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Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7

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Today’s Thailand News Today with Tim Newton…

Zoos to be investigated for possible involvement in black market animal trade

Zoos across Thailand will be investigated for possible involvement in the black market wildlife trade. The probe follows a case where 2 rare albino barking deer went missing at Songkhla Zoo and a top zoo official investigating the disappearance was shot and killed at the zoo in an apparent murder-suicide.

The Zoological Park Organisation panel plans to look at the current state and numbers of animals at the zoos under their jurisdiction and determine if there are signs of illegal wildlife trading.

University alumni and students gather to commemorate the Thammasat University Massacre

A small gathering was held yesterday on the grounds of Bangkok’s Thammasat University Tha Prachan Campus commemorating the 44th anniversary of the ‘Thammasat University Massacre’, the violent crackdown on students by right-wing militia and army in the morning of October 6, 1976.

Pattaya woman accused of prostituting granddaughter to repay gambling debts

A 16 year old girl has been taken into care, amid reports her grandmother forced her to sleep with a loan shark, and a friend, to repay the older woman’s gambling debts. The 57 year old Pattaya woman faces charges of human trafficking and prostitution and a warrant has been issued for her arrest, as well as that of the loan shark and the friend, both of whom face human trafficking charges.

Poll finds many disagree with reopening borders, lack confidence in Covid-19 prevention measures

A number of people in a recent survey say they disagree with reopening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists. Many say they lack confidence in the government’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the move could cause a second wave of the virus.

The National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, conducted a random survey last week on 1,318 people of various ages and backgrounds. They were asked about the new Special Tourist Visa scheme which allows long term stays after tourists complete a 14 day quarantine.

57% disagreed with the Special Tourist Visa scheme

40.2% say it could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak

16.8% say they do not have confidence in the government’s coronavirus prevention measures.

42.3% agree with opening the border to foreign tourists, but say preventative measures must be in place.

The survey also asked which group of travellers they see as more of a threat of potentially spreading Covid-19.

50.2% say all travellers are an equal threat

31.1% say those crossing natural passageways are the highest threat

10.5% say those arriving by air are the highest threat

Phuket tourists to arrive ‘after Vegetarian Festival

The country’s first tourists to arrive since April’s border closures are not arriving tomorrow as originally expected. Phuket’s Governor now says they’ll be arriving after the island’s annual vegetarian festival which runs from October 17-25. He hasn’t clarified when he requested the delay for foreign tourists to start coming back to Phuket, and he hasn’t confirm exactly when the first tourists were expected, except that it will be after October 25.

Key foreign investors could be exempt from quarantine

Key foreign investors might be able to skip the 14 day quarantine required for travellers entering Thailand. The proposal would allow high-spend investors a free pass on the current, mandatory isolation period. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration is discussing the proposal today.

One of the ideas floated included having a health officer stay with each investor during their stay and act as a Covid chaperon.

Continuous rainfall, with isolated heavy showers, forecast for most of Thailand

The Thai Meteorological Department is forecasting plenty of rainfall for pretty much all of Thailand in the coming days. The TMD says the north-east, east, south and central region, including Bangkok, are all in for “continuous rainfall” and some isolated heavy showers. The heavy rain is expected to continue until around October 9, as a category 2 tropical depression in the South China Sea moves slowly west.

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    mike

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11:11 am

    It’s very simple everyone. The more money you have, the less chance you have of having COVID-19.

    Dear Rich People, please come to Thailand. Dear Poor People, you can’t come to Thailand.

  2. Avatar

    Ron Hamer

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    True
    Speaks loads of the culture

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American arrested for alleged murder in Chiang Mai has past record of abuse in Colorado

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Photo via Facebook/ตำรวจภูธรจังหวัดน่าน

The American man who was recently arrested for allegedly murdering his pregnant Thai wife in Chiang Mai had been sentenced to 2 years of probation back in 2019 on assault charges after his gun went off while he was threatening a woman in Colorado. A report from the Associated Press says it appears to be the same woman.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, had initially faced attempted murder charges for assaulting a woman in Longmont, Colorado, but those charges were dropped. A Boulder District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told a local reporter in a previous report that “in every case, we need witnesses to testify at a trial. Unfortunately, due to issues with the victim’s availability, the higher charge had to be dismissed.”

The victim had called the police saying Jason had asked to have sex and then assaulted her when she said “no,” according to the arrest report. She told police he hit her face and slammed her head onto the bed’s headboard several times before taking out a revolver and threatening to kill her, the report says. The woman told police she pushed the gun and it went off near her head.

Balzer pled guilty to third-degree assault in December 2019 and was sentenced to 2 years of probation. In December 2020, Jason was arrested in Colorado after police allegedly found 73 guns in his van. Possession of firearms is a violation of probation. It’s unclear when Jason travelled to Thailand.

Since the case in Colorado involved a victim of domestic violence, the name was redacted in public court records, but a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office told AP reporters that the victim has the same name as the woman killed in Thailand. Based on photographs, the spokesperson says they appear to be the same person.

On Thursday, Jason was arrested in Chiang Mai. Reports say he confessed to stabbing and killing his wife, 32 year old Pitchaporn Kidchop, who was 3 months pregnant. Police say Jason sealed his wife’s body in a garbage bin before taking it to the woods about 5 kilometres away. In Thailand, a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Local police posted photos of the crime reenactment on Facebook. In Thailand, it is common for suspects to admit to crimes and reenactment the crimes to law enforcement officers and the press.

 

SOURCE: Time Call | Associated Press

 

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Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has reported a total of 81,274 Covid-19 infections and 382 coronavirus-related deaths.

Thailand now has 29,473 active Covid-19 cases. Most patients with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. More than 1,000 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition including 380 people on ventilators.

Out of the 2,419 new cases, more than 1,000 cases were detected in Bangkok. Most cases were local transmissions or detected through active case finding.

Of the 19 new coronavirus-related deaths, most were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. The majority of deaths were the elderly and many of them contracted the virus from infected family members or friends.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Khlong Toey slum. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders. CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says active case finding in Bangkok clusters have been “beefed up.”

With cases in Bangkok still on the rise, the current disease control measures imposed in the capital will be extended until May 17. Schools and entertainment venues must remain closed.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New Cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 1,112 18,029
Nonthaburi 217 3,249
Samut Prakan 114 3,016
Prachuap Kiri Khan 100 1,267
Pathum Thani 93 1,192
Samut Sakhon 77 1,376
Chon Buri 72 3,200
Prachin Buri 63 284
Ranong 50 379
Surat Thani 35 1,070

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toey 37
Ratchathewi 26
Pathumwan 24
Bang Kapi 13
Chatuchak 11
Don Mueang 9
Lat Phrao 9
Dusit 8
Yan Nawa 7
Wang Thonglang 7

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 7 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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Thailand to remain on US Trade watch list over online piracy and intellectual property violations

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Stock photo by Christin Hume for Unsplash

Thailand is to remain on the US Trade Representative’s watch list as it tackles intellectual property violations and online piracy. Director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, says the USTR made the announcement in its annual report that was released April 30. The report includes findings for more than 100 trading partners after engaging with stakeholders and further research.

“The US government admires the Thai government’s and Commerce Ministry’s progress in preventing IP infringement, the continuous development of IP protection and crackdowns on violations in both the offline and online markets.”

The report indicated that Thailand continues to make progress by seizing counterfeit and pirated goods and has increased efforts to combat the sale of those goods online, and publishing its efforts. It also noted that Thailand increased its efforts against online piracy, through intra-agency coordination, but concerns still remain as counterfeit and pirated goods are still readily available in markets and online.

In addition, the US has urged Thailand to ensure that amendments to its Copyright Act address concerns expressed by the US and other foreign governments and stakeholders, including overly broad technological protection measure exceptions, procedural obstacles to enforcement against unauthorised camcording, and unauthorised collective management organisations.

Vuttikrai has pledged to work with US agencies to build an IP work plan to remove Thailand from all US lists in the future. He said IP rights protections should lead to more Thais benefitting from IP, leading to an increase in the country’s competitiveness and economic development. But he has not released details on the counter-measures to be taken that would ensure the government is continuing to make strides towards addressing the issue of counterfeit and pirated goods even further.

Last year, the USTR released its annual report on Intellectual Property Protection and Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, with Thailand being included among 22 other countries on the Watch List:

  • Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/USTR.gov

 

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