Thứ Bảy, 9 tháng 8, 2014

Phuket"s Budget Air Battle; Superdad and the Baby Factory; Gangs Target ... Baby Gammy’s Australian biological parents and his twin sister have been pictured together for the first time in the lead-up to an exclusive ’60 Minutes’ interview set to air on Sunday night. Thai Lion Air will at the end of next month start five domestic routes, four of them from its Don Muang base to Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani and Udon Thani one from Hat Yai to Udon Thani.

Bali Gangs Turn to Targetting Westerners

Behind Bali’s sunshine and beaming smiles lies a sinister secret: The rise of violent gangs that are increasingly targeting westerners.

PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Beware of inconsistent imitations. Thai Airways International (THAI), Thai Smile and Nok Air are to join forces and rearrange their flight schedules to take a bigger share of the domestic air service market from AirAsia. Thai Smile, priced about 20 percent higher than budget airlines, this week began relocating Don Muang flights, including Don Muang-Phuket.

afp Thailand’s new military-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) convened for the first time, electing a president in a key step towards crafting a new constitution likely to embed the army’s political influence. Malaysia’s embattled flag carrier may soon face layoffs and board changes as part of plans to repair an airline that is struggling to fill seats after the losses of two planes with 537 people aboard. The nation’s state investment firm, which controls nearly 70 percent of Malaysian Airline System disclosed a $430 million plan to take the airline private. Seventy House members were not exaggerating when, in a recent letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, they spoke of a ”sharp turn for the worse” in Burma. If Kerry at this week’s ASEAN meeting publicly denounces the gruesome persecution of Muslims in Burma, he may embarrass the still-ruling generals into protecting victims of religious and ethnic violence. ”There are no Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma), but we do have a minority group coming from a neighboring country,” Myanmar General Win Naing Tun told media this week. The head of the anti-human trafficking division with the Myanmar police was speaking at a bilateral meeting on the island of Phuket, in southern Thailand, between Thai and Myanmar police forces to fight human trafficking. Worawit Baru, a former senator from Pattani, heads the Southern Thailand Islamic Co-operatives Network (Sticon), an association of faith-based credit unions. Among other projects, the co-op also has loaned money for building a halal-friendly resort on Phuket. Near-panic has now set in among the estimated 250 foreigners who had current surrogacy arrangements in Thailand, 150 of them Australians. Australia’s government has set up a top-level committee to examine the legal morass and press the junta for a moratorium so existing contracts can be completed.

reuters.comThai police said they had found four more babies they suspect were fathered by a Japanese businessman who has fled from Thailand, bringing the total to 13 discovered in Bangkok this week.

afp Investigators suspect five more babies – all from surrogate mothers – had been cared for at the plush suburban property but had already been taken out of Thailand by the time the nursery was discovered. The military has waived the visa fee for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists for three months from August 8 this year.

CNA Taiwanese visitors to Thailand will not have to pay for tourist visas between August 9 and November 8, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei announced. The normal price of a tourist visa for Thailand is NT$1,200 (US$40) for Taiwanese passport-holders. US warplanes made a second wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq against the militants who have besieged a religious group and threatened the city of Irbil, a Pentagon official said. White House officials said reports of the dire and deteriorating situation of Iraqi Christians and Kurds, along with the gains made by militants in the past week, triggered President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize airstrikes and other military action in Iraq. Wildlife loss and child welfare might seem like two disparate issues, but new research is showing how one is inextricably linked to the other. As reported in BBC, less wild animals means that more child slaves are used to help find food in many Asian and African countries. The New York Times shifts on ”torture”: ”[F]rom now on, The Times will use the word ‘torture’ to describe incidents in which we know for sure that interrogators inflicted pain on a prisoner in an effort to get information,” Executive Editor Dean Baquet writes. (NYT) | ”File this one in the ‘about time’ folder.” (The Washington Post) | From 2012: The Times ”tied itself in linguistic knots during the Bush years to avoid describing waterboarding as torture.” Dutch forensics experts have identified 21 more flight MH17 victims, the government said on Friday, while their colleagues at the crash site began arriving home from east Ukraine where fighting has stopped the investigation.

afp Fierce battles on Ukraine’s porous eastern border left 15 government troops dead as fears of a possible Russian invasion swirled despite NATO urging Moscow to withdraw its troops along the frontier. The political turbulence currently surrounding Russia has affected the number of Russian tourists coming to Bali, with a monthly decrease from 6010 people to 5115 people in June. About 780,000 Chinese tourists visited Singapore in the first five months of this year, according to figures from the Singapore Tourism Board – a drop of about 27 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Industry players cited a variety of reasons for the dip, including the protest in Thailand, fallout from the MH370 incident and new travel rules imposed in China last year.

afp Indonesian police have arrested two French journalists who were reporting on the separatist movement in the restive eastern region of Papua, police and embassy officials said. Australian men seem drawn irresistibly not only to Balinese women but also to Indonesia’s patriarchal ??sensibilities. If there’s a corner of the Earth where men can still be king, it’s here. The Thai women’s volleyball team were beaten by China in the 2014 World Grand Prix in Hong Kong. China won the first two sets 29-27 and 25-18 before the World No. 12 Thailand came back to win the third set 25-20. The World No. 5 easily won the final set 25-15. Arsenal’s ”vulnerability” has ended, Arsene Wenger promises as his team warm up to face the Premier League champions in Sunday’s Community Shield. No longer he says will the Gunners be a nursery for richer clubs or weeds in the transfer market.

afp England were on the cusp of regaining control of the fourth Test against India at Old Trafford when rain forced an early close to Friday’s second day. The long Mother’s Day weekend will not be so lively for the hotel industry, as travel sentiment is still slowing. Some tourists, especially those from Bangkok, are expected to travel abroad or go further afield in Thailand such as Phuket, Krabi or Samui.

August 11 Special holiday for Queen’s Birthday

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

February 13-15 Phuket Yacht Show

Phuket"s Budget Air Battle; Superdad and the Baby Factory; Gangs Target ...

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