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Baby pulled out alive three days after collapse of Kenya building

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Baby pulled out alive three days after collapse of Kenya building | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Baby pulled out alive three days after collapse of Kenya building
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


NAIROBI: Kenya, Rescue workers pulled a six-month-old baby girl out of the rubble of a building in Kenya’s capital on Tuesday and reunited her with her father, more than three days after it collapsed following days of heavy rain.

At least 23 people have so far been confirmed dead after the six-storey residential block in Nairobi’s poor Huruma district crumbled on Friday night. Police are questioning the owners after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered them detained.

“The child, who had been buried for about 80 hours, was found in a bucket wrapped in a blanket. She appeared dehydrated, and with no visible physical injuries,” the Kenya Red Cross said in a statement.

The baby, named as Dealeryn Saisi Wasike, was identified by her father after she was taken to hospital for treatment, the Red Cross said. A Red Cross official said the fate of her mother was still not clear.

The collapse of the building was the latest such disaster in a fast expanding African city that is struggling to build homes fast enough.

Like many other cities in Africa, the population of Nairobi has climbed dramatically in recent years. The Kenyan capital had almost 3.5 million people in 2011, about a third bigger than a decade earlier, according to U.N. figures.

Governments have struggled to provide basic infrastructure and bureaucratic processes to ensure planning rules are met.

Many Kenyans who come to the city in search of work end up in one of several slums, such as Kibera, made up of makeshift homes of wood and corrugated iron sheets.

Others live in slightly better off but still poor districts, like Huruma, where concrete buildings have risen rapidly amid potholed roads and ropey power supplies. Heavy rains have caused other collapses in Nairobi but without such high death tolls.

The Interior Ministry said the Huruma building had been earmarked for demolition as it was built close to a river, but the order had not been carried out by local officials. It urged developers to adhere to safety standards.

After visiting the site on Saturday, Kenya’s president ordered other buildings to be surveyed to ensure they were safe.

Rescue workers had said on Monday that the chances of finding more survivors was unlikely.

Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome told Reuters the death toll stood at 23 while 136 people had been saved from the wreckage. He said the number of deaths could rise as the search continued.

Dozens of other people are still listed as missing, Red Cross spokeswoman Arnolda Shiundu said, adding it was not clear how many of those had escaped but had not yet been traced.

Similar disasters have afflicted other African conurbations. In 2014, a church in Lagos, one of Africa’s biggest cities, collapsed killing 115 people. A Nigerian coroner last year blamed poor construction.

Poor and illegal construction has also often been blamed for the crumbling of apartment blocks in Egypt, where almost all Egyptians are crammed into the crowded Nile Valley and buildings are often extended with extra floors piled on top.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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ASEAN

US and China ramp up the rhetoric and the tariffs in a day of tit-for-tat

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US and China ramp up the rhetoric and the tariffs in a day of tit-for-tat | The Thaiger

Beijing has unveiled a new round of retaliatory tariffs on the US valued around US$75 billion. China will now place additional tariffs of 5%-10% on US imports starting next week.

The tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s two largest economies is causing widespread disruption to supply chains and long-held trade conventions.

China’s Finance Ministry says they will also resume tariffs on US imports of automobiles and automobile parts – 25% for vehicles and 5% on parts starting December 15.

China said it would take countermeasures last week after the US announced it would impose new 10% tariffs on Chinese imports worth US$300 billion. The new Chinese tariffs will target 5,078 exported products, including soybeans, seafood, coffee, whiskey and oil.

US President Trump responded yesterday saying that he would increase rates on existing tariffs on Chinese imports.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.”

The US President also “ordered” US companies “to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”

the American Farm Bureau claim the tit-for-tat tariff reaction from the President “signals more trouble for American agriculture.”

“We know continued retaliation only adds to the difficulties farm and ranch families are facing and takes the situation in the exact wrong direction,” the statement said.

But the US National Retail Federation says the President’s demands are “unrealistic.”

“For years, retailers have been diversifying their supply chains, but finding alternative sources is a costly and lengthy process that can take years. It is unrealistic for American retailers to move out of the world’s second largest economy.”

“Our presence in China allows us to reach Chinese customers and develop overseas markets. This, in turn, allows us to grow and expand opportunities for American workers, businesses and consumers.”

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Technology

More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019

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More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019 | The Thaiger

“Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world.” – Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand

Exactly 11 years since Airbnb was founded, the home-sharing hospitality company and ‘accommodation disrupters’ celebrated its biggest night ever, with more than 4 million people spending the night in an Airbnb listing on August 10, 2019.

To date, there has been more than half a billion guest arrivals at unique homes and properties all over the world since the company was founded in August 2008.

To work towards bringing the world closer, Airbnb has created the Airbnb Connection Index, which reflects the pairings of countries and regions between hosts and guests. For example, when a guest from Thailand becomes the first to stay with a host in Iceland, a new connection is made. In return, when an Icelandic guest becomes the first to stay with a host in Thailand, another new connection is made.

In 2010, the Airbnb platform had facilitated more than 1,300 connections. By 2015, that number had increased to more than 16,500.

More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019 | News by The Thaiger

Today, approximately 26,000 connections have been made via the Airbnb platform, and by the end of 2019 more than 30,013 connections are expected to be made as the platform grows even further.

With the current presence of the Airbnb platform in 245 countries and regions, it is mathematically possible for there to be 60,025 place-to-place connections. By the year 2027, Airbnb predicts that there will be in excess of 50,000 connections.

As outlined in a recent report, much of Airbnb’s fastest growth is occurring in emerging destinations, propelled by a rising demand for travel to places across Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America.

Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand, shared, “Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world. It makes me understand that different cultures can live together. We can be happy, we can share, we can have good memories together no matter where you come from.”

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Southeast Asia

Bangkok to Hong Kong the world’s second most popular flight, what’s the most popular?

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Bangkok to Hong Kong the world’s second most popular flight, what’s the most popular? | The Thaiger

The world’s top five flying routes are all in the Asia Pacific region, according to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) report. Aviation writers say the growth can be attributed to the addition of flights operated by low-cost carriers in the region.

Passenger traffic between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Hong Kong airport is Number Two on the list of the airports with the world’s busiest air traffic. The trip between Hong Kong and Taipei Taoyuan, Taiwan, is the most popular route in the world carrying 5.4 million passengers per year.

Passenger traffic between Suvarnabhumi and Hong Kong reached 3.4 million in 2018, up 9% from 2017.

The report of IATA world airline traffic for 2018 also shows that airlines in the Asia Pacific carried the largest number of passengers in the world.

Global passenger traffic results for 2018 showed that demand rose by a healthy 6.5% compared to full-year 2017. Although this represented a slowdown compared to the 2017 annual growth of 8.0%, it was another year of above-trend growth. Full year 2018 capacity climbed 6.1%, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to a record 81.9%, exceeding the previous high set in 2017.

“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director-general and CEO.

In terms of pure numbers of flights for 2018, here are the results. Eight out of ten of the routes are all in the Asia-Pacific.

  1. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore: 30,187 flights
  2. Hong Kong – Taipei: 28,447 flights
  3. Jakarta – Singapore: 27,046 flights
  4. Hong Kong – Shanghai: 20,678 flights
  5. Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur: 19,741 flights
  6. Seoul Incheon – Osaka: 19,711 flights
  7. New York LaGuardia – Toronto: 17,038 flights
  8. Hong Kong – Seoul Incheon: 15,770 flights
  9. Bangkok – Singapore: 14,698 flights
  10. Dubai – Kuwait: 14,581 flights
  11. Bangkok – Hong Kong: 14,556 flights
  12. Hong Kong – Beijing: 14,537 flights
  13. New York JFK – London Heathrow: 14,195 flights
  14. Tokyo Narita – Taipei: 13,902 flights
  15. Dublin – London Heathrow: 13,855 flights
  16. Osaka – Shanghai: 13,708 flights
  17. Hong Kong – Singapore: 13,654 flights
  18. Chicago O’Hare – Toronto: 13,503 flights
  19. Seoul Incheon – Tokyo Narita: 13,517 flights
  20. Osaka – Taipei: 13,325 flights
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