Thứ Ba, 3 tháng 6, 2014

PhuketWATCH Thailand a Handful; Bangkok Hunts for Happiness; Spain"s King ... While there are reports Bangkok has been more peaceful since the coup, searches by Australians dropped 32 percent in in the following week, according to accommodation booking site Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ permanent secretary has made Burma (Myanmar) the first stop on a mission to defend the coup. A British yachtie has told Australian authorities she saw a burning Boeing 777 near Thailand the morning MH370 disappeared. Katherine Tee, 41, said she was sailing across the Indian Ocean to Phuket in March when she saw what she believes was the missing Malaysia Airlines plane billowing black smoke across the night sky. A New Zealand scientist has suggested the search for missing MH370 should be extended thousands of miles north to a valley in Kyrgyzstan where a cloud of smoke was seen at about the time the plane could have crashed.

PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Beware of inconsistent imitations. The junta chief suggested that Thailand’s economic and social development plan be amended so that the policy aims to boost gross national happiness. Put up three fingers and go to jail. Maybe. The military junta is not amused by the ”three-finger salute” adopted as an anti-coup protest signal, and says those who flash it could be arrested and imprisoned. According to a report from Reason, protesters in Bangkok have taken up the three-fingered salute from the ‘Hunger Games’ movies as a symbol of their own rebellion. In Bangkok railway stations and streets that had been closed in expectation of demonstrations were reopened on Monday. The move came as Thailand’s ruling junta announced a series of measures aimed at averting an economic crisis and restoring the confidence of investors. Thailand’s military is organising a public event in support of the May 22 coup. It is to occur Wednesday, following a series of small, illegal protests in the capital against the military regime that has voided the constitution, censored the media and imposed strict curbs on political speech. The ”Return Happiness” event – which it stresses will be ”non-political” – will take place near Victory Monument. Authorities found new stashes of war weapons – grenades and rocket-propelled rounds in a banana grove inside the Chon Buri city limits, and a small supply of guns and ammunition in southern Songkhla. The Thai Journalists Association demanded undercover police cease wearing copies of an armband issued by the TJA to identify members of the press, and stop posing as reporters when moving in to arrest anti-coup protesters. TrueVisions resumed the airing of CNN Monday evening.

reuters Spain’s King Juan Carlos said he would abdicate in favor of his more popular son Prince Felipe in an apparent bid to revive the scandal-hit monarchy at a time of economic hardship and growing discontent with the wider political elite. A corruption scandal in the family and his visible infirmity in recent years have also eroded public support. Prince Charles has this morning ordered his mother a subscription to the Spanish national newspaper El Pais, insisting she pay more attention to European current affairs. (Satire maybe.) A new crisis is unfolding in the Rohingya camps, but you have to look inside the dark huts to find it. Pregnant women, sick children, elderly men and women are suffering and sometimes dying because they don’t have access to medicine and basic healthcare. Foreign passenger arrivals to Phuket International Airport decreased by two percent for the first four months of the year from 1,238,835 last year to 1,211,433 in 2014. The World Cup from mid June to mid July usually hits resort markets in Asia. Political tension is expected to further take a toll on the Thai tourism sector, including the coming annual shopping festival Amazing Thailand Grand Sales later this month. Air bookings to Thailand have seen a fall since the military took power. Anthony Bourdain on a Thai whiskey shop’s uncle, who at 68 drinks half a bottle a day: ”It’s pretty much the Keith Richards health and preservation plan.” On blood soup: ”That’s like a horror movie. That’s like CSI soup. I’m eating out of an open wound.” Pause. ”Actually that’s completely delicious.”

The Parts Unknown Thai Episode: Just the One Liners Erawan Group Plc will spend 8.4 billion baht to open 70 hotels under its latest budget brand, Hop Inn, at local and international destinations by 2020. First quarter occupancy dropped by 41pc at its Bangkok hotels and 4pc in Pattaya, while hotels in Phuket saw an 11pc rise in occupancy, Samui 8pc and Hua Hin 12pc. Apple announced HealthKit and HomeKit platforms, systems for people to monitor their health and control their home, with changes to the mobile operating system that runs on iPhones and iPads.

nnt The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has coordinated with 12 provinces in the East and South of Thailand to prepare for flash floods, landslides, and storm surges from June 4 to 8. Risk provinces include Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Trang. Eighteen countries have asked their citizens to reconsider non-essential travel to Thailand. The 18 are the US, Spain, Italy, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Iran, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Croatia and Cyprus. Another 44 countries have warned their citizens to exercise caution while in Thailand. The jury at the trial of Rolf Harris has seen video footage that prosecutors say contradicts his claim he could not have visited the location of one of his alleged assaults. The footage, from ITV game show Star Games, was filmed in Cambridge in 1978. Earlier in his evidence, the entertainer denied ever having visited Cambridge until four years ago for an exhibition of his paintings.

afp Is Europe safe? Questions after arrest of Brussels shooting suspect His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj was determined to be clinically dead by physicians in January 2014, but his followers insist he is in a state of deep meditation. The Punjab High Court is set to decide his state and therefore what will happen to his $170 million estate. He is being kept ”alive” in a freezer. Glow Elixir Kho Yao Yai resort in Phang Nga Bay is offering discounts of 15 to 20 percent off the rack rate to anyone booking their rooms in advance. The earlier you book, the cheaper the room. Editorial: In the past several months, and particularly last month, the four southernmost provinces have become a bloody killing ground. Anti-Bangkok groups seem to bomb, shoot and intimidate largely as they please. This state of affairs cannot continue. The ”star” of Channel Seven’s ‘What Really Happens in Bali’ is a 25-year-old from Newcastle, a self-diagnosed sex-addict and a man who claims to have slept with more than 100 women in his four months in the tropical paradise. Is Todd Gisondi Australian TV’s biggest douchebag? Emirates president Tim Clark says missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 would have in most countries been intercepted by fighters if it flew off course, and says the industry should not change aircraft tracking until it has more facts about the disappearance. Not all Burma’s problems are internal. China is becoming more of a nuisance, in large part because the Chinese expect Burma to provide diplomatic support in ”payment” for economic and military aid. Cadbury chocolate has been found not to contain pork DNA by Islamic authorities in Malaysia. Earlier government tests on two Cadbury products had suggested they might not have been suitable for Muslims. Ash from an Indonesian volcano has led to the cancellation of a number of flights in the region since Friday, with travelers heading to and from the country now advised to check with airlines to confirm the status of their flights before traveling.

aap I’m told Phu Quoc (pronounced ”foo qwock”) is what Phuket was like 40 years ago, before the Thai province became a major tourist attraction full of bars, hotels and stumbling backpackers. For the moment there’s not a single fast food store or major hotel chain here, but it won’t stay this way for long. The vote for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup must be re-run if corruption allegations surrounding Qatar’s winning campaign are proved to be accurate, said Lord Goldsmith, a member of Fifa’s Independent Governance Committee.

afp Chelsea legend Frank Lampard brought down the curtain on his glittering career at Stamford Bridge as he announced he will leave the west London club when his contract expires at the end of June. After 77 hours non-stop sailing, unable to sit any more, reduced to sailing the last 20kms standing up, Phuket yachtie Yassine Darkaoui completed 211.85nm in a laser around Phuket, Phi Phi and Racha. He had been plagued for many hours of windlessness, which robbed him of his goal – to sail for 301nm. A Melbourne football club is under investigation over allegations it punished players by forcing them to strip naked and run laps after a poor performance. The Pakistan Olympic Association has decided to send a contingent of 64 athletes and five officials to the Asia Beach Games 2014, held on Phuket from November 14 to 21 this year. ASADA has dropped its peptide trafficking allegation against former NRL player Sandor Earl, the only player to be banned under the anti-doping agency’s long-running, drugs-in-sport probe. From his new base in Phuket, Earl, who was the first player to make confessions in the supplements scandal, says he is working on keeping fit and is hoping to return to the National Rugby League. Former Rugby League Panthers winger Sandor Earl is killing time in Phuket, drinking smoothies while awaiting a final verdict on the length of his suspension. Earl was the first and only player to come forward and tell the Australian drugs in sport authority what he knows.

July 11 Arsanha Bucha Day

July 16-20 Phuket Race Week yachting, Cape Panwa

August 12 Queen’s Birthday

September 24-October 2 Vegetarian Festival, Phuket

October 23 Chulalongkorn Memorial Day

November 6 Loy Kratong

November 14-21 Fourth Asia Beach Games, Phuket

December 5 King’s Birthday

December 10 Constitution Day

December 25 Christmas Day

December 26 10th Anniversary, 2004 Tsunami

December 31 New Year’s Eve

PhuketWATCH Thailand a Handful; Bangkok Hunts for Happiness; Spain"s King ...

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