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  1. ‘Most parties’ to join talks with junta next week By THE NATION File photo : Kongcheep THE JUNTA is all set to hold talks next Monday or Tuesday on lifting the ban on political activities but there is no clarity yet on which parties would attend the meeting. Junta leader and PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha will be on a trip abroad when the discussions take place. Prayut is visiting London and Paris to meet with the countries’ leaders and investors. Deputy Defence Minister General Chaichan Changmonkol said yesterday that invitations had already been sent to all political parties but declined to say how many would accept the offer. The first official talks between the ruling junta and politicians could lead to the lifting of the ban on political activities that have been in place since 2014. Lifting the ban would allow political parties to make preparations for the next election. Since the government floated the idea of the meeting months ago, politicians have not been very responsive. The oldest political party, the Democrats, said they would cooperate but they were not sure what the focus of the talks would be and how the party would contribute. The Pheu Thai Party, however, has made it clear that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – which in recent months has shown signs of contesting the next election – had no legitimacy to hold such talks and the party would not join the meeting. Another new popular party, Future Forward, has said it would not join the talks unless the NCPO was transparent and allowed live broadcast of the meeting. Deputy PM General Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday said he had heard that most political parties had agreed to join the forum and added that parties did not have to join if they did not want to. However, he said he would talk to politicians about how to partially lift the ban and would respond to any inquiries or pass them to PM Prayut to clarify. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam and the Election Commision would also take part in the discussions, he said. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30348236 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  2. U.N. refugee boss concerned over U.S. separating children from families By Tom Miles United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi attends an interview with Reuters at the UNHCR head GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency is very concerned over the United States separating children of asylum seekers from their families, and has raised the issue with Washington, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said. In an interview with Reuters, Grandi said the Donald Trump administration has legitimate concerns over how to manage asylum applications, noting that the United States has the largest backlog of asylum cases in the world. "One positive sign is that the administration wants to invest more resources on reducing this backlog," he said. But Washington needed to find ways to manage the flow "without penalising the people themselves, people who oftentimes have very valid reasons to seek asylum". "On measures that result in separating children from their families, we are very concerned and have expressed this concern," he said. Grandi said governments in many rich countries had adopted "despicable" rhetoric on migration, ignoring their duty to help people fleeing war or persecution. UNHCR's annual report, published on Tuesday, showed the global number of refugees grew by a record 2.9 million in 2017 to 25.4 million, with another 43.1 million people forcibly displaced in their own countries. The vast majority of refugees remain in poor countries, with only small numbers seeking refuge in the West. "We’re not talking about unmanageable numbers moving to the rich countries," he said. Governments should explain why it is right to help refugees, "but the contrary has happened. Governments have projected an image of emergency, of invasion, and actually, unfortunately many political leaders have capitalised on that to gain votes." "They’ve built fear to build their electoral bases. And I think that this is despicable and this is irresponsible." Some poorer countries like Bangladesh had gone beyond their international obligations by accepting huge numbers of refugees. UNHCR tries to help rich countries to accept refugees after they have fled into overburdened places such as Lebanon, Jordan, Kenya or Pakistan. But such resettlement programmes are a drop in the ocean, Grandi said, and they are at risk of drying up. Last year around 60,000-70,000 people were resettled, which he described as a "gesture of burden sharing". The United States has the biggest resettlement programme in the world, with 110,000 approved places in the final year under former President Barack Obama. But numbers have fallen sharply under Trump, who lowered the cap this year to 45,000. Grandi said he feared the actual number would be much lower because of security vetting and cuts in funding. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Peter Graff) -- © Copyright Reuters 2018-06-19
  3. Fleeing Thaksin hit with second arrest warrant By The Nation File photo : Thaksin Court rules former PM can be tried in absentia over multibillionbaht loan THE SUPREME Court has issued a new warrant for the arrest of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra over a 2015 criminal case stemming from a multibillion-baht loan granted by state-owned Krung Thai Bank to Krisada Mahanakorn Group. Under the new law, the court is empowered to conduct a trial with defendants in absentia. Thaksin lives abroad. Thaksin and 26 other persons had been accused of wrongdoing in the case. Judges have so far handed down multiple jail terms for other defendants, including former senior executives of Krung Thai Bank, but the trial involving Thaksin was suspended due to his absence. Representatives of the Office of the Attorney-General were in court yesterday to pursue its lawsuit against the former prime minister, who is alleged to have abused his power while in office in the early 2000s to facilitate the state-owned bank’s multibillion-baht loan to the real-estate group resulting in financial damage to the bank. Among senior executives already convicted in the case is Viroj Nualkhae, the bank’s former chief executive. Under the new law, authorities are empowered to arrest Thaksin based on the court-approved warrant. In the event that the defendant doesn’t show up at court within three months, the court is empowered to proceed with the trial in absentia. However, the defendant still has the right to legal representation at the trial and the right to later show up and fight the case in court. Public prosecutors are required to submit monthly reports to the court regarding the status of the defendant, while the next court session is scheduled for September 26 this year. Thaksin is also named in an arrest warrant in another case, in which he is charged with abusing his power while in office to favour his family-owned telecom business by converting concession fees into an excise tax. Thaksin, who was prime minister from 2001 to 2006, fled the country following the 2006 coup. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30348234 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  4. FRAUD GANG WARS The British fraudster executed in gang battle over UK savers’ stolen millions THE vicious turf war between British gangs over savers' stolen millions burst into the open last year when one fraudster was gunned down in cold blood INVESTIGATION By JAKE RYAN, Investigations reporter 19th June 2018, 4:57 pm | Updated: 19th June 2018, 5:49 pm Fraudster Kenway was executed in cold blood last year in a suspected gangland hit THE vicious turf war between British gangs over savers' stolen millions burst into the open last year when one fraudster was gunned down in cold blood. Brash Tony Kenway, 39, raked in millions running his own clone fraud operation in Thailand while managing the computer servers for other outfits. But in a battle over £200,000 of stolen money the IT whizz, from Southampton, was blasted in the head in a gangland-style hit as he sat in his red Porsche in Pattaya, south Thailand, in January last year. Dad-of-four Kenway, who boasted about his lavish lifestyle on social media, helped run criminal enterprises robbing millions from savers in the UK and Australia. Thai authorities had issued proceedings to deport Kenway, who had been in the country for seven years after moving from Marbella, for working illegally when he was executed. Full story: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/uknews/6484103/the-british-fraudster-executed-in-gang-battle-over-uk-savers-stolen-millions/ -- THE SUN 2018-06-20
  5. PM eyes boosting investor confidence during UK visit BANGKOK, 20th June 2018 (NNT) – The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom this week, during which he intends to enhance bilateral relations and boost investor confidence in the Thai economy. In his remarks on a planned visit to the UK from June 19-22, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha pointed out that the trip is in line with the European Union’s resolution to upgrade its relationship with Thailand. He confirmed that discussions will be held concerning Thailand’s progress in all respects, especially the economy, trade and investment and the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor. The Prime Minister added that election-related procedures being implemented under the government’s roadmap will be thoroughly explained to the UK in a bid to bolster confidence in the Thai democratic system. He is adamant the pursuit of former Prime Ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra, who are reportedly living in exile in the UK, will not be brought up as the matter is already in the hands of responsible agencies. As for possible demonstrations by dissidents in the UK, Prime Minister Prayut said he isn't worried, admitting they have the right to do so within the bounds of the law. -- nnt 2018-06-20
  6. Thais start waking up on reducing plastic bags By Thai PBS Thai people in general, high-learning educational institutions, private and public sectors are waking up to the calls for the reduction of plastic bags in their daily use in light of the recent deaths of several wild animals from their eating of discarded plastic bags and the global problem of plastic garbage in seas and oceans. Here are some examples of the educational institutions that have started cutting down the daily use of single-use plastic bags in their campuses. At Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus, students have been urged to bring their own cotton bags when they want to shop for snacks, drinks or whatever from the convenience stores on the campus. Convenience stores, meanwhile, will inform their customers that plastic bags will be provided only for hot instant food. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/thais-start-waking-reducing-plastic-bags/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2018-06-20
  7. webfact

    Thailand Live Thursday 21 Jun 2018

    Disease Control Dept. beefs up campaign against dengue fever BANGKOK, 21 June 2018 (NNT) - Thailand's Department of Disease Control and its networks have stepped up their campaign against dengue fever to reduce and prevent fatalities from mosquito-borne diseases. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1044191-disease-control-dept-beefs-up-campaign-against-dengue-fever/
  8. Video: Put him in charge! Popular cop catches python with his bare hands. Thai social media widely shared a video and photographs that showed a popular Phitsanuloke police captain catching a three meter long python weighing 20 kilograms with his bare hands. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1044041-video-put-him-in-charge-popular-cop-catches-python-with-his-bare-hands/
  9. Disease Control Dept. beefs up campaign against dengue fever BANGKOK, 21 June 2018 (NNT) - Thailand's Department of Disease Control and its networks have stepped up their campaign against dengue fever to reduce and prevent fatalities from mosquito-borne diseases. The campaign targets populated and frequently visited places, such as housing estates, schools, hospitals, factories, hotels and temples. People are being urged to keep their houses clean to eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitos. More than 19,000 people have been infected with dengue virus since early this year, 21 of them have died. Youngsters aged 10-14 are the most vulnerable group of patients. The Disease Control Department estimates that the number of dengue patients will exceed 80,000 this year. Those displaying symptoms of dengue fever, including a severe headache, continued fever and joint pain, are advised against using self prescribed drugs and must see a doctor immediately. -- nnt 2018-06-21
  10. Police swoop is "No Joke" after Pattaya beach trader threatens to shoot Chinese tourist video screenshot A police contingent from Banglamung and Pattaya Tourist police swooped on the beach last night to arrest a crocodile bag trader after a video was posted online. Arrested was Somchai Kraiphan, 43. Suggestions had been made on Facebook on the page of "Wicha tham" that the trader had threatened to shoot the tourist for not buying his wares. The poster called for "Mr Joke" to take an interest. He was clearly referring to Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal the famous crime buster known as Big Joke in the Thai media. Big Joke was busy on a mission to stamp out football betting in the south so Pattaya tourist police chief Piyapong Ensarn took over and went in with Bang Lamung cops. Somchai was hauled off the beach and taken to the local station. He wai-ed to society in the standard apology but asked guides with Chinese tourists to understand that he and his mates are just trying to make money for their families. The Bang Lamung station chief said he would be charged but the nature of the charge was not reported by Pattaya Update News in their Facebook report of the story. Source: Pattaya Update News -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-06-20
  11. AOT approves ฿42 billion for Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion BANGKOK, 20 June 2018 (NNT) - The board of Airports of Thailand (AOT) has approved an investment budget of 42.1 billion baht for the expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The sum, which is still subject to the cabinet's approval, will be used for the planned expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The AOT expects the airport to welcome 65 million passengers this year and 68 million in 2019. The construction is scheduled to begin next year and should be completed in 2021. -- nnt 2018-06-21
  12. Thailand ready to explain first execution in nine years FILE photo BANGKOK, 20th June 2018 (NNT) - Thailand is ready to explain the country’s first prisoner execution in nine years, according to the Prime Minister. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that the death sentence of 26-year-old Teerasak Longji was in accordance with the law and the justice system, which most people agree with. The Prime Minister said that the execution, which was the first in the country since 2009, should be a lesson for criminals and help maintain peace in the country. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday, that while Thailand works in tandem with the United Nations’ stipulations, it should be noted that the death penalty does not violate the Constitution or Thai laws. He conceded that as many countries don't understand Thailand’s death sentence law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have to explain it to the world. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon confirmed that Thailand always acts in accordance with its laws, as in this case. -- nnt 2018-06-20
  13. Video: "Pakistanis" stealing from Thai gold shops Pictures (2): Manager Online CCTV footage from a gold shop in downtown Surat Thani showed two men dressed in tourist t-shirts debating over what to buy. They had the gift of the gab and the sales lady got confused after they looked at a five baht weight bracelet. They eventually settled on a small ring worth 5,000 baht. It was only an hour later that the shop realized they had stolen the more expensive piece worth more than 100,000 baht. Manager called the men "khaek khaaw" (white Indians) but suggested they came from Pakistan. They are also believed to have been responsible for stealing a 100,000 baht diamond encrusted wristwatch from a gold shop in Hat Yai earlier. Source: Manager Online -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-06-21
  14. Boat caught in Europe's migration spat brings hundreds to Spain By Luis Felipe Fernandez and Jordi Rubio The Aquarius rescue ship arrives to port carrying 106 migrants in Valencia, Spain June 17, 2018. REUTERS/Heino Kalis VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Rescued migrants turned away by Italy and Malta arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia on Sunday, ending a gruelling Mediterranean odyssey that became symbolic of Europe's failure to agree on immigration. Spain swooped to help 629 mainly sub-Saharan Africans on board the ship Aquarius last week after Italy's new government, asserting its anti-immigrant credentials, refused to let it dock. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who took office two weeks ago, took the opportunity to show a more liberal stance. But the plight of the Aquarius, run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranee, highlighted the European Union's struggle to manage an influx of people fleeing poverty and conflict. Men, women and children who spent nine days on the Aquarius, after their rescue off the Libyan coast, cheered as they approached Valencia, where they were met by officials in white protective suits and masks, before police processed their information. The whole group arrived on three separate boats, after some were transferred to two Italian vessels to make the journey safer. A staff of 2,320, including volunteers, translators and health officials, were waiting on shore. Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies General Elhadj As Sy was also in Valencia. "This sad odyssey of the people on the Aquarius is another reminder that all people, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, should have access to basic assistance and protection," Sy said in a statement. "No human being is 'illegal'," added Sy. Italy's rejection of the Aquarius prompted a spat with France, while the issue of immigration has triggered a political row in Germany. Malta refused to take the boat, saying it had nothing to do with the rescue, which was coordinated by Italy's coast guard. "POLITICAL POINT-SCORING" Karline Kleijer, MSF's head of emergencies, told a news conference refusing safe port was "shameful". "MSF denounces any European government which is choosing political scoring of points above saving lives at sea," she said. "People were threatening to jump into the water (during) the standoff between Italy and Malta, because they were scared and said if we have to die we'd rather die at sea than in Libya." No serious illness was reported among the migrants, who included seven pregnant women and 123 minors, but many had suffered burns and fatigue. All the migrants will get special 45-day humanitarian permits to stay, and asylum requests will be assessed, Chief Inspector of Immigration and Border Police Bernardo Alonso said. France has offered to take in any passengers who qualify for asylum and want to go there. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, whose right-wing League party entered government pledging to crack down on flows of migrants which have topped 600,000 over the past five years, tweeted: "For the first time, a boat that left Libya aiming for Italy docks in a different country: a sign that something is changing, that we are not Europe's doormat any more." Far fewer migrants have arrived in Spain, but the number is rising fast, with more than 1,000 rescued by Spain's coast guard on Friday and Saturday. A search is underway off the coast of Almeria after four sub-Saharan men rescued by helicopter said their dinghy had been carrying a total 47 people when it sank. Most Spaniards support the idea of welcoming and helping to integrate refugees, pollsters say. That allowed Sanchez, a socialist, to offer migrant-friendly policies to voters who felt previous governments did not do enough. (Additional reporting and writing by Isla Binnie; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Ros Russell) -- © Copyright Reuters 2018-06-18
  15. Trump backs down, orders end to family separations at U.S. border By Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on immigration policy in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump backed down and abandoned on Wednesday his policy of separating immigrant children from their families on the U.S.-Mexico border, after images of youngsters in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad. Trump signed an executive order requiring that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally for as long as their criminal proceedings take. That may violate a court settlement on how long children may be held, setting up a potential legal fight, unless Congress acts on the issue. The Trump order, an unusual reversal by him, also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings. The order does not end a 10-week-old "zero tolerance" policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally. “It's about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Trump said as he signed the order in a hastily arranged Oval Office gathering minutes before departing for a campaign event. The videos of kids sitting in cages and an audiotape of wailing children had sparked anger in the United States from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation from abroad, including by Pope Francis. Trump, an avid viewer of cable television news, recognised that the family separation issue was a growing political problem, White House sources said. First Lady Melania Trump, in private conversations with the president, urged him to do something, a White House official said. In the Oval Office, Trump said he had heard from his daughter Ivanka about the policy, too. "Ivanka feels very strongly. My wife feels very strongly about it. I feel very strongly about it. I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it," Trump said. Wednesday's move was the most significant policy reversal by Trump since he took office in January 2017. Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down. But the volume of condemnation on breaking up families, from inside and outside the White House, finally overwhelmed Trump. NEW HEADACHES The reversal also creates a series of new headaches for the administration, as it wrestles with where to house families that are detained together, possibly for long periods, and how to reunite families that already have been separated. "This executive order would replace one crisis for another. Children don’t belong in jail at all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. Parents referred by border agents for prosecution are held in federal jails, while their children have remained in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody or have been moved into detention facilities managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a Department of Health and Human Services agency. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday that 2,342 children had been separated from their parents at the border between May 5 and June 9. The order directs the U.S. Justice Department to seek a modification of a court order to permit families that enter the United States illegally to be detained together until their criminal proceedings are concluded, a text of the order shows. It also directs the Department of Defense to take steps to house detained immigrant families as needed. Trump has made a tough stance on immigration central to his presidency. In recent days, he had insisted his hands were tied by law on the issue of family separations and blamed Democrats for the problem, even though his administration implemented the policy of strict adherence to immigration law. BILLS IN CONGRESS The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress is also considering legislation to address the issue. The House of Representatives planned to vote on Thursday on two bills designed to halt family separations and address a range of other immigration issues. "We are working on a much more comprehensive bill," Trump said. Republicans said they were uncertain if either House measure would have enough votes to pass. Trump told House Republicans on Tuesday night he would support either of the bills. Both House bills, which Democrats and immigration advocacy groups have blasted, would fund Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as reduce legal migration, in part by denying visas for some relatives of U.S. residents and citizens living abroad, sometimes called "chain migration." The more conservative bill from Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte also would deny the chance of future citizenship to "Dreamers," who are immigrants brought illegally into the United States years ago as children. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that compromise legislation under discussion would provide funding to allow the Department of Homeland Security enough resources to house and care for families as they stayed together during the process. "Under this bill, when people are being prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, families will remain together under DHS custody throughout the length of their legal proceedings," he said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Susan Cornwell, Amanda Becker and Mohammad Zargham in Washingtong; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Frances Kerry and James Dalgleish) -- © Copyright Reuters 2018-06-21
  16. May called to quiz Prayut on human rights By The Nation Ahead of visit from the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Amnesty International has called on UK Prime Minister Theresa May to convey her deep concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. Amnesty has repeatedly condemned the imposition of a restrictive human rights environment in Thailand since the 2014 coup, which brought to power the National Council for Peace and Order under General Prayut. Amnesty said the meeting was an opportunity to raise significant human rights concerns about the country, in particular, those relating to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which has involved the detention and prosecution of hundreds of individuals. Amnesty also called on May to condemn the first execution in Thailand since 2009, which was carried out on Monday. Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: “Theresa May must not mince her words when she condemns the woeful state of human rights in Thailand. She must convey that this requires the Thai government’s urgent action, regardless of their plans for elections. “Just this week Thailand used the death penalty for the first time in nearly a decade, a grim sign of the country’s human rights decline. “In the four years since the coup, the Thai military have tightened their stranglehold on the country, misusing the criminal justice system to gag critics and scare people into submission. “These sorts of high-level meetings shouldn’t just be about getting out the chequebooks and order forms. In the scramble to secure business deals, Britain must not trade away its ability to speak out about appalling human rights violations.” The UK government has previously highlighted its pursuit of trade deals with Thailand. Amnesty said May should go beyond merely saying she had raised human rights concerns and give details of the specifics of the discussion, including the response of Prayut so that he can be held to any commitments made. May is currently distracted with domestic politics as her divisive Brexit bill makes its way through the House of Commons in a knife-edge vote. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30348260 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  17. Polls point to strong backing among Thais for death penalty By The Nation CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, despite growing opposition among international organisations and other countries, is strongly supported by the majority of Thai people, according to surveys. At least four online polls were conducted immediately after Thailand’s first execution in nine years took place on Monday. In every one, the majority of respondents agreed with the death penalty. The findings came after a convicted murderer, identified only as Thirasak by the Corrections Department, was killed by lethal injection at Bangkwang Central Prison, bringing an end to a nine-year hiatus for executions in Thailand. He was convicted of fatally stabbing his 17-year-old victim 24 times in 2012 and making away with his cellphone and a small amount of cash. About 2,300 people voted on Kom Chad Luek’s website in response to the question, “Do you agree with execution?” An overwhelming 92 per cent said “Yes” while just eight per cent said “No”. Nation TV conducted a similar survey at www.nationtv.tv, garnering more than 20,000 votes. Of them, 95 per cent said the death penalty should continue to apply on Thai soil. A popular Facebook page, Drama-addict, asked whether Thailand should put to death those convicted of extremely grave crimes. More than 124,900 people have responded so far, with 96 per cent or 119,900 of them in no doubt that capital punishment should be meted out to the worst criminals. The poll is open to voters for five more days. Thirasak’s mother yesterday said her son may have been wrongfully convicted, as he had always maintained that he had not committed the murder. “That’s why he always refused to plead guilty in court, even though [he knew] doing so would provide grounds for leniency,” she said. Among those protesting Thailand’s resumption of executions was Germany’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Barbel Kofler. “It is impossible to entirely rule out the possibility of wrongful convictions – with irreparable consequences if the defendant has been executed,” she pointed out, adding that the death penalty was an inhumane form of punishment. The European Union, meanwhile, said it was opposed to capital punishment under all circumstances. “The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity,” the EU said. That sentiment apparently has little support in Thailand, where threat of execution is often held up as an effective deterrent against committing serious crimes. More than 86,000 people responding to a poll at Kapook’s Facebook page said they believed the death penalty reduced crimes. Only 1,451 respondents thought otherwise. Maynart Nantakwang, whose popular author-mother was stabbed to death in a robbery, responded to the aftermath of Monday’s execution by lamenting that so many people were so keen to defend the rights of cold-blooded murderers. “If laws were more lenient, there would be more innocent victims,” she commented. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30348235 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  18. Trump says North Korea has returned remains of 200 U.S. war dead U.S. President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst DULUTH, Minn. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said North Korea had returned on Wednesday the remains of 200 U.S. troops missing from the Korean War, although there was no official confirmation of the move from military authorities. "We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back," Trump told a crowd of supporters during a rally in Duluth, Minnesota. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that in coming days North Korea would hand over a "sizeable number" of remains to United Nations Command in South Korea, and they would then be transferred to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a historic summit last week in Singapore, and said in a news conference afterwards that Kim had agreed to return the remains of U.S. soldiers. About 7,700 U.S. military personnel remain unaccounted from the 1950-1953 Korean War, U.S. military data show. According to the Pentagon, North Korean officials have indicated in the past that they have the remains of as many as 200 U.S. troops. More than 36,500 U.S. troops died in the conflict. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, additional reporting by Idris Ali; writing by Eric Walsh; editing by Richard Pullin) -- © Copyright Reuters 2018-06-21
  19. Video: Wais of apology - but the damage is done Picture: Manager Online Dash cam footage from Bangkok showed a couple on a motorcycle doing an illegal U-turn maneuver in the rain. A car slows to allow them - including the wai-ing female rider - to move across traffic only for the dash cam vehicle to be rear ended by another vehicle. The dash cam car is then shunted into the motorcycle as the two riders tumble off in a heap. More wais follow as the car drivers survey the scene. The footage came from Sri Nakharin Road near Seacon Square, said Manager who added that it was widely shared and "liked" online. They called it a warning about doing illegal U-turns. The footage came posted by "Bird Sut". Source: Manager Online -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-06-21
  20. Eight injured in Korat van accident By The Nation Picture: Komchadluek A chartered van fell into a roadside ditch in Nakhon Ratchasima's Non Daeng district early Thursday, injuring the driver and seven passengers, police said. Police said the accident happened at 1.40am on the Mittraparp road in Ban None Tathen village in Tambon Don Yao Yai, Non Daeng district. Six of the injured were sent to the Sida district hospital and two others to None Daeng hospital. The van driver, Panupong Chansida, 35, told police that his van had been chartered to collect seven passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport and take them to their homes in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Bua Yai district. He said he lost control of the van as he tried to avoid a large hole on the road, causing it to fall into the ditch and flip over. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30348278 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  21. May faces down pro-EU rebel lawmakers to win Brexit vote By Elizabeth Piper and William James Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Royal Free Hospital, London June 18, 2018. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via Reuters LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial Brexit vote in parliament on Wednesday, keeping her divided government's plans to end more than 40 years of British partnership with the European Union on track. After pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve said he would support the government's proposal for a "meaningful vote" in parliament on Britain's exit, a potential rebellion that could have undermined May's authority was averted. May adopted a high-risk strategy by facing off with rebels in her Conservative Party, and it paid off. The upper house of parliament later approved the bill, paving the way for it to become law after gaining formal "Royal Assent" from the Queen. May said in a statement that the bill's passage was a crucial step in delivering Brexit, and more details of proposed future links with the EU would be published in the coming weeks. But the battle over the EU withdrawal bill, her Brexit blueprint, may be a taste of things to come. May needs to get several other bills through parliament to prepare Britain for life outside the EU, a momentous change to its trading and political relationships after decades in the bloc. Some of her opponents on Brexit may simply have decided to keep their powder dry for later fights on issues such as future trading ties and customs arrangements with the bloc before Britain's scheduled departure in March next year. Six Conservatives still voted against the government. But for now, May will be relieved to have overcome another potential crisis over her proposal for the role of parliament, should she fail to negotiate an exit agreement with the EU or if lawmakers reject any deal she returns with from Brussels. "There was a great point of principle here, which was that the government has to be able to be free to negotiate and we have to be able to hold out in our negotiations the prospect of no deal, otherwise all the advantage would have been with the EU side," trade minister Liam Fox told the BBC. Other Conservatives agreed. "It strengthens our hand," said one, while opposition lawmakers described the vote as disappointing. Sterling rose to a session high against the euro and climbed against the dollar after May won the rare victory, one which will give the weakened prime minister a firmer footing when she travels to Brussels next week for an EU summit. Talks with the bloc have all but stalled, with May's top team of ministers at odds over plans for future trading relations with the EU, which businesses complain makes them unable to plan their investment decisions. ABOUT-TURN Before his about-turn, Grieve had argued that government promises did not hand parliament enough control to prevent the "chaos" that could follow Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. Grieve seemed to have won over several fellow Conservatives but after days of lobbying by party officials, he seemed to have put his concerns aside. Grieve told the House of Commons he now saw the need to take account of May's concerns over the state of the negotiations. He also said he had been reassured by a statement saying it was up to the parliamentary speaker to grant lawmakers greater influence over ministers in the event of no deal. "And in the circumstances that might follow a no deal, which would undoubtedly be one of the biggest political crises in modern British history, if the house wishes to speak ... the house has the power to do it," Grieve said. With his words, May was able to enjoy victory in a parliament that is stacked against her since she lost her majority at an ill-judged election last year. But businesses are still seeking more certainty. "My biggest worry about Brexit is that I don't know what we are planning for," Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of German engineering giant Siemens told Reuters in an interview. "We need to put something in place quickly that works and if that is not possible, and until that point, then we have to just default to staying in the customs union." (Additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey and David Stamp) -- © Copyright Reuters 2018-06-21
  22. Govt considers ‘total ban’ on the import of e-waste By THE NATION THE GOVERNMENT is seriously considering an immediate ban on the import of electronic waste. “We will determine if the use of Article 44 is necessary to enforce the ban,” Defence Ministry spokesman Lt-General Kongcheep Tantravanich said yesterday, referring to the decision by a reform committee that is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon. Article 44 of the Constitution gives the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the junta body, overwhelming power to issue such a diktat. The issue of e-waste has caught the attention of the public since last month after police found a huge amount of e-waste imported into Thailand, which had not been disposed of in line with relevant laws. Poor disposal increases the danger of hazardous substances from the waste leaking into the environment and endangering people’s health. Prawit said the problem of e-waste would be well under control if no more e-waste were imported. “But we will make sure we proceed in line with laws to impose the ban,” he said. Kongcheep said if normal laws did not allow the ban, relevant parties would discuss the possibility of invoking Article 44. NCPO chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha has also been the prime minister during the past four years. Licences suspended Kongcheep said for the time being all plants found to have violated the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal would have their licences suspended. “Importers who have made false declarations regarding e-waste and plastic scrap will face legal action and their imported containers will be sent back,” he said. Kongcheep added that factories not disposing e-waste properly would face legal action and the waste would be sent to licensed plants that had proper disposal procedures. According to him, all relevant authorities from now on will tighten up their operations and enforce laws strictly with regard to e-waste management. Deputy national police Commissioner Pol General Wirachai Songmetta revealed earlier this week that police had inspected 17 plants and found all of them had violated laws. “They are also from the same network,” he disclosed. “Their real owners are foreigners too.” He said these plants would not be spared considering the damage they had caused to the country and Thai people. Wirachai vowed to pursue legal action against the offending plants to the end, amid rumours that the plants’ owners were now trying to lobby top police officials to get out of legal trouble. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30348233 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
  23. Video: Thai Scrabble students display their English knowledge - how many words do you know? A video from a Scrabble event in Sri Racha at the weekend showed two Thai high school students competing on a giant board in the Pacific Park shopping center in front of intrigued shoppers. But was this English or some weird language from another planet? In the early stages of the game the vocabulary on show featured such words as OORIE, ZA, YAWP, WHUPS, APOD, JERID and MIG. In fact most native speakers might be struggling to give a meaning to much more than OX, BEACONS, FAN and FUG! The match was the culmination of the 18th Eastern Seaboard Championships that featured student divisions as well as a section for professional adult players. The professional division was won by a young Thai man despite the presence of an English born competitor. Scrabble - called Crossword Game in Thailand due to contractual matters - is very popular in Thailand with competitions throughout the country. Next week a Thai contingent will head to Malaysia to compete in the World Seniors Championships (over 55s) and the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. World Number one Scrabble player Nigel Richards from New Zealand will be playing in the Malaysian Open. You may like to know the meaning of some of the words: OORIE (shivering with cold), ZA (pizza), YAWP (to yawn audibly), WHUP (to beat decisively), APOD (animal without feet), JERID (a wooden javelin used in Muslim countries) and MIG (a marble). All words are in both the US Scrabble lexicon and the international Collins word list for the game. Be careful if a Thai student ever challenges you to a game! Footage came from the organizers of the game in Thailand the Thai Crossword Game Association. -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2018-06-20
  24. Policeman fatally shot while attempting to arrest drug suspect By The Nation FILE photo//Google maps A policeman was shot dead when a sting operation in Pathum Thani went badly wrong, allowing a drug suspect to flee. Pol Sg Maj Asarn Ketjampa, 32, was shot once in the left of his chest during the operation, which took place at 3am at the Klong Neung community on Soi Klong Luang 24 in Tambon Klong Neung in Pathum Thani's Klong Luang district. Asarn, a drug suppression officer from Nonthaburi, died later from his wound at the Pathumvej Hospital. He was shot while trying to arrest drug suspect, Yongyuth Wangpairee, 27, who had been contacted by an undercover officer wanting to buy 2,000 meth pills. The sting operation was planned following Nonthaburi narcotics suppression police’s arrest of two drug suspects on Wednesday. The two implicated Yongyuth, saying they obtained the drugs from Yongyuth for reselling. When Yongyuth walked out of the house to deliver the 2,000 meth pills to the undercover officer, Asarn ran out from his hiding place to arrest the suspect who shot him once and fled. Police later took Yongyuth's elder sister and mother in for questioning at the Klong Luang police station. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30348277 -- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-21
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    Thailand Live Thursday 21 Jun 2018

    Thailand's longest afternoon of the year today FILE photo CHIANG MAI, 21st June 2018 (NNT) – The summer solstice today (June 21) will result in the longest afternoon of the year in the northern hemisphere. Meanwhile, a halo appeared around the sun in Chiang Mai for close to an hour yesterday causing much excitement. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1044189-thailands-longest-afternoon-of-the-year-today/