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One million come out to protest in Hong Kong over China’s new extradition law

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One million come out to protest in Hong Kong over China’s new extradition law | The Thaiger

Huge crowds, estimated to be over 1 million, massed in Hong Kong over the weekend to protest against pro-beijing leaders allowing extraditions to the mainland.

The demonstrations were the largest in the international finance hub since the 1997 handover when the region was returned from Britain (which ‘leased’ the colony for 99 years) back to China.

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leaders have been in the process of pushing a bill through the local parliament that would allow extraditions to any jurisdiction with which it does not already have a treaty – that includes mainland China.

The proposals have sparked an outcry and galvanised new opposition that unites a wide cross-section of the city. Six hour protests moved through the Hong Kong streets over the weekend shouting “Scrap the evil law” and “Oppose China extradition!”

In a statement last night the government described the protest as “an example of Hong Kong people exercising their freedom of expression” but didn’t concede any changes to the legislation urging their politicians to continue debating the bill.

Hong Kong’s leaders continue to insist the law is needed to plug loopholes and stop the city being a ‘safe haven’ for mainland fugitives and dissidents.

China has been trying to exert more control over the business hub since whilst pro-democracy campaigners have been resisting the creeping ‘Chinafication’ and asking for the ‘one country, two systems’ sentiment to be observed. Under the principle, regions like Macao and Hong Kong could continue to have their own governmental system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including trade relations with foreign countries.

One million come out to protest in Hong Kong over China's new extradition law | News by The Thaiger

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Entertainment

BTS is Thailand’s most-streamed act on Spotify for 2019

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BTS is Thailand’s most-streamed act on Spotify for 2019 | The Thaiger

…and the most streamed K-Pop act in the world.

Another year of music is about to play its final chords. Streaming services, a mere curiosity a decade ago, are now the main source of revenue for many artists. In 2019, Streaming music will account for 80% of industry revenues, nearly US$9 billion this year.

Bangtan Sonyeondan, better known around the world as BTS, were the most streamed artist in Thailand, and the the most streamed K-Pop artist in the world this year. The South Korean septet also topped the global streaming table on Spotify. BTS had more than 3 billion streams among global audiences this year.

In Thailand, the top five places were all K-Pop artists, despite the groups singing, mostly in Korean. Blackpink were second, followed by GOT7, NCT 127 and EXO.

More than 14 million listeners in Thailand follow BTS each month and the Korean girl group Blackpink has 8 million followers a month. Blackpink’s ‘Kill This Love’ was the most streamed song in Thailand, followed by the BTS hit ‘Boy with Luv’ (feat. Halsey). Globally, the two songs switched positions, with ‘Boy with Luv’ coming first, followed by ‘Kill This Love’.

‘Boy with Luv’ was streamed more than 300 million times so far this year.

Blackpink has a huge Thai following because one of its members is a Thai national. Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban was one of three people from Thailand chosen to be on Time magazine’s Time 100 Next 2019 list.

BTS are the only act, local or international, to sell out two stadium concerts at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. In another of its 2019 record-breaking streaks, BTS landed the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on the video-sharing platform TikTok.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

BTS is Thailand's most-streamed act on Spotify for 2019 | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: It looked like The Beatles performing in the same Ed Sullivan Theatre in 1964, but in May this year BTS performed on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The producers recreated the same look and feel as the earlier Fab Four performance. Only The Beatles and BTS have had three number ones on the Billboard music charts in the same year.

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Chiang Rai

Tesla’s Elon Musk wins defamation trial over ‘pedo guy’ tweet

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Tesla’s Elon Musk wins defamation trial over ‘pedo guy’ tweet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Christian Monterrosa/EPA

“My client went toe to toe with a billionaire bully.”

Tesla’s mercurial Elon Musk has emerged victorious after a defamation trial as a federal court jury swiftly rejected the US$190 million claim brought against him by a British cave explorer, Vernon Unsworth, who Musk branded a “pedo guy” on Twitter. The incident happened during the attempts to rescue the 13 young football players from the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai in July 2018.

The unanimous verdict by a jury of five women and three men was returned after roughly 45 minutes of deliberation on the fourth day of Musk’s trial. The case has been closely watched by legal experts because it is believed to be the first major defamation lawsuit by a private individual to go to trial over statements made on the Twitter platform.

Musk shook hands with his lawyer after the four-day trial in LA. He didn’t address Mr. Unsworth, whose team had told the court earlier on Friday the Tesla CEO should pay at least US$190 million in damages for his tweets about the diver.

Meanwhile, 64 year old Vernon Unsworth spoke outside the courthouse saying that he was resigned to his defeat.

“I accept the jury’s verdict, take it on the chin and get on with my life.”

L. Lin Wood, a high-profile trial lawyer, leading the legal team for the plaintiff Vernon Unsworth, says the jury’s decision signals a higher legal threshold for challenging libelous material on social media.

“The challenge that was thrown down by Elon Musk was that if you don’t sue it’s true. We sued because it’s false.”

“This verdict puts everyone’s reputation at risk.”

The outcome was a triumph for Musk, whose fickle behaviour in a number of instances last year came under close scrutiny from federal regulators and shareholders of Tesla, his Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer.

48 year old Musk, who had testified during the first two days of the trial in his own defence and returned to court on Friday to hear closing arguments, exited the courtroom after the verdict.”

“My faith in humanity is restored.”

Unsworth’s lawyer says he nevertheless saw the lawsuit as meaningful in helping erase the stain he said his client’s reputation suffered.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | The Guardian

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Bangkok

Bangkok plummets in popularity with expats. Taipei heads the list.

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Bangkok plummets in popularity with expats. Taipei heads the list. | The Thaiger

PHOTO: This year’s #1 city for expats – Taipei, Taiwan – Time Out

Bangkok has dropped from #5 (in 2018) to #20 this year in the annual Expat City Ranking.

But Asian cities continue to dominate the annual global Top 5 in the Expat City Ranking 2019. Italian cities Rome and Milan join Kuwait City at the bottom of this year’s rankings.

Taipei managed to defend its first place from last years list. Kuala Lumpur is rated the best city for getting settled and is second overall. Ho Chi Minh City ranks first in the Finance & Housing Index but third in the overall survey. Singapore and Montreal fill out the top five spots this year.

Bangkok experienced a significant drop compared to the 2018 edition of the list, where the Thai capital ranked 5th worldwide and 4th in Asia.

“Poor environmental management and horrendous traffic conditions eventually took a toll on Bangkok ratings.”

Bangkok, as an “expat-friendly city”, now faces fierce competition with Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City taking the lead ahead of the longtime favourite.

Ranking fifth out of all the cities surveyed in Asia, Bangkok ranks third in the Finance and Housing Index, but the Big Mango’s rankings were shot down by poor scores for environmental quality and political stability. 59% of the respondents in the survey say Bangkok’s environment is poor, and 36% worry about political stability.

Singapore’s fourth place further adds to Asian destinations dominating the Expat City Ranking 2019. The four top cities all do very well regarding finance and housing, with Singapore receiving the “worst” result here – a 15th rank mostly due to the expensive housing in the city-state.

Bangkok, the Thai capital, stays in the top 3 in the Finance & Housing Index for another year although the city has dropped from second place in 2018 to third place in 2019.

With regards to how easy it is to find housing in Bangkok, 80% of respondents give agreeable answers. The ease of finding a new, reasonably priced home appears to be an attractive aspect for expats moving to Bangkok; 58% of respondents find that the housing in the city is affordable.

With its second place in the Expat City Ranking 2019, Kuala Lumpur makes it into the global top 3 after consistently ranking among the top 10 cities in the past few years. Expats rate Kuala Lumpur as the city where it’s easiest to get settled, as well as one of the best cities worldwide when it comes to finance and housing.

Following a 4th place out of 72 cities in 2018, Ho Chi Minh City manages to further improve its result to rank 3rd out of 82 in 2019. Expats rate Vietnam’s most populous city as the best place for finance and housing, with the city ranking first for all but one of the underlying factors. HCMC places second regarding the affordability of housing.

In the Expat Insider 2019 survey, over 20,000 participants were asked not only to rate their respective host country but also to share insights regarding their city of residence. Respondents rated more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven, with the rating process emphasising expats’ personal satisfaction with these aspects.

SOURCE: Internations.org

Bangkok plummets in popularity with expats. Taipei heads the list. | News by The Thaiger

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