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Singapore people with HIV shocked by data leak

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Singapore people with HIV shocked by data leak | The Thaiger

from The Straits Times

14,200 people living with HIV in Singapore, who had their personal details leaked, are stunned.

The Singapore Ministry of Health has revealed that some 1,900 names in the leaked data were of people who had already died.

An HIV-positive US citizen, who had been deported from Singapore after serving a jail term, has leaked online the personal data of 14,200 Singaporeans and foreigners diagnosed with the virus.

The disclosure by Singapore’s health ministry late Monday, coming after last year’s news of a major cyber attack on its national health database, could further dent the highly wired state’s push to place itself as a data and health care hub.

45 year old G. Chew says that the leak has risked both his personal and professional reputation.

“I definitely fear that all this personal information might be publicly available to people at my workplace and beyond to scrutinise. Also, it’s the Internet – once it’s up there, it’s inerasable.

The man was contacted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) telling him that he was affected by the data leak.

“There is still a great stigma against people who have HIV. Information that I have HIV is definitely not something I want online. It’s not like it’s an award.”

Meanwhile, when Jay (not his real name), who is in his 20s, heard news of the leak, his first thought was of his 60 year old mother and the harassment and judgment she could face from family and friends.

“I have not told my mother about it, and I don’t intend to. I have accepted that AIDS is what I have to live with forever, but I am afraid that if this information is made public, that my family and close friends will be ostracised and laughed at,” Jay said, adding that only one close friend had known about his illness.

In a statement on Monday, advocacy group Action for Aids said it is deeply troubled by the incident which it said could damage the lives of persons living with HIV and their loved ones.

SOURCE: The Straits Times – Asia News Network

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Southeast Asia

Die! Die! Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress assaults husband in video

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Die! Die! Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress assaults husband in video | The Thaiger

by The Korea Herald – Asia News Network

A video clip showing a woman who appears to be Cho Hyun-ah, formerly Korean Air vice-president, shouting at her husband, and photos showing his injuries has been revealed.

In the video, the woman shouts “Die! Die!” at her husband, surnamed Park, who filed for divorce last year citing physical and verbal abuse against him and their twin sons.

Photos released along with the video show injuries to the man’s neck – apparently strangle marks.

The photos and video footage, which aired on KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), were submitted to the court as evidence by Park, who filed a complaint against Cho for assault and other charges on Tuesday.

Cho said Park was making false accusations to gain the upper hand in their divorce proceedings. She also accused him of destroying their marriage with his negligence of their children and addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Read more about the original ‘nut rage’ incident HERE.

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Southeast Asia

Students are dropping out along Cambodia’s border with Thailand

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Students are dropping out along Cambodia’s border with Thailand | The Thaiger

by VOA

A Cambodian official has reported that about 23% of children in three provinces along the border with Thailand have stopped attending school.

The Cambodian Education Minister Hangchuon Naron was speaking about the student dropout rate. He said that the rate in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Oddor Meanchey provinces was much higher than in other areas, where rates are 18 to 19 percent.

The education minister blamed poverty and parents who move to Thailand for work as the main reasons for the problem.

Cambodia’s education ministry has begun training teachers to advise students to stay in school, while letting them choose their own study subjects. Teachers are also to advise students whose parents work abroad about the importance of education.

“So if teachers advise the students (to stay in school) that will help them to make the right decision. They could explain to those students that they need to pursue their studies successfully and then find local jobs as well.”

But critics have expressed concern about the education ministry’s plan.

President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Ouk Chay Vy, says the plan fails to deal with the issues that cause students to drop out of school in the first place.

She says those reasons are poverty resulting from unemployment and a lack of land for farming. She noted that, in Cambodia, many students stop going to school because they need to work to support their families.

Ouk Chay Vy said a better plan would be for the government to try to increase the number of jobs so that citizens could have better living conditions.

“If the government could give them help, it would still not be enough,” she added.

Suon Sinuon is a farmer from Banteay Meanchey. She said that three of her children dropped out of school while they were in the sixth and ninth grades. They went to Thailand to work and help support the family.

She said that the children did not want to stop going to school, but had no other choice because of the family’s needs.

“Others who have enough money don’t let their children migrate, but me, I am so poor that I had to let them go work in Thailand.”

Radio Free Asia reported this story. Jonathan Evans adapted the report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. VOA partners with The Thaiger for weekend radio news.

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Chiang Mai

Better analysis needed to track down the source of new chemicals in illicit drugs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Better analysis needed to track down the source of new chemicals in illicit drugs | The Thaiger

The Office of Narcotics Control Board has been training personnel in drug analysis to handle new illicit substances coming onto the streets.

A Chinese analysis lab has recently discovered 230 new psychotropic substances which are making their way into recreational drugs and other foods.

China has subsequently banned several beverages and sweets that contain these new illegal substances.

Thailand’s Justice Minister Prajin Juntong says that better analysis was key in drug prevention and suppression, as it helped identify the sources of the precursor chemicals. Each source used different formulae or ingredients, he said.

“New chemicals that were not used in narcotics before, and not listed in official databases, are now being used. So each confiscated batch will no longer be destroyed right away but be analysed first.”

“Lab tests are time-consuming and require new technology to ensure tests can keep up with the drug trade. This information was shared globally.”

He reported that  Thailand has been cooperating with Australia, China and Singapore and other ASEAN countries in sharing knowledge and analysis techniques.

“Thailand usually serves as a transit country for narcotic smuggling to a third country.”

China’s National Narcotics Control Commission analyst Liu Peipei says her agency recently found 230 new psychoactive substances that could yield “highs”, but had different ingredients from heroin, methamphetamine and other common drugs.

“Recently China has banned the sale of a beverage contaminated with a narcotic that may be harmful to consumers. We also found THC (the active chemical in cannabis) in chocolate and jelly,” she said.

SOURCE: The Nation

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