Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: EU looks to immigration barriers; Peace talks in Sudan; Train bomb suspect set for court

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on

Phuket Gazette World News: EU looks to immigration barriers; Peace talks in Sudan; Train bomb suspect set for court | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Swiss bring back quotas to control EU immigration
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Switzerland said it will reintroduce quotas for European Union workers, bowing to growing unease about immigration from poorer neighbours, in a decision Brussels says violates an accord.

Prosperous, landlocked Switzerland has seen the net influx of workers rise to up to 80,000 a year, contributing to a house price bubble and prompting criticism from right-wing parties.

The Swiss Federal Council said on Wednesday the quotas, effective for 12 months, will apply to eight central and eastern European countries including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

They will likely be extended to a further 17 countries in western and southern Europe in June, it added.

Under the terms of the 1999 Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, non-EU Switzerland may invoke a “safeguard clause” which allows temporary caps on work permits if the annual influx exceeds a certain number.

” came to the conclusion that the safeguard clause is one of several measures which can help to make immigration more acceptable to society and compatible with its needs,” it said in a statement.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she regretted the Swiss action, adding that it was contrary to the 1999 treaty since the quotas differentiate between countries.

“These measures disregard the great benefits that the free movement of persons brings to the citizens of both Switzerland and the EU,” she said in an emailed statement.

Last April, Switzerland temporarily imposed quotas on workers from the same eight eastern European countries.

African Union brings Sudan, rebels together for peace talks
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The African Union on Wednesday brought together for the first time for peace talks Sudan and insurgents fighting government troops in two states bordering South Sudan, in a conflict that has affected almost a million people.

Fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-North, in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile around the time of South Sudan’s secession from Khartoum in 2011.

The violence has displaced or severely affected more than 900,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Sudan previously refused to meet the SPLM-North, and accused South Sudan of backing the rebels, charges denied by Juba.

Khartoum altered its position after ties with South Sudan greatly improved last month with the signing of a deal to resume cross-border oil flows, the lifeline for both. Both sides also agreed to open 10 border crossings on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, an AU panel led by mediator Thabo Mbeki, a former South African president, met with Sudanese delegation chief Ibrahim Ghandour and the SPLM-North’s leader, Yassir Arman, in Addis Ababa at the start of peace talks, diplomats attending the negotiations said.

Ghandour and Arman were later set to meet directly for the first time, diplomats said.

No quick breakthrough is expected as both sides harbour deep mistrust and even hostility. Diplomats see the fact that talks actually take place as success and hope both will agree to allow the United Nations to deliver badly needed aid via Sudan to rebel-held territories in both states.

In an opening statement to the AU panel and Sudan’s delegation, the SPLM-North said it was “looking forward to fruitful negotiations” to address the humanitarian crisis and find a solution for the conflict in both states.

Rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states sided with South Sudan during the civil war with Khartoum, which ended with a peace deal in 2005. They were left on the Sudanese side of the border after southern secession and complain of marginalisation.

“We see clearly that this negotiation represents a new historical opportunity to realise a just peace and peaceful democratic change that will lead to building a strong new Sudanese state on the basis of equal citizenship,” SPLM-North leaders said in the statement sent to the media.

The rebels also demanded the release of 600 people they said were held by Sudanese authorities as political prisoners.

The SPLM is part of a an alliance with three rebel groups in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, scene of a separate insurgency, which seeks to topple President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

U.S. was alerted to bombing suspect’s travel to Russia
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: An FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston was alerted when one of the two brothers who later allegedly carried out the Boston Marathon bombings travelled to Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday in one of several disclosures that cast new light on the government’s handling of the case.

The officials also said Russia, which had tipped off the FBI about its concerns over one of the men, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in early 2011 and asked the agency to look into him, made a second, identical request to the CIA in late September 2011.

As a result, a U.S. intelligence official said, the CIA “nominated” Tsarnaev’s name for inclusion on a government watch list known as TIDE.

Reuters first reported on Tuesday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name was on that list, which is maintained by the National Counterterrorism Centre and is separate – and much larger – than the U.S. government’s “no fly” list.

It remains far from clear that either the alert to the FBI or Russia’s previously unreported contact with the CIA could have helped uncover a plot that ultimately killed four people and injured more than 200 in Boston.

But some lawmakers are questioning whether U.S. security agencies had properly shared information in the case.

U.S. officials defended their handling of the probe, noting that while the Russian government saw Tsarnaev as a threat, an FBI investigation turned up no evidence that he was contemplating violence in the United States.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, who is in custody in a hospital after being badly wounded in battles with police, was formally charged this week.

“We have to evaluate the performance whatever we do to see if we did the proper thing, or if we should have gone further, was there a mix-up?” Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview. “It is too soon and we can’t rush to judgment until we get the facts.”

Two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, called on Wednesday for Senate hearings into the matter.

The U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, described a four month-long investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev that lasted from March to June 2011 and was prompted by Russia’s request to the FBI to investigate him. Russia’s intelligence service, known as the FSB, told the Americans that he had become a follower of radical Islam.

As part of the FBI’s probe, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name was entered into a U.S. Customs and Border Protection database known as TECS in March 2011, where it stayed for a year.

Database sent alert

U.S. officials briefed on the invest

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand and SmartJob Indonesia. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group or get out on a yacht anywhere with Boatcrowd. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hot News

More coronavirus cases detected in China, global alert for Chinese New Year

The Thaiger

Published

on

More coronavirus cases detected in China, global alert for Chinese New Year | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Conversation

Chinese medical officials have now reported four more cases of the viral pneumonia strain caused by a new coronavirus. The discoveries are causing rising concern that the disease is not fully understand and could spread during the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays.

The new virus, originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the apparent epicentre of the outbreak – is believed to belong in the same class of coronaviruses that includes the deadly SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 800 people around the world in 2002/03. That outbreak also started in China.

At this stage all signs are that the virus isn’t as lethal as SARS, but there is still little known about the coronavirus’ origins and how it is transmitted. But it has been established at this stage that it is not spread human to human.

Both Thailand and Japan have confirmed new cases of the virus. In Thailand the patient was detected when arriving on a flight from Wuhan. And Japan’s health ministry reported that a man who had visited the central Chinese city of Wuhan was hospitalised on January 10, four days after his return to Japan.

Both patients have fully recovered.

The new cases detected in China, and the cases detected overseas, are stoking global concerns as many of the 1.4 billion Chinese will head overseas during the Chinese New Year holidays that begin next week and run through to early February.

The Wuhan Health Commission reports that the the four new cases are now in stable condition. 45 cases have been reported in the city as of last Thursday. A second patient died on Wednesday this week. Nearly 50 people are now known to have been infected globally, but all of them either lived in Wuhan or have travelled to the city.

The London Imperial College’s MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis speculates that there are probably “substantially more cases” of the new coronavirus than currently declared by Wuhan authorities. Their modelling estimates that there would be 1,723 cases showing onset of related symptoms by the second week in January.

Meanwhile US authorities say they are now screening at three airports to detect passengers arriving via direct or connecting flights from Wuhan. And in Asia, authorities in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are stepping up monitoring of travellers from Wuhan at airports.

SOURCE: Reuters | Science Alert

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Dutchman jailed for 100 years in Thailand for money laundering is released

Greeley Pulitzer

Published

on

Dutchman jailed for 100 years in Thailand for money laundering is released | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Johan van Laarhoven walks free after serving six years of a 100 year sentence in Thai prison - The Chiang Rai Times

A Dutch citizen who was jailed for 100 years in Thailand, is now on his way home after years of campaigning for his release. His sentence was reduced to 75 years on appeal and later to 50 years by the Supreme court. Johan van Laarhoven, who ran several cannabis “coffee shops” in Holland, was jailed in Thailand for money laundering, along with his Thai wife, though the offences took place in The Netherlands.

Thai authorities began investigating Van Laarhoven in 2014 after a letter from a Dutch public prosecutor’s office, informing them that he had earned his money selling marijuana and requesting their help. Last year, MPs called on the government to to extradite Van Laarhoven and his wife back to Netherlands. The Dutch justice minister even met with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin to discuss the case.

Even though cannabis is legal in the Netherlands, Dutch officials bungled a tax query to Thai authorities regarding the sale of the Dutchman’s cannabis cafe chain. This led to a criminal investigation and his televised arrest in Thailand.

Thai authorities seized the Dutchman’s assets and he was sentenced to 100 years in prison. His young Thai wife, Mingkwan, was jailed for 13 years as an accomplice. The Netherlands has an extradition treaty with Thailand, but it can only be implemented after a case has been ruled “definitive.” Van Laarhoven’s sentence was upheld late last year, clearing the way for a diplomatic solution. It’s unclear whether his wife will be allowed to join him in the Netherlands.

Once back, Van Laarhoven will spend two years in a Dutch jail to complete his sentence, and also face criminal investigation for money laundering. The investigation will focus on tax fraud, membership in a criminal organisation and laundering €20m (675 million baht) according to a Dutch public prosecutor.

SOURCE: The Chiang Rai Times | Dutchnews.nl

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Expats

MSG makes a comeback with a new campaign against the ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’

The Thaiger

Published

on

MSG makes a comeback with a new campaign against the ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MSG got a bad rap for 50 years - bostonmagazine.com

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, a common seasoning in many foods from Doritos, to salad-dressing and Thai food, is making a come back. Not that it really went away. But there was 50 years or so when it suffered, unreasonably, a poor reputation.

For years it was branded an unhealthy processed ingredient despite a lack of supporting scientific evidence. It became the whipping boy of Chinese restaurants with people alleging they would suffer from symptoms like dizziness and palpitations after eating Chinese food seasoned with MSG. It even earned the nickname “Chinese restaurant syndrome”.

The Merriam-Webster even added “Chinese restaurant syndrome” to its dictionaries from 1993 after it became somewhat of an urban legend such that it became excepted that a lot of Chinese food contained MSG and that it was, somehow, bad for you. Despite hundreds of studies there has never been any repeatable experiments where it could be proven that monosodium glutamate was bad for consumer’s health or could repeat the alleged side-effects in control groups.

It all started when a biochemist wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Science in 1968 saying that Chinese restaurant food left him “lightheaded and with odd aches and pains”. The next issue of the journal published more purported side-effects.

That grew into a meme that Chinese food was dangerous for you and spread quickly, and even gained some early legitimacy by some medical professionals at the time. A 1969 scientific paper claimed that MSG was “the cause of the Chinese restaurant syndrome,” and said it caused “burning sensations, facial pressure, and chest pain.”

Subsequent scientific studies over the next half century have never been able to validate the 1969 paper’s claims or find any link between the white salt-like substance and any side effects. Studies suggest that any correlation on side effects from eating MSG were probably psychosomatic.

MSG was first introduced in 1908 by a Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda, who was able to isolate unique flavour of a popular broth made from a seaweed called kombu. Ikeda described the flavour as neither salty, sweet, sour or bitter. It was unique. The taste came from the glutamate in the seaweed and earned the new, “fifth taste” which would be called “umami”, neither salty, sweet, sour or bitter.

But MSG has been used as an active ingredient in many Asian foods, not the least Thai food where the white crystals are sprinkled liberally on favourite Thai dishes from the street stalls to the hi-so restaurants.

Now there’s a campaign, “Redefine CRS” headed by Japanese food and seasoning company Ajinomoto to reflect the current knowledge about MSG and the impact of misinformation on the public’s perception of Asian cuisine.

The whole Chinese Restaurant Syndrome was a western construct and never became a ‘thing’ in Asia. So Ajinomoto are calling out the half century of misinformation as “racist”. If MSG was actually dangerous or could conjour up it’s reputed side effects a long list of Asian countries and their populations would be walking around complaining about it.

“To this day, the myth around MSG is ingrained in America’s consciousness, with Asian food and culture still receiving unfair blame. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome isn’t just scientifically false, it’s xenophobic.”

In a video several Asian American figures, restaurateurs, and medical professionals spoke out against the misconceptions surrounding MSG and Chinese food. Famed restaurateur Eddie Huang, whose memoir was adapted into the hit sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat points out that MSG is not only delicious but found in hundreds of commonly used foods we use every day.

“Calling it Chinese restaurant syndrome is really ignorant.”

The campaign proposes a redefinition of “Chinese restaurant syndrome”… “an outdated term that falsely blamed Chinese food containing MSG, or monosodium glutamate, for a group of symptoms.”

Chances are, you’ve eaten it. You light be eating it right now as you snack and scroll through your phone. MSG is a common amino acid naturally found in foods like tomatoes and cheese, which people then figured out how to extract and ferment. This fermented glutamate salt is now used to flavour lots of different foods like stews or chicken stock and seasoning.

A joint study by the World Health Organisation and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation “failed to confirm a link between MSG and the ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’. The syndrome itself was based on “anecdotal” evidence rather than any scientific fact.”

As the new campaign points out, the public scare over MSG unfairly placed the blame on Chinese food. That myth persists in many western countries where Chinese food as is sometimes considered processed, unclean, or unhealthy.

So, head down to your local Chinese restaurant and thoroughly enjoy your meal because it tastes great, along with all the other Asian cuisines you love. If you feel ‘icky, bloated and tingly’ after your meal it’s not the MSG, you probably just ate or drank too much.

As a side note, The Thaiger was involved in an experiment six years ago in Phuket when we had two control groups of three people. The six people were sat down and told we wanted to measure the effects of MSG in their food. All were given a standard Pad Thai Goong. One group was told the meal had been prepared with MSG, the other without MSG. In the interviews after, the group who ate the food prepared with MSG noted they had ‘tingling around their lips’, ‘feeling of flush cheeks’ and ‘racing heartbeat’.

The other group, who were told their meals were prepared without MSG, had no complaints.

Then everyone was told that, in fact, the meals had been switched, so that the group who thought they had consumed MSG had eaten a Pad Thai Going without any MSG.

Hardly a scientifically-validated study but an indication how we can be easily convinced to believe anything.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading
แฟนหงส์ยิ้มกริ่ม ! ไฮไลท์ แมนซิตี้ 2-2 คริสตัล พาเลซ, ซาฮา ตัวแสบยิงเจ๊า | The Thaiger
พรีเมียร์ลีก6 hours ago

แฟนหงส์ยิ้มกริ่ม ! ไฮไลท์ แมนซิตี้ 2-2 คริสตัล พาเลซ, ซาฮา ตัวแสบยิงเจ๊า

เฮย์เด้น เป็นฮีโร่ซัดชัย ! ไฮไลท์ นิวคาสเซิล 1-0 เชลซี, สิงห์หงอย โดนทดเจ็บ | The Thaiger
พรีเมียร์ลีก7 hours ago

เฮย์เด้น เป็นฮีโร่ซัดชัย ! ไฮไลท์ นิวคาสเซิล 1-0 เชลซี, สิงห์หงอย โดนทดเจ็บ

สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน2 days ago

สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF)

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้ | The Thaiger
คลิป5 days ago

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า | The Thaiger
สื่อไทย7 days ago

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล1 week ago

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่ | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล1 week ago

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5 | The Thaiger
พรีเมียร์ลีก1 week ago

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน! | The Thaiger
อาชญากรรม1 week ago

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน!

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020 | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน1 week ago

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23 | The Thaiger
ทีมชาติไทย2 weeks ago

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก | The Thaiger
คาราบาวคัพ2 weeks ago

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน2 weeks ago

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.)

Trending