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Firefighters tackle Dubai blaze after all-night effort, investigate cause

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Firefighters tackle Dubai blaze after all-night effort, investigate cause | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Firefighters tackle Dubai blaze after all-night effort, investigate cause
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: Firefighters on Friday appeared to have mostly extinguished a blaze that suddenly engulfed one of Dubai’s most prominent skyscrapers on New Year’s Eve, witnesses said.

Plumes of white smoke still emanated from the charred, 63-storey Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential block at daybreak, but civil defense crews had mostly extinguished the flames which erupted around 2130 (1730 GMT).

Witnesses reported seeing flames leaping from a lower portion of the building as late as around noon local time, but a hotel spokesperson said the situation was under control.

“The fire in the hotel has been contained. We would like to express our gratitude to the authorities for their immediate and professional support. An investigation is ongoing,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

Dubai police said on Thursday that the building was evacuated and 14 people were lightly injured. A medic at the scene said more than 60 people were treated for mild smoke inhalation and problems caused by crowding as they fled.

Witnesses described seeing flaming debris wafting down from The Address as occupants left, some running.

The New Year’s fireworks display at the nearby Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is one of Dubai’s most celebrated annual rites and attracted thousands of spectators – most of whom were evacuated before the spectacle went on as scheduled.

Live TV broadcasts of the extravaganza appeared to show only a few dozen people in the vast viewing venue near the tower.

Dubai, among the most open and peaceful cities in the war-battered Middle East, prides itself as a tourist and business hub.

But the metropolis, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), may face questions about the safety of its rapidly-constructed cityscape, especially after another high-rise building caught fire earlier this year.

Security officials said the conflagration began on the outside of the structure at the 20th floor, and the deputy chief of police said the investigation into its cause was underway.

Dhahi Khalfan posted a picture of a fireball toward the hotel’s base on his official twitter account on Friday.

“A forensic photographer from the Dubai police with the lens of his camera, from here the investigation begins,” he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Business

Talks resume in the ongoing China-US trade spat

The Thaiger

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Talks resume in the ongoing China-US trade spat | The Thaiger

By China Daily – Asia News Network

There’s been a resumption of talks in the China-US trade.’war’ Analysts are hoping the restart in talks between top negotiators from both nations will deliver a win-win outcome.

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He spoke by phone with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday. According to reports, officials exchanged views on implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state during the G20 Summit. The Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan also joined the conversation.

Yan Jinming, executive dean of the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China, says the consensus reached between the two countries’ leaders set a positive tone for future high-level economic and trade talks.

“I hope China and the US will properly solve their differences and conflicts about the trade issue, cooperate with each other and seek win-win results, so as to enhance the well-being of people from both countries and the rest of the world,” Yan said.

Diao Daming, associate professor at Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies, said the essence of China-US trade friction is competition between huge economies.

“The China-US high-level economic and trade consultations have been resumed. The main goal of the talks is to stabilise bilateral relations through ad hoc mechanisms and set an example for solving potential problems in the future,” Diao said.

The two countries have exchanged tariffs on billions of dollars in a tit-for-tat spat targeting each other’s imports, while Washington has tightened its restrictions on many Chinese companies, including global telecom giant Huawei.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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Technology

Thai smartphone users ready for 5G

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai smartphone users ready for 5G | The Thaiger

“50% of the local respondents said they are willing to pay 150 baht extra in fees per month.”

5G, the next generation of phone speed, is on the way and coming to a smartphone near you.

A recent survey of 35,000 people around the world shows that there will be as many as 1.9 billion 5G subscribers globally in the next five years, and that in Thailand the technology will also be applied in the business world.

The survey was conducted on smartphone users aged between 15 and 69.

Wuttichai Wutti-Udomlert, head of network solutions at Ericsson Thailand, said the 5G network was laid down in South Korea earlier this year, and it is already being used in the US and most of Europe, which should encourage local mobile operators to lay down the 5G infrastructure in Thailand.

According to a survey involving 35,000 respondents in 22 countries, including 1,500 in Thailand, Ericsson said it believes that by 2024, to 65% of the global population will be using 5G and that 95 per cent of data traffic will be transmitted via 5G technology by the end of 2024.

He said that there are 7.9 billion mobile subscribers across the world (the global population as of April 2019 stood at 7.7 billion), and around 47% use the 4G-LTE network. Of the 1.54 billion subscribers in Asia-Pacific, Philippines has shown the highest growth.

In Thailand, the survey showed that most mobile users expect 5G technology to be available in a couple of years and that half of them will be ready to switch providers within six months if their operator doesn’t offer the technology.

Thai mobile users say they are willing to pay 30% more for 5G services, while 50% of the local respondents said they are willing to pay 150 baht extra in fees per month. The survey also showed that consumers were looking for new 5G-ready applications and services, and will gladly pay for the privilege of using them.

Also, some 76% of Thai consumers believe they will be wearing augmented reality (AR) glasses instead of using mobile phones by 2025. Most of the Thai respondents also said that they will start watching high-definition streamed content once 5G is available.

Thai smartphone users ready for 5G | News by The Thaiger

He added that 88 per cent of the respondents believe they will be making 3D holographic calls on a weekly basis, while 13 per cent believe hologram video calls will replace normal video calls. Some 66 per cent of the respondents believe 5G connectivity in vehicles will be as important as fuel efficiency and that smartphone users in Thailand will consume up to 130GB per month on a 5G device.

“There is growing awareness about 5G technology globally. I think average mobile data usage with 5G devices may increase 10-fold to 70GB per month in Thailand and that 5G uptake will be faster than expected. The top three industries in Thailand that will adopt 5G to support their business will be manufacturers that utilise robotics followed by services such as smart monitoring and public safety,” Wuttichai said.

He added that Ericsson has signed 24 commercial 5G contracts across the world.

ORIGIAL ARTICLE: The Nation

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Travel

Korean passenger from hell ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines compensation

The Thaiger

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Korean passenger from hell ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines compensation | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

A man, who forced an international flight to return to Hawaii last February, has been ordered to pay the airline more than 5.3 million baht.

South Korean Kyong Chol Kim was also sentenced to six months in jail for interfering with flight attendants and crew members, and annoying passengers on the flight. His behaviour on the Hawaiian Airlines flight to South Korea forced the pilot to turn around and return to Honolulu.

Prosecutors say the 48 year old South Korean was drinking whiskey before the flight and later started hassling a child sitting next to him.

They then accused him of lunging at a flight attendant after being confronted about his behaviour.

As it happened, there were armed US officials on board who were able to help restrain the man as the pilot decided to turn the flight around. Kim has been ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines costs relating to the return of the flight and accommodating the passengers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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