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World News: Daring rescue mission in Antarctica

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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World News: Daring rescue mission in Antarctica | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Australia to the rescue in Antarctica
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: An Australian rescue plane took off from New Zealand yesterday evening to carry out a daring rescue mission in Antarctica, where an American citizen at a research station is in urgent need of surgery, U.S. and Australian officials said.

A specialist medical team took off from Christchurch and is expected to arrive at the US Antarctic McMurdo research station at about 1pm New Zealand time today, when there is a brief period of twilight that should assist pilots in landing on a nearby ice runway.

Deborah Wing, a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), said preparations were underway to ready the ice runway which is known as Pegasus. The runway is only one of very few in Antarctica that can accommodate wheeled aircraft such as the Airbus A319 which is being provided by the Australian Antarctic Division.

Wing said the Royal New Zealand Air Force is providing search-and-rescue coverage for the flight to and from McMurdo Station, underscoring the risky nature of the rescue mission. ” ‘The three nations’ Antarctic research programs have existing agreements under which such assets may be shared as needed,” she said.

Few details about the American in distress were immediately released, but Wing said the patient is in a stable condition although he or she requires immediate corrective surgery best delivered at a more capable facility than is available at McMurdo. “The facility at McMurdo is equivalent to an urgent-care center in the US, and is not equipped for the type of procedure being contemplated,” she said.

Antarctica is currently emerging from its six-month-long night, and today’s rescue mission comes shortly before a regularly-scheduled series of late winter flights to prepare for the coming Antarctic research season, which gets underway in October. Temperatures at McMurdo Station were about -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-25 degrees Celsius) this morning.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Myanmar

38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations

Caitlin Ashworth

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38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations | The Thaiger
Anti-coup protest in Myanmar on February 14 / Photo by Htin Linn Aye via Wikimedia Commons

38 people died during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests yesterday in what the United Nations is calling the “bloodiest day” in the country since the February 1 military takeover. UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said the death toll is “shocking” and that the situation in the Southeast Asian country could lead to a “real war.”

Since last month’s coup, more than 50 people have died while many others have been wounded in protests against military rule. Witnesses say police and soldiers have opened fire with little warning. In a virtual briefing, the UN envoy said experts believe the Burmese police are using 9mm sub-machine guns to fire shots at civilians.

“I saw today very disturbing video clips. One was police beating a volunteer medical crew. They were not armed… Another video clip showed a protester was taken away from police and they shot him from very near, maybe one metre. He didn’t resist his arrest and it seems he died on the street.”

Burmese troops seized power of the civilian government last month, citing what they say was a fraudulent election, although the election commission said the vote was fair. A number of civilian politicians were arrested including democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won the November election for state counsellor in a landslide.

Christine says more than 1,200 people are now under detention and many do not know where their loved ones are.

SOURCE: UN News | Aljazeera

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World

Muay Thai added to European Games 2023

Caitlin Ashworth

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Muay Thai added to European Games 2023 | The Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia

Thailand’s national sport Muay Thai has been added to the European Games 2023, set to be held in Poland. While Asia has been leading the sport for decades, many recent Muay Thai champions are from Europe, according to Sakchye Tapsuwan, president of the International Federation of Muaythai Associations, the governing body for the sport.

“Europe has grown in strength, evidenced at the last two World Championships, where the overall winners were teams from Europe.”

Held by the European Olympic Commission, the European Games is considered a staging post to the Olympics. Thousands of elite athletes from 50 participating nations have the opportunity to compete in one of the 15 sports. Now Muay Thai, an ancient martial art dating back 1,000 years with ties to centuries-old traditions, is included on the list.

The format of the European Games is in line with the Olympic Movement standards for gender equality. The categories are equal for men and women with 7 male and female divisions and 2 coed teams. Creating equal opportunities for men and women fighters is a “vision” both the federation and the European Olympic Committee share, according to director of the federation, Charissa Tynan.

“For IFMA, gender equality is not about ticking the box, it is about ensuring that women and men have the same opportunities to shine together on one stage as one family.”

SOURCES: IFMA | EOC

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress” | The Thaiger

After complaints that China’s anal swab Covid-19 test caused “psychological distress,” Japan has asked China to stop using the new, much more invasive method of testing on Japanese citizens entering the country.

For the anal test, reportedly done on some travellers entering China from overseas, a 3 to 5 centimetre long cotton swab is inserted into the anus and gently rotated to collect the sample. While it’s unclear exactly how many people have gone through the procedure, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato says some Japanese citizens have reported mental discomfort after the test.

“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused great psychological pain.”

The Japanese government made a request through the embassy in Beijing to stop using the anal swab test on Japanese citizens. Katsunobu says China has not yet responded to the request.

China started using the anal swab test in January. The anal tests are controversial with many experts backing the oral test as the most efficient way to detect a coronavirus infection.

SOURCE: BBC

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