Motorcyclists ride past the entrance to the Do Son casino in the port city of Haiphong in northern Vietnam. (Reuters photo)HANOI: The government of Vietnam on Friday published a decree to allow Vietnamese citizens to gamble in approved casinos under certain conditions as part of a three-year pilot project. People over 21 years old with a regular monthly income of at least 10 million dong (US$445) would be allowed to take part, said the decree published on the government's website. Vietnam has seven licensed casinos but they are open only to foreigners. The government does not actively promote the venues as tourist attractions, but the casinos attract a steady flow of visitors, mainly Chinese, and are highly profitable
(Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)Police have arrested two former insurance agents on charges of using clients' personal and credit-card data to buy cash cards that they then resold for 3 million baht. Officers seized 40,000 baht in cash, bank books, a computer, four mobile phones and documents containing data of credit card users. They then telephoned the clients and told them they would receive rebates from the insurer if they provided the three-digit security codes of their credit cards. The suspects used the security codes, credit card numbers and personal data to buy TrueMoney cash cards and resold the cards online at discounts. "I would like to warn credit card users not to give any personal data related to financial transactions to anyone," Pol Maj Gen Suthin said.
(Photo by Patipat Janthong)Police are hunting five associates of an alleged Lao drug baron who was arrested on Thursday after having evaded police for five years. "We will make this drug network poorer than beggars," Pol Lt Gen Sommai Kongwisaisook, commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) said on Friday. Alleged Lao drug lord Xayana Keopimpha. Mr Xaysana, 41, was arrested at the airport after arriving from Phuket in a joint operation led by the two agencies. Authorities have placed Mr Xaysana's gang in the same ranks as drug kingpins like Wei Sia Kang and Lao Ta Saenlee.
Wheelchair users are moving from an electric train station in Lat Phrao to the Civil Court on Ratchadaphisek Road to file the class-action lawsuit on inadequate elevators on the BTS skytrain system on Friday. The class-action suit came from Suporntum Monkolsawadi, a 50-year-old wheelchair user and secretary-general of the Redemptorist Foundation for People with Disabilities. On Jan 21, 2015, the Supreme Administrative Court ordered the BMA to complete the installation within one year, or Jan 21 last year. The court would examine witnesses in the case and consider the complainant's request for court fee exemption on March 30. The BMA already approved 200 million baht to install four lifts at each station, or 72 lifts altogether.
Singapore stocks closed 0.1% higher on Friday. (Bloomberg photo)Southeast Asian stock markets were tepid on Friday, as uncertainty over US president-elect Donald Trump's political and economic stance made investors step back from risky assets ahead of his swearing-in ceremony. Investors are now wondering whether Trump will end up actually being a game changer once he takes office as president later in the US day. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia closed 0.8% lower, with telecom and financial stocks knocking off 0.5% from the index. Vietnam shares, up 0.6% on the day, rose 0.2% on week, climbing for a fourth straight week.
A photo of alleged poisoner and rapist Kritsada Jai-eua, grabbed from video on the ejan Facebook page. SUPHAN BURI - A medium arrested for the rape and murder of a 20-year-old university student he met on Facebook has allegedly confessed he gave her drinking water laced with pesticide before sexually abusing her - and then she convulsed and died. According to police, the suspect had admitted he raped and killed a 20-year-old Rajabhat University student at his house, which served as a Phu Sua shrine. The woman later convulsed, with saliva coming out from her mouth, and died. He placed her body in a pushcart and later dumped it in a paddy field not far from his house, according to police.
Chuvit Kamolvisit raises his arms in celebration after being released from prison under a royal pardon. Rak Thai list MP Chuwit Kamolvisit reveals the existence of a large illegal casino during the debate on the government’s policy statement. CHUVIT, THE SHOWMANChuvit is starting a daily TV talk show, titled Tee Saek Na (Hitting Right In The Face) on Jan 30 on Thairath TV. Chuvit in jail: Chuvit Kamolvisit observes a press conference at the Corrections Department’s hospital to raise funds for patients last June. YOU CAN SPEND A MILLION BAHT A DAY IN JAIL"Everyday in jail is a bad day," he added.
(AP photo)BEIJING - China's economic growth sank to its lowest level in three decades in 2016 as Beijing braces for a trade battle with US President-elect Donald Trump. Asked about the potential impact of action by Mr Trump, Mr Ning said China should maintain ''medium- to high-speed growth.'' Real estate sales are booming, which has pushed up economic growth figures. Retail sales growth decelerated to 9.6% from 2015's 10.6%. ''We assume that in 2017, policymakers will be focused on ensuring economic growth remains relatively elevated,'' said Tom Rafferty of the Economist Intelligence Unit in a report.
The 499 kilogrammes of seized cannabis, and the car, shown at the Nakhon Phanom provincial police headquarters on Friday. (Photo by Pattanapong Seepiachai)NAKHON PHANOM -- Police found 499 kilogrammes of cannabis in a car at a rubber plantation in Nakhon Phanom province and believe it was smuggled from Laos. Inside the car police found 13 sacks containing 499 compressed slabs of cannabis, each weighing one kilogramme. Police believed the cannabis was smuggled from Laos, which is directly across the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom. Early this month police in Nakhon Phanom had seized about two tonnes of cannabis.
The main road in Muang district of Nakhon Si Thammarat is flooded on Jan 7, 2017. (Bangkok Post file photo)The southern flooding since the beginning of the year has damaged a total of 95 factories in eight provinces with estimated combined damage of almost 65 million baht, according to the Industrial Works Department. Director-general Mongkol Pruekwatana said most of the damaged factories were in Phattalung (26), followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat (17), Surat Thani (16), Prachuap Khiri Khan (13), Trang (11), Krabi (6), Chumphon (5) and Narathiwat (1). The department has offered to assist all of the affected factories by waiving fees and offering low-interest loans. The department will also subsidise 50% of the costs, but not more than 400,000 baht, for each operator seeking to improve energy efficiency, as well as environment and safety standards at the damaged factories.
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Members of the public watch as police and emergency services attend to an injured person after a car hit pedestrians in central Melbourne on Friday. The chaos began in the early afternoon, after a man was seen driving in erratic circles in the middle of a major intersection in downtown Melbourne. The man was arrested at the scene and there was no further threat to the public, Bateson said. Bateson said the Melbourne incident had no links to terrorism. "At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city,'' Bateson told reporters.
(Photo Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has proposed that "neutral" academics and experts be included in the new committee tasked with fostering national reconciliation. The panel currently comprises mostly military personnelThe former prime minister said she supported all initiatives that would benefit the country and people. National reconciliation would be achieved only if all sides strictly adhered to the principles of neutrality, equity and respect for the law. This would bring about peace and national reconciliation, and the country would move ahead, Ms Yingluck said. Only by first reaching a common understanding of the goal could they move on to the procedures for national reconciliation.
I'm far from my family, but I'm looking forward to seeing them more this year. I am looking forward to working on all my projects and having another awesome year working at Aspire. I'm going to make it a mission to exercise more regularly: take pilates classes and plank (almost) everyday. I am looking forward to seeing the dance community here grow and work with the greater dance community out there. At the same time, I'm also looking forward to taking some time off to travel more.
Public debt stood at 5.94 trillion baht as of Nov 30, 2016, constituting 42.39% of GDP and falling 0.68% from the previous month, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The sum comprised 4.47 trillion baht of government debt, 979.49 billion baht of non-financial state-owned enterprise (SOE) debt, 470.72 billion baht of government-guaranteed financial SOE debt, and 20.46 billion baht of other government agencies' debt, said Theeraj Athanavanich, a bond market adviser of the ministry. Compared with the previous month, public debt decreased by 40.95 billion baht, or 0.68%. Of the overall public debt, 94.30% or 5.60 trillion baht was domestic debt and 5.70% or 339.09 billion baht was external debt. Classified by remaining maturity, long-term debt formed 87.58% and short-term debt 12.42% of the total public debt.