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Phuket Gazette World News: Kate and Will show off new prince; Oz tells UK not to leave EU; China’s corrupt healthcare

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Phuket Gazette World News: Kate and Will show off new prince; Oz tells UK not to leave EU; China’s corrupt healthcare | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Kate and William show off Britain’s new prince
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Prince William and his wife Kate gave the world its first glimpse of their new baby yesterday when they left hospital with the boy who is third in line to the British throne.

To huge cheers from well-wishers and hospital staff, the beaming couple waved and took turns to hold their son, wrapped tightly in a white blanket with only the top of his head visible.

“We are still working on a name, so we will have that as soon as we can,” William told reporters, adding that he could not be happier. “He’s got her looks, thankfully.”

Kate, wearing a pale blue dress with white polka dots, said they were both feeling “very emotional”.

“It’s such a special time. Any parent … will know what this feeling is like,” she said before William drove the young family away in a Range Rover.

Kate, 31, gave birth to the couple’s first child on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival, and all three spent the night in the hospital – St Mary’s in west London.

They adhered to tradition by giving the public the first sight of the baby on the steps of the hospital as they left – just as William’s father Prince Charles and late mother, Princess Diana, did with him.

The baby’s name will be announced later. George and James, both traditional royal names, were favoured choices with British bookmakers.

Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, were the first visitors to see the couple and their new child. Asked if she would reveal the name or had made any suggestions, Carole Middleton laughed and said: “Absolutely not.”

Wrapped in the flag

Hordes of TV crews, photographers and royal fans wrapped in British flags were camped outside the hospital for the first glimpse of the baby, who will be called the Prince of Cambridge.

To mark the birth, the Royal Artillery fired a 41-gun salute at London’s Green Park and 62 rounds were fired at the Tower of London. Bells at Westminster Abbey, where the couple married in April 2011, rang out for more than three hours.

Outside the Queen’s London residence, Buckingham Palace, a military band played “Congratulations” following the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony.

William and Kate, who met when they were students at university in Scotland about 10 years ago, have officially been known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since their wedding.

The couple, who have been living in a cottage in north Wales where William is based as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, will eventually take up residence with their baby at Apartment 1A in London’s Kensington Palace, William’s childhood home, when a 1 million pound ($1.5 million) refurbishment is completed later this year.

Royal experts said the new prince would now be taken out of the public glare.

“Having a baby is a very private moment, and they are a private couple, so the next time we see the baby will be the official photo, and that could be weeks,” said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine.

Australia tells Britain not to forsake the European Union
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Australia has told Britain it hopes it will remain part of the European Union, becoming the latest country to intervene in an emotive domestic debate that may culminate in a referendum to decide if Britain leaves the 28-nation bloc.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold such a referendum by the end of 2017 if he wins the next parliamentary election in two years’ time, responding to public concerns about perceived EU meddling in domestic affairs and signs that those EU states that use the euro may opt for greater integration.

Australia’s intervention follows calls from the United States and Japan for Britain not to sever its EU ties and suggests that Cameron’s plan to give Britons a vote on the issue is causing unease with some allies.

France and Germany have signalled they want to keep Britain in but will resist it trying to “cherry-pick” the EU policies it likes and dropping those it does not.

Australia’s contribution came in the form of a letter sent from the office of Foreign Minister Bob Carr, published on the website of the British Foreign Office on Monday as part of a review the government is conducting into the country’s EU ties.

“Australia recognises the UK’s strength and resilience and looks forward to seeing it continue as a leading economy and effective power,” the letter said. “Strong effective membership of the EU contributes to this.”

Australia valued the role that Britain played in shaping EU foreign policy, it added. “I hope to see this continue long into the future,” the author, whose name and signature had been blanked out at the bottom, said.

A second letter sent from an unidentified individual based at Parliament House in Canberra said EU membership allowed Britain to better “leverage” its global influence and meant it was viewed as “a platform for trade and investment in the broader EU market.”

“I encourage the UK to maintain its influence by remaining an engaged participant of the EU internal market,” it said. With a market of 500 million people, the EU is Britain’s main trading partner.

The British government said in Monday’s review that the economic benefits of Britain’s EU membership outweighed the loss of independence on policy.

However, polls suggest more Britons want to leave the EU than stay in. A YouGov poll in May said 46 percent would vote to leave, 35 percent would opt to stay in, 16 percent were undecided and 4 percent would not vote.

Cameron says his preference is for Britain to remain inside a reformed EU. Trailing slightly in most polls, it remains unclear whether he will win the next election.

He has said he will try to renegotiate Britain’s membership before giving people a straight in-out vote.

Australia is not among the top ten foreign investors in Britain, but in 2011 British government statistics put the value of existing Australian investments at 11.6 billion pounds.

Bribery serves as life-support for Chinese hospitals
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Bribery is the lubricant that helps keep China’s public hospitals running, and the health system would struggle to function without illegal payments to poorly paid doctors and administrators, say medical practitioners and industry experts.

They say government policies are partly to blame for a system in which doctors and other staff expect to be paid extra fees to perform operations and take kickbacks from pharmaceutical firms and medical-equipment suppliers.

The profession’s ugly underbelly was exposed last week when police accused British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline of bribing officials and doctors for six years to boost sales and the price of its medicines. GSK has called the developments “shameful” and on Monday said some of its Chinese executives appeared to have broken the law.

China is an appealing market for pharmaceutical firms and medical-equipment makers, with spending in the industry expected to nearly triple to $1 trillion (650.2 billion pounds) by 2020 from $357 billion in 2011, according to consulting firm McKinsey

— 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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Environment

Second death in China from virus concerns officials with the CNY holidays looming

The Thaiger

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Second death in China from virus concerns officials with the CNY holidays looming | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Five patients remain in serious condition in Wuhan - New York Times

“At least 41 people have now been diagnosed as being infected this latest flu-like strain.”

Medical officials in China’s Wuhan city have announced that another man had died after being infected by the new coronavirus strain. Thailand and Japan have now reported new cases of a the Chinese Coronavirus that has already killed two and infected at least 40 in China. There are growing concerns about the spread of the virus beyond Chinese ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays. Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 25 this year but many Chinese, and people of Chinese ethnicity, travel before and after this date, including trips over seas.

The Chinese man, reported to be aged 69, was admitted to a Wuhan hospital on December 31 with “abnormal renal function”. The man died from pneumonia linked to the new strain of the coronavirus outbreak in the central China province.

Chinese scientists identified the illness as a new strain of coronavirus, which is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Symptoms of coronaviruses can range from fever and coughing to kidney failure, and in some cases lead to death.

At least 41 people have now been diagnosed as being infected this latest flu-like strain, earlier called the “Wuhan Flu”, and now referred to as Chinese Coronavirus.

Five patients still remain in a serious condition. Chinese medical officials state that no cases of human-to-human transmission of the new viral strain have been confirmed so far.

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Crime

2 more alleged call centre scam suspects arrested in Japan

Greeley Pulitzer

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2 more alleged call centre scam suspects arrested in Japan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Japanese suspects arrested during a raid in Chon Buri in late March 2019

Two men arrested in Japan yesterday stand accused of operating a large-scale call centre scam based in Thailand, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to 28. Japanese police believe 36 year old Kengo Yasutake and 34 year old Shimpei Hirata operated a luxury home in Pattaya, where a team of Japanese men would call people across Japan and tell them their subscription fees for a website were overdue.

Police say the gang has tricked more than 200 people and collected a total of more than 55 million baht. Fifteen Japanese men have already been arrested by Thai police last March at another luxury house location, also in Chon Buri province, and Japanese investigators arrested more in May 2019 as they attempted to leave Thailand for Japan.

Investigators say the group had a well-organised division of labour conducting the scam, with individual members making phone calls, cashing swindled electronic gift cards and as managing the scam web site.

They were arrested on suspicion of scamming a woman and two others living in the city of Fukui, central Japan, alleging in an email that they had failed to pay website subscription fees, and coercing them into purchasing electronic gift cards worth a total 780,000 yen, or about 215,000 baht.

SOURCE: Japan Times
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Well-Being

First ‘China coronavirus’ case confirmed in Japan

Greeley Pulitzer

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First ‘China coronavirus’ case confirmed in Japan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The first case of the 'Wuhan Flu' identified in Japan - The Economist

As Thailand’s airports continue screening passengers arriving from China, Japan has confirmed its first case of the new China coronavirus that has killed one and attracted a travel alert from the US State Department. The patient, a man from Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo, had recently visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, where an outbreak of a pneumonia strain is believed to be caused by the new coronavirus.

The US State Department issued a warning on Wednesday about travel to the Wuhan region in China, citing an alert by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which urges citizens travelling in the region to avoid contact with animals, animal markets or animal products, among other precautions.

Health authorities in Thailand announced on Wednesday they are stepping up screening of passengers arriving by air ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, when 800,000 Chinese tourists are expected to head for the Kingdom.

Though there has been no known human-to-human transmission, the World Health Organisation says the new virus could spread and is warning hospitals worldwide. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, aka. SARS. Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while some, like the one that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), are far more severe.

The Japanese patient returned from Wuhan and was hospitalised with a fever. He was released yesterday after the symptoms subsided.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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