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Transformers-inspired robot rolls out green message in Vietnam

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Transformers-inspired robot rolls out green message in Vietnam | The Thaiger
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PHOTOS: AFP

There is more to this towering robot resembling a character from the “Transformers” movies than the auto-parts it’s made from – it speaks Vietnamese and is made from unused motorbike parts.

“Hello everyone … I am from Vietnam,” Robot One announces as it swivels side to side in a Hanoi workshop.

A team of IT programmers and students say they want to provoke debate about the scourge of discarded and unused autoparts in a city where nearly six million motorbikes hit the streets daily. Hanoi officials vowed in 2017 to ban motorbikes from roads by 2030 to ease pollution and congestion woes (yeah, good luck with that).

Newly-graduated engineer Do Danh Phong, a member of the informal Robot Bank group said their team made the robot in order to send a message to everybody, “let’s protect the environment”.

Inspired by the warring robots in Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movie franchise, Robot One was cobbled together from the remnants of Japanese Honda and Taiwanese SYM motorbikes.

The 100 kilogram and three-metre high Robot One is controlled by a PlayStation joystick, can make simple moves and utter some basic phrases. At this stage it’s unlikely to be attacking anyone or ‘transforming’ into a yellow Chevrolet Camaro. Its creators had to scour autocrats and junk shops to pull together the right selection of parts to give it the same muscular frame as the robots in the movie.

Robot One is the first of many, the team says, with dreams of creating a robot park in the capital one day.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Weather

Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether

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Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | The Thaiger

Typhoon Vamco, which killed some 67 people when it stormed through the middle of Luzon island late last week, has turned into a tropical storm which will have minor effects on Thailand’s weather over the next few days. Isolated light to moderate rains will be likely over the Northeast and the North today as a result… Vamco will track on through northern Laos.

Category 2 tropical depression has been declined as the active low pressure over Pakxan, Laos. It is forecast to be dispersed upward. There remains isolated light to moderate rains likely over the Northeast and the North in the following next day. Farmers should prevent for crop damage.

Typhoon Vamco made landfall over Dong Hoi, central Vietnam yesterday, already weakened after its trip westwards across the South China Sea, becoming a tropical storm. The storm is forecast to continue to dissipate as the eye crosses Laos and may track north, completely missing Thailand.

Typhoon Goni swept across The Philippines just 10 days before Vamco cut its way through many of the same communities, bringing storm surges and destruction through low-lying mid-Luzon communities. Evacuations have dislodged over 500,000 people during the past 2 typhoons.

Watch a video of Vamco as it cut through The Philippines HERE.

Vamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | News by The ThaigerVamco weakens into tropical storm, misses northern Thailand altogether | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: AccuWeather | TMD

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Weather

Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings

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Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Landslide on Koh Samui - Camille's Samui Blog

The Thai Meteorological Department has incorrectly forecast the tracking of the tropical storm ‘Vamco’, instead warning Thais to “brace for the impact of Typhoon Vamco over the weekend”, according to Bangkok Post.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

But the track of the storm is not even forecast to reach the far north of Thailand until late Monday or Tuesday, although there could be some rain and higher-than-usual winds in some locations. Indeed, the reliable forecast for many of the north eastern and northern Thai provinces for the forecast period is for mostly sunny conditions, according to AccuWeather (below).

As of yesterday, the Typhoon Vamco had killed at least 42 people in The Philippines, as residents returned to devastated homes following the worst flooding in years around Manila and nearby provinces. The typhoon cut a path similar to another typhoon just 10 days before, through the middle of the northern Luzon island.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Tracking Vamco – AccuWeather

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Khon Kaen

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Chiang Mai

The Thai Meteorological Department noted that the eye of the storm yesterday was in the South China Sea, about 500 kilometres east of Da Nang in Vietnam and is expected to make landfall early morning Sunday. But the tropical depression will lose a lot of its impact once it crosses the Vietnamese coastline and tracks north westwards through Vietnam and Laos.

“It is expected to make landfall over Vietnam by 15 November 2020 and then downgrade, respectively. Isolated light to moderate rain is likely over the Northeast and the North, during 15-16 November 2020.”

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, heavy rain and have featured in the central south, including Koh Samui and Chumpon, flooding many areas. Areas in all eight districts of Chumpon province have been effected. Parts of the Asia Highway, running north-south, have been under water.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: AccuWeather |weather.com | Bangkok Post | TMD

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Vietnam plans to keep borders closed and not rely on vaccine strategy

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Vietnam plans to keep borders closed and not rely on vaccine strategy | The Thaiger

The Vietnamese Covid-19 task force says it plans to maintain its strategy of containing the coronavirus rather than “rush into a vaccine”, even if a successful vaccine becomes available, that could pose a financial burden the country. Vietnam, despite a month-long surge around Da Nang, has been able to largely contain the local outbreak.

Yesterday the world’s Covid numbers reported the continuing surge in the US and parts of Europe and the UK. Vietnam has reported a total of 1,212 Covid cases and 25 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Vietnam plans to keep borders closed and not rely on vaccine strategy | News by The Thaiger

Through months of aggressive mass testing, centralised and controlled quarantines and early border closures, Vietnam has now gone over 2 months without a community transmission of Covid-19. Like Thailand, the vast majority of recent cases have been imported, mostly with repatriated Vietnamese citizens.

Vietnam and Thailand have both been widely praised for their decisive response to quelling outbreaks, despite earlier predictions that the south East Asian countries could have been key hot-spots for the spread of Covid-19.

Vietnam’s deputy PM, Vu Duc Dam, speaking to Channel News Asia, says there are challenges with any possible vaccine, if and when it becomes available.

“Demand is far higher than supply, and we have to pay large deposits to secure our position, which I see as very high risk and a waste of money and time. We will continue to deal with Covid as we are now.”

That “dealing with Covid” would mean Vietnam will keep its borders mostly closed in the short to medium term.

“We have to be prepared for the fact that the pandemic will not end until 2021.”

Vietnam has spent a reported US$776.7 million on containing the virus and its impacts up to date. The measures, government officials claim, place the Vietnamese economy on target for a swifter recovery.

The Vietnamese government has predicted a GDP growth of 2 – 2.5% this year and 6.7% in 2021. Neighbour Thailand projects an economic contraction of 7.1% for 2020.

South east Asia, generally, has fared relatively well in containing its Covid 19 cases, with The Philippines and Indonesia being notable exceptions.

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