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FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING – All your local news in 3 minutes

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Friday. Only three more sleeps until Christmas. But we’ll be posting the latest news from around Phuket and Thailand right through the ‘silly season’. We urge you to take extra care on the roads in the traditional ‘seven dangerous days’. If you do head out to celebrate, catch a taxi or get someone sober to take you home. We want to welcome you, safe and happy, into 2018. Here’s today’s main news stories from Phuket and the region…

Laypang Beach – 70% clear of illegal restaurants

Cherngtalay OrBorTor President, Ma-Ann Samran, visited Laypang Beach yesterday with about 30 military officers and municipality police to follow up on the progress of the demolition of restaurants encroaching illegally on Laypang Beach. The team found that 70% of the restaurants have already been removed.

(Earlier story HERE)

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

Local tour guides protesting at Promthep Cape

A group of local tour guides, who lead Chinese tours, have been protesting at Promthep Cape against workers, they claim, are illegal Chinese tour guides taking their jobs in tour companies.

The group is calling for help from local authorities, saying that the tour companies stopped hiring Thai national tour guides and hire Chinese national tour guides instead, which is illegal. Chalong police have addressed the protesters complaints and promise to enforce the law on the illegal tour guides.

The Tourist Police also claim they do their best to enforce the laws regarding illegal tour guides and say there have been more than 100 cases that have been prosecuted during the past year.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

Helmet campaign launched in BKK

A campaign to make Bangkok a model “100 per cent safety-helmet city” was launched yesterday.

The campaign, equipped with 1,500 motorcycle helmets, will see traffic police loaning helmets to motorists caught when not wearing one. 1,500 helmets… 12 million people. Well at least it’s a start.

The campaign coincides with the New Year 2018 holidays’ seven-day road accident-monitoring period starting December 28. Nearly 1.3 million people die worldwide in road crashes each year, with another 20-50 million are injured or disabled. Thailand has recently made its way to the top of the worlds list for having the most dangerous roads and the highest road fatality rate, mostly motorcycle riders.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

High speed rail officially launched

The government is pushing on with its high speed rail ambitions and set a new target to call for construction bids for the 179-billion baht, 252 kilometre Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway by the end of next year.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the commencement of the project in partnership with China at a historical site in Nakhon Ratchasima province, where King Rama V initiated construction of the country’s first Northeast-bound railroad more than a century ago. The ceremony was also attended by a senior representative from the Chinese government, which signed a bilateral agreement with Thailand to provide high-speed train technology in late 2014.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

Pattaya tiger zoo under fire

A Thai zoo in Pattaya is getting all the wrong publicity after a video has been posted showing staff repeatedly prodding a tiger to get the animal to roar for tourist photos..

The clip shows the Pattaya zoo attendant jabbing the chained animal in the face with a stick as tourists take turns posing with or sitting on top of the big cat for pictures. A spokesperson for the zoo, The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm claims the tiger attendant had been transferred to another job over the incident.

Tourist dollars and the lure of animal selfies provide a lucrative but controversial wildlife tourism industry in Thailand, where opportunities to ride elephants, hold monkeys and pat tigers are all available at a price. Just earlier this month in Phuket, boxer Floyd Mayweather posted photos on his Instagram account showing him riding an elephant.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Edwin Wiek

UN envoy banned from Myanmar

The UN’s rights envoy for Myanmar says the government had banned her from the country, adding her exclusion suggests something “awful” is happening in Rakhine state.

UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee had been due to visit Myanmar to assess the state of human rights across the country including in Rakhine, which was plunged into crisis by a military crackdown on the Rohingya minority Muslim community in late August. The UN has accused troops of ethnic cleansing; charges the Myanmar government is vigorously denying.

The South Korean academic said she was told the decision was based on a statement she made after her last visit to Myanmar in July, in which she sharply criticised the government’s rights record and its treatment of the Rohingya.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

-5 degrees ‘coldest ever’

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand says that the ground-level temperatures hit minus 5 degrees Celsius at its observatory in the Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai yesterday. Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s highest mountain.

The institute said the area around the observatory was also covered by frost. They say it’s the lowest temperature they’d ever recorded.

FRIDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your local news in 3 minutes | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Real frost. In Thailand!

Sources for our daily news briefs from The Nation, Phuket Gazette and VOA.

 

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