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Phuket Gazette: Remains found of U.S. service members from Vietnam War

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Phuket Gazette: Remains found of U.S. service members from Vietnam War | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Found: Remains of U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam War plane crash
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: The remains of six U.S. service members who went missing when their plane disappeared during the Vietnam War 46 years ago have been recovered, the U.S. Department of Defense announced on late Thursday. They will be buried together next week.

The six were lost on December 24, 1965 during a combat strike mission in southern Laos. The men were aboard a Douglas AC-47 Spooky aircraft which disappeared after a mayday signal was sent out, and two days of search-and-rescue operations were unsuccessful.

Nearly three decades later, in 1995, a joint U.S.-Laos team investigated a site in Savannakhet Province where local villagers had reported seeing a two-propeller aircraft crash in December 1965. A local man found aircraft wreckage similar to that of an AC-47D in a nearby field while farming, and led the team to that location. The team recovered small pieces of aircraft wreckage and recommended further investigative visits.

The investigation resumed in 1999 when a joint U.S.-Laos team returned to the site, and three additional visits took place in 2000 and 2001. The team conducted additional interviews with local villagers, recovered military equipment, and began an excavation. But because no human remains could be found, the excavation was eventually suspended.

In 2010, joint U.S.-Laos teams again visited the site and continued the excavation, which led to the recovery of human remains, personal items, and military equipment. Three additional excavations in 2011 recovered additional human remains and evidence, which were taken to the United States for further investigation.

Scientists from America’s Joint Prisoners of War (POW)/Missing In Action (MIA) Command have since been able to identify the remains using dental records and circumstantial evidence.

The six victims were identified as U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph Christiano of Rochester, N.Y.; Col. Derrell B. Jeffords of Florence, S.C.; Lt. Col. Dennis L. Eilers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chief Master Sgt. William K. Colwell of Glen Cove, N.Y.; Chief Master Sgt. Arden K. Hassenger of Lebanon, Ore.; and Chief Master Sgt. Larry C. Thornton of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The remains of the six men have now been returned to their families, military officials said on Thursday, but the cause of the crash is unlikely to ever be determined. The victims will be buried on Monday as a group in a single casket representing the entire crew, at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, with full military honors.

Since late 1973, the remains of 988 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been accounted for and returned to their families. After deducting the six to be buried on Monday, 1,658 Americans remain missing from the conflict, which ended in April 1975 and left more than 315,000 people dead.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women

Maya Taylor

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BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The BBC has named prominent Thai pro-democracy activist, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2020. The BBC’s “100 Women of 2020” list singles out women around the world who are driving change in challenging times. Panusaya is one of 3 Thai women to be listed.

As the leader of protest group, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, she came to international attention at a Bangkok rally in August, when she read out the group’s controversial 10 point manifesto calling for reform of the Monarchy – a taboo topic never publicly discussed. Her nomination follows the news that a Grammy Music executive has filed a charge of lèse-majesté against her.

The other 2 Thai women to make the list are Kotchakorn Voraakhom and Cindy Sirinya Bishop. Kotchakorn is an urban landscape architect, who promotes the importance of green and public spaces in urban environments. Her aim is to transform vast, sprawling cities into more liveable spaces, while protecting them from the impact of climate change. The BBC describes her as someone who started by prising apart the “cracked pavement” of Bangkok’s cityscape to let new ideas come through.

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women | News by The Thaiger

Cindy Sirinya Bishop is the UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Gender Equality through Education, Communities and Governments. She is a TV host, actress, and model, known for her campaigns to end violence against women. She came to prominence in 2018, when she created the movement #DontTellMeHowToDress. The campaign was a response to authorities in Thailand telling women they shouldn’t dress provocatively during the Songkran period if they wanted to avoid being sexually assaulted.

Other women shortlisted by the BBC for the 2020 list include Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the research into the Covid-19 vaccine at Oxford University, Sanna Marin, the leader of Finland’s all-female coalition government, and Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian actress, who the BBC notes is one of very few Asian actresses to enjoy a successful career in the US.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated

The Thaiger

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No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated | The Thaiger

Qantas, Australia’s national airline, is announcing a new requirement that all international travellers will need to have a vaccination against Covid-19 in a move that could become the norm for the world’s airline industry. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the Australian flag carrier would implement the measure once a coronavirus vaccine was made available to the public.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft.”

“Whether you need that domestically, we will have to see what happens with Covid-19 in the market but certainly, for international visitors coming out (to Australia) and people leaving the country, we think that is a necessity.”

Joyce says the new rule is likely to become a standard practice by all airlines worldwide as many governments are now working to introduce electronic vaccination passports. Vaccination requirements are already widely used around the world for those wishing to enter certain countries, with many countries wanting travellers show they have been inoculated against yellow fever if they are coming from regions where that disease could be acquired.

The International Air Transport Association has also announced it is in the “final stages” of developing a digital health pass that it says can be used to record Covid-19 tests or vaccinations and will “support the safe reopening of borders.”

“We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”

Australia’s borders have been closed since March to help stop the spread of the virus, which has taken the lives of more than 1 million people worldwide. The country has even limited its own citizens arrivals from abroad by implementing a weekly quota that has left thousands stranded overseas. Qantas has grounded more than 200 planes and let go 8,500 staff members as it attempts to offset a US 1.9 billion loss.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Malaysia

Technical issues force Singapore aircraft to land on Malaysian highway – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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Technical issues force Singapore aircraft to land on Malaysian highway – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter

A single-engine prop plane from Singapore has been forced to make an emergency landing on a Malaysian highway due to technical difficulties. A report in Coconuts says the aircraft touched down on the hard shoulder of a highway in Johor, as cars sped past. The 2 pilots on board are believed to be in stable condition.

Chester Voo, CEO of Malaysia’s aviation authority, says an investigation has been launched to determine what went wrong with the plane, which has now been removed.

“Search and rescue teams have completed all required tasks. The investigation will be conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.”

It’s understood the plane left Seletar Airport in Singapore and was flying to Melaka when the pilots contacted Air Traffic Control at Johor, requesting permission to land at Senai International Airport, due to technical problems. However, Voo says the aircraft did not make it to the airport before it had to land on the highway.

Meanwhile, Thomas Ong from Premier Aero Singapore, who provide services at Seletar Airport, says his company provided immigration assistance to one of the pilots prior to departure, but doesn’t know what happened to cause the emergency landing.

“We only assisted Dr Yang in immigration formalities with the Seletar Airport Authority for his arrival and departure.”

SOURCE: Coconuts

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