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Thailand News Today – Thursday, June 18

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Covid-19 update: 6 new cases, all detected in quarantine (June 18)

Breaking a 3 day streak of zero new cases, there’s been 6 new cases of Covid-19 over the last 24 hour period, all detected in state quarantine.

5 are male students, aged 23-26, who were asymptomatic and returned recently from Saudi Arabia. A 26 year old female student, who had a fever, returned from India.

International flight talks resume as “travel bubble” debate rages on

As the Thai government mulls the possibility of “travel bubbles” with countries where Covid-19 appears under control, aviation representatives are talking with commercial airlines about a potential return to international services.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports are currently receiving a combined total of approximately 17,000 passengers a day. Now the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is in talks with airlines about a potential resumption of international flights, with new health and safety regulations.

Today the director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand came out saying that very few airlines are expressing any interest in restarting international flights at the start of July because of the Thai government’s prevarication over the issue. He said that any reboot in international flights could be as late as September.

“It’s 3 months now, when can we reopen?” – Pattaya bar owners

Today marks 3 straight months that Pattaya’s world famous – and vitally important to the city’s economy – nightlife and entertainment industry has been shuttered by the Thai Government.

The industry was originally told to close “for 2 weeks” on March 18. But as the Covid-19 crisis escalated and fear and uncertainty grew worldwide, the closure was repeatedly extended

Now the bars and clubs are crying foul saying that everyone else is re-opening their businesses, so what can’t they.

But the Thai Government has continued to state it’s is too risky to open the country’s nightlife. They’ve been spooked both by the cases of infected Thais returning from overseas and the recent spate of outbreaks in entertainment zones in Seoul and Tokyo.

Constitutional Court to hear petition against MP Thammanat Prompao’s political standing

MP and Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao is no stranger to controversy, and this week he appears to be back in the hot seat.

Opposition MPs have filed a petition challenging his ministerial status and his post as an MP. Thailand’s Constitutional Court has accepted the petition for consideration.

The petition claims Thammanat was convicted of heroin trafficking offences and served 4 years in prison in Australia, and should be disqualified from being an MP or Cabinet Minister in Thailand. Last September Thammanat claimed, in the Thai Parliament, that he was acquitted of the drug charges by the court in Australia. His claim is contrary to The Australian court records which have been published in Australian media. Thammanat has threatened any Thai media which chose to publish the story.

Jilted uni student throws acid on ex girlfriend

A university student in Thailand’s southern Songkhla province has been arrested and charged with physical assault and possessing a fake gun, after he splashed acid on his former girlfriend.

The 18 year old went to see his 20 year old ex-girlfriend, around 10:30 on Tuesday night at the convenience store where she works, to try and win her back. The pair had split up about a month ago.

After rejecting his declaration of love he then splashed her with the acid he had bought online, just before he he visited her.

Doctors are still concerned about the victim’s condition and are keeping her isolated.

Korat motorway to open by year’s end

A new motorway linking Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchisma is opening for motorists by the end of this year.

The deputy director of the Nakhon Ratchasima Highways says a test run of the expressway is planned for later this year.

The 200 kilometre motorway runs between Ayutthaya to Nakhon Ratchasima, and construction is 96% complete. It is expected to cut the journey from four hours to two.

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Crime

5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak

Jack Burton

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5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: matichon.com

Villagers in the north western Tak province were shocked yesterday by reports of the rape and murder of a 5 year old Burmese girl. Her body was discovered in a forest in Mae Sot district. Police went to Muhajireen community in Mae Sot after being notified of the crime. They found the girl’s body, her hands and legs bound with rope and her clothes torn.

It’s was assumed the girl was raped and murdered. 3 suspects have been arrested while authorities await forensic test results. Mae Sot Hospital has confirmed the girl suffered internal injuries and bleeding. Doctors also found a piece of cloth stuffed in her mouth.

The community of about 100 residents were horrified by the news. They say the girl went missing at around 7pm on Friday and was found the next morning.

Witnesses claimed that they saw a man take the girl away while she was playing alone in the yard. He reportedly returned alone. It was later revealed the man had previously been convicted for rape and imprisoned for 7 years when he lived across the border in Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Economy

US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand’s “great investment potential”

Jack Burton

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US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand’s “great investment potential” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

US Ambassador to Thailand Michael George DeSombre, who raised eyebrows in May when he described the US as “a better friend than China,” has praised the kingdom’s “great investment potential”, highlighting the expansion of current projects and further support for industry as ways to promote further cooperation. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak welcomed the ambassador to the open discussion amongst key trade officials.

The US Ambassador chose not to wear a facemark during the visit.

The DPM and the ambassador discussed cooperation between the 2 nations, to help strengthen the economies of both countries and promote more US investment in Thailand. The ambassador says Thailand has huge potential and suitability for US companies to invest, especially as part of the supply chain of the South East Asia region.

Somkid says DeSombre is enthusiastic about the development of mutual economic relations, revealing that the ambassador proposed ideas on what industries should receive more support from both sides.

The ambassador expressed confidence that Thailand will become a technological hub in the region, with immense growth potential in the manufacturing and service sectors, as well as stock exchanges that could connect to Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

“Thailand provides excellent medical services, an area which could be expanded to reach more clients and patients…. related agencies are ready to develop mutual exchange packages through the Board of Investment, to promote competitiveness and attract investment.”

The DPM said Thailand doesn’t need standalone investment from individual companies, but rather demands investment packages, which the ambassador says he’ll be proposing soon.

Somkid also stressed that he’s still working on the country’s domestic and international economic affairs, while declining to comment regarding the recent political developments in ruliing Palang Pracharath Party.

Thailand’s economic ministers will meet on Friday to discuss 2 main economic packages.

US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand's

SOURCE: NNT

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Thailand

Poll shows majority of Thais still worry about coronavirus

Jack Burton

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Poll shows majority of Thais still worry about coronavirus | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News

Although there have been no locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in Thailand for 41 days, a majority of locals are still worried about the spread of the virus, according to the most recent survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, better know simply as the Suan Dusit Poll.

The survey was conducted between July 1-4, on 1,109 people throughout the kingdom to gather their opinions on the Covid-19 crisis, now that the government has loosened many restrictions and is allowing people to travel to their home provinces during the July 4-6 long weekend.

When asked if they still worry about the coronavirus spread now that there have been no domestic infections for over a month, 52.9% said they still worry about it but to a lesser degree; around 29.9% said they worry about it as much as before; 12.4% no longer worry about it and 4.7% said they worry more.

The highest number, 39.4%, expect the Covid-19 situation to return to normal by the end of the year; 27.9% said mid-2021; 23.9% by the end of 2021 and 8.7% said it’s was hard to predict, but the situation might improve if a vaccine becomes available.

Asked what they want the government to do after the situation improves, 77.5% said it should remain strictly vigilant against the virus; 71.8% want it to introduce more remedial measures; 69.4% want the government to concentrate on creating jobs; 65.6% want it to help people who have been laid off and 57.3% said they want it to promote domestic tourism.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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