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Australian Navy evacuates coastal residents whilst southern NSW and eastern Victoria burns

The Thaiger

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Australian Navy evacuates coastal residents whilst southern NSW and eastern Victoria burns | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Victorian Government

Emergency officials in Australia have a 24 hour deadline to move thousands of people stranded on the New South Wales (NSW) South Coast who could face a looming fire crisis when this weekend’s latest heatwave arrives.

Bushfire-ravaged communities in southern NSW are assessing the damage after seven lives and 176 homes were lost. In Victoria, south of NSW, residents are coming to terms with horrifying bushfires which have destroyed properties and claimed at least one life in East Gippsland. Firefighters continue to fend off blazes and try and evacuate communities before the weekend’s northerly winds bring 40+ temperatures to the area.

Victoria’s Premier has told reporters this morning there are 17 people missing in Victoria due to the East Gippsland fires and confirmed the death of a Buchan resident.

“Their whereabouts is unknown to us, plus there is one person confirmed as deceased.”

Speaking to The Thaiger this morning, holiday makers in the East Gippsland town of Paynesville said they were getting out before the weekend’s high temperatures and hot northerly winds potentially threatened their communities.

On the phone a Raymond Island resident told us that they could see the glow of the fires during the night and recognised the astonishing speed they were moving.

2,000 kilometres away in Western Australia, a “Catastrophic Fire Danger’ rating has been issued for the Goldfields region today.

Meanwhile, hundreds of frightened residents have been plucked to safety in the fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota in far east Gippsland. The HMAS Choules arrived off the coast this morning from Sydney and the first recovery craft was ferrying people to the vessel at 9.30am. The residents had been hemmed in by fires coming over the hills and had sought safety on the beach

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed specific questions about climate change in his press conference and conceded that this fire season has been “quite extraordinary” and alluded to a broad link with climate change. His government has had a broad stance not recognising the affects of climate change.

“Let me be clear to the Australian people, our emissions reductions policies, will both protect our environment and seek to reduce the risk and hazard we are seeing today.”

Australian Navy evacuates coastal residents whilst southern NSW and eastern Victoria burns | News by The Thaiger

MAP: times.com

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Bangkok

More human remains found submerged in metal casket in suspect’s pond

Greeley Pulitzer

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More human remains found submerged in metal casket in suspect’s pond | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Divers retrieve an old casket found a Bangkok pond - Pornprom Satrabhaya

In a story that grows grislier with each new discovery… now an old metal casket with more than 30 human bones has been retrieved from a pond at the Bangkok home of Apichai Ongwisit, dubbed “Ice Heep Lek” (metal casket killer), who has already been charged with murdering his girlfriend and disposing of her corpse on his property.

Nearly 300 human bones have already been retrieved from the lake. At least 40 divers from various agencies participated in the search of the pond in Bang Khae district, west of Bangkok city. The pond, covering about two rai, was split into 14 separate zones for the search. After only 30 minutes divers recovered 10 bones and a knife.

Then around 2:20pm they discovered and brought to the surface an old metal casket containing at least another 30 human bones, including a skull, an eight kilogram dumbbell, a chain, T-shirt and pair of shorts and some rope.

More human remains found submerged in metal casket in suspect's pond | News by The Thaiger

Piya Uthayo, Thailand’s assistant national police chief, were present during the increasingly grisly search. He says the skull and bones might be those of a small woman. The chief of Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau said the bones appear to belong to a woman over 18 years old.

Police now believe there could be three or more corpses.

Last Friday, divers retrieved the bones from the pond, about five metres away from where they found a human skeleton a week earlier. The skeleton was wrapped in clothes and a bedsheet and hidden under a massive metal object and fastened to dumbbells by chains.

40 year old Apichai Ongwisit was arrested at his house earlier this month after police found the body of 22 year old Warinthorn “Kuk-kik” Chaiyachet from Sakon Nakhon in the northeast.

Apichai has reportedly admitted to killing the woman in August last year. According to local media reports, Apichai used drugs and began an intimate relationship with the woman and soon fell in love with her.

He reportedly ordered her to sleep in a metal casket, which he locked to ensure she did not leave him. When he opened the casket in the morning, he found she had died from suffocation, or so the narrative goes in the Thai media.

31 year old Chanchai Nakhiew-ngam, a former girlfriend of Apichai, told police he has a violent temper and she believes there are more corpses on the grounds of his sprawling, 20 rai property, but denied any involvement in the deaths, according to police.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Business

Thai Airways considers leasing planes and outsourcing cabin staff

The Thaiger

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Thai Airways considers leasing planes and outsourcing cabin staff | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Will Thai Airways lease or buy their new planes?

In its attempts to restructure the legacy national airline, senior staff of Thai Airways may lease aircraft and cabin staff. The plans are part of fleet and service improvement options as demanded by the Thai Government who had to find 11.1 billion baht over the first 9 months of 2019 to keep the national airline in the skies.

According to Thai Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Thai Airways plans to invest in 38 planes with a 156 billion baht budget. Whether the new aircraft carrying the purple decal will be bought or leased is yet to be decided.

Minister Saksayam has openly proffered the options of leasing the planes with an outsourced cabin staff or just leasing the planes. The minister has given Thai executives the rest of the year to make up their mind in their restructure plans.

The Transport Minister also chairs the Civil Aviation Commission.

Thai Airways president Sumeth Damrongchaitham says that all aspects are being considered, which needs to take into account the airlines’ flight network and which aircraft models will best serve the airline’s financial makeover.

Short-haul models are currently in short supply with the new Boeing 737 Max grounded until at least the middle of the year, potentially longer, and a years-long waiting list for the Airbus single-aisle equivalent, the A320 Neo models. Last year Airbus also showcased their new A220 model to Thai Airway’s executives as a brand new approach to short haul routes with a capacity of 108-130 passengers and ability to fly equal or longer distances than the Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 models, in a 2+3 configuration, rather than the 3+3 of the existing models.

17 of the Thai Airways’ 82 aircraft are due to be decommissioned from the end of this year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Air Pollution

SCAM – Thailand’s PM2.5 micron smoke screen

The Thaiger

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SCAM – Thailand’s PM2.5 micron smoke screen | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Air pollution problem solved! - The Nation

It’s cars, it’s the polluting buses, it’s people burning too many incense sticks. Every year it’s the same culprits in Bangkok, people driving their cars too much, polluting factories and old buses belching black smoke. All those things contribute to city pollution but are far from the main problem.

So the government, reactive as usual, rolls out its PR machine and invites the media to take photos of water cannons blasting thousands of litres of valuable water into the sky, doing precisely NOTHING to address the air pollution problem, beyond a short-term, extremely local solution. Very local indeed, and probably pleasing the assembled press as they enjoy a bit of overspray cooling them down. For the bigger air pollution problem, no help at all.

Even today the Bangkok media scrum was summoned to Suvarnabhumi Airport to get the story of the local airport solution where they’ve deployed water cannons that blast 144,000 litres of water per day about 50 metres into the air above the one of the airport’s ring roads.

“The trucks will be deployed at 10am, 11am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm at the duty-free zone and along the Suvarnabhumi 2 Road, as these areas have high numbers of trucks and other vehicles passing through during weekdays.”

We kid you not, there appears to some officials who actually think this grotesque waste of water is achieving something… anything, beyond a woefully useless media stunt.

“The airport has enforced pollution control regulations on all public vehicles running in theairport areas, which include taxis, shuttle buses, public buses, public vans and coaches. These vehicles were told to turn off the engine while waiting for passengers and make sure to have their vehicle condition checked regularly.”

All this obfuscation from officials and the government is completely ignoring the PM2.5 micron “elephant in the room”. Indeed, the oft-used “PM2.5 micron” word salad is just another way of confusing the public and shifting the narrative.

It’s smoke, smog, haze, air pollution. And most of it is coming from fires deliberately lit by farmers who are providing crops for Thai multi-nationals, mostly corn, rice and sugar. The cheapest way to clear the land for the next crop is burning it to the ground. The machinery to complete that task without burning is expensive. Of course it’s all about cutting costs, so lighting a fire and sending smoke into Thailand’s skies is much easier… f**k the environment and the millions of people that are affected by the months of smoke-filled air.

Even the Pollution Control Department (an oxymoron indeed!) and its daily missives about the air pollution problem completely avoid any discussion about the forest and plantation fires, burning mainly in central and northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar. The northerly and north-easterly airstream at this time of the year casually wafts the offending smoke south, affecting the capital and its 10 million residents.

Here’s today’s active fires in and around Thailand, clearly identified by NASA satellites with constant updates. You can see active fires in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, but there is a big concentration in central, northern and north-eastern Thailand.

SCAM - Thailand's PM2.5 micron smoke screen | News by The Thaiger

There’s the evidence of where the smoke is coming from. Check out the link HERE. Pollution Control Department officials are able to click on the link too.

Or let’s go to the Air Visual map which lists the air quality around the country (or the world) any time of the day. It also lists some of the key fires burning at the time.

SCAM - Thailand's PM2.5 micron smoke screen | News by The Thaiger

The information from Air Visual clearly shows the link between areas of poor air quality and the fires that are burning, also linked to the direction of the wind.

Bangkok’s slightly improved air quality readings today have nothing to do with the water cannons blasting water into the sky at Suvarnabhumi and everything to do with changed, favourable wind conditions. If the problem was ‘traffic’ then Bangkok, a city of some 10 million people, would always have worse air quality than all the provincial air quality measurement stations.

At some stage the Thai government and public servants will be forced to bite the bullet and admit that the annual pollution problem is what it is – a cover up to protect large and powerful multi-nationals and their agricultural pursuits.

Now that Thai celebrities and some concerned residents are starting to see through the mist and fog of the misleading PR, and posting these air quality maps, their own experiences, and lack of confidence in the officials to address the problem, there is hope that public shaming might finally bring about some honesty and long-term measures to face the PM2.5 micron elephant in the room.

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