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World News: Ethnic Maya say tomorrow will just be another day

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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World News: Ethnic Maya say tomorrow will just be another day | Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Mayan Apocalypse nears, doomsday prophecy may “Not Be Real”
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Mayan calendar that ends tomorrow has prompted discussion of a possible Apocalypse but according to Yahoo.com the ancient people’s fabled date may not hold any weight.

Yahoo is reporting that the “prophecy,” does not come from the Mayans or even from thousands of years ago, but rather from two New Age books in the 70s and 80s.

According to Yahoo the two books predict outcomes as surreal as an “upgrade” to human consciousness predicted by a spirit from the seventh century. The date itself comes from a prophecy based on a magic mushroom trip.

“December 21 will be just another Friday morning,” said Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby.

“A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it’s an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD.”

Wilson claimed to be channeling various spirits, including the spirit of a Mayan king from the seventh century. He predicted a ‘shift in human consciousness’ – mass enlightenment.” The actual date of December 21 first appeared in an earlier work – a 1975 book by Terence McKenna, a writer known for his descriptions of “machine elves” seen while under the influence of drugs according to Yahoo.

This fascination with end of the world and especially this date has prompted people around the world to look for signs and prepare themselves for what they call “end.”

RT News in Russia once reported that authorities had to respond to people after they were hysterical about the Doomsday predictions.

RT.com has also reported that towns around the country are selling doomsday survival kits (with vodka included) as well as tours to heaven or hell. While in America sales of survival equipment and shelters are on the rise.

According to the telegraph.co.uk in France believers of the doomsday prophecy are preparing to journey to the summit of a mountain where aliens will save them from the apocalypse.

The media outlet reports that panic has also hit China especially in the Sichuan province. Claims there say that there will be three days of darkness when the Armageddon happens, and stores have seen a flux of candle and lighting sales.

The news site also reported that, despite all the panic, Mexico has seen a boom in tourism with the nation staging numerous Mayan themed events to capitalize on the moment.

For students of ancient Mesoamerican time-keeping, December 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event, one leading U.S. scholar said in the 1960s, that could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.

Academics and astronomers say too much weight was given to the words and have sought to allay fears that the end is nigh.

Ethnic Maya unmoved by ‘Armageddon’ hysteria
Mexico’s government forecast around 50 million tourists from home and abroad would visit southern Mexico in 2012. Up to 200,000 are expected to descend on Chichen Itza tomorrow.

“It’s a date for doing business, but for me it’s just like any other day,” said drinks vendor Julian Nohuicab, 34, an ethnic Maya working in the ruins of the ancient city of Coba in Quintana Roo state, not far from the beach resort of Cancun.

Watching busloads of white-haired pensioners and dreadlocked backpackers pile into their heartland, Maya old and young roll their eyes at the suggestion the world will end.

“We don’t believe it,” said Socorro Poot, 41, a housewife and mother of three in Holca, a village about 25 miles (40 km) from Chichen Itza. “Nobody knows the day and the hour. Only God knows.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

The Queen sits as a lonely figure as she bids farewell to her husband Prince Philip

Tim Newton

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The Queen sits as a lonely figure as she bids farewell to her husband Prince Philip | Thaiger
PHOTO: VOA news

Prince Philip was laid to rest Saturday afternoon, UK time, in a simple but soulful funeral ceremony honouring his lifetime of service to the UK, the Commonwealth and his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II.

Clad in black, her head bowed in prayer, the elderly monarch set an example for the UK community during the Covid pandemic, socially distancing herself from the rest of her family.

Prince Philip died just 2 months short of his 100th birthday – some reflected that he was just 2 months away from receiving a telegram from his wife.

The service at Windsor Castle was light on pageantry but steeped in military and royal traditions. The whole pre-funeral procession and service was held away from the public eye, entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle, but a full live stream of the proceedings was shown on UK TV and internet services.

Instead of the expected nearly 1,000 mourners, there was a mere 30 allowed inside the grounds of the castle to take part in the procession and service, although there was a larger entourage of socially-distanced musicians, camera-people, guards and organisers on site.

Attending were Prince Charles his wife Camilla, Prince Andrew, Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry, who had returned from the US without his pregnant wife Meghan. The Queen and Prince Philip’s other children, and grandchildren, were also in attendance.

The most poignant image from the entire ceremony was the lone figure of Queen Elizabeth, entirely in black with a black face mask and hat, a very human and frail figure who spent the entire service buried in deep contemplation, rarely raising her head to watch the proceedings. Whilst the service was all about remembering the service and duty of her consort, Prince Philip, there were few who wouldn’t have been thinking of the 94 year old woman sitting all alone, grieving the loss of her husband.

Britain officially observed 1 minute of silence in honour of Prince Philip just before the funeral started.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin arrived at the chapel in a modified Land Rover conceived by the prince. Known for his sense of humour and off-the-cuff one-liners (that often got him into hot water), the arrival of his own coffin in an army-green pick-up truck was his final poke at the outrageous pageantry he often shied away from.

His coffin was draped in his personal standard with his Royal Navy cap, sword and a wreath of flowers sitting atop.

Prince Philip was placed in the vault along with the remains of 24 other royals, including 3 kings of England. But following the Queen’s death, the pair are expected to be buried in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

Along with Philip’s children and grandchildren, the 30 funeral guests included other senior royals and several of his German relatives. Philip was born a prince of Greece and Denmark and, like the queen, is related to mash-up of European royal families.

The two sons of Price Charles and Princess Diana, William and Harry, were seen walking together after the service and chatting as mourners were leaving the chapel.

The Queen sits as a lonely figure as she bids farewell to her husband Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide

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Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide | Thaiger
PHOTO: 3 million Covid-19 deaths recorded around the world.

Today marks a grim milestone as the Covid-19 pandemic officially crosses 3 million deaths around the world, with outbreaks still surging in various parts of the world. Over a year into the pandemic, and we are currently seeing over 700,000 new infections and 12,000 deaths per day, with Brazil, India, and France facing growing crises.

The 3 million figure reflects official numbers, though many suspect that real totals could be much higher, pointing at government conspiracies and early deaths that were not attributed to Covid-19 when little was known about the novel coronavirus in the early days.

Still, the official number is overwhelming enough – equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine, or the state of Arkansas in the US, and larger than world cities like Lisbon, Caracas, Dubai, Manchester or Chicago. Imagine nearly one-third of the people in Bangkok wiped out, or the entire nation of Armenia or Jamaica.

Following a steep decline in both new infections and deaths at the start of this year, the graph is again in an upward trajectory, both in terms of new cases and deaths from Covid.

Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide | News by ThaigerThe World Health Organisation laments the dire condition of the world dealing with the pandemic after 16 months and so many opportunities to prevent the spread with basic safety precautions. Brazil has spiralled out of control, racking up 3,000 deaths a day, nearly 25% of all the Covid-19 deaths in the world in the past few weeks. New variants have been spreading like wildfire throughout Brazil as more dangerous strains have wriggled their way into countries around the world.

In India, the distribution of vaccines has been thwarted by swelling Covid-19 outbreaks and deaths. In New Dehli, 13,000 infections were reported in a day amongst the 29 million residents, but the city only has 178 ventilators available as of Wednesday.

Only 1.1% of the Indian populations has been vaccinated, and officials faced criticism of their vaccine exports while so many need jabs domestically. In Thailand, the percentage of people vaccinated is even lower.

700 million vaccines have been distributed worldwide, but they have been shipped disproportionately to the wealthier populations throughout the world. In rich countries, 1 in 4 people have been vaccinated, while in poor countries that number is less than 1 in 500. In fact, 87% of the vaccines distributed worldwide have been to wealthy nations, and the delays in India due to increasing Covid-19 deaths will not help close that gap for many months to come.

SOURCE: Sky

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 vaccine CEOs say 3rd dose may be needed along with annual jabs

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Covid-19 vaccine CEOs say 3rd dose may be needed along with annual jabs | Thaiger
Stock photo of Pfizer vaccine via Flickr

The CEO for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines says it is likely that people will need a 3rd dose of the vaccine and to receive it annually. Albert Bourla, told CNBC, that the booster, or 3rd dose, will be needed less than a year after being fully vaccinated.

“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a 3rd dose, somewhere between 6 and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role. It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus.”

Bourla’s comment echoes that of Johnson & Johnson’s CEO when he stated in February, that people may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually, just like seasonal flu shots. Both statements reflect the fact that since the vaccine is new, and testing periods are shorter than most vaccines in the past, researchers are still unclear about how long the vaccine will protect against the virus.

Pfizer says that its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 91% effective at protecting against the coronavirus and more than 95% effective against severe diseases up to 6 months after the 2nd dose. Moderna’s vaccine, which uses technology similar to Pfizer’s, was also shown to be highly effective at 6 months.

Just yesterday, the Biden administration’s Covid response chief science officer, David Kessler, noted that new Covid variants could “challenge” the effectiveness of the shots.

“We don’t know everything at this moment. We are studying the durability of the antibody response. It seems strong but there is some waning of that and no doubt the variants challenge … they make these vaccines work harder. So I think for planning purposes, planning purposes only, I think we should expect that we may have to boost.”

Late last month, the National Institute of Health started testing a new Covid vaccine from Moderna in addition to the one it already has, designed to protect against a problematic variant first found in South Africa. The variant is similar to that of the UK one that has recently made landfall in Thailand.

Recent findings, by The Lancet, however, have stated that the UK variant, known as B117, has a higher reproductive rate than other strains, and it’s more transmissible. However, it refuted earlier reports that the strain is more severe. Meanwhile, Thailand’s health minister is confirming his commitment to making AstraZeneca the nation’s chosen vaccine.

SOURCE: CNBC

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