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Settling into the routine for 2018. Traffic was busy this morning, a sure sign we’re returning to work and doing our best to avoid the high-season tourist traffic. Here’s today’s main new stories…

Thai auto industry getting behind electric cars

The Thai automobile industry say they finished 2017 with sales rebounding reporting that a large number of new models helped raise demand in every segment.

Last year, the government said it will start promoting the production and use of Electic Vehicles. Nissan will be the first major auto maker to launch an all-electric model in Thailand later this year. The second-generation Nissan LEAF will be imported from Japan and hit the local showrooms with price tags of over 1 million baht.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Police still tracking down ID of women found dead floating off Phi Phi yesterday

Police are still investigating what led to a 30-35 year old female being found dead floating just off Lo Dalum Bay on Koh Phi Phi yesterday.

Police say the body appears to be a western woman, she was wearing jeans-shorts and a blue bra. Police say there was no signs of trauma on the body and no ID found with her.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

3,515 new case of drunk driving during ‘seven dangerous days’

The corrections department has a paperwork nightmare ahead after 3,515 new cases of drunk driving totalled up during the Seven Dangerous Days reporting period. The Corrections Department director-general says all convicted drunk drivers will have to serve community service and must not re-offend.

Up to last Tuesday, taking in the first six days of the seven day reporting period, there were 3,456 road accidents, killing 375 people and injuring 3,612. Almost 80 per cent of the vehicles involved in road accidents around the country continue to be motorcycles.

Meanwhile, in Mahasarakham yesterday, a van carrying new year holidaymakers back to Bangkok drove into a ditch, injuring the driver and 12 passengers. Police say they believe the driver dozed off and the vehicle plunged into the ditch.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Warning from Finance Ministry about investing in cryptocurrencies

The Finance Ministry is issuing a warning about the high risk of investing in digital currencies, but so far they haven’t issued any concrete measures to deal with the rising popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Fiscal Policy Office has issued a statement that people should be aware of the dangers of investing in digital currencies as some schemes promised unreasonably high returns similar to Ponzi schemes. He also warned that people who deceive others could be charged with fraud.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Hey UK, is she there?

Thailand is officially asking the United Kingdom to confirm that ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra is residing in Britain, following the release last week of photos purportedly showing her shopping in London. The request has come directly from the PM.

Various sources have pointed to the UK is a likely refuge for Yingluck, given that her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, owns a residence and several businesses there.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Krabi Som Tam most expensive

Som Tam green papaya salad in Krabi province is the most expensive in the country with an average price of 60 baht per dish. This according to a survey by the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry included som tam in its survey of the price trends for the coming year.

Rayong was the second most expensive at 55 baht, Bangkok was 35 baht and Si Sa Ket 30 baht.

The Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office says that average spending on travelling, fuel and mobile phone use in 2017 increased 24 percent compared to the spending a year earlier.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Getting tough with noisy vehicles in BKK

Police in Bangkok say they’re going to get tough with cars and motorcycles which emit loud noise exceeding 90 decibel starting this March.

An inspector attached to the 5th subdivision of Traffic Police Division, said that police were now well-prepared to strictly enforce the law regarding emissions and car engine noise after the Pollution Control Department had provided training to traffic policemen on the handling of equipment to test the emissions and engine noise of cars and motorcycles for the past three months.

Cars which emit noise beyond the 90-decible limit will be issued with a white sticker and banned from the road for 30 days and the drivers fined 1,000 baht each. Phuket police say they don’t have the equipment to start enforcing noise limits at the moment.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Foreign Minister asking Finnish Thai Embassy to ‘please explain’

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai is ordering an investigation into a Facebook post from the Thai Embassy in Finland giving advice about preparation for an election tentatively to be held in November.

Don says… “I’m not sure whether the post is merely the embassy’s mistake or somebody hacked into the embassy’s Facebook account.”

Prime Minister General Prayut Chanocha has not yet announced the official date of the general election, but he has implied that it will probably be held in November.

THURSDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

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A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Protests

Close encounter of the Royal kind – Thai King and Queen stop to praise a royal supporter

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Close encounter of the Royal kind – Thai King and Queen stop to praise a royal supporter | The Thaiger
MONTAGE: Thai PBS World

It was a rare moment that has shocked royal supporters, in the best way possible, as the Royal couple turned on the charm after a merit-making ceremony last night.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida stepped away from the traditional royal protocol after last night’s official ceremony, stopping briefly to single out a man who was with a small yellow-clad crowd who had assembled outside the Grand Palace. Their Majesties presided over a merit-making ceremony on Friday night for the public holiday in commemoration of King Chulalongkorn

Well wishers were shocked when both the Thai King and Queen appeared to recognise a man who made headlines in Thai media last week when he held up a portrait of HM’s parents, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the Queen Mother Sirikit, in a show of defiance in the middle of an anti-government protest.

The man held the portrait high in the air, held his ground and berated the protesters. He said at the time that he wanted to show solidarity for royal supporters in reaction to the anti-government protests that had been rising in support since July.

HM the King approached and thanked the man, Thitiwat Tanagaroon, for his actions as the rest of the crowd yelled “Long live Their Majesties” (in Thai).

Posting on his Facebook page, Thitiwat recalled the few moments he is unlikely to forget when HM the Queen recognised him from media exposure of the anti-government protest event, and turned to explain to the King that he was the same man who had held up the royal portrait outside the Central Pinklao shopping centre.

Thai media report that the Queen said… “I grant you my support. Thank you very much.”

His Majesty then added, “Very brave. So good. Thank you.”

His Majesty then placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. Thitiwat responded “Long live the King. This is a very great honour for me.”

Thitiwat later posted on his Facebook page… “I am fainting. Their Majesties recognised me. This is the best moment in my life,”

He posted the photo of the King touching his shoulder as the Queen looked on smiling. Overcome with the moment, Thitirat was consoled by the rest of the band of royal supporters.

The posts and video clips instantly went viral on social media last night. The hashtags #FightOnYourMajesty and #WeLoveThaiMonarchy were trending on Twitter last night, pushing aside the #PrayutGetOut and similar hashtags that had been trending over recent weeks.

Royalists have been coming out in staged shows of support to show support for the Thai monarchy and counter the growing support of the recent Thai protest movement. The anti-government protesters have included demands for reform to the role of the Head of State, but have made it clear they don’t want to “get rid of the King”, a common rhetoric of Thai royalists, but instead want to codify the role of the Thai monarch, with limits on the monarch’s power, in a new Thai constitution.

The ‘Royal rallies’. also growing in number, have been in response to the ongoing anti-government demonstrations around the country.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Close encounter of the Royal kind - Thai King and Queen stop to praise a royal supporter | News by The Thaiger

Thitiwat Tanagaroo

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

15 people considered “high risk” following positive Covid test for 57 year old Samui resident

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15 people considered “high risk” following positive Covid test for 57 year old Samui resident | The Thaiger

A 57 year old French woman, visiting the Gulf island of Koh Samui with her husband and son, has tested positive for Covid-19, five days after finishing the mandatory 14 day quarantine. The Division of Communicable Diseases director Sophon Iamsirithavorn told the media yesterday about the case which is baffling medical officials to understand where she had been exposed to the virus.

September 30

The family flew from Limoges in France, via Thai Airways, and landed at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok.

October 3 and 11

The entire family had tested negative for Covid-19 in two tests conducted on October 3 and 11, visiting the French embassy before taking Bangkok Airways flight to Koh Samui.

October 15

The family were then whisked off to an alternative state quarantine site in Samut Prakan, south east of Bangkok, and then headed to Koh Samui.

October 17

The woman complained of a fever but still went shopping at Samui Big C and 7-Eleven store near their accommodation.

October 20

She visited the private Bangkok Hospital Samui in a private vehicle and was admitted overnight. The hospital sent her samples for testing at the Koh Samui Hospital.

October 21

Koh Samui Hospital revealed a positive test result.

October 22

The results were confirmed by the Regional Medical Sciences Centre 11 in Surat Thani. The woman was admitted to Koh Samui Hospital. Some media reports say that the family are residents of Samui, other report that the family were visiting.

The 57 year old’s husband and son have tested negative whilst remaining under observation at the Koh Samui Hospital. a family friend, who had picked them all up at Koh Samui Airport, has also been tested.

Public health officials have tracked down and tested 15 people who they believe could be at “high-risk” of infection. They’ve all been isolated until their results are confirmed. Another 42 people are “under observation” and considered at “low risk”.

Bangkok Airways has not yet released a statement on the tracking of passengers on the woman’s flight from Bangkok to Samui.

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