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Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

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There’s a link to the final story underneath the video on YouTube. Here we go for Thai PM extends emergency decree to January next year.

The government will extend a nationwide emergency decree until at least January 15 next year.

The PM has cited the need to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections during the peak New Year’s travel period. The impasse with protesters was not brought up as a reason to extend the current Emergency Decree.

The proposed extension will require official endorsement by the Thai Cabinet next week. It will be the 8th extension to the Emergency Decree which was first invoked in March this year.

After discussions, a decision to reduce the current 14 day mandatory quarantine has been deferred for now. But the CCSA did approve the use of golf resorts as quarantine centres.

6 protesters shot with live rounds in Bangkok, but police deny the claims

6 protesters were reportedly shot in yesterday’s chaos as police tried to repel advancing anti-government protesters as they attempted to march to the front of the Thai Parliament.

They were shot with live rounds according to medical staff who attended to their injuries. Inside the parliament lawmakers debated proposals for possible constitutional reform. At this stage it is not clear who opened fire.

Police also used tear gas and tear gas-laced water from a high powered water cannon truck on demonstrators. Protesters pushed through barricades of concrete blocks and razor wire, laid earlier in the day by police, to make their way to the front of parliament. The police maintain they were within their rights to defend the parliament building and its occupants.

According to the Erawan Emergency Medical Centre, ambulance officers and medical coordination officials, more than 50 people were injured in the melee, mostly caused by tear gas fumes. They also reported that 6 people were shot. Later in the afternoon Royalist and pro-government supporters were seen throwing bricks and other objects at protesters. Police have denied the use of live rounds or rubber bullets.

Deputy PM says rise of Thai baht is only temporary

The Deputy PM says that, while the Bank of Thailand is monitoring the current appreciation of the Thai baht, he believes the rise is only temporary.

He says the appreciation is being driven by foreign investors turning to the markets as they seek to make a profit by the end of the year.

The baht has appreciated 8.2% since April against the US dollar and now sits at around 30.34 baht to the USD. The BoT is blaming speculators for the current popularity of the Thai baht, a floating currency at the mercy of the world’s currency markets and speculators since 1997.

Thai law to be amended to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks

The Thai Cabinet has approved an amendment to the country’s laws that will permit abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The cabinet has approved to amend the law of abortion in the Thailand Criminal Code for women who are not more than 12 weeks pregnant, and can be legally aborted. In the announcement the cabinet said that the 12 week period of pregnancy is a safe period for abortion confirmed by the Medical Council of Thailand and The Royal Thai College of the Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

As far as we know there are no females in the Thai cabinet.

Taxi drivers in Bangkok can now charge “handling fees” for luggage

Bangkok taxis can now start charging passengers extra for large luggage items with handling fees ranging from 20 to 100 baht per item.

Under the new regulations, taxi drivers are required to tell passengers about the extra costs before the ride.

Bags larger than 26 inches will be 20 baht and items larger than 50 inches will be no more than 100 baht. Other large items like sports equipment, bicycles, surfboards or musical instruments can be charged up to 100 baht as well.

The Transport Ministry says people will not be charged extra for handicap equipment like wheelchairs and walking sticks.

Tracking down “The Beach” – the inspiration for the 2000 Hollywood movie

Tourists flocked to Maya Bay, you know ‘The Beach’ featured in the 2000 movie starring Leonardo de Caprio and directed by Danny Boyle.

Since 2000, the tourist magnet on Koh Phi Phi Ley became a Mecca for the back-packer crowd followed by a mass tourist flock, bringing some 5,000+ tourists to the small bay every day at its peak.

In June 2018 Thai marine officials and the management of the national park controlling the Phi Phi islands banned visits to Maya Bay. The pilgrimage to The Beach was over and the environmentally abused bay got a chance to recover.

But Maya Bay, used in the film, wasn’t even the inspiration for the original novel that spawned the film. The ‘actual’ beach was, probably, a secluded little stretch of sand on Koh Pha Ngan, on the other side of the Malay Peninsula from Koh Phi Phi Ley, in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Samui.

The resort, and the beach along the front of the wellness resort is called The Sanctuary.

 

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1 Comment

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  1. Avatar

    sigrun

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    6 protesters shot by bullets, they are unarmed students, Police denial? Anyone can here gunfire Police are armed, so who else can be there shooting without Police shooting them dead????

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Crime

Man arrested for allegedly exchanging fake US bills for 1.2 million baht

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A man was arrested in Bangkok for allegedly exchanging counterfeit foreign bank notes at a currency exchange kiosk, taking off with 1.2 million baht.

Police say Thanat Amatawimut, a 42 year old building contractor, exchanged 360 fake $100 USD bills for 1.2 million baht at a kiosk in Bangkok back in 2019. The staff accepted the cash, but later realised the bills were fake and attempted to contact Thanat. A complaint was later filed at the Lumpini police station. The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant last October.

Thanat was arrested in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district yesterday. He denied the charges.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals

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Photo by PR Phuket

2,473 new Covid-19 cases and 35 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. The majority of the new cases are local transmissions, primarily in Bangkok. 680 of the new cases were detected in prisons.

Thailand now has 42,988 active Covid-19 cases, a record high for the country. Out of those cases, more than 10,000 are linked to outbreaks at prisons. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 113,555 Covid-19 infections.

35 deaths involving Covid-19 patients were reported today, raising the pandemic’s death toll in Thailand to 649. Most of the new fatalities were reported in Bangkok.

Bangkok remains the epicentre in the latest wave of infections. The capital reported 873, raising the total since April 1 to 28,658.

There are now 29 Covid-19 clusters in 19 districts in Bangkok. The government has set up several locations for active case finding to contain the spread of the virus.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English, adds that Thai authorities are taking border breaches very seriously and security has tightened at land and sea borders as there have been a number of illegal entries involving those coming from neighbouring countries. Heightened border patrol has been an effort to prevent Covid-19 from being imported into Thailand.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 infections…

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 873 28,658
Nonthaburi 155 4,757
Samut Prakan 121 4,329
Pathum Thani 117 2,467
Samut Sakhon 63 1,930
Phetchaburi 43 645
Chon Buri 33 3,768
Nakhon Si Thammarat 30 757
Songkhla 29 1,041
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 28 936

Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Education Ministry launches online platform as schools’ reopening plans delayed

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Thailand’s Education Ministry is launching an online platform for public school students who are, once again, being forced to learn at home due to restrictions and limitations imposed by the government.

The third wave of the virus has prompted authorities to postpone the reopening of government schools from May 17 (yesterday) to June 1. However, as daily infections keep rising, that date may be amended again.

As the future of the pandemic is unclear, the Ministry has launched www.ครูพร้อม.com, an online platform titled Kru Prom or Teachers Ready in English. The portal features content under 6 categories featuring the word “Wanna” in reference to the more grammatically correct English words of “Want to.” The Wanna Know page, is dedicated to educators as it features e-books to help them boost their skills.

Wanna Learn, Wanna Know, Wanna Teach, Wanna Do, Wanna Watch, and Wanna Share are the categories that students can choose from. Each category has a wide range of choices for students that includes different types of media for each lesson.

Students or teachers are not required to use the new Kru Prom platform, as the Education Ministry says it is just an alternative for those who are interested in learning more. Likewise, teachers are not being told they must compile reports over the platform and it won’t be included in their performance evaluations.

The Ministry has also noted that the platform can be used, even while physically attending school, as a supplement to students’ learning.

Prominent education academic, Athapol Anunthavorasakul, is not impressed with the idea as he says children are exhausted from online/offline classes. He says children should be allowed to play during the break, even if it is extended. He says the most schools should require over the break, is for the students to share what they had learned.

But the Ministry already has released plans that include online learning – once schools are allowed to reopen. The classes will be conducted using onsite, on air, on demand, online, on hand, and hybrid formats. The Ministry is also offering free internet packages to students to help them make the move to online learning. Meanwhile, the Education Minister says the website’s recent launch has proved popular on the first day, gaining thousands of hits.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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