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Saudi refugee granted asylum, flying to Canada

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Saudi refugee granted asylum, flying to Canada | The Thaiger

18 year old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun boarded a Korean Air flight last night, bound, ultimately for Toronto, Canada, via Seoul.

She came to public attention last weekend when she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room saying she had been abused by her Saudi family.

In a widely followed social media (Twitter) campaign, the plucky 18 year old explained she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life would have been in danger if Thai authorities had deported her back to Saudi Arabia.

Thai authorities, who initially threatened to deport her back to Saudi Arabia, say she was seen off by Canada’s ambassador to Thailand.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said his country responded to the request from the UNHCR to grant Miss Alqunun’s asylum

“Canada has been unequivocal that we’ll stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world. Australia too said it might offer sanctuary.”

Canada already has frosty relations with Riyadh over Canadian demands for the “immediate release” of jailed rights campaigners, including Samar Badawi, the sister of the Saudi jailed blogger Raif Badawi. His family lives in Quebec.

Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakpan says that Alqunun had refused to meet her father and brother who had flown to Bangkok, adding that they were “disappointed” and returning home.

“She chose Canada. Canada said it will accept her. She is safe now and has good physical and mental health. She is happy.”

Thai officials allowed her temporary protection of UN officials on Wednesday after initially threatening to deport her.

The case is the latest highlighting widespread subservient treatment of women in Saudi Arabia.

Australian Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne visited Thai officials in Bangkok Thursday to also raise concerns about Hakeem al-Araibi, a 25 year old former member of Bahrain’s national soccer team, currently detained in Thailand.

Al-Araibi was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017 but arrested on an Interpol notice in November while vacationing in Thailand.



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PM Prayut kicks the election can down the road

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PM Prayut kicks the election can down the road | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

February 24? No.

March? April? Maybe May?

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has reaffirmed today that election will definitely be held by May 9 but gave no indication when exactly it will take place. It’s the first time he’s ever uttered an actual date.

He says that under the new Thai Constitution, May 9 is the final date election can be held but that his government needs to start making preparations for the Royal Coronation. Under the Constitution, a general election must be held within 150 days after the law on MPs election was promulgated. That was December 9 last year.

He also made a plea to the Thai voters not to “get bored” with him saying his administration will have to be around for a little while longer.

The PM, speaking at a National Teacher’s Day function, said the country was advancing toward full democracy with the election to be held definitely by May 9.

The explained that the tentative date of February 24 was no longer legally possible given the fact that the Royal decree for the poll failed to be announced last week as widely expected.

Meanwhile the Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong yesterday warned the activists
“not to cross the line” in their plans for a protest this Friday. They’re demanding that the election must be held before March 10.

PM Prayut also pleaded asked the public for help to “maintain peace and order” during the lead-up and the coronation.  He said the election and the coronation ceremony are two separate issues and , therefore, should not be mixed together.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Thai Life

The internet booms and print languishes in 2019 advertising spend

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The internet booms and print languishes in 2019 advertising spend | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Digital advertising market spend is poised to reach 124 billion baht in 2019. That’s a growth of nearly 5%. But newspapers, magazines, Cable TV and radio are on the nose as marketers stick with terrestrial TV and ramp up their digital portfolios.

“Digital media is expected to grow 20% and is will nearly equal the value of TV advertising within 3 years,” says Pathamawan Sathaporn, managing director of Mindshare, a global marketing and media network.

Compared to the past year, advertising spend in cable TV and newspapers will be down nearly 15% and magazines a whopping 24%. At the same time Digital TV advertising is expected to increase 14% and internet advertising just over 20%.

According to Mindshare, the top 10 advertising sectors remain consistent… media and marketing, motor vehicles, non-alcoholic drinks, government, skincare and preparation, communications, leisure, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, and retail.

Mindshare say there are key trends for this year, all of them digital.

“Facebook Live and other streaming content providers will become a new method for marketers. Social networks are going to reach critical mass, outrunning traditional media with Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Line altogether making up one-third of digital advertising.”

In 2018, ad spending in Thailand was 118.4 billion baht, up 5.7% from 2017.

The internet booms and print languishes in 2019 advertising spend | News by The Thaiger

Pathamawan Sathaporn, managing director of Mindshare

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Bangkok

Air quality for Thailand – January 16

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Air quality for Thailand – January 16 | The Thaiger

Northern Thailand

Air quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Air quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Central Thailand

Air quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The ThaigerAir quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Southern Thailand

Air quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Air quality for Thailand - January 16 | News by The Thaiger

 

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