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World Sports: Man Utd through; Celtic hold-up Barca

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Barca stunned by Celtic as United reach last 16
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Barcelona wasted their first chance to reach the Champions League last 16 after a surprise defeat by Celtic but Manchester United edged through and six-goal Bayern Munich rocketed closer to progression last night.

Favorites Barca lost 2-1 in Glasgow after Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt struck in a famous win for the modest Scottish champions, who exposed the continued defensive frailties of the slick passing Catalans with non-stop energy and physicality.

Lionel Messi pulled one back late on but the point that would have put the Group G leaders through was not forthcoming even if they still lead Celtic by two points and Benfica, 2-0 winners over Spartak Moscow, by five with two to play.

“It’s right up there, one of the proudest moments of my career. This is monumental,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon told reporters. His side had also led at the Nou Camp before a late 2-1 loss last month.

“We wanted to do ourselves justice and we surpassed that. We’ve beaten the best club in the world. It was a stiff examination and we came through it with flying colors.”

United came from behind to win 3-1 at Braga after a Robin van Persie strike, Wayne Rooney’s penalty and Javier Hernandez’s scrappy goal in the final 10 minutes sealed a knockout stage berth as group winners following a painful early exit last term.

A power cut after Alan’s opening penalty for the Portuguese hosts had held up the Group H game for around 10 minutes in the second half but United roared back.

Galatasaray’s 3-1 win in Cluj left second spot wide open.

Shakhtar Donetsk could have gone through with a win in Group E but lost 3-2 at stuttering holders Chelsea, who netted in injury time through Victor Moses’s header from a corner to spark wild scenes at Stamford Bridge.

“We deserved to win the game today, particularly in the second half where we dominated. I only played 10 minutes but it was good to get the winning goal,” forward Moses said.

Brazilian Willian, who reports have linked with the Londoners after he helped the Ukrainians win 23 out of their last 23 domestic league games, had equalized twice with neat finishes after well-worked moves from the 2009 UEFA Cup winners.

They had shot themselves in the foot early on when goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov’s clearance cannoned into the goal off Fernando Torres and the keeper’s clearing header was wonderfully sent into the net from distance by Oscar to make it 2-1.

Juventus powered to 4-0 home victory over Denmark’s Nordsjaelland, avenging the 1-1 draw at the minnows two weeks’ ago, but the Turin side stay third on six points with the Ukraine and English sides on seven.

Long punt
Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro bagged a 15-minute first-half hat-trick to help hosts Bayern batter Lille 6-1 and top Group F with nine points alongside Valencia, 4-2 victors at home to BATE Borisov thanks to Sofiane Feghouli’s brace.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern, beaten by Chelsea in last season’s final, were 5-0 up at halftime against the hapless Ligue 1 outfit after Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben had also hit the net.

Toni Kroos made it six in the second period after Salomon Kalou’s meaningless effort for Lille.

Despite the heroics from Pizarro, only playing after Bayern’s top scorer Mario Mandzukic was ruled out with a cold, the Champions League night belonged to plucky Celtic after another exciting burst of top-class matches.

Celtic have long been pilloried for the weakness of the Scottish league they dominate, made worse this season by the demotion of long-time rivals Rangers due to financial problems.

The lack of competitiveness domestically had hit Celtic’s recent European campaigns but the 1967 winners are in with a shout of a rare last 16 spot despite having only 16.4 percent possession against a Barca side who lost in the group stage for the first time since 2009.

Barca, going for a fifth title, have recently had to field questions about their lack of options at the back and lack of willingness to buy center halves and looked shaky despite the return of Gerard Pique off the bench.

Wanyama headed in at the far post from a corner on 21 minutes amid slack marking and 18-year-old substitute Watt could not believe his luck seven minutes from time when Xavi missed a long punt up field and the youngster finished off with aplomb.

Messi, who had earlier rattled the woodwork, then made for a nervous finish in stoppage time but Celtic Park soon erupted with joy as the whistle blew to crown a remarkable triumph.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger
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3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO |Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

A newborn baby was found on a bench at a neighborhood by Phuket’s Patong Road. The baby boy was wrapped in cloth and left inside a reusable shopping bag. The bag also had a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing.

A woman walking by early in the morning heard the baby crying. She followed the cries and found the baby on the bench. She called police and calmed the baby, feeding him milk that was left in the bag.

Police took the baby to the Patong Hospital. The baby, about a week old, is in good health, police say.

“Police and rescue workers together rushed to the scene and called Patong Hospital to have a medical team meet us there … This baby is healthy and does not appear to have suffered any injuries. He is now safe and being cared for at Patong Hospital.”

Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to see if they can track down the mother, or whoever left the baby behind.

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Visa

Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations

The Thaiger

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Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations | The Thaiger

Confusion reigns. It was predictable and many people, despite months of warnings, have left their visa extensions to the last minute. Meanwhile Thai immigration don’t appear to be making the process easy as The Thaiger has received multiple comments from foreigners visiting the various immigration offices around the country and encountering ‘local’ applications of the published guidelines and, in some cases, demands for additional paperwork.

A note to The Thaiger, we won’t publish the person’s name, from Phuket where a person applying for an extension to their visa has been given something less than the 30 days promised by the government.

“On Monday Phuket Immigration was only giving 14 day ‘conditional’ VISA extensions from the date of application, not from September 26. They announced this was to allow time to “investigate and verify” the need for the extension.

So basically we paid 1900 baht for a 14 day extension. After announcing this many people left as many que numbers were called and nobody came up. They said if that were the case they would come back later in the week.

So we have to go back on October 5 (or a few days later is ok they announced) to see if we’re approved for the 30 day extension from September 26. If not we would be immediately “overstaying” at 500 baht/day.

Thank you
C

Another writer, speaking about the same matter, said that they were still being charged the non-refundable 1900 baht fee for the 2 week extension….

“They still collected the non refundable 1900 baht fee.”

Yesterday a person, who had been living in Bangkok under the auspices of the visa amnesty on a lapsed Non Immigrant B (Business) visa, ended up visiting three different offices to get his paperwork sorted out. This is after first contacting immigration by phone to confirm the particular office to attend. He had a letter from the US Embassy explaining that he would be unable to return to the US at this stage due to lack of flights and the current Covid-19 situation in the US. He made an appointment online, as instructed, and it still didn’t go very smoothly.

The instructions he received….

If your Visa was cancelled during the Covid-19 crisis, and you are currently under the amnesty grace period set to expire September 26, you will need to schedule an appointment online to queue in with the Immigration Division 1 at Muang Thong Thani (near Don Mueang Airport). You will need…
  • Online appointment with Immigration Division 1
  • Passport
  • TM 6 Departure Card
  • 1,900 Baht fee for short term extension
  • Letter from embassy specifically stating inability to leave Thailand due to lack of repatriation flights and or a high risk of contracting Covid-19 in one’s home nation.
  • US Embassy letter request can be made online here
  • Portrait photo to affix to short term extension application 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm in dimension

After going to Counter K and Counter J (2 separate buildings), he ended up being asked to go to the Chaeng Wattana office instead, and then was shuffled off to yet another office. Additional paperwork was also requested, beyond what had been asked for. After nearly a full day he ended up with a visa stamp for a 30 day extension in his visa.

He also noted that there is NO ATM around the Mueang Thong Thani immigration offices and our reader had to take a 60 baht motorcycle taxi ride to get cash.

Probably worse, he said that the Immigration officials (clearly overworked at this time), were “extremely rude” and that the facilities (apparently temporary) are “less-than-adequate”, especially the Counter K, which was basically a parking garage with seats… no fans.

Additionally, contrary to the clear advice on the Thai Immigration website, most people getting their extensions were from the date of their visit and NOT the end of the September 26 amnesty.

Phuket Immigration handing out 'conditional' 14 day visas, pending investigations | News by The Thaiger

The moral of this tiny microcosm of stories is that it’s probably the busiest week for Thai immigration in history. The officials will be stressed and stretched, there will be long queues and there will be confusion. We should also mention that we’ve had a few foreigners contact us saying that things went very smoothly for their extensions, so well done to all concerned in those examples!

Be prepared, take ALL your paperwork, expect to asked to produce more evidence, make sure you have all your photos and copies of your passport, TM 6 departure card, plus filled-in applications before you head to the Immigration offices.

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