- Common 'injustice' -Across their country, Iraqis spotted parallels between the roots of America's protests and their own society. Iraq has its own history of racism, particularly against a minority of Afro-Iraqis in the south who trace their roots back to East Africa. Solidarity is spreading online, too, with Iraqis tweaking their own protest chants and slogans to fit the US. Another Arabic hashtag going viral in Iraq translates as "We want to breathe, too", referring to Floyd's last words. Iraqis have fought back online, tweeting "Stop associating Baghdad with turmoil," in response to comparisons with their homeland.
June 06, 2020 03:22 UTC
Prawit push in PPRP war could backfireIs Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on the road to becoming new PPRP leader? However, if Gen Prawit becomes PPRP leader, this could trigger the party's decline. At 74, Gen Prawit, as deputy prime minister, is chairman of more than a dozen national committees under the current administration. Lest we forget, Gen Prawit also has a close relationship with the big boss at the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit. The PPRP under Gen Prawit will be a target for more political attacks.
Boxing clever not an optionThe management of the army-owned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, which was the epicentre of many coronavirus infections in early March, were removed this week as recommended by an investigation panel. Falling victim to the purge was Maj Gen Rachit Arunrangsi, head of the Army Welfare Department who was the stadium manager. Maj Gen Rachit was among those who were infected at the stadium in the Ram Intra area while attending "super matches" on that date. By April, infections surpassed 1,000, and a number of deaths were reported, with health authorities linking the spike to the cluster of infections at the boxing stadium. However, the probe panel set up in late March by Army Chief, Gen Apirat Kongsompong, found the stadium management guilty of negligence.
Scam victims seek DSI aidA group of victims who were defrauded of 845 million baht by a gold trading firm in Chon Buri have renewed their call for the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to accept their case after a lack of progress. Led by Kanchasom Sanga-song, the group said they want the DSI to take the case because he agency has the resources to track down the money. They had asked the DSI to accept the case in February but it apparently took no steps. The couple was accused of defrauding 845 million baht from 165 investors in their gold trading business, Ausiris Sattahip Gold and Futures Co. Lt Col Kitti Pakdirakpong, a DSI investigator, promised to speed up the consideration process.
COVID-19 research scandal: Unwanted diversion during pandemicA pharmacy tech holds a tablet of hydroxychloroquineWASHINGTON - The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say, as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair. This is despite the fact that even without The Lancet paper, evidence has been building against hydroxychloroquine's use against COVID-19. - Mystery company -The Lancet, which first published in 1823, is one of the world's most trusted medical journals. As a result, the hydroxychloroquine paper had an outsized impact: the World Health Organization, Britain and France all suspended ongoing clinical trials. Meanwhile Desai, who according to court records has three outstanding medical malpractice suits against him, has written extensively in the past on research misconduct.
Toronto: An investigation into the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) found widespread corruption and dozens of covered-up drugs tests, officials said on Thursday. Lead investigator Richard McLaren said the probe into the IWF's affairs under former president Tamas Ajan uncovered millions of dollars in missing money and 40 positive doping cases that had been hushed up. McLaren, who was also the lead investigator in the Russian drugs scandal in 2015, said the probe had also found 40 positive drugs cases buried in IWF records. Meanwhile, in addition to financial and doping irregularities, the McLaren report also uncovered corruption in the IWF's appointments process. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) described the findings of the McLaren investigation as "deeply concerning."
The Thai economy is likely set for a U-shaped recovery and a return to pre-pandemic growth levels in two years, according to the Siam Commercial Bank's Economic Intelligence Center (EIC). Titanun Mallikamas, secretary of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said recently that the panel would release its new forecasts on economic growth, inflation and the current account balance at its meeting on June 24. Economic growth shrank 1.8% year-on-year in the first quarter, the deepest contraction since the flood-hit fourth quarter of 2011. Mr Yunyong said the government's plan to boost domestic consumption would partly help offset impacts from the sharp decline in foreign travellers. With the spike in unemployment, retail loan quality erodes and adds risk to the country's recovery and financial stability in the period ahead, Mr Yunyong said.
The Department of Health (DOH) will push for measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist spots to prevent a new surge in Covid-19 transmission as the government considers allowing the resumption of more businesses and activities ahead of schedule. Visitors stroll along Bang Saen beach in Chon Buri province which opened on Monday after closing for two months to prevent Covid-19 transmission. For the next phase of lockdown easing, it may be necessary to issue measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist spots, similar to limiting the number of people going to shopping malls, Dr Panpimol said. She added that local organisations should also come up with measures to control the number of visitors to beaches in their respective provinces to prevent overcrowding. The government plans to completely lift the lockdown on all businesses and activities on July 1 across the country.
June 05, 2020 23:35 UTC
Govt urged to provide pensionsA civil society group yesterday urged the government to provide welfare for all and universal pension coverage to reduce economic inequality deepened by the Covid-19 crisis. "We call on the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration to provide short- and long-term assistance and welfare for all. We want Prime Minister Prayut to approve the draft national pension act so that it will be enacted as a law," said Mr Nimit. The draft national pension act advocating the idea of a universal pension in Thailand had been endorsed by over 14,000 people in a law proposal to the government. The respondents who had been made redundant said they were unsure when they would find a new job.
Hand sanitisers fail to scrub up to standard, find testsConsumer activists have found that 67% of alcohol-based hand sanitisers available on the market are substandard. The Ministry of Public Health currently prohibits the manufacture, import and sale of alcohol-based hand sanitisers with less than 70% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel is now classed as a cosmetic after the spread of Covid-19. Although these brands met the minimum concentration level, they could be accused of false labelling. Effective alcohol-based hand gels must contain over 70% alcohol and should not dry out too quickly when used to give enough time for the alcohol to kill germs on the skin.
Cambodia won't probe activist 'abduction'Wanchalearm: Dragged into a car by armed men in Phnom PenhCambodian police have ruled out a probe into the disappearance of a self-exiled Thai activist after he was allegedly abducted in broad daylight outside his Phnom Penh apartment. Mr Wanchalearm is wanted in Thailand for allegedly breaching the Computer Crimes Act by running an acerbic anti-government Facebook page. At least eight Thai activists who fled after the last coup to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have reportedly disappeared, HRW added. The Royal Thai Police has made no comment on Mr Wanchalearm's alleged abduction in Cambodia. Rangsiman Rome, a Move Forward Party list-MP, yesterday urged the government to work with Cambodia to investigate the alleged abduction of Mr Wanchalearm and to ensure his safety.
A walk in the park? (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)Visitors to national parks must now make reservations before entering, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment says. He said the Department of National Parks (DNP) will use a sophisticated reservation system to control the number of park visitors. The ministry is also considering new land zoning plans for national parks. Each national park will have zoning regulations based on public accessibility.
US planning to slash troops in Germany: reportUS military personnel and M1 Abrams tanks in German ahead of war games in February 2020WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to slash the number of troops it maintains in Germany by more than a quarter in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The newspaper said the Defense Department would cut the number of military personnel by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned to Germany postings. White House and Pentagon officials declined to confirm or deny the story, which comes amid tensions between the Trump administration and European allies over longstanding cooperation agreements. Washington in particular does not think Germany spends enough for its own defense. "The United States remains committed to working with our strong ally Germany to ensure our mutual defense, as well as on many other important issues," Ullyot said.
June 05, 2020 20:48 UTC
Djokovic worried by 'extreme, impossible' US Open health restrictions'Extreme' conditions in New York worry Novak DjokovicBELGRADE: World number one Novak Djokovic described the strict hygiene restrictions under which the US Open is likely to be played as "extreme" and a cap on support teams as "really impossible" on Friday. "The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme." Djokovic, champion at the US Open in 2011, 2015 and 2018, described planned limits on player entourages as "really impossible". Djokovic was speaking a day after world number two Rafael Nadal had expressed similar reservations over the US Open, the main draw for which starts on August 31. Earlier Friday, women's world number one Ashleigh Barty also voiced caution about resuming tennis too soon, saying she needed more information before committing to the US Open.
June 05, 2020 18:33 UTC
UN nuclear watchdog has 'serious concern' at Iran denying inspectionsThe IAEA noted with serious concern that, for over four months, Iran has denied access to the AgencyVIENNA - Iran has now accumulated enriched uranium at nearly eight times the limit of a 2015 deal and has for months blocked inspections at sites where historic nuclear activity may have occurred, the UN watchdog said Friday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted "with serious concern that, for over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency... to two locations," according to an IAEA report seen by AFP. Diplomatic sources have indicated that the IAEA's queries about the locations relate to Iran's historic nuclear programme and not its current activities. In a separate report, the IAEA warned Iran's enriched uranium stockpile was now almost eight times the limit set in a 2015 deal. The limit was 300 kilogrammes (661 pounds) of enriched uranium in a particular compound form, which is the equivalent of 202.8 kg of uranium.
June 05, 2020 17:26 UTC