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Saudi rapist faces 2,080 lashes; Police hunt poisoner; Plane crash kills 4

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Saudi man who raped daughter sentenced to 2,080 lashes
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: A Saudi man who repeatedly raped his daughter over a seven year period has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and more than 2,000 lashes, a local newspaper reported yesterday.

The General Court in Mecca, the capital of Makkah province in the country’s west, found the defendant, whose name has not been released, guilty of repeatedly raping his teenage daughter over a seven year period while under the influence of drugs, the Okaz newspaper reported.

The authorities first became aware of the case when a relative of the victim’s mother told police that the girl was being sexually assaulted by her father. Investigators, who included officers from the religious police, later arrived at the man’s house while he was abusing his daughter.

The judge of the court sentenced the father to 13 years imprisonment and 2,080 lashes which he will receive over the course of his prison term.

Rape, pedophilia and other forms of sexual misconduct can be punished in Saudi Arabia by lashes, imprisonment and, in some cases, the death penalty.

Police hunt man handing out poisoned drinks at Christmas markets
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: Police in the German capital of Berlin are searching for a man who is handing out poisoned drinks at the city’s popular Christmas markets, officials said yesterday. At least seven people have been sickened.

Police said the first case was reported on Thursday afternoon when two foreign students were approached by a man at Breitscheidplatz square. The suspect told the 24- and 26-year-old men that he was celebrating the birth of his daughter and gave them small glasses of liquor for a toast.

“Shortly after drinking the ‘liquor’ presented to them, they both experienced strong convulsions and vomiting,” a police spokesperson said on Saturday. “The 24-year-old fell unconscious and had to be brought in for treatment at a hospital.”

Just hours later, at 9pm local time, three women aged 23 to 24 were approached by the same man at Alexanderplatz square. “Here, too, the man pretended to want to celebrate the birth of his child and offered glasses of ‘liquor’ to the women,” the police spokesperson said. “After drinking, the three were suffering from vomiting and altered consciousness and were also brought to hospital for treatment.”

A third incident was reported on yesterday when two more people fell sick after being offered drinks at the Berlin Christmas markets, raising the total number of victims to at least seven. Their conditions are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police said it was not immediately known what sort of poison is being used, but authorities have increased security at the Christmas markets as they search for the man. The suspect is being described as about 45 years old, with short, dark blond hair.

Small plane crash kills 4
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: Four people were killed on Friday afternoon when a small plane crashed near an airport in the U.S. state of South Dakota, federal officials said on yesterday. There were no survivors.

The accident happened at 2.24pm local time (3:24am today, Phuket time) when a Cessna 421-C, which is a small, six-seat twin engine plane, crashed about a mile (1.6 kilometers) east of Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, the county seat of Minnehaha County.

Cell phone footage shot by witnesses shortly after the crash showed parts of the aircraft on fire, although most of the cabin appeared to be intact. By the time the fire had been extinguished by emergency services, only the aircraft’s tail was left.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Tony Molinaro said all four people on board the aircraft were killed. FAA records showed the 1975-built plane was registered to S & S Aviation, LLC out of Ipswich in South Dakota.

It was not immediately known what may have caused the accident, which occurred shortly after the plane took off.

“We’ll be starting an investigation,” Molinaro said. “However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in charge of the investigation and we will be giving our information over to them.”

— 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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO gives emergency authorisation to China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

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Stock photo via Flickr

China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has been given the green light by The World Health Organisation for emergency use. The director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made the announcement yesterday in Geneva. The Chinese vaccine joins Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, Janssen, Moderna, and Serum Institute of India in being authorised by the WHO for emergency use.

“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing’s Covid-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality.”

Tedros says the Sinopharm vaccine is eligible to be purchased by COVAX, the initiative to provide equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines. COVAX also gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approvals and imports. The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation reviewed the data and is recommending the vacccine for use in adults aged 18 or older, with a 2 dose schedule.

Meanwhile, the other Chinese-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine is now approved in Thailand for adults over 60 years old. Doctors had initially advised that the vaccine to only be for adults 18 to 60 due to limited research on the elderly. The recommendation from doctors led Thailand’s 67 year old prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, to wait and take the AstraZeneca vaccine.

After Prayut backed out of plans to be the first to be injected with the Sinovac vaccine, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is 55 years old, stepped up to be the first in Thailand to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The Sinovac vaccine has not been used on those over 60 years old since Thailand launched its Covid-19 immunisation campaign in late February.

Thailand is also set to receive 10 to 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. The minister posted an announcement on his Facebook page along with a photo after a meeting with Pfizer representatives. Anutin says the Thai Food and Drug Administration will facilitate the registration process as soon as possible. The Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive in Thailand in the third or fourth quarter of the year.

SOURCE: CNN

 

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Laos

Laos prime minister orders an extension on lockdown measures

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ ພະແນກສາທາລະນະສຸກ ແຂວງ ສະຫວັນນະເຂດ

While the majority of countries across the globe have been grappling with Covid-19 outbreaks for the past year, Laos, just North of Thailand, has only reported 1,177 cases with the vast majority of the infections detected over the past month.

Laos PM Phankhan Viphavanh says ordered an extension on lockdown measures, now until May 20, saying it is essential in containing the Covid-19 outbreak, which spiked in mid-April with some daily new cases surpassing 100. Yesterday, the country recorded 105 new cases. In Vientiane, the capital of Laos, the government has prepared 3 field hospitals with 1,200 beds.

“The government is aware that extending measures will cause difficulties in people’s daily lives… But we ask everyone to understand the situation and to be patient so that we may control and eventually overcome this virus outbreak.”

Over the next 2 weeks, the Covid-19 situation will be monitored by the Laos government, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, and local task forces. In areas where the virus is contained, officials will look into easing restrictions. In areas with clusters of infections, restrictions will remain tight.

Apparently, some Laos residents caused problems for local health officials who are trying to contain the virus. Phankham some people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have refused to be admitted into healthcare facilities while others residents break Covid-19 prevention rules such as holding large gatherings.

Laos prime minister orders an extension on lockdown measures | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Laos as of 6 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Laos prime minister orders an extension on lockdown measures | News by Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Laos as of 6 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Environment

It’s cicada season and America is preparing for billions to emerge after 17 years of hiding

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Stock photo via Pixabay

Americans are preparing for billions of cicadas to emerge after spending 17 years underground. Some are thinking it’s their worst nightmare to see and hear the insects as they will undoubtedly swarm their yards and porches. Their semi-hard skin, that is shed, will also be a sight to see, if there are, indeed, billions coming out.

In Thailand, and most other countries, cicada season is just about here, with the deafening noises sure to grace the outdoor air. But Thai people are more accustomed to seeing Cicadas in food form. As it is a delicacy in the northeastern or Isaan areas of the country, the females are more prized as they are considered to have more meat. Cicadas are also used in traditional Chinese medicine formulations.

The arrival of the swaths of cicadas in the US is being called Brood X, as it features billions of cicada nymphs that will burst from the soil, shed their skin, mate, lay eggs and then die. And, the noise of the male cicadas trying to find a female to “make eggs with”, will be deafening. The last time Americans had to deal with a cicada invasion, was during George W Bush’s time as president.

For those interested in the arrival of cicadas, or who may want to eat them, there are websites and social media groups being dedicated to their arrival, which could be any day now. One person says just watching them morph into their adult form in under 1 hour is fascinating.

Another, who is more interested in using them for cooking, says there are websites that feature the insects in recipes. From mixing them with mushrooms or chocolate, or even frying them, it’s sure spark anyone’s curiosity as they sit inside, hearing and seeing billions of cicadas invade their lawns. Ranging from cicadas with mushrooms or with chocolate, there is something for everyone’s palate. Or at least, for those happy to eat bugs.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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