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MC quits teenage-targeted NCPO propaganda TV show

The Thaiger & The Nation

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MC quits teenage-targeted NCPO propaganda TV show | The Thaiger

An MC of a junta-run TV program aimed at younger teenage viewers says her resignation from the show was due to “different working attitudes” while the junta government denied any involvement with the production.

Pawaran Bannarak announced her decision to quit “Thailand Moves Forward Teenage Edition” on Saturday.

“Because I love being an emcee so much, I can’t afford to make a half-hearted effort so I decided to resign,” Pawaran said on her Facebook account.

“The programme will continue. Everything will be the same except for the female host. I would like to give courage to whoever is going to take my place,” she added.

Her sudden exit brought the 28 year old former MC support and criticism for the weekly program run by the ruling NCPO. While the formal, half-hour version of “Thailand Moves Forward” has been aired every evening on every TV broadcasting channel, its 15 minute version for teenagers was launched in late February with the goal of promoting the government’s work among younger audiences.

Known for being keen on PR, though in what some consider an “old-fashioned” way, PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a revamp of “Thailand Moves Forward” once in 2016 after its ratings slumped. The teenage edition could also be considered part of the revamp and the “modernising” of the program.

Despite all efforts, “Thailand Moves Forward Teenage Edition” has been widely mocked for seemingly going against everything that the young generation likes – from production, costumes, stylists and emcee scripts.

“They look like production for 1990s teenagers, not 2018,” one comment said.

“I understand that the MCs did their best but the program’s mood and tone is wrong at all levels.”

Pawaran said later yesterday that she was not blaming anyone for her resignation, including the production team.

“My disappointment is also partly because of my own expectations that may not align with those of the team. Please don’t view me as being disrespectful to them,” she said. She also reiterated that her payment – a meagre 2,910 baht per episode, to host a program with a multi-million-baht budget, was not the reason why she wanted to leave.

The program’s budget has been set as 18 million baht with six contracts with private production companies, each worth 2.66 to 3.33 million baht, and 500,000 baht to hire a sign language interpreter.

Government Spokesperson Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that Pawaran’s exit should not affect the junta directly as the NCPO only provides content guidelines to the production team.

“Broadcasters take turns to be in charge of the program’s production and the NCPO doesn’t take part in that. Therefore, her resignation has nothing to do with us,” said Sansern, who is now also heading the Government Public Relations Department.

NCPO spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree added that Pawaran’s decision to resign should be seen as related to production management and not its content.

MC quits teenage-targeted NCPO propaganda TV show | News by The Thaiger

COMMENT

The Government’s soft-touch propaganda and daily broadcasts on national TV and radio are well-intentioned attempts at keeping Thais abreast of the Government’s work. They are nationalistic, old-fashioned and lack the touch of professional production – heavy on content and light on style – completely unappealing to modern viewers. The programs, on radio and TV, are over-long and perhaps lack sincerity and realism. In most cases audiences are left felling like they’ve just been chastised by the cranky teacher at school rather than informed or entertained.

Watching English-translations over the years, particularly the PMs Friday night monologue, it’s clear that as a career army professional and latter-day politician, Prayut’s skills do not stretch to being an engaging TV host.

The daily radio program, which all radio stations, including The Thaiger and other English-language stations operating in Thailand, carry between 6-6.20pm every night (except Fridays) is poorly produced, disjointed and a great time to switch over to Spotify. The Thaiger had meetings with the NBTC (national broadcast regulators) last year to offer a five minute English precise of the daily reporting from the program for the ‘farang’ radio audience so that expats could at least be kept up to speed on what the NCPO was up to. All smiles and nods but nothing eventuated.

The teenage version wreaks of well-intentioned but completely train-wreck TV that misses its target audience with overly-scripted musings from the NCPO coming out of the mouths of two perfectly adept young Thai presenters. That no one watches it, let alone its target audience, is hardly a surprise.

The Government is perhaps better skilled at fixing roads, amending constitutions, collecting taxes and conducting ‘attitude adjustments’ than it is at producing riveting TV and radio. Lead by example and let the Thai and other media report the actions of the NCPO, freely and fairly. There is still plenty of good-will towards the NCPO and their success in maintaining peace and order in the Kingdom.

Propaganda needs to be much slicker and nuanced in 2018 as the audience is wiser, more media-savvy and aware than it was in the 1930s when Joseph Goebbels introduced the modern era of government media manipulation.

Tim Newton – The Thaiger

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World

Nigerian astronaut needs $3 million to get home

The Thaiger

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Nigerian astronaut needs $3 million to get home | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Lost In Space? Or lost in reality? Maybe someone will fall for it – Lost in Space’s Jupiter 2

The Nigerians have somewhat of a reputation for scams and scammers. Who hasn’t received an email offering loads of cash in return for your bank account and a moderate deposit? But this letter takes the famous Nigerian Scam to another level. Or perhaps it’s true (we don’t think so…)?

Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde – Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Plot 555, Misau Street, PMB 437
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA

Dear Mr. Sir,

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.

In the 14 years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.

Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.

Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.

Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-XXXX only.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
XXXX@nasrda.gov.ng

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World

Thousands of Japanese rescuers looking for survivors of Typhoon Hagibis

The Thaiger

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Thousands of Japanese rescuers looking for survivors of Typhoon Hagibis | The Thaiger

Thousands of rescue workers are searching for survivors from the fury of Typhoon Hagibis, two days after the storm slammed into Japan. As of the time of this post, the storm had killed at least 35 people.

(Video from Sky News below…)

Hagibis crashed into the country Saturday evening, but brought hours of torrential rains before it made landfall, causing landslides and filling rivers until they burst their banks.

More than 110,000 rescuers, including 31,000 troops, worked through the night searching for people trapped by the disaster. Local media report at least 35 people have been killed, with the Kyodo news agency reporting nearly 20 people were missing. Government figures from Sunday night were lower, though updates were expected throughout today.

While Hagibis, one of the most powerful storms to hit the Tokyo area in decades, packed wind gusts of up to 216 kilometres per hours (134 miles per hour), it was the heavy rains that caused most damage, with 21 rivers bursting their banks.

Thousands of Japanese rescuers looking for survivors of Typhoon Hagibis | News by The Thaiger

In central Nagano, a levee breach sent water from the Chikuma river gushing into residential neighbourhoods, flooding homes up to the second floor. Military and fire department helicopters winched survivors from roofs and balconies in several locations, but in Fukushima one operation went tragically awry when a woman died after falling while being rescued.

The destruction forced the Rugby World Cup being hosted by Japan to cancel several games, but the “Brave Blossoms”, as the national team is known, lifted spirits with a stunning 28-21 victory over Scotland on Sunday that put them into the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time.

Rescue efforts have been continuing this morning, with local television showing soldiers rowing a rubber rescue dingy through floodwaters in Fukushima, while elsewhere workers removed dirt with a digger.

Thousands of Japanese rescuers looking for survivors of Typhoon Hagibis | News by The Thaiger

The death toll mounted throughout yesterday as bodies were recovered from flooded homes and cars, buildings caught in landslides, and swollen rivers.

The dead included a municipal worker whose car was overcome by floodwaters and at least five Chinese crew members aboard a boat that sank in Tokyo Bay on Saturday night.

As of this morning, some 57,500 households remained without power, with 120,000 experiencing water outages. The disaster left tens of thousands of people in shelters, with many unsure when they would be able to return home.

But most subway trains have resumed service, along with many bullet train lines, and flights had also restarted.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse PHOTOS: AFP

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Events

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga – L’Etape Thailand on October 27

The Thaiger

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Tour De France comes to Phang Nga – L’Etape Thailand on October 27 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour De France

Thailand will be the first country in ASEAN to attract the world-class cycling event to Thailand for local and international cyclists to experience a challenging and scenic ride on a course comparable to the world’s most popular cycling event, The Tour De France.

The event is being held around Khao Lak in Phang Nga on October 27.

“L’Étape by Le Tour De France” will be an organised participation event allowing amateur cyclists to face the same challenges and race conditions as if they were riding in the Tour de France. Additionally, there will be activities and an Expo including a travelling Tour De France museum to welcome newcomers to the event.

L’Étape by Le Tour De France is one of the most popular events operated by Tour de France and been held in 11 countries over five continents. Its founding event, L’Étape du Tour, started in France in 1993, and expanded in the 2010s to the US, Australia, UK, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil and others. In 2017, there were about 50,000 participants.

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga - L'Etape Thailand on October 27 | News by The Thaiger

Here is a list of the Khao Lak events in Phang Nga…

The race 159 KM Super Early Bird (Limited)
• The race 159 KM (Individual)
• Thais baht 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 5 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 8 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 159 KM (Group 10 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM Super Early Bird (Limited)
• The race 70 KM (Individual)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners THB 2,600

The race 70 KM (Group 5 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM (Group 8 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

The race 70 KM (Group 10 Pax)
• Thais 2,500 baht
• Foreigners 2,600 baht

Tour De France comes to Phang Nga - L'Etape Thailand on October 27 | News by The Thaiger

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