AP An explosion at an automotive parts factory in eastern China killed between 40 and 65 people, state media reported. CCTV said the blast in Kunshan city in Jiangsu province left 65 people dead. Xinhua News Agency put the death toll at more than 40 with 120 injured.
dpa A drunken American soldier in South Korea was arrested on suspicion of beating a cab driver and stealing his taxi, police said.
afp The Australian government is examining the Thai surrogacy trade amid news that a baby boy was abandoned by his Australian parents after they discovered he has Down Syndrome.
PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Beware of inconsistent imitations.
nnt Beginning on August 29, foreigners who fail to renew their visas will be fined up to 20,000 baht and barred from returning to Thailand for up to two years. Colonel Worawat Amornwiwat, the Immigration Bureau spokesman, disclosed that 70,715 foreigners were charged with overstaying their visas last year. The number charged between January and June this year already topped 30,000.
smh.com.au Immigration officials say that even foreigners on valid tourist visas may now be denied entry if border officials suspect they are spending too long in the country or working illegally. Australia’s embassy and other diplomatic missions in Bangkok have been asked by Thai immigration officials to warn their citizens that laws will be strictly implemented to prevent what they call ”visa runners”.
aljazeera.com By simply leaving and entering Thailand on so-called ‘visa runs,’ many have lived for years in Thai cities including the popular beach resorts of Phuket and Pattaya. Education visas, which provided a more legitimate long-term option for expats, have become a target of the recent crackdown due to the large numbers of ghost schools in Thailand that provide the necessary paperwork without offering any classes.
nnt The Foreign Affairs Ministry has cautioned Thai travelers to postpone their trips to three countries in West Africa that have been hard-hit by the Ebola outbreak.
nationmultimedia.com The public should not panic over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa due to unsubstantiated social media reports, as there is little chance the deadly virus will make its way to Thailand – and even if it did, health organisations are well prepared to handle it, a seminar in Bangkok was told.
scmp.com An American aid worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa is to be flown to the United States for treatment in a high-security hospital ward, officials said.
Phuket Update Go Eco Phuket, a collective of scuba divers, diving shops, and businesses from Phuket, hope to clear 1000 kilos of rubbish from waters around the islands of Racha Yai and Racha Noi in their third annual cleanup on August 3.
afp Well-wishers have raised nearly $100,000 for a baby reportedly left with his surrogate Thai mother after his Australian parents discovered he had Down’s syndrome and returned home with his healthy twin sister. The boy has a life-threatening heart condition requiring expensive treatment his surrogate mother cannot afford.
aww.com.au The Thai surrogate never met the Australian couple and said she was not paid the rest of the $2341 owed to her by the agent. She said she’d advise other Thai women against becoming a surrogate, irrespective of the money.
heraldsun.com.au You can hardly blame the Thai authorities for their knee-jerk reaction to crack down on surrogacy (one that will hopefully be softened): they are trying to protect young women from the kind of exploitation this horrendous couple conducted. ”Hundreds” of Australian parents are said to be awaiting pregnancies in Thailand.
watoday.com.au SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE AIRPORTS IMPOSE A CHARGE ON EVERY TAXI THAT PICKS UP PASSENGERS. IS THIS COMMON? The practice is not unusual. In Singapore it’s S5 for journeys originating from 5pm to midnight between Friday and Sunday, S$3 ($2.60) at all other times. In 2013, Sydney Airport’s revenue from car parking and ground transport was $132.3 million.
bangkokpost.com The Labor Ministry has given the green light for fishing operators to start registering foreign employees in 15 seaside provinces including Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Ranong. The process ends on August 22.
nationmultimedia.com A 28-year-old Russian woman, Svetlana Pokasova, was killed after she fell from her room on the 34th floor of The Address condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district, police said. There were no signs of foul play.
Phuket Update Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket is holding a private Thai Kickboxing Class that’s available every Friday for only 1200 baht net per person per hour.
The Sunday Times They (the Rohingya) have been systematically preyed upon by the majority Burmese: beaten, raped, murdered, abducted for slavery, their goods looted, their crops and land stolen; they have been hunted by mobs, excluded from all social and political life in a systematic and prolonged campaign of intimidation and vilification that is not simply ignored by their government but actually sanctioned, encouraged and inflamed.
wsj.com Forensics investigators conducted their first day of work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with one group spending two hours combing just 270 square feet for victims’ belongings and remains that have languished for two weeks as battles raged between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russia rebels.
channelnewsasia.com Rescuers pulled 12 more bodies from an Indonesian river, bringing the death toll in two boat sinkings to 36, as millions travel across the country for the Eid holiday season.
dailytelegraph.com.au Political instability in Thailand, which culminated in a coup in late May, has also been credited for driving renewed interest in Bali, with the local tourism industry ramped up promotions and deals in a bid to capture holiday-makers reluctant to go to Thailand.
afp A Philippine plan to evacuate all 13,000 of its workers in strife-torn Libya is a ”challenge,” with many reluctant to leave despite the dangers, the Filipino foreign ministry said.
afp Sprint superstar Usain Bolt made his long-anticipated track appearance at the Commonwealth Games, sending a raucous crowd into a frenzy as he anchored his Jamaican sprint team to victory in a relay heat.
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
Visa Run Crackdown Closer; Ebola No Threat in Thailand; $100000 Raised for ...