Thailand Video News | Four major court cases set to cause havoc for Thai political landscape, tragedy strikes annual rocket festival in Roi Et

In Thailand Video News today, Alex talks about the four major court cases which could trigger a major political shake up in Thailand and the tragic explosion at the Rocket Festival in Roi Et which injured 30 attendees. A Rangsit University professor has declared that cannabis decriminalisation cannot be linked to an increase in psychiatric patients, and an emerging covid-19 strain is set to be the next dominant variant. Phuket is introducing a new water tourism safety program with lifeguard training, and the Thai Government is close to passing the Marriage Equality Bill. A shipping accident near Singapore’s Sentosa Island has caused it to close due to oil spills, and an investigation has revealed the Pentagon led propaganda campaigns regarding Chinese covid vaccines in the Philippines. The Indonesian Government is threatening to shut down social media platform X if it does not comply with regulations and block adult content.

Four major court cases set to cause havoc for Thai political landscape

Thailand faces a critical week as four major court cases involving top politicians could trigger a political crisis. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, the opposition Move Forward party, and the Senate selection process are all under scrutiny. Srettha could be dismissed over a constitutional breach, while Thaksin faces charges for insulting royalty. The Move Forward party risks dissolution over its campaign to reform royal insult laws, and the Senate selection process’s legality is in question. These cases highlight Thailand’s fragile political climate and potential economic disruptions.

Tragedy strikes annual Rocket Festival in Roi Et

On June 16, 2024, a rocket explosion at the annual Rocket Festival in Roi Et Province injured approximately 30 attendees. The incident occurred at Ban Sang Bu Temple during the launch of 370,000 rockets, a local cultural tradition. The malfunction caused panic as the explosion led to various injuries, including facial wounds, head trauma, and limb injuries. Emergency responders swiftly transported the injured to Phon Thong District Hospital, where they received immediate medical care. Authorities are investigating the cause of the malfunction to prevent future incidents, while the community rallies to support the affected individuals.

Cannabis decriminalisation NOT linked to rise in psychiatric patients

Professor Panthep Puapongphan, Dean of the College of Oriental Medicine at Rangsit University, refuted claims linking the decriminalisation of cannabis to a rise in psychiatric patients. He stated that comparing current psychiatric patient numbers to those during the 2021 lockdown is misleading, as covid-19 affected hospital visits. The NESDC reported similar psychiatric service numbers in 2023 (2.9 million) to pre-covid 2019 levels (2.8 million), and even lower than 2018. Furthermore, cases related to methamphetamine and other drugs have decreased since cannabis decriminalisation. Prof. Panthep emphasized effective regulation over reclassifying cannabis as illegal to address substance abuse issues.

New covid-19 strain KP2 has higher rate of virality than JN1

Thailand’s new KP.2 covid-19 strain is set to become the dominant variant, spreading faster than the previous JN.1 strain, but not causing more severe symptoms. Virologist Yong Poovorawan from Chulalongkorn University highlighted the strain’s increased transmissibility and ability to evade antibodies, making current vaccines less effective. With rising hospital admissions due to lung infections, Associate Professor Dr. Thira Woratanarat predicted daily infections could exceed 18,000. He urged schools to stay vigilant, stressing the seriousness of the situation based on recent Public Health Ministry data.

Phuket boosts water tourism safety with new lifeguard training initiative

Phuket’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports launched a lifeguard training initiative to boost water tourism safety in the Andaman Tourism Development Zone. Running from June 14-15 at Nai Yang Beach Resort & Spa and Sirinat National Park, the training involves lifeguards from both public and private sectors. The program, funded by the Office of the Permanent Secretary, includes surf safety, resuscitation, AED use, and rip current escape techniques. The initiative aims to improve emergency response and promote Phuket’s tourism image. This follows a tragic incident at Nai Harn Beach, emphasizing the importance of enhanced water safety.

Government nears historic approval of marriage equality bill

Thailand is close to passing the Marriage Equality Bill, potentially making it the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill, if approved by the Senate this month, will ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples. This legislation has been in progress since 2001, facing numerous challenges. The consolidated bill, combining proposals from various parties and civil society, was passed by the House in March and will be voted on by the Senate on June 18. If approved, it will take effect 120 days after publication in the Royal Gazette, granting equal marriage rights and benefits to same-sex couples.

Shipping accident leads to oil spill affecting local communities

On June 15, beaches on Singapore’s Sentosa island were closed due to an oil spill from a nearby shipping terminal. The spill occurred when a Netherlands-flagged dredger struck a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel at Pasir Panjang Terminal. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore reported that the spill was contained, but oil patches were found on Tanjong, Palawan, and Siloso beaches. Cleanup efforts are underway with 16 response crafts deployed. Swimming and sea activities are prohibited, though navigational traffic and berthing operations at the terminal remain unaffected.

Pentagon ran disinformation propaganda campaigns regarding Chinese vaccines

During the covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. military launched a covert campaign to undermine China’s influence in the Philippines by discrediting China’s Sinovac vaccine. This operation, revealed by a Reuters investigation, involved creating fake social media accounts to spread anti-vaccine sentiment and question the safety of Chinese medical supplies. Despite the U.S. military’s aim to counter China’s narrative, health experts criticized the campaign for risking public health and undermining trust in vaccines. The campaign ran from 2020 until mid-2021 and expanded to other regions before being halted by the Biden administration.

Government threatens to shut down X due to new adult content policy

Indonesia’s Communications Minister, Budi Arie Setiadi, has threatened to shut down the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) if it does not comply with regulations barring adult content. This follows X’s recent policy update permitting consensually produced adult content. Setiadi cited Indonesia’s electronic information and transaction (ITE) law, which carries a six-year jail sentence for spreading pornographic content. He confirmed that a warning letter had been sent to X and that more letters would follow before a potential closure. Indonesia, a large social media market with 24.85 million X users, enforces strict anti-obscenity rules.

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