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Phuket jabs ‘Swine Flu’

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Phuket jabs ‘Swine Flu’ | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Around 700 service people in Phuket, comprising drivers of taxis, tuk tuks, motorbike taxis, and other vehicles for hire, along with their family members, were vaccinated against the A H1N1 virus earlier this week.

The free inoculations were provided by Patong Hospital on Monday.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the move was part of the hospital’s safety measures which recognize that people in the hospitality and service industry are exposed to many tourists who may be carrying the virus from abroad. And giving them immunity means safety for others, the hospital says.

Official figures show that around 6,000 people in Phuket have been vaccinated to date this year.

Hainan to challenge Phuket

Peoples daily
Hainan, China has a sun-kissed coastline and numerous clean and empty beaches, “on a par with the shores of Phuket,” and life is cheaper in Sea (hai) South (nan).

School fees are half of those in Beijing, and rent for a two-bedroom apartment is approximately 1,600 yuan ($235) a month.

And you can get around in the three-wheeled san lun che far more cheaply than the infamous tuk-tuks of Phuket.

There aren’t the same professional opportunities there for expats as there are in China’s bigger cities or Phuket, though, but there will be when Hainan’s international tourism campaign springs into action, the people’s government says.

Phuket attractions closed

National News Bureau of Thailand

The National Park and Wildlife Department has announced the annual closure of the Surin and Similan islands in the Andaman Sea from this month until October 30.

The islands, located off Phang-nga province, are a major attraction for Phuket’s legions of tourists, particularly divers, recreational boaters and sightseers.

Similan National Park Chief Panumas Samsrineam said the closure covers all visits and accommodation. The closure enables natural revitalization for the resources there, he says.

The Similan Islands are soon to be proposed for addition to a “tentative list” of World Heritage sites.

The islands will re-open on November 1 as Phuket moves out of the current monsoon season.

Meanwhile, Phang-Nga Governor Yiumsuriya Palusuk suggests that tourists divert to Phang-Nga Bay as it is sheltered and can be visited all year round.

And Phuket island itself, as well as its many satellite islands, are also a viable option for tourists in the area, he notes.

Dog Conch at risk in Phuket

National News Bureau of Thailand
12,000 Dog Conch (or ‘Wing Shells’) have been released into the sea at Phuket’s Paklok Bay, where sea grass grows.

The activity was carried out under the Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation department to increase the number of Dog Conch.

The effort also aims to preserve and encourage the fertility of the ecological system there.

According to Paitoon Panchaipum, Director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation Centre, the population of Dog Conch is declining as they are cash crop animals and caught for sale by local fishermen.

He asks local fishermen not to catch baby dog conch as Phuket needs mature females for breeding, and the area with sea grass is suitable for them to breed, he says.

New violence in Bangkok
 

BBC
A Thai policeman has been killed and another wounded in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Bangkok police say.

The attack occurred in the Silom financial district, close to the area where red-shirt opposition protesters have been barricaded.

A number of blasts in the same area later wounded another four policemen.

The violence came as a two-month-long stand-off continued with protesters rejecting a government offer to dissolve parliament in September.

The policeman killed last night died in hospital after being shot in the stomach, spokesman Pongsapat Pongcharoen told AFP.

He said one civilian was injured in the attack.

Police said the blasts later appeared to have been caused by grenades, but there is no confirmation as yet.

CIA sees red

Asia Times Online
During Thailand’s political protests, US officials met with numerous red shirt or UDD co-leaders, to impress on them Washington’s perception that the UDD has provoked a lot of violence, and was not a peaceful movement.

UDD spokesman Boonracong said that a US official had “incredible details” of recent violence that he believed was gathered by the “CIA and other on-the-ground informants”.

He said that US officials claimed the UDD had rigged compressed gas tanks to be used as bombs and stockpiled automatic weapons in nearby buildings – claims Boonracong characterized as “total bunk”.

“The [US] ambassador has apparently made up his mind that we have become an army,” said Boonracong, adding: “The US Embassy is not as neutral as they say they are.”

Paedophile jailed

AFP
A Canadian pleaded guilty to organising trips to his home in Thailand for men to have sex with young boys, US officials said.

John Wrenshall, 63, pleaded guilty in a US district court in New Jersey to “conspiracy to engage in sex tourism, conspiracy to produce child pornography, and distribution of child pornography”, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

Wrenshall “admitted that from at least … January 2000, he arranged trips to his home during which US citizens and others paid him to engage in sexual acts with Thai boys,” the statement read, citing court documents.

— Gazette Editors

 

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