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TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING – All your local news in 3 minutes

Tim Newton

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TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING – All your local news in 3 minutes | The Thaiger

Welcome to your Tuesday in Phuket. Another excellent day on the way with only a 10% chance of rain later on. The forecast says ‘Mostly sunny’. Back to work and school following your day off (if you were lucky enough to have a long weekend). Here’s today’s main headlines…

Change.org calls for General Prawit to step down

An online campaign has been launched with the objective of pressuring Deputy PM and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon to step down over his offhand comments about the death of a cadet that has seized national headlines. The campaign on Change.org says “Prawit should resign to take responsibility for what he said about the death of cadet Phakhapong Tanyakan.”.

More than 1,400 people having signed their names in support of the petition so far. Phakhapong, an 18-year-old student at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School (AFAPS), died in suspicious circumstances at the academy on October 17.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Australian plunges to his death in Pattaya

An Australian man has fallen to his death from his room at a Pattaya hotel.

The body of 63 year old Cook Philip James was found on the ground next to the hotel’s swimming pool. Staff said he had been living alone in a seventh-floor room for many days. A Thai woman had visited him occasionally but she had not been seen for a while. The body has been sent for an autopsy at the Police Hospital in Bangkok.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

EU resuming politics contacts with Thailand

The EU say they’re ready to resume political contacts “at all levels” with Thailand, more than three years after suspending them in protest at the military coup in May 2014.

The EU bloc says developments in Thailand this year, including the adoption of a new constitution and a pledge by junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to hold elections in November 2018, meant it was “appropriate” to resume ties.But the European Union repeated its call for the restoration of full democracy and says it was still concerned about harassment of human rights activists and the curtailing of free speech in Thailand.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Seizure of 610 kilograms of ‘Premium Gold’ marijuana

The Royal Thai Navy’s Mekong patrol unit has seized 610 kilograms of “premium gold” quality marijuana in Nakhon Phanom, as smugglers tried to cross the Mekong River.

Undercover officers staked out at a spot on the Mekong River by disguising themselves as fishermen. The officers saw a large boat crossing from Laos and, after identifying themselves, ordered it to stop. The boat’s skipper instead drove the boat to a pier and then fled on foot into the darkness. 15 bags were found on the boat with 610 bars of dried, compressed marijuana in gold foil wrappers.

Police say the shipment was heading to the South to be smuggled to a destination in Europe, where it would have fetched 100,000 baht per kilogram.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Toon comes down with a cold

Charity hero Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai has been forced to take some time off after going down with a cold.

Toon had already taken Sunday off as a scheduled rest day after reaching Nan but was due to resume his run yesterday.

The musician’s charity run has been going for 41 days, 32 days he’s actually been pounding the pavement, covering 1,510 km. The event has so far raised 719 million baht.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Phuket Land Transport launch new bus App

The Phuket Land Transport Office is launching a new application called “Bus Beam” connecting people with public transportations, gathering all the schedules for bus services around Phuket. There are 6 bus operators who have joined the application so far.

After a ceremony at Provincial Hall, an MOU was signed between Phuket Land Transport Office and the 6 operators who will be the first to provide bus schedules available on the app. The App is expected to be available in English and Chinese by the end of January.

“Phuket Land Transport Office aims to accommodate people by making it more convenient to check where the bus is along with its schedule so we created a portable App available on everyone’s smartphone, both iOS and Android. This will also generate income for bus operators making it easier for locals and tourists to access the services,” said Phuket Land Transport Office Chief.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

World and local news & weather updates every 30 minutes on The Thaiger, Phuket’s 102.75 FM.

TUESDAY MORNING BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Pattaya. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Economy

Asia leads the world in medical tourism

Greeley Pulitzer

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Asia leads the world in medical tourism | The Thaiger

Over the past ten years, Asia has become a favourite destination for medical tourism for people from around the world. Besides the white sand beaches, historic monuments and rich cultural legacy, healthcare in Asia is now a major attraction. From transplants and surgeries to dental procedures and botox, people are turning to Asia.

But what makes Asia the most popular destination? Some say lack of specialised treatments in their home countries or the affordable cost of treatment in Asia: these combined with ease of travel and lax visa rules for medical treatment have opened vast avenues for the region.

In 2017, some one million medical tourists visited Malaysia and 3.3 million visited Thailand. India too saw a surge from 4,27,014 medical tourists in 2016 to 4,95,056 in 2017.

Here’s a look at the top Asian countries for various medical treatments:

Thailand is popular for breast implants and gender reassignment surgeries. Since 2003, the Thai Government has taken steps to make Thailand a global centre for medical tourism through its Centre of Excellent Health Care of Asia initiative, and now has 37 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals.

A 2016 WHO study revealed that medical tourists visiting Thailand were more likely to be residents of the eastern Mediterranean or south-east or south Asia. However, what makes the country a preferred destination is its world-class hospitality, highly specialised care and tailored care packages.

India is a favoured destination due to its its advanced technology, world-class surgeons and cost-effective treatments. Patients visit India not just for specialised treatment and surgeries but for routine check-ups as well.

India amended e-visa rules for 150 countries in 2016, making visa procurement easy for foreigners. India’s National Health Policy specifies that the government supports medical tourism and issues visas patients’ accompanying spouses.

Singapore is a choice for patients seeking state-of-the-art facilities, well trained doctors and quality care. Although it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, the city-state has more than 15 hospitals catering to medical tourists. Singapore was ranked the most attractive among seven Asian countries in terms of “patient experience”, but was also one of the least attractive in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Malaysia is picking up the pace and is a preferred destination for people from other Asian countries, especially Indonesia. Of one million medical tourists who visited the country in 2017, 600,000 were from Indonesia.

According to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Malaysia has set a target of at least one million medical tourists from Indonesia by 2020. Since the health ministry regulates the prices that private hospitals charge in Malaysia, quality care at affordable prices lures patients from across Asia and the world.

World-famous for its beauty clinics, South Korea’s ambitions go beyond cosmetic surgery. According to the South Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, about 3,64,000 foreign medical tourists visited the country in 2016, including patients from Canada, the USA, UAE, China and Japan.

South Korea’s healthcare system is considered one of the best in Asia and has established a niche in the medical technology industry. To promote medical tourism, the government offers a special visa to medical tourists and insurance that covers both injury and death resulting from medical treatment or procedures.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Bangkok

10 billionaires among Thailand’s 500 MPs

Greeley Pulitzer

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10 billionaires among Thailand’s 500 MPs | The Thaiger

Thailand has 10 billionaire MPs, while the poorest MP has just 5,064 baht in his bank account, according to reports from the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Of the 10 billionaire MPs, Mrs. Nathee Ratchakitprakarn, of the Bhumjaithai Party, wife of Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat, is the richest, with declared assets of about 4.675 billion baht.

The other nine billionaire MPs are:

Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Bhumjaithai party leader, deputy prime minister and public health minister, with 4.249 billion baht (including two planes, two boats, Buddha images worth 121 million baht and 395 million baht in bank deposits)

Bhumjaithai MP for Satun province, Mr. Piboon Ratchakitprakarn, with 2.342 billion baht

Mr. Suriya Juangroongruangkit, industry minister and Palang Pracharat MP, at 2.198 billion baht

Mr. Apichaiubon, Democrat party-list MP, with assets of 2.048 billion baht

Mr. Nataphol Teepsuwan, Palang Pracharat party-list MP and education minister, with 1.985 billion baht

Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich, deputy education minister and Democrat party-list MP, with 1.785 billion baht

Ms. Supamat Issarapakdi, Bhumjaithai party-list MP, who has 1.609 billion baht

Mr. Kittisak Khanasawat, Pheu, Thai MP for Maha Sarakham, with 1.529 billion baht

Democrat party-list MP Korn Chatikavanich, with 1.097 billion baht

PM’s Office Minister and Chart Pattana party-list MP Tewan Liptapallop, who has 1.03 billion baht

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai has assets of about 8 million baht

Of the 500 MPs, it appears that Mr. Phisanu Polatee, Bhumjaithai, MP for Pathum Thani province, has the least assets. There was, at the time reporting, only 5,064 baht in his bank account.

Earlier, he reported that he earned 14,000 baht a month from the Provincial Administration Organization. His earnings as an MP since May totaled 829,700 baht. He said he is living in the house of his mother and the car that he has been driving belongs to a friend.

Several MPs have not yet declared their assets to the NACC’s Office, including Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Future Forward MPs Pannika Wanich and Pitha Limcharonrat.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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