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Japanese Trump supporters rally in Tokyo ahead of Biden’s inauguration

By Reuters Staff and published by US News & World Report 

Tokyo: A small group of Japanese fans of Donald Trump took to the streets of Tokyo today (Jan.20), shouting support for the outgoing United States president hours before his successor Joe Biden is sworn into office.

About 120 people joined the march in central Tokyo, with participants waving American and Japanese flags and holding banners claiming Trump was “the true winner” of the Nov. 3 election.

Covid stranded American man found dead in hotel room

AN American man who had been stranded in Krabi since March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic was found dead in his hotel room today (Jan. 20) with alcohol poisoning suspected to have caused his death, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Jan. 20, 2021).

Pol. Maj. Boonsong Longwaree, an investigator at Krabi police station, rushed to the hotel on Chao Fah road at noon today together with a doctor from Krabi Hospital and rescuers upon being notified of a foreign man being found dead in a room there.

Ex-deputy minister gets death in murder case

THE Criminal Court today (Jan. 20) sentenced former deputy commerce minister Pol. Lt. Col. Banyin Tangpakorn to death in the murder of Mr. Chuwong Saetang, a national-level contractor, with the verdict pointing out that his death was not an accident as the defendant has claimed, Amarin TV said.

In reading out the verdict in the case filed by the deceased’s widow, Mrs. Sirirat Saetang and company, the judge said that the death of Chuwong, or Sia Cheed, on June 26, 2015 when the sedan he was travelling in, seated on the front passenger seat, and driven by Banyin hit a tree on Rama 9 road was not an accident as the defendant claimed.

Daily Covid count drops to 59 but there is an additional death

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration today (Jan. 20) announced that the daily coronavirus total has dropped to 59 cases but there is an additional fatality taking the toll to 71, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan, CCSA’s assistant spokesperson, said the patient who died is a 48-year-old woman who worked as a driver shuttling Myanmar people in Mae Sot district of Tak province.

Germany discovers new Covid variant among 35 hospital patients

By CNBC

GERMANY is the latest country to discover a new mutation of the coronavirus, with a new variant identified among a group of hospital patients in Bavaria.

Local news outlets first reported on Monday (Jan. 18) that an unknown variant of the coronavirus had been discovered among 35 patients at a hospital in the Bavarian ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southeast Germany.

Big shopping mall probes security guard seen slapping protester

ICON Siam, one of Bangkok’s luxury shopping malls, posted a message via social media today (Jan. 19) that it was investigating a security guard who appeared in a live video clip to have slapped a woman who had held up a protest sign earlier in the day, Sanook.com reported.

The woman who was slapped was displaying a sign on coronavirus vaccine.

Pro-monarchy group files complaint against protesters

A PRO-MONARCHY vocational students group today (Jan. 19) submitted a letter to police calling for action against demonstrators who had staged a rally on January 15 at Klong Luang police station in Pathum Thani province for violating the Flag Act of BE 2522 (1979), Siam Rath newspaper said.

In the letter addressed to Police Chief Pol. Gen. Suwat Jangyodsuk and received by Pol. Col Thavorn Meechum the group alleged that the protesters had on that day removed the national flag from the pole and in its place hoisted a red cloth that looked like a flag with the number “12” on it.

Diners flee restaurant as wild elephant strolls in

A GROUP of diners at a pork barbeque restaurant in Nakhon Nayok province fled in panic after a wild elephant strolled in but the jumbo too got frightened at seeing so many people and quickly went away, Sanook.com report this morning (Jan. 19).

One of the customers at Khun Dan Moo Katha restaurant in Sarika sub-district, Mueang district, said he was enjoying his meal with his family when the elephant suddenly walked right in, leading to a few other diners screaming, “elephant, elephant, elephant has come.”

Exclusive: Southeast Asia’s Grab considering US IPO this year – Sources

By Reuters Staff and published by US News & World Report

Singapore: Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab is exploring a listing in the United States this year, encouraged by robust investor appetite for IPOs, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The IPO could raise at least $2 billion, one of the sources said, which would likely make it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company.

Siriraj Hospital personnel infected with Covid

THAILAND’S oldest and largest hospital Siriraj this evening (Jan. 18) confirmed reports that some of its medical personnel had got infected with coronavirus with random testing of nearly a hundred staff members having been undertaken, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Prasit Wattanapa, the dean of Siriraj’s Faculty of Medicine, will be giving the details at a press conference tomorrow.

Young man quarantined in run-down building with no amenities

A YOUNG Thai man’s Facebook post showing how he was quarantined in a building that has fallen into disrepair with there being dusty fans and no cleaning for 15 days in Ranong province has now gone viral online, Siam Rath newspaper reported today (Jan. 18, 2021).

In his post this young man said, “”Yes, this is a state quarantine facility in Thailand that I ran into . .. quarantine two people per room. Maybe I want a companion to sleep with.

PM extends Samut Sakhon closure amid 369 new Covid cases

PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this morning (Jan. 18) ordered the extension of closure of risky places such as restaurants in eight sub-district of Samut Sakhon province to February 1 while the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced that over the past 24 hours there were 369 coronavirus cases, Sanook.com reported.

Gen. Prayut together with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda held a video conference with Samut Sakhon Acting Governor Teerapat Khashmat and other provincial officers about the situation in this hard-hit zone where the number of cases soared to 320 yesterday.

India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive hits bump due to app glitch

By Reuters and published by Channel NewsAsia

Satara, India: India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive hit a bump on the first day due to glitches in an app called Co-Win that is being used to coordinate the campaign, according to several officials involved in the immunisation programme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched what his government has described as the “world’s largest vaccination programme” on Saturday (Jan. 16) to rein in the pandemic in India, which has reported the second highest number of cases after the United States.

Kidnapped protest guard safe after being released

FRIENDS of the Free Guards member who was said to have been kidnapped late last night (Jan. 16) after the group ended their protest at Samyan intersection earlier in the day has been released and is now safe with details of this event to be released later, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

At 1.05 p.m. today Mr. Pomphun Panphangkaew, one of the Free Guards, said in front of Phaya Thai police station that Mr. Mongkol Santimethakul, or Yale, who was kidnapped at 11 p.m. last night by a group who said they were from Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) had been released and is safe, but so far he had only spoken to him over the phone.

Police moving to arrest two suspects in ping pong bomb blast

POLICE are gearing up to issue arrest warrants for two suspects on the charges of throwing a ping pong bomb at protesters at Sam Yan intersection yesterday, Sanook.com reported today (Jan. 17).

Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police, said it was initially discovered that a ping pong bomb was flung down from the Thai-Japanese Friendship Bridge on Rama 4 Road.

Protest guards seek help after member disappears

LEADERS of the Free Guards who yesterday (Jan. 16) staged a pro-democracy activity near Victory Monument and later a demonstration at Samyan Mitrtown complex in Pathumwan area are today searching for one of their members who was apparently kidnapped by people who claimed to be from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Mr. Pomphun Panphangkaew, one of the Free Guards, said another member of the group, Mr. Mongkol Santimethakul, or Yale, had sent the message “help me”  on Facebook at 11 p.m. last night after the protest at Samyan intersection had ended. He can no longer be reached by his friends via his Line messaging app.

230 new Covid cases and another death while Bangkok still looks dicey

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin said today (Jan. 16) that over the past 24 hours there were 230 new Covid-19 cases and one additional death taking the toll to 70 while the situation in Bangkok remained worrying, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Of the 230 new cases 209 were domestic infections while 21 came from overseas with seven arriving from the UK, six from Turkey, three from Germany and one each from Qatar, Russia, Ethiopia, the US and Malaysia.

Drug dealer escapes police dragnet

POLICE in southern Songkhla province are hunting for a drug trafficker who escaped after being lured into selling methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine (Ice) to an undercover agent upon realizing at the last minute that he was falling into a trap, Thai Rath newspaper reported this morning (Jan. 16).

At midnight last night a team of policemen from Singha Nakhon station laid in wait at a junction in Sathing Mo sub-district where a detective drove up and got out of his car to buy the drugs from this dealer.

BMA imposing 20,000 baht fine on quarantine violators

BANGKOK Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is getting tough with people who violate quarantine order by imposing 20,000 baht fine on those found to have sneaked off to go to various places in the capital, Siam Rath newspaper reported this evening (Jan. 15, 2021).

Bangkok Governor Asawin Kwanmuang said after a meeting of BMA’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that although the outbreak in the city is now coming under better control with new infections limited to those who had close contact with confirmed cases, quarantine violations continue to take place.

Rayong baby infected despite parents being Covid free

DOCTORS in Rayong province are puzzled how a five-month-old baby girl could have got infected with coronavirus even though her parents have tested negative for this feared diseased, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Jan. 15, 2021).

Dr. Chaisith Thepchatree, director of Rayong Hospital, said the baby is not in serious condition and while she has started to get better, she has not fully recovered. Doctors are taking good care of her.

 

By Agencies and published by Channel NewsAsia

 

 

Jakarta: At least 34 people were killed after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island early this morning (Jan. 15), said authorities.

Hundreds more were injured when the earthquake struck in the early hours, triggering panic among the terrified residents of the island.

188 new Covid cases as Anutin says he will get the first Sinovac jab

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin said today (Jan. 15) there were 188 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours while Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul allayed fears about Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine by saying he would be the first person to get a dose, Siam Rath newspaper said.

Of the 188 new cases 154 were domestic infections while 34 arrived from overseas with six coming from Germany, three from Turkey, one each from the Philippines, Pakistan, Hungary, the US, Egypt, Czech Republic, Belgium, Sudan, Russia, Switzerland, UAE and Kuwait while 13 crossed over from Myanmar.

Indonesia: Archaeologists find world’s oldest animal cave painting

By BBC

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago.

Painted using dark red ochre pigment, the life-sized picture of the Sulawesi warty pig appears to be part of a narrative scene

Man penniless after mobile phone fire guts house

A MAN in Trat province plunged into financial ruin after a mobile phone left charging by his grandchildren exploded and triggered a fire that completely gutted his two-storey wooden house, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Jan. 14).

Pol. Lt. Kasipat Jaroonroj, duty officer at Laem Ngop station, was alerted to the fire at Mr. Thawin Kovatsakul’s house at 2.40 p.m. and rushed there with a fire engine to put out the blaze. 

Klong Toey market shut for 3 days after coronavirus case emerges

KLONG TOEY district office ordered the closure of Klong Toey market for three day from Jan. 13 till 8 p.m. Jan. 16 after a vegetable vendor was found to be infected with Covid-19, Amarin TV reported.

Another 14 people are at high-risk of catching this infection through exposure to this vendor.

Briton among 2 new Covid deaths while more Thais cross over to Mae Sot

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin said today (Jan. 14) that there were 271 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours with two men, one a Briton and the other a Thai, having passed away taking the death toll to 69, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is flying to Mae Sot border town today after 50 more Thai workers from a casino in Myanmar’s Myawaddy town, which is just across the Moei river, returned with 13 found to be infected with this virus, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Trump could declassify top-secret intelligence linking Covid to Wuhan lab

By The Sun

DONALD Trump could declassify bombshell secret intelligence about the outbreak of Covid-19 linking it to a Wuhan research lab as one of his last acts as President.

UK ministers are on “red alert” for a major intervention from the outgoing US government within days that claims the origin of the outbreak was a Chinese science facility.

Khon Kaen’s dinosaur statue catches fire moments before being dismantled

A MUCH-LOVED dinosaur statue in Khon Kaen’s Mueang district suddenly burst into flames just as it was being dismantled after having suffered severe damage through various road accidents and vibration, Thai Rath newspaper reported this evening (Jan. 13).

Called “Nong Dino”, this statue is one of four prehistoric creatures built in 2012 in different corners of this city as mascots for the National Games with funds pooled in by the local people. All four are temporary figures that are now 10 years old

Over 800 people released from quarantined condominium in Nonthaburi

A CONDOMINIUM building in Nonthaburi province that was completely quarantined for 14 day starting December 30 was reopened this morning (Jan. 13) with 845 residents, among them migrant workers, allowed to leave the premises, Sanook.com reported.

Barbed wire had been rolled around the seven-storey Condo See Chompoo (Pink Condo)  to prevent the residents from leaving the building as part of efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.

PM opens door for local purchase of coronavirus vaccines

PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Jan. 13) that local bodies may import Covid-19 vaccines out of their own funds but they have to pass the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards with many people having pinned their hopes on these vaccines, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

The government has searched many channels in many countries for these vaccines but they have to pass the FDA standards and side effects monitored, he said.

Eight gorillas catch Covid and are showing same symptoms as humans

By Sian Elvin, Metro UK

SEVERAL gorillas have coronavirus in what is thought to be the first known cases among primates in the world.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has seen eight gorillas that live together test positive for Covid-19, with several of them coughing.

Penguin, Rung face Jan. 14 deadline to submit papers

PROTEST leaders Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, and Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, have been told to meet a January 14 deadline to submit their written statements on charges of violating the Computer Crimes Act and if not they would be considered to have waived their right to do and with the case then forwarded to prosecutors for further legal action, Siam Rath newspaper reported today (Jan. 12, 2021).

Police are also speeding up investigation into 20 other persons on similar charges.

67 gamblers arrested in Rayong despite raging coronavirus outbreak

GAMBLING is still taking place in every district of Rayong province despite the severity of the Covid-19 outbreak in this coastal province with 67 suspects arrested in latest raids, Amarin TV reported today (Jan. 12, 2021).

Rayong Governor Channa Iamsaeng told the press that there were nine more coronavirus cases and one death over the past 24 hours taking the provincial total to 529 with 338 having been discharged from hospital.

Woman arrested for selling ketamine powdered milk

ACTING on a tip-off Metropolitan Police Division 2 police arrested a young woman for selling the deadly ketamine powdered milk drug that led to around seven people dying in Bangkok over the past few days, Siam Rath newspaper reported this morning (Jan. 12).

The drug suppression unit police of this division were informed that a woman, given the fictitious name Ms. Noon, 23, was selling the drug at Chittaphawan community in Sai Mai district. 

Twitter shares dive 7% after Trump account suspension

By Reuters Staff and published by Livemint.com

SHARES of Twitter slumped 7% today (Jan. 11), on course to knock off about $2.5 billion from the market value of the social media company after it permanently suspended the account of US President Donald Trump

The slide came as some Republicans hit out over the weekend at the platform for gagging one of its most watched participants, with traders also pointing to signs that the affair was further fuelling calls for greater regulation of Big Tech.

Urgent probe into drug deaths from consuming lethal powder

METROPOLITAN Police Chief Pol Lt. Gen. Phukphong Phongpetra held an urgent meeting at Phaya Thai station today (Jan. 11) after five people in this district died upon consuming a drug known “ketamine powdered milk” with the compound still being investigated and one other death in Sutthisan area, Siam Rath newspaper reported this evening (Jan. 11).

The three men and three women who died after taking this killer power were in the 21-34 age group.

Innovative shop owner introduces gold face mask chains

DOING well amid the coronavirus pandemic is a gold shop in Chanthaburi province which has introduced gold face mask chains as a new type of ornament for the well-off, Ejan news site and Sanook.com reported today (Jan. 11, 2021).

Ms. Patchanuch Anusas-amornkul, the owner of Mae Kimti diamond and gold shop in Mueang district of this province said she had first made one such chain and wore it at work. 

Commotion in the armed forces after 2 sailors catch Covid-19

THE cluster of coronavirus infections surrounding Brewery 90 Sriracha in Chonburi province has increased after two sailors who are crewmembers of Thai aircraft carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet got infected after having visited this same beer hall, Amarin TV reported this morning (Jan. 11, 2021).

A total of 11 personnel from the aircraft carrier have now been quarantined at Queen Sirikit Hospital while all remaining crew totaling 500 are being proactively screened on board by an epidemiological surveillance officer from Abhakornkiatiwong Hospital.

Jan. 7 victory over Khmer Rouge: 42 years later, conflicting views continue

By Moeun Chhean Nariddh / Khmer Times

January 7, 2021 marks the 42nd anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime after its reign of terror that had extended for three years, eight months and 20 days. Khmer Times journalist Moeun Chhean Nariddh talked to government officials and scholars about the legacy the victory has left for Cambodia and Cambodians.

“YOU saved a life and you are responsible for that life,” says an ancient Chinese proverb.

Gold shop robber surrenders and returns half of the loot

A GAMBLER who stole 30-baht weight gold ornaments from a gold shop in Chonburi province late December to clear online gambling debts surrendered to police today (Jan. 10), Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Mr. Uthit Puangthong, 44, said upon turning himself in and returning half the loot that he had used the rest to pay off debts mounted up at online gambling sites after coming under heavy pressure to do so.

CCSA: Covid-19 graph curve has not dipped, close monitoring essential

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin said today (Jan. 10) that all graphs show the new coronavirus wave has stabilized at around 200 infections a day with none indicating that the curve has come down, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

It is necessary to monitor the situation on a daily basis to see how the graph curve performs, he added.

Boyfriend fails to save Australian man from plunging to death from condo

AN Australian man fell to his death from the eight floor of a condominium in Pattaya last night after his Thai boyfriend was unable to pull him back to the balcony after he jumped off, Sanook.com reported today (Jan. 9).

When Pol. Capt. Sombat Kaewmoonmuk, deputy inspector of Mueang Pattaya police station, arrived at the condo he found many residents milling around looking at the dead body of Mr. Johann (surname withheld), 58, that was in a bad state next to the building so he covered it with a cloth.

Coronavirus alert issued after Chonburi beer hall cluster emerges

AUTHORITIES issued an alert for anyone who visited Brewery 90 Sriracha in Chonburi province during Dec. 24-31 to undergo a Covid-19 test after a cluster of 40 cases was found among its patrons, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Jan. 9, 2020).

Of the 40 cases, 35 were within Sriracha itself, four in Bang Lamung district and one Mueang Chonburi taking the provincial total to 518.

People urged to postpone interprovincial travel till Jan. 31

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced at noon today (Jan. 31) that everyone in this country must cooperate by refraining or postponing interprovincial travel till the end of this month with the strictest control still imposed on five dark red provinces, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, said while announcing the daily Covid-19 figures that the small panel of this agency held a meeting this morning and ruled out facilitating issuing travel permits because the aim is to halt unnecessary travel.

Xi Jinping to undergo surgery due to worsening intracranial aneurysm

By Followcn.com

THE supreme leader of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping will undergo surgery due to a worsening intracranial aneurysm, reported by Mr. Lude during his evening YouTube live show, the Lude Show, on Dec. 27.

The health condition of the Chinese Communist leader is a top-secret due to the totalitarian nature of the regime. The fact that such information could be “leaked” is an indication of the instability of Xi’s dictatorship.

Hyundai holding early talks with Apple on electric vehicle tie-up

By Reuters Staff and published by Channel NewsAsia

Seoul: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said today (Jan. 8) it was in early talks with Apple, after local media reported the firms were discussing an electric car and battery tie-up, sending Hyundai shares surging 25 percent.

The report comes weeks after Reuters reported that Apple was moving forward with self-driving car technology and was aiming to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.

Mae Sot doctor in tears after 17 cross-border coronavirus cases pile in

A MAE SOT doctor posted a stirring message after 17 of 40 Thais who had been working in Myanmar were found to be infected with Covid-19 after crossing back to their homeland, pointing out that many more remain trapped there, Siam Rath reported this evening (Jan. 8).

The post at Doctor Mae Sot Facebook page said Mae Sot Hospital had to immediately treat 17 patients who were all found to be infected in one go with three others in this group of 40 Thais who had crossed back from the neighbouring country having uncertain results.

Man arrested for stealing from neighbours at posh condo

AN overseas-educated man who is now facing business problems was arrested today (Jan. 8) for stealing valuables from his neighbours within a luxury condominium in Huai Khwang district of Bangkok with hundreds of thousands of baht worth of brand-name handbags, gold jewelry, amulets as well as cash seized from his unit, Siam Rath reported today (Jan. 8).

Suthisan police station officers arrested Mr. Krisana Darachot under warrant numbers 16/2564 and 20/2564 issued by the Criminal Court after tracking him down by going through surveillance camera clips as well as tips from other people in this residential building.

Minister says MorChana app safe, does not violate rights

AMID confusion and fear about downloading MorChana application to control the transmission of diseases Minister of Digital Economy and Society Puttipong Punnakan today (Jan.8) reassured the public that their rights are not being violated with this app having been designed to ensure privacy, Amarin TV reported.

He explained that the name and surname of those who download the app will not be appearing in the computer system which will give each one a numeric code, such as 111.

Capitol riots: Who broke into the building?

By Reality Check team and BBC Monitoring
BBC News

WHO were the protesters that broke into buildings on Capitol Hill after attending a rally in support of Donald Trump?

Some were carrying symbols and flags strongly associated with particular ideas and factions, but in practice many of the members and their causes overlap.

BTS employee catches coronavirus after eating papaya salad

BANGKOK Mass Transit System (BTSC), the operator of BTS skytrain quickly shut the second floor at its head office after an employee was found to have contracted Covid-19 while explaining that this person was not involved with operating trains, Sanook.com reported this evening.

All employees on this floor were told to get a Swab test and quarantine themselves at home to observe their symptoms. The second floor, all common areas and contact points are now being thoroughly disinfected and cleaned.

Govt explains those who can must download MorChana app

THE government this afternoon (Jan. 7) clarified that an earlier announcement by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on it being compulsory for everyone to download MorChana application or face legal action only applies to those who have smartphones or other phones that can download it with those who do not entitled to submit their travel plans when checked, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

However at 4 p.m. today Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, posted a message that the use of MorChana app is being strictly imposed at 28 red zone provinces with Bangkok being among them. However he too confirmed that those who cannot download this app may submit their travel plans.

Long queue for travel permit in Chonburi amid 305 new Covid-19 cases

EVEN as Thailand added 305 new coronavirus cases over the 24 hours to this morning (Jan. 7) tighter control of Chonburi, one of five provinces clamped down, led to a two-hour long queue to get a permit to travel to other areas of the country, Amarin TV reported.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said of the 305 new cases and one additional death, 193 were domestic infections with 109 found through proactive testing of migrant workers while two overseas travellers were placed under state quarantine and one slipped away.

Trump bans transactions with 8 Chinese apps including Alipay

By Reuters and published by VOA News

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Jan. 5) signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay, the White House said, escalating tensions with Beijing before President-elect Joe Biden takes office this month.

The order, first reported by Reuters, tasks the Commerce Department with defining which transactions will be banned under the directive and targets Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay as well.

Police smash used medical glove smuggling ring

A LARGE quantity of used medical gloves illegally smuggled into Thailand and packed for sale as new under various brands was seized from a closed entertainment venue and the office of the company that ran the operation, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Total value of the used gloves and the production equipment seized from the two places in Nong Khaem district of Bangkok is around 200 million baht.

Protest against setting up field hospital in Samut Sakhon

AROUND 70 residents of Chee Pha Khao community in Mueang Samut Sakhon staged a protest  against setting up a Covid-19 field hospital near their homes at 10 a.m. this morning (Jan. 6) with some of them brandishing placards saying “Chee Pha Khao doesn’t want Covid-19,” Amarin TV reported.

One of the protesters said in his opinion it was not appropriate to set up the field hospital at the chosen spot because over 3,000 people live in this community and they had not been informed in advance only finding out last evening that this was going to happen.

Over 900 infected at Samut Sakhon fish canning factories

THE Public Health Doctor of Samut Sakhon province from where the current Covid-19 outbreak sprang confirmed today (Jan. 6) that over 900 workers at fish canning factories that are all part of the same group have been infected with this feared disease, Sanook.com reported.

Dr. Naresrit Kondasima said all the infected workers had been quarantined in their factories.

China watching as UK’s aircraft carrier group is now ready to deploy

By Brad Lendon, CNN

BRITAIN is officially an aircraft carrier power again.

The Royal Navy announced on Monday (Jan. 4) that the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, centred on Britain’s largest ever warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, had achieved initial operating capability.

The designation means the 65,000-ton carrier, its air assets including F-35 stealth fighter jets and helicopters, as well as its escorting destroyers, frigates, submarines and supply ships, are ready to deploy within five days of receiving orders to do so.

Protest guard leader blasts police over bomb attack

THE leader of We Volunteer (WeVo) guards lambasted the police in a Facebook post for not making any progress in a bomb attack against the group on New Year’s Eve, Sanook.com reported today (Jan 5).

Mr. Piyarat Jongthep, or Toto, wrote that in the middle of that night two men riding a motorcycle zoomed in from the foot of Phra Pinklao bridge to the area on Ratchadamnoen road where his group had gathered to prepare for a shrimp sale on New Year’s Day and tossed a home-made bomb at them.

CP Group company acquires 15% stake in China’s Sinovak

HONG KONG-listed Sino Biopharmaceutical, controlled by Charoen Pokphan Group, is investing $515 million (15.4 billion baht) in Sinovak Life Sciences, a company that produces coronavirus vaccine under the brand “Coronavak,” Sanook.com quoted Japanese Nikkei news agency as saying today (Jan. 5).

This investment will give Sino Biopharmaceutical a 15% stake in the Chinese firm which has its operations in Beijing.

Move to extend emergency decree as 527 new coronavirus cases emerge

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is today (Jan. 5) preparing to propose to the Cabinet meeting that the emergency decree be extended from the original expiry date Jan. 15, 2021 to Feb. 28, 2021,Amarin TV reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, mentioned this move after announcing that the there were 527 new Covid-19 cases over the 24 hours to this morning with 82 being domestic infections, 439 among migrant workers and six overseas travellers who have all been quarantined.

The world’s safest airlines for 2021 revealed

By CNN Travel

QANTAS held the title of world’s safest airline from 2014 to 2017. In 2018, AirlineRatings said it could find no clear winner and chose to rank its top 20 equally, but once again in 2019 and 2020 Qantas was crowned world’s safest carrier.

On some previous occasions, AirlineRatings has chosen its winner and then listed the rest of the top airlines alphabetically.

Urgent! PM orders BMA to extend restaurant dine-in to 9 p.m.

JUST hours after Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) issued a Covid-19 regulation forbidding dining at restaurants in the capital from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting tomorrow, Jan. 5, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered that this regulation be cancelled and the curb start after 9 p.m., Sanook.com reported late afternoon.

Gen. Prayut said he had received a proposal from the Restaurant Association and issued this order after studying it because the government did not want business to be impacted.

Dine-in curb for Bangkok restaurants from tomorrow

A NEW Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) regulation bans Bangkok restaurants from serving dine-in patrons from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting tomorrow, Jan. 5, with only takeaway allowed as a further effort to control the spread of coronavirus in the capital, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon.

Pol. Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, BMA’s spokesman, said this regulation was approved by a meeting of the Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee as an additional Covid-19 measure because the capital is among the 28 provinces now most tightly controlled.

745 new coronavirus cases as fishing boat faces discrimination

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said late this morning (Jan.4) that there were 745 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours with a Bangkok man having also died of this disease while a fishing boat in Rayong whose captain is infected is stranded out at sea after the port refused to let him come in, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, said of the 745 new cases 152 were domestic infections while 16 came from overseas and all have been quarantined. A jump of 577 cases emerged among migrant workers, adding up to 2,060 cases in this group, while the national total is now 8,439 cases.

Bangkok man who died of Covid-19 visited many pubs

THOSE who visited some pubs that a 44-year-old Bangkok man who died of Covid-19 on New Year’s Eve are urged to contact the health authorities as soon as possible, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Jan. 3).

Pol. Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, a spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), said in a Facebook post that those who did have contact with the deceased man, who worked as a freelancer and lived in Sathorn area, should immediately call Bangkok Health Office Hotline at 0-2203-2393 or 0-2203-2396.

Coronavirus cases soar over 500 in Samut Sakhon

THE situation in Samut Sakhon province from where the new Covid-19 outbreak started turned shaky again after a big jump of 541 cases today (Jan. 3) with 86 being Thais and 455 migrant workers, Sanook.com reported.

At 2 p.m. today the Facebook page, Covid-19 Samut Sakhon, reported the latest figures while also stating that the provincial total is now 2,401 cases with 131 having recovered.

14 protest guards released on unconditional bail 

DUSIT District Court took more than six hours to consider a request to detain 14 We Volunteer (WeVo) guards arrested on New Year’s Eve for arranging a shrimp sale on Ratchadamnoen road and finally released all of them on unconditional bail, Sanook.com and INN News reported this evening (Jan, 2, 2021).

Chana Songkhram station officers asked that the 14 guards, among them WeVo leader Mr. Piyarat Chongthep, or Toto, be detained for the first 12-day period because in holding the activities that day they had violated the Emergency Decree, the Communicable Disease Act 2015 and the Advertising Using Amplifier Act 1950.

Policeman in New Year’s Eve murder case released on bail

A DUSIT station police officer who shot dead a Government Pharmaceutical Organisation official at the police flats next door during a New Year’s Eve party was temporarily released on bail by the Criminal Court after confessing to having acted in self-defence, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Jan. 2, 2020).

Investigating police officers took Pol. Sgt. Thirayut Chankong, or Ryu, 31, head of the anti-suppression unit at this station, to the court and submitted a petition for the first 12-day detention, from Jan. 2 to Jan. 13, because they had 10 more witnesses to question. However they did not object to granting bail.

Bangkok sets up Covid-19 checkpoints as 216 new cases emerge

WITH there being 216 new coronavirus cases nationwide over the 24 hours to this morning (Jan. 2) the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) quickly moved to set up 14 checkpoints to screen travellers as there is a tendency for cases to rise rapidly in the metropolis , Sanook.com reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said of the 216 new infections, 182 were domestic while 32 cases emerged among migrant workers.

Eco-friendly firework display at the riverside

HERALDING the entry to 2021 was a dramatic display of 25,000 eco-friendly fireworks made with sticky paper at Iconsiam’s River Park with 1,400-metre length of Chao Phraya River ablaze with the shimmering and magical show.

Arranged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with Iconsiam and other agencies, associations and businesses along the Chao Phraya River, the spectacular firework was a message of hope for the country and the world to mark the arrival of the new year and to overcome the coronavirus crisis with strength and courage.  

Over 200 new Covid-19 cases and two additional deaths

OVER the past 24 hours to New Year’s Day there were 279 new coronavirus cases in Thailand with 257 being domestic infections and 16 among migrant workers while two patients also died taking the toll to 63, Amarin TV reported today (Jan. 1, 2021).

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said that six overseas travellers arrived here and all have been quarantined with two coming from the UK and one each from Germany, Hong Kong, China and the US.

Undercover policeman kills official at Dusit police station

A YOUNG official who works for the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation was shot dead by an undercover policeman at the police flats next to Dusit police station while celebrating New Year last night with the motive still unknown, Sanook.com reported this morning (Jan. 1, 2021).

The deceased official, Mr. Piyaphong Rungwittayakul, was found dead at the staircase leading up to the police station after struggling there to get help upon being shot several times by the policeman who quickly fled the scene.

2 million vaccine doses reaching Thailand during Feb.- April 2021

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a Facebook post that as instructed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha he has been negotiating with all Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and has secured 2 million doses for delivery during February-April 2021, Amarin TV reported today (Dec. 31, 2020).

He added that he has reported the result of the negotiations with these manufacturers to the Prime Minister who fully supports this acquisition, particularly where budget is concerned.

Protest guard leader arrested as police break up New Year’s Eve shrimp sale

A NEW YEAR’S EVE shrimp sale at Sanam Luang ground arranged by the We Volunteer (WeVo) guards was halted by police who also arrested the protest group’s leader Piyarat Jongthep, or Toto, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

WeVo had brought in approximately five tonnes of shrimp worth over 800,000 baht for their countdown activity at Sanam Luang but at around 11 a.m. a crowd control police unit and officers from Chana Songkhram station showed up and told them that it is strictly forbidden to sell anything here, while also surrounding their amphilifer vehicle.

India says talks with China yet to make progress to end border standoff

By Reuters Staff, published by US News

New Delhi: Talks between India and China have yet to make headway to end a standoff on a disputed section of their Himalayan border, India’s defence minister said today (Dec. 30), as thousands of troops from both sides faced a freezing winter in the mountains.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said there had been “no meaningful result” from several rounds of diplomatic and military talks aimed at de-escalating the worst border confrontation between the nuclear armed neighbours in decades.

PM refuses to confirm lockdown during visit to Chonburi

DURING a visit to assess the Covid-19 outbreak in Chonburi province this afternoon (Dec. 30) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha refused to say whether he will announce a lockdown in seven days’ time pointing out that the country had not got there yet, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Currently each province has already assessed their situation and should take the responsibility for handling it, he said.

Ex-provincial council member dies in car crash

A SEDAN driven by a former Provincial Administration Council member in Sukhothai province who was on his way to meet his girlfriend in the dead night burst into flames after slamming into a roadside tree killing him on the spot, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 30, 2020).

Mr. Siraphop Limpapan, or Sor Jor Diao, 38, who is also a cousin of a Bhumjaithai Party MP, was driving his sedan to meet his girlfriend in Si Satchanalai district after finishing work at his restaurant in Sawankhalok district at 1.30 a.m. in morning.

Gatherings banned nationwide, eating and drinking also banned on airplanes

SOON after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) banned gatherings nationwide amid an upsurge in coronavirus infections the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) also issued new regulations forbidding passengers from eating and drinking on domestic flights, Amarin TV reported today (Dec. 30, 2020).

These steps followed CCSA’s announcement that over the past 24 hours there were 250 new Covid-19 cases, with 241 being domestic infections of which two emerged from migrant workers, while eight travellers from overseas entered state quarantine and one did not.

Pierre Cardin, ground-breaking fashion designer, dies at 98

By Martin Steinberg, CNBC

PIERRE Cardin, who during his more than seven decades in fashion brought geometric shapes to haute couture and put his name on everything from clothing to furniture to perfume to pens, died Tuesday. He was 98.

His death was announced by composer Laurent Petitgirard, perpetual secretary of the French Academy of Fine Arts.

Covid-19 clusters found at Bangkok entertainment venues, restaurants

NEW clusters of coronavirus cases have been found among those who visited entertainment venues and restaurants in Pinklao area of Bangkok and they are among a total of 108 people who have contracted this deadly disease in the capital so far in the current outbreak, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Dec. 29, 2020).

Dr. Wichaya Pawan, director of the Institute of Prevention and Control of Urban Disease, said there were initial reports of a new cluster of 13 cases linked to pubs and karaoke lounges in the Pinklao area.  

Chinese New Year among 24 public holidays in 2021

THE Cabinet today (Dec. 29) approved February 12, 2021 as a special public holiday for Chinese New Year with this being the first time that a holiday has been declared to mark this festival in Thailand, Thai Rath newspaper and Sanook.com reported.

Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunplome said a working group, which included Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, had scheduled 24 public holidays including those postponed for 2021.

CCSA: People free to travel during New Year holidays

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced today (Dec. 29) that as a lockdown has not been imposed this means people can travel normally during the New Year holidays except for certain areas such as Samut Sakhon province but they should cautiously take care of themselves, Amarin TV reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, pointed out that some venues in Bangkok had been ordered shut, among them are massage parlours and cockfighting rings, while stricter measures, chiefly seat distancing except for family groups, are also in place at theatres and movie halls.

What the #)$*#@)($ is happening with Bitcoin’s insane record run?

By David Goldman, CNN Business

New York: Bitcoin is crashing — upward. It just passed $28,000 and shows no signs of stopping.

The digital currency has a market value north of $500 billion. Think Bitcoin is just a fad? It’s worth more than Visa (V) or Mastercard (MA). Or Walmart (WMT).

Covid-19 infected man dies in Rayong

DEPUTY Public Health Minister Satit Pituthecha confirmed in a Facebook post this afternoon that a 45-year-old man with underlying illnesses and linked to a gambling den had died after contracting Covid-19, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Dec. 28).

This patient had tested positive for coronavirus yesterday. However he had underlying conditions, ischemic heart disease and diabetes, and had not been taking medicine for the latter. His last health checkup prior to being found infected with Covid-19 was in March this year.

Waterworks  issues coronavirus alert for Phra Khanong, Sukhumvit area

AS Bangkok’s 29th Covid-19 patient had visited Metropolitan Waterworks Authority’s (MWA’s) Phra Khanong office on December 21, with this being in the same building as the temporary Sukhumvit branch, people who came in on that day have been told to watch their symptoms for this deadly disease, Siam Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Dec. 28, 2020).

MWA has shut down both offices from noon today till Thursday December 30 for thorough cleaning and disinfection.

Timeline of infected Samut Sakhon governor and visiting minister

THE Governor of Samut Sakhon province, from where the new round of Covid-19 outbreak sprang, has got infected with the deadly disease with confirmation coming a day after he led the Public Health Minister on a visit to the province but the minister has got a negative result, Siam Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 28, 2020).

The governor, Mr. Weerasak Wijitsaengsri, had the previously day taken Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul along with  Dr. Kiattaphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary of this ministry, and Dr. Suwanchai Wattanaying-charoenchai, director-general of the Department of Health, and other officials to attend a meeting at Samut Sakhon Hospital on the progress in treating coronavirus patients.

Protest banners appear at Public Health Ministry

AN unidentified group of protesters put up cloth banners at the Public Health Ministry yesterday with one of the messages being, “Control the infection well just as you have the mobs –  bigger problem than Covid is Prayut,” Sanook.com and Matichon Weekly reported today (Dec. 27).

Another message said, “My guard has dropped, Covid has come back again but Prayut is still here?”

121 new coronavirus cases, one foreigner skipped quarantine

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced late this morning (Dec. 27) that an additional 121 coronavirus cases emerged over the past 24 hours with 94 being local infections and 18 among migrant workers, Sanook.com reported.

Meanwhile one foreigner managed to slip into the country without the 14-day quarantine but eight other overseas arrivals have been so placed.

Camper van blows up in ‘intentional act’ on Christmas morning

By BBC

A PARKED camper van exploded in the US city of Nashville, Tennessee, early on Christmas morning, injuring three people and knocking out communications systems across the state.

Possible human remains were later found near the blast site, US media report.

Rayong gambling den coronavirus infection soars to 36

ANOTHER 27 people in Rayong province have contracted Covid-19 taking the total number of cases arising from visiting gambling dens to 36, Sanook.com reported late afternoon today (Dec. 26).

Rayong’s Governor Mr. Channa Iamsaeng, said these patients tried to conceal their movements but officials found out that the transmission arose from gambling dens.

Protest guards help farmers to sell shrimp next to Govt House

THE We Volunteer protest guards, or WeVo, brought shrimp farmers from Nakhon Pathom province to sell over a tonne of fresh white shrimp at the Government House’s Gate One today (Dec. 26) so as to help them after the main shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province was shut recently with the new outbreak of Covid-19 having spread from there, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Mr. Piyarat Chongthep, or Toto, WeVo’s leader, said the closure of the main shrimp market in Samut Sakhon led to these farmers not having an outlet for their produce amid the current scare which has led to people not daring to eat seafood, particularly shrimp.

110 new coronavirus cases, 64 local infections

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced late this morning (Dec. 26) that 110 more coronavirus cases emerged over the past 24 hours with 64 being local infections, 35 among migrant workers while 16  travellers from overseas have been quarantined, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

As a result, the total number of cases from proactive screening of migrant workers has now reached 1,338 with this taking the cumulative total to 6,020 cases while the death total stayed stationary at 60. Fifteen more patients have recovered adding up to 4,152 who have been discharged from hospital so far with 1,808 still undergoing treatment.

Irish boy who asks for a vaccine for Santa gets reply from Pfizer boss

By Jenny Gross, The New York Times

WHEN six-year-old Callum Thornhill heard that Pfizer had developed a coronavirus vaccine, he wrote to the company with an urgent request: to prioritize Santa Claus.

His mother, Paula Linehan, told the Irish Examiner that her son had heard about the vaccine on the car radio on the way to school in early November. When he got home from school that day, he wrote a letter to Pfizer congratulating the company.

Six test positive for Covid-19 at Govt House, confirmation awaited

WITH the Government House and the Prime Minister’s Secretariat also being vigilant amid the new outbreak of coronavirus, 350 out of the total 700 civil servants and state employees working there were tested for the deadly disease today (Dec. 25) and six of them got a positive result, INN News and Sanook.com reported.

Chulalongkorn Hospital sent a team of medical staff to randomly test these civil servants and state employees via the Rapid Test, which detects infection through saliva.

Two seafood vendors at On Nut market catch Covid-19

AFTER the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced late this morning (Dec. 25) that 81 people had tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, Onnuch Fresh Mart revealed that two seafood vendors had contracted the deadly disease, Amarin TV reported.

Of the 81 new patients, 37 were domestic cases, 35 found through proactive screening of foreign workers and nine were overseas travellers who had been quarantined.

Senator calls for probe of fire-hit yacht co-owned by Thanathorn

A SENATOR and several netizens zeroed in on Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit after news spread that he is a co-owner of the luxury yacht that was hit by a fire on Wednesday Dec. 23 causing three-million-baht damage, Naewna newspaper reported this morning (Dec. 25).

The yacht, Silvretta, was berthed at Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket for a day because low tide prevented the captain from sailing to its usual berth at Boat Lagoon Marina in Phuket town. However the fire at the stern prevented immediate transfer.

UK-EU nearing possible Brexit deal, with announcement expected today

By Luke McGee, CNN

London: The United Kingdom and the European Union are closing in on a post-Brexit trade agreement after months of fraught negotiations, sources told CNN.

A deal is expected to be announced on Christmas Eve, a UK government source and a European diplomatic source told CNN. News of a potential deal was also reported by the UK’s PA Media news agency.

Emporium, EmQuartier cancel New Year countdown amid Covid-19 outbreak

THE operators of the swanky downtown shopping malls Emporium and EmQuartier today (Dec. 24) announced the cancellation of their Funtastic Countdown to 2021 event while reducing to appropriate level The Magical Christmas activities during Dec. 24-27 due to the new outbreak of Covid-19, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Dec. 24).

This is for the safety of customers, tourists, staff and employees working nearby.

Luxury yacht moored at Phuket marina catches fire

ONE of the yachts moored at Ao Po Grand Marina in Thalang district of Phuket caught fire yesterday but while it was quickly extinguished the blaze still caused three-million-baht damage, INN News and Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 24).

The fire broke out at the right aft ladder and spread to the stern. However a security official saw it and quickly put it out with there being no injuries but the stern area damaged.

PM: No lockdown but country divided into four risk zones

PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha decided at a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to not lockdown the country after the new outbreak spread out from a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province but instead divided the country into four zones according to risk status, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Dec. 24, 2020).

Read full report for details of the four zones.

Neighbour rescues abandoned newborn baby with chubby cheeks

AT around midnight last night a man in Samut Prakan came down from his house upon being alerted by neighbourhood cats crying nonstop and then found a naked newborn baby girl lying on a bench in the cold air with a black garbage bag next to her and quickly rescued her, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Dec. 23, 2020).

Mr. Chainarong Mongkholkhaeha, 52, said he was falling asleep after a hard day’s work but the cats would not stop crying so he came down and played with them for a few minutes.

Ekamai lighting store worker catches Covid-19

IMMEDIATELY pulling down the shutters at Ekamai yesterday afternoon (Dec. 22) was the Lamptitude lighting store after one of the employees tested positive for Covid-19, Amarin TV reported today.

In a Facebook post Lamptitude Ekamai branch said they had quickly notified the Public Health Ministry and the store was cleaned and disinfected today.

Villagers chase out returnees from coronavirus-hit Samut Sakhon province

FOUR construction workers who returned to their village in Surin province at 3 a.m. this morning (Dec. 22) after working many months in Samut Sakhon province where the new round of Covid-19 outbreak started were driven away by fearful villagers and force to be quarantined in a small hut at the periphery, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

The workers were called back home by their children who wanted to celebrate the New Year with them. However when news about the Samut Sakhon returnees reached the school, the teachers sent word to them not to come to school.

Phuket biker catches Covid-19 during trip to Krabi

PHUKET health officials confirmed that a 40-year-old man who had ridden to Krabi last week with a female companion on the pillion to attend a two-day bikers party had contracted Covid-19 there after a close contact with another man from Samut Sakhon province, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 22).

Dr. Thanit Sermkaew, Phuket provincial health doctor, said after a positive result of the first test yesterday, samples were sent for a confirmation test at Phuket Medical Sciences Centre and this was verified this afternoon.

Buyers alerted after food truck couple catch Covid-19

A COUPLE who live in Samut Prakan province but operate a food truck business in Nonthaburi province and Ramintra road of Bangkok have tested positive for Covid-19 and people who bought seafood, fruit and vegetables from them have been told to monitor themselves at home for 14 days, Amarin TV reported this morning (Dec. 22).

Driving a white pickup truck with red plate licence plate number 8681, the couple mostly went to various temples to sell fresh seafood, obtained from the main shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province, and fruit and vegetables from Tuesday to Saturday in the two areas before falling sick.

World closes borders to Britain as new coronavirus strain breeds panic

By Reuters Staff, published by Yahoo! News

Dover, England: More countries closed their borders to Britain today (Dec. 21) over fears of a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, heightening global panic, causing travel chaos and raising the prospect of UK food shortages just days before the Brexit cliff edge.

India, Poland, Switzerland, Russia and Hong Kong suspended travel for Britons after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a mutated variant of the virus up to 70% more infectious had been identified in the country, while Japan and South Korea said they were monitoring the situation.

Two Chinese capitalists surrender after police smash informal loan gang

TWO of three Chinese capitalists who together with a Cambodian woman operated the application “Rich Money” which charged exorbitant interest rates have surrendered after police raided their office on Rama 3 road, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 21).

The Centre for Informal Debt Suppression together with the Central Investigation Bureau police team mounted the raid after several complaints from victims that they had to pay far higher interest rates than legally permitted.

PM to assess new Covid-19 outbreak in seven days’ time

PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Dec. 21) that he is closely monitoring the new outbreak of Covid-19 that is spreading out from Samut Sakhon province next door to Bangkok and will assess the situation in seven days’ time while urging the public not to panic, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

He added that he is still waiting to see how things pan out before deciding whether to cancel New Year countdown events.

Covid-19 cases surge by 328 with 360 being foreign workers

THE spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced late this morning (Dec. 21) that the number of Covid-19 cases climbed by 382 over the past 24 hours with 14 of them being Thais, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, said proactive screening of foreign workers uncovered 360 more cases while eight travellers from overseas had also entered state quarantine.

BMA calls for scrapping New Year festivities as Covid-19 cases soar next door

BANGKOK Metropolitan Administration (BMA) asked for the cooperation of all venues in cancelling New Year festivities because of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Samut Sakhon province, which adjoins the capital, with two cases having already emerged here today, Thai Rath newspaper reported late afternoon today (Dec. 20).

This step was taken after the number of Covid-19 cases in Samut Sakhon rose by 146 today, taking the total from yesterday to 694, with 90% of the new cases being foreign workers at the main shrimp market.

Suspect says he killed doctor after hospital made him pay 130 not 30 baht

A YOUNG man who was arrested at a hotel in Samut Songkhram province on the charges of killing the director of King Mongkut Memorial Hospital at his clinic in Phetchaburi city yesterday has confessed that he did so because he was high on drugs and was displeased that the hospital had charged him 130 and not 30 baht for treatment that morning, Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 20,2020).

After being treated at the hospital at 9 a.m. yesterday, the suspect, Mr. Denphum, 22, had by around 11 a.m. driven to the clinic of Dr. Chumpol Dechaampai, 57. After being treated by he went to his car on the pretext of getting money to pay the bill but instead came back with a pistol and barged into the examination, firing seven shots and killing the doctor on the spot.

Public urged not to panic after big jump in Covid-19 cases, one in Bangkok

THE spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today (Dec. 20) urged the public not to panic after the number of Covid-19 cases shot up by 576 overnight explaining that this is not a second wave of infection but it is a new outbreak with the authorities gearing up to test over 10,000 individuals in various provinces to control it, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin pointed out that Samut Sakhon has been locked down while the smaller CCSA committee has held a meeting today.

PM confident economy is recovering, welcomes Bloomberg boost

PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is pleased that Thailand topped a Bloomberg study of 17 developing markets gauging their outlook for 2021 pointing out that this is a result of various economic stimulus measures and will boost confidence in trade and investment in the new year, Siam Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 21).

The Bloomberg report, entitled “China Lags as Thailand, Russia rank top emerging market picks,” says this study, based on 11 indicators of economic and financial performance, placed Thailand at the top of the list owing to its solid reserves and high potential for portfolio inflows, while Russia scored No. 2 thanks to robust external accounts and a strong fiscal profile, in addition to an undervalued ruble. China scores fairly poorly given that high expectations are already baked in, while Brazil is a laggard due to a mounting fiscal deficit and debt concerns.

Samut Sakhon shrimp market lifeless as Covid-19 cases rise to 13

THE trading was sluggish at the reopened shrimp and fish market at the centre of the spreading of Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon province after the number of cases shot up to 13 this morning (Dec. 13) from seven last evening, Amarin TV reported.

Samut Sakhon Governor Mr. Weerasak Wichitsangsri said all the patients were linked to this market with cases starting to appear after a 67-year-old woman shrimp vendor tested positive on Thursday December 17. 

Hospital director shot dead at his clinic in Petchaburi city

A MAN who came in as a patient shot dead the director of King Mongkut Memorial Hospital (Phra Chom Klao Hospital) at his clinic in Phetchaburi city at 11 a.m. today (Dec. 19), Sanook.com reported.

The killer, who had driven up in a white sedan, went into the clinic and was examined by Dr. Chumpol. Upon coming out and waiting to pay the bill, he told the clinic staff that he was going to get his money from the car.

1,000 people stuck overnight in Japan traffic jam stretching 15 kms long

By Jessie Yeung and Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN

Tokyo: More than 1,000 people in Japan spent Thursday night stuck on a highway in their cars, waiting out a traffic jam with little food or water during a heavy snow storm.

Reports of the traffic jam, on the Kanetsu Expressway connecting Tokyo and Niigata prefectures, began emerging on Wednesday. By the early hours of Thursday morning, authorities had closed the highway entrance to alleviate clogging.

Red shirts cheer as Nattawut is freed from prison

THERE was overwhelming joy among those who had assembled outside Bangkok Remand Prison today (Dec. 18) as Mr. Nattawut Saikua, a former leader of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (“Red Shirts”), was set free, Amarin TV reported.

Aside from his wife, Sirisakul Saikua, who is also a leader of this political pressure group, two other leaders, Weng Tojirakarn and Thida Thavornsate, were also there to welcome him.

Chinese-funded illegal finance firm raided

AN ILLEGAL online finance company located in the Rama 3 road area was raided by Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) Commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Maitri Chimcherd and his team today (Dec. 18) with it being discovered that funds for lending came from Chinese nationals, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

In searching the company’s office which did not have a sign upfront with a search warrant, police found that this large illegal finance operation had 50 Thai employees who were responsible for gathering information  about customers.

10,000 people will likely be tested for coronavirus in new superspeading case

As many as 10,000 people may have to be tested for Covid-10 in Samut Sakhon province after a shrimp vendor at a local market contracted the deadly disease and among them will all those who had high-, medium- and low-risk exposure to this superspreader, INN News and Sanook.com reported this morning (Dec. 18, 2020).

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is getting ready to go to the area, said tests were being expanded and it was suspected that the 67-year-old woman likely got infected through contact with foreign fishery workers in this province.

Many people exposed to Covid-19-infected shrimp vendor 

A SHRIMP vendor in Samut Sakhon province who tested positive for Covid-19 today (Dec.17) first showed symptoms of the disease last Sunday Dec. 13 but continued trading in the market with there being 18 people at high risk of exposure to the deadly disease and numerous others at the market may have also been so, Sanook.com reported.

Samut Sakhon Governor Weerasak Wichitsangsri along with the provincial health doctor revealed the 67-year-old infected Thai woman’s timeline of activities over the past few days.

US adds Thailand to currency manipulation watchlist

THE US Treasury Department added Thailand to its “monitoring list” of currency manipulating countries today (Dec. 17) on suspicions that the country took various steps to weaken its currency against the US dollar, South China Morning Post and Sanook.com reported.

The US Treasury said its “monitoring list” of countries that meet some of the criteria has hit 10, with the additions of India, Taiwan and Thailand. Others on the list include China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia.

Activity held at police station to encourage 2 Section 112 suspects 

THE We Volunteer (WeVo) guards held a performance in front of Yannawa police station to encourage two suspects summoned to hear charges of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or lese majeste law, Thai Rath and INN News reported today (Dec. 17).

It was reported that one of the two suspects is a 16-year-old youth.

Actress-activist gets Section 112 summons

SHARING a photo of a summons she received today (Dec. 16) is popular actress Intira Charoenpura, or Sai, with this stating that charges of violating Section 112 of the Criminal  Code, known as the lese majeste law, have been filed against her and to report to Bang Khen police station on December 21, Sanook.com reported.

One of the people who filed the charges against her is Pol. Lt. Col. Anan Worasat who was in the news in 2015 when he was transferred from Bang Khen police station to work at Metropolitan Police Division 2 for 30 days. This followed a raid by police and soldiers on a gambling den in Saphan Mai area with 17 gamblers being arrested.

Vietnamese workers caught after sneaking across from Malaysia

A GROUP of 13 Vietnamese men and women who had sneaked across the border from Malaysia were arrested this afternoon (Dec. 16) at an abandoned house in Narathiwat province, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Upon being alerted by Mr. Narong Awasimae, a village headman in Pase Mat  sub-district, Su-ngai Kolok district, that some foreign workers were living in an abandoned house and he was fearful of Covid-19 spreading in his neighbourhood, a team of policemen and soldiers raided it.

Young woman dies after dangling cable cuts her throat

A DAWN motorcycle ride to a market by a young woman with her boyfriend as the pillion passenger in Sikhio district of Nakhon Ratchasima province led to her death after a dangling electric cable entangled and deeply cut her throat with her boyfriend too getting injured after both fell off the bike, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Dec. 16, 2020).

At 10.20 a.m. Mrs. Sanon Wannasut, 60, informed the Sikhio police station that her niece, Ms.  Praphatsorn, 20, had passed away in the hospital.

Couch or cubicle? Vaccine may not lure Americans back to the office

By Reuters Staff, published by United States News

Washington:  Zoom fatigue? Isolation from colleagues? A craving for lamb shawarma from the downtown food truck?

Nah.

Months into a pandemic that has changed work-life balance into a work-life M.C. Escher drawing – with the end of one and the beginning of the other now indistinguishable – Americans say they’ve actually adapted fine to home offices and dining room table workstations, and most want to continue working from home after the pandemic.

Actor slams minister’s spacecraft to the moon plan

A MINISTER’S projection that within seven years Thailand will be able to send a spacecraft to orbit the moon was heavily criticised today (Dec.15) with one of the detractors being popular singer and actor Pharunyoo “Tack” Rojanawuthitham who pointed out that this would be a very improper use of national budget which should first be channeled to other projects, Sanook.com reported.

In his comment accompanying a photo of the moon posted on Instagram today, Tack asked, “Before going to the moon do you want to complete Rama 2 road first? … Why don’t we use that budget to develop various other essential schemes?”

Charges being filed against Tachileik coronavirus spreaders

POLICE are moving to prosecute Thais who sneaked across the border after working at 1G1 Hotel in Myanmar’s Tachileik town and spreading Covid-19 infection in Chiang Rai and several other provinces with Mae Sai district police having already rounded up 10 of those who have recovered, Amarin TV reported today (Dec. 15).

Acting on the order of Pol. Lt. Gen. Prachuap Wongsuk, commander of the Provincial Police Region 5, police are filing three charges against the suspects but have to wait another week for a few others to fully recover to take action against them too.

Public allowed to carefully hold New Year parties and events

THE Department of Disease Control said today (Dec. 15) that people may hold New Year parties and events because there is no coronavirus outbreak in Thailand but must still observe preventive measures, Sanook.com reported.

Mr. Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said key preventive measures including social distancing, wearing face masks and temperature checks must be maintained to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Google’s YouTube, Gmail recover after global outage

By Reuters Staff and published by Yahoo! News

GOOGLE services, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Drive, were restored for most users today (Dec. 14), following a global outage that affected thousands.

Google’s website that logs outages said the services that were affected for nearly an hour should be restored for most users.

Drug-crazed jobless man held for slashing delivery woman

AN unemployed man who was high on drugs when he was arrested today (Dec. 14) for slashing of the arm of a GrabFood delivery woman in Udon Thani province last Saturday confessed to having done so to vent his anger after being cheated by an online company which did not send the goods he had paid for, Amarin TV reported.

The suspect, Mr. Treiphob Rodjui, 27, who also later bashed Mr. Chaknarai Khammuangmoh, 24, and Mr. Aphirak Borisud, 23, who were passing by his neighbourhood with a thick stick, confessed to being stressed by being jobless since mid-October and also having quarreled with his girlfriend.

Stong online drive to save Big Mountain festival organizer

THE DRAMA over last weekend’s Big Mountain music festival in Nakhon Ratchasima province has not ended with there being viral tweets and retweets to save the organizer who now faces charges after defying the provincial governor and not scrapping Sunday evening’s event, Amarin TV reported today (Dec. 14).

Mr. Wichian Chantaranothai, Nakhon Ratchasima’s governor, had ordered the closure of the Ocean Khao Yai golf course from 2 p.m. Sunday to 2 p.m. today under Section 52 of the Communicable Diseases Act with violators facing one year imprisonment and/or fine of 100,000 baht.

11 students hurt as van hits tree in Lampang

POLICE and rescuers rushed to help students who got injured after their van smashed into a tree in northern Lampang province at 6 a.m. this morning (Dec. 14) as they were returning to Chiang Mai city from an excursion to Nakhon Ratchasima province, Sanook.com reported.

The accident occurred at Na Sang sub-district, Ko Kha district of this province just 200 metres from the police guard box.

Music festival organizers ignore shut down order despite Covid-19 fears

AN order issued by Nakhon Ratchasima province Governor closing the golf course where the Big Mountain music festival is being held this weekend seems to have fallen on deaf ears as the event organizers issued a message on their Facebook page late afternoon urging participants to not bring food and drinks to this evening’s event, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 13).

Mr. Wichian Chantaranothai, Nakhon Ratchasima’s governor who is also chairman of the provincial communicable diseases committee, had ordered the closure of the Ocean Khao Yai golf course from 2 p.m. today to 2 p.m. tomorrow under Section 52 of the Communicable Diseases Act with violators facing one year imprisonment and/or fine of 100,000 baht.

Five of 17 new Covid-19 cases had not been quarantined

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced today (Dec. 13) that of the 17 new cases that emerged over the past 24 hours, nine came from Myanmar with five found to have not entered quarantine upon arrival, Amarin TV reported.

The addition of the new cases takes the total to 4,209, with 3,923 having recovered, while 226 remain under treatment and no additional deaths with the toll remaining at 60.

Rush to disinfect downtown condo after co-owner contracts Covid-19

A POPULAR condominium in the Sathorn-Tha Phra area is moving quickly to thoroughly clean and disinfect the building after one of the co-owners tested positive for Covid-19, Amarin TV reported this evening (Dec.12, 2020).

The building’s management asked all co-owners and residents to check their temperature and observe their symptoms for 14 days.

Conwoman nabbed after gambling away swindled gold

A THAI woman who swindled a gold shop in Rayong province out of 20 baht weight gold ornaments worth 570,000 baht which was then sold and the cash used to gamble at casinos in a neighbouring country was arrested after slipping back to Thailand via a natural route last evening, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Dec. 12, 2020)

Police from Khlong Luk station at Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province, arrested Ms. Pitchapa Kharonrong, 46, just as she reached Thai territory and sent her to Rayong province where she faces a fraud case.

Illegal border crossings still taking place despite tight control

EVEN though no new domestic Covid-19 cases emerged over the past 24 hours people from neighbouring countries continue to sneak across the border with 11 Myanmar nationals arrested at Mae Sot district of Tak province while six Vietnamese were caught just as they crossed over from Cambodia to Sa Kaeo province, Thai Rath newspaper and Sanook.com reported this morning (Dec. 12,2020).

At the same time Mr. Pakphum Dejhassadin, a medical technologist and owner of the popular Dr Panda Lab webpage, came out to deny that the photos he posted yesterday showing people crossing over from Cambodia’s Battambang province to the Ban Laem border crossing in Pong Nam Ron district, Chanthaburi province, were old ones taken some time ago as stated by the military and claimed by some netizens.

AstraZeneca hitches ride with Russia’s Sputnik in vaccine race

By Reuters Staff, published by Yahoo Finance

ASTRAZENECA will start clinical trials to test a combination of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V shot aimed at boosting the efficacy of the British drugmaker’s vaccine, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said today (Dec. 11).

Trials will start by the end of the year and Russia wants to jointly produce the new vaccine if it is proven to be effective, said the RDIF wealth fund, which has funded Sputnik V, named after the Soviet-era satellite that triggered the space race.

Parina submits letter to UN opposing repeal of Section 112

PALANG Pracharath Party MP Parina Kraikupt went to submit a letter to the UN Resident Coordinator today (Dec. 11) opposing in any move to pressure for the repeal of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, pointing out that doing so would be a violation of Thai sovereignty, Sanook.com quoted Voice TV as saying this evening.

The June 24 Democracy Group had staged a rally and submitted a petition to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday to pressure the Thai government to repeal Section 112.

Doctor points to illegal border crossings at Thai-Cambodian border

WITH THE whole country worried about Covid-19 cases rising after some Thais sneaked back from Myanmar’s Tachileik border town to Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province, the owner of the popular Doctor Panda Lab webpage today (Dec. 11) drew attention to illegal border crossings at eastern Chanthaburi province, Sanook.com reported.

Mr. Pakphum Dejhassadin, a medical technologist and owner of this webpage, posted photos of people travelling by back and forth by foot through natural channels at the Thai-Cambodian border in Chanthaburi.

11 more Covid-19 cases, all from overseas with 3 coming from Myanmar

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced at 11 a.m. today (Dec. 11) that there are 11 new cases over the past 24 hours with all of them having arrived from overseas and all placed in state quarantine, Sanook.com reported.

Three of the 11 arrivals were from Myanmar’s Tachileik town bordering Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province. All three, two women 28 and 29 years old respectively, and a 33-year-old man, worked at the same entertainment venue in Tachileik.

People’s Party lottery launched at lively event

A BIT HIT at the vivacious activity of the Thammasat Alliance and Rally and Mob Fest  held this evening (Dec. 1o) at the October 14 Memorial is a stall where “The People’s Lottery” is being given out for donations with there being only 2475 copies available and this harkening to the 1932 (2475 Buddhist Era) revolution that ended absolute monarchy, Sanook.com reported.

There was a long queue to get a copy of this lottery from the stall which is one of numerous others that cropped on the sidewalks from this memorial all the way to the Democracy Monument. Aside from food, a lot of other symbolic merchandise were being sold including yellow ducks and T-shirts.

Fracas erupts as guards try to dismantle barbed wire 

THE WeVo group of volunteer guards had a run-in with the police this afternoon (Dec. 10) as they moved in to dismantle rolls of barbed wire at Theves intersection but quickly withdrew when told to do so by their leader, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

The WeVo group leader Toto Piyarat Jongthep had announced on Facebook that his group was to move in and remove the barbed wire at this intersection today.

Protesters submit petition to UN Human Rights Office

THE June 24 Democracy Group ended their rally in front of the UN office around noon today (Dec. 10) after handing over their petition to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to pressure the Thai government to repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon.

Receiving the petition from the protesters was Mr. Badar Farrukh, team leader of OHCHR in Thailand.

Singapore ‘cruise to nowhere’ turns back after passenger tests positive for Covid-19

By CNN

A ROYAL Caribbean cruise ship has returned to port in Singapore after a passenger tested positive for Covid-19.

The Quantum of the Seas ship was hosting a three-night, four-day “cruise to nowhere” itinerary around Singapore and departed from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre on December 7. The cruise was part of a much-vaunted programme to reinvigorate domestic travel in Singapore amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Peeved drunk man fires 20 shots at unfriendly neighbour’s house

A THAI man who fired 20 shots at the house next door when badly drunk last night told police this afternoon (Dec. 9) that he did so because his neighbour was not friendly and had not spoken to him even once, Sanook.com reported this evening.

Pol. Lt. Col. Teerawat Kajonkiatpas, head of Rattanathibet police station in Nonthaburi province, and his two deputies questioned  Mr. Tatsataphon, 31, at 5 p.m. after waking him up from a drunken sleep in the afternoon and bringing him to the station.

Two rallies taking place tomorrow, one of them at UN

DEMONSTRATORS will be holding rallies at two places in Bangkok tomorrow after having requested permission from Metropolitan Police to do so, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Dec. 9, 2020).

Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy chief and spokesman of Metropolitan Police, said one rally is taking place in front of United Nations office from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Ms. Suwanna Tanlek, representative of the June 24 Democracy Group, having filed a request to do so.

Kidnapped Chinese businesswoman rescued, gang arrested

METROPOLITAN Police busted a Thai-Chinese kidnap gang who had abducted a Chinese businesswoman for 15 million baht ransom in downtown Sukhumvit area, INN News and Sanook.com reported this morning (Dec. 9, 2020).

The Women’s and Children’s Welfare Division at the Metropolitan police headquarters had been informed by this woman’s friend that she was kidnapped in Sukhumvit Soi 39 with the kidnappers threatening to kill her if he alerted the authorities.

In Covid-19 milestone for West, Britain starts mass vaccination

By Reuters Staff, published by US News

London: A 90-year-old grandmother became the world’s first person to receive a fully-tested Covid-19 shot today (Dec. 8), as Britain began mass-vaccinating its people in a global drive that poses one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history.

Health workers started inoculating the most vulnerable with the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, with the country a test case for the world as it contends with distributing a compound that must be stored at -70C (-94F).

384kg Ice heading for Ayutthaya seized in the North

ACTING ON a tipoff Mukdahan police seized 384 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) worth 134 million baht just as it was being transported for delivery in Ayutthaya province and arrested three suspects, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Dec. 8).

Provincial police chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Santhan Intarachak had got word that a big lot of drugs would be passing through this northern province and assigned Pol. Lt. Col. Wijit Bunwan, head of the investigation division, to mount a dragnet.

Protest leaders show up to face Section 112 charges

AMID a heavy turnout of supporters three People’s Party leaders and the Nonthaburi New Generation leader showed up at Nonthaburi police station to acknowledge charges filed against them under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 8, 2020).

The three People’s Party leaders, Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike, and Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, are facing three cases under this law while Mr. Shinawatra Chankrachang, or Bright, leader of the Nonthaburi New Generation, is facing one case with these arising from the September 10 rally at Nonthaburi pier entitled “Nonthaburi People will not Tolerate Dictatorship.”

4 Bangkok medical personnel infected with coronavirus

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced at 11 a.m. today (Dec. 8) that four domestic Covid-19 cases appeared in Bangkok over the past 24 hours with all of them being medical personnel who work at alternate state quarantine (ASQ) facilities and private hospitals, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

Altogether 19 new coronavirus cases emerged in the 24-hour period and of the 15 foreign arrivals, one had sneaked across the border from Myanmar.

Hong Kong police arrest 8 over university protest

By AP and published by Channel NewsAsia

Hong Kong: Hong Kong authorities today (Dec. 7) arrested eight people in connection with an unauthorised protest at a university campus last month, police and local media said, amid a widening crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous territory.

The arrests were reportedly made in relation to a demonstration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in which more than 100 people protested a decision to hold graduation ceremonies online. Such ceremonies are often used as a way for students to express political views.

Govt moves to extend visa-free entry to 45 days while allaying Covid-19 fears

THE Foreign Ministry is moving to increase visa free entry from 30 to 45 days in keeping with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s direction to further ease measures for foreigners entering the country, Sanook.com quoted Voice TV as saying today (Dec. 7, 2020).

This easing of the visa regulation was mentioned at a meeting of an ad hoc committee of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Management which was presided over by the National Security Council Secretary-General Gen. Nathapol Nakpanich and attended by representatives of Foreign and Public Health ministries . The key focus was on coronavirus infected Thais sneaking across the border from Tachileik district in Myanmar to Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.

Parents shocked after newborn baby disappears from hospital

A CHONBURI couple is in a state of shock after their newborn baby girl disappeared from the second hospital she was transferred to after her birth at the first one for treatment for her weak condition, Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 7. 2020).

Ms Piyarat, 37, and Mr. Panya, 29, said after the baby was born at Hospital A on October 11 the doctors said she was weak after ingesting amniotic fluid and is being transferred to Hospital B for treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) there.

Musician says beware of drug scam at parking lot

A MUSICIAN issued a warning about a drug scam he narrowly escaped at a department store parking lot whereby a paper bag was discarded on the floor and if he had picked it up inside would be some drugs and he would have been immediately arrested by criminals disguised a drug control unit who would demand a payoff, Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 7, 2020).

Singholaka Inca, or Aor, the singer and drummer of Inca band, said in his warning message that he has survived this trick three times and this last time took a photo as evidence.

German Santas hope to bring cheer despite masks

By Reuters Staff, published by US News

Berlin: A group of Germans dressed as Santa and angels who rent themselves out over the Christmas period gathered in Berlin on Saturday, keen to spread joy and practice their “Ho-ho-hos” even though they have to wear masks.

Most years, several hundred “Rent-a-Santa” meet at the beginning of the Christmas season in Germany, but this year just a few dozen got together, keeping their distance outside at the disused Tempelhof airfield in Berlin.

Mae Sot doctor denies elderly Covid-19 patient has died

A PHYSICIAN at Mae Sot Hospital confirmed that none of their patients had died of coronavirus and urged people to stop calling up and cursing the staff for covering up the news, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Dec. 6, 2020) 

Reports had circulated that an elderly Thai man who was admitted to this hospital with severe Covid-19 symptoms had passed away.

Two more Tachileik-linked coronavirus cases appear in Bangkok

THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced at 11 a.m. today (Dec. 6) that there are 14 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours with two of them emerging in Bangkok, Sanook.com reported.

The 14 new cases took the total to 4,086 with 3,853 patients having recovered and 173 still undergoing treatment. Death toll remains unchanged at 60.

4 Thai men, 2 Myanmar women caught sneaking into Mae Sot

SOLDIERS from the 4th Infantry Regiment who are keeping a tight control of the Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Sot district of Tak province today (Dec. 5) caught four Thai men and two Myanmar women just as they had slipped through the border, Amarin TV reported this evening.

While patrolling Tha Sai Luat sub-district of this border province, a team of soldiers spotted some Thai men stealthily crossing the Moei river to the Thai side on a motorboat. 

Engineer shot dead in front of family at noodle shop

A YOUNG engineer who ran a noodle shop as a secondary source of income was shot dead in front of his family by a motorcycle gunman in Tha Phra area at around 9 p.m. last night, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Police from Tha Phra station rushed to Jabkang noodle shop upon being alerted of the murder and found Mr. Arthit Chomnet, 27, lying supine in a pool of blood with seven bullet wounds on his body all close to each other.

No new lockdown over coronavirus spreading from Tachileik

PUBLIC Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul this morning (Dec. 5) ruled out another lockdown after several Covid-19 infected Thais sneaked back home from Tachileik border town in Myanmar pointing out that the infection arose from the same place and has not spread in all directions with the returnees to be encouraged to come in for tests without having to report to police, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

The spread of the infection from 1GI hotel in Tachileik where around 180 Thais work would be contained with facilitating their return and taking full care of them.

Tachileik hotel DJ found infected with coronavirus in Chiang Mai

A THAI MAN who worked as a DJ at the hotel in Tachileik Myanmar border town which is the centre of a new wave of Covid-19 infections was confirmed to be infected with this deadly disease in Chiang Mai city today (Dec. 4), Sanook.com reported this evening.

The 32-year-old man is a native of Chiang Mai and fled 1G1 Hotel in Tachileik on November 30 after starting to suffer from itchiness, nasal congestion and loss of sense of smell. 

Young girl among 10 dead in Nakhon Si Thammarat floods

SEVERE floods in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province have killed 10 people over the past 72 hours with the latest victim being a four-year-old girl who drowned near her house, Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 4, 2020).

Police investigators and rescuers from Pracha Ruamchai Foundation took 20 minutes to find the body of Wanrudee in two-metre deep floodwater near her house in Mueang district.

Co-passenger of ‘Chiang Rai women’ infected with coronavirus

A 51-year-old woman who flew from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on the same flight as two young women who had sneaked across the border from Tachileik in Myanmar and later tested positive for Covid-19 has now also been found to be infected with this deadly virus, Thai Rath newspaper and Sanook.com reported today (Dec. 4).

The timeline of the movements of this woman who is a resident of Sing Buri province is stated in the full report.

One more Covid-19 case in Chiang Rai today, 4 yesterday

ONE more person was found infected with Covid-19 in Chiang Rai province today (Dec. 4) after four cases cropped up in this northern province yesterday with one of them being a young Thai man, Amarin TV reported.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced at 11 a.m. today that there were a total of 14 new cases over the past 24 hours with one being a domestic infection in Chiang Rai, and the others were arrivals from various countries who had all been placed in state quarantine.

‘Will not be bullied’: citizens around the world told to buy Australian wine

The Sydney Morning Herald

London: Millions of people around the world are being urged to buy an Australian bottle of wine or two, as a way of showing Chinese President Xi Jinping that the world will not be intimidated by his “bullying of Australia”.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), comprising more than 200 MPs from a range of political parties and representing 19 country legislatures, has launched a campaign to convince people to buy and drink Australian wine in December, as a show of solidarity.

School or prison? Students forced to wear prison-like clothes all day

DRAWING strong criticism on Thai social media today (Dec. 3) is a composite photograph of two students wearing light brown clothes similar to prison uniform with block letters printed at the back saying “adjusting behaviour”, Sanook.com reported this evening.

The photo was shared on “Lanna Students” webpage, with this being a forum for Chiang Mai high school students to air their political views.

MP files complaint against Penguin in the middle of the night

PALANG Pracharath MP for Ratchaburi province Pareena Kraikupt posted on her Facebook page that she was unable to sleep last night after reading four posts written by People’s Party leader  Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, and went to the police station to file a complaint against him in the dead of the night, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Dec. 3).

In her complaint Pareena said these four posts break the law because false information was published online, this action violates Computer Crimes Act with the judiciary and officials also being insulted.

180 Thai women work at Tachileik hotel, 64 more sick

EVEN AS the security forces beefed up the Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, the manager of a Tachileik hotel from where 10 infected Thai women sneaked across the border over the past week and exposed hundreds of people to Covid-19 sent word that 180 more Thai women are currently work working there, Sanook.com this morning (Dec. 3, 2020).

Authorities urged Thais stranded at this Myanmar border town to return via normal channels and undergo a Covid-19 test to prevent the spread of the deadly disease amid reports that 15 more Thais fell sick there yesterday taking the two-day total to 64.

Timeline of Bangkok coronavirus spreaders

OF THE six new Covid-19 cases of women sneaking back to Thailand from Tachileik district in Myanmar three of them flew to Bangkok with one moving around in the capital before her illness was detected, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Dec. 2, 2020).

The Public Health Ministry today confirmed these six new coronavirus cases with all having slipped back to Thailand at Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province.

Gen. Prayut easily survives legal challenge

THE Constitutional Court ruled that there is no conflict interest in Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha residing at a house in an army camp even through he stepped down as army commander six years ago nor is it unethical for him to do so therefore he need not step down from premiership, Thai Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Dec. 2).

This case was filed by Mr. Prasert Chantrawongthong, Pheu Thai Party’s secretary-general.

Urgent: Covid-19 case emerges in Bangkok

A 21-year-old Thai woman who had sneaked across the border from Tachileik district in Myanmar to Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province before catching a flight to Bangkok has now been found to be infected with Covid-19, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Dec. 2. 2020).

She tested positive for this deadly disease at a hospital in the Bangna area on Sunday November 29, it was reported today.

Judgement day for Prime Minister Prayut

TODAY is the day people have waited for as the Constitution Court will be handing down its ruling on Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha continuing to reside in a state house within a military camp even though he retired from military service six years ago, watching to see whether or not it will lead to him stepping down, Thai Rath newspaper reported this morning (Dec. 2).

Meanwhile People’s Party leader Mr Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, had earlier announced a rally at the Constitution Court at 2 p.m. today to hear the verdict. However yesterday the Thammasat Coalition and the Assembly shifted the location to Ladprao intersection starting from 4 p.m. onwards.

China refuses to apologise to Australia for fake soldier image

By BBC

CHINA has accused Australia of trying to “deflect public attention” from alleged war crimes by its soldiers in Afghanistan after Canberra expressed outrage over a “repugnant” tweet.

Australia has demanded an apology for sharing the fake image of an Australian soldier killing an Afghan child.

Students return their uniforms to the ministry

AFTER some students at several Thai schools showed up wearing casual clothes and not their uniforms this morning (Dec. 1), they went to the Education Ministry this evening and hung up some uniform shirts, pants, skirts and school bags at both the gates, Siam Rath newspaper reported.

The activity this evening, arranged by the “bad students” group and called a movement, saw some student leaders giving speeches on finding ways to prevent and resolve violation of student rights.

Fourth women found infected with Covid-19, fifth case rumoured

THE Public Health Ministry announced that a fourth woman who worked at an entertainment venue in Myanmar’s Tachileik district has been found to be infected with Covid-19 but an unverified report shared online says a fifth woman too has similarly tested positive for this deadly disease and she moved around and even went to a fair with her boyfriend, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Dec. 1, 2020).

At 1 p.m. today Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrachit, Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, said this is the fourth case following the superspreader, a 29-year-old woman, testing positive for coronavirus in Chiang Mai last Friday.

No uniform campaign gets underway at many schools

SOME students did come to school in casual clothes today (Dec. 1) the first day of the second semester as called upon by several groups to do so in order to claim dress freedom, Amarin TV reported this morning.

Two key groups that had pushed this campaign are KKC student affiliate network and the “bad students” with students in many schools responding to their call.

China’s tariffs slam door shut on Australian wine’s biggest export market

By Michelle Toh, CNN Business

Hong Kong: Australia’s winemakers are scrambling to find new buyers around the world after China imposed hefty tariffs on the industry, effectively cutting it off from its most important export market.

Beijing’s decision last week to impose tariffs of up to 212% on Australian wine imports has endangered business with mainland China, according to Tony Battaglene, CEO of Australian Grape and Wine, a national association.

Solo protest at police station as students unveil new campaign

AN ANONYMOUS man came at Lumpini police station today (Nov. 30) to protest against enforcing the law against students fighting for democracy while “bad students” announced a campaign to wear casual clothes to school, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

The solo protester, around 45-50 years of age and wearing a white T-shirt,  navy blue shorts and ankle boots, stood in front of the station with a protest placard hanging from his neck and holding a large lit candle.

Warning issued against deadly grilled blue-ringed octopus 

THE Department of Marine and Coastal Resources issued a urgent warning to the public to avoid buying and consuming the venomous blue-ringed octopus as even grilling does not destroy its poison with this coming after a vendor was found selling its skewered meat, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Nov. 30, 2020).

The department posted the warning on its Facebook page after Ms. Chantra Poomcham found that a shop selling grilled squid in adjacent Pathum Thani province had also grilled the meat of this highly venomous octopus for sale.

8 caught sneaking into Chiang Rai as 2 new Covid-19 cases emerge

EIGHT Thais were arrested in Chiang Rai province today (Nov. 30) just as they were sneaking back home from Myanmar via natural routes soon after two Thai women who are friends of a superspreader in Chiang Mai also tested positive for Covid-19, Amarin TV reported.

All eight suspects were working at Myanmar’s Tachileik district, just across the border from Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, and fled ongoing coronavirus pandemic there by paying smugglers 6,500 baht each to bring them across the Sai river and then through natural paths to Thai territory.

Victory declared after yellow duck army reaches military HQ

ONE of the leaders of the People’s Party, Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, declared victory after the huge throng of demonstrators reached the entrance of 11th Infantry Regiment headquarters this evening (Nov. 29) and also announced the confiscation of the military complex for the people, Naewna newspaper reported.

The protesters had marched to this military headquarters from Bang Khen fire station near Wat Phra Sri Mahathat BTS station where they had assembled, bringing their yellow ducks along with them. A large number of policemen holding shields were guarding the entrance to the army complex.

Protest guards, soldiers gear up for this evening’s rally

BOTH People’s Party volunteer guards and soldiers at the 11th Infantry Regiment headquarters started preparing this evening’s (Nov. 29) demonstration with the former bringing pink plastic shields along with them and started closing inbound side of Phaholyothin road beneath Wat Phra Sri Mahathat BTS station, Naewna newspaper reported.

Today’s rally, entitled “Disarm Thai Feudalism,” was moved to the 11th Infantry Regiment from the 1st Infantry Regiment on Vibhavadi Rangsit road with the protesters assembling at this BTS station before moving to the military headquarters.

Police ready for rallies at department store, military unit

POLICE confirmed they are fully ready to supervise the gatherings by the People’s Party today (Nov. 29) at three possible areas mentioned in news reports. Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief Pol. Maj. Gen Piya Tawichai said one of the locations is Imperial Department Store Ladprao.

Thousands of protesters close Bangna intersection

THE lively and bustling demonstration that started in front of  Imperial World Samrong department store at 4 p.m. today (Nov. 28) had moved to Bangna intersection by nightfall with vocational guards taking care of the security, Siam Rath and Naewna newspapers reported.

Red-shirt movement members were among the various groups of protesters who joined today’s rally, entitled “Big rally, seize Bangna,” with students and the general public present. Members of Liberation from Dictatorship Organization, Samut Prakan Coalition and Assembly and the Labour Network for People’s Rights too showed up.

Covid-19 infected woman in Chiang Mai endangered over 300 people

A TOTAL of 326 people were exposed to a Thai woman who tested positive for Covid-19 in Chiang Mai yesterday (Nov. 27) after crossing over to Thailand from Myanmar and skipping the mandatory 14-day quarantine, Amarin TV reported this afternoon.

The Public Health Ministry said aside from those exposed to this virus at her condo this woman, 29, had put several others at risk of catching the deadly infection by staying overnight at a friend’s condo, visiting an entertainment venue and a shopping mall and using GrabCar rides a few times.