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Phuket Gazette World News: Aussie cruise tourists fall overboard; Boston bomber buried; Mega ATM cybercrime ring busted; Olympic sailor dies in America’s Cup mishap

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Phuket Gazette World News: Aussie cruise tourists fall overboard; Boston bomber buried; Mega ATM cybercrime ring busted; Olympic sailor dies in America’s Cup mishap | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Aussie cruise liner passengers fall overboard
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Australian emergency crews were searching on Friday for two people who fell overboard from a Carnival Corp cruise liner off the New South Wales coast.

Police said surveillance camera footage from the ship showed the 30-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both Australian, fell from the mid-deck around 8:50 p.m. AEST (1150 GMT) on Wednesday.

The pair were reported missing when the Carnival Spirit docked in Sydney on Thursday after completing a South Pacific tour.

Search-and-rescue planes and boats were scouring an area covering about 500 square nautical miles off Australia’s eastern coastline.

“I must be honest, our hopes are fading because of the length of time but we are going full throttle to try find them,” NSW Police Marine Area Commander Mark Hutchings told Sky News television on Friday when asked if police believed the pair were still alive.

Hutchings said the couple had gone off the ship “one after the other”, but it was unclear whether they had jumped or fallen by accident.

Miami-based Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise operator, has been plagued by a series of high-profile problems in recent months.

In February, its Carnival Triumph cruise ship was adrift for five days in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine fire, stranding more than 3,000 passengers without electricity and adequate sanitation.

It is also coping with repercussions from the sinking of its Costa Concordia ship in Italy in January 2012, which claimed 32 lives.

Body of suspected Boston Marathon bomber entombed – police
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The body of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been entombed and is no longer in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, where it had been held at a funeral home, the Worcester Police Department said on Thursday.

The police did not disclose where the body had been moved.

“A courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance to properly bury the deceased,” said Worcester Police Sergeant Kerry Hazelhurst.

The 26-year-old ethnic Chechen died in an April 19 gun battle with police, four days after he and his younger brother Dzhokhar are suspected of having set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 264.

The question of where to bury the elder Tsarnaev had proven to be a thorny one, with city officials in Boston and in neighbouring Cambridge, where he lived, refusing to accept the body for burial.

His widow, Katherine Russell, had asked that Tsarnaev’s body be released to his family. An uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Maryland, said on Sunday he had wanted his nephew to be buried in Massachusetts.

Russell’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tsarni could not be reached.

A crowd had picketed outside the Worcester Graham Putnam & Mahoney funeral home where the body had been held since it was claimed from the medical examiner last week.

Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, who faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted on charges related to the April 15 bombings, is being held at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He was moved there on April 26 after nearly a week in a Boston hospital where he received treatment for wounds sustained in the gun battle that left his brother dead.

Tamerlan died of gunshot wounds as well as blunt trauma to the head and torso, which resulted from both an exchange of fire with police in Watertown, outside Boston, as well as injuries that resulted when his brother drove over him as he fled.

Separately on Thursday, the family of the youngest victim to die in the attack – 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was standing by the finish line when the bombs went off – said that their 7-year-old daughter Jane was showing improvement, with surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital closing the wound left when the blast tore off her left leg below the knee.

“By closing the wound, the incredible medical team at Boston Children’s Hospital laid the groundwork for Jane to take an important step forward on the long and difficult road ahead of her,” the family said in a statement. “We take today’s development as positive news.”

British sailing champ dies in America’s Cup training off California
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: British yacht-racing champion Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, was killed on Thursday when his vessel capsized in San Francisco Bay during training for the America’s Cup, his team said.

Simpson, 36, a two-time Olympic medallist, had been sailing on the Artemis, Sweden’s entry in the America’s Cup, when the catamaran overturned, according to a statement posted on the Artemis racing website.

“The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” CEO Paul Cayard said in the statement. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”

The Artemis website said Simpson was part of an 11-member sailing team and that all other crew members had been accounted for following the mishap.

A U.S. Coast Guard officer, Pam Boehland, said support boats had pulled 12 crew members from the water, and that one was taken to a San Francisco hospital.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge confirmed that one male crew member had died in the accident and said he was estimated to have remained under water for 10 to 15 minutes before he was recovered.

She said one other sailor from the Artemis crew was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later released.

Boehland said the Artemis capsized at about 1 p.m. local time (9:00 p.m. British time) northwest of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The crippled vessel remained in the bay, and the Coast Guard established a 100-yard (91-meter) safety zone around the boat, she said.

The wreck was at least the fourth major accident in just over a year off the California coast or involving California vessels.

In March, a crew member was killed when a 30-foot (9-meter) sailboat broke apart in rough seas during a race near San Clemente Island.

In April 2012, four crewmen in a race from Southern California to Mexico died after their yacht ran aground. Two weeks earlier, five sailors died in a racing accident near the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco.

The Farallon incident prompted the Coast Guard to temporarily suspend racing in the Pacific Ocean off northern California.

U.S. charges eight in $45 million cyber crime scheme
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Individuals employed around the world by a sophisticated cyber crime ring stole US$45 million from thousands of bank automated teller machines within a matter of hours, using hacked debit-card data, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday.

Members of the global criminal organization hacked into two credit card processors and used stolen data to make more than 40,500 withdrawals in 27 countries, duri

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World

Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021

Caitlin Ashworth

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Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Josh Withers for UnSplash

It might be a while until tourists can visit Australia. Borders might not be fully reopen until at least 2022. Australia is rolling out its immunisation program next month, but even if most of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, the Australian government says it will probably wait to make sure the vaccine prevents the transmission of the virus before fully reopening borders.

Australia’s borders are only open for citizens, residents, those with family in Australia and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. All incoming travellers must quarantine for 14 days unless they come from an area classified as a “green safe travel zone.”

There are currently 1,881 active Covid-19 cases in Australia, according to Worldometers. No local Covid-19 cases were reported today. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has reported more than 22,000 local cases and 909 deaths related to Covid-19.

The state of New South Wales is a main focus for Covid-19 prevention measures at this stage and some neighbouring states have imposed travel restrictions on those from the state. NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian floated the idea about allowing venues in the area to ban entry to those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated you can’t travel overseas and I think that’ll be an incentive to a lot of people… We’ll also consider whether we allow venues … make up their own rules if they have a business or run a workplace about what they feel is Covid safe.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

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Politics

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident

The Thaiger

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Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident | The Thaiger

Corporate America is adding its weight in response to the insurgency at the Capitol building on January 6, and are pulling out from any association with the Trump brand after the storming of the capitol incidentwhich economists say will have a profound medium and long-term effect on his business interests. Recently, Signature Bank closed Trump’s personal accounts and the PGA of America stopped plans to hold its 2022 championship at Mr. Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

Such a parting of ways signals the business community’s weariness in being associated with a political figure that has attracted worldwide attention and is indicative of what may happen to the Trump brand. The president’s role in the incident, confirmed by his impeachment by the House this week, has gained criticism from the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO labour federation.

Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography, says the capitol incident has been a game-changer for the support of extreme politics.

“Trump’s name is really an albatross. He is the most disgraced president in history. This is a person who’s synonymous with a mob attacking the US Capitol. I just think this went a step too far.”

Other experts like Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, say Trump’s brand will inevitably suffer long-term.

“Before his term, Trump stood for wealth, success and over-the-top luxury. Now the brand has associations with anti-government views, racism and extremism. This makes the brand fairly toxic.”

Deutsche Bank, to which Trump reportedly owes around $400 million, is also planning to stop engaging in business with him. But the president dismissed any business challenges in an October 15 televised event by saying that the $400 million he owed was “a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

It appears true that some of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency as taxpayer revenue has continuously flowed into his golf courses and clubs where he stays with his family, the secret service and the White House staff.

In fact, CREW estimates that Trump’s properties took in over $100 million from more than 500 visits by the president, according to a report in September 2020. But even that business transaction has received widespread criticism as many say Trump should not have mixed politics with his personal businesses.

D’Antonio predicts that Trump may sell current assets to pay off his Deutsche Bank debt, which means there could be fewer to none Trump hotels, golf courses or towers in the next 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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