Quarantine gets a bad repIt is encouraging to see the government and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) act swiftly against reports of alleged extortion that unnamed state officials demanded "commissions" from Pattaya-based hoteliers who agreed to turn their premises into state quarantine facilities. It was reported that the government is offering to pay 1,000 baht per head each day to hotels which have agreed to join the state quarantine programme. Early last month, the government introduced the so-called mandatory "state quarantine" and "local quarantine", in its effort to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission from Thai returnees, complete with guidelines from the Public Health Ministry. In principle, the state quarantine centres are under the Defence Ministry's jurisdiction, while the local centres are under the Interior Ministry and local administration agencies. Previously, CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin ruled out the possibility of a scam.
May 25, 2020 23:37 UTC
Checks on teachers for past abuseEducation Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan on Monday ordered the Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC) to make sure that no teachers or school executives who have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences are able to return to the profession in any capacity. Five teachers at a school in the area were suspended after being charged in connection with the repeated sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. Amporn Pinasa, the OTEPC secretary-general, said yesterday a survey by her office found that about 180 teachers and school executives have been convicted of child sexual abuse over the past three years and all had been suspended or sacked. Ms Amporn said these convicted teachers have already had their teaching licences revoked and would not be able to reapply for work at a school. She added that making sure that schools are "safe spaces for students" must be a national priority going forward.
70% of SET firms ready for PDPASome 70% of SET-listed companies are prepared for the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) related to capital market compliance, according to a survey conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The legislation mandates data controllers and processors who use personal data must receive consent from data owners and use it only for expressed purposes. Once implemented, listed firms must uphold personal data protections in accordance with the international law on personal data privacy. These included securities companies, asset management companies, funding portals, digital token portals, auditors and digital asset exchange operators. There were 10 evaluation topics, including preparing top executives, notifying the details of personal data protection, preparing consent forms, exercising the rights of personal data owners and appointing personal data protection officers.
Veteran computer scientist Yuen Poovarawan on Monday warned that while the country has managed to curb the domestic spread of coronavirus, the risk of a second wave remains. Assoc Prof Yuen, a senior member of Kasetsart University's Department of Computer Engineering, said that the ability of the disease to spread can be described as the reproduction number, or the R-value. "The World Health Organization estimates that the reproduction number of Covid-19 stands at 1.4-2.5. "Scientists calculate the reproduction number backwards by using data of people dying, being hospitalised, or testing positive for the coronavirus. If the R-value is lower than one, the disease will soon peter out," explained Assoc Prof Yuen.
IORA ready to act on virusThailand and other Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries are looking to enhance multilateral cooperation in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. A virtual meeting, Dialogue Partner Engagement on Covid-19: Responses, Cooperation, and Partnerships was recently attended by Thailand's senior official at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, Cherdchai Chaivaivid, as well as senior officials from other IOR states and IORA dialogue partners. The virtual attendees shared information and experiences regarding the effects of Covid-19 and national response measures to better help affected member countries and accelerate the post-pandemic economic recovery. The IORA Secretariat will later circulate the final draft of the statement for consideration. The meeting gave Thailand an opportunity to push forward public health cooperation issues complementing both national efforts and those of Asean, the department said.
Prawit: Government just being cautiousForestalling a second wave of infections, and not politics, is behind the government's need to extend enforcement of the emergency decree as lockdown measures are set to loosen up, said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. Gen Prawit's assurances came as the cabinet is expected today to approve a recommendation by the Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to extend the enforcement of the emergency decree for another month. But the opposition and critics disagree with prolonging the emergency decree, saying the Communicable Disease Act alone should be enough to control the spread of the virus. They argue the government has a hidden agenda and want to hold onto emergency decree powers to restrict political activities that will challenge it. But public health officials said on Monday there are signs that people are becoming less vigilant as the number of new daily infections drops.
Privacy concerns loom as an AIS online database containing information on 8.3 billion internet customers was left unprotected. The NBTC may order AIS to be more cautious in handling customer data to ensure there will be no mistake in the future, the source said. According to Mr Paine, the database was likely controlled by AIS subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN). "It is important to note that ThaiCERT contacted AIS about the exposed database, then the database was offline shortly after," he wrote on his blog. "It's possible AIS promptly notified AWN, or they may have simply blocked access to the exposed database to quickly address the issue for their subsidiary company."
'Thai Chana' fakes phish for user dataThe Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has warned that fraudulent websites bearing the name of the government's Thai Chana platform are trying to steal personal information from shoppers. Some people have received SMS messages on their mobile phones asking them to go to their websites to download the fake app. The Anti-Fake News Centre on Sunday warned phone users to ignore the SMS messages and not share them with other people. CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the real Thai Chana is a platform, not an app, adding "the real one does not have an app to download". Thai Chana has 11 million users and has enrolled 106,000 shops and other places.
Yé Ké Yé Ké was remixed for the UK club scene and German techno duo Hardfloor remixed the song for further chart success. "I was the first one to play a balafon [traditional African xylophone] in the Rail Band," Kante said. But many listeners just want to dance to Yé Ké Yé Ké. Even a confident man like Kante was surprised at the runaway global success of Yé Ké Yé Ké. Mory Kante, African master musician and pioneering artist, 1950-2020.
Exports rise 2.1% in April on boost from agriculture, goldSukhothai gold ornaments made by smiths at the Onanong Chang Thong gold shop. Exports, excluding gold, fell 10.31% year-on-year, likely reflecting the underlying weakness in global trade amid the coronavirus pandemic. The spike in gold exports highlighted the risk aversion effects arising from Covid-19 and global economic slowdown, resulting in rising golds prices and large exports to Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Excluding gold, oil, and weaponry, Thai exports in April 2020 contracted 7.53%, the ministry said. Excluding gold, oil, and weaponry, exports contracted 0.96%.
May 22, 2020 06:00 UTC
Olympics official sees 'real problems' in holding Games in 2021The 2020 Olympics were postponed by a year over the coronavirusSYDNEY - A senior Olympics official has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces "real problems", with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat of the coronavirus. John Coates, the International Olympic Committee's pointman for Tokyo 2020, indicated that officials would start deciding in October if and how the pandemic-hit Games could go ahead in July 2021. He told a roundtable organised by Australian media giant News Corp that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been clear the Tokyo Olympics could not be delayed a second time. "We've got real problems because we've got athletes having to come from 206 different nations," said Coates. Do we separate the athletes from the mixed zone where the media are?"
May 22, 2020 05:37 UTC
Soldiers stand guard blocking potential anti-coup protesters at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on May 23, 2014, one day after the coup. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)The government is bracing for a tough road ahead as political tension builds post-Covid-19, according to academics. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted activities including a political campaign challenging the Prayut Chan-o-Cha government. But the country is likely to see more political tension now that fears of the virus are subsiding. He said the Progressive Movement, the reincarnation of the now-defunct Future Forward Party (FFP), positioned itself as an agent of political change and succeeded in bringing young voters on board.
May 22, 2020 02:26 UTC
26 all out: the nightmare that still haunts New Zealand cricketEven New Zealand's 45 all out in Cape Town in 2013 bettered the 1955 collapseWELLINGTON - It has been described as New Zealand cricket's darkest day, the 1955 Test against England when the Black Caps were skittled for just 26, a record low that still stands today. The Test cricket landscape in 1955 was vastly different to today. The New Zealand Test team had been out of action for more than a year and had been unsettled by inconsistent selection. Ford said the result was now part of the tapestry of cricket in New Zealand. "It's such a fundamental part of New Zealand cricket history that if it wasn't there the game here would be poorer for it.
May 22, 2020 02:15 UTC
A world redrawn: Dreams don't end here, says Cuba's high jump record-holderCuban Olympic gold medalist Javier Sotomayor set the world record for high jump at 2.45 meters - a record that still stands - in 1993HAVANA - Cuban former athlete Javier Sotomayor has jumped higher than anyone else in the history of the world. Now 52, a coach and the Cuban Athletics Federation secretary, Sotomayor is urging athletes not to let the coronavirus pandemic crush their dreams. Here, the father of five who still holds the world high jump record of 2.45 meters tells AFP about how he is coping with the virus outbreak. "I went five, six, seven, eight months without jumping, and after that in 1997 I won the world championships. That's harder for Cubans who unlike many athletes around the world, don't have home gyms.
May 22, 2020 01:41 UTC
Bryant items fetch premium prices, Trout card sets recordA Kobe Bryant signed and game worn jersey is displayed at a preview for sports legends memorabilia by Julien's Auctions. Bryant-related items realized $202,590 at the Julien's auction, where one 2006-07 season game-worn jersey sold for $22,400. A Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookie trading card sold in the Goldin auction for $99,630. But the highest price in the opening session of the Goldin auction was for a signed rookie card for three-time American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, which fetched an astonishing $922,500 on Wednesday. The 2009 Trout card features the Los Angeles Angels superstar outfielder's first autograph in a Major League Baseball uniform and is one of only five in existence.
May 22, 2020 00:11 UTC