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Chinese join search for 14 missing. PM visits Phuket today.

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Chinese join search for 14 missing. PM visits Phuket today. | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A centre has been established at Phuket International Airport to ensure smooth flow of information and help for tourist victims and their relatives.

by Salinee Parp

Thai and Chinese authorities are continuing the search for the remaining 14 Chinese tourists still on the missing list after the “Phoenix” diving yacht sank into 47 metres of rough seas on the way back from a snorkelling tour on Thursday afternoon.

The death toll from the boat’s capsizing has risen to 42 while 14 passengers remain unaccounted for.

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is visiting victims in Phuket today and will meet with Chinese consular officials.

Chinese Ambassador Lyu Jian, who went to the search and rescue opertion command centre for updates on the sunken boat victims at Chalong Bay, vowed that even if there were only 1 per cent hope left the search would continue. He also said China would send two more experts to join its 17-strong team to assist with the Thai authority’s investigation.

Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said Thailand and China would join hands in three operations to quickly resolve this tragedy: the search of missing tourists until the last one is found; the investigation into the cause; and care for the victims and their relatives.

A centre has been established at Phuket International Airport to ensure smooth flow of information and help for tourist victims and their relatives. He said a Chinese interpreter volunteer had been assigned to take care of each victim’s relatives. So far, 50 families have arrived in Phuket from China in the hope of getting updates and being reunited with their loved ones.

“This tragedy is Thailand’s second worst sea disaster after the 2004 tsunami. No one wants this to happen. If this case were solved quickly on the basis of trust (between the two nations) and brings clarity to the society, it would change this crisis into building more confidence in Thai tourism,” he said.

Provincial Police Region 8 chief Pol Lt-General Sorasak Yenprem said police had interviewed 40 witnesses and had already filed charges against the captains of the Phoenix and another yacht “Senereta”.

Both boats capsized on Thursday afternoon while returning from Koh Racha to Phuket.

Chinese join search for 14 missing. PM visits Phuket today. | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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World

The stakes are high, the deliberations continue – Parliamentary Brexit vote

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The stakes are high, the deliberations continue – Parliamentary Brexit vote | The Thaiger

Call it Super Saturday, call it Deal or No Deal, call it the most important day in recent UK history. Today (Saturday) the UK House of Commons will gather on a Saturday, the first time for decades. Golf games have been postponed, polo sticks will have to gather dust and the cleaner’s been told to come back on Sunday.

Earlier this week, British PM Boris Johnson did the near impossible and secured a new Brexit deal from the EU. The EU shocked everyone by throwing out the controversial Irish border backstop and replacing it with an alternative plan, after months of saying that Theresa May’s deal could not be changed. Moreover, the EU leaders seem happy with the deal and have been waxing lyrical about the scruffy British PM they all dreaded negotiating with.

But it’s not going to be easy. Some PMs have already tabled amendments that could make Johnson’s run of success fall short of a finish line. Opposition MPs will put forward proposals to scrap Brexit or schedule a second referendum.

So how is the crucial, and historic vote, going to roll?

It’s far too close to call. PM Johnson doesn’t have a majority in Parliament and his Northern Irish allies, the DUP, who he needed to pass legislation, have already said that they won’t back the new plan. Meanwhile, his opposition MPs are lining up to criticise the deal. And there’s serious concern that the arch-Brexiteers in his own Conservative party will vote against the deal too.

Bottomline, if MPs don’t vote for this deal then they can’t be certain that Brexit will be delayed, despite the fact that Johnson is legally obliged to request a Brexit extension if no deal has been agreed by 11 pm on Saturday night. Last month, opposition MPs passed legislation that binds the British to this commitment. Mr. Johnson says he will comply with the law but reminds his opponents that this decision relies on the EU still having to unanimously agree to it.

But, if the deal passes, the UK finally leaves the EU. Johnson would probably hope to capitalise on his success and call for a general election soon after. His poll ratings are good at the moment, and you’d think they would improve after delivering Brexit.

If the deal goes down, Johnson requests the extension and it’s approved, then we get into the nasty election where both sides will tear each other apart, adding more to a polarised community that may take decades to recover from this folly.

And if the EU refuses an extension, then all hell breaks loose.

Has it all been worth it?

Anyway, bring on Super Saturday as the deliberations continue.

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Thailand

Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December

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Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December | The Thaiger

The point deduction system, for traffic and road infringements, is tentatively scheduled for activation for motorists and motorcyclists in mid-December. It is hoped that the system will help reduce road fatalities and injuries on Thai roads.

The deputy commander of Highways Police Command says that every licensed driver will be given an allocation of 12 points. Each time the driver commits a traffic law violation, points will be deducted. When there are no points left, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days, after which the driver or motorcyclist will have to undergo training administered by the Land Transport Department to get their licence back, and another 12 points.

Those who don’t attend the training, however, will have their licence returned after 90 days, but with only 8 points.

Points to be deducted differ, depending on the offence. Offences are divided into four categories:

• One point deduction

Using a cell-phone while driving; exceeding the speed limit; not wearing crash helmets for motorcyclists; not wearing seat belts; not giving way to emergency vehicles, riding on the sidewalk and not stopping for pedestrians on zebra crossings.

• Two points deduction

Running a red light; driving on the wrong side of the road; reckless driving; driving while his/her license is suspended and drunk driving.

• Three points deduction

Organising or promoting street racing without permission; hit-and run; driving while under the influence of narcotics; driving while under the influence of alcohol exceeding 150mg per ml.

• Four points deduction

Driving under the influence of alcohol exceeding 200mg per ml, drunk driving in a way which may cause serious injuries or death to the other people; driving in a manner disregarding the safety of the other people or causing trouble to other people.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Pattaya

The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya

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The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya | The Thaiger

A fisherman has recovered a body, thought to be a foreigner, from the Gulf of Thailand off Sattahip.

Na Jomtien Police were notified of the body by 24 year old Teerapong Boonwat, a fishing boat captain plying the waters around Sattahip, south of Pattaya.

Mr. Boonwat had recovered the body found floating near Koh Ped (Duck Island), about three nautical miles from the Sattahip shore. Police and emergency responders rushed to the scene near Amparam Temple.

Police report that the male body appears to be a foreigner aged around 40 years old with a beard and little head hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, long jeans and black sneakers.

No identification was found on the man. It is believed that he had died at least 7 days before his body was found floating in the water. The police didn’t state if there was any signs of foul play or the condition of the body.

Police are investigating the incident and reviewing missing person reports to establish identification.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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