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Update: Chiang Rai search delves deeper into the caves

The Thaiger

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Update: Chiang Rai search delves deeper into the caves | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

In the sixth day of the operation to rescue the 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in Tham Luang cave. Authorities have mobilised all their resources to reach them with the help of rescue teams from several countries, some specialist cave divers, but have face difficult conditions, rough terrains and poor weather.

The Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn says officials had been trying all possible means to help the missing 13.

“The main task is to drain water as much and as quick as possible out of the cave to enable the rescue teams and foreign cave divers better access to perform their duty with continuity and without continual flooding hampering their efforts.

Paratroopers and other rescue workers were able to lower themselves about 40 metres into the cave through a shaft at a location known as Tham Phra. They reported that there was no flooding on the cave floor but was muddy and with water emerging from holes on the floor.

Three rescue experts from England’s Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation arrived at Tham Luang on Wednesday. They brought a specialised radio system that can transmit messages for hundreds of metres through solid rock, as well as diving equipment.

The team in 2014 saved three divers who were trapped in a cave in England’s East Midlands. Their ordeal was similar to the Thai footballers as their exit from the cave was blocked by a flash flood.

Three German diving experts are also on the ground. China and the Philippines have also expressed readiness to send rescue units to the scene if requested by Thailand.

Today, the main rescue and search operations were underway to the west of the cave’s entrance with a location inside the cave called “Monk’s Series” as the goal for the day’s search. It was believed the missing people might have ventured north of the cave’s entrance rather than head to the location in the West called “Pattaya Beach”.

Update: Chiang Rai search delves deeper into the caves | News by The ThaigerPHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Local caving enthusiasts told rescuers about a chamber in the north of the cave. They say it is 60 metres high and 20 metres wide. This location was another focal point for rescuers because the cave chamber may have a ceiling crevice.

Chiang Rai Times reports that Suttisak Soralump, a geotechnical engineer from Kasetsart University, said percussion drilling equipment will be used to bore holes of 10-12 centimetres wide through the hillside of Tham Luang cave so glowsticks and recording devices can be located to explore the cave inside. He said it would take a full day to drill a stretch of 100 metres.

Rain last night raised water levels inside Tham Luang cave and rescuers were forced to pause their search. And a five-hour storm from Wednesday into the early hours Thursday pushed water levels in the cave higher as well.

Floodwaters inside the caves has blocked attempts to reach the teen footballers and their coach.

Outside the cave, 132 police officers were deployed with sniffer dogs trying to find other openings into the cave. Thirty-two US specialists had arrived at the cave from Hawaii and were considering boring into the cave to hopefully save the missing people.

“Divers are ready for another operation once the water level goes down,” a Royal Thai Navy Seal posted in a Facebook message.

Update: Chiang Rai search delves deeper into the caves | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times, The Nation

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ASEAN

Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women

Greeley Pulitzer

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Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women | The Thaiger

Hair extensions have become an essential part of the multi-billion-dollar hair industry, with estimated annual sales of 250 million to over 1 billion USD. Based on a 2018 Research and Markets report, the global hair, wigs and extension market is expected to surpass 10 billion USD by 2023.

Raw human hair has significant commercial value: it’s a coveted commodity to be processed into hair extensions and wigs. According to a report by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), the global value for human hair exports in 2017 was 126 million USD. Asia exported 72.4 million USD, accounting for 58 percent of the global trade.

In India, the Tirupati Balaji temple earns 10 percent of its income through auctioning hair donated by devotees, raking in a profit of 25 million to 40 million USD annually.

There are three categories for collected hair: Remy, non-Remy and virgin hair. Remy is usually obtained from temple donations and is of the highest grade. Non-Remy hair is a lower grade, collected from individuals, and is typically broken or short. Virgin hairhas never been chemically treated.

In Southeast Asia, long hair is esteemed as a mark of beauty with deep religious and social meaning, especially in Buddhist countries. While most brands opt to acquire hair from India where it’s donated for religious reasons, in Southeast Asia, traders target impoverished areas to buy hair from desperately poor people whose poverty makes them easy prey. Hair extensions in the US can cost 500 to 2000 USD, but the owner of the hair usually receives only a fraction of that. For example, Nguyen Thi Thuy of Vietnam says the highest she has ever been offered for her hair is 70,000 Vietnamese dong, or 3 USD. Pheng Sreyvy from Cambodia fared slightly better at 15 USD for her locks.

According to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, women don’t know how to bargain over the price of hair. “They decided to sell their hair because they are poor, and they don’t know where to sell their hair for international market price,” a spokeswoman said.

The high value of human hair has made hair-theft muggings a recurrent problem in some countries, and some companies have resorted to chemical processing or a mixture of human and goat hair.

Increased awareness of exploitation has prompted many companies to collect hair from more transparent and ethical sources. While the human hair trade has provided many communities with income and opportunities, practices that exploit and deprive women of opportunities continue.

SOURCE: theaseanpost.com

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Expats

Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics

May Taylor

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Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics | The Thaiger

The chief of Thailand’s immigration police says the biometrics system in place at sixteen airports across the country has so far netted 1,000 people who are blacklisted or on watch lists, 700 who have arrest warrants out for them, and 45,000 who have overstayed in the country.

The Nation reports that the system is also used to detect fake passports as it uses UV and infrared light to compare the information stored in a chip in the passport with facial features.

It’s understood that in just three days, police were able to arrest 8,000 people for being in possession of fake passports, illegal immigration, overstaying their visas or criminals with arrest warrants out for their capture.

The notorious fake billionaire who married in a lavish ceremony costing over 3.5 million baht and then left his wife to pick up the tab, was recently arrested at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport after being caught by the biometrics system. See story HERE.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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ASEAN

Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations

May Taylor

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Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations | The Thaiger

The President of Thai Airways International says the airline is set to cancel six flight routes to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The Nation reports that Sumeth Damrongchaitham says the routes in question are all from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Yangon.

“These routes are all covered by a small number of flights and have low customer capacity. Once the cancellation plan is finalised, THAI will assign Thai Smile Airways to cover these routes instead.”

Sumeth cites increased competition as the reason behind the decision and the difficulties presented by rival airlines slashing prices to remain ahead of competitors.

“THAI needs to adjust our strategies too to preserve our reservation rate. We will focus on rolling out promotional campaigns until year end. However, next year’s strategy remains to be seen. Our prices this year have been reduced to a record low and if this strategy doesn’t work, we may take a different direction, such as seeking more partners for organisation tickets, increasing online channels, or giving privileges to frequent fliers.”

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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