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A mid June summit in Singapore – The Trump/Kim meeting

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Mid June. Singapore. That’s the latest betting for the proposed meeting between North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong Un and the US Dear Leader President Donald Trump.

Many Asian nations have put up their hands to host the historic summit with Thailand being a favourite a few weeks ago, citing it’s long term relationship with the US, neutrality over the ongoing North Korean politics, security, ease of media coverage and great photo opportunities.

Who wouldn’t love to see President Kim Jong Un and President Trump dressed up as the cast from the popular soap opera “Bupphesaniwat” (Love Destiny)”?

But this week the ‘most likely’ location is Singapore in mid-June, according to South Korea’s largest newspaper.

Citing diplomatic sources in Washington, the Chosun Ilbo is reporting that Singapore is deemed the ‘strongest’ candidate to host the summit, although there is still a possibility that Trump “who likes dramatic effects” would choose Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zine at the last minute.

In its front page report, the Korean language paper also said the meeting will most likely be held in the third week of June (9-15), after Trump visits Canada for the G-7 summit on June 8-9.

Trump announced on Friday that a date and venue has been set for his meeting with Mr Kim.

“We’ll be announcing it soon,” he told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Texas, without elaborating.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the denuclearisation of North Korea during their meeting, which comes weeks after Kim Travelled to the truce village of Panmunjom located in the North-South border to meet South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Kim reportedly wanted to meet in Pyongyang, but was later persuaded to travel to Mongolia, a country which has diplomatic ties with both the US and North Korea and is accessible by rail so Kim can travel there in his bulletproof train.

European countries Sweden and Switzerland have both offered to host the summit, but were ruled out due to distance from Pyongyang.

South-east Asian countries Indonesia and Thailand have also expressed willingness to play host.US officials reportedly prefer Singapore, which is well known for its security.

“Singapore’s neutrality is a draw for both (US and North Korea). Public security is not a worry. Both Pyongyang and Washington have embassies here. The US is also favourable towards a location with prestige and glamour.

“Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, however, said on April 28 that the city state has not received any formal invitations or request to host the summit. Meanwhile, the White House said that President Trump will host his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae In for talks at the White House on May 22.

A mid June summit in Singapore - The Trump/Kim meeting | News by ThaigerSOURCES: The Straits Times, The Thaiger, The Nation

 

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Thailand

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has reported a total of 81,274 Covid-19 infections and 382 coronavirus-related deaths.

Thailand now has 29,473 active Covid-19 cases. Most patients with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. More than 1,000 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition including 380 people on ventilators.

Out of the 2,419 new cases, more than 1,000 cases were detected in Bangkok. Most cases were local transmissions or detected through active case finding.

Of the 19 new coronavirus-related deaths, most were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. The majority of deaths were the elderly and many of them contracted the virus from infected family members or friends.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Khlong Toey slum. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders. CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says active case finding in Bangkok clusters have been “beefed up.”

With cases in Bangkok still on the rise, the current disease control measures imposed in the capital will be extended until May 17. Schools and entertainment venues must remain closed.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New Cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 1,112 18,029
Nonthaburi 217 3,249
Samut Prakan 114 3,016
Prachuap Kiri Khan 100 1,267
Pathum Thani 93 1,192
Samut Sakhon 77 1,376
Chon Buri 72 3,200
Prachin Buri 63 284
Ranong 50 379
Surat Thani 35 1,070

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toey 37
Ratchathewi 26
Pathumwan 24
Bang Kapi 13
Chatuchak 11
Don Mueang 9
Lat Phrao 9
Dusit 8
Yan Nawa 7
Wang Thonglang 7

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 7 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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Crime

Thai woman admits to stealing lottery tickets from blind ticket seller in Bangkok

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A 57 year old Thai woman is admitting to stealing lottery tickets from a blind seller in Bangkok. The woman, Sumali Muangpluem, is now under arrest for allegedly stealing from the disabled seller in the underground Sutthisan Station train between November 25-27 of last year. Sutthisan police say they collected evidence of the same type of theft in many districts, leading them issuing an arrest warrant for Sumali.

Police say their investigations revealed that the suspect would approach blind lottery ticket sellers while holding several tickets in her left hand. She would then use the right hand to pretend she was choosing a ticket and pull all of the tickets off at once so that the lottery seller would only hear one ticket being pulled. She would then hand some tickets to the seller while she hid the rest so onlookers wouldn’t notice. She would then put the tickets in her bag while talking to the seller at the same time to keep her from noticing.

They say the suspect would then tell the seller she would be back to get the tickets and would leave money for the seller in the form of a deposit. One seller said he was keeping in regular touch with police as the same woman kept stealing lottery tickets from other blind sellers. He says he is afraid the suspect may hurt him because he filed a police report against her.

Police say Sumali has stolen about 450 tickets, valued at over 45,000 baht. They say she has stolen tickets at Victory Monument, Payathai, and Bang Na train stations in Bangkok.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

 

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Thailand

Thailand to remain on US Trade watch list over online piracy and intellectual property violations

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Stock photo by Christin Hume for Unsplash

Thailand is to remain on the US Trade Representative’s watch list as it tackles intellectual property violations and online piracy. Director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, says the USTR made the announcement in its annual report that was released April 30. The report includes findings for more than 100 trading partners after engaging with stakeholders and further research.

“The US government admires the Thai government’s and Commerce Ministry’s progress in preventing IP infringement, the continuous development of IP protection and crackdowns on violations in both the offline and online markets.”

The report indicated that Thailand continues to make progress by seizing counterfeit and pirated goods and has increased efforts to combat the sale of those goods online, and publishing its efforts. It also noted that Thailand increased its efforts against online piracy, through intra-agency coordination, but concerns still remain as counterfeit and pirated goods are still readily available in markets and online.

In addition, the US has urged Thailand to ensure that amendments to its Copyright Act address concerns expressed by the US and other foreign governments and stakeholders, including overly broad technological protection measure exceptions, procedural obstacles to enforcement against unauthorised camcording, and unauthorised collective management organisations.

Vuttikrai has pledged to work with US agencies to build an IP work plan to remove Thailand from all US lists in the future. He said IP rights protections should lead to more Thais benefitting from IP, leading to an increase in the country’s competitiveness and economic development. But he has not released details on the counter-measures to be taken that would ensure the government is continuing to make strides towards addressing the issue of counterfeit and pirated goods even further.

Last year, the USTR released its annual report on Intellectual Property Protection and Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, with Thailand being included among 22 other countries on the Watch List:

  • Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/USTR.gov

 

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