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Belarusian prostitute has her day in BKK court

Tanutam Thawan

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Anastasia Vashukevich, the Belarusian model and self-branded sex-guru detained in Bangkok, who made extravagant claims about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, is due in court today. She has offered to dump on several Russian businessmen linked with Russian President Putin with alleged links to US businessmen and politicians close to the US President.

Anastasia Vashukevich, AKA Nastya Rybka, was one of nine foreigners arrested in Pattaya last February after raids on so-called sex courses where participants paid 20,000 for training with the promise of a certificate if they completed the course.

Police originally help them over visa and work permit issues but she was eventually charged with soliciting and ‘criminal association’ by Pattaya Police. Three participants, who were arrested at the same time as Anastasia, have either been deported or are awaiting deportation according to Thai immigration officials.

“Thai Immigration is dancing to the tune of Russia and will simply kill us if Thailand gives us to Russia.” Instagram/Nastya_Rybka.ru

After an offer to provide ‘information’ about overheard and recorded conversations to American officials, in a swap for seeking asylum, American officials, journalists and, reportedly, the FBI, rushed to Bangkok seeking to get the story. They were politely refused access to the Belarusian media attention-seeker. She made her offer in a video on her Instagram account.

In the video she named names and cast out the line for diplomats, officials and media to bite. They did.

“They are trying to put us behind bars. That is why I am ready to tell you about all those missing puzzle pieces that you lack regarding a link between our esteemed lawmakers and Paul Manafort, Trump and all this brouhaha” she said in the video.

Despite all the ‘brouhaha’ Nastya/Anastasia hasn’t so far been able to pass on anything even vaguely interesting either because she hasn’t had the chance or is waiting for some guarantees from US officials before she spills the beans. She has written a book in the past about seducing Russian Oligarchs, a book that hasn’t made any of the Eastern European best seller list so far.

Her video showing  Russia’s deputy PM, Sergei Prikhodko, cavorting on an expensive yacht owned by mining billionaire Oleg Deripaska shows she was ‘connections’ but the video and her claims about people in the video are now the subject of legal proceedings. Vashukevich had an affair with Deripaska. Deripaska, a mining tycoon, was once an associate of the US President’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort who has now been indicted on money-laundering and tax charges.

“I am the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the US elections – the long chain of Oleg Deripaska, Prikhodko, Manafort, and Trump.” Instagram/Nastya_Rybka.ru

She has her day in a Thai court today where, hopefully, she will feel inclined to share more information, if only to save herself from imminent deportation back to Russia.

- Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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National

Singapore Airlines back on top. Thai Airways in 10th place.

Tanutam Thawan

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PHOTO: Flyer Talk

Singapore Airlines is back on top after a decade held out of the top airline position by middle-eastern competition. It’s their fourth win since the Skytrax World Airline awards started back in 2001.

The island nation’s national carrier was named Airline of the Year at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline awards. Singapore Airlines was last top of the list in 2008. This year it forced out last year’s top honours winner, Qatar Airways, into second place.

Yeoh Phee Teik, Singapore Airlines’s senior vice president of customer experience, said “We’re very ecstatic.”

The airline  also claimed best airline in Asia, best first class and best first class seat.

Asian airlines made a return to the winner’s list this year with ANA All Nippon Airways receiving third place, Taiwan’s EVA Air in 5th position, Cathay Pacific in 6th, Hainan Airlines in 7th, Garuda Airlines in 9th (an extraordinary achievement considering their reputation only a decade ago) and Thai Airways in 10th place.

Singapore’s victory marked a resurgence in Asian carriers in the annual UK-based aviation industry review. Skytrax began its awards in 2001 and is recognised for its fairness due to passengers voting in all categories. Aside from a win by Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific back in 2014, all past seven years have all gone to middle east based airlines.

“We’re glad that our work has been recognised and our customers have voted for us to be the world’s best,” said Yeoh.

Garuda Airlines, which has turned its service around since the early days of Skytrax, when it was banned from flying into European airspace, was presented with the prize for best cabin staff along with its 9th place overall.

Not one US airline picked up a single award.

Locally Air Asia picked up an award for Best low coast airline – Asia, Thai Airways won the award for best airline catering in Economy Class (The Thaiger thinks the voters weren’t flying on the same flight when Thaiger experienced the economy class ‘food’) and Bangkok Ailines won Best Regional Airline – Asia.

The top 10 world’s best airlines for 2018
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. ANA All Nippon Airways
4. Emirates
5. EVA Air
6. Cathay Pacific
7. Lufthansa
8. Hainan Airlines
9. Garuda Indonesia
10. Thai Airways

Best airlines by global region
Northern Europe – Finnair
Western Europe – Lufthansa
Eastern Europe – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Africa – Ethiopian Airlines
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airlines
Central Asia / India – Air Astana
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Avianca
North America– Air Canada
Asia – Singapore Airlines
Middle East – Qatar Airways
Europe – Lufthansa

Best low-cost airlines
Africa – Mango
Australia & Pacific – Jetstar Airways
Asia – AirAsia
Central Asia / India – Indigo
China – West Air
South America – Sky Airline
North America – WestJet
Middle East – Flynas
Europe – Norwegian

Best airline catering
Economy – Thai Airways
Premium economy – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Business – Austrian Airlines
First class – Air France

Best airline seats
Economy – Japan Airlines
Premium economy – Air New Zealand
Business – Qatar Airways
First class – Singapore Airlines

Best regional airlines
Africa – Royal Air Maroc
Asia – Bangkok Airways
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Central Asia / India – Azerbaijan Airlines
Europe – Aegean Airlines

Best airline lounges
First class – Qatar Airways
Airline alliance lounge – Star Alliance Los Angeles
Independent airport lounge – Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal Two
First class lounge dining – Air France
Airline lounge spa facility – Thai Awards

Best airlines staff service by global region
Africa – South African Airways
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airways
Central Asia / India – Vistara
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Asia – ANA All Nippon Airways
Middle East – Emirates
Europe – Austrian Airlines

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National

Three dead in light aircraft crash in Khon Kaen

Tanutam Thawan

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PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

A small privately-owned plane* has crashed in a field in Khon Kaen, north-east Thailand, this morning (July 18). Three people are reported dead.

Chonnabot Police in Khon Kaen were notified of the incident from locals saying that a small aircraft crashed into a field and burst into flames in Baan Hooling in Chonnabot district at 9am.

Three people have been reported dead including the captain and two passengers. Police, rescue workers and fire fighters rushed to the scene. The national Police Commander Jakthip Chaijinda has ordered the Region 4 police to investigate the incident.

*Thai PBS has reported that it wasn’t a light plane but a helicopter…

A private helicopter crashed in Chonnabot district of the northeastern province of Khon Kaen on Wednesday morning (July 18), killing three people on board, police said. Pol Col Kirati Amornpatpanin, the Chonnabot police chief, said the helicopter crashed at about 9am in a rice field near Ban Nong Pling in Tambon Wang Saeng and went up in flames.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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National

Thaiger Radio News – Wednesday

Tanutam Thawan

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