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Moves to remove police from Koh Tao murder probe

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Moves to remove police from Koh Tao murder probe
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The National Human Rights Commission will discuss next week what action should be taken after police again failed to answer a summons related to the much-publicised murders on Koh Tao.
Despite the summons, police failed to come before an NHRC subcommittee last week and also yesterday.

The subcommittee’s chairman Dr Niran Pitakwatchara, who is also an NHRC commissioner, yesterday said he would raise this issue with other commissioners during their meeting on November 12.

“By law, we can lodge a complaint with police against those who ignore our summons,” Niran said.

His subcommittee is looking into an allegation that two suspects, both Myanmar nationals, were tortured into confessing to the killing of two British tourists on Koh Tao.

The brutal crimes took place in mid-September, with the two Myanmar suspects being arrested amid speculation they might have been scapegoats.

The parents of the suspects are now in Thailand trying to seek help from various authorities, including the NHRC, as they believe their sons are innocent.

With help from various authorities, the parents yesterday called on the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to take over from police the probe into the murders of the two Britons.

Surapong Kongchantuk, who heads a panel extending help to the Myanmar suspects, said given that police were now a party to the conflict with the suspects who accused them of torture, the police should not be in charge of investigating the case anymore.

DSI chief Suwana Suwanjuta said her department would look into the parents’ petition and decide later as to whether this case should be treated as a special one.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Transport

Nearly 5,000 Thai Airways staff to deplane in voluntary resignations

The Thaiger

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Nearly 5,000 Thai Airways staff to deplane in voluntary resignations | The Thaiger

Officially, 4,977 staff at Thai Airways have applied for different stages of its Mutual Separation Plan for the survival of the airline. In other words they’ve been politely asked to resign. The airline employs about 20,000 people.

The beleaguered national carrier has endured a decade of substantial losses, endless headlines about systemic corruption, padded senior staff contracts and executive perks. In the midst of the impact from the border closures in April, Thai Airways executives again approached the Thai government for another cash bailout. But this time the Cabinet bristled and forced the airline into a “rehabilitation” program, effectively bankruptcy proceedings.

Acting Thai Airways president Chansin Treenuchagron said the airline offered the MSP to its staff because it had been loss-ridden and the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 caused it to undergo rehabilitation.

“Cargo and repatriation flights, food services from its catering department and the sales of Thai Airways souvenirs could not make up for lost revenue from the stalled passenger service.”

The airline management invited early retirement applications from October 19 to 28. During the period, 1,918 employees applied to retire on Dec 1; 2,699 employees wanted to leave with 20% salary payment for six months from November to April and would later apply for early retirement; and 360 employees applied for both choices.

“The applicants contributed to the survival of the airline”.

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Economy

US cuts Thailand’s tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute

The Thaiger

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US cuts Thailand’s tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute | The Thaiger

Thailand’s duty-free privileges for US$817 million in exports with the US are to be revoked from the end of this year, according to US President Trump in an announcement yesterday. The President blamed a lack of progress in opening the Thai market to US pork products. Trump’s letter announcing the action follows more than 2 years of threats and negotiations with Thai officials over issues ranging from access to Thailand’s markets for US goods and the documented inadequate labour rights in the south east Asian nation.

Washington will now eliminate some tariff benefits for Thailand, accusing the country of failing to allow imports of pork from US producers.

US cuts Thailand's tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: Global pork production in 2020, by country (in 1,000 metric tonnes) – statista.com

The suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences access follows a suspension earlier this year on about $1.3 billion worth imports from Thailand, which once had such privileges for about US$4.4 billion in exports to the United States.

The US Trade Representative’s office said the list of products includes mango, pineapple, manicure kits, steel pipes and precious stones., auto parts, dried produce, tools, electrical products and aluminium kitchenware.

Writing to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump said… “I have determined that Thailand has not assured the United States that Thailand will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”

GSP, Generalised System of Preferences, is a 70s-era program of US trade preferences for developing economies aimed at improving workers’ rights and access to broader markets.

“The US Trade Representative’s office also announced that it had closed other GSP eligibility reviews with no loss of benefits for Georgia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. It also said new GSP reviews were opened for Eritrea based on concerns about workers’ rights.”

SOURCE: Reuters | VOANews | statista.com

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Economy

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down

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Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | The Thaiger

US stocks closed lower yesterday to end an ugly week downbeat with ‘uncertainty’ remaining the overwhelming sentiment. Tech stocks led the march downwards. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in its biggest monthly collapse since March with investors reacting to rising Covid-19 cases in the US and Europe, peppered by nervousness ahead of next Tuesday’s US presidential election. The increased volatility forced all three major indexes seeing their biggest weekly declines since the worst of the coronavirus-inspired selloff 8 months ago.

The Dow fell around 157 points, to end near 26,502, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 lost around 40 points, or 1.2%, to finish near 3,270. The Nasdaq Composite gave up around 274 points, or 2.4%, closing near 10,912. The Dow had a 6.5% weekly fall and a 4.6% monthly drop. Friday’s decline saw the Nasdaq negative for the month of October, falling 2.3%. The Nasdaq was down 5.5% for the week.

The Dow dropped more than 500 points at its session low with tech stocks – primarily Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook – leading the market decline.

A number of stocks were on the move, down, following a slew of earnings, including from the tech giants. Twitter sank more than 20% on slowing growth, while Exxon reported its 3rd straight quarter of losses.

Key moments yesterday…

  • Dow closed down 0.59% for its 5th negative day out of 6
  • S&P 500 closed down 1.21% for its 4th negative day in 5
  • Dow closed down 6.47% this week for its worst week since March 20
  • S&P closed down 5.64% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the S&P lost 14.98%
  • S&P closed down 2.77% this month for its second-straight negative month
  • Nasdaq closed down 5.51% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the Nasdaq lost 12.64%

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | News by The Thaiger

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