6 Jun 2018
11:34 pm

 

Firefighters tackle a blaze at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in central London on June 6, 2018. A fire broke out at London’s with dozens of firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze that pumped smoke high into the air over the British capital.

Source: www.afpforum.com

6 Jun 2018
9:10 pm

 

 

The Office of Student Loans Fund is considering suing 120,000 borrowers who have defaulted their loan repayments averaging 100,000 baht each this year, said Mr Chainarong Katchapanan, the loan manager.

He disclosed that 3.5 million borrowers of student loans are due this year to service their loan repayments with total debts amounting to400 billion baht.  In the meantime, he said the office would take legal actions against 120,000 borrowers who defaulted their repayments of debts totaling 12 billion baht, averaging 100,000 baht each.

In the past decade, the Office of Student Loans Fund has taken legal actions against 1.2 million borrowers who owe the fund to the tune of 48 billion baht.

The fund has, so far, extended loans amounting to 570 billion baht to 5.4 milllion borrowers.  Of these, 800,000 cases have been closed, including 50,000 cases of borrowers having died or becoming disabled.  Of the remaining 4 million borrowers, more than two million of them have defaulted their repayments.

 

However, he said the fund planned to extend new loans estimated at 30 billion baht to some 700,000 students this year.

As far as loan repayment is concerned, he said that beginning July this year, officials of the Comptroller Department who used to be loan borrowers would become the first group of officials who would have their salaries deducted to service their student loans.

In case of corporate employees who used to be loan borrowers, salary deductions to service loans will start at the end of this year with employees of big corporation such as CP, Krung Thai Bank and state enterprises.

 

6 Jun 2018
5:47 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he planned to meet with political parties some time this month after the Constitutional Court on Monday ruled that the amendments of Sections 140 and 141 of the Political Party Act by Order No.53/2560 issued on Dec 22 last year by Prime Minister Prayut Chano-cha in his capacity as chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) did not violate the 2017 constitution.
“I will not raise any conditions. Whoever wants to come, come. I will not ask any party to join. As for parties which do not want to come, the people will decide for themselves why.
“As for a proposal by some parties for the meeting to be televised live, I would take it for consideration. I want to look into honesty of individual parties,” Gen Prayut said.
Concerning the call for the NCPO to lift the ban on political activities, he said the proposal would be taken for consideration on a case-by-case basis during the initial stage. The NCPO would have to consider the ban on which activities should be lifted.
“If the ban on all acvities of political parties is totally lifted at the same time, who will guarantee that there will not be any problems as happened in the past protests,” Gen Prayut asked.
He said that in the past political campaigns were plagued with mud-slingings instead of concentrating on what would be done under the policies of individual parties, adding that he did not want to see this happen.
The prime minister said he would like politicians and political parties to guarantee that they would strictly abide by the laws in conducting political campaigns and declaring party policies. The country should be ruled by law and order, he added.
Gen Prayut said if the people want a government with good governance, they have to be prepared for an election. “They must help prevent a recurrence of political activities that can lead to more conflicts,” he added.
He said he would forward organic bills on the election of MPs and the acquisition of senators to His Majesty the King for royal approval within the timeframe stated in the constitution. However, he has not yet received the two bills, which are being handled by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam.

6 Jun 2018
3:48 pm

Many elephants have been brought to receive medial treatment at the elephant hospital in Krabi province after they fell sick, possibly from eating mud and fruits and vegetables contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Benjatham Thaitham, a veterinarian at the Krabi elephant hospital, said that after the arrival of the rainy season many elephants have been brought by their mahouts for treatment.
About 10 pachyderms were brought to the hospital in May alone, she said.
The elephants are for hauling logs and used in tourism promotion activities. Most of them suffer from flatulence and infections in the respiratory system.
Ms Banjatham said it was initially believed that the animals fell sick because of the food they had eaten. They included rotten pineapple and fruits contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Since elephants like to eat mud which comes with the rain and, to them, has a good smell, the mud which is contaminated with diseases and chemicals may have caused them to have a problem with the excretory system.
They may die if they are left without treatment for a long time, she said.

6 Jun 2018
3:38 pm

In an effort to prevent repeated flooding in Bangkok, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) yesterday held  meeting with authorities from five surrounding provinces to map out  water management plan and preventive measures as heavy rains have been forecast during the forthcoming rainy season.

The surrounding provinces include Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Chachoengsao, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.

Highlight of the issues discussed was the flooding on Ngamwongwan Road in Chinnakhet 2 area where  residents have repeatedly suffered  flooding when the rainy season arrives.

This area is the connecting point between Bangkok and Nonthaburi province and it is one of the four connecting points that are under special attention when there is heavy rain.

The four connecting points that are the flood risk locations are Sukhumvit Road at Bearing BTS skytrain station at Soi LaSalle; Pahonyothin Road, between Sear Rangsit Department Store to Lam Luk Ka intersection; Chaeng Wattana Road, from Khlong Prapa canal to the Government Complex; and Ngamwongwan Road, from Soi Chinnakhet 2 to Khlong Prapa canal.

The meeting discussed plan to integrate action to fight against flooding.

After over three hours of discussion, Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin  Kwanmuang said the meeting concluded that the agencies concerned will urgently prepare the readiness by cleaning the drainage system at the small roads which should be finished by July.

The operation should be launched to open the water flowing by getting rid of the weed along waterways and dredge the canals. The operation should be finished this month.

He said the meeting also agreed to deploy 1,500 water pumps at the flood risk areas, to inspect the four giant flood tunnels, making them ready to use

In addition rapid response units at 108 locations will be set up and flood prevention and response centre will be open to distribute flood information for 24 hours.

BMA is confident that the Bangkok residents will suffer less flood impact when compare with the previous years, he said.

The deputy governor of Nonthaburi province admitted that Ngamwongwan area is the most worrisome as the area is inundated when there is heavy rain.

He said  It normally takes half day to drain the floodwater but at present the authorities take only two hours to drain the floodwater.

6 Jun 2018
3:06 pm

One defense volunteer was injured on Wednesday when a roadside bomb went off as security officials were on a patrol to give protection to a team of explosive ordnance disposal inspecting a suspicious object near the scene.

The explosion happened in front of Ban Sakor school in Tambon Tasab of Yala Muang district.

A team of defence volunteers was on a routine patrol to give protection to teachers when a suspicious object was sighted.

As an EOD team arrived to inspect the object, a hidden bomb planted by the roadside was then detonated, injuring one volunteer.

6 Jun 2018
2:51 pm

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police say they will file human trafficking charge against the former assistant abbot of Wat Saket, Phra Wisutthisasanavithet or known as Chaokhun Ping, if a child he had sexual relation is underage.

 

Chaokhun Ping, also  former secretary of Phra Prommasith, former abbot of Wat Saket, has earlier been defrocked  after admitting to have in possession pornographic materials showing he had  sexual relationship  with a male teenager.

Pol Maj GenKornchai Klaiklueng, the commander  of the Anti-trafficking in Persons Division, stated that  they were coordinating with the Crime Suppression Division to track down the young man in the pictures found in Chaokhun Ping’s  chambers.

He said that he was confident that this would not take too long and if it was found that the young man was under 18 years of age,  then the defrocked monk will have to answer for human trafficking charges.

He said the CSD police were inspecting all monks chambers at Wat Saket  to determine where Chaokhun Ping or any other monks had got the pornographic material from so that an official action can be taken to address the improper conduct and sexual deviance of Buddhist monks there.

6 Jun 2018
10:15 am

The White House has announced that the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for June 12, will take place at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s resort island of Sentosa.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the summit is scheduled to begin at 9 am (Singapore time). It will be the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president. “We thank our great Singaporean hosts for their hospitality,” Sanders said in a tweet.

The colonial-style Capella is a five-star hotel built in the 1880’s to accommodate British military officers.

6 Jun 2018
12:16 am

Fashion designer Kate Spade dead in an apparent suicide at age 55.

Designer Kate Spade, one of the biggest names in American fashion, was found dead on June 5, 2018, in New York after apparently committing suicide, police said. She was 55. Celebrity website TMZ said the designer especially known for her sleek handbags and former editor of Mademoiselle magazine hanged herself in her Park Avenue apartment.

 

Source: www.afpforum.com

5 Jun 2018
6:09 pm

Led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 20 ministries and the private sector today launched a campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags to mark the World Environment Day, which falls on June 5 of every year.

Gen Surasak Karnjanarat, the natural resources and environment minister, said the campaign will start with concerted efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags with straps and Styrofoam materials in their offices, starting June 5.

The campaign will be carried out under the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.”

Their intention is to create an environmental awareness, he said.

Gen Surasak said during the past 10 years, Thailand has produced about 2 million tonnes of plastic garbage every year. Of this, only 0.5 million tonnes are reused. Most of the plastic bags are contaminated or infected. The plastic trash not only affects health and the environment but also the country’s economy as a whole, he said.

Pictures of rafts of plastic garbage in the ocean and its effects on marine life including sea turtles, whales, dolphins and rare sea animals clearly show that the environment problem caused by plastic waste has become more serious, Gen Surasak said.

“In 2016 alone, the country had 27 million tonnes of garbage, of them 3.2 million was plastic. The figures coincide with information of the United Nations Environmental Programme which says that as many as 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. One half of the plastic products are for one-time use – including spoons, forks and cups. Each year more than 13 million tonnes of plastic garbage were dumped into the sea. Thailand is ranked 6th among countries in the world with the highest amounts of plastic garbage,” the minister said.

Gen Surasak said that in the cabinet meeting of April 17 this year, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the Natural Resources Ministry, the Interior Ministry and other agencies concerned to start a joint campaign, with cooperation from the private sector, for the reduction of the use of plastic materials.

Ratchada Suriyakul Na Ayutthaya, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, said there will be an activity entitled “Run For Nature 2018” at the Ayutthaya Historical Park in Ayutthaya province to promote various kinds of environment-friendly runs, aimed at reducing plastic thrash, particularly plastic cups and bottles. Proceeds from the event will go to the Ayutthaya Hospital and the Forest Protection Foundation.