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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

China sees slowest population growth since 1960’s despite relaxing 1 child policy

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Stock photo via Flickr

China is seeing the slowest amount of population growth since the 1960’s despite relaxing its 1 child policy. The birthrate has been in a steady decline since 2017, and its growth is being measured at 5.4% since the last census in 2010. The population has reached 1.41 billion, but that number is low due to the sluggish growth rate.

The newest figures point towards an ageing population with a large drop in the number of working age people in the nation. The number of people aged between 15 and 59 dropped 7%, while those over the age of 60 increased more than 5%. Beijing relaxed the 1 child policy back in 2016, but it has yet to see the effects of the change. Ning Jizhe, an official from the National Bureau of Statistics, seems confident, however, that the family planning change will work.

“The adjustment of China’s fertility policy has achieved positive results.”

Failing marriage rates have increased in recent years, along with couples struggling to financially support a child in major cities. Women are also choosing to delay having children, or avoiding it altogether. China recorded its slowest birthrate since 1949 in 2019, at 10.48 per 1,000 people. In February of 2021, preliminary data indicated that the birthrate for 2020 was also down, but official findings have yet to be disclosed.

10 years ago the average size of a family was 3.10, but now, it is 2.62 people. As China’s society evolves, more and more people are choosing to live in urban areas. 63% of Chinese people reside in urban areas, increasing the urban population to 236.4 million, a 15% increase from the last census. But 500 million are part of what Beijing has termed, the “floating population” which is comprised of migrant workers living in other places than what they officially registered as their home.

The 2020 survey was conducted by sending out over 7 million volunteers to survey residents door-to-door. This year, however, most of the data was collected online.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Flight booking data shows vaccinations are key to rebooting travel globally

Maya Taylor

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Greece, ready to welcome vaccinated travellers. PHOTO: Flickr/Pedro Szekely

The latest findings from a research firm that analyses flight booking data confirms that vaccination is the key to rebooting international travel. The most recent research from ForwardKeys shows that destinations prepared to welcome vaccinated tourists have seen a surge in bookings.

In particular, Greece and Iceland, have had a significant uptake in inbound flights, while countries where mass vaccination is at an advanced stage, such as Israel, the US and the UK, have seen outbound bookings climb. They key point is that the world’s travel and flight industries are looking to insist on proof of vaccination or vaccine passports for the right to get on an international flight or travel beyond their borders.

Like Thailand, Greece is highly dependent on international tourism. Anxious to revive its decimated economy, the country has announced that tourists who are fully vaccinated, who have a negative Covid-19 test result, or who have recovered from the virus, are welcome to visit. The result is that the country is now the most popular destination among those summer booking holidays from the UK. According to TTR Weekly, confirmed flight bookings between July and September are 12% above what they were at the same time in 2019.

A similar trend can be seen in bookings from the US to Iceland. In March, the Icelandic government confirmed that vaccinated arrivals would face no entry restrictions, which led to a surge in bookings. Flight ticket sales shot up to 158% what they were at the same time in 2019.

Olivier Ponti from ForwardKeys says there is a clear correlation between high vaccination rates and outbound travel. In Israel, which has now vaccinated over 60% of the population, bookings for European trips have reached 63% of what they were in 2019, while in the UK, where over 52% of people are vaccinated, bookings are at 32% of 2019 numbers.

“Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel, as countries that make clear promises to welcome vaccinated travellers are being rewarded by strong surges in flight bookings. We see a revival of confidence in outbound travel from countries where there has been a successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines too.”

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

 

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World

Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground

Tanutam Thawan

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A tourist walking on a glass bridge in China, looking down at the ground 100 metres below, quickly had to cling onto the bridge’s rails after high winds caused some of the panels of the glass-bottom bridge to shatter.

Reports say the wind blew at up to 145 kilometres per hour, damaging the glass bridge and leaving the tourists stuck in the middle. Firefighters and other emergency responders helped guide the tourist to safety.

The bridge was built at a resort at Piyan Mountain in Longjing. The scenic walkway has been popular among tourists. A photo of the tourists trapped on the damaged bridge was shared on the Chinese social media platform Weibo and other social media sites. One Twitter user reacted to the photo saying “This is basically one of my anxiety dreams played out in the real world.”

Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Daily Mail

 

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