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Phuket Court dismisses sex case against PIA teacher

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– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community. World Cup? Get instantaneous scores and news updates right here on the Gazette Online (fed directly from FIFA).

PHUKET: ABC News reports that child sexual assault charges against a Tasmanian teacher working in Phuket have been dropped.

Andrew Clements, 51, was arrested in March for the alleged assault on a four-year-old boy.

The teacher strongly denied having committed the offence, alleged to have taken place while he was employed at the prestigious Phuket International Academy (PIA).

He had been dismissed from the school in December 2009, but the school told the Phuket Gazette on March 30 this year that there was “absolutely no connection between his dismissal from the school and the criminal charge which he now faces.”

When Mr Clements appeared in Phuket Provincial Court for a hearing on Monday (June 14), he was simply told that the charge against him had lapsed due to lack of evidence.

Yesterday, ABC News reported that Mr Clements had been inundated with calls from the media, and that he was no longer commenting because he was sick of the attention.

The Advocate newspaper in Australia had in March reported that Mr Clements was a former professional basketball player who represented his country, and that a former Tasmanian teammate had told the paper he was “shocked, just shocked, to hear the allegations.”

“There will be a lot of people in basketball that know Clemo that would be thinking that would not be true,” he said.

Phuket eco-complex now friendly

Property Report
Construction has finished on the new Häfele Design Centre in Phuket. With 16,000 square metres of space on five levels, the centre is promoting itself as the first “sustainable and European-infused alfresco lifestyle shopping village” in Phuket.

The building of the Häfele Design Centre was a collaboration between OIA (general planner, architects and interior designers), DCM (general contractor), Comcon (project management and quantity surveying services), Warnes (structural engineering) and EEC Lincolne Scott (mechanical and electrical engineering, lighting design).

Häfele is the ‘marquee tenant’, with other retailers oriented towards home and interior design, property, and construction.

The building, already a landmark on Phuket’s bypass road, features a 4,200 square metre “floating” roof which provides shade and – when heated from the sun – spurs airflow, reducing the need for air conditioning usage.

The official grand opening date is tentatively scheduled for October or November.

Thais surprise the world

The Korea Herald
Thailand‘s economy surprised economists and policymakers by growing 12 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2010. It was the nation’s highest growth rate in 15 years and one of the worlds’ fastest rates registered to date this year.

Exports were particularly brisk due to continued recovery of Thailand‘s major trading partners, including China, the ASEAN countries and the United States,” Thai finance minister Korn Chatikavanij said.

However, he said the recent political unrest that started in March has considerably weakened the strong growth momentum. He estimated the second quarter growth rate to come in at 6 percent year-on-year, still high when compared with most countries around the world.

Thai downgrade for human trafficking

Business Week
Singapore, Thailandand Vietnam all regressed last year in their efforts to battle trafficking of men, women and children for labor or commercial sex, according to the U.S. State Department.

The department’s 10th annual report grades 175 nations on their efforts to fight this modern form of slavery. The U.S. is listed for the first time, placed among those countries that are doing their best to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the American law against human trade.

Thailand “has expressed its disappointment” with the report, foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said by telephone. “We believe that the report did not give due recognition to Thailand’s efforts to address the trafficking problem,” he said.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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Phuket

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor

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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO: Booking.com

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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