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Why did so many Chinese passengers die in the boat sinking?

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Why did so many Chinese passengers die in the boat sinking? | The Thaiger
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Last Friday many deceased Chinese tourists were found floating, face down, in the wake of Thursday evening’s disaster. Bouyancy vests, life jackets, bouyancy aids – what’s the difference? Tim gets into a pool to demonstrate how wearing the right ‘vest’ could save your life.

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Protests

Government lifts Bangkok’s State of Emergency

Caitlin Ashworth

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Government lifts Bangkok’s State of Emergency | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s State of Emergency is lifted, according to a statement published in the Royal Gazette, making it official. The order, banning large public gatherings, was imposed last week by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, breaking up a protest and leading to the arrests of a number of activists.

“The current violent situation that led to the announcement of the severe situation has eased and ended to a situation in which government officials and state agencies can enforce the regular laws.”

Protesters did not follow the orders and rallies only grew in the past week. The recent series of protests started on Wednesday, October 14 at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. The demonstration happened to be at the same day and the same route as a royal motorcade, causing complications as well as a clash between the royal supporters and the protesters calling on reform.

Protesters walked to the Government House and intended to set up camp for a few days to put pressure on Prayut to resign. The protest was broken up at 4am the next morning after the prime minister issued the state of emergency. More than 20 activists were arrested, many faced charges of violating the emergency measures.

Despite the government orders, there have been rallies everyday. The emergency order also banned content on websites and social media considered to be a “threat to national security.” Some Thai media outlets covering the protests were under fire, and some authorities tired to suspend them under the emergency order. The court dismissed the requests to block those media companies, saying the Thai Constitution does not give the court power to shutdown media platforms.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer dies

Caitlin Ashworth

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AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer dies | The Thaiger

A volunteer for a Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial in Brazil has died. But he never actually received the experimental vaccine, although he was involved in the trial groups. He did, however, die of Covid-19.

But trials on the vaccine, being developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, are set to continue. The university says “there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial.” The vaccine is also planned to be produced in Thailand and be available to the Thai population by the first half of 2021.

The 28 year old volunteer from Rio de Janeiro died from Covid-19 complications, according to CNN Brasil. He was apparently never injected with the experimental vaccine. If the volunteer had been given the Covid-19 vaccine and died, the trial would have been suspended, a source told Reuters, adding that the volunteer may have been part of the control group.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo is helping to coordinate the trials in Brazil and has also recommended the trials continue. So far, 8,000 volunteers have been injected with the first dose of the vaccine and some have already been jabbed a second time, a university spokesperson said.

“Everything is proceeding as expected, without any record of serious vaccine-related complications involving any of the participating volunteers.”

Thailand is set to be the Southeast Asia production site for the new vaccine. If the AstraZeneca trials are successful, the vaccine will be available to the Thai population by the first half of 2021. For Thailand, the vaccine is seen as a lifeline to save the country’s struggling economy, allowing borders to safely reopen and revive the tourism industry.

The company Siam Bioscience will manufacture the vaccine in Thailand and provide injections for the Thai populations as well as the neighbouring countries Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Drugs

4.4 million methamphetamine pills seized near Laos border

Caitlin Ashworth

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4.4 million methamphetamine pills seized near Laos border | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

Police seized 4.4 million methamphetamine pills worth more than 400 million baht after a police chase in the Northeastern province Bueng Kan near the Thai-Laos border. Thai media says the alleged drug traffickers threw black bags full of the drugs out onto the road during the police chase and drove off into a rubber farm in the Bung Kla district.

The Royal Thai Navy and Thai Custom’s Enforcement Division had received a tip about drugs allegedly being trafficked across the Mekong River and into Thailand. Officials followed a truck they say was suspicious and driving fast by the river. The truck dropped 2 black bags on the road before driving off into a rubber farm.

Police searched the bags and found bags full of yaba, which translates to “crazy drug” and is known to be pills containing mixture of caffeine and methamphetamine. Police also found 2,970 ecstasy pills.

Since October 1, the Royal Thai Navy has been involved in 18 drug trafficking busts, seizing methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin and marijuana, altogether worth around 2.7 billion baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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