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40 killed in two mosques. “One of New Zealand’s darkest days,” NZ PM

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40 killed in two mosques. “One of New Zealand’s darkest days,” NZ PM | The Thaiger
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At least 40 people have been killed and more than 20 seriously injured after gunmen opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch around lunchtime today. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack saying the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand.

She confirmed that thirty people were killed when gunmen stormed the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, Christchurch. Ten more people died at the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, including three who were found outside the building.

Both mosques are in Christchurch’s city centre. A total of 48 patients, including young children with gunshot wounds, were admitted to Christchurch hospital for treatment.

The NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush says four people have been taken into custody, three men and a woman. At least one is believed to be an Australian citizen.

Police do not believe there are any other suspects.

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were attached to vehicles as part of the attack. Bush these had now been “made safe”.

Police were still treating the incident as ongoing as the sun set on Christchurch this evening. Christchurch residents are being told to stay indoors and monitor the police website and social media.

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern described the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

“What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

Police said they have mobilised every national police resource to respond to the incident.

Authorities say they will discuss possible motivations or the causes of this incident at a later stage. However, in a Facebook post just before the attack, the account believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87 page anti-Muslim manifesto that was filled with anti-immigration propaganda and explanations for an attack.

40 killed in two mosques.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said that at least one of the individuals taken into custody is an Australian born citizen. He called shooting as being at hands of a “extremist right wing, violent terrorist” at a press conference Friday.

It is the busiest day for many mosques when Muslims convene for Friday prayers around lunchtime.

A witness inside one of the mosques says the gunmen came from the backside of the building. Gunshots went on for a long time.

“We had to jump the wall to escape. I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque.”

“I came to the street I saw one person got shot on his chest.”

He says that ambulances and police then arrived on the scene. He said that he had a friend in another mosque in the area had told him a gunman had opened fire there as well and five people were already dead.

Another witness said he was driving by the scene and saw a man “with his 3 or 4 year old daughter” who had been shot in the back.

“He was screaming to get her to the hospital and the ambulance couldn’t come in until it was secured so I just got my truck and loaded up him, and his daughter, and this other guy had been shot in the leg, and took them to the hospital”

40 killed in two mosques.

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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Owners of vehicles emitting black smoke to be fined up to 5,000 baht

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Owners of vehicles emitting black smoke to be fined up to 5,000 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS News

Owners of cars and trucks emitting an excessive amount of black smoke face a fine up to 5,000 baht. The heavy fine is an attempt to reduce air pollution in Bangkok. Along with the fine, the Department of Land Transport will also order the vehicle be suspended from use until its emission system is fixed.

According to the department, from October last year until January, 689,333 vehicles in Bangkok areas have been inspected for black smoke emissions, while 8,762 of them have been suspended from usage. Those vehicles emitting a high volume of smoke, but are under the safety standard, will receive warnings and owners are urged to check vehicle conditions and keep proper maintenance.

Vehicles with exceeding black smoke are urged to check their vehicles at the department’s certified vehicle inspection centres located around Bangkok’s outskirts, including Phutthamonthon, Romklao, and Khlong Luang areas. Motorists are also encouraged to help reduce air pollution caused by black smoke and PM2.5 particles by having their vehicles regularly serviced or alternately switching to electric or NGV-powered vehicles.

People who witness vehicles emitting black smoke can also report the authorities by calling 1584, or contact Line: @1584DLT, or via DLT GPS mobile application.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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World

Florida is ready to host Olympics if Tokyo draws back

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Florida is ready to host Olympics if Tokyo draws back | The Thaiger
PHOTO: abc News

If Tokyo backs out of hosting the Olympics, Florida might step in. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled for this July. With a fairly unpredictable future, Tokyo could back out of its plan to host the Olympics. Florida’s chief financial officer says the Sunshine State is ready.

The CFO, Jimmy Patronis, sent a letter to the head of the International Olympic Committee saying he encourages him to consider relocating the games to Florida.

In a letter, he pointed out strong points of Florida that make it a good site for the games, including the state’s vaccination roll-out, reopening of businesses, and ongoing sports events hosted in the state during the pandemic. Tampa, Florida is also set to host the 55th Super Bowl on February 7.

“Whatever precautions are required let’s figure it out and get it done.”

Although businesses are open and sports events still going on, Florida is rated as the third state with the highest number of Covid-19 cases with a total of 1,658,169 reported cases and 25,446 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

“With media reports of leaders in Japan ‘privately’ concluding that they are too concerned about the pandemic for the 2021 Olympics to take place, there is still time to deploy a site selection team to Florida.”

But those planning the Tokyo games say they’re sticking with the plan to host the Olympics from July 23 until August 8. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also says he’s keeping to the plan.

“I am determined to realise a safe and secure Tokyo Games as proof that mankind will have overcome the virus.”

SOURCE:AFP

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