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Phuket Lifestyle: Day-Lewis makes history as Oscars shared around

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Argo wins best picture Oscar, Ang Lee takes best director
Phuket Gazette / The Nation / DPA

PHUKET: The political hostage drama Argo won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday as the Academy Awards were spread among a wealth of nominees.

Life of Pi picked up a leading four trophies, including the Best Director Oscar for Ang Lee, while Argo and Les Miserables won three a piece.

But the top nominee going into the night, Lincoln, was largely ignored, winning just two of the 12 categories it was nominated for in a snub of Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.

The prizes for actors in a leading role went to Jennifer Lawrence for playing a troubled young widow in the romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook and to Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of US president Abraham Lincoln. It was Day-Lewis’ third best actor win, an Oscar record.

Christoph Waltz won the first Oscar of the night, picking up the trophy for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a bounty hunter in Django Unchained.

Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role as an impoverished worker in the musical Les Miserables.

Argo, which is based on a true story about a fake movie dreamed up by the CIA to rescue hostages trapped in revolutionary Iran, had emerged as the Oscar favorite in the weeks leading up to the event.

Besides the coveted best picture Oscar, Argo also won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing. Quentin Tarantino picked up the Original Screenplay Oscar for Django Unchained.

Amour, a drama about an aging French couple dealing with failing health, won Best Foreign Language film. Directed by Michael Haneke, it stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emanuelle Riva.

Searching for Sugar Man won Best Documentary, while Brave won for Best Animated Feature.

Hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the 85th Academy Awards lasted three and a half hours and was watched by 1 billion people globally.

It featured performances from Adele, Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey, but many of the sketches and acceptance speeches were widely criticized on social media for being too long and boring.

MacFarlane almost acknowledged as much after the Best Screenplay awards were handed out, joking that “since we’ve gone on so long, we’re going to start the 2014 Oscars straight after this.”

Even Ben Affleck, who directed, co-produced and starred in Argo was pushed to hurry his acceptance speech.

“I want to acknowledge the other eight films,” Affleck said after the award was announced live from the White House by first lady Michelle Obama. “They have every right to be here as much as we do.”

“You have to work harder than you think you possibly can,” said Affleck, who was snubbed in the best director nominations.

“It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because it’s going to happen. All that matters is that you’ve got to get up.”

— 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.

World

15,000+ Covid-19 patients in Japan on waiting list for hospitals and health care accommodations

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15,000+ Covid-19 patients in Japan on waiting list for hospitals and health care accommodations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kyodo News

Thousands of people in Japan who are infected with Covid-19 are on the waiting list for hospitals or other accommodations for those with the virus due to the rising number of cases. Kyoto News conducted a survey and reports at least 15,058 are on the waiting list for proper treatment and accommodation.

The number of new infections in Japan has been growing sharply since last November. Last Tuesday, Japan saw a rapid increase of new infections, including Tokyo. According to the WHO’s report as of yesterday, Japan recorded 4,587 new cases, 360,661 confirmed cases and 5,019 deaths.

In Japan, local public health officials are in charge of arranging hospital stays and treatment for people infected with the virus as well as the appropriate accommodation for people with mild symptoms. The process of making those arrangements is taking longer, and the newly infected people are forced to stay home because of bed shortages. Some are reported dead in their houses.

A survey by Kyodo News found Tokyo had the most infected people waiting to be hospitalised or accommodated at other facilities, jumping 4.8 times from 1,563 as of December 19 to 7,539. Every prefecture has reported a similar rise.

On January 7, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency for 11 prefectures out of a total of 47 prefectures until February 7. Under the state of emergency, people are asked to stay home and restaurants are urged to shorten their opening hours.

SOURCE: Kyodo News

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Anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands turn violent, Covid-19 testing centre burnt down

Caitlin Ashworth

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Anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands turn violent, Covid-19 testing centre burnt down | The Thaiger
Screenshot via The Independent

Violence broke out in the Netherlands and a Covid-19 testing centre was burnt down after a nationwide curfew was imposed over the weekend to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. In Eindhoven and Amsterdam, riot police deployed water cannons to disperse the crowds of anti-lockdown protesters.

The Netherlands has been under a tough lockdown since mid-December, leading to clashes between anti-lockdown protesters and police. Just last week, police in Amsterdam used the water cannon on hundreds of protesters. Local officials say the riot police had been called to break up the crowd because people weren’t abiding by social distancing measures.

On Saturday, a new 9pm to 4:30am curfew was imposed, tightening the already tough restrictions. As the curfew went into effect that night, rioters set fire to a portable coronavirus testing facility by a harbour in Urk, a fishing town around 80 kilometres northeast of Amsterdam. That night and early the next morning, 3,600 people in the Netherlands were fined for breaching the new curfew. Police say 25 people were arrested for breaching the curfew and violence.

Local officials say the riots in Urk were a “slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk.”

The next day, in the southern city Eindhoven, rioters threw rocks at police and set fires in the centre of the city. Riot police used water cannons and tear gas to break up the crowds. Rocks and shattered glass littered a central square in the city. At least 55 people were arrested, according to the Associated Press.

In the capital of Amsterdam, police used a water cannon to break up a group of anti-lockdown protesters. The Associated Press says more than 100 people were arrested.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Crime

Asia’s biggest drug kingpin arrested in Netherlands

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Asia’s biggest drug kingpin arrested in Netherlands | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sky News

Asia’s biggest drug kingpin is under arrest in the Netherlands after years of authorities chasing him worldwide. 57 year old Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, was arrested by Dutch police acting on a request by Australia’s federal police.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime named him as the suspected leader of the Asian mega-cartel known as “Sam Gor”, a major producer and supplier of methamphetamines worldwide. Tse is commonly compared to the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Sam Gor is suspected of laundering billions in drug money through businesses such as casinos, real estate and hotels in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region. Australia’s federal police said Friday’s arrest came after a 2012 operation that arrested 27 people linked to a crime syndicate spanning five countries. The groups was accused of importing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into Australia, according to police.

“The syndicate targeted Australia over a number of years, importing and distributing large amounts of illicit narcotics, laundering the profits overseas and living off the wealth obtained from crime.”

The arrest of Tse Chi Lop almost 10 years after that operation’s launch is a major break for Australian authorities. The country’s attorney-general will now begin preparing a formal extradition request for the alleged drug lord to face trial.

Most of Asia’s meth comes from “Golden Triangle” border areas between Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and southwest China. The production of methamphetamine, either in tablet form or the highly potent crystalised “ice” version, take place in Myanmar’s eastern north Shan state. Ketamine and fentanyl are also produced there as well, mostly in ‘portable’ labs that hide underneath the thick rainforest canopy.

In 2018 alone, Thailand netted more than 515 million methamphetamine tablets, a number 17 times the amount for the entire Mekong region 10 years ago. Traffickers are constantly finding more creative ways to ship their products as drug busts are featured daily on the news in those regions.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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