Mitchell Stein of Los Angeles asks why the election results are still not known more than three weeks after we voted (now more than a month). One is the Election Commission’s (EC) official explanation that it is confused about the calculation of party-list MPs and therefore has to seek a Constitutional Court ruling. The Constitutional Court is also “confused” about the issue. The other, unofficial, reason is that the ruling military junta is looking for a way to hold on to power. For an understanding of Thai politics, one can always go to the UCLA Asian Studies Institute for information.
The deliverables fall under three pillars: to help Asean prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR); to enhance Asean connectivity through trade, investment, and tourism; and to enable sustainable economic development in Asean. The ATISA aims to improve the regulatory standards for the services sector within the region, reduce unnecessary barriers to services trade within Asean and increase the regulatory transparency for the services sector for each Asean member, she said. One key 4IR goal progressing smoothly so far is the Asean Digital Integration Framework Action Plan, which has already been drafted. Meanwhile, the private sector is eager to see tangible progress on the RCEP negotiations and the ASW after the 26th AEMR. “Thailand should push for the completion of the RCEP negotiations as soon as possible.
MORE LEGAL measures to further liberalise medical cannabis are required, campaigners stressed, so as to ensure that patients can freely and easily access affordable and quality cannabinoid medicines. Even though Thailand has already legalised the use of cannabis for medical purpose since February, medical experts and prominent politicians cautioned that there were still many legal problems obstructing the general public from gaining full benefit from medical cannabis legalisation. However, Newin emphasised that currently the reformed laws on medical cannabis legalisation are far from perfect and even have the potential to cause more problems in the future. “The most urgent issue on medical cannabis right now is that even though the 90-day amnesty period allowing patients using cannabinoid medicines to register for official permission to use medical cannabis will end on May 19, only a few patients have shown up for registration,” he addressed. Anucha Sukniran, a cannabinoid medicine user from Nakhon Pathom province, disclosed that he had tried to register for use of medical cannabis in his province, but failed because of difficulties in the required documents.
CHINESE ARTIST Ai Weiwei unveiled a series of portraits last week made with around one million Lego blocks, depicting 43 Mexican students who were abducted and apparently massacred in 2014. Ai Weiwei unveils the portraits of the 43 missing Mexican students of Ayotzinapa made with one million Lego pieces. The work, entitled “Reestablecer memorias,” or “Reestablishing Memories,” is part of Ai’s new show at the University Museum of Contemporary Art in the Mexican capital. The multi-coloured, pop-art portraits are displayed above a timeline that chronicles the case of the missing students. But the government at the time said it considered the case closed, and did not renew the experts’ mandate.
PARIS - Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whom exit polls showed winning Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine, follows several celebrities -- from US actor Ronald Reagan to Liberian footballer George Weah -- who nabbed top political jobs in their countries. Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger later also made the leap from cinema to politics. He was elected president in 1998 but driven out of office in 2001 by a popular revolt after corruption accusations. In Guatemala, Jimmy Morales -- a former TV comic with no previous political experience who campaigned on anti-corruption promises -- was elected president in October 2015. George Weah emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s and was elected president of the west African nation in December 2017.
April 21, 2019 18:00 UTC
The front pages of mainstream print media all reported Jokowi’s re-election a day after the poll. Identity politics, technocrat leadersObservers noted that identity politics – namely religious conservatism and populist nationalism – played a huge role in both candidates’ campaign strategies. New level of challenges for JokowiJokowi’s second term will be another chance to correct his negative track record on rights issues including human rights abuses, persecution of minority groups, and development injustice caused by his signature infrastructure drive. But Jokowi has a constitutional mandate as president to seek justice for victims of human rights violations,” said Hariz Azhar the founder and chief of newly established law and human rights advocacy organisation Lokataru. Do not politicise past cases of human rights violation – make the investigations judicial,” said 67-year-old rights activist Maria Cataria Sumarsih in Jakarta.
A STRING OF blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka yesterday, killing over 200 people, including 35 foreigners. Earlier, Sri Lanka’s defence ministry ordered a night-time curfew after the eight blasts. The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues. Only around six per cent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups. There have been no attacks in Sri Lanka linked to foreign Islamist groups, despite local media reports that a 37-year-old Sri Lankan was killed in Syria in 2016 while fighting for the Islamic State group.
Micro SMEs include taxi drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers and small online businesses, he added. In line with the new strategy, the company will adjust its business model from evaluating loan guarantees for companies suggested by the banks to reaching out to potential clients. With the upgrade of its IT system, TCG will further reduce the process of loan guarantee approval for its customers to a single day next month. “The faster working process will increase our approval target for loan guarantees from an average of Bt88 billion in previous years to Bt115.5 billion this year. These measures will drive TCG forward as the top guarantor for both loan applicants and lenders in the country, Rak concluded.
WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's top lawyer on Sunday attacked "calumny, lies and distortions" in the Mueller investigation report while slamming a prominent Republican who said it showed pervasive dishonesty among the president and his top aides. Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information," Giuliani said of Romney on CNN's "State of the Union." It depends on where it came from," Giuliani said, adding that as a lawyer he would have advised against it. His comments echoed Trump, who mocked Romney on Twitter Sunday, after lashing out Friday at the "bullshit" Mueller report. The White House has prepared a rebuttal of the Mueller report but has yet to release it.
April 21, 2019 16:52 UTC
To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating. Pakistan: 'Horrific'Pakistan's leader Imran Khan offered his "profound condolences" to Sri Lanka. "Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured," he tweeted. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief." "Israel is willing to aid the authorities in Sri Lanka in this difficult time.
April 21, 2019 13:41 UTC
LOS ANGELES - FORMER world No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn roared back to form yesterday, finishing a season’s best joint third at the Lotte Championship in Los Angeles. Despite ending with a double bogey on 18, the world No 2 signed off with a round of 73 for a total 11-under-par 277, five strokes behind the winner, Canada’s Brooke Henderson. The Thai ace was just two shots off the lead after 14 holes but a bogey on the 15th followed by a double bogey to finish pushed her back to third. Overall it was a good round except for the double bogey on the 18th,” said Ariya, who shared the third place along with Minjee Lee of Australia. She won twice each in 2016, 2017 and 2018 with her lone major title coming at the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship.
April 21, 2019 13:18 UTC
PARIS - French Catholics on Sunday celebrated Easter mass in Paris in the shadow of the badly burned Notre-Dame Cathedral, praying that the landmark monument -- and along with it the entire Catholic Church -- can be renewed. With Notre-Dame sealed off because of the fire damage, French Catholics attended Easter mass in Saint-Eustache church in ParisThe fire at Notre-Dame six days earlier destroyed the cathedral's spire and two-thirds of its roof. Deprived of access to Notre-Dame, regular worshippers instead lined up patiently to celebrate Easter Sunday mass a short walk away, on the Right Bank of the Seine at Saint-Eustache church. - 'Courage, knowledge and prayers' -The Saint-Eustache service, also attended by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, was led by Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit who thanked the capital's fire brigade for saving the cathedral from an even worse fate. Laurence Mahoudeau, 55, who had come with her husband to celebrate the mass, said she had her doubts over whether the fire would prompt major change in the Catholic Church.
April 21, 2019 12:33 UTC
Speaking at a press conference, he said three people had been arrested in connection with the attacks that mostly targeted high-end hotels in the capital and churches where worshippers were attending Easter services. Gunasekera said the police were investigating whether suicide bombers were involved in all of the blasts.
April 21, 2019 12:22 UTC
TRIPOLI - Forces backing Libya's unity government battled to push back an offensive by strongman Khalifa Haftar on Sunday as his troops approached the gates of Tripoli after air raids overnight. At least 227 people have been killed since Haftar's forces launched their offensive, the World Health Organization said Sunday, adding that a further 1,128 have been wounded. Orders were given early this morning to advance and gain ground," said Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces. Tripoli air traffic was suspended overnight to Sunday for "security reasons", the city's only operating airport said Sunday. Some witnesses spoke of air raids and drones, but Mejii said the blasts were caused by strikes from LNA helicopters aimed at "terrorising civilians".
April 21, 2019 12:22 UTC
Dr Sanpong Rithraksa, president of the Alternative and Traditional Medicines Information Centre, said eating too much durian could raise temperature of the bodies and cause canker sore, resulting from excessive body heat. The excessive consumption of the fruit could also be harmful to those having regular illnesses such as high blood pressure or heart problems, as it could worsen the symptoms, he said. Durian is high in calories so consumption of the fruit should be limited, especially when the weather gets hotter, he said. To reduce body heat, fruits that have a cooling effect such as mangosteen should be considered, the doctor suggested. Other Thai herbal drinks could also be of help, he added.
April 21, 2019 12:11 UTC