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Jonathan Fairfield

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  1. US pedophile fugitive and English teacher arrested in Koh Samui Image: Thairath The American pedophile Jackson Hall, 24, has been arrested after he fled Bangkok to Koh Samui. Hall - wanted in the US on a string of charges and who had been hiding out in Thailand for nearly a year - was apprehended at the port of Nathorn last night at 8pm on the holiday island. A convicted felon Hall is wanted in Alabama for the rape of a 6 year old boy, other sexual molestation charges, giving false information to get a passport and identity theft. He is believed to have stolen the identity of a man called Tyler Doran Smith - he had entered Thailand last October 6th at Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaew province using that name. He is believed to have had English teaching jobs in both Khon Kaen and Rayong. Immigration chief Natthathorn Phrohsunthorn said that police in Bangkok had discovered that Hall was living with Nittaya Beetge - an agent who helps find English teachers - in the Phasi Charoen area of Bangkok. When police went there they missed Hall by a day and were told by Nittaya that he had fled to Samui. Contact was made with Samui immigration and Hall was arrested and is now being held on the island. Nittaya's estranged husband Darron Beetge now in South Africa with his six year old son told Thaivisa that he felt relieved and vindicated that the information that he had been able to supply in the case had proved to be correct. Thaivisa has followed the case in detail since a report was made earlier in the year that Nittaya's life may be in danger. According to Mr Beetge his ex and Hall have had a child together, their baby daughter born in August. Hall is believed to have worked as an English teacher in both Khon Kaen and Rayong, said police. Claims have been made that Nittaya aided and abetted Hall during his time in Thailand. Source: Thai Rath -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-23
  2. Police arrest 11 Africans in Bangkok for overstaying visas Image: Daily News Some 11 Africans were arrested on Saturday morning for overstaying their visa, as Special Operation and Patrol Police Division officers joined forces with tourist police and immigration police to search five Bangkok locations. Operation Black Eagle drew on officers from three forces to check locations with a history of housing illegal immigrants, said Division Chief Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal. He said the operation netted 11 suspects from African nations. He did not give specific details of the suspects’ nationalities. Surachet said the operation was carried out after the prime minister ordered police to crack down on illegal immigrants suspected to be in Thailand to carry out various scams, including romance scams and ATM skimming. The suspects will be deported and face 10-year entry bans, Surachet said. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30327493 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  3. JPMorgan's Dimon says bitcoin 'is a fraud' Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin "is a fraud" and will blow up, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N>, said on Tuesday. Speaking at a bank investor conference in New York, Dimon said, "The currency isn't going to work. You can't have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart." Dimon said that if any JPMorgan traders were trading the crypto-currency, "I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous." Dimon's comments come as the bitcoin, a virtual currency not backed by any government, has more than quadrupled in value since December to more than $4,100. Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables individuals to transfer value to each other and pay for goods and services bypassing banks and the mainstream financial system. While banks have largely steered clear of bitcoin since it emerged following the financial crisis, the virtual currency has a range of people who support it, including technology enthusiasts, liberterians skeptical of government monetary policy and speculators attracted by its price swings. "Like it or not, people want exposure to bitcoin," Edward Tilly, chairman and CEO of exchange group CBOE Holdings Inc. <CBOE.O>, said at the same conference. CBOE has applied with U.S. regulators to launch a bitcoin futures contract and a bitcoin exchange traded fund on its venues. Any good trade is started with a difference of opinion, Tilly added. "So Jamie can be on the short side and the issuers and those trading in physical can be on the long side, and it sounds like we have a great trade.” Dimon may also be on the other side of another bitcoin trade closer to home. At another conference about two hours later, Dimon said that one of his daughters had bought some bitcoin. "It went up and she thinks she's a genius now," Dimon said at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference. "WORSE THAN TULIP BULBS" Banks and other financial institutions have been concerned over bitcoin's early association with online crime and money laundering. The supply of bitcoin is meant to be limited to 21 million, but there are clones of the virtual currency in circulation which have made the market for it more volatile. "It is worse than tulips bulbs," Dimon said, referring to a famous market bubble from the 1600s. JPMorgan and many of its competitors, however, have invested millions of dollars in blockchain, the technology that tracks bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is a shared ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Dimon said such uses will roll out over coming years as it is adapted to different business lines. Financial institutions are hoping blockchain can be adapted to simplify and lower the costs of processes such as securities settlement, loan trading and international money transfers. Dimon predicted big losses for bitcoin buyers. "Don't ask me to short it. It could be at $20,000 before this happens, but it will eventually blow up." he said. "Honestly, I am just shocked that anyone can't see it for what it is." Bitcoin’s price fell as much as 4 percent following Dimon's comments and was last trading at $4,164. Rumors that the Chinese government is planning to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges has weighed on bitcoin recently. "It feels like we are in the midst of a negative news cycle, but even considering all this, we are still trading above $4,000." said John Spallanzani, chief macro strategist at GFI Group. (Reporting by David Henry and Anna Irrera in New York Additional reporting by John McCrank, Angela Moon and Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Jonathan Oatis) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-13
  4. How to buy and invest in property in Phuket PHUKET: Panuwat Somrit is a Phuket lawyer specializing in property. He has been practicing law for the past six years. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Ramkhamhaeng University. Here he talks about how to buy and invest in property in Phuket. Buying or investing in property may seem like a straightforward and easy transaction. You simply pay the money, transfer the ownership and that’s it. However, it’s not that way in Thailand. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many issues related to buying property here. Many foreigners face problems after they have already bought property. They have to appear in court to fight cases, which is a huge waste of time and money. One such recent issue was at Aspasia. In March 2015, ten foreign tenants from the Aspasia Phuket Resort, led by Dutch national Jan Cornelis van Zuilekom, complained to Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada that they had been locked out of their rooms and had their electricity and water cut off. The tenants wanted the management to provide them with financial reports, but their request was refused. They then stopped paying the maintenance fee, which resulted in their electricity and water being cut off. The management team claimed that the tenants had no right to see the reports according to their contract, which is why they were punished by having their electricity and water cut off. All of this, the company said, was written clearly in the Management Agreement. This example can be used as a good lesson for others to exercise caution, as there are many similar cases of this nature in Phuket. The problem with this arrangement is the ignorance of both parties – the buyer and the project owner – about the management plan or management agreement, after buying or investing in the property. Buyers or investors mostly focus on the buying and selling agreement, but nobody pays much attention to the management plan. Most buyers and investors are unaware of what else that they have to pay, or what terms and conditions apply for when they live in that property after becoming the owner of it. There are two types of property investment: leasehold and freehold. Leasehold is a long-term rental that can last up to a maximum of 90 years, but the contract has to be renewed every 30 years. A freehold transaction is when you actually buy the property. Every property in Thailand falls under Thai law, as well as each private business’s own regulations. Therefore, investors, especially foreigners, have to be careful and study these laws before they decide to buy or lease under a freehold or leasehold agreement. Most buyers are cautious when deciding how much they have to pay up front and how much they need from the bank. However, it’s what happens afterwards that causes so many problems. For example, in some cases, owners have the right to vote on how much in maintenance fees they are willing to pay per year. They also have the right to see the financial documents showing the usage of the maintenance fee, as well as to examine how the juristic persons work. This is usually the case in condominiums. In other types of property, the project owner or management team has the right to decide on how they will utilize the maintenance fee. They can even set their own price for water and electricity. The tenants or owners have no right to be involved with management. They just have to pay the maintenance fees as required. Therefore, everything depends on the management agreement between the buyer and project owner. As a lawyer, I strongly advise all parties to carefully consider the management agreement before making any buying or investment decisions. This will highlight what you can or can’t do after you have bought, what the management’s responsibilities are, etc. Be careful: read the management agreement thoroughly and do not limit your focus solely on the buying and selling agreement. Contact us NOW TELEPHONE: 076 – 383180 FAX: 076 – 383180 EMAIL: panuwat@harwell-legal.com
  5. Cryptocurrencies: Five alternatives to Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies have certainly increased in popularity in recent years with probably the best known being Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is the trendsetter there are now several other options available. Here we look at just 5 of the alternatives to Bitcoin. – Litecoin (LTC) Launched in 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, in its early days LTE was often referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. It is very similar to Bitcoin in many ways in that it has a fast block generation rate enabling it offer faster transaction confirmation. Litecoin is growing in popularity and is accepted by an increasing number of merchants. -Zcash (ZEC) Launch towards the end of 2016, Zcash is an open-source cryptocurrency. Defining itself as “If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https”. This cryptocurrency offer privacy and selective transparency as well as extra security for both sender and recipient. Full story: http://tech.thaivisa.com/cryptocurrencies-five-alternatives-bitcoin/24504/
  6. Fintech glossary: Crypto edition An administrator demonstrates how to pay with Bitcoin at the Stadthaus town hall in Zug, Switzerland, August 30, 2016. Picture taken on August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann As financial technology increasingly enters the daily lives of millions, much of its terminology remains hard to understand. Here is a look into buzz words in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, a sub-sector of the fintech world. CRYPTOCURRENCY: A digital currency that relies on cryptography to validate and secure transactions. There are different types of cryptocurrencies - bitcoin and ethereum are among the best known. BITCOIN: A digital - or crypto - currency that enables payment in a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network not governed by any central authority or middleman. BLOCKCHAIN: Software that first emerged as the system underpinning bitcoin. Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is a shared record of information that is maintained and updated by a network of computers rather than a central authority. It is protected and secured by advanced cryptography. DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY: A term often used interchangeably with “blockchain,” even though technically blockchain describes the public ledger powering bitcoin. MINING: The process through which transactions are verified and added to the blockchain and new bitcoins are created. MINERS: Term used to describe the devices or the people that own the devices that validate bitcoin transactions. They get rewarded for the computing power consumed during mining with the bitcoins created in the process. PUBLIC LEDGER: A distributed ledger that is open to everyone on the internet. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a public ledger. PERMISSIONED LEDGER: A distributed ledger that requires permission in order to be accessed. The ledger is maintained only by a limited number of parties. This is the kind of blockchain technology that large corporations, such as banks, are more likely to use because of data privacy needs. DOUBLE SPEND: A successful bitcoin transaction that is sent to two different recipients simultaneously. Essentially as if the same dollar bill could be spent twice. Bitcoin’s blockchain is the system that should prevent this from happening. ALTCOIN: A cryptocurrency different, or alternative, to Bitcoin. ETHEREUM: A type of blockchain network. The bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains differ primarily in purpose and capability. While the bitcoin blockchain is used to track ownership of the digital currency bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain can be used to build decentralized applications. The virtual currency associated with Ethereum is called Ether. HARD FORK: When a blockchain splits into two ledgers creating a new digital currency. BITCOIN CASH: An alt-coin clone of bitcoin that was created in August 2017 when a group of Chinese miners initiated a fork of bitcoin’s blockchain. BLOCK: A part of the blockchain where a number of transactions are recorded. It’s like a page in a ledger book. Unlike a page on a ledger book, however, once completed a block cannot be modified. GENESIS BLOCK: The first block in a new blockchain. HASH RATE: The speed of a bitcoin transaction. SMART CONTRACTS: Software that runs on blockchain technology and can automatically enforce the terms of an agreement. A “smart bond”, for example would automatically make interest payments to investors. ICO: Initial Coin Offering, or a token sale. The process or event in which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture and contributors receive tokens in return. DISTRIBUTED APPLICATION: Software that runs on multiple computers on a given network at the same time. ORACLES: A data feed, usually a third party service, that provides information for use in smart contracts. NODES: Connection points for the transmission of data. DIGITAL WALLET: software that allows users to make electronic payments, purchases and store their cryptocurrencies online. PRIVATE KEYS: A form of cryptography that allows users to access their cryptocurrency and is essential part of its security. HARDWARE SECURITY MODULES: Or HSM. It is a device that secures data such as digital private keys in a very secure fashion. Sources: Investopedia, Blockgeeks, Blockchaintechonologies.com -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-25
  7. I think they mean iPhone 8!
  8. UK's May sets out transition plan in bid to unlock Brexit talks By William James and Isla Binnie FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May set out a plan on Friday to retain full access to the EU's single market for two years after Brexit to try to reassure business and reset the tone of stalled negotiations with Brussels. But her proposals for such a transition, for meeting Britain's financial obligations and for protecting EU citizens' rights fell short of what the EU wanted. EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier praised the speech for its "constructive spirit" but asked for more detail. Another official said it had left him "even more concerned". In a speech at a 14th-century church in Florence, Italy, May appealed directly to EU leaders to unlock the talks, which have stalled over a series of issues, including the size of the bill Britain should pay as part of its divorce settlement. She spent much of her 30-minute speech describing the similarities between Britain and the EU, saying that if the complicated talks to unravel more than 40 years of union should fail, the only beneficiaries would be those who oppose democracy, liberalism and free trade. Sterling fell against both the dollar <GBP=> and the euro <EURGBP=> during May's speech, weakening by more than half a cent against the U.S. currency. Late on Friday ratings agency Moody's downgraded its assessment of Britain's creditworthiness, saying Brexit was damaging the country's medium-term growth prospects. The government said Moody's view was "outdated" and did not consider May's most recent comments. "Clearly people, businesses and public services should only have to plan for one set of changes in the relationship between the UK and the EU," May told an audience of Italian business leaders and diplomats. "So during the implementation period, access to one another's markets should continue on current terms, and Britain also should continue to take part in existing security measures." Britain wants to move the talks forward and start addressing how a future relationship with the EU would work, a move May's government says is vital if they want to find agreement on the divorce bill. But the EU has stood firm, refusing to discuss trading arrangements until "sufficient progress" is made on the first three issues - the financial settlement, the land border with EU member Ireland and the protection of expatriates' rights. CONCESSIONS Beyond her vision for a transition, involving around two years of trading on the same terms, but no payments for access to the EU single market, May pledged to protect EU citizens' rights in Britain after Brexit, saying that decisions by the European Court of Justice would be taken into account by British courts. On the financial settlement, she also said Britain would "honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership". "I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave," she said. May has long said Britain will honour its financial obligations, but she did not mention the 20 billion euro figure reported in local media in the days running up to the speech. She said little on Ireland, beyond noting that no one wanted a return to a "hard border" with British-ruled Northern Ireland that could reignite tensions on the island. Barnier said her words showed "a willingness to move forward, as time is of the essence", but that they needed to be "translated into a precise negotiating position of the UK government". But the head of the European Parliament's biggest group, the centre-right European People's Party, Manfred Weber, said May's speech had brought no more clarity. "I am even more concerned now," he added. British opposition lawmakers were not impressed, with the Labour Party saying the government was "no clearer about what our long-term relationship with the EU will look like." Trade union leader Frances O'Grady said the prime minister was pretending that "we can have our cake and eat it," while a business lobby, the British Chambers of Commerce, underlined its desire to "get trade talks moving". It was never going to be an easy speech, with May struggling to appeal simultaneously to the EU, to business and to the supporters of Brexit in her own party who want to hold her to her pledge of a clean break with the bloc. "It's clear that we're out," one senior Conservative source said, adding that he was pleased to hear May agree that no deal was better than a bad deal. ACRIMONY The speech comes at the start of a crucial week for Europe. On Sunday, German voters are expected to return conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel to power but also vault eurosceptic parties into parliament, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), whose nationalist, anti-immigrant ideas echo those of Britain's UKIP party, a driving force behind Brexit. Two days later, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to flesh out his ideas for a "relaunch" of the EU and euro zone, underscoring the bloc's determination to press ahead with a closer union that excludes the UK. Britain and the EU do agree on one thing: The clock is ticking, with Barnier saying there is only a year left to find an agreement to give Britain a controlled exit. May's ill-fated decision to have an election in June not only used up time but also sapped her authority and gave a stronger hand to pro-Brexit lawmakers who want a total break with the bloc and to reduce any divorce bill to zero. May's top team of ministers put on a show of unity in Florence - with foreign minister Boris Johnson, one of Britain's most prominent hardline Brexit politicians and a one-time leadership contender, sitting in the front row. "I think what was so uplifting about this speech was it was positive; it was confident about what Britain can do but also about our relations with the rest of the EU," Johnson said. (Additional reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary, Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, David Milliken and Kylie MacLellan in London, and Noah Barkin in Berlin; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Cynthia Osterman) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-23
  9. Norwegian man’s arm pierced by iron grill

    Norwegian man’s arm pieced by iron grill A Norwegian man was injured when he slipped and an iron grill pierced through his arm at his house in Chon Buri on Friday night, police said. Rescuers had to use an iron cutter to free the left arm of Tore Wiig, 68, from the iron grill in front of his house in Chon Buri’s Sattahib district. His Thai wife, Manthana Wiig, 44, said the accident happened at 9pm when rain caused the tile floor to be slippery. She said her husband was walking and slipped and fell towards the iron grill. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30327490 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  10. Anyone using the BeIn Sports Connect app?

    Hi Is anyone using the BeIn Sports Connect app? I'm going to give it a try this weekend but wondering if anyone using it has any feedback? Prices seem very reasonable: https://connect-th.beinsports.com/en/subscribe
  11. Jealous husbands the biggest culprits in spousal murders, study finds HUSBANDS WERE the killers in most of the murders committed by spouses last year, a senior official at the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation said yesterday. Jaree Srisawat said: “In 117 cases, we have found that husbands murdered their wives in 84 such cases and related persons in 17 others.” She added that in the remaining cases, wives were the murderers. She was referring to statistics that were based on stories that appeared in 13 major newspapers in Thailand last year. “Most of the wife killings took place because husbands were jealous or became estranged,” Jaree said. She presented the findings at a forum held to address the problem of domestic violence. A 33-year-old woman told the forum that she had endured assaults for more than seven years in the hope that her abusive husband would one day change. “But I was wrong,” she said. She said her jealous husband used both verbal and physical violence when he was drinking or taking drugs. “Battering was common. And once, he stabbed me in the stomach. The injuries were so serious that I spent more than 20 days at a hospital,” she said. She said every time she still got back to him, but not the last time when he attempted to stab her in the head with a knife. She used her hand to protect her head and ended up sustaining serious ligament damage. To end the painful cycle of violence, she took legal action against her ex-husband, who is now serving a jail term for his crime. “Yet, I still live in fear out of worry that once he walks out of jail he will re-start the cycle,” she said. Photo from : http://www.thaihealth.or.th Speaking at the same forum, Thai Health Promotion Foundation’s deputy manager Dr Bandit Sornphaisarn said there was a significant link between alcohol consumption and crimes. “More than half of those younger than 25 years old said they committed the crimes after drinking,” he said. He was referring to a survey of 880 prisoners who were convicted of physical assaults and murders. Bandit said a 2015 survey by the Centre for Alcohol Studies showed 82 per cent of respondents were adversely affected by people who drank alcohol. “They feel insecure when there are people drinking around them at a public place,” he said. “Some have said drinking people also cause loud noises disrupting their rest at night.” Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327440 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  12. Officials come up with 20-year plan for Bt2.7 trillion worth of railway projects THE OFFICE of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) has formulated a 20-year framework for 38 rail transport projects worth Bt2.7 trillion to boost the country’s transport efficiency. The massive investment would result in an estimated economic return of Bt400 billion annually with big savings in transport costs, time and less pollution, the OTP said. Chayatham Phomsorn, the deputy OTP director, told a seminar yesterday that multiple rail projects are designed to support special economic zones, tourism and other national development plans between now and 2036 with a focus on linking passenger and cargo transport lines. The programme covers 16 double-tracked rail routes with a total length of 2,777 kilometres. The projects will increase transport efficiency by removing bottlenecks at the existing Chaserngsao-Khaeng Khoi, Jira-Khon Kaen, Hua Hin-Prachuab Kiri Khan sections, among others. The programme includes 14 new routes of one-metre-gauge railways with a total length of 2,352km. Among these projects are the Den Chai-Chiang Khong and Ban Phai-Nakhon Phanom routes. High-speed projects There are also eight standard-gauge railway projects with a total length of 2,457km, including high-speed train routes from Bangkok to Rayong, Bangkok to Nakorn Ratchasima, Bangkok to Hua Hin, and Bangkok to Phitsanulok. The programme includes construction of container yards at select locations such as Wa Kor and Nong Pla Duk to support distribution of goods and other logistic operations. It also aims to implement electrification of existing railway systems. To fund these projects, the government would be responsible for a combined investment of Bt1.97 trillion out of the overall Bt2.7-trillion investment, while the private sector is expected to invest a combined Bt729 billion. Annually, the government’s share of total investment is projected to be Bt98 billion while the private sector’s share is Bt36 billion. The economic return on investment is estimated to be Bt408 billion per year, including a combined savings of Bt158 billion in transportation costs and a time savings equivalent to Bt94 billion. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/business/30327450 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  13. Suvarnabhumi Airport customs seize 4 million baht's worth of elephant tusks from Africa Image: Daily News Customs officials at Suvarnabhumi airport have seized 28 pieces of elephant tusk worth four million baht. Acting on a tip off coming from Africa they intercepted the illegal animal parts in a consignment with suspicious documentation. The tusks had originated in Brazzaville, Congo and first were transported on Ethiopian Airlines flight ET861. They were then loaded onto flight ET628 in Addis Ababa. The consignment weighed in at 41 kilos and is now in the safe keeping of park officials as the hunt for the animal parts trafficking gang begins. Source: Daily News -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-23
  14. Yingluck ‘escaped through casinos’: Prawit Runaway ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra is believed to have been secretly driven by car to the border province of Sa Kaew before sneaking out of the country through casinos, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Friday. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003682-yingluck-likely-fled-via-aranyaprathet-border-deputy-pm-prawit/?do=findComment&comment=12295436
  15. Russia tells North Korea, U.S. 'hot heads' to calm down UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia's foreign minister said on Friday the leaders of North Korea and the United States should tone down their bellicose rhetoric and warned that a collapse of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers would only embolden Pyongyang. "The exchange of threats is quite bad, unacceptable," Sergei Lavrov told reporters at a news conference." We have to calm down the hot heads," Lavrov said, adding that he was convinced a Russian-Chinese proposal could still pave the way for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea crisis. Lavrov added that a collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would give North Korea little incentive to drop its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Paul Simao) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-23
  16. Despite undiplomatic discourse, Trump's dance card is full By Arshad Mohammed and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A subtle diplomat like Talleyrand, Donald Trump is not. The U.S. president, in his first foray at the U.N. General Assembly, derided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man ... on a suicide mission" and delivered an unabashed defence of sovereignty at the seat of global multilateralism. But if his speech drew barbs from allies and authoritarian adversaries, it did nothing to deter his dance partners at the premier diplomatic waltz of the year, the 193-member United Nations' annual gathering of world leaders known by the acronym UNGA. Trump held bilateral meetings with 13 leaders this week, more than his predecessor Barack Obama had at his first UNGA(five), his last (six) or his busiest (10), according to data compiled by CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller. Trump's less than diplomatic speech on Tuesday recalled the fiery nationalist language of his Jan. 20 inaugural address and raised eyebrows across the political spectrum by its bald assertion of the primacy of U.S. interests. "Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens - to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values," he said, evoking his campaign's nationalist themes despite the departure of advocates such as Steve Bannon from the White House. Germany's foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, delivered a riposte in a scathing and barely veiled critique on Thursday. "National egoism, I believe, is worthless as a regulatory principle for our world," Gabriel said. "The motto 'our country first' not only leads to more national confrontations and less prosperity, in the end there can only be losers." Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's authoritarian 93-year-old leader who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, also sought to nudge Trump in a more peaceable direction. "Mr. Trump, please blow your trumpet, blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue," he said. In his speech, Trump said if the United States were forced to defend itself or its allies, it would have "no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" and he called Iran's government a "murderous regime" that exports "violence, bloodshed and chaos." His directness contrasts with the subtlety of 18th- and 19th-century French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who is reputed to have said: "A diplomat who says 'yes' means 'maybe,' a diplomat who says 'maybe' means 'no,' and a diplomat who says 'no' is no diplomat." Still, Trump's language has seeped into the discourse of other leaders, perhaps seeking to curry his favour. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke of "draining the swamp" of Israeli occupation while South Korean President Moon Jae-in called North Korean behaviour "extremely deplorable." Trump, possibly recalling the criticism that his Democratic U.S. presidential opponent Hillary Clinton earned for calling some of his supporters a "basket of deplorables," was pleased. "I'm very happy that you used the word 'deplorable'," Trump told Moon. "That's been a very lucky word for me and many millions of people." Both Moon and Abbas had sitdowns with Trump, and there was no shortage of others who wanted to meet him. A U.S. official said the White House accommodated as many requests for meetings as they could schedule, noting some leaders who wanted to meet Trump did not make the cut. The U.S. president has also wanted to see the leaders of China, India and Germany, but they did not come this year. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Trump on Thursday, and officials in Kabul said all the impetus had come from the Afghan side, with no burning interest from the White House. French President Emmanuel Macron made clear he would work with any U.S. president, whoever he was, and said he and Trump had clear disagreements on climate change and Iran policy. "I want a deep, cordial dialogue to bring him back into the international and multilateral fold on these two subjects," Macron told reporters. "As I'm a pragmatist, I put myself in a position to work the best way possible with him." Asked if dealing with Trump was like managing a difficult child, the French president replied: "Not at all. I'm managing a partner of the world's biggest power and a historical partner for our country." (Reporting by Yara Bayoumy, Anthony Boadle, David Brunnstrom, Rodrigo Campos, Parisa Hafezi, Steve Holland, John Irish, Jeff Mason, Arshad Mohammed and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and James Mackenzie in Kabul; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by James Dalgleish) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-23
  17. U.S. challenged by rising North Korea tensions, Russia urges calm By Michelle Nichols and David Brunnstrom UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia urged "hot heads" to calm down on Friday as the United States admitted it felt "challenged" by North Korea's warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un traded more insults. Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" who would face the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the U.S. or its allies. "We have to calm down the hot heads," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at the United Nations, where world leaders gathered this week for the annual U.N. General Assembly. "We continue to strive for the reasonable and not the emotional approach...of the kindergarten fight between children." U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed hope in an interview with ABC that sanctions and "voices from every corner of the world" could lead North Korea back to talks, but admitted intensifying rhetoric had left Washington "quite challenged." North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific. Ri, who is due to speak to the United Nations on Saturday, added that he did not know Kim's exact thoughts. In response, Tillerson said U.S. diplomatic efforts would continue but all military options were still on the table. North Korea's six nuclear tests to date have all been underground, and experts say an atmospheric test, which would be the first since one by China in 1980, would be proof of the success of its weapons program. A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington was taking Kim's threat seriously and added that any atmospheric test would be a "game-changer." But he said there were questions about North Korea's technical capabilities and Washington did not give "too much credence" to Pyongyang taking such action. "There's a certain amount of bluster that's taken for granted when you're dealing with North Korea," the official told Reuters. 'UNACCEPTABLE' Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. Lavrov on Friday again pushed a proposal by Moscow and Beijing for a dual suspension of North Korean weapons tests and the U.S.-South Korean military drills to kick-start talks. Lavrov suggested that a neutral European country could mediate. He described the exchange of insults between the U.S. and North Korean leaders was "quite bad, unacceptable." U.S. Treasury and gold prices rose while the Japanese yen strengthened on Friday as the exchange of barbs fuelled geopolitical jitters and drove investors into assets considered safer during times of turmoil. The latest round of rhetoric began on Tuesday when Trump, in his first address to the United Nations, made the threat to destroy North Korea, a country of 26 million people. He also called Kim a "rocket man" on a suicide mission. "His remarks ... have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last," Kim said in the statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency on Friday, promising to make Trump "pay dearly for his speech." South Korea said it was the first direct statement of its kind by a North Korean leader. Japan, the only country to suffer an atomic attack, called the North Korean threat to conduct an atmospheric test "totally unacceptable". 'MADMAN' Trump on Friday tweeted: "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before." The White House said on Friday that Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed to Seoul's "acquisition and development of highly advanced military assets" and to increased deployment of U.S. strategic assets in and around South Korea on a rotational basis." It did not name specific weapons systems. On Thursday Trump announced new U.S. sanctions that he said allows the targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. Then when asked if diplomacy was still a possible, he said: "Why not?" The additional sanctions on Pyongyang, including on its shipping and trade networks, showed Trump was giving more time for economic pressure to weigh on North Korea. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to operate in the United States. KCNA also published rare criticism of official Chinese media, saying comments on North Korea's nuclear program had damaged ties and suggested Beijing, its neighbour and only major ally, had sided with Washington. KCNA said Chinese media was "openly resorting to interference in the internal affairs of another country" and driving a wedge between the two countries. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: "All relevant sides should exercise restraint and dedicate themselves to easing the situation rather than irritating each other." The rhetoric has started to rattle some in other countries. French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said France's team would not travel to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea if its security could not be guaranteed. The 2018 Games are to be staged in Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border. (Additional reporting by Linda Sieg in TOKYO, Michael Martina, Ben Blanchard and Christian Shepherd in BEIJING, David Brunnstrom, Arshad Mohammed, John Irish and Jeff Mason in NEW YORK, Doina Chaicu and Matt Spetalnick in WASHINGTON, Soyoung Kim in SEOUL; Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-9-23
  18. Police vow to take legal action against monks over subsidy corruption scandal POLICE HAVE vowed to take legal action against all the four monks implicated in the temple-subsidy corruption scandal, regardless of the number of their supporters. “We are not worried about their followers because we have proceeded in line with evidence,” Pol Maj-General Kamol Reanracha, commander of the National Police Office’s Counter Corruption Division (CCD), said yesterday. While he did not identify the monks by name, he said all the priests were still in Thailand. The CCD has already disclosed that there are 19 suspects in the alleged embezzlement of state subsidies that were allocated to 23 temples via the National Buddhism Office (NBO). Of these suspects, NBO’s former director Phanom Sornsilp, Sing Buri Buddhism Office’s Narongdej Chainet, NBO academic Pattana Subamma-rtmontri, Buddhist Monastery Division’s chief Chatchai Chuchau, and NBO public-works engineer Payong Siluang have already been charged in connection with the scandal. They have denied any wrongdoing. Nopparat Benjawatananan, another former director involved in the scandal, has not yet acknowledged the charges against him as he left Thailand before officials got to his home. On Thursday, the CCD conducted simultaneous raids at various locations linked to the suspects. Their assets are now confiscated pending investigation by the Anti-Money Laundering Office. Kamol added that his division would conclude the investigation into the alleged embezzlement at 23 temples very soon. “We plan to submit the investigation report to the National Anti-Corruption Commission next Tuesday,” he said. A source disclosed that one of the accused monks was a district-level monastic chief in Phetchabun province. “This monk has returned Bt5 million to some accused officials after getting Bt19 million in subsidy,” the source said, adding, relevant authorities have told the monk to produce evidence that he had not engaged in any wrongdoing. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327443 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  19. Thailand Live Saturday 23 September 2017

    Police arrest 11 Africans in Bangkok for overstaying visas Image: Daily News Some 11 Africans were arrested on Saturday morning for overstaying their visa, as Special Operation and Patrol Police Division officers joined forces with tourist police and immigration police to search five Bangkok locations. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003826-police-arrest-11-africans-in-bangkok-for-overstaying-visas/
  20. Thailand Live Saturday 23 September 2017

    Norwegian man’s arm pieced by iron grill A Norwegian man was injured when he slipped and an iron grill pierced through his arm at his house in Chon Buri on Friday night, police said. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003822-norwegian-man’s-arm-pieced-by-iron-grill/
  21. Norwegian man’s arm pierced by iron grill

  22. Police seek info on alleged US paedophile working as teacher Police are investigating widespread reports that an American man who was charged with multiple instances of child sexual abuse had escaped to Thailand and used a fake identity to work as an English teacher in Khon Kaen and Rayong provinces for years. Pol General Pongrit Kongsirisombat, provincial police commander, said he wanted to be sure of the accuracy of the reports. Pongrit was responding to reports that went viral on social media about the whereabouts of Jackson Mathew Hall, 26, who was reportedly charged in the US over several alleged child sex assaults. Social media conversations claimed that Hall is now in Thailand and working as a teacher under a false name. Citing the need to protect children, Bangkok-based Friends of Women Foundation is leading the campaign to find Hall, who it said was using the name Tyler Smith. The Foundation urged in its Facebook page for anyone who spotted Hall to report him to police. According to US online Texas newspaper myStatesman, Hall is from Alabama, where he faced charges in both Cullman and Madison counties when he fled the United States. A Cullman County assistant district attorney in Huntsville said that Hall faked his own death to escape the charges. Hall came to the attention of Thailand’s authorities in March, when the family of a woman named Nittaya Polseepim reported her missing and she was taking a man, who called himself Tyler Smith, to a teaching job in Rayong. “It is believed that Smith is really Hall, according to the Biriram Times,” wrote myStateman online. “Polseepim, who was reportedly in a relationship with Smith, may be helping him evade arrest, Thai Visa online site reported.” Nittaya’s family is concerned for her safety. The missing woman’s ex-husband, South African resident Darron Beetge, also posted several photos of a man who looks like Hall on Facebook last month. In the post, he called Hall an “American pedo fugitive”. Beetege wrote that he got a message from the police that they believe that he may be using copies of another teacher’s documents. The online myStatesman wrote: “Hall was indicted in November 2014 in Cullman County on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, the Cullman Times said. Those charges stem from the alleged sexual assault of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.” “His bond on those charges was revoked in April 2015 after he was accused of exposing himself to a delivery woman in Morgan County,” myStatesman reported. Hall was freed from jail the following June when he was indicted in Madison County on an aggravated child abuse charge for allegedly hitting a child, reported the Cullman Times. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327444 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-23
  23. Some foreigners to be allowed to apply for Thai visa and work permit online The Board of Investment has partnered with the Immigration Bureau and the Employment Department to allow foreign investors in BoI-promoted businesses to apply online for their visa and work permit at the same time. The single window for such services will be piloted next month in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket before going nationwide next year. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Economy/30327249 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-21
  24. Huge Savings on Dentistry in Thailand Dentistry in Thailand Known as the “land of smiles”, if you’re already living in Thailand you’ll be well acquainted with the welcoming and hospitable nature of the Thai people, not to mention the pristine beaches, luxury hotels, exotic street food and the many sacred shrines, temples and monasteries that proliferate the country. But did you know that dental clinics in Thailand are amongst some of the finest in the world? Here at Dental Departures, we work closely with the best dentists in Thailand to ensure that you receive top quality treatment at the lowest price possible, thanks to our “Best Price Guarantee” policy. We have meticulously checked all of our partner clinics and dentists to verify the legitimacy of professional memberships and qualifications, as well as carrying out site visits to assess facilities, sterilization techniques and health & safety protocols. This ensures that all our partner clinics operate to the highest international standards, but at a price that won’t break the bank! How Much Cheaper is Dental Treatment in Thailand? Dental procedures are, on average, between 50% to 80% cheaper in Thailand when compared to western nations such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe. The following table highlights the substantial savings that are readily available at Thai dentists: Procedure Price Australia (AUD$) New Zealand (NZD$) United States (USD$) Canada (CAD$) United Kingdom (GBP£) Europe (EUR$) Average Saving All on Fours Domestic Thailand $33,910 $13,788 $37,503 $15,263 $27,056 $11,000 $32,970 $13,413 £20,243 £8,241 €22,762 €9,261 60% All on Sixes Domestic Thailand $35,473 $16,418 $38,856 $18,172 $28,000 $13,097 $35,172 $15,970 £21,897 £9,810 €23,723 €11,026 54% Crowns Domestic Thailand $1,505 $501 $1,664 $554 $1,201 $400 $1,463 $487 £898 £299 €1,010 €336 67% Dental Implants Domestic Thailand $5,098 $2,381 $5,639 $2,636 $4,067 $1,900 $4,957 $2,317 £3,042 £1,419 €3,423 €1,599 54% Dentures Domestic Thailand $2,378 $852 $2,630 $943 $1,897 $680 $2,312 $829 £1,418 £507 €1,596 €572 65% Fillings Domestic Thailand $202 $47 $223 $52 $161 $38 $196 $46 £120 £28 €135 €32 77% Root Canals Domestic Thailand $1,660 $288 $1,836 $319 $1,324 $230 $1,614 $280 £990 £171 €1,114 €193 83% Teeth Whitening Domestic Thailand $870 $269 $962 $298 $694 $215 $845 $262 £519 £160 €584 €181 70% Veneers Domestic Thailand $1,623 $451 $1,796 $499 $1,294 $360 $1,578 $439 £968 £269 €1,089 €303 73% Bangkok Known as “The City of Angels”, Bangkok is an intoxicating blend of the old and the new. You can explore an array of traditional markets selling local goods and souvenirs, or shop in designer boutiques and modern retail complexes. There are Buddhist temples nestled in the shadows of gigantic skyscrapers, as well as renowned tourist attractions that include The Grand Palace and the ever-popular Chinatown. Top dental facilities in the city include: The Bangkok International Dental Center (BIDC), Main Headquarters - one of the largest and most modern dental clinics in Thailand, this state-of-the-art facility has a well-established reputation for treating international patients and provides the ultimate one-stop dental service, including an on-site laboratory, banking facilities, restaurants and a 30-room boutique hotel. Bangkok Smile MALO Dental Clinic – part of the worldwide Malo Clinic Group, this modern, 14-story complex is equipped with the latest dental technologies and provides a comprehensive range of top quality dental services that includes Dental Implants & Bone Grafting, Routine and Advanced General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry & Smile Makeover and Root Canal Specialty Services. Phuket Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet, offering everything from tranquil beaches to frenetic party resorts. From the peaceful setting of Kamala Beach with its traditional Thai village close by, to the vibrant hustle and bustle of Patong Beach with its plethora of bars, discos and restaurants, Phuket caters for all tastes and requirements. Amongst the leading dental facilities here is the Sea Smile Dental Clinic. Adhering to the highest standards in quality, safety & hygiene, the clinic became the first dental facility in Phuket to be awarded the prestigious and globally-respected Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, and is also the only dental facility in Thailand to gain ISO 9001:2008 certification for both its clinic and in-house dental laboratory. Pattaya Another Thai city renowned for its social life, Pattaya is awash with hundreds of beer bars, go-go clubs and massage parlours. Millions of visitors flock to the city annually to enjoy the mega shopping centres and amenities that are readily available here, not to mention the growing number of cultural and action-packed attractions and international restaurants that are evident throughout the city. The Dental Design Center is widely regarded as the premier dental clinic in Pattaya. Their cutting-edge facility is equipped with digital X-ray systems for enhanced diagnostics, autoclave sterilization machines, intra-oral cameras and a Piezotome ultrasonic generator for all dental bone surgery. Chiang Mai With its blissfully calm and laid-back atmosphere, Thailand's northern capital provides the ideal alternative to the whirlwind pace of life that is evident in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. Nestled amongst forested foothills, Chiang Mai is the perfect destination in which to relax and recharge after your dental treatment, offering pristine rainforest reserves, bubbling hot springs, churning waterfalls and peaceful country villages. Dental 4 U is the premier dental provider in Chiang Mai. Their specialists are all board certified and are members of the prestigious Dental Council of Thailand, and their state-of-the-art facility is open 7 days a week to deliver exceptional dental services to both local and international patients alike. In Conclusion Whether you’re based in the capital city of Bangkok, staying at one of the many popular beach resorts, or are stopping in northern Thailand, top quality dental care is literally just around the corner. You can get everything from an annual check-up to a full oral restoration, including dental implants, crowns or dentures – and all for a fraction of the prices being charged by dentists in other parts the world! Website: https://www.dentaldepartures.com/