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Phuket Gazette Sports: EPL and FA Cup review; Lady driver takes Daytona pole; Tennis: Serena beaten; Nadal Wins

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Phuket Gazette Sports: EPL and FA Cup review; Lady driver takes Daytona pole; Tennis: Serena beaten; Nadal Wins | The Thaiger
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Five-goal Liverpool crush below-strength Swansea
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho scored on his first start for Liverpool who leapfrogged Swansea City into seventh place in the Premier League by crushing the below-strength Welsh side 5-0 at Anfield yesterday.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup rested a host of regular starters with next weekend’s Capital One (League) Cup final against fourth-tier Bradford City in mind, a decision which spectacularly backfired.

“I wanted to leave a few out but that’s not an excuse, we could have lost 10-0. We are all to blame, starting with me and the players,” Laudrup said.

“It was a nightmare, we got slaughtered out there. First half we were still in the game but to give away three goals like that in 10 minutes at the start of the second half was terrible, we have to say sorry to the fans.”

Steven Gerrard’s penalty on 34 minutes set Liverpool on their way, the midfielder making no mistake having had a spot-kick saved in the home defeat by West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

Coutinho, who joined last month from Inter Milan on a long-term contract, ran at the Swansea defence and beat keeper Michel Vorm soon after the restart to make it 2-0 as Liverpool quickly settled the game in a rampant spell.

Coutinho was also involved in the build-up in Liverpool’s third goal four minutes later, linking up with Luis Suarez before Daniel Sturridge crossed for Jose Enrique to prod in.

Suarez hit a fourth on 56 after twisting and turning in the area before Sturridge made it 5-0 with a second penalty.

It was Liverpool’s first victory over a team in the top half of the Premier League this season and a first for manager Brendan Rodgers over his former side.

Victory came at a cost for Liverpool after Italian striker Fabio Borini suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.

Borini’s first season at the club after joining from AS Roma last July has proved difficult. He has scored just once – in a Europa League tie – and was out for over three months between October and January after sustaining a foot fracture.

“It looks like Fabio Borini has a dislocated shoulder which will keep him out for the season,” Rodgers said.

“He did a similar one at Chelsea on the other side. It’s a big blow for us.”

Chelsea stroll in replay, Aguero double lifts City
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Premier League’s big-hitters restored some normality to the FA Cup yesterday, after Arsenal suffered a shock defeat at home on Saturday to Blackburn Rovers 0-1, with holders Chelsea crushing third tier Brentford 4-0 in a fourth round replay while Manchester City dismissed Leeds United 4-0 in a fifth round tie.

Midfielder Frank Lampard scored his 199th goal for Chelsea who put four second-half goals past Brentford at Stamford Bridge to secure a fifth round clash at Championship (second division) Middlesbrough on February 27.

Argentine Sergio Aguero scored twice for 2011 winners Manchester City, who eased into the quarter-finals with a confident display that was the complete opposite from their abject surrender in a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Southampton last weekend.

“I think it was really important to win this game. If you score two goals within the first 20 minutes it is easier, but the FA Cup is a difficult competition as Arsenal and Everton showed yesterday,” City manager Roberto Mancini told ESPN.

Three second-tier sides reached the last eight on Saturday, including Blackburn Rovers who stunned 10-times winners Arsenal with a 1-0 victory at the Emirates.

Everton, sixth in the Premier League, were taken to a replay after conceding a stoppage-time goal in a 2-2 draw at third-tier strugglers Oldham Athletic.

England midfielder Lampard, whose Chelsea future remains unresolved with his contract expiring at the end of the season, tucked away a simple volley on 71 minutes to edge closer to Bobby Tambling’s all-time club record of 202 goals.

The goal prompted Chelsea fans to chant ‘sign him up’ as billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, sat with hands deep in his pockets, forced a wry smile high up in the stand.

Interim manager Rafael Benitez said: “The team was doing well and Frank Lampard is scoring goals, which is good for him and good for us.”

Chelsea twice had to come from behind to earn a 2-2 away draw in their first encounter and were again sluggish in the first half against their fellow Londoners.

Deft flick
Juan Mata finally broke Brentford’s resistance on 54 minutes when he latched on to Demba Ba’s flick from a long Petr Cech clearance and drilled in a left-foot shot from 20 metres.

Oscar doubled the lead 14 minutes later from Branislav Ivanovic’s cutback, scoring with a deft flick, and Lampard quickly added a third from Mata’s cross. John Terry headed in at the far post, this time from Oscar’s curling delivery, to make it 4-0 on 81 minutes.

“First half they made it very difficult, they sat very deep. Once we got the first goal, the second and third were sure to come,” Terry, returning after missing two matches with an inflamed knee, told ITV.

Terry said a British newspaper report yesterday that he and Benitez were involved in a dressing room bust-up were “complete rubbish”.

“There are stories today in the paper but it is complete lazy journalism,” the defender said, referring to a Sun newspaper story headlined “War”.

With his side 12 points behind Manchester United and their Premier League title hopes fading, Mancini had demanded his side atone for the Southampton loss which he had described as City’s worst game in the last two or three years.

City duly obliged, crafting a brilliant opener after five minutes that was started and finished by Yaya Toure.

The Ivorian exchanged passes with David Silva and Carlos Tevez before slotting home and Aguero doubled the lead on 14 minutes from the penalty spot.

Tevez bundled in a third after 52 and Aguero rifled in the fourth 16 minutes from time.

In remaining ties, second tier Huddersfield Town were entertaining top flight Wigan Athletic while Manchester United host Reading at Old Trafford tomorrow morning 3am Phuket time

Merrick earns first PGA Tour win in playoff
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Local favourite John Merrick won his first PGA Tour title by beating fellow American Charlie Beljan in a sudden-death playoff for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

Journeyman Merrick sealed victory with a rock-solid par at the second extra hole, the driveable par-four 10th, after laying up off the tee with an iron and hitting his approach to 18 feet.

Beljan missed the green long to the left after using a driver. He left his chip short and then, after a long-range approach putt from just off the fringe, lipped out with a par putt from five feet.

Merrick and Beljan both parred the first extra hole, the uphill 18th, where Beljan had to sink a nerve-jangling six-footer to keep the playoff alive.

“Growing up here in LA, I just wanted to come to this tournament,” Merrick, who was born in Long Beach, said greenside after booking a place at this year’s Masters. “Now to win it, this is a dream come true.”

Merrick, 30, studied at the nearby University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and said earlier this week

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand News Today | Protesters face arrest | Phuket “in a coma”| September 22

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Thailand News Today | Protesters face arrest | Phuket “in a coma”| September 22 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today with Tim Newton. Daily news from around Thailand.

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’.

The GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. The bank’s chairman says the proposal will be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month.

Protest leaders face charges for violating Thailand’s lèse majesté law and for installing the plaque

Leaders of the weekend’s pro-democracy protest in Bangkok are facing charges for violating Thailand’s lèse majesté laws and for installing a symbolic plaque at a “registered historical site”. Police filed complaints to between 10 to 16 protesters.

It’s unclear how many protesters will be charged, but a Royal Thai Police spokesperson says charges will be pressed against those who “pulled the strings.” Under Thailand’s lèse majesté law, it is illegal to insult or defame the Thai Monarch or royal family. Police say they will take the strongest legal actions possible against those who undermined the Monarchy, although earlier this year the Thai PM said that His Majesty had requested that such charges not be brought against Thai citizens.

Charges are also being brought against the protesters who installed a commemorative plaque in the forecourt of Sanam Luang, next to the Grand Palace. The Fine Arts Department and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have filed complaints with police over the installation of the plaque, saying the protesters broke the law by causing damage to an archaeological site.

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. The governor highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, cutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money coming into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that could attract more visitors to the province.

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader

Meanwhile, the owner of the Sri Panwa Phuket resort is facing a social media storm after condemning the current pro-democracy movement and one of its main organisers. Taking to Instagram, Vorasit Issara, owner of the five-star Sri Panwa Phuket Resort, singles out the female protest leader saying “she should be in prison”.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for?

Sharing a photo of Panusaya, he adds, “arrest this child.” Vorasit incorrectly asserted that Panusaya wasn’t Thai. In fact she was born in 1998 in Nonthaburi and IS a Thai citizen.

His post has since gone viral, prompting outrage from those who support the anti-government movement. A hashtag calling for a boycott of his Sri Panwa Phuket resort has taken off on Twitter, at a time when almost all hotels are battling for survival, especially on Phuket.

Myanmar’s Covid-19 spike causes mass lockdowns as Thai authorities scramble to seal the border

Myanmar is currently suffering a wave of Covid-19, causing concern in Thailand as its western border authorities bump up security measures and patrols.

Burmese authorities have been introducing increasingly draconian restrictions to control the sudden spread of the virus over the past 4 weeks. Whilst the case load is still relatively small, the concerns are focussing on the porous western borders of Myanmar onto adjacent Bangladesh and India, as well as the spike in cases in the largest city Yangon.

Yangon is now under a very tight lockdown as the city is quickly turning into the country’s hotspot of Covid-19.

There were 610 and 6 new deaths in the past 24 hours. Yesterday 671 new cases of Covid-10 were reported

Indonesia’s economy shrinks for the first time in 22 years

Indonesia’s economy will contract for the first time since the Asian financial crisis in 1997/1998.

Gross domestic product is forecast to decline over 1% this year according to the country’s Finance Minister. He said…

Southeast Asia’s largest economy is struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic as the number of new cases each day continues to set records. The worsening outbreak prompted the renewal of social-distancing curbs in Jakarta, measures that had battered growth in the second quarter this year.

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Tourism

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader

Maya Taylor

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Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

The owner of a luxury resort on the Thai island of Phuket is facing a social media storm after condemning the current pro-democracy movement and one of its main organisers. Taking to Instagram, Vorasit Issara, owner of the five-star Sri Panwa Phuket Resort, singles out protest leader, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul for his disapproval, saying “she should be in prison”.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Sharing a photo of Panusaya, he adds, “arrest this child.” Vorasit incorrectly asserted that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul isn’t Thai. In fact she was born in 1998 in Nonthaburi and IS a Thai citizen.

His post has since gone viral, prompting outrage from those who support the anti-government movement. A hashtag calling for a boycott of his Sri Panwa Phuket resort has taken off on Twitter, at a time when almost all hotels are battling for survival, especially on Phuket. The hashtag #แบนศรีพันวา (Ban Sri Panwa) is trending on top on Twitter.

Digging up the 38 year old’s past indicates hissupport of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the coup that brought him to power in 2014. Speaking to Coconuts Bangkok, Vorasit denied being “out-of-touch” and “elite” and said he’s unconcerned about the boycott call.

“If you don’t love (the political) establishment, you better not come to my resort. Don’t be my guest,” he said in the Coconuts story.

Others are now using Google reviews to attack the property, accusing Vorasit of supporting a dictatorship.

The anti-government rally held in Bangkok, at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the Sanam Luang royal parade grounds over the weekend, drew up to 30,000 people in Bangkok’s drizzly wet-season weather. Panusaya was one of the protesters who organised the event and was the first, in July, to read out a 10 point manifesto that, for the first time, openly mentioned the reform of the Thai monarchy.

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Sri Panwa Phuket getting social media flak after owner criticises pro-democracy protest leader | News by The Thaiger

Vorasit’s comments come as the newly-crowned Miss Grand Thailand also faces a backlash, after speaking up in support of anti-government protesters. Pacharaporn Chantarapadit has been hit with racist insults on social media after condemning the current administration and saying she stands with the protesters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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