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  1. Marrying a "rich" westerner may not be a "dream come true" - says BBC video screenshot The BBC Thai service has produced a wide ranging documentary feature and video that looks into the increasingly prevalent trend for westerners to marry Thai women. In one small town in Isaan - Thailand's north east - they found nearly 100 families in the same boat: coming to terms with what it means having a son-in-law from the west. And they found it was not just the financial advantages for families that this often brings - but could cause cultural difficulties and misunderstandings. The BBC spoke to a Khon Kaen university professor who is trying to educate rural north easterners in what to expect when their daughter "marries a farang". Writing on the BBC website reporter Nanchanok Wongsamut said these days it was a dream come true for many Thais to marry a foreigner. But it was not always a bed of roses - despite the cash windfall many experience. She spoke to many people in the town of Phu Wiang in Khon Kaen after nearly 100 families from there attended a course set up by Dr Dusadee Ayuwat. One was typical of many - Sumet Somwang just had a regular rundown wooden house four years ago. That was before her 36 year old daughter married a 60 year old Swiss man. Now they have a solid cement, four bedroom home that is the envy of jealous neighbors. The house has all the mod cons - air-conditioning throughout, hot water, Western loos, microwave, stove, washing machine...and of course the large flat screen TV. "My son-in-law said he wanted me and my husband to be comfortable," said Sumet, 54. "He has done everything for us including a thorough refurbishment on the house". She was speaking to the BBC as further improvements were being done to the fence surrounding the property. According to the happy mother-in-law the Swiss man sends her 10 to 20,000 baht per month. This is in addition to the money he gives to their daughter aged 36. Sumet is still working making cloth but said that neighbors were wondering why she bothered after they said her daughter had been so lucky. "They look at us and are envious", she said. Dr Dusadee said that it is understandable that many people see marrying a westerner as a chance for the whole family to escape poverty - but it is not just that. Many face a lot of cultural difficulties coming to terms with having a farang in the family. She is targeting rural communities in her work to bring more understanding. The BBC reported that the days of being suspicious of foreigners marrying Thai women were coming to an end. They cited the name of a woman from literature - "Bunrort" - who famously was believed to be unhappy through marrying a foreigner. Many used to believe that girls who married foreigners were simply no good. This is not the case anymore, with even rural people accepting the situation, and actively encouraging it. Dr Dusadee said there were no official statistics to show how many Thais were tying the knot with foreigners. But she explained that in her study of 320 Thai women who did marry them, she discovered some interesting details. Of those 320 one in three or more than 30% were previously married to Thais and had divorced or separated and often had children from that previous relationship. So much so that these days there is even pressure from Thai parents and families to find a westerner after Thai relationships went sour. But as Dr Dusadee's course points out to those clamoring for their daughters to "go west" the cultural difficulties make it unlikely to be the bed of roses that many assume will be the case. This fact she and her team try to explain in their course to bring greater understanding to the Thais. Source: BBC -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-20
  2. Pattaya expat worries The key matters concerning long-term farang in Pattaya are visa prospects and their own health care. That is according to a local survey carried out by Pattaya Today with 100 expats, mostly retired British but also involving mainland Europeans, Americans and Australians. The newspaper is not claiming this was a scientific survey but was conducted by interview and telephone over a two-week period. Almost all those contacted said their biggest concern at present was the ambiguity which they sensed about future visa policy in Thailand. At present most long-stay farang have a one year extension of stay based on retirement. A new 10-year visa for those over 50 years and their families has been introduced by the government, but the rules are complex – requiring police clearance from the home base and many financial documents – and can only be obtained in the country of origin and not in Thailand. In spite of rumours to the contrary earlier this year, the current retirement visa has been left untouched by the immigration authorities. It requires annual foreign income or cash in Thailand, or a combination of both, of at least 800,000 baht. Yet many expats are concerned lest the rules are changed, for example a doubling of the cash or income requirement or a supplementary rule demanding comprehensive medical insurance. Full story: http://pattayatoday.net/news/latest-edition/pattaya-expat-worries/ -- PATTAYA TODAY 2017-09-20
  3. Video: More shocking violence as attendant spills a little gas on the tank Picture: Daily News BANGKOK: -- CCTV footage from a gas station in Bangkok showed a gang of seven men attack and shoot at two pump attendants. Their "crime"?: one spilt a little gas on a motorbike tank enraging the gang. The footage posted on Facebook by a woman called "Kwang Jittra" and widely viewed showed the two attendants being kicked in the head repeatedly. One is only left after he is seen to be unconscious. Another is repeatedly assaulted by many of the seven men. Two shots were fired in their direction. The poster who is a friend of one of the victims asked people to share the story adding that the thugs "have money and the case may go cold". They also stated that they "shot to kill". They stated that it started when one attendant spilled a little gas on the tank. Daily News Online contacted Bang Plat police who are investigating and who confirmed they had received complaints from two friends of the victims. The incident happened on Sunday in Soi Charoen 80. The attendants said they did not know the men and had never had a problem with anyone. Source: Daily News -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-20
  4. Phuket taxi driver comes unstuck as tourist passes fake B500 banknote Eakkapop Thongtub The fake B500 note literally had extra zeros glued onto the paper. Image: Supplied PHUKET: A Phuket taxi driver has posted a warning for people to beware fake banknotes after a tourist got away with handing him a B50 banknote washed with a purple tint and with extra zeros literally glued on it to present it as a B500 note. The driver, who did not want to be named, posted photos of the notes on Facebook yesterday (Sept 19) under the name “คนข้างเคียง เดือนสิบสอง” (“Person close to you – month 12”). “Staff at my office showed me this, this morning,” he wrote. “The money was from a taxi driver who was handed this from a tourist on Monday night (Sept 18). Full story: https://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-taxi-driver-comes-unstuck-as-tourist-passes-fake-b500-banknote-63961.php -- © Copyright Phuket News 2017-09-20
  5. Thailand Live Thursday 21 Sep 2017

    Rescuers get closer to trapped girl as Mexico quake toll passes 220 By Michael O'Boyle and Ana Isabel Martinez Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Rescuers toiled to wrest a young girl from the rubble of a partially collapsed school in Mexico City on Wednesday, offering a small glimmer of hope more than a day after a devastating earthquake killed at least 224 people. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003289-rescuers-get-closer-to-trapped-girl-as-mexico-quake-toll-passes-220/
  6. Phuket police seize over B10mn worth of overpriced items in zero-dollar raids Eakkapop Thongtub PHUKET:-- Police today carried out raids on five business operators believed to be involved in zero-dollar tours and seized over B10 million worth of what they deemed to be overpriced items. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003202-phuket-police-seize-over-b10mn-worth-of-overpriced-items-in-zero-dollar-raids/
  7. Fake 1000 baht notes: Pattaya police arrest three eastern Europeans Picture: Sophon Cable PATTAYA: -- Pattaya's chief of police yesterday announced the arrest of three eastern European men. While two were behind credit card fraud a third is believed to be involved in the spate of fake 1,000 baht notes at the resort. Losses are believed to be 300,000 baht. Apichai Krobpetch warned traders to be on the lookout for more fake notes in an indication that the cops may not yet have got the entire gang. Picture: Sophon Cable The first two arrested were Russian Igor Britvich, 36, and Arman Shegelov of Kazakhstan. They were arrested after reports from a bank of suspicious activity at a department store in the resort where the men were using fake cards to purchase goods. They both had fake cards and Shegelov had other incriminating items in his possession including a Citizen watch and two sales slips. Picture: Sophon Cable Their arrest led to the inquiry being expanded and the arrest of 33 year old Bulgarian Peter Lipov. He was found with fake cards and two fake 1,000 baht notes matching the description of ones already used last week to defraud traders. There were irregularities in the serial numbers. Apichai warned shop owners to continue to be on the lookout for fake 1,000 baht notes. Posters on the Sophon Cable TV page on Facebook once again moaned that the police should show the faces of suspects. Source: Sophon Cable -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-19
  8. Rescuers get closer to trapped girl as Mexico quake toll passes 220 By Michael O'Boyle and Ana Isabel Martinez Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Rescuers toiled to wrest a young girl from the rubble of a partially collapsed school in Mexico City on Wednesday, offering a small glimmer of hope more than a day after a devastating earthquake killed at least 224 people. Television stations broadcast the nailbiting, hours-long rescue attempt live after crews at the school in the south of the city reported seeing the girl move her hand. They threaded a hose through debris to get her water. The girl's name was not made public, but her family waited in anguish nearby. Rescuers moved slowly, erecting makeshift wooden scaffolding to prevent rubble from crumbling further and seeking a path to the child through the unstable ruins. They implored bystanders to be quiet to better hear calls for help. It was part of the careful search for dozens of victims feared buried beneath the Enrique Rebsamen school, where officials reported 21 children and 4 adults dead after Tuesday's quake. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the country's deadliest earthquake in a generation. "We have a lot of hope that some will still be rescued," said David Porras, one of scores of volunteers helping the search at the school, for children aged 3 to 14. "But we're slow, like turtles," he said. The magnitude 7.1 quake, which killed at least 93 people in the capital, struck 32 years to the day after a 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Mexico is also still reeling from a powerful tremor that killed nearly 100 people in the south of the country less than two weeks ago. Emergency crews, volunteers and bystanders toiled on Wednesday using dogs, cameras, motion detectors and heat-seeking equipment to detect victims who may still be alive more than 24-hours after the quake. Reinforcements also began to arrive from countries including Panama, Israel and Chile, local media reported. Hundreds of neighbours and emergency workers pulled rubble from the ruins of the school with their bare hands under the glare of floodlights a full day after the shock. Three survivors were found at around midnight as volunteer rescue teams known as "moles" crawled deep under the rubble. By Wednesday morning, the workers said a teacher and two students had sent text messages from within the rubble. Parents clung to hope that their children were alive. RESCUED KIDS Overnight, volunteers with bullhorns shouted the names of rescued kids so that waiting family members could be reunited with them. "The priority continues to be rescuing people from collapsed buildings and taking care of the injured," said President Enrique Pena Nieto. "Every minute counts." Pena Nieto has declared three days of mourning. The president has been unusually visible since the two earthquakes, a sign of the political sensitivity of disaster relief less than a year before the next presidential election. The government’s widely panned response to the 1985 quake caused upheaval in Mexico, which some credited with weakening the 71-year rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Pena Nieto, the PRI's first president since it lost power in 2000, hopes to elect a party successor next year. On Wednesday, the president travelled to the state of Morelos, just south of the capital, where 71 people died, to survey damage. In Puebla state, site of the earthquake's epicentre, at least 43 died. The earthquake toppled dozens of buildings, tore gas mains and sparked fires across the city and other towns in central Mexico. Falling rubble and billboards crushed cars and nearly 5 million homes, businesses and other facilities were without power at one point. Although authorities and property owners will need time to fully assess the damage, initial reports suggest that collapses were limited mostly to buildings that predate the 1985 quake, after which stricter building codes were enacted. But even wealthier parts of the capital, including the central Condesa and Roma neighbourhoods, were badly damaged as older buildings buckled. Because bedrock is uneven in a city built on a drained lake bed, some districts weather quakes better than others. "The central part of Mexico City, in the lake bed, is always going to be a complicated place to build," said Rodrigo Suarez, chief operating officer at Mexico City-based apartment developer Hasta Capital. "These old buildings (may) survive an earthquake or two or three, but since they weren't built to modern code, there's always going to be a risk in major earthquakes.” In Puebla, where the U.S. Geological Survey said the epicentre lay some 100 miles (158 km) southwest of the capital, parts of colonial-era churches crumbled. In the town of Atzala, a row of coffins lined the street outside a church where the roof collapsed, killing 11 worshippers inside. VOLCANO ERUPTS TOO Around the same time that the earth shook, Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano, visible from the capital on a clear day, had a small eruption. On its slopes, a church in Atzitzihuacan collapsed during Mass, killing 15 people. In Rome, Pope Francis said he was praying for Mexico, a majority Catholic country. "In this moment of pain, I want to express my closeness and prayers to all the beloved Mexican people," he said. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday: "God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you." Trump and Pena Nieto spoke at length on Wednesday, according to the White House. Some volunteers in the capital, home to some 20 million people, expressed frustration at the disorganization among military and civilian emergency services, which competed over who would lead the rescue efforts. Javier Gonzalez, a 21-year-old civil engineering student, spent the night along with two classmates helping at one of the collapsed buildings in the Roma neighbourhood, then moved on to the Enrique Rebsamen school early Wednesday where they saw officials bickering over the rescue effort. "The firefighters and emergency services personnel were more worried about who was in charge," said Gonzalez. (Additional reporting by Anthony Esposito, Lizbeth Diaz, Daina Beth Solomon, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Julia Love, Noe Torres; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Alistair Bell) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-21
  9. Celebrities caught using drugs face uncertain fate By THE NATION BANGKOK: -- FORMER MISS TEEN THAILAND and now-disgraced actress Amelia Jacobs, who was arrested on drug-related charges early on Tuesday morning, is not the first – and will not be the last – Thai star who has seen a bright future threatened by involvement with illegal drugs. Indeed, the police blotter is littered with examples of celebrities being caught with narcotics, ending in lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines, although in some cases, canny public relations and efforts to rehabilitate have saved careers that seemed beyond repair. Just this last March, the Supreme Court upheld a verdict against Chatchaya Ramos, or “Yuyee”, formerly a popular model, sentencing her to 15 years and three months in jail for smuggling cocaine into the country in November 2012. During a search at Don Mueang International Airport, authorities found 251 milligrams of cocaine concealed in her suitcase. In addition to the jail sentence, she was also fined Bt1.5 million. However, the trail of careers in peril reaches back years. In 2013, the young actress Sutatta “Punpun” Udomsilp saw all of her contracts suspended after photos of her using meth were leaked to the public and her family admitted that she used drugs. However, the young celebrity stopped using drugs before returning to act in movies again and regaining her popularity as a teen idol. In another particularly high-profile case in December 2011, renowned rockstar Seksan “Sek Loso” Sukpimai came out to admit that he used “ice” after his estranged wife at the time, Wiphakorn Sookpimay, posted on Facebook photos of him consuming drugs. He too was able to restore his image after spending months in rehabilitation and then returning to the music arena where he has founded and managed many related businesses. He also divorced Wiphakorn. In March the previous year, the once-rising star Athip Nana, or “Ball”, was arrested after police found him in possession of marijuana and cocaine. He was sentenced to one year and three months in jail, fined Bt12,000 and ordered to enter rehab. However, his sentence was suspended for two years. In the same year, a female comedian known as Nok Choenyim was arrested for trying to smuggle 560 milligrams of “ice”, 580 milligrams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from Cambodia to Thailand. It was the second time she was charged for such an offence. Going all the way back to 2004, the popular young singer Joyce Triumph Kingdoms and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with possession of 4,000 “yaba” amphetamine tablets with intent to sell. She was sentenced to eight years and one month in jail and only freed in 2013 after serving the sentence. In May the same year, Worayot Boontongtum, known also as “Pat Powerpat”, was a rising star when he was arrested in possession of 3,000 ecstasy tablets, four bottles of ketamine and a bag of marijuana. He was found guilty of having drugs for personal use and with intent to sell and sentenced to 42 years in jail. Not all of the collapsing careers were directly linked to an arrest. In 2002, the life of the former supermodel Rojjana “Yui” Phetkanha, who had represented Thailand on the international catwalk, turned upside down as she reportedly became addicted to drugs, resulting in her losing her job and an income estimated to be about Bt50 million a year. In 1997, two Thai stars were separately apprehended for being involved in narcotics. Actress Namfon Kullanut failed a urine test, but her tearful explanation that a friend had put ecstasy into her drink, which she had not consumed willingly, resulted in a court dismissing her case. She took a break from work but eventually returned to join the ranks of popular stars. In the same year, police raided the residence of popular singer Touch Na Takuatung, catching him red-handed using marijuana. Thailand’s star-maker RS Promotion subsequently suspended his contracts. With no shortage of examples of celebrities caught in a scandal, Amelia now faces not only a lengthy judicial process but also the court of public opinion. Both verdicts will decide whether drugs have ruined another celebrity career. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327248 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-21
  10. Muddled trade policies hold back the country, researchers say By WICHIT CHAITRONG THE NATION BANGKOK: -- RESEARCHERS have criticised the government for a lack of free-trade strategies and poorly organised trade institutions that are handicapping the country in international trade. “Due to a lack of effective trade strategies, we don’t know what are our priorities are and we want from free-trade negotiations,” said Suphat Suphachalasai, head of a research team that released a study titled “The development of institutional mechanism to support Thailand’s obligations according to international trade and investment agreements”. The study was funded by the International Institute for Trade and Development. The Thai government’s efforts were in start contrast with those of Singapore and South Korea, which have clear strategies on free trade negotiations, Suphat said yesterday at the ITD Research Forum 2017. Currently, trade negotiations fall under the responsibility of Commerce Ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations, which does not have much authority. The study also found that different state agencies have different objectives and there is lack of leadership concerning which agency would have the final say. The FTA utilisation rate is also low partly because inefficient of information dissemination “FTAs (free trade agreements) information provided by the website of the Commerce Ministry is very complicated, and small businesses would not understand it, “ Suphat said. The governments of South Korea and Singapores make FTA information more simple for the general public to understand and they have FTAs call centres that provide question and answer services for those who want to utilise the free trade agreements, but Thailand has no such FTA call centre. Sudharma Yoonaidharma, dean of School of Law at University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the Thai authorities do not pay much attention to international laws and conventions although Thailand have agreed to many international agreements. Thai court also did not take into account the national laws it just look at only domestic laws when it handed down verdict on trade and investment disputes, he noted. In contrast, Singapore have established international court and could recruit specialists from abroad to sit on the judge panel. Singapore aims to be hub of international arbitration. Chayodom Sabhasri, an economist at Chulalongkorn University, said FTA utilisation rates by Thai exporters are not high. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Economy/30327254 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-21
  11. ASH Thailand says e-cigarette is harmful to health By Thai PBS BANGKOK: -- The Action on Smoking and Health Foundation or ASH Thailand insists electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes is harmful to health. Warning of the danger of e-cigarettes came from ASH Thailand executive secretary Professor Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit as advocates to vaping claim it is safe to health. One strong advocate to electronic cigarettes is Mr Maris Karunyawat after he posted on his Facebook page informing the benefit of e-cigarettes and encouraging tobacco smokers to e-cigarettes citing laboratory tests by scientists that e-cigarettes is 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/ash-thailand-says-e-cigarette-harmful-health/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-09-20
  12. Dental council seeks to revoke licence of indebted ‘fraud’ By The Nation BANGKOK: -- The Dental Council wants to revoke the licence of Harvard School of Dental Medicine lecturer Dolrudee Jumlongras, who violated government scholarship conditions for working in Thailand and has failed to repay the scholarship funding she received. Council chairman Paisal Kangwolkij said on Wednesday the decision was made at a September 14 meeting. He said the former Mahidol University lecturer’s resignation before fully repaying the scholarship money breached a code of ethics established by the dentistry profession in 1995 and tarnished both the profession and the country’s reputation. Paisal said the council would submit its resolution to the Public Health Minister, who acts as the council’s “special chairman”. If approved, an administrative order will be issued for Dolrudee’s licence to be revoked. Dolrudee’s failure to repay Bt24 million in funding to Mahidol University and the Office of Higher Education Commission led to a Central Administrative Court ruling in February 2006. According to the council, the court found that she appeared to be avoiding repayment of the debt. It ordered her four guarantors to do so on her behalf. The guarantors pressed Dolrudee to repay the debt, but she claimed she had no money, despite reportedly having sufficient assets to do so, the council said. It said Dolrudee agreed to sell off overseas assets to repay the guarantors, but then failed to send them any money. The council accused her of fraud and of tarnishing the reputations of the profession, Thai society and the country. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327207 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-20
  13. OPINION The crazy Yingluck scenario few people want By Tulsathit Taptim The Nation Let’s hope that whoever is writing Thailand’s political script is not over-inspired in the next seven days. Otherwise, we may be in for a big anticlimax after days of trying to figure out where Yingluck Shinawatra is, who helped her flee, which escape route she took and whether her clan might actually be in cahoots with the military government. A cautious scriptwriter would have Yingluck found guilty in absentia on September 27. The ruling would be controversial, all right, but at least it won’t change much. She will continue to be in exile. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will continue to be angry, genuinely or otherwise, when asked if his security forces intentionally looked the other way in the lead-up to August 25 and the scheduled court verdict. Thailand’s political divide will continue in all its bitterness. A verdict of “not guilty” would of course be a bombshell. Would she remain in exile? If she wants to come back, what should she say? Should Prayut continue to look angry? Or should he look mad? Or should he laugh? And what will happen to Thailand’s political divide? Can we handle another twist? A “guilty” verdict will in fact serve both sides of the polarity. One camp can say she’s a heroine fleeing political persecution, while the other can call her a cowardly crook running from justice. “Not guilty” will leave a sour taste in all mouths. “See? She’s innocent!” one side will gleefully declare. “And courageous, too, don’t you think,” will come the sarcastic retort. Yingluck is almost certainly praying for a “guilty” ruling. Before her vanishing act, the former prime minister and her defence tried everything they could to discredit the trial, branding it a conspiracy to put her in jail. Which means a “not guilty” verdict will leave her looking pathetically paranoid, her decision to flee a laughable act that she will never live down. So, a “guilty” verdict will confirm her existing reputation in the eyes of both admirers and haters – as either a hero or a crook. “Not guilty” would threaten to turn her into a clown. Which of these does she want to be? Her brother Thaksin won’t be much better off after a “not guilty” ruling. His “philosophical” tweet following the August 25 no-show will be something he wants to forget. The Montesquieu quote he used – “There’s no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice” – is redundant unless his sister is convicted. But the biggest beneficiary of a “not guilty” verdict could be Prayut. For one thing, he could fling back the reporters’ accusations in their faces. “Do you still think I assisted her flight?” he will yell at them. “I guess that was a smart thing to do, eh? Helping an innocent suspect escape who was going to be cleared by the court anyway?” But the conspiracy theorists would of course come up with alternative explanations. Scenario one: Prayut fooled Yingluck into thinking she would end up in jail, making her flee and look bad in the process. Scenario two: Prayut told Yingluck to run first and return later because he knew of the impending verdict and wanted her escape as a distraction. Here, Prayut let Yingluck know she was going to be laughed at, but only by those who don’t like her that much anyway. Actually, a “not guilty” verdict wouldn’t have been much of a bombshell had it been delivered on August 25. Some analysts saw a plausible compromise in punishing former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom while sparing Yingluck. The anti-Shinawatra camp would gain satisfaction in the confirmation of massive corruption in the rice-pledging scheme whereas the pro-Shinawatra side would be happy to see Yingluck ruled innocent. Having found Boonsong guilty, the Supreme Court’s section for politicians has made clear its view of the rice-pledging operations. But the judges kept their cards close to their chests regarding what they think of Yingluck’s role in the scandal. This means that they could now decide either that corruption and financial damages are something beyond the control of those at the policy level, or that she cannot escape responsibility. The chances of a “not guilty” verdict are slim, but they are not zero. Thai politics is known for story lines whose twists out-do even the best thrillers. In a week’s time we will find out whether our political saga continues with the same old problems, or whether the scriptwriter up there throws us some new ones. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30327187 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-20
  14. Man arrested for throwing paint on badly-parked car SAMUT PRAKAN: -- Be careful where you park your car and think twice before deciding to react to anything that upsets you. That could be the message after an incident in Samut Prakan on Wednesday. Police detained a man who confessed that he damaged a black Toyota sedan and splashed orange paint on it out of anger after finding the car had blocked the exit from his house and he could not run an errand in his own vehicle. Police who were alerted about the incident rushed to an alley on Teparak Road in Muang district at about noon and met Pisai Sawannasai, 59, owner of the Toyota sedan who complained that his vehicle had been vandalised. At the scene, police found that a side window glass as well as the licence plate were broken. Impossible not to notice was the fact that yellow paint had been splashed on the front and rear parts of the car. Pisai told police that he parked his car without noticing that it blocked entrance to the property. When he returned after about half an hour, he found the car had been vandalised. “I was wrong that my car blocked somebody’s way, but I think this was an overreaction. I will not tolerate this, I’ve already sought legal action against the wrongdoer,” Pisai said. A witness, water vendor Kallaya Phetchnoi, 46, told police that she saw a man try but fail to drive a car out of a house that was blocked by Pisai’s car. The man then went around to find the owner but could not find him. Looking angry and upset, he returned to his house and came out again with a baton with which he hit Pisai’s car. After that, he threw orange paint on the vehicle. Police invited the man, who was later identified as Khao Sangjan, 54, to the police station. Khao reportedly confessed to vandalising Pisai’s car out of anger because he could get his car out of the house. After committing the offences, he travelled by taxi to run his errand, then returned to his house before being summonsed by police. Khao was charged with malicious damage. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30327252 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-21
  15. Foreign dad visits former Miss Teen Thailand daughter on drugs charge Picture: Thai Rath BANGKOK: -- The actress famous for her catchphrase "Mum's Coming" (mae maa) had a different version yesterday when her dad popped in to Sai Mai police station. Dad Hannes Jacobs came armed with some cakes and fresh clothes for his daughter. Amelia "Amy" Jacobs, 28, was arrested Tuesday with her 40 year old boyfriend Punyawat with a stash of "ice" or crystal meth and ecstasy tablets. Dad stayed for 20 minutes then spoke to investigators but refused to have a word with the assembled press baying for news. Without explaining their source Thai Rath said that Amy's mum has promised to spirit her away abroad when she gets out of this mess. But if Amy is convicted she could face years behind bars. Amy is currently a big hit on Channel 7's series Monkey Daughter (Thida Wanorn) but in 2006 she won the Miss Teen Thailand title. Meanwhile Amy has reportedly refused to use the station loos and asked for a fan because she is a bit hot. Thai Rath reported that the arrest of the pair was done by 191 special branch led by Surachet Hakpan - not under the auspices of the tourist police as reported by a well known English language newspaper. They intimated that both Amy and Punyawat were giving conflicting stories about where the drugs came from. Amy said they belonged to a friend who she couldn't name who dropped them off on Sunday for looking after. While Punyawat said they belonged to someone called "Nat". They both seemed to have changed their tune from Tuesday when police said they had admitted to dealing in drugs. Source: Thai Rath -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-21
  16. CAAT confident ICAO will lift its “red flag” status By Thai PBS BANGKOK: -- The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is confident it will be able to address all safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and have its “red flag” status lifted, CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said. The ICAO team begin auditing Thai aviation safety standard today (Sept 20) after it gave all Thai aviation agencies two full years to correct all the flaws which led to the CAAT being red-flagged in 2015. Mr Chula said he was confident it would be able to reply to questions raised by the ICAO and explain what have been done to correct flaws on Thai aviation safety standards. The main purpose is for the ICAO to grant Recertification of Air Operator Certificates (Re-AOC) to airlines. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/caat-confident-icao-will-lift-red-flag-status/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-09-21
  17. Thailand Live Thursday 21 Sep 2017

    Indian tourist loses B5,000 to snatcher in Pattaya By Thai PBS PATTAYA: -- A young Indian tourist had only 20 baht left in his pocket after a motorcycle taxi driver snatched 5,000 baht from him while he was about to pay for his service after a ride in Pattaya, Chon Buri, early on Tuesday (Sept 20). Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003288-indian-tourist-loses-b5000-to-snatcher-in-pattaya/
  18. Indian tourist loses B5,000 to snatcher in Pattaya By Thai PBS PATTAYA: -- A young Indian tourist had only 20 baht left in his pocket after a motorcycle taxi driver snatched 5,000 baht from him while he was about to pay for his service after a ride in Pattaya, Chon Buri, early on Tuesday (Sept 20). The incident occurred at about 2.30am in front of a hotel in Soi 9, South Pattaya. Pattaya police rushed to the spot on being informed of the theft. They found the Indian tourist, Vivek Yadav, 28, standing there, crying over the loss of his money. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/indian-tourist-loses-b5000-snatcher-pattaya/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-09-21
  19. If threatened, U.S. will 'totally destroy' North Korea, Trump vows By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge on Tuesday, threatening to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people and mocking its leader, Kim Jong Un, as a "rocket man." In a hard-edged speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump offered a grim portrait of a world in peril, adopted a more confrontational approach to solving global challenges from Iran to Venezuela, and gave an unabashed defense of U.S. sovereignty. "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Trump told the 193-member world body, sticking closely to a script. (http://live.reuters.com/Event/Live_US_Politics/1092226107) As loud, startled murmurs filled the hall, Trump described Kim in an acid tone, saying, "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime." His remarks rattled world leaders gathered in the green-marbled U.N. General Assembly hall, where minutes earlier U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for statesmanship, saying: "We must not sleepwalk our way into war." Trump's most direct military threat to attack North Korea, in his debut appearance at the General Assembly, was his latest expression of concern about Pyongyang's repeated launching of ballistic missiles over Japan and underground nuclear tests. His advisers say he is concerned about North Korea's advances in missile technology and the few means available for a peaceful response without China's help. Inside the hall, one man in the audience covered his face with his hands shortly after Trump made his "totally destroy" comment. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom crossed her arms. "It was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience," Wallstrom later told the BBC. Trump did not back down, instead later tweeting out the line in his speech vowing to destroy North Korea if needed. A junior North Korean diplomat sat in the delegation's front-row seat for Trump's speech, the North Korean U.N. mission said. The mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would do everything in her power to ensure a diplomatic solution. “Anything else would lead to disaster," she said. CABINET CONTRAST Trump's saber-rattling rhetoric, with the bare-knuckled style he used to win election last November, was in contrast to the comments of some of his own Cabinet members who have stated a preference for a diplomatic solution. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who earlier this month raised the prospect of a "massive military response" if needed, on Tuesday told Pentagon reporters that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was working to resolve the crisis diplomatically. Reaction around the United States was mixed. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, tweeted that Trump, a fellow Republican, "gave a strong and needed challenge" to U.N. members to confront global challenges. But Democrat Ed Markey of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee denounced Trump's remarks, telling CNN the president had yet to exhaust his other options in encouraging Pyongyang to negotiate. In a thunderous 41-minute speech, Trump took aim at Iran's nuclear ambitions and regional influence, Venezuela's collapsing democracy and the threat of Islamist extremists. ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ "Major portions of the world are in conflict and some in fact are going to hell," he said. His speech recalled the fiery nationalist language of his Jan. 20 inaugural address when he pledged to end what he called an “American carnage” of rusted factories and crime. 'HOSTILE' BEHAVIOR His strongest words were directed at North Korea. He urged U.N. member states to work together to isolate the Kim government until it ceases its "hostile" behavior. In an apparent veiled prod at China, the North's major trading partner, Trump said: "It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict." The U.N. Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006 and Guterres appealed for that 15-member body to maintain its unity. Turning to Iran, Trump called the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, an embarrassment and hinted that he may not recertify the agreement when it comes up for a mid-October deadline. "We cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program," he said. He said the Iranian government "masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted a withering response: "Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times - not the 21st Century UN - unworthy of a reply. Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one." French President Emmanuel Macron, in his U.N. speech, said his country would not close the door to negotiations over North Korea and staunchly defended the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “Renouncing it would be a grave error," Macron said. Trump called the collapsing situation in Venezuela "completely unacceptable" and warned the United States was considering what further actions it can take. "We cannot stand by and watch," he said. Venezuela rejected Trump's threats and said it was prepared to resist any U.S. actions, even a military invasion. At what was billed as an “anti-imperialist” rally in Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described Trump as “the new Hitler of international politics.” “The magnate thinks he is the owner of the world, but no one threatens Venezuela,” he said. Financial markets reacted little to Trump's speech, with most major assets hovering near the unchanged mark on the day. "He stuck with his script," said Lennon Sweeting, chief market strategist at XE.com in Toronto. "The dollar/yen jumped around a bit but it’s basically flat. I don’t think we will see any more volatility out of this." (Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols, Arshad Mohammed, John Irish, Parisa Hafezi, David Brunnstrom, Anthony Boadle and Yara Bayoumy at the UNITED NATIONS, Richard Leong in NEW YORK, Dan Williams in JERUSALEM and Diego Oré in CARACAS; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Howard Goller) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-20
  20. Thailand Live Thursday 21 Sep 2017

    CAAT confident ICAO will lift its “red flag” status By Thai PBS BANGKOK: -- The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is confident it will be able to address all safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and have its “red flag” status lifted, CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003287-caat-confident-icao-will-lift-its-“red-flag”-status/
  21. 60,000 student loan recipients in government service warned they may lose their jobs By Thai PBS BANGKOK: -- Government officials who took student loans while they were studying may face dismissal if they were found to have deliberately refused to honour their debt repayments. The above warning was made by Finance Permanent Secretary Somchai Sujjapongse in his capacity as chairman of the Student Loans Committee. Mr Somchai said Wednesday (Sept 20) that there are about 220,000 government officials who received student loans while studying and, of these, 60,000 of them have not honoured their debt repayments. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/60000-student-loan-recipients-government-service-warned-may-lose-jobs/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-09-21
  22. Thailand Live Thursday 21 Sep 2017

    60,000 student loan recipients in government service warned they may lose their jobs By Thai PBS BANGKOK: -- Government officials who took student loans while they were studying may face dismissal if they were found to have deliberately refused to honour their debt repayments. Full story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1003286-60000-student-loan-recipients-in-government-service-warned-they-may-lose-their-jobs/
  23. Analysis: Trump's U.N. speech shows nationalist instincts firmly intact By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chalk one up for the nationalists. Among the many signals that Donald Trump sent in his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, one was especially clear: former chief strategist Steve Bannon's White House departure has not muted the president's "America First" foreign policy instincts. Trump's eight months in office have been characterized by a sometimes dramatic tug-of-war between "globalists" and "nationalist" advisers who have sought to move the president in myriad ways on issues both domestic and international. Bannon's exit last month caused some of the former New York businessman's core supporters to fret that the more multilateral-leaning group inside the administration had gained ground. Not on foreign policy, at least not on Tuesday. Trump's strident defense of national sovereignty during his debut at the annual U.N. General Assembly showed his campaign-honed policy inclinations very much intact and presented a Trump Doctrine to the world that focused unabashedly on the U.S. homeland. "The chief nationalist in this administration is Donald J. Trump. And he knows what he’s trying to say,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a Trump supporter. He said the speech showed that Trump had a doctrine that was defined by more than tweets, with roots in the conservative philosophies of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, France's Charles de Gaulle, and Britain's Margaret Thatcher. “It’s not a one-sided American nationalism, it’s a re-centering on sovereignty that’s really, really important,” Gingrich said. The speech, in which Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if attacked, divided Trump's supporters and opponents. Ben Rhodes, an adviser to former Democratic President Barack Obama, said Trump was upending international order with threats of war and attacks on diplomacy. It did not divide Trump's often warring advisers, however, an administration official said. “It was the most collaborative speech among the senior people in the national security cabinet that the president has given to date,” the official said. He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stood up after Trump’s speech and shook chief speechwriter Stephen Miller’s hand and said “you did a great job.” Miller is considered a nationalist and an ally of Bannon, while Tillerson is more globally minded. "This was more ... Trump just being Trump,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser, adding he thought the nationalist versus globalist tension in the administration played itself out more on domestic policy issues such as immigration policy. The administration has given mixed signals on foreign policy, too. Gary Cohn, the president's top economic adviser and a member of the so-called globalist wing, had to clarify with U.S. allies this week that Trump still intended to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement unless there were a renegotiation to make it more favorable for U.S. interests. But Trump seemed to stun some people in the United Nations hall, despite his well-known penchant for blunt talk. His speech included a condemnation of the Iran nuclear agreement reached with U.S. allies under Obama, and an observation that some portions of the world were "going to hell". Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for Democratic and Republican administrations, said allies would interpret the speech as a sign that Trump was wary of undertaking major commitments around the world. “Neither of the biggest problems, North Korea and Iran, can be solved by an America First, Lone Ranger policy," he said, adding the speech showed that globalists within his administrations were “throwaways” and that Trump was still driven by nationalism. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by James Dalgleish) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-20
  24. Bangkok cops promise to go after foul mouthed mother and son for insulting the police Picture: Thai Rath BANGKOK: -- The head of the Thung Mahamek Station in Bangkok has promised to go after a foul mouthed mother and her son for insulting his men. Chief Akrawut Thaneerat said on a police social media page that they would be prosecuted to the "fullest extent of the law". The video has been shared right across Thai social media. The pair were stopped by a policeman doing his morning traffic duty early Monday. neither the mum nor her son were wearing helmets and they didn't have a license plate on the bike. But despite being in the wrong the cop was given a torrent of abuse being repeatedly referred to as an animal, a water monitor and having rude words directed at him alleging a sexual relationship with a female parent. They also spat in the policeman's direction. The mother claimed they were being singled out and that others did not have helmets on and were not being stopped. Akrawut encouraged his underling to make a formal complaint then said the cops will arrest the pair for insulting a member of the force while he was doing his duty. The incident happened at the end of Soi Suwansawat in the Rama 4 area at 8am. Stay tuned for what promises to be an apology and wai-fest at the station tomorrow. Source: Thai Rath, TNews. Thai Police -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-09-19
  25. Col Winthai to head Thailand’s jet ski team to vie for world champion titles in the US By Thai PBS Thailand’s jet ski team of 18 racers will see the spokesman of the National Council for Peace and order Col Winthai Suvaree leading the team to compete at Lake Havasu in Arizona, USA for world championship. He spoke with confidence that the team would be able to win the race in Blowsion World Finals. Saying that this will be the second time in his life to compete for world title in Lake Havasu, the 48-year-old Col Winthai who won this year’s Expert Roundabout Limited catergory in Thailand, said he would try to perform as best as he could to make the country well-known to the world on jet ski, and also to fulfil the policy of the Government to promote Thailand as the sports tourism destination. Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/col-winthai-head-thailands-jet-ski-team-vie-world-champion-titles-us/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-09-21