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Intrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm

Tim Newton

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Intrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | The Thaiger
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Gloves on and umbrella up, Phuket’s Governor Noraphat Plodthong does his bit to help clean Karon Beach

Despite the postponement of the mega Phuket Hotels Association organised beach clean today, due to the inclement weather, many Phuketians still rolled up their sleeves to make a difference on Phuket’s beaches.

The Governor and representatives from local municipalities, police and the US Embassy in Bangkok still attended an official ‘launch’ of the Phuket Hotels Association Beach Clean initiative. PHA President Anthony Lark says the event will still be going ahead and hoped to announce some new dates early next week. Phuket’s Governor Noraphat Plodthong asked all Phuketians to focus on keeping the island’s beaches in pristine condition. The short ceremony at Karon Beach was followed by a mini-clean up.

Intrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The ThaigerIntrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The Thaiger

In Kata the bi-weekly Clean the Beach Boot Camp team wasn’t going to be put off by a bit of rain. Island fitness coach Krix Luther has been visiting different Phuket beaches for the past three years, every fortnight, to provide a free work-out in return for attendees helping to clean the beach. Between 30-60 locals and expats have been joining the group since it started. Today’s CBBC at Kata Beach was sponsored by Kata Sea Breeze and SIS Kata.

Intrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The ThaigerIntrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The Thaiger

Up north the UWC Thailand college put on their raincoats and headed to Nai Yang beach for a clean up. With a few breaks in the weather students were able to still fill tens of huge black plastic bags full of trash they recovered from the beach.

Intrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The ThaigerIntrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The ThaigerIntrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The ThaigerIntrepid beach cleaners head out into the storm | News by The Thaiger

The Phuket Hotels Association made an announcement early this morning, “Good morning, as we are experiencing even more severe weather and many hotels have cancelled the beach cleanup in their area. In the interest of safety, sadly we advise everybody that it is unrealistic to continue with the event today. Stay safe and dry, thank you for all your efforts.”

You can find out more about the work being done by the Phuket Hotels Association at their website.

Congratulations to all the people that made the effort to head out in the appalling weather to make a difference to our beautiful beaches.

PHOTOS: Jay Leshark, Knights Frank, Tim Newton

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. 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 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Thailand

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger

Last day of the week. Thought we’d go outside. Bad idea! Welcome to Friday’s Thailand News Today.

Royal Thai Army denies claims about Twitter campaign to spread pro-government propaganda

Following a shutdown of 926 Twitter accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army, documents were leaked of what appears to be a contract between the Army and a private company supposedly hired to spread pro-government propaganda.

But Thailand’s Army chief is denying the claims and says the Army never hired a company to spread pro-government propaganda through the over 900 Twitter accounts.

Last month, Twitter announced that it had suspended 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army for violating the social media company’s “platform manipulation” policies.

A report by an independent Cyber Policy Centre says the Army used Twitter to “cheerlead” with pro-government propaganda. The report says the Army used Twitter to criticise the now disbanded Future Forward Party and neutralise criticism after February’s mass shooting where an Army soldier killed 30 people and injured 57 others.

Former WTO director cautions against re-opening Thailand too quickly

The former director general of the World Trade Organisation has issued a caution against Thailand throwing open its borders too early.

Supachai Panitchpakdi says Covid-19 is still very much a threat, pointing to other countries that appear trapped in a cycle of restrictions and lockdowns. He said that the cycle in many Western countries is not just damaging their economies, it’s also leading to more infections and deaths and prolonging the time until the affected countries can restart their economies. He warns that re-opening Thailand’s borders too quickly could have long-term negative impacts for the Kingdom.

Within Thailand there is a polarised view as to whether Thailand should be broadly re-opening its borders or not. Successive polls show that the Thai population is, generally, suspicious about re-opening too soon, especially whilst parts of the rest of the world are still trying to contain their infection rates. On the other hand Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry has been decimated with millions unemployed.

Bangkok’s canal boat services go electric

A new electric passenger boat service started operating on Bangkok’s Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem today. The klong traverses the eastern side of Rattanakosin Island.

The Thai PM launched the service at the Hua Lamphong Railway Station Pier, and was a passenger on the first boat ride this morning.

There’s seven electric fibreglass boats in the initial service, each carrying 30 passengers.

The boats can run for four hours per charge at a speed of 10-15 kilometres per hour. There’s solar roof panels to help power the electric outboard motors.

The new e-boats operate from 6am-7pm, with a boat departing every 15 minutes. Good news, passengers can travel for free for the first six months of the service.

Thailand’s English level drops for the third year – English Proficiency Index

English skills in Thailand have dropped for the third year in a row with an English language proficiency score considered to be “very low.”

In the past year, Thailand’s ranking dropped from 74 out of 100 countries to 89, according to the 2020 English Proficiency Index by EF Education First. The index is based on test results from 2.2 million adults from 100 countries and regions.

Thailand scored 419 out of 800, which is considered “very low.” Thailand ranks 20 out of 24 countries surveyed in Asia and 7 out of 8 countries in Southeast Asia, just ahead of Myanmar in last place.

According to the report, the lack of English proficiency in Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka hampers access to jobs in the tourism industry which makes up more than10% of their economies.

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Road deaths

Local singer dies after crashing his car while on a video call

Caitlin Ashworth

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Local singer dies after crashing his car while on a video call | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

A Thai singer died after crashing his car into a lamppost while on a video call with his girlfriend. Thai media did not report on the estimated speed, but photos of the wreckage show severe damage. The roof ripped off the Toyota Altis and the car is almost unrecognisable.

23 year old Akkarachai, known as Ice, was found dead at the scene on Pahonyothin Road, or Route 1. He performed at many night venues and events around the Central Thailand province Chai Nat. Ice’s friend told police that he was on his way home to his girlfriend’s house in Nakhon Sawan about 25 kilometres away. While on the phone with his girlfriend, there was suddenly a loud noise and the phone went dead.

Chai Nat police warn people not to use their phones while driving.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Crime

9 arrested for allegedly embezzling more than 2.8 billion baht from Railway Club Cooperative funds

Caitlin Ashworth

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9 arrested for allegedly embezzling more than 2.8 billion baht from Railway Club Cooperative funds | The Thaiger
Line Today

Police arrested 9 people involved in the Railway Club Cooperative, including the former chief, on collusion charges for allegedly approving loans behind closed doors to embezzle a total of 2.8 billion baht from members’ funds.

Officers from the Central Investigation Bureau have been investigating since June 30 of last year. Investigators say the suspects approved loans without calling meetings for the roughly 2,300 cooperative members and used falsified documents to take out loans of about 15 million baht each.

When reviewing loan approvals made between January 2012 and November 2016, investigators say they found loans given to a hotel, housing estate, resort and property project. They say loans were also used to buy luxury cars and other valuables.

Officers from the bureau along with the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Office recently raided 26 locations in Bangkok, Phetchaburi, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi. Officers seized a total of more than 10 million baht as well as luxury cars.

The 9 suspects face charges of colluding in theft, falsifying documents, using fake documents and money laundering. Along with arresting the cooperative’s former chief executive, 70 year old Boonsong Hongthong, police arrested committee members 49 year old Pimpa Rodrassamee, 31 year old Orchanok Sa-ngadsap, 59 year old Weerachai Srisawat, 69 year old Surat Srisawat, 37 year old Prapat Srisawat, 44 year old Supakit On-aree, 63 year old Preecha Thanapairin and 40 year old Natyanit Mahachot.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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