burdens of terrestrial digital TV operators and the two winners of the 4G licence auction for the 900-megahertz spectrum from 2015....
Inspired Phuketian: Seizing opportunity vs being an opportunist | Phuket News
Seizing a great opportunity can be a tipping point for many people; rapidly propelling them to success in business, increasing their wealth, winning in a game, a war or even making a positive change in the world....
North Koreans shoot to kill defector at DMZ | Phuket News
SEOUL: North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded a fellow soldier who was crossing the Demilitarised Zone at the heavily guarded border to defect to South Korea on Monday, the South's military said....
South Korea: North Korea Wounds Soldier as He Defects | Phuket News
South Korea says North Korean soldiers shot at and injured a fellow soldier who was crossing a border village to defect to the South.   South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says in a statement the North Korean soldier was being taken to a hospital after crossing the border village of Panmunjom on Monday.   It’s rare for a North Korean soldier to defect via Panmunjom and be shot by fellow North Korean soldiers.   It wasn’t known how serious the soldier’s injury was.   About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, but most of them travel through China....
N. Koreans fire at soldier trying to defect to South | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea: North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded a fellow soldier who was crossing a border village in an attempt to defect to South Korea on Monday, the South's military said....
Sex-shy South Koreans schooled in how to date each other | Phuket News
AT TWO universities in South Korea, Dongguk University and Kyung Hee University, students get to take courses that teach them about sex, relationships and marriage. At Dongguk’s “Marriage and Family” course, students have to date three classmates for a month each by the end of the semester. They first submit to their professor their chosen dates via email, before they are coupled and sent off to go on dates together as part of their assignment, according to Koreaboo.  Professor Jun Mi-kyung said the class has been received well by students, particularly female students who clearly express what and who they want as for partners. SEE ALSO: Male South Korean stars are neglecting their military duties “Of course, some partners actually developed into real couples, but after a year, the majority of them seem to have separated,” the professor said, as quoted by Evoice. Pretty sad. For all its success, South Korea now has lower birth rate...
Official: Vietnam Hoping for Revised Pacific Rim Trade Pact | Phuket News
Vietnam is hoping leaders of the remaining 11 member countries of a Pacific Rim trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, may be able to discuss next week a revised deal following the U.S.'s withdrawal, a senior official said Thursday.   Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said he hoped talks held in Japan this week will have narrowed differences enough to allow trade ministers and leaders to endorse an amended TPP agreement during the Asia Economic Cooperation forum, whose annual regional summit will be held in Danang, Vietnam, next week.  
Buri Ram to host Malaysia vs N.Korea qualifiers | Phuket News
HONG KONG: North Korea and Malaysia will play their Asian Cup qualifying matches in Buri Ram, the Asian Football Confederation has announced, after earlier attempts to stage the matches fell victim to political tensions....
Hardline preacher finds refuge in Malaysia as extremism grows | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR: When Zakir Naik emerged from a prominent Malaysian mosque last month fans swarmed about him, seeking selfies with the Indian Muslim televangelist whose hardline views have sparked a criminal investigation back in his home country....
Hardline preacher finds refuge in Malaysia as politicised Islam grows | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - When Zakir Naik emerged from a prominent Malaysian mosque last month fans swarmed about him, seeking selfies with the Indian Muslim televangelist whose hardline views have sparked a criminal investigation back in his home country. ...
Malaysia probes theft of data for 46m phone users | Phuket News
Malaysia is investigating the theft of data from 46.2 million mobile phone users amid concerns the breach will lead to an increase in scams and identity theft....
Sustainability: Asia’s best & worst practices, according to top UN economist | Phuket News
HEAVY dependence on coal is the number one obstacle in Asia’s push for sustainable growth while the region’s best practices lie with its pivot towards advanced technology, said leading US economist Jeffrey Sachs. The special adviser to the United Nations urged for greater public education worldwide on ways to achieve sustainability during The Economist’s Sustainability Summit 2017 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday. The continent’s “heavy dependence” on coal is dubbed as its worst practice for being the source of great pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. “You look out almost any city in Asia and it’s grey. That’s the coal pollution,” Sachs told Asian Correspondent. ...
Malaysia investigates 'leak of 46 million mobile users' data' | Phuket News
KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE: Malaysia is investigating an alleged attempt to sell the data of more than 46 million mobile phone subscribers online, in what appears to be one of the largest leaks of customer data in Asia....
Chinese authorities foil North Korean assassination attempt on leader’s nephew | Phuket News
CHINESE authorities have reportedly arrested two men in an alleged plot to assassinate the eldest son of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean supreme leader who was killed in a cloak-and-dagger style murder in Malaysia earlier this year. Sources who spoke with South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo said the two men were allegedly North Korean operatives who were part of a seven-man team secretly dispatched to China to kill 22-year-old Kim Han-Sol. ...
Malaysia Investigating Reported Leak of 46 Million Mobile Users Data | Phuket News
Malaysia is investigating an alleged attempt to sell the data of more than 46 million mobile phone subscribers online after a major data breach, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said on Wednesday. The massive data breach was first reported last month by Lowyat.net, a local technology news website, which said it had received a tip-off that someone was trying to sell huge databases of personal information on its forums. Salleh said the country's internet regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), was looking into the matter with the police.
China Stops Short on Pledges to Share Technology in a Disputed Sea | Phuket News
A wind turbine installation vessel, developed in China for use near its coasts, is sparking new hope that the dominant party in a six-way maritime sovereignty dispute will share technology. But analysts warn Beijing seldom brings in outsiders. The Chinese government has a wide technological lead in the South China Sea sovereignty dispute with Taiwan and four Southeast Asian countries. Its arsenal includes a bathyscaphe, the discovery of an ice-like fuel under the seabed and plans to install an ocean observation network. Beijing also dominates five other governments in military control of the disputed South China Sea. The deployment Sunday of the Longyuan Zhenhua 3 wind-harnessing vessel could help passing ships and “boost international cooperation,” a National Institute for the South China Sea research fellow was quoted as saying in Chinese state-controlled media. “At the same time you use that (technology) for military defense in the South China Sea, then...
Hackers linked to Vietnam govt hit neighbours -report | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: A hacking group previously linked to the Vietnamese government or working on its behalf has broken into the computers of neighbouring countries, according to cybersecurity company Volexity....
Qatar Airways buys stake in Cathay Pacific as plane diverted | Phuket News
DUBAI/SINGAPORE: Qatar Airways has broadened its global reach by purchasing a 9.61% stake in Cathay Pacific Airways, adding another strategic investor to the Hong Kong carrier's complicated share register at a time when it is looking to cut costs....
Leaked douments show hidden wealth of the elite | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: A new set of data taken from an offshore law firm again threatens to expose the hidden wealth of individuals and show how corporations, hedge funds and others may have skirted taxes....
Chinese bike-sharing service receives good respond from Thai students after three months in service | Phuket News
Chinese bike-sharing giant Ofo Inc says its bike sharing service in Thailand was well received in the market although there need to have improvement by the state on its public utilities to promote bike using in city travelling. This was disclosed by the Thai manager for the Chinese giant bike-sharing operator in Thailand after just three months in service after the official launch in Bangkok in August this year. After China’s Info Inc, two other foreign investors, Mobike from China and oBike from Singapore are keen to enter the Thai market soon. Noppadol Tuchinda, the Thai general manager for Ofo Incin Thailand, said the bike-sharing service received unexpectedly good response from the Thai market after just three month in service despite of many obstacles. He outlined these obstacles as unreadiness of public utilities, sun heat and rains. He said although the government has encouraged the use of bicycles and bike...
Japan opens first drive-through funeral service | Phuket News
The Aishoden funeral parlor in the central Japanese city of Ueda will begin offering the novel service to time-pressed and less mobile mourners from Sunday, the Kyodo news agency reported. Grieving relatives can pull up beside the facility’s drive-through window, register their names on a touchscreen tablet, handover condolence money, and make a traditional incense offering […]...
One of Asia's major banks just sacrificed profits to finally put bad loans behind it | Phuket News
DBS unexpectedly set aside 815 million Singapore dollars to cover for bad loans from the troubled oil and gas sector....
Creating new landmarks using a mixed-use concept in Thailand | Phuket News
Large-scale and sophisticated mixed-use development projects in big cities, such as Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, are becoming a hot trend in Thailand. Mixed-use projects e.g. One Bangkok and ICON SIAM are a new type of property development in Thailand that comprising an ecosystem of housing, office, and shopping space. Furthermore, these projects are unique in design and can become new landmarks of Thailand. Highlight EIC believes that large-scale mixed-use projects will raise competition in the property market because they can better respond to consumers’ and businesses’ need as well as generate greater investment returns. Instead of investing in traditional single-use development projects, developers are thus encouraged to seek business partners to develop large-scale mixed-use projects that are distinct and able to attract more consumers.   High returns on investment will prompt developers to consider large-scale mixed-use projects as an alternative investment choice. Mixed-use projects are more effective in responding to...
China named 2017’s fastest growing nation brand | Phuket News
China is fast closing the gap with the US when it comes to the prestige and value of its national brand. According to 2017’s annual Brand Finance Nation Brands study, China is the fastest growing nation brand this year in absolute terms, with a change of more than $3100bn year on year. This figure is equal to the entire nation brand value of the UK, a marker of how quickly China is outpacing other countries. Thailand gets the 29th position, just one notch over the Philippines, and overtaking Hong Kong by 5 points (34), and even more surprisingly Singapore (31). Other Asean competitors do not appear in the top 50 except Vietnam (45) Chinese companies make up 50 of the 500 most valuable brands globally, increasing from eight in 2008. Chinese brands lead in four sectors – banks (ICBC); spirits (Moutai); insurance (PingAn); and real estate (Dalian Wanda) – compared...
Rodrigo Duterte: Philippines president says he killed someone as teenager | Phuket News
Rodrigo Duterte says he stabbed someone to death at 16 but a spokesman says his remarks are
Troops, Islamist militants clash in southern Philippines | Phuket News
MANILA: Pro-Islamic State militants killed six soldiers and wounded four others on a southern Philippine island, the military spokesman said on Friday, as the army focused on the remaining rebel groups after regaining control of Marawi City....
Philippines' Duterte offers to host 'world summit' on human rights | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, criticized for his bloody drug war, offers to host a human rights
Philippine Leader to Host US Counterpart in Meeting of Mavericks | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte have some things in common. Both rose to power by vowing to shake up their political establishments. They refuse to back down, no matter how hot the controversy. They attack critics with blistering insults, and they have shown a strong dislike for Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama. Now the two mavericks will meet face to face Monday amid questions about whether they will get along or something will set off a conflict between two alpha males that will further fray strained U.S.-Philippine relations. Trump arrives Sunday for a summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Duterte recently issued a terse warning to Trump to avoid criticism of the draconian measures he has imposed to tackle the Philippines' many problems. But it seems unlikely the U.S. leader will jab at the most sensitive subject, Duterte's war on...
As the ASEAN turns 50, Human Rights remain a challenge | Phuket News
ASEAN, poised to celebrate its 50th anniversary coming August, has come a long way since its inception through the Bangkok Declaration. While promoting free trade and economic cooperation remains its core focus, the organization was founded in 1967 by five of its current members to maintain regional stability and safeguard against the influence of communism in the region. Along with trade and economic growth, political stability, good governance and civil liberties were the founding principles on which the organization was built upon. Ahok, the popular Chinese-Christian former governor of Jakarta, has been sentenced to two years in prison under the blasphemy law In terms of trade and economic prosperity, ASEAN states separately and as a bloc have been stellar performers. Home to more than 622 million people, today if counted as a country, it is the seventh largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.6 trillion. More than...
Philippines: Duterte signs order banning smoking in public spaces | Phuket News
THE PHILIPPINES’ chief crime fighter and president Rodrigo Duterte has now set his administration’s crosshairs on irresponsible smokers, with an executive order (EO) banning smoking in public spaces nationwide. EO No. 26, signed by the president on Tuesday, aims to establish “smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places”, according to CNN Philippines. This means that once the order, made public on Thursday, takes effect 60 days after publication in newspapers, smoking will only be allowed in designated smoking areas (DSAs) that follow guidelines set by the law. SEE ALSO: Philippines drafts executive order to impose total ban on smoking in public spaces A copy of the EO on Rappler describes DSAs as, “an area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation.” The order also says a “non-smoking buffer zone” must be established for DSAs not...
Sin at the top of the world: Hong Kong company to turn Nepal into next gambling hub after Macau | Phuket News
It might sound like an exotic idea to gamble on opening a casino at the foot of the Himalayas. Yet for 400 million Indians inhabiting the north of the subcontinent, particularly the booming nouveau riche, just a few hours’ drive across the border could soon unlock the euphoria of splurging in their chosen game of chance, fully legally. A little-known Hong Kong company, which is Australian-listed, operating casinos in communist Laos and Vietnam has placed its biggest bet yet on a......
Rights Groups Condemn Harsh Prison Sentence Against Lao Worker | Phuket News
Human rights groups have condemned harsh prison sentences and called for the release of three Lao migrant workers who posted critical comments on social media and joined a protest outside the Lao Embassy in Thailand. The workers, Somphone Phimmasone, 30, Soukan Chaithad, 33, and Ms Lodkham Thammavong, were sentenced in early April to prison terms of between 12 and 20 years. A harsh message on human rights The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said the sentences sent a “chilling message across Lao civil society that the government is determined to crush the slightest sign of activism and opposition to its authoritarian rule.” While in Thailand, the migrant workers posted messages on social media critical of the government, alleging corruption, deforestation, and human rights violations. They also participated in a protest against the government outside the Lao Embassy in December, 2015. They were...
Will India’s rising middle class turn Nepal into the next Asian gambling hub after Macau? | Phuket News
It might sound like an exotic idea to gamble on opening a casino at the foot of the Himalayas. Yet for 400 million Indians inhabiting the north of the subcontinent, particularly the booming nouveau riche, just a few hours’ drive across the border could soon unlock the euphoria of splurging in their chosen game of chance, fully legally. A little-known Hong Kong company, which is Australian-listed, operating casinos in communist Laos and Vietnam has placed its biggest bet yet on a......
Duterte says Turkey and Mongolia could join Asean | Phuket News
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has declared that the leaders of Turkey and Mongolia have expressed interest in joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a move he would support. “They want to join Asean and since I am now the chair, the Philippines is, they wanted me to sponsor their entry and I said, “Yes why not?’,” he said Tuesday, dismissing concerns regarding their geographical location, as reported the AFP. The discussions reportedly occurred when Duterte had bilateral meetings with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian PM Jargaltulga Erdenebat during his time in Beijing over the weekend for China’s Silk Road trade and infrastructure summit. SEE ALSO: China’s Xi emphasises inclusive Silk Road in contrast to Trump’s ‘America First’ approach Asean currently has 10 member states: the Philippines, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam. Being geographically situated in Southeast Asia is the...
Asian Lawmakers: Region Pivotal in Fighting Climate Change | Phuket News
Asian lawmakers say their region is pivotal to any global efforts at limiting climate change and they are committed to finding solutions. At a just concluded meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Vietnam, lawmakers from countries across the region gathered to share their fears stemming from hotter global temperatures - as well as what to do about it - from incorporating the input of indigenous peoples, to carving out underground reservoirs for times of flooding. “Climate change has no passport,” IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong said at the three-day meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, which ended Saturday. “It’s cross-national.” The host city also exemplified why the Asia-Pacific region is at the center of environmental concerns worldwide. The region has one billion urban dwellers, more than the rest of the globe combined, according to the U.N. Development Program. And urbanites have an outsized impact on their ecosystems. Ho Chi Minh...
9 drug smugglers killed by Thai troops during gunfight in ‘Golden Triangle’ | Phuket News
AN altercation between Thailand’s armed forces and a group of drug smugglers who operate primarily within the “Golden Triangle” has left nine of the latter dead, a senior official confirmed on Sunday. Northern Chiang Rai province governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn told AFP (as published by the Straits Times) the fight began in Thailand, about 2km from the border to Burma (Myanmar) He said there were 15 drug smugglers, whom authorities told to halt, but they refused and started shooting. “The two sides exchanged fire for about 10 minutes, killing nine smugglers while the rest fled.” He said the Thai force found about 700,000 methamphetamine tablets, along with semi-automatic rifles. The “Golden Triangle” refers to the region that borders the mountain ranges of Burma, Laos, and Thailand, and is known as one of Asia’s main opium-producing areas. It is also the world’s second-largest opium-producing area, after Latin America. Opium production in the area...
US jury awards $1m to woman raped in Laos as teen | Phuket News
MINNEAPOLIS: A US jury has awarded a woman nearly $1 million in a civil lawsuit against a Minnesota man she says sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and living in Laos....
Thailand gives Facebook 4-day deadline to remove ‘illicit’ pages | Phuket News
THAI authorities have given Facebook until 10am local time next Tuesday to remove web pages it says violates local laws, failing which legal action will be taken. According to news reports, by order of the Thai court, the social media giant needs to remove a total of 131 pages, some of which are said to contain posts critical of the monarchy. “If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand,” The Guardian quoted Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, as saying. Thailand’s strict lese-majeste law makes it illegal to insult any member of the royal family, with those convicted facing a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. SEE ALSO: Thailand: Lese majeste suspects in Laos made death threats against PM The commission confirmed that of the 309 pages identified by Thai courts as necessary for removal, Facebook has already restricted...
Cambodian interior minister vows probe into arms smuggling case | Phuket News
Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng has admitted that a cache of war weapons seized in Thailand’s Trat province by the Thai officials were smuggled through a “corridor” in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province and did not pass through the international checkpoint, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Monday. The comment, made on Friday, are the most forthright on the case of an alleged arms trafficking operation linked to a Cambodian official by a senior Cambodian official since the June 3 arrest of immigration officer Leang Piseth in Trat province. Without mentioning Piseth’s name, Sar Kheng, citing information and confession, said the weapons had left from Koh Kong through a corridor. “In Burma, even though there was an election, there is yet to be a uniting of the nation between the rebels and the government,” said the interior minister. “There are six or seven rebel groups, so the war still exists....
Burma has released 67 child soldiers in first discharge of the year – UNICEF | Phuket News
AS part of an ongoing process to end the forced recruitment of underage children into its army, the Burmese military has released 67 child soldiers. According to AFP, as published by Burmese news site Mizzima, the former junta in Burma had steadily recruited underage fighters for decades until 2012, when the state’s army signed a pact – the Paris Principles on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups – with the United Nations. This took place a year after the former junta gave up power after a 50-year reign. Since then, almost 850 children and young people have been released from the ranks. However, there are no figured confirming how many of these underage recruitments remain among about 500,000 troops in Burma. Myanmar releases nearly 70 more child soldiers: UNICEFhttps://t.co/ff5nz8pF8w pic.twitter.com/axpeCyOFcY — Coconuts Yangon (@CoconutsYangon) June 23, 2017 But efforts by the country’s young government under Aung San Suu...
When every day is ‘Refugee Day’ | Phuket News
Mohammad Raza, a 29-year-old Hazara refugee, said his daughter was just five days old when he fled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. “Now, she is five-years-old. When I talk with her on phone, she doesn’t recognise me. I am a stranger for her.” Raza was speaking to me on the sidelines of the World Refugee Day event in Jakarta on Tuesday, organised by the Indonesia Civil Society Network for Refugee Rights Protection (SUAKA). SUAKA, in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), Church World Services (CWS), Sandya Institute and Dompet Dhuafa marked the World Refugee Day 2017 with an event that saw refugees and asylum seekers around the world celebrate their respective cultures through traditional dances, dramas, songs and other creative performances. “The people around the world celebrate June 20 as my day (Refugee Day) but for me, every day has been a refugee day....
Sixty years after fleeing Tibet, refugees in India get passports, not property | Phuket News
EVENT organiser Lobsang Wangyal has to travel overseas often, but as a Tibetan refugee born in India, he did not have a passport and sometimes had to wait days to get the mandatory permits every time he went abroad. So Wangyal, whose parents fled Tibet as teenagers, went to court to demand his right to an Indian passport. In response to his petition, the Delhi High Court said authorities must abide by an earlier ruling that all Tibetans born in India between January 1950 and July 1987 are Indian citizens by birth, and can be issued passports. The order came into effect in March, and Wangyal got his Indian passport shortly thereafter, using it to go to Thailand. SEE ALSO: Tibetan teenager self immolates in protest of Chinese rule  For the first time, he was spared the additional scrutiny that his documents always got from immigration officials. “I feel like...
Nearly half a million refugees have fled Burma – UN | Phuket News
NEARLY half a million people have fled Burma (Myanmar) as of 2016, making the Southeast Asian nation the eighth among the top 10 countries of origin for the world’s 65 million refugees. The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study, released on Tuesday, said the number of refugees from Burma rose to 490,300 by the end of last year, up from 451,800 in 2015. It said Bangladesh continued to host the largest number of these refugees at 276,200, while 26 other countries with large numbers of refugees from Burma include Thailand (102,600), Malaysia (87,000), and India (15,600). As at end-2016, 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide, the study said. This brings the total number of refugees to one that is bigger than the population of the United Kingdom. The study also said there was an increase of about 300,000 more displaced persons in 2016 than the previous year. SEE...
Burma: Religious tensions simmer as madrassas shuttered | Phuket News
CHIT TIN, a 55-year-old Muslim man has prayed at the same madrassa in eastern Yangon his whole adult life, most of it spent under a junta that crushed opposition, ruined Burma’s economy and turned it into an international pariah state. But even as the father-of-four endured poverty and isolation, the Muslim religious school, which doubles as a mosque, had remained a focal point of his community – until a month ago, when Buddhist nationalists raided it and forced authorities to shut it down on the grounds it did not have a permit to operate as a place of worship. When Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, started some three weeks ago, hundreds of residents braved the monsoon rain to join prayers organised in the street nearby. Local authorities banned the event and threatened those attending with jail. “I feel deeply sad, as if the sky has fallen down,” said Chit Tin,...
At least 3 injured, 7 missing after US Navy destroyer collides with merchant vessel off Japan | Phuket News
SEVEN crew members are missing and at least three injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided early on Saturday morning with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel south of Tokyo Bay in Japan, the U.S. Navy said. The Japanese Coast Guard said the U.S. ship was experiencing some flooding but was not in danger of sinking, while the merchant vessel was able to sail under its own power. The U.S. Navy said in a statement the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel at about 2:30 a.m. local time (1730 GMT), some 56 nautical miles south-west of Yokosuka, a rare incident on a busy waterway. SEE ALSO: US Navy strike group to move toward Korean peninsula Three aboard the destroyer had been medically evacuated, including the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who was reportedly in stable condition after being airlifted to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, the Navy said. The other...
Burma: China offers help, support after plane crash | Phuket News
CHINA will offer support and assistance for Burma‘s follow-up efforts after a military plane crashed off the Southeast Asian country’s southern coast with 122 people on board, state media said. China, as a friendly neighbour, shares Burma‘s sorrow over the incident, President Xi Jinping told his counterpart U Htin Kyaw in a condolence message, state news agency Xinhua said late on Friday. “Xi mourned the dead and extended sincere sympathy to the government and people of Burma, especially the families of the victims,” the agency added. SEE ALSO: Burma: Cremation begins for some of 31 bodies retrieved from missing plane The aircraft, a Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane, lost contact 29 minutes after takeoff on Wednesday, while at a height of 18,000 feet (5,485 metres), about 43 miles (70 km) west of the coastal town of Dawei, the Myanmar military has said. Soldiers, family members and crew were on board the weekly flight from...
Burma: Cremation begins for some of 31 bodies retrieved from missing plane | Phuket News
BURMA on Friday cremated ten of the 31 bodies pulled from the waters off its southern coast as the hunt for a military transport plane that went missing over the Andaman Sea with 122 people aboard stretched into a third day. Eight navy ships and sonar systems have joined the search for victims of Wednesday’s incident, along with 20 civilian boats, despite persistent stormy weather, the military said. More than 100 stunned relatives and friends gathered at a cemetery in the southern coastal town of Dawei, some weeping quietly and others offering prayers, to commemorate ten identified victims who were cremated on a rainy afternoon. “What we found now is my granddaughter. Her father and mother’s bodies are not found yet,” said one of the mourners, Ma Myat Thaw May, his voice trembling as he spoke of the 7-month-old girl. Scores of soldiers waited on standby to help if more bodies...
Burma: 31 bodies recovered as hunt for missing plane enters third day | Phuket News
THE tally of retrieved bodies rose to 31 on Friday as Burma’s hunt for a military transport plane that went missing over the Andaman Sea with 122 people on board stretched into a third day. Eight navy ships and sonar systems had joined the search for victims of Wednesday’s incident, along with 20 civilian boats in stormy weather off the southern coast, the military said. “We have not received any information about survivors,” said Phyu Phyu Win, a regional social welfare and relief official. “Hopefully someone would survive.” Scores of soldiers gathered on standby to assist if more bodies were carried ashore in the fishing village of Sanlan, about 600 km (372 miles) from Burma’s largest city Yangon. Twenty-three adults and eight children made up the tally of bodies pulled from the Andaman Sea near the coastal town of Launglon since rescue efforts began on Wednesday, the military said on...
Hun Sen: CNRP’s dissolution a boon for democracy | Phuket News
Prime Minister Hun Sen praised the proposal for redistribution of the MP seats of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) as a boon for democracy, according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Thursday. “They talk about the multi-party problem, but I want to confirm that when the one party is dissolved, there will be five parties that will replace it. That means that it will go from two parties to six parties in the National Assembly,” Hun Sen said in an address before some 20,000 migrant workers in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. His comment was in reference to amendments to the MP election law proposed by the ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) to redistribute CNRP’s 55 seats in the National Assembly to five small parties in case the opposition party is dissolved. “Currently, there are dozens of political parties in Cambodia, and it is a heaven for political...
Cambodia deports Chinese nude photo online scammers | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia has deported dozens of Chinese citizens accused of extorting money from women in their homeland over social media....
Diplomats from 65 countries visit Royal crematorium | Phuket News
Bangkok-based envoys from 65 countries paid a visit to the site of the Royal crematorium at Sanam Luang on Wednesday (Oct 11) at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture. The diplomats observed the construction of the Royal pyre, Royal carriages and decorations related to the Royal cremation with M.R. Chakkarot Chitrapong, former culture permanent secretary, and Mrs Savitree Suwansathit, an advisor of the Culture Ministry, giving briefings to the envoys. Culture Minister Veera Rotepojanarat said the invitation for the envoys to observe preparations of the Royal cremation for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was intended to enable them to learn about the Royal ceremonies and tradition regarding the Royal cremation so that they can relate them back to their governments. The diplomats are from embassies of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece the Vatican,...
Cambodian ambulance drivers told to get licences | Phuket News
Cambodia's government says its ambulance drivers need the proper paperwork to drive....
150 scholars worldwide express support for CU’s Student Council President | Phuket News
150 scholars, scientists, writers, and activists from 60 institutions in 19 countries around the world have denounced the punishment against members of Chulalongkorn University’s Student Council who were removed for challenging the university’s tradition. Statement for supporting Chula students   We, activists, academics and human rights defenders have been following  the case of eight Chulalongkorn University students walking out to praise respect in alternative form to the royal statues of King Rama V and King Rama VI. We highly sustain their action which is congruous with human rights principles. The university should bounteously discern the different opinions and alternative form of expression.    All of eight students were punished by diminishing their behavior scores. Five of them, members of Chulalongkorn University Student Council, were expelled from the office. Furthermore, the penalty disqualified eight students and precludes them from being a candidate running for office or taking part in any major...
Laws underway to take away opposition’s MP seats for redistribution | Phuket News
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) is rewriting political laws with an aim to redistribute the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s 55 parliamentary seats to small parties in the event the opposition party is dissolved, according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Wednesday. A set of urgent draft amendments to the Law on Elections of Members of the National Assembly were leaked on CNRP deputy president Eng Chhay;s Facebook page on Tuesday. The proposed amendments to the election law and three other laws was confirmed by an assembly official. Under the current law, the CNRP’s empty seats in the National Assembly will be absorbed by the CPP, which would wield absolute control over all 123 seats in the assembly until the July 2018 election. But the proposed amendments will seek to share the seats to parties contested in the previous election, but didn’t win any seat. The draft entails a...
Yuan Set To End US Dollar Dominance In Cambodia | Phuket News
Oct 10, 2017 Picture:  The National Bank of Cambodia and the People’s Bank of China announced that they – for the first time – have introduced an official yuan-riel exchange rate regime that allows businesses and individuals to conduct trade settlement activities without using the US dollar as an intermediary currency. The announcement, made by a Cambodian central bank spokesman, confirms a report by Khmer Times published earlier this month. Sum Saniseth, vice governor of Cambodia’s central bank, said the exchange rate would not only make it easier to conduct cross-border business with China, but it was also useful for Cambodia because China is the country’s most important source of foreign investment and its nationals make the highest share of tourists visiting the country. While the yuan could be exchanged in Cambodia by Chinese visitors into riel at market rates benchmarked to the US dollar before, it can now...
EU, Rights Groups Urge Cambodia to Halt Attack on Opposition | Phuket News
The European Union and rights groups say the Cambodian government's move to dissolve the main opposition party would be a serious blow to democracy and undermine the credibility of elections next year. Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that the government of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen is making a
EU urges Cambodia to halt attack on opposition | Phuket News
PHNOM PENH: The European Union and rights groups say the Cambodian government's move to dissolve the main opposition party would be a serious blow to democracy that undermines the credibility of elections next year....
Religious freedom another casualty of Southeast Asia’s regressive turn | Phuket News
MUCH concern has been raised about a trend of rising authoritarianism across Southeast Asia, from President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous drug war in the Philippines to Cambodia’s rapid descent into dictatorship under Hun Sen. New reports jointly released by The International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB) and Bangkok-based Asia Centre this week illustrate yet another worrying trend across the region: that of rising religious intolerance, persecution and intercommunal conflict. One of the most religiously diverse regions on the planet – home to 250 million Muslims, 150 million Buddhists, 120 million Christians and sizeable communities of the Hindu, Confucian, Taoist and indigenous faiths –Southeast Asia has seen growing conflict along the fault lines of religion in recent years. Rohingya refugee childdren learn to recite Koran in an Arabic school a refugee camp, in Palang Khali near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh October 5, 2017. Source: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain SEE...
Vietnam stocks end at near 10-year high | Phuket News
Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended slightly higher on Thursday, in line with their Asian peers, with Vietnam closing at a near-decade high for a third consecutive session....
APEC talks end with 'very good outcome' despite wrangling | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam: Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries ended their meeting on Thursday with a
Games Add Levity to Vietnam Seminars Against Trafficking | Phuket News
The quiz games and ring tosses at factories around Vietnam are more than just amusement; charity workers are using them in their efforts against human trafficking, with the support of foreign governments and corporations. Factory workers play these games as part of training workshops to raise awareness about trafficking, held by the nonprofit Pacific Links Foundation. The organization partners with multinational companies that buy products from manufacturers in Vietnam, such as Walmart and the makers of Abercrombie & Fitch, Express and Victoria’s Secret. In the workshops, Vietnamese learn about the tactics of traffickers who target them in industrial parks. It’s a heavy topic, though the instructors bring some levity with the entertainment, which can include prizes for participants who answer quiz questions. “Through our work with survivors, we’ve seen a growing trend of victims being recruited from industrial zones,” Pacific Links co-founder Diep Vuong said in explaining the foundation’s focus...
Duterte says he won’t be lectured by Trump on human rights | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he won’t let US President Donald Trump to lecture him on human rights when they meet at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic (Apec) forum in Vietnam or in Manila during the Asean summit, The Manila Times Online reported on Thursday (Nov 9). “I would decide what is best for my country, alone, It will be a decision that will promote the higher, even the greatest interest of my country, in the meeting. I will not go there to be subservient or serve as a lackey for anyone,” said Duterte in a news conference before his departure for Vietnam. “If you want to ask me about human rights? I would say lay off. It is none of your business. I will nurture my country to health,” he added. Palace spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, assured that Duterte did not aspire to become a dictator....
Pacific Rim ministers extend talks ahead of APEC summit | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam: Foreign and trade ministers of 21 Pacific Rim economies meeting in Vietnam extended their talks for an extra day Thursday as they struggled for a consensus on open markets and other strategic issues ahead of a regional summit....
In Pictures: Trump's Asia Visit | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump is on a 13-day trip which takes him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam – his longest journey as president....
Duterte Would Tell Trump to 'Lay Off' Human Rights Questions | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that if U.S. President Donald Trump brings up human rights when they meet later this week, he'd tell the American leader to
Thailand backs Apec's free trade, regional integration roles | Phuket News
Danang, Vietnam: Thailand supports the leading role of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in promoting free and open trade and investment, supporting the multilateral trading system, addressing quality issues and providing a platform for capacity building and discussion of new ideas for development, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told the Apec Ministerial Meeting (AMM) on Wednesday....
Taiwan warns citizens after 11 sentenced to death in Indonesia | Phuket News
JAKARTA (CNA) – Taiwan’s representative to Indonesia warned Taiwan nationals on Monday not to treat legal penalties in Indonesia lightly, emphasizing that 11 Taiwanese have been sentenced to death for drug-related crimes in the country in recent years. The severity of punishments has also increased as part of a crackdown on drug crimes by Indonesian […]...
Indonesian Parliament Speaker Detained in Graft Scandal | Phuket News
Indonesia's anti-corruption agency has taken the country's parliament speaker into custody over his alleged role in a $170 million graft scandal. Setya Novanto was taken to a detention center late Sunday and a spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission said he will be held for 20 days for questioning. He has denied any wrongdoing. Authorities accuse Novanto of being among a group of officials who used the introduction of a new national identification card system to steal government funds. Police tried to arrest Novanto last week during a raid on his home, but he was not there. On Thursday night, it was announced that his car had crashed and he had checked into Permata Hijau hospital in South Jakarta. His lawyer said Friday he was put under armed guard at a hospital by the anti-graft investigators. Doctors said Sunday there was no need for Novanto to remain hospitalized, and he...
President Jokowi’s support within Golkar at stake | Phuket News
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s support within the Golkar appears to be at stake as the party is reportedly preparing a congress in response to pressure from party members for an election to replace the incumbent party chairman Setya Novanto recently named a corruption suspect, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Monday(Nov 20). According to Jakarta-based Voxpol Centre Research and Consulting executive director Pangi Syarwi Chaniago, political dynamics within the Golkar party would likely become more fluid if a congress is held, which means that any politician elected could be someone unwilling to join the government’s coalition. Pangi noted that factions within the ruling party remains although internal divisions that erupted in 2015 has been resolved through the election of Setya who was then considered as a neutral candidate. He told the Jakarta Post Online that he wasn’t sure that the Golkar would continue to support Jokowi as the party...
Indonesia parliament speaker taken into custody | Phuket News
JAKARTA: Indonesia's parliament speaker Setya Novanto has been taken into custody by the country's anti-corruption agency after being arrested over his alleged role in causing state losses of $170 million linked to a national electronic identity card scheme....
Suspected human trafficker apprehended on a fishing boat | Phuket News
Officials of the Department of Special Investigation and officers of the Royal Thai Navy arrested a key suspect on human trafficking charge for alleged involvement in luring workers to work as fishermen in Indonesia on Saturday (Nov 18). The suspect, Thanongsak Mahasapsakorn, was arrested in a fishing boat, Yor Nava 5, in the sea off Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Two naval vessels were ordered by Vice Admiral Chumsak Narkvichit, commander of the Second Fleet based in Songkhla province, to intercept Yor Nava 5 fishing trawler after it was confirmed that Thanongsak was working there as a fishing crew. Thanongsak was alleged to be the skipper of a fishing boat responsible for illegal sending workers to work as fishermen in Ambon, Indonesia. It was alleged that the suspect served as an enforcer on the fishing boat and was empowered by his boss to beat up any disobedient workers who refused to work....
Indonesia Graft Suspect Eludes Arrest | Phuket News
The speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives is finally under armed guard after eluding arrest for corruption during an bizarre few days during which he went “missing,” had his house raided, crashed his car into a telephone pole and circulated photos of being admitted into a hospital. It is the latest development in Setya Novanto’s career of extensive corruption and equally extensive efforts to elude arrest, or even trial, for corruption. The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) went to Novanto’s house in South Jakarta on Wednesday night but he was nowhere to be found. His lawyer claimed he was not in touch with him but was “100 percent confident that he’s in Jakarta [as] he’s not a coward.” Novanto is under investigation for his role in a national scandal over digital ID cards; the KPK has already summoned him 11 times for this case alone. He is accused of asking...
Police seek out diplomats who witnessed prosecution of junta critic | Phuket News
The police have reportedly sought to identify foreign diplomats who were present as observants of a sedition case against a Pheu Thai politician.    On 19 December 2017, Khaosod reported that the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) sent letters fo five embassies, requesting to verify persons present at the TCSD on 13 December who claimed to be embassy representatives. The five embassies are the UK, the US, Switzerland, Australia and the EU Delegation Office.    These diplomats presented at the TCSD to observe the accusation hearing process against Sunisa Lertpakawat, a former spokesperson of the Pheu Thai party, accused of breaching the Computer Crimes Act and the sedition law.    Prachatai can identify at least two of the embassy representatives: Jarrod Weir from the EU Delegation and Andrew L. Armstrong from the US Embassy. A diplomat source has also confirmed that the five were genuine representatives from the said embassies....
Buddhism office treads carefully in Phuket temple probe | Phuket News
PHUKET: The Phuket office of the National Office of Buddhism will allow a private operation to continue to sell items and artefacts to tourists at Ladthiwanaram Temple – locally known simply as “Wat Tai” in Chalong – while it continues its investigation into alleged price-gouging and other irregularities....
Second ‘Living in Phuket’ event aims to make life easier for new expats | Phuket News
Relocating to a new place can be daunting, especially when the culture and lifestyle are so different. There are a million reasons to move to Phuket, whether it be for work, retirement or simply the tropical climate....
US, S. Korea start drills in show of force against N. Korea | Phuket News
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and South Korea on Saturday started joint naval exercises that will involve three U.S. aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea. The four-day drills that began in waters off South Korea’s eastern coast come as President Donald Trump continues a […]...
Trump Touts Excellent Progress in Talks With Xi | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said the United States and China must work together to liberate the region and the world from what he called the very serious threat posed by the “murderous regime in North Korea. Trump made the comment as he stood alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping as they delivered successive prepared remarks, but did not take questions from journalists. Trump added that Washington and Beijing agreed “not to repeat the mistakes of the past” in dealing with Pyongyang, which over the years has managed to rapidly advance its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Trump earlier said excellent progress was made in his talks with Xi. “The entire civilized world must unite to confront the North Korean menace,” he added. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is accompanying the president, told reporters after the meetings that the Chinese, have been clear and unequivocal over the two...
The Art of Flattery: Asia Woos Trump With Show of Pageantry | Phuket News
Honor guards marching in unison in colorful uniforms. Elaborate state dinners with celebrity guests. Gaggles of children, jumping and screaming along with endless praise.   The first half of President Donald Trump's whirlwind tour to Asia has been an exercise in the art of flattery, as world leaders woo the man who was introduced at the South Korean National Assembly as the
Tillerson: ‘No Disagreement on North Korea’ between Trump, Xi | Phuket News
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says “there is no disagreement on North Korea” between the United States and China following talks in Beijing between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Tillerson, who is in the Chinese capital with Trump, spoke with reporters Thursday after the two leaders held bilateral talks focused on North Korea and trade. He said the two men also had frank exchanges on human rights and maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Concerning Pyongyang, he said the Chinese have been clear and unequivocal over two days of talks that they will not accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons. “There’s no space between both of our objectives,” Tillerson said. “We have our own views of the tactics, the timing and how far to go with pressure and that’s what we spend a lot of time exchanging views on.” Trump, according to Tillerson,...
Tillerson: ‘No Disagreement on North Korea’ between US, China | Phuket News
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says “there is no disagreement on North Korea” between the United States and China following talks in Beijing between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Tillerson, who is in the Chinese capital with Trump, spoke with reporters Thursday after the two leaders held bilateral talks focused on North Korea and trade. He said the two men also had frank exchanges on human rights and maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Concerning Pyongyang, he said the Chinese have been clear and unequivocal over two days of talks that they will not accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons. “There’s no space between both of our objectives,” Tillerson said. “We have our own views of the tactics, the timing and how far to go with pressure and that’s what we spend a lot of time exchanging views on.” Trump, according to Tillerson,...
Nasi lemak gown for Miss Universe Malaysia | Phuket News
Miss Malaysia will wear a gown inspired by the spicy national dish at the pageant finals....
As Trump Heads to E. Asia, Tillerson Takes More Forceful Tone Towards Beijing | Phuket News
After what U.S. officials said was several months of deliberation among President Donald Trump’s national security team, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently took a rather strident tone towards China in a major speech that came just weeks before Trump’s first state visit to China. “The United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China’s challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries and disadvantages the U.S. and our friends,” said Tillerson in a major policy speech on Oct. 18 at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS.)   The remarks, which also hit China’s continuing reclamation in the South China Sea, are seen as a reflection of U.S. impatience that Beijing is not ceasing its aggressive actions in the South China Sea, a crucial trade route for the world’s largest economies. “China’s provocative actions in the South China...
Why is Malaysia allocating more money for the degradation of Islam? | Phuket News
MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the country’s finance minister, last week tabled the National Budget for 2018. It is a bigger budget in terms of allocation of money, increasing from RM260 billion in 2017 to RM280 billion for 2018. It’s all well and good if money is allocated to the right areas and managed well. Overall, there’s an increase in allocation for all the major sectors like health, education, agriculture and entrepreneurship, which is, hopefully, positive. However, one sector that will receive what I feel is an unwarranted increase in allocation is the Islamic development sector (RM1.03 billion has been earmarked for this). Most of this money is going to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, better known as Jakim. SEE ALSO: Religious fundamentalism in Malaysia: reality vs rhetoric From 2017’s RM745 million, Jakim will get an increased allocation of RM811 million to spend in 2018. I honestly don’t...
Chongzhou furniture industry exhibiting overseas, favoured by 15000 professional buyers | Phuket News
Oct 29, 2017 Picture:  CHENGDU, China, Oct. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At the end of
Southeast Asian Leaders to Go Soft on China Over Disputed Sea | Phuket News
China and a powerful bloc of countries in Southeast Asia are likely to touch on a deep maritime dispute when their heads of state meet next month, but analysts say it will be without language that would offend an increasingly respected Beijing. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet Chinese officials Nov. 10-14 in Manila at meetings chaired by the Philippines – a friend of Beijing over the past year – and per convention aimed at building consensus rather than airing differences.  Analysts expect statements from the meetings to note this dispute over sovereignty in the South China Sea, Asia's stickiest maritime issue, without pointing fingers.  “I think it would be mentioned, but it would be very general language calling on all sides to exercises restraints,” said Oh Ei Sun, international studies instructor at Singapore Nanyang University. Since 2010 Beijing has angered four Southeast Asian countries by expanding its...
Zero waste: This woman wants to liberate Malaysia from garbage | Phuket News
CLAIRE Sancelot used to be like any of us – hyper consumers sucked into buying things we don’t need, using and throwing plastic without a thought, and completely unaware about how our actions are slowly destroying the planet and killing us in the process. Things changed when she became pregnant with her twins. Space was scarce in her Hong Kong flat then, and with another two new members joining their family, it was going to get scarcer. Things outside weren’t any better – anyone who has lived in Hong Kong will know its country parks are littered with rubbish, illegal landfills are piling up and the ocean surrounding the island is polluted from the busy port business. SEE ALSO: India’s Kerala could provide a solution for Asean’s plastic problem Sancelot and her husband realised their old way of living was totally unsustainable and there needs to be drastic change in how...
Myanmar Police Detain 2 Journalists for Flying Drone Over Parliament Grounds | Phuket News
Myanmar police said Saturday they have detained two foreign journalists who are employed by Turkish state media for flying a drone over parliament grounds in the capital of Nay Pyi Taw. Their detention comes amid heightened tension between Myanmar and Turkey, which has criticized the Southeast Asian country for its treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Myanmar in September of committing genocide against the Rohingya, a charge Myanmar denies. The journalists, who work for Turkey's state broadcaster TRT, have been identified as Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia. The pair, who were arrested Friday, was working with noted Myanmar journalist Aung Naing Soe. Local media reports said authorities searched Aung Naing Soe's home in Yangon Friday night. Police said they expected to get court permission to detain the two journalists for up to 15 days while they prepare to charge...
A millennial’s guide to Malaysia’s Budget 2018 | Phuket News
MALAYSIAN millennials want more money. The generation that has seen their wages stay stagnant since 2007 and are working two jobs to save for that house they probably could not afford, could do with a little more dosh in their bank account. So what better way to spend this Friday evening than to watch the televised Budget 2018 speech, where the Prime Minister will give a macroeconomic proposal of what the government plans to do financially with taxpayer’s (read: our) money? After all, like these billionaires know, to make money, you first have to know the system it exists in. SEE ALSO: Malaysian millennials are a confused bunch. But it’s not their fault The unfortunate thing, however, is that the speech is usually riddled in finance-speak along the lines of so-and-so tax rates on chargeable income starting from X ringgit will go down Y percent effective from year of assessment Z....
Asian destinations dominate globally as highest-growing tourism cities | Phuket News
URBAN centres in the Asia Pacific account for all ten of the fastest growing tourism cities globally, shows new data released this week. A report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which covered 65 cities – 21 in the Asia Pacific – found that all those seeing huge growth in tourism numbers, job creation and contribution to city economies were in the region. “The power of Asian cities when it comes to driving the Travel & Tourism sector is clear to see in this new data,” WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said. SEE ALSO: Australian capital makes top 3 Lonely Planet cities, gets roasted online A number of cities contributed more than a quarter of their country’s entire travel and tourism economy: Auckland, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul and Sydney. “Not only do these cities contribute significantly to their country’s tourism sector, tourism is...
Cash holdings by Asia's rich rise to 5-year high -survey | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: Rich Asians boosted their cash holdings to the highest level in five years as they sought to buffer their wealth against any downturn in buoyant financial markets, according to a survey by Capgemini SA....
Here's what you can expect to get on United's 18-hour flight to Singapore from LA (or San Francisco) | Phuket News
Here are a few interesting facts for travelers taking United Airlines' long voyage from LA to Singapore....
CropLife Asia Awarded Best Stewardship Program at Agrow Awards for the Indian Pollination Project | Phuket News
Nov 03, 2017 Picture:  SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - With the 10th Annual Agrow Awards ceremony held in London this week, it was announced that CropLife Asia was the recipient of this year's Best Stewardship Programme award. Through the Madhu Sandesh (or
Jetstar begins Hat Yai-Singapore service | Phuket News
Jetstar will launch its first international service from the southern city of Hat Yai in Songkhla province with an inaugural flight to Singapore this evening, Nov 3....
Police said to examine Goldman role in 1MDB deals | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: Prosecutors and police are examining Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s relationship with the Malaysian state investment fund at the centre of global money-laundering probes, people with knowledge of the matter said....
Goldman reportedly scrutinized by police for relation to money laundering probe | Phuket News
Singapore has interviewed current and former Goldman Sachs executives who worked on bond offerings from 1MDB....
Trump Announces Company's Return to US | Phuket News
A $100 billion semiconductor company based in Singapore will legally relocate its home address to the United States, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. Broadcom Limited, which manufactures communications chips around the world, said it would relocate its legal address to Delaware once shareholders approve the move, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue back to the U.S. The move will allow Broadcom to avoid a cumbersome federal review process. The Oval Office announcement was tied to the release of congressional Republicans' tax reform proposal, which would drastically reduce corporate rates and makes it easier for companies to deduct foreign taxes. The company credits the GOP plan with making it easier to do business in the U.S.
Kuka aims to lead in China as robotics move from industry to home | Phuket News
Robots are changing the way people live and Kuka wants to lead the market in China....
Duterte to Ask: What Are China’s Intentions in South China Sea? | Phuket News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he is planning to ask Beijing, during this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), what its intentions are in the South China Sea and if Southeast Asian countries will be allowed to freely navigate the disputed, strategic sea. During his almost 18 months in office, Duterte has adopted a largely nonconfrontational approach toward Beijing and its competing claims in the South China Sea. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella explained in October 2016 that confrontation didn’t serve the interests of the Philippines, which was why Duterte was “committed to a process of engagement and negotiation” that would ensure that Manila’s rights are respected and protected. ​Signal to US, China Scott Harold, Rand Corp. associate director for the Center for Asia Pacific Policy, said Duterte’s plan to raise the issue now may be because the Philippine leader trying to play hard to get with Washington, while at the same...
Philippines: Killer typhoon Haiyan survivors still suffering after 4 years | Phuket News
FOUR years after Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) brought unimaginable catastrophe in Central Philippines that destroyed more than one million houses and left over 6,000 people dead, thousands of survivors are still suffering from the effects of one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded on Earth. Packing sustained winds of up to 315km per hour (195 mph), Haiyan destroyed much of the provinces of Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas region with the scene of devastation many described as “absolute mayhem.” Storm surges were primarily responsible for the 6,300 dead, 1,061 missing and 28,689 injured in Haiyan’s aftermath. It was classified as a Category 5 typhoon, which has the capacity to cause catastrophic damage, a high percentage of destruction of framed homes, total roof failure and wall collapse, isolation of residential areas due to fallen trees and power poles. Typhoon Haiyan survivors walk through the ruins of their neighborhood on...
Philippines files criminal case against ex-president Aquino | Phuket News
MANILA: The Philippines' anti-graft body filed criminal charges against former President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday for mishandling a botched anti-militant raid that resulted in the death of 44 police commandos in 2015....
Philippines: Haiyan survivors still suffering 4 years after killer typhoon hit | Phuket News
FOUR years after Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) brought unimaginable catastrophe in Central Philippines that destroyed more than one million houses and left over 6,000 people dead, thousands of survivors are still suffering from the effects of one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded on Earth. Packing sustained winds of up to 315 kilometres per hour (195 mph), Haiyan destroyed much of the provinces of Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas region with the scene of devastation many described as “absolute mayhem.” Storm surges were primarily responsible for the 6300 dead, 1061 missing and 28,689 injured in Haiyan’s aftermath. It was classified as a Category 5 typhoon, which has the capacity to cause catastrophic damage, a high percentage of destruction of framed homes, total roof failure and wall collapse, isolation of residential areas due to fallen trees and power poles. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during Change of Command ceremonies...
Philippines: ‘Haiyan’ survivors still suffering 4 years after killer typhoon hit | Phuket News
FOUR years after Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) brought unimaginable catastrophe in Central Philippines that destroyed more than one million houses and left over 6,000 people dead, thousands of survivors are still suffering from the effects of one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded on Earth. Packing sustained winds of up to 315 kilometres per hour (195 mph), Haiyan destroyed much of the provinces of Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas region with the scene of devastation many described as “absolute mayhem.” Storm surges were primarily responsible for the 6300 dead, 1061 missing and 28,689 injured in Haiyan’s aftermath. It was classified as a Category 5 typhoon, which has the capacity to cause catastrophic damage, a high percentage of destruction of framed homes, total roof failure and wall collapse, isolation of residential areas due to fallen trees and power poles. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during Change of Command ceremonies...
A changing Mekong, changing lives in Ubon Ratchathani | Phuket News
Kornkritch Somjittranukit Dams constructed by Chinese government along the Mekong river are forcing villagers in Ubon Ratchathani into lives of uncertainty, even as they reap no benefits from the dams themselves.     On 19 April 2017, seven exploration ships from China arrived in Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai Province. The ships were assigned to navigate Thailand’s Mekong river as part of a plan to bomb outcrops along the riverbank to clear the way for commercial ships.   The bombing is the first stage of a plan to develop a shipping route from China’s Yunnan Province to Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos. On 27 December 2016, the Thai cabinet gave the green light to the Development Plan for International Navigation on the Lancang-Mekong River (2015–2025), approving boats from China to survey the river.      This is not the first time that governments have tried to appropriate the Mekong without...
Cash and chemicals: For Laos, Chinese banana boom a blessing and curse | Phuket News
KONGKAEW Vonusak smiles when he recalls the arrival of Chinese investors in his tranquil village in northern Laos in 2014. With them came easy money, he said. The Chinese offered villagers up to US$720 per hectare to rent their land, much of it fallow for years, said Kongkaew, 59, the village chief. They wanted to grow bananas on it. In impoverished Laos, the offer was generous. “They told us the price and asked us if we were happy. We said okay.” Elsewhere, riverside land with good access roads fetched at least double that sum. Three years later, the Chinese-driven banana boom has left few locals untouched, but not everyone is smiling. Experts say the Chinese have brought jobs and higher wages to northern Laos, but have also drenched plantations with pesticides and other chemicals. Last year, the Lao government banned the opening of new banana plantations after a state-backed institute reported...
Buddhists Across Asia Mark Vesak With Prayers, Processions | Phuket News
Buddhists across Asia commemorated the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha in Vesak celebrations this week. This year, the United Nations held its special Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka, where a colorful lantern festival was organized with moving light displays and stalls to hand out free food and drinks to visitors.
Police say Pat Napapa is to face money laundering charge | Phuket News
TV personality Ms Napapa “Pat” Tantrakul will face charge of money laundering after anti-narcotics police have found additional evidence to substantiate the charge against her. An informed source in the anti-narcotics police said that the police, on May 9, sought court summons for the television emcee, wife of Akkarakit Worarotecharoendet, alias Benz Racing, to acknowledge the charge of money laundering on May 15 after the finding of new evidence implicating her of involvement in money laundering with her husband who is facing money laundering charge allegedly in connection with alleged Laotian drug lord. Xaysana is currently held in detention for alleged involvement in the smuggling of 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets into Thailand from Laos. Ms Napapa received 1.9 million baht wired to her account from her husband who received the money from Mr Natthapol Narkkham, an alleged narcotics trafficker. The source said that although the money had been delivered to...
Singapore, Thailand, UK Best Non-Islamic Countries For Muslim Travelers | Phuket News
May 11, 2017 Picture:  The best non-Islamic countries for Muslim visitors are Singapore, Thailand and the UK, followed by South Africa and Hong Kong, according to the newly released MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2017. The index defines non-Islamic countries as those which are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The index takes into account various factors such as family friendliness of a destination, safety, halal food and accommodation options, prayer space access, air connectivity and visa regulation, among others, and derives a point score from this. The index also has a Muslim country ranking whose top five destinations are Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, nations that also lead the overall rating of all countries as per their score. This year’s index, which covers 130 destinations, showed that a number of non-OIC destinations in Asia moved up the rankings, the result of...
Is Southeast Asia ready for the robotics revolution? | Phuket News
TECHNOLOGICAL advancements over the past couple of years have brought the prospect of a robotic workforce closer to reality. Experts believe we are now on the verge of the largest economic transformation in recorded history, with robots set to become a common feature of modern working environments. The long held belief that this robotic revolution would impact developed countries long before it affected developing nations, with low labour costs, is proving to be a misconception. The International Data Corporation’s (IDC) publication Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions is one of many recent reports which concludes that robotic technologies will jeopardise the livelihoods of millions of people, while the Bank of England estimates that 95 million jobs will be taken over by robots within the next 10 to 20 years. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), Southeast Asia will experience serious upheavals as automation spreads across the region. The ILO, “estimates that about 56...
The Laos connections who help shuttle ‘yaba’ pills across Southeast Asia | Phuket News
The downfall of millionaire ‘Mr X’, long shielded by cash and contacts in Laos, has highlighted the role of the secretive, communist country in showering pills across Southeast Asia. Allegedly a key figure among gangs buying drugs from Myanmar’s meth labs, Laotian Xaysana Keophimpha – dubbed Mr X – is believed to have used his graft-riddled country to shuttle narcotics south, first through Thailand then onto Malaysia. The heavyset 42-year-old was arrested by armed......
470kg of marijuana seized | Phuket News
NAKHON PHANOM - Authorities on Saturday night seized 470 kilogrammes of dried marijuana which had been smuggled across the Mekong River from Laos to Bang Phaeng district....
Laos hit by 4.9 magnitude earthquake today | Phuket News
An earthquake measuring 4.9 on Richter scale hit western Laos, shaking buildings in Thailand’s Nan province. The Meteorological Department said the earthquake happened at 05.10am inside Laos, 37 kilometres away from Thailand Nan’s Ban Charng village in Tambon Kunnan, Chalermphrakiat district to the northeast. The epi-centre of the earthquake is 10 kilometres deep into the earth surface. Initial report said no property was damaged but residents living in high rise buildings in Nan town could feel the tremour.   The post Laos hit by 4.9 magnitude earthquake today appeared first on Thai PBS English News....
Thailand Pulls Passport of Fugitive Red Bull Heir | Phuket News
Thailand’s government has canceled the passport of a fugitive heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune who is wanted on deadly hit-and-run charges, a Foreign Ministry official said.   Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya will no longer be able to enter other countries on that passport, and his immigration status is invalid in whatever country he is visiting, making him subject to penalties under that country’s laws, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitak said Friday.    Vorayuth fled Thailand last month just before a warrant for his arrest was issued. He flew to Singapore two days before he was to appear before prosecutors in one of several planes owned by his family’s companies, but left two days later. His current whereabouts are unknown.  5-year-old warrant   The warrant was issued almost five years after Vorayuth allegedly left a motorcycle police officer dead after crashing into him with his Ferrari at high speed. ...
Burma: China’s $10 billion project sparks ire among locals | Phuket News
DAYS before the first supertanker carrying 140,000 tonnes of Chinese-bound crude oil arrived in Burma‘s Kyauk Pyu port, local officials confiscated Nyein Aye’s fishing nets. The 36-year-old fisherman was among hundreds banned from fishing a stretch of water near the entry point for a pipeline that pumps oil 770 km (480 miles) across Burma to southwest China and forms a crucial part of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” project to deepen its economic links with Asia and beyond. “How can we make a living if we’re not allowed to catch fish?” said Nyein Aye, who bought a bigger boat just four months ago but now says his income has dropped by two-thirds due to a decreased catch resulting from restrictions on when and where he can fish. Last month he joined more than 100 people in a protest demanding compensation from pipeline operator Petrochina . The pipeline is part of the nearly US$10 billion...
50 years on: Indonesia to host Asean literary festival in August | Phuket News
INDONESIA’s capital Jakarta will again host the fourth annual Asean Literary Festival (ALF) in August 2017 as the regional Southeast Asian bloc celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. Now in its fourth year, the ALF was established by prominent Indonesian novelist Okky Madasari and former editor of the Jakarta Post, Abdul Khalik, to promote freedom of expression and discuss contentious issues in a region that is increasingly authoritarian. “Every year, consistently, the festival always presents discussion with the same theme: freedom of expression,” ALF spokesperson Febriana Firdaus told Asian Correspondent. This year’s event is themed ‘Beyond Imagination’ and will be held at Jakarta’s Kota Tua or old city from August 3 to 6. It will host writers, artists and scholars from more than 30 countries including those from all 10 Asean nations, the United States, Australia and across Asia, Africa and Europe. SEE ALSO: Asia Pacific home to world’s worst ‘press freedom predators’...
Refugee children face ‘harrowing’ detention in Southeast Asia – charities | Phuket News
FROM overcrowding to a lack of medical care, thousands of refugee children are languishing in “dangerous and harrowing” conditions in Southeast Asian detention facilities, according to two charities. Over 2,290 refugee and asylum seeker children were held in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia at the end of 2016, according to Save the Children and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network in a report released on Thursday. The three nations have been on key transit routes for thousands of migrants and asylum seekers, from countries including Burma, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who are trying to flee violence or poverty at home to reach Australia. But they are often intercepted during these journeys, and authorities typically treat asylum seekers and refugees as illegal immigrants, subjecting them to arrest or detention. SEE ALSO: Bangladesh: 350,000 evacuated as cyclone hits Rohingya refugee camps “These children should not be treated like criminals,” said Mike Novell, Save the Children’s...
Burma: Bodies, debris found in search for missing military aircraft | Phuket News
BODIES and aircraft debris were found in the sea off the southern coast of Burma on Thursday by a navy ship searching for a military plane which went missing with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board. Three bodies, including two adults and a child, were found some 35 km (22 miles) from the southern coastal town of Launglon, the military said in a statement on its official Facebook page. A plane wheel, two life jackets and some bags with clothes – believed to be from the missing Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane – were also found, the statement said, adding the military search will continue. The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane vanished on early Wednesday afternoon after takeoff from the coastal town of Myeik on a weekly military flight. SEE ALSO: Burma mounts search for missing military plane with 122 aboard The plane lost contact 29 minutes after takeoff while flying at 18,000...
Burma mounts search for missing military plane with 122 aboard | Phuket News
SHIPS and planes were scouring the coast of southern Burma on Wednesday after a military aircraft vanished over the Andaman Sea with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board, the army and civil aviation officials said. The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane left the coastal town of Myeik at 1:06 p.m (0636 GMT), heading north to Yangon, Burma‘s largest city, officials said. It was on a weekly military flight that was scheduled to stop at several coastal towns along the way. The plane lost contact 29 minutes after takeoff while flying at 18,000 feet (5,485 metres) over the sea, about 43 miles (70 km) west of the town of Dawei, the military said. SEE ALSO: Australia: Passengers jump from plane in response to hoax threat “We don’t know what exactly happened to this plane after the loss of contact,” said Kyaw Kyaw Htey, a civil aviation official at Myeik airport. Authorities reported conflicting numbers...
US says China may park future military base in Pakistan | Phuket News
A PENTAGON report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti. The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded US$180 billion. That is higher than China’s official defense budget figure of CNY954.35 billion (US$140.4 billion). Chinese leaders, the US report said, appeared committed to defense spending hikes for the “foreseeable future,” even as economic growth slows. SEE ALSO: China’s feathers ruffled by Mattis’ ‘irresponsible remarks’ on South China Sea The report repeatedly cited China’s construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, which is already home to a key US military base and is strategically located at the southern...
Facebook bans use of term “kala” | Phuket News
An apparent Facebook ban on the word “kala” which was originally used to describe foreigners but has increasingly been used as a derogatory term for Muslims has caused an uproar among Burma’s netizens and scholars, according a report of The Irrawaddy News Online. News and entertainment website Mashable said Facebook might have imposed the ban last week in response to feedback from online community. Nationalists often used the term kala as a racial slur against Muslims who face widespread discrimination. Facebook reportedly blocked posts with any reference to the word, drawing criticism of netizens, many of whom wrote posts, including the term kala and were temporarily barred from the site. U Khin Aye, a former Burmese professor from Rangoon University said that the original meaning of the word was not derogatory, but it implies a bad sense when people use the word to insult a group of people. But he...
Burma: Suu Kyi govt to probe video allegedly showing army’s torture of civilians | Phuket News
AUNG San Suu Kyi’s office says authorities will commence investigations into a video that appears to show members of the Burmese (Myanmar) army kicking and beating civilians, following concerns raised by rights groups. The violent footage spread on social media last week was the second such clip to emerge in six months that shows the militia beating locals during interrogation in a conflict-region of northern Burma. SEE ALSO: Watch: Footage shows alleged Rohingya assault by Burmese policemen “We have found a 17-minute-long video on social media showing four civilians mistreated by some soldiers. International human rights organisations released statements about that on May 28,” Suu Kyi’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “The government will now necessarily investigate the violations according to the current rules and regulations.” According to Fortify Rights last weekend, the video surfaced first on Facebook, displaying a group of soldiers savagely beating six unidentified ethnic men held captive for...
Bangladesh: World’s most vulnerable people now facing a further calamity – NGO | Phuket News
LEFT DRENCHED and near destitute by a cyclone that ripped across the Bangladesh coast a day earlier, scores of thousands of Rohingya refugees hunkered down in the ruins of their camps on Wednesday, desperate for relief after a night in the rain. At least seven people were killed and 50 injured by Cyclone Mora, according to Mohammad Ali Hussain, the chief administrator of Cox’s Bazar district, a sliver of land in southeast Bangladesh bordering Myanmar. The border area that bore the brunt of the storm is home to refugee camps for Muslim Rohingyas who have fled from their homes in northwest Myanmar to escape communal violence and Myanmar army crackdowns. “Initial reports suggest damage to shelter in camps sheltering Rohingya refugees, is severe in makeshift settlements, particularly in Balukhali and Shamlapur in Cox’s Bazar,” the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator for Bangladesh said in a report. SEE ALSO: Bangladesh:...
Cambodia Files Lawsuit Against Opposition | Phuket News
Cambodia's government is moving to dissolve the main opposition party. An interior ministry spokesman says the ruling Cambodian People's Party has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court with the goal of dissolving the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The ruling party claims CNRP has been involved in a plot to topple the government. Half of the opposition lawmakers have already fled the country after their leader Kem Sokha was arrested last month and charged with treason. Sokha's arrest was carried out amid a massive government crackdown against independent news outlets and human rights groups. The Cambodia Daily, one of the last independent newspapers in the country, was closed after it received a large, overdue tax bill its publishers claim is bogus. Observers say the crackdown is an apparent attempt by Prime Minister Hun Sen to shut down dissenting voices ahead of next year's election with the aim of extending his...
Locations of 85 replicas of royal crematorium | Phuket News
On Thursday, Oct 26, 2016, the cremation day of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, apart from at the main royal crematorium at Sanam Luang people can lay their dok mai chan (sandalwood flowers) at the 85 replicas of the royal crematorium in Bangkok and other provinces as follows: Bangkok and nearby provinces Dusit Palace, Dusit district Old office of the Government Lottery Office, Watthana district Nakarapirom Park, Phra Nakhon district The statue of King Rama I, Phra Nakhon district Lan Khon Muang, Bangkok Metropolitan Administratin, Phra Nakhon district Bitec (Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre), Bang Na King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Lat Kra Bang district Thupatemi Sport Stadium, Lam Luk Ka district, Pathum Thani Buddha Monthon, Nakhon Pathom  The North  The old airstrip of Wing 416, Chiang Rai International Meeting and Exhibition Centre, Chiang Mai Office of the Lamphun Provincial Administration Organisation, Lamphun Lampang Rajabhat University, Lampang...
Cambodian government files lawsuit to dissolve main opposition party | Phuket News
THE Cambodia government filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court on Friday demanding the opposition party be dissolved ahead of next year’s crucial national elections. According to the Phnom Penh Post, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak confirmed that a party lawyer had taken the next step towards putting an end to the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the country’s main opposition party. “Lawyer Ky Tech has filed the complaints to the Supreme Court and the complaints are to dissolve the CNRP,” he said. Lawyers for the government said the opposition had conspired with foreigners to topple the government, citing a 2013 video clip that shows CNRP leader Kem Sokha talking about a plan to take power with the help of Americans. Kem Sokha has since been arrested and has been in detention for over a month on charges of treason. SEE ALSO: 5 signs of Cambodia’s ‘descent into outright dictatorship’ Sopheak claimed...
Cambodia opposition chief 'feared arrest' | Phuket News
Leading opposition figure Mu Sochua tells the BBC she has fled into exile for fear of being arrested for treason....
Large Numbers of Opposition MPs Fly out of Cambodia | Phuket News
Almost half of Cambodia’s opposition lawmakers have left the country or are in jail, including most of its leadership, as proceedings to dissolve the party move forward. It was no longer possible to “save democracy” from inside Cambodia, said Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Mu Sochua — who fled on Tuesday saying she’d been tipped off her arrest was imminent. “If there is no democracy and if there is only intimidation and arrest, I think we must find alternative means to push, to promote, and to save democracy in our country,” she said from an undisclosed location abroad. Opposition on the run It was better to advocate outside the country than be jailed under a co opted legal system, said Sochua, who has called for targeted international sanctions on ruling party leaders. A complaint requesting the dissolution of her party was filed by the Cambodian Youth Party yesterday - citing...
Cambodian Youth Party seeks dissolution of opposition party | Phuket News
The Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) has lodged a complaint with the Interior Ministry seeking the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Thursday (Oct 5). The letter of complaint sent Wednesday by CYP president PichSros reads: “The words of Kem Sokha, CNRP president, in a leaked video show that the CNRP has made a conspiracy with foreigners for the purpose of colour revolution.” Recent amendments of the Political Parties Law authorize the Interior Ministry to dissolve parties associated with convicted criminals or undermines the security of the nation. Both the CYP and the Funcinpec led by Prince Ranariddh previously announced they would file suits to the Supreme Court to dissolve the CNRP. Sros said the Interior Ministry had confirmed receiving his letter of complaint, but has not yet responded.  He denied any connection with the CPP. Meanwhile, Funcinpec spokesman Nheb...
Cambodian opposition calls for sanctions against Hun Sen government | Phuket News
CAMBODIAN opposition leader Mu Sochua has called on Western donors to impose targeted sanctions on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government after she was forced to flee the Southeast Asian nation in fear of arrest. In a bid to save democracy in the increasingly authoritarian nation, Mu Sochua said the time for talk was over. “The time for statements has passed. It’s time for sanctions, targeted sanctions. Also, suspension of technical aid to the government of Cambodia,” she told Reuters. “Time is up for democracy. How long can the international community wait?” SEE ALSO: ‘Do not kill Cambodia’: Opposition leader Kem Sokha pens letter from behind bars As vice president of opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Mu Sochua was forced to leave Cambodia on Tuesday, saying she had been tipped off that she was among the next targets of a crackdown in which opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested a...
Cambodian Virtual Reality Helps Train Bomb-disposal Techs | Phuket News
A lab in Cambodia is using cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, swarm robotics and 3-D printing to try and revolutionize bomb disposal. The suite of products developed by Golden West Humanitarian Foundation's Phnom Penh lab, in collaboration with universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Villanova, are designed to mesh all these technologies together into a
Cambodian Virtual Reality Helps Train Bomb-disposal Technicians | Phuket News
A small lab in Cambodia is developing some big tech in the field of bomb disposal. The augmented and virtual reality products developed by Cambodian-led international teams aim to revolutionize how deminers are trained. Golden West Humanitarian Foundation is working with big universities such as MIT and Villanova to help turn a devastating legacy of unexploded ordnance in Cambodia into a source of global expertise and respect. David Boyle has this report....
Cambodian Opposition Lawmaker Flees into Exile After Arrest Warning | Phuket News
A leading Cambodian opposition lawmaker has fled the country after being warned that she faces arrest in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the government. Mu Sochua, the deputy president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, left Phnom Penh on Tuesday, one day after Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed to take action against others who may have taken part in the alleged plot. CNRP leader Kem Sokha was taken from his home on Sept. 3 and charged with treason. The government said the charges were based on comments Kem Sokha made on a video dating back to 2013, in which he claims to have received help from the United States to build a pro-democracy movement in Cambodia. Kem Monovithya, a high-ranking CNRP official, said on Twitter late Tuesday that Mu Sochua fled after receiving a warning from a senior government official. Nearly half of CNRP's lawmakers have fled Cambodia...
Vietnam posts $2.2 bn trade surplus in October | Phuket News
HANOI: Vietnam had a trade surplus of $2.2 billion in October, much higher than the government's forecast of $900 million, the customs department said on Wednesday....
Vietnam grapples with deadly floods as it hosts APEC | Phuket News
VIETNAMESE authorities have released water from seven overly full reservoirs to avoid further flooding, after a typhoon on the weekend claimed the lives of at least 89 people. The Southeast Asian nation is this week hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Danang, which has been spared the worst of the damage. Floods have inundated nearby Hoi An, however, a town which was supposed to be hosting APEC spouses later in the week. World leaders including United States President Donald Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are among those in attendance. SEE ALSO: Vietnam: Poverty a major killer as north ravaged by floods A traffic sing indicating APEC summit vehicles priority is seen along submerged street in UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam November 6, 2017. Source: Reuters/Kham SEE ALSO: Vietnam’s last chance: Sustainable tourism Because of its long coastline, Vietnam...
Death Toll in Vietnam from Typhoon Damrey Rises to 69 | Phuket News
Vietnamese officials say the death toll from a powerful typhoon that struck the country's south-central coast last week has risen to 69. The Disaster Management Authority says another 30 people are still missing in the aftermath of Typhoon Damrey, which caused extensive damage throughout Khanh Hoa province. More than 116,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged due to widespread flooding, which have also filled reservoirs to near-capacity. The heavy rains and flooding caused by Typhoon Damrey could also affect the upcoming two-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit beginning Wednesday in the central city of Danang. Heads of state from 21 nations are expected to attend the summit, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meetings are expected to go on as scheduled, but a scheduled trip by the spouses of the APEC leaders to the nearby...
Death toll from Vietnam storm climbs to 69 ahead of summit | Phuket News
DANANG, Vietnam: Vietnam released water from seven dangerously full reservoirs on Tuesday, just days before a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders and after a typhoon killed nearly 70 people....
What will Trump do in Southeast Asia? | Phuket News
US President Donald Trump is now in the middle of his 11-day trip to Asia which, according to the White House, is the longest tour of Asia by a US president in 25 years. The trip is also Mr Trump’s longest foreign trip to date. He started off in Japan on Nov 5 before travelling to South Korea on Nov 7 and then to China on Nov 8. For Southeast Asian countries, the focus would be on the final four days of the trip from Nov 10-13 when he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) Summit in Vietnam, US-Asean Summit and East-Asia Summit in the Philippines. Following are details of Mr Trump’s activities in Vietnam and the Philippines: Friday, Nov 10: Danang, Vietnam Delivers his second major address of the Asia trip at the Apec CEO Summit, outlining the US vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region where...
Vietnam death toll from Damrey tops 60, dams threatened | Phuket News
DANANG: The death toll from a typhoon and ensuing floods in Vietnam reached 61 on Monday and the government said some reservoirs were dangerously near capacity after persistent rain....
Exotic Indonesian birds smuggled in drain pipes | Phuket News
A wildlife raid in Indonesia yields startling results after 125 exotic birds are found in drain pipes....
Disbelief as 'most wanted' Indonesia politician hospitalised | Phuket News
JAKARTA: A top Indonesian politician embroiled in a scandal involving an epic theft of public money has been hospitalised after a car crash that is being widely mocked online as another tactic to avoid arrest....
4 sperm whales dead after mass stranding in Sumatra | Phuket News
FOUR sperm whales were reported to have died Tuesday following a mass stranding on a beach on the northwestern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. A group of 10 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was spotted on Ujong Kareung beach in Aceh province on Monday morning, according to WWF-Indonesia, which has been monitoring attempts to rescue the animals. Officials from the Navy, fisheries ministry and local government deployed teams and worked with residents and NGOs to try to push and tow the stranded whales back out into deeper water. SEE ALSO: Sea Shepherd to end yearly face-off with Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters Two of the whales were reportedly injured, while the others risked suffocation and organ failure from being stuck in shallow waters for too long, according to Arman, a veterinarian from the Center for Wildlife Studies at the Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital. Seven whales were pushed...
Indonesia stocks lead Southeast Asian peers | Phuket News
Indonesian shares climbed more than 1% on Thursday, snapping six straight sessions of declines, ahead of a central bank policy meeting, while Philippine stocks gave up early gains to close lower....
US current account trade deficit drops 19.2% in Q3 | Phuket News
WASHINGTON: The deficit in the broadest measure of US trade fell in the July-September quarter to $100.6 billion, the smallest imbalance in three years....
Study being conducted to find cause of gangrene in Nong Bua Lamphu farmers | Phuket News
The governor of Nong Bua Lamphu, a province in the Northeast Region, has ordered concerned officials to conduct a research to find out whether any kind of chemicals, particularly paraquat, is the cause of gangrene in farmers. In Tambon Nadi of Suwannakhuha district, researchers from the Thailand Research Fund (TRF), are conducting a study to find out whether gangrene, a condition in which flesh decays in body parts, in farmers is related to use of paraquat, a chemical used for eradicating weeds. Statistics show that at least 120 farmers suffering from gangrene seek treatment at Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital every year.  In 2017, 102 farmers in the provinces suffered from gangrene in the first 10 months, and six of them died. In the past five years, farmers have mainly used paraquat to kill weeds in sugarcane plantations, about 300,000 litres in Suwannakhuha district alone.  It is estimated that at least...
Education Corner: Developing student wellbeing | Phuket News
As teachers of children and young people our core business is to ensure students are able to access the quality learning opportunities at our school on a daily basis in a safe and supportive environment....
[VIDEO] Whats On Guide || Nov. 24 - December | Phuket News
|:| WHATS ON GUIDE |:| Shela lets you in on events happening around #Phuket this week, from November 24 - December and more! For more Phuket Events, click on EVENTS at the top of the page!...
Phuket's 'rip-off temple' exposed by prominent critic | Phuket News
A Buddhist temple in Phuket has come under fire for allowing a private enterprise to lease its land and build structures to cater to foreign group tours....
Melania 'upstaged' by Korean pop star | Phuket News
Fans go wild at an event in South Korea attended by US First Lady Melania Trump. But not for her....
Trump, Xi Begin Talks in Beijing; North Korea High on Agenda | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump is holding talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which the U.S. leader has said he intends to press Beijing to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. At a welcoming ceremony early Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the two leaders walked side by side on a red carpet. The U.S. and Chinese national anthems were played by a military band and ceremonial cannon fire from Tiananmen Square saluted Trump. A crowd of jumping and gleeful schoolchildren waved American and Chinese flags. The two leaders began talks behind closed doors. In the early afternoon, they are to appear jointly before journalists and make statements. It is the first visit by Trump to China, which is North Korea’s closest and only remaining significant ally. The U.S. president is expected to request China expel North Korean workers from the country and...
Cheney Once Warned Against Military Action on N. Korea | Phuket News
Newly declassified documents show that a quarter-century ago as worries were emerging over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney told allies the U.S. should not consider military action because it could jeopardize diplomatic efforts. Cheney would later serve as vice president to George W. Bush. He was a leading advocate of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein over fears he had weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to be the case. The North Korea debate is playing out again today with higher stakes, becaues the isolated nation could soon threaten the U.S. mainland with nuclear-tipped missiles. President Donald Trump has not ruled out using military force to stop it. Currently in Asia, Trump will be pressing China on Thursday to do more to rein in its wayward ally. In 1991, when Cheney served as Pentagon chief for President George H.W. Bush, his...
Trump, Xi to Meet in Beijing; North Korea High on Agenda | Phuket News
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping early Thursday, and Trump has said he intends to press Xi to push North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, his first visit as president to China, North Korea's closest ally. Trump is expected to call on China to expel North Korean workers from the country and eliminate some of its other dealings with Pyongyang. The talks between Trump and Xi will also deal with trade, a touchy subject since Trump has long complained about the trade imbalance between the countries. China's trade surplus with the United States has widened by 12.2 percent in the past year, reaching $26.6 billion, according to Chinese customs data. Business deals Yet, the Trump administration is showcasing several business deals signed during the China trip, including a deal for China's biggest online retailer to buy $1.2 billion...
3 US Aircraft Carriers to Start Joint Exercise in Western Pacific | Phuket News
The Navy will conduct a joint exercise with three aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific for the first time in a decade. The USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt strike groups will conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea and other training in international waters Nov. 11-14, the Navy said Wednesday. “It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift. “This exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.” The last time three carrier strike groups operated together in the Western Pacific was during exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007, which were off the coast of Guam. The exercise announcement comes as President Donald...
Full Text of President Trump's Remarks to the South Korean National Assembly | Phuket News
November 07, 2017 Remarks by President Trump to the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea | Seoul, Republic of Korea National Assembly Building Seoul, Republic of Korea 11:24 A.M. KST PRESIDENT TRUMP: Assembly Speaker Chung, distinguished members of this Assembly, ladies and gentlemen: Thank you for the extraordinary privilege to speak in this great chamber and to address your people on behalf of the people of the United States of America. In our short time in your country, Melania and I have been awed by its ancient and modern wonders, and we are deeply moved by the warmth of your welcome. Last night, President and Mrs. Moon showed us incredible hospitality in a beautiful reception at the Blue House. We had productive discussions on increasing military cooperation and improving the trade relationship between our nations on the principle of fairness and reciprocity. Through this entire visit, it has been...
Trump warns North Korea 'do not underestimate us, and do not try us' | Phuket News
Trump is the first U.S. president to address South Korea's parliament, known as the National Assembly, since 1993....
Trump Arrives in China for Thorny Talks on Trade, North Korea | Phuket News
Donald Trump arrived in Beijing Wednesday, his first visit as U.S. President to a nation that has been a focus, often a negative one, in his drive to secure jobs at home. Trade is to top the agenda, but so is North Korea. White House officials say the president intends to press China - North Korea's closest ally and top trading partner - to push the North to abandon its nuclear program, the topic of a speech he gave in Seoul just hours before arriving in Beijing.  In that speech to South Korea's National Assembly, President Trump had a forceful message for Pyongyang, calling on leader Kim Jong Un to give up all his nuclear weapons for a chance to step on to “a better path.” Trump warned the North, “Do not underestimate us and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity and our...
Freedom of expression necessary for ASEAN economy: UN rapporteur | Phuket News
A UN rapporteur argues that Southeast Asian countries are undermining their economic potential due to the lack of freedom of expression, adding that social media companies should be more concerned about protecting customers’ privacy.   Average annual GDP growth in the Southeast Asian region for 2017 is forecast by the ADB at 5.0%. However, political liberty across the region is unstoppably in decline.    Thanks to factors such as the drug war in the Philippines, the military junta in Thailand and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, no Southeast Asian country is categorised as “Free” by Freedom House in its Freedom in the World 2017 report.   According to David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression since 2014, the region is walking in the wrong direction. Kaye has found that the authoritarian governments are in fact threats to economic...
Krabi residents vow to fight on against junta’s power plant plan | Phuket News
Kongpob Areerat The authorities are still pushing an energy policy that ignores local interests and the environment, even after February protests temporarily halted a coal-fired power station in Krabi.     A small fishing village situated close to the area proposed for the construction of Krabi's coal-fired power plant “The government has the duty to provide to find energy for the country, they went back and I’m already satisfied. The EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) and EHIA (Environmental Health Impact Assessment) will be done again in at least one year. If they pass, the coal-fired power plant will be in operation between 2022 and 2023,” said Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, on 21 February 2017 shortly after promising anti-coal power plant protesters that the project would be temporarily halted. After the protest, a tripartite committee was established with representatives of local communities to discuss how the...
Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad Signs Agreement to Implement Kamakura Corporation Suite of Solutions | Phuket News
Oct 23, 2017 Picture:  Kamakura Corporation reported Wednesday that it had completed an agreement to implement the Kamakura Corporation suite of solutions for Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, an Islamic bank based in Malaysia that has been in operation since July 1983, for its balance sheet management, funds transfer pricing, and liquidity management processes. Bank Islam was established primarily to assist the financial needs of Malaysia's Muslim population, and has since extended its services to the broader non-Muslim population fulfilling its
Indonesia's Largest Hotel Chain Archipelago International Signs RateGain to Bolster Their Online Distribution | Phuket News
Oct 23, 2017 BALI, Indonesia, October 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- RateGain, one of the largest hospitality and travel technology solutions companies, today announced its tie-up with Archipelago International, Indonesia's leading hospitality management company. RateGain would manage online rates and inventory distribution for Archepelago's properties existing in the Southeast Asian region. The two-way integration with RateGain's online distribution solution, RezGain , would enable Archipelago International to experience benefits like centralized and automated distribution, pooled inventory capability, dynamic rate management, real-time updates to multiple channels, etc. Speaking on the partnership, Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, said,
BuildTech Asia 2017 cements position as the gateway into Asia’s built environment sector | Phuket News
Oct 24, 2017 Picture:  Singapore, 24 October 2017 -- (ASIA TODAY) -- The 7th edition of BuildTech Asia was officially opened by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development today. Organised by Sphere Exhibits and hosted by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), BuildTech Asia is held from 24 to 26 October at Singapore Expo Hall 3 and is the anchor event of the Singapore Construction Productivity Week. The trade show is the region’s leading platform for industry practitioners, technology experts and distributors to network, share insights and learn from the latest construction technologies and solutions, and has cemented itself as the go-to marketplace for all involved in the built environment sector. Asia Pacific is expected to witness higher growth in the smart building market which is forecast to reach $31.74 billion by 2022 from $7.42 billion in 2017.[1] In addition,...
10th HK International Wine & Spirits Fair Opens Early November | Phuket News
Oct 25, 2017 Picture:  Asia Wine Academy Debuts; 1,000+ Exhibitors to Showcase Global Fine Wines 24 October 2017 – Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair will be held from 9-11 November (Thursday to Saturday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The fair’s 10th edition will feature a record 1,070 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions, with more than 70 events organised. On the fair’s last day (Saturday, 11 November), the show will open its doors to public visitors with admission tickets. Wine lovers will be able to enrich their knowledge of wine and experience the high-spirited atmosphere of this signature regional wine event. At the press conference, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said: “In the first eight months of this year, Hong Kong’s wine imports reached HK$7.56 billion. Most of the wines were imported...
Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Further Strengthens its Position as Best Green Company with Latest Win | Phuket News
Oct 26, 2017 Picture:  SINGAPORE --( ASIA TODAY )-- Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Pte Ltd was recently announced the winner of Sustainable Business Awards under the ‘Waste Management and Material Productivity’ category, recognizing its continuous efforts to achieve more than 99.5 percent recycling rate and stay zero-landfill across its business territory in the Asia Pacific. The award marks the company’s second consecutive win in the same category, strengthening its sustainability scorecard and aligning itself closer to the 17 UN Sustainable Development goals to “transform” the world. With this win, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific has been lauded by the industry for investing in its own Integrated Recycling System across all its operations, which follows the BASEL convention, a United Nations Environment Program that looks after transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal. This achievement highlights the company’s high standards in its full product life-cycle management across its 11 operating...
One more for Singapore: Port wins Guinness World Record for container image | Phuket News
SOUTHEAST Asia’s resident city-state Singapore is no stranger to honours on the world stage. The country of less than six million people is regularly praised for being a fantastic place to do business, for its high standard of living, lack of corruption, and its passport was recently recognised as the world’s best. Now it has bragging rights to a Guinness World Record, too. SEE ALSO: Singapore: NTU trumps arch rival NUS again to be Asia’s best university The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) recently arranged some 359 multi-coloured containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal in the shape of Singapore’s iconic lion head symbol – now recognised by the Guinness World Records as the largest-ever shipping container image. The terminal in Singapore’s port was opened in 1972 and was the first in Southeast Asia to receive a container vessel. It has played an important role in Singapore’s economic history and rapid development....
ITB Asia 2017 wraps up 10th anniversary with record highs | Phuket News
Nov 02, 2017 Picture:  SINGAPORE, Nov. 1, 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Asia's leading travel trade show, ITB Asia 2017, organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd, has completed its milestone anniversary event with record-breaking numbers. The tenth edition of ITB Asia came to a close today at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Over three days, the event hosted about 940 exhibitors from 113 countries, an 11% increase over the previous year. ITB Asia 2017 also welcomed its strongest ever buyer participation across the Corporate, MICE and Leisure sectors. Since 2014, ITB Asia has experienced a 1:1 ratio for exhibitors and buyers. This year, there were over 22,000 business appointments recorded during the show. Unveiling its largest exhibitors showcase yet, ITB Asia 2017 reported a spectacular 77% growth from its inaugural edition, featuring new exhibitors such as the Rwanda Development Board, Tourism Tunisia,...
Port wins Guinness World Record, because Singapore | Phuket News
SOUTHEAST Asia’s resident city-state Singapore is no stranger to honours on the world stage. The country of less than 6 million people is regularly praised being a fantastic place to do business, for its high standard of living, lack of corruption, and its passport was recently recognised as the world’s best. Now it has bragging rights to a Guinness World Record too. SEE ALSO: Singapore: NTU trumps arch rival NUS again to be Asia’s best university The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) recently arranged some 359 multi-coloured containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal in the shape of Singapore’s iconic lion head symbol – now recognised by the Guiness World Records as the largest-ever shipping container image. The terminal in Singapore’s port was opened in 1972 and was the first in Southeast Asia to receive a container vessel. It has played an important role in Singapore’s economic history and rapid development. Port...
Grab starts mobile wallet service in Singapore | Phuket News
SINGAPORE: Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing app, is kicking off a new digital wallet service in Singapore as it stakes a claim to the region’s burgeoning mobile payments sector....
Uber rival Grab says you can now pay restaurant bills using its mobile wallet | Phuket News
Grab announced a service in Singapore that lets users pay for goods and services using the GrabPay mobile wallet....
Hong Kong has the most sustainable transport system in the world | Phuket News
HONG KONG has long been recognised for its super-efficient and sophisticated public transportation system, and is widely considered the gold standard for transit management worldwide. Recently, the semi-autonomous territory was commended for its sustainable transport system in the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index by Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets. According to the index, Hong Kong was celebrated for its “comprehensive mobility, ability to create economic opportunity, and enrich the lives of citizens, businesses and tourists”. Because of those factors, the city was said to have achieved many of the aims of an effective urban transport system. Hong Kong services some 12.6 million passengers daily, and manages up to 90 percent of all daily journeys, the highest rate in the world. Despite the city’s high density and lack of space, the service runs smoothly, promptly, and at a reasonable price point for passengers. SEE ALSO: Australian capital makes top 3...
Philippines backs down in S.China Sea after Beijing protest | Phuket News
MANILA: The Philippine defence secretary said on Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte has stopped construction work on a newly formed sandbar in the disputed South China Sea after a protest from Beijing....
Japan Joins Belt & Road Competition Amid Trump's Asia tour | Phuket News
During his stop in Tokyo this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave U.S. President Donald Trump a white hat that said:
Asia is unprepared for the next flu outbreak | Phuket News
‘MOST deadly yet’. ‘Calls for urgent action’. ‘Nation in crisis’. These are headlines we’ve read repeatedly in 2017, and they all relate to flu outbreaks. During the month of July in Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam called for local health authorities to take ‘urgent measures’ to cope with one of the city’s worst flu outbreaks on record. Meanwhile, in Northeast Asia, avian flu has swept across the region, from South Korea to Japan to the Philippines. Epidemics and outbreaks happen very quickly – anywhere and without warning. While advancements in science have equipped us to better handle the flu, Asia’s continued growth in recent years and lack of sufficient infrastructure have made it difficult to handle large scale outbreaks, cope with hospitalisation numbers and contain transmission between individuals. These factors have made it easier for viruses to spread within local communities and across the region, putting everyone at risk....
Philippines to keep wary eye on new Chinese dredger | Phuket News
MANILA: The Philippines expressed concern on Monday about China's testing of a massive dredging ship, saying it would track its activities closely, despite Beijing's assurances it would not develop areas where it has competing claims with Manila....
Philippines hunts for 'new Islamic State emir' in SE Asia | Phuket News
MANILA: Philippine authorities were on the lookout on Monday for a Malaysian who could be the new leader of pro-Islamic State groups in Southeast Asia, security chiefs said, following the deaths of several high-profile regional extremists....
Trump’s tour of Asia-Pacific is vital for the stability of the region | Phuket News
NOT FOR several presidential cycles, and perhaps not since Richard Nixon’s visit to China to initial the Shanghai Communique in 1972, has a visit to Asia assumed such significance – and one that is potentially fraught. US President Donald Trump leaves Washington late this week for a 13-day tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam for APEC, and the Philippines before returning home via Hawaii. In these two weeks, Trump will be exposed to an Asia-Pacific – or Indo-Pacific – that is undergoing a wrenching transformation against a background of risks to a “long peace”. It is one that has survived more or less intact since the end of Korean War, leaving aside Vietnam. From an Australian perspective, the Trump Asian tour could hardly be more important, given Canberra’s challenge of balancing its security and economic interests. SEE ALSO: North Korea threatens Trump over ‘foolish remarks’ prior to South Korea...
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