(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)The number of Thais held hostage by Hamas in Gaza remains at eight after one missing Thai believed to have been among the hostages was found safe in Israel, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv reported that a Thai national who had gone missing in Israel had recently contacted relatives in Thailand to say he was safe, Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said on Thursday. Talks for the release of all Thai hostages were continuing, but the situation in Gaza was still critical. Earlier, the Thai embassy had reported that a total of 23 Thai hostages had been released in Gaza, with nine remaining in captivity. On Wednesday, the embassy found one Thai citizen who was earlier believed to be among nine remaining hostages.
December 08, 2023 04:24 UTC
Democrat group targets NarapatChalermchai: Eyes party top jobA faction of MPs led by Dech-it Khaothong, a Democrat MP for Songkhla, tried to move against acting deputy leader Narapat Kaeothong's leadership bid as several MPs showed unwillingness to vote for him, a party source said on Wednesday. Chaichana Detdecho, acting deputy Democrat secretary-general, said a new party leader will be elected tomorrow following a leadership vacuum that has lasted for several months. "The Democrat Party is a political institution so every party member is given an equal chance to run as a candidate in the leadership contest," he said. "The party is not owned by any particular individual so no one knows in advance who will be elected as the new party leader," Mr Chaichana noted. He stressed that the new party leader must look to restore unity among party members and come up with policies to address the country's economic woes and push for decentralisation.
December 08, 2023 04:03 UTC
Pisa 2022 also included an assessment of young people's financial literacy, which was optional for countries and economies. Results for mathematics, reading and science were released on Tuesday and the results for creative thinking and financial literacy will be released in 2024. Mr Sompong said malnutrition and online game addictions among Thai students also have an adverse impact on their learning. Education Minister Pol Gen Permpoon Chidchob on Wednesday admitted Thai students had performed poorly in the latest Pisa assessment. "In the 2025 assessment, Thai student's rankings must improve.
December 07, 2023 16:36 UTC
Cop uniform stunt probedA Chinese tourist wears a Thai police uniform. Pol Maj Gen Somporn Sajjapoj, deputy chief of and spokesman for the Police Education Bureau, said an inquiry was underway. Pol Capt Jumroon Chaisri, who is attached to the bureau, gave his uniform to the tourist to wear. A probe into the police captain's explanation would take 15-30 days, Pol Maj Gen Somporn said. Pol Capt Jumroon said he agreed to the arrangement without realising the pictures would later be posted on the internet.
December 07, 2023 13:17 UTC
Russian leader courts allies in Middle East but might not attend climate talks in DubaiPresident Vladimir Putin greets UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed at the airport in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Moscow is pressing its diplomatic push among energy-rich and influential monarchies in the Middle East. Isolated by the West over the Ukraine war, Putin is courting allies in the Middle East, where he will discuss oil, trade and the Israel-Hamas conflict. Putin was greeted on the runway by UAE officials, Russian television showed, before heading to the presidential palace under cavalry escort. Moscow is pressing its diplomatic push among energy-rich and influential Middle East countries, including with Saudi Arabia.
December 07, 2023 00:42 UTC
Bangkok, December 4, 2023 – PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) and PTTEP Energy Development Company Limited supported and joined Thailand Oil Spill Preparedness & Response Training and Workshop aimed to equip all relevant parties with effective response in case of emergency incidents. This year’s event follows the objective of preparing all parties for the 13th Thailand National Oil and Chemical Spill Response Exercise, scheduled to take place in 2024. This includes situation assessment, appropriate management methods, with an emphasis on collaborative efforts among relevant agencies in emergency management. The goal is to foster knowledge and understanding as well as preparedness for swift, appropriate and efficient responses. Realizing that adhering to maximum safety standards is imperative for the petroleum exploration and production business, PTTEP underlines safety standards in all work procedures to ensure efficiency, safety, and preparedness for emergency response in accordance with legal and international standards.
December 06, 2023 11:47 UTC
CGS-CIMB Securities (Thailand) said that it had cut the country's GDP growth forecast for 2023 to 2.5%, from 3.2%, but maintained the 2024 estimate at 4% on the back of expected export growth of 3.7%. "In order to fulfil our GDP growth forecast of 3.2% in 2023, fourth-quarter GDP growth needs to exceed 5% year-on-year, which we view as unachievable," said investment strategist Gun Hathaisattha. Looking forward to next year, he said CGS-CIMB has not ruled out the possibility of the global economy falling into recession as "high interest rates last longer than previously expected". As a result, there is a chance that the global economy faces a more severe slowdown than the market expected, said Mr Gun. Maybank Securities expects Thai GDP growth to rise to 3.6% in 2024, from 2.3% this year, and CPI inflation to accelerate to 1.8%, from 1.3% this year.
December 06, 2023 06:59 UTC
Provincial governors attend a meeting in Bangkok in 2017. (Bangkok Post file photo)The cabinet has agreed in principle to grant all provincial governors authority broadly equivalent to that of a company CEO, as part of the government's decentralisation policy. All provincial governors will be formally briefed on the exact scope of their new authority and how to execute their new duties in accordance with the decree, said the source. Mr Parit had also accused the Srettha administration of reneging on an earlier pledge to pilot elections for provincial governors in a select number of areas. Unlike 20 years ago when the Thai Rak Thai Party introduced this very same policy, provincial governors nowadays hold far less power, he said.
December 06, 2023 04:23 UTC
Cabinet okays B8bn package for sugarcane farmersA worker harvests sugar cane in Surin province. The mobile cabinet on Monday greenlighted incentives worth 8 billion baht for sugarcane farmers who agree to cut fresh sugarcane without burning the residue, a move aimed at helping reduce the amount of PM2.5 dust in the 2022/23 harvest year. Under the scheme, which is aimed at addressing the burning of the residue of their crop by sugarcane farmers, the government would offer farmers who agree to cut fresh sugarcane without burning the residue 120 baht per tonne. She also insisted the incentives offered for this project do not violate the agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as they are designed to assist sugarcane farmers in promoting the cutting of fresh sugarcane, reducing air pollution and PM2.5 dust. Thailand's sugar cane output is estimated at 82.4 million tonnes in the 2023-24 crop year, with domestic sugar consumption projected at 25.7 million sacks, which represents 2.57 million tonnes.
December 05, 2023 21:45 UTC
In factory farms, animals live in limited spaces and unsanitary and stressful conditions which can lead to illness and disease. Unfortunately, consuming meat containing antimicrobial resistant bacteria can increase the risk of acquiring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans. World Animal Protection (Thailand) surveys animal farms. "In contrast to factory farms, animals on sustainable farms can wander in outdoor areas and socialise with other animals. (Photo: World Animal Protection Thailand)Last month, World Animal Protection launched the "Rowing For Farm Animals" campaign.
December 05, 2023 07:02 UTC
Bamboo, Escardo said, is deeply intertwined with Chinese history and culture, and can provide green jobs and economic opportunities for people in rural areas. This has made it the largest exporter of bamboo products, and overseas demand is increasing as the West pursues its own emission reduction efforts, Escardo said. Upstream, the industry also faces high costs due to a lack of mechanisation in the felling of bamboo, according to Wang Xian, founder of a bamboo plywood manufacturer from Taojiang county, Hunan province. The country began to reduce plastic consumption in 2008, banning supermarkets and shopping malls from providing disposable plastic bags for free to shoppers. Though bamboo is just one solution among many to curb the world's excessive consumption of plastics, Escardo said, "if we have many solutions together, the opportunity to compete with the plastic industry will be higher.
December 04, 2023 09:38 UTC
Court ruling on Yingluck malfeasance case reset for Dec 26Former caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is surrounded by supporters in May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled to remove her from office over her transfer of Thawil Pliensri as National Security Council chief. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has rescheduled Dec 26 for the reading of its ruling on an abuse of power case against fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra after two postponements. Mr Thawil filed a petition with the Supreme Administrative Court, which subsequently ordered the revocation of the transfer order. Moreover, the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that Yingluck had abused her power by interfering in the transfer of government officials. She fled the country ahead of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions ruling on Aug 25, 2017.
December 04, 2023 08:42 UTC
Thailand ready to receive Myanmar war refugeesPeople's Liberation Army forces fight Myanmar junta soldiers near Sagaing Region in Myanmar on Nov 23, 2023. (Reuters photo)The government is ready to build shelters along the border to receive refugees in the event that fighting in Myanmar escalates further, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara. But from now on, if violence increases, there might be refugees going in all directions, not only towards Thailand," the foreign minister said. Mr Parnpree commented that he had not received any reports of a proxy war in Myanmar. Lt Gen Prasarn Saengsirirak, commander of the 3rd Army, said the ongoing situation in Myanmar were yet to have any impact on Thailand, but if refugees crossed the border, they would receive humanitarian aid.
December 03, 2023 15:31 UTC
Taste of inflation from a reliable sauceI am not sure where Bangkok stands in the list of most expensive cities released by the Economist this week. More to the point, even my hallowed HP Sauce has not been spared. It received the ultimate seal of approval in the 1960s when the British satirical magazine Private Eye adopted the name HP Sauce for its political column. French dressingA curiosity in those days was that part of the HP label describing the sauce was in French. It includes the immortal lyrics: "I think it's only fair/to point out that despite its faults/England still has HP Sauce."
December 03, 2023 07:40 UTC
Call centre gangs exploit vulnerable victimsCloser look: Police officers examine items seized from a call centre scam gang after a raid in Bangkok in August. The items, marked as evidence, include mobile phones and cash worth altogether more than 10 million baht. But it was too late: within 30 minutes, she had lost 1.5 million baht in life savings. On Dec 1, the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women brought 16 victims of a call centre gang in Cambodia to report to police. As for victims who lost their money to call centre gangs, they tend to never get it back.
December 03, 2023 07:17 UTC