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Champions Spain crash out of World Cup

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Champions Spain crash out of World Cup | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Champions Spain crash out of World Cup, Dutch march on
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Holders Spain crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday with barely a fight after their second shock defeat while 2010 runners-up the Netherlands continued their perfect start with another high-scoring win.

Thrashed 5-1 by the Dutch in their opening game, Spain’s normally composed and incisive team again collapsed quickly at the back, this time against Chile who scored twice in the first half then held firm for a glorious win.

“It is difficult to explain,” bemoaned Spain captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas. “We ask people’s forgiveness. We are responsible but also the first ones to feel the pain.”

The undisputed kings of global football in recent years, Spain won the 2008 European Championship and their first World Cup in South Africa four years ago plus Euro 2012. But their supremacy is no more and an ageing team needs to be reformed.

Chile, who had not beaten Spain in 10 previous games, looked sharper and more aggressive from the start.

Eduardo Vargas turned Casillas and avoided lunging defender Sergio Ramos to score the first after 20 minutes, before Charles Aranguiz struck the second just before halftime, sending the red-clad hordes of South American fans delirious.

Seemingly perennial nearly-men the Netherlands, who have lost three World Cup finals including to Spain in 2010, continued their storming start to the tournament with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Australia.

In a fantastic end-to-end match in Porto Alegre, “Socceroos” veteran Tim Cahill smacked in a spectacular volley that should be a contender for goal of the World Cup.

“This is what it’s all about because everyone dreams of playing on this stage and I want to leave a mark for all the kids back in Australia and around the world to be inspired,” he said.

YOUNGEST DUTCH SCORER

It was not enough, however, to stem the Dutch, who came from behind to win with a long-range strike by 20-year-old substitute Memphis Depay that made him the youngest player to score in his nation’s long and illustrious World Cup history.

The result was not as flattering as their destruction of Spain, but with maximum points and eight goals scored, coach Louis van Gaal was one of the happiest men in Brazil.

The Netherlands, hoping to finally shed their unwanted tag of being the best country never to win the World Cup, and Chile have now both secured berths in the last 16.

Later on Wednesday, Cameroon and Croatia were set to slug it out in the Amazonian heat of Manaus, with both teams looking for their first points after losing their Group A openers.

A shadow of the side that lit up the 1990 finals, the “Indomitable Lions” are without injured captain and top scorer Samuel Eto’o. Croatia are motivated by a sense of injustice over a penalty Brazil won in their opening defeat by the hosts.

The finals have been a spectacular affair so far, with daredevil teams bringing goals galore and pacy end-to-end football that has eclipsed the duller fare in South Africa.

The football action has also taken attention away from sporadic political protests against Brazil’s government and worries about whether infrastructure would be ready.

PELE, MARADONA MISS GAMES

This would not be South America, though, if everything went perfectly.

About 200 Chilean fans stormed the media centre at the Maracana stadium just before the game on Wednesday, bursting past security personnel and smashing a door.

Police ejected them.

Journalists are not the only ones inconvenienced.

Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona, who is working as a TV pundit in Brazil, said on Wednesday he was denied entry to the Maracana for his team’s weekend game against Bosnia.

That followed discomfort for another football great, Brazil’s Pele, who had to listen to the first half of Brazil’s 0-0 draw with Mexico on his car radio due to being stuck in traffic.

While those in Brazil have been thrilled by the action, there has been tragedy in Africa where Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Somalia’s al Shabaab operating in Kenya have killed several dozen people enjoying World Cup games together.

Islamist militants also marred the last World Cup with bombs killing nearly 80 fans watching football on TV in Uganda.

For Thursday, there was an attractive lineup of matches.

First up, Colombia and Ivory Coast clash in Brasilia, both buoyed by opening day wins in Group C.

Colombia may prove to be South America’s surprise package, thrashing Greece 3-0 in their first game in an attacking display that belied the absence of top striker Radamel Falcao.

Ivory Coast are looking like Africa’s best hope after a promising 2-1 win over Japan inspired by veteran Didier Drogba who came off the bench when they were losing.

The second game of the day is a more desperate affair, with England and Uruguay smarting from opening defeats and hoping to justify their reputations with a first win in Group D.

Japan play Greece in Thursday’s final match.

The Japanese may have been distraught at letting a lead slip to the Ivorians, but they at least know how to cope with defeat.

The Asian champions found some solace and had a good heart-to-heart in a shared jacuzzi session. “We told each other how rubbish we were but not to let it get to us. It’s good to finish things off with a laugh,” said striker Yoshito Okubo.

Anyone else needing cheering up might want to head for Belo Horizonte. Binmen there are entertaining fans by singing and tapping out samba rhythms as they trundle through the street after dark picking up rubbish.

“This is the home of music and football!” said one rubbish-collector Matheus Pinto, 20, wearing Brazil colours over his working garb as he tapped out samba on the back of a lorry.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

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Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
iTrip.com

Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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