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Phuket oil scare ends; Phuket probes asthma

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket oil scare ends; Phuket probes asthma | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

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

Phuket oil spill alert ends

PHUKET: A Phuket provincial marine official says no more oil is leaking from the sunken tanker.

Bhuripat Theerakulpisut told The Nation yesterday that the stricken vessel, the Choke Tavorn 6, was carrying 40,000 litres when it went down about 10 nautical miles from Chalong Bay after being damaged in a storm. All four crew members were rescued without injury.

Bhuripat said he went to the area with an undersea operations team, marine police, and other relevant agencies.

They found there was no more oil leaking from the boat. Marine officials had collected samples of water around the sunken boat to study the water’s quality.

“At this time, we believe the oil leakage will not cause environmental damage in the sea as the oil slick dispersed very quickly,” Bhuripa said.

Officials are now waiting for the better weather conditions to salvage the boat.

The owner of the vessel, a modified fishing boat, said about 25,000 litres of oil remained on board.

There were four tanks in the boat, he said, but they were not leaking. The oil had leaked from the boat’s machinery, not from a tank, he said.

Phuket health conference probes asthma

Kantar Health
Participants in a Phuket conference on health heard on Saturday that Asthma sufferers who opt to control the illness enjoy a better life than those who don’t.

Patients with uncontrolled asthma in Japan and the U.S. report having a significantly worse quality of life, and use significantly more healthcare resources, than patients with control the disease.

The news comes from a Health and Wellness Survey conducted by global health consultancy Kantar Health, the results of which were presented here in Phuket at the 4th Asia-Pacific Conference of the International Society for Pharmaco-economic and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

The survey confirmed that patients with uncontrolled asthma were hospitalized significantly more often than those with controlled asthma, especially in Japan. In addition, U.S. patients with uncontrolled asthma visited hospital emergency rooms more often than patients whose asthma is controlled.

The conference, at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, opened yesterday and continues through tomorrow.

Thai PM ready to meet Hun Sen

The Bangkok Post
The news released by Prime Minister’s Office Minister Ong-art Klampaibul on Friday that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva would meet his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 24 is most welcome, and shows a strengthening of the recent trend that has seen diplomatic relations thawing between the two countries.

Mr Ong-art made the announcement upon his return from Cambodia, where he reportedly met and had talks with Hun Sen for about an hour.

While both sides deserve blame for the lack of diplomatic maturity, it was clearly the Cambodian PM’s ill-advised appointment of Thaksin that set the stage for the worst of it.

Hun Sen may not have been aware that taking on a fugitive from the Thai justice system, and one who is still greatly admired by the opposition to the present government, would provoke hostility from the Abhisit government.

U.S. brothers nailed for human trafficking

Two prominent and popular brothers who operate the second-largest vegetable farm in Hawaii will be sentenced in federal court this week on human trafficking charges.

The brothers were convicted of shipping 44 laborers from Thailand and forcing them to work on their farm, part of a pipeline to the United States that allegedly cornered foreign field hands into low-paying jobs with few rights.

U.S. prosecutors accuse them of manipulating the Thai workers by promising at least a year’s employment at pay of $9.42 (283 baht) an hour, but instead delivering only a few months of work for little pay.

The workers were trapped on the farm, forced to choose between long hours with low wages and an unpromising future in Thailand, said former farm worker Somporn Khanja, who arrived at the farm in 2004.

Student activism waning

The Nation
The “golden age” of massive groups of student activists taking to the streets to fight for democracy is long gone and will not likely return in the foreseeable future, said student leader Anuthee Dejthevaporn, who has just finished his term as secretary-general of the Students Federation of Thailand (SFT).

“Thai society has changed. The age of middle-class [students] fighting for peoples’ rights is gone, because they have gained their [political and economic] benefits,” said Anuthee, adding that those middle-class students still fighting for democracy and other causes were now few and far between.

Although Anuthee predicted that more student activism would be seen because Thai politics was in a crisis, he said it would be “impossible” to match the numbers that joined the student movement two decades ago.

Today, Anuthee reckons there were no more than 100 active members of the SFT, which is pro-red.

— Gazette Editors


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