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Phuket Media Watch – Herman Cain denies; Bankruptcy for American Airlines

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Woman claims long affair with U.S. presidential hopeful Herman Cain
Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: An Atlanta woman came forward on Monday evening to claim she had a 13-year-long affair with Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, just weeks after a series of claims regarding sexual harassment. Cain has denied the latest allegations.

The woman, 46-year-old Ginger White, made her allegations in an exclusive interview with WAGA-TV in Atlanta. She said her off-and-on affair with the presidential candidate ended about eight months ago, just before Cain announced he was to run for the White House.

“I’m not proud,” she said, adding that she did not want to come out but felt she had no other choice after an unidentified person contacted several media outlets. “It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate relationship.”

White said she met Cain during a presentation in the late 90s in Kentucky when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). She claims they shared drinks afterwards and Cain invited her back to his hotel room. “[He said], ‘I would like to, definitely, see you again. You are very beautiful to me and I would, you know, love for us to continue this friendship,” White told WAGA-TV.

During the next 13 years, Cain allegedly flew her to cities where he was speaking and ‘lavished her with gifts’. She said Cain never harassed her, never treated her poorly and was ‘the same man’ you see on the campaign trail.

White said she had planned to keep the relationship a secret until she watched reports of different women who accused Cain of sexual harassment. She told the television channel that she was not surprised by the allegations, but that she was bothered by the way Cain fought back.

“It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of; they were treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them. I felt bad for them,” White said. When someone contacted the media about herself, she felt she had no other choice but to come forward.

“I wanted to give my side, before it was thrown out there and made out to be something filthy,” she said. “Some people will look at this and say that is exactly what it is. I’m sorry for that.”

Overall, the woman described the alleged affair as ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’, but provided no evidence to substantiate her claims. WAGA-TV said White had provided cell phone records which showed calls and text messages between her and Cain’s number, but the woman provided no copies of the actual text messages.

An investigation by WAGA-TV revealed that White filed a sexual harassment claim against an employer in 2001, but the case was settled. White’s former business partner also once sought a “stalking temporary protective order” against her for “repeated e-mails / texts threatening lawsuit and defamation of character.”

The case was dismissed; but was followed by a libel lawsuit against White. A judge entered an order in favor of the business partner because White failed to respond to the lawsuit. The woman also filed for bankruptcy 23 years ago and has a history of eviction notices, the most recent one earlier this month.

Responding to the latest allegations, Cain confirmed he knows White and thought she was a friend. “But I did not have an affair, okay?” he said during an interview on CNN, which aired before White’s interview on WAGA-TV. “I acknowledge that I knew the woman. I acknowledge that I have known her for about that period of time but the accusation that I had a 13-year affair with her? No.”

After the interview aired on WAGA-TV, Cain released a statement in which he said the American public is tired of dirty politics and smear tactics. “I am running for President of the United States of America and the reality is that there are individuals out there that favor the status quo of higher taxes, more government and political cronyism and they are afraid of a Cain Presidency,” he said.

Cain added: “I have spoken directly to the American people and have been 100 percent honest with them. My plan is to continue to spread my vision on how I would renew America and keep her safe. I will not fight false claims as it is not what America needs or wants.”

Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said the campaign is not surprised by the new allegations. “Detractors are trying once again to derail the Cain Train with more accusations of past events that never happened,” Gordon said. “The Cain Campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America.”

Earlier this month, a Chicago woman called Sharon Bialek came forward to allege she was sexually assaulted by Cain when she sought his help in 1997. Bialek was previously employed at the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as manager of industry relations and was fired before the alleged incident happened.

Bialek said she first met Cain at a convention in Chicago about a month before she was terminated. “Mr. Cain sat next to me at that luncheon and spoke to me extensively,” she said. “Mr. Cain was the keynote speaker at the luncheon. He was incredibly inspirational. When he sat down I said to him, ‘when are you running for President?'”

During the final night of the conference, Bialek claims, Cain sat at a table with her and her boyfriend. “He was warm and attentive to both of us and invited us to join him at the after party in a suite at the hotel, which we did,” she said. “I felt very honored to be included in this select gathering.”

But several weeks later, Bialek was suddenly let go by the Foundation because she had not raised enough money. “I was devastated. I loved the job and the industry and in the short time that I had been there I felt we were doing well in terms of fundraising,” she said.

According to the woman’s accounts, her boyfriend suggested to reach out to Cain to see if he was able to help her find another job with the Foundation or in some other capacity. “I told [Cain] I had been let go. He said that he was unaware of it,” she said. “I asked if he could meet me for coffee. He said that he would and that I should call once I had firmed up the dates and the arrangements.”

Bialek’s boyfriend then proceeded to book a room for her at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. where the two met. “When I went to check into the room I was shocked to be taken to a palatial suite,” she said. “I told the bellman that there must be some mistake, but he insisted that there was no mistake. I later found out that Mr. Cain had arranged for the suite, though at the time I thought that perhaps my boyfriend had decided to surprise me.”

During the evening, at about 6.30 p.m. local time, Bialek said she met Cain in the hotel lobby where they had drinks. “He asked me how I liked my room and I explained that I was surprised. I said that I could not believe that I was given this gorgeous Senator’s suite. Mr. Cain smirked and then said, ‘I upgraded you.'”

Bialek said Cain then took her to an Italian restaurant where they had dinner, during which she explained that she needed a job after being let go. “He said that he would look into it,” she said.

After the dinner, Cain allegedly told Bialek that he would show her where the National Restaurant Association offices in D.C. were. “He parked the car down the block,” she said. “Instead of going in he sudden

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

Malaysian PM called to quit, criticised for “abuse of power” during Covid-19 crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Malaysian PM called to quit, criticised for “abuse of power” during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Muhyiddin Yassin

While protesters in Thailand are calling on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign, the Malaysia PM Muhyiddin Yassin is experiencing similar calls after he attempted to declare a state of emergency amid a rise in Covid-19 infections, but the request was rejected by the Malaysian King.

Some say the prime minister’s attempt to impose the order was intended to suspend parliament and “curb the government process”. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim recently claimed he had the majority of support in parliament and challenged the prime minister. He suggested the call for a state of emergency was to avoid a vote on the annual supply bill which he may have lost, effectively a vote of no confidence in the current PM and his government.

When Muhyiddin requested a state of emergency, Anwar said the Malaysian PM was trying to “curb the parliamentary process.” He said using the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to suspend sessions is an “abuse of power” and called the state of emergency request a “descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism.”

“A state of emergency is declared when there is a threat to our national security. But when the government is itself the source of that threat, then a state of emergency is nothing more than the descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism. I strongly advise Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to consider the legacy of these actions he is taking out of self interest and selfishness.”

Anwar released another media statement after the Malaysian King’s refusal saying it “affirms the strength of the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.”

King Al-Sultan Abdullah rejected the emergency order request yesterday. The prime minister holds a slim majority in parliament, but with his request rejected by the King, his hold on power is now palpably weaker. Now some leaders are calling on Muhyiddin to resign.

Ahmad Puad Zarkashi, a senior leader in the United Malays National Organisation made a Facebook post calling on the prime minister to resign.

“Thankfully, His Majesty the King was not influenced by the political game that could drag the country into more critical territory… The people’s wellbeing is more important. By right, Muhyiddin should step down.”

Opposition lawmaker Wong Chen calls the proposal for a state of emergency “malicious” and says the prime minister should resign or fire ministers who proposed the emergency orders.

SOURCES: Reuters | Twitter: Anwar Ibrahim

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours | The Thaiger

Both the rate of new infections and deaths from the coronavirus has begun to spike in the worldwide totals again with some countries and locations having to go back into lockdowns for a second or third time. In the US and parts of Europe a major new surge of cases is concerning health authorities, especially as these countries are now heading into cooler weather, and people gathering indoors.

As of Saturday morning, Thai time, a total of 42,462,925 people have been infected worldwide with Covid-19, 1,148,698 have died and 31,417,499 have recovered.

UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

The following graph shows today’s top ten countries with the most new infections in the past 24 hours…

UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: worldometers.info

Here’s a summary of some of the main world Covid-19 headlines…

ITALY

Italy has recorded another record with 19,143 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. That’s up from Thursday’s record of 16,079 new coronavirus cases. 91 coronavirus deaths were also reported on Friday. The governor of Campania in Vincenzo De Luca has made a formal request for a national lockdown and says he will close his region “for 30 to 40 days” to try and control the recent surge.

The governor of Lombardy lamented that it is a “dramatic situation.” Lombardy was the epicentre of one of the first, and most dangerous. clusters in the world after the virus first spread out of China.

UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

GRAPH: New cases surging across Italy – worldometers.info

US

A study from the Covid-19 forecasting team at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports that… if 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved from Covid-19 over the next 4 months.

In a survey done in September, only about 49% of US residents reported that they “always” wear a mask in public.

The study calculated that, if the current extent of mask-wearing were to continue, and states continue with removing social distancing mandates, the death toll across the US from Covid-19 could reach about 1 million deaths by the end of February.

“The study had some limitations, including that the findings are only forecast projections from models and not definitive of what the future holds.”

The IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray maintains that the study still helps offer insight into how mask-wearing can make a difference.

URUGUAY

Uruguay is closing its borders during the summer season as a program to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Uraguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou says that it will be “a restricted summer”.

“The borders will be basically closed, with exceptions that are already known and perhaps some more.

“Because today there are many cases, or several cases, in the education sector, we have decided to suspend face-to-face classes for two weeks.”

“Public safety measures will be enforced… avoid large gatherings and parties. We will be very strict when it comes to the topic of parties.”

Uruguay, with a total population of 3.5 million, has reported at least 2,701 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 and 53 deaths as of Friday morning and shares borders with Argentina and Brazil, both heavily impacted with a rise of Covid cases.

FRANCE

The head of infectious diseases at Tenon Hospital in Paris, Gilles Pialoux, says France is paying the price for ending the coronavirus lockdown too quickly.

On Thursday, France announced 41,622 new cases, and on Friday 42,032.

It will be “really difficult to avoid a second lockdown given the circulation of the virus.”

Gilles says local lockdowns or lockdowns “by population group” could be the solution. The doctor added the circulation of the virus among the “20-30 year old age group was far beyond the rest of the population”.

EUROPE

5 countries with the highest rate of new Covid infections, when measured against population, are all in Europe.

They are the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The number of new infections has risen sharply since the start of October, and continues to surge as the European autumn sets in.

As of last Thursday, the Czech Republic had a rolling daily average (across five days) of 10,579 new cases, meaning 988 new infections a day per 1 million population, a four-fold increase since the start of October. Belgium, was in the same situation with an average of 891 new infections per million residents as of last Thursday. The two countries have by far the highest rate of new Covid-19 infections.

UK

The UK has seen a sharp increase in its rolling averages during October, from 9,729 new cases to 19,290 per day. And the situation in Spain is less dramatic “but the daily average remains stubbornly high”. Infections per million are lower in other European countries, but they are still rising.

In comparison, the rolling averages of new cases in India and Brazil continue to fall, while the US is seeing a gradual but persistent rise. Its rolling average has risen from 43,089 at the start of October to 59,387 this week, representing 179 new cases a day per million population.

The UK’s economic recovery after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has now flattened out and threatens to reverse and trigger a double-dip recession. The government has announced new restrictions to tackle the second wave which are expected to stifle business activity.

A new survey of business activity indicates private sector growth in the UK falling back as hospitality and transport companies struggled to cope with regional lockdown measures.

US

As autumn spreads across North American, 25 states in the US are reporting rising Covid-19 infections. White House Coronavirus Taskforce officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States”.

Last Wednesday, at least 14 states had recorded their highest seven-day average of new daily cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Including Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Meanwhile, more than 41,000 people are currently hospitalised with the coronavirus across the country, according to the CovidTracking Project. Missouri and Idaho health officials say they’ll “soon be facing a crisis if hospitalisations continue to surge”.

The US reported the highest daily death toll in more than a month, with more than 1,100 new deaths.

UPDATE: World Covid cases surge again, US reports 81,000+ cases in past 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

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World

The World’s 50 Best Foods… Thai massaman curry tops the list

Maya Taylor

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The World’s 50 Best Foods… Thai massaman curry tops the list | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Young Sok Yun on Flickr

The humble Thai massaman curry has topped a list of the World’s 50 Best Foods, compiled by the CNN Travel team. Thailand’s smooth coconut milk and potato-based curry (add meat, tofu or vegetables of your choice) comes in at Number 1, with 2 other popular Thai dishes also making it into the World’s Best food list.

The hot and spicy shrimp/prawn soup, Tom Yum Goong, comes in at Number 8, with papaya salad, aka somtam, in 46th place (mai phet please!) Tell us your favourite Thai dish, and why, in the comments section (below).

CNN Travel says its staff conducted extensive research on global cuisine to find the 50 best dishes ever created. Nice work if you can get it…

Italian pizza, Mexican chocolate, Japanese sushi, Chinese Peking duck, Penang Assam laksa, Malaysia and German Hamburger also top the delicious list.

Here’s what the writers had to say about the 3 Thai dishes that made the top taste grade…

First Place, Massaman curryEmphatically the king of curries, and perhaps the king of all foods. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savoury. Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce. “The Land of Smiles” isn’t just a marketing catch-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the world’s most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.

Eighth Place, Tom Yum Kung

This best food Thai masterpiece teems with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Usually loaded with coconut milk and cream, the hearty soup unifies a host of favourite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet. Best of all is the price: cheap.

The World’s 50 Best Foods... Thai massaman curry tops the list | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Richard Lee on Flickr

46th Place, Som Tam/Papaya salad

To prepare Thailand’s most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya. Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab (som tam pu) and fermented fish sauce (som tam pla ra), but none matches the flavour and simple beauty of the original.

The World’s 50 Best Foods... Thai massaman curry tops the list | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: www.needpix.com

SOURCE: Thai Residents | CNN Travel

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