On a caravan, with one of the Sahara's last European explorersFrench archaeologist Thierry Tillet has spent nearly 50 years exploring the Sahara. At 68, the Frenchman is one of the last European explorers since the end of the 19th century to dedicate much of his life -- 47 years -- to crisscrossing the Sahara. Perched on the back of his swaying camel, Tillet wears an old, holey T-shirt and worn sandals. Currently it's an 11th-century caravan depot lost in the Mauritanian dunes, the Ma'den Ijafen, that begs to be found. Tillet has spent 47 years crisscrossing the Sahara, one of the last European explorers to do so since the end of the 19th century.
June 04, 2020 02:48 UTC
Trump trying to 'divide' America: ex-Pentagon chief MattisFormer US defense secretary Jim Mattis (L), seen here with President Donald Trump in 2017, has come out swinging against his former bossWASHINGTON - Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of trying to "divide" America and failing to provide "mature leadership" as the country reels from days of protests. Trump dismissed Mattis with a tweet, rehashing his claim that he "essentially" fired his Pentagon chief. - 'We can unite without him' -For months after Mattis resigned, he refused to criticize Trump publicly, insisting the military must remain apolitical. He also appeared to rebuke current Pentagon chief Mark Esper, without specifically naming him. On Wednesday, the Pentagon chief backtracked, telling reporters: "In retrospect, I would use different wording."
June 04, 2020 02:26 UTC
"Not just FIFA... the corruption scandal was so huge, the FBI wanted to show they were the good guys... Everyone wanted to be part of it. The $150 million bribery scandal that rocked the football world with the arrests of dozens of soccer executives -- many of them Latin American -- culminated in the downfall of FIFA boss Sepp Blatter. Amazon will hope "El Presidente" -- co-produced by Gaumont, the same French firm behind "Narcos" -- enjoys the same global appeal as that show. "We are seeing that stories need to be told in the language that is more natural, more real, more credible." "We are experiencing now so many things that we need to question about ourselves as a society," he added.
June 04, 2020 01:52 UTC
RoLD Virtual Forum Series: Living with COVID-19 kicks offFirst episode is “How to Safely Lift Lockdown”Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) has launched RoLD Virtual Forum, a series of online discussions, whereby public-health experts, researchers and prominent figures from the private sector come together to exchange opinions and explore solutions/innovations in the face of the pandemic. The first episode of RoLD Virtual Forum Series: Living with COVID-19 addressed the theme of “how to safely lift lockdown”, focused on how to adjust people’s behaviors to the New Normal and promote communities’ role in public-healthcare and self-regulation. He suggested that the reopening of cities would be safe if works in three following areas were done. The first area involves studying and designing individuals’ behaviors so that people can live with COVID-19. The research, moreover, found that all groups of Thais, including marginal groups such as the urban poor, rural people and people living in southern border provinces, know about COVID-19 and preventative measures.
June 03, 2020 23:26 UTC
photo courtesy of We Are OneCelebrate films with a historic festival that you can watch within the comforts of your own home. The films and programmes have their first screening at a scheduled time and will be available to watch on demand throughout the course of the festival, which is set to end on Sunday. Mary Is Happy, Mary Is HappyA film by Thailand's own Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy follows a high school senior navigating the complex terrain of life, love and friendship. And just about any panel discussions, reallyWe Are One brings along a series of talks with filmmakers and stars around the globe and it's difficult to pinpoint just one discussion to watch. Watch the screening on youtube.com/weareone.
June 03, 2020 23:15 UTC
Ink paintings by Ye Hyang. photos courtesy of Korean Cultural CenterThe Korean Cultural Center is giving everyone a chance to witness the beauty of traditional Korean ink painting during the "Spring Picnic" exhibition, which is running until July 31. The Korean Cultural Center is located between Sukhumvit 15 and 17. Ink paintings by Korean artist Ye Hyang. Korean Cultural CenterCall 02-651-0165--8.
June 03, 2020 23:15 UTC
CPN malls reducing prices, rentMr Nattakit promotes CPN's campaign to boost the economy. Central Group and its subsidiaries led by Central Pattana (CPN) are launching a campaign to rebuild the economy by offering free rental space to farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and students at Central malls nationwide. CPN aims to find distribution channels to unload products for farmers, SMEs and the unemployed under the "Join Together Market -- Thais help Thailand" campaign, running from June 2-30. The events are free to support local economies, taking place at CentralPlaza WestGate, CentralPlaza Bangna, CentralPlaza Rama 2, CentralFestival EastVille, CentralPlaza Rama 3, CentralPlaza Chaengwattana and CentralWorld. The events will feature a variety of products and services from various online pages to on-ground markets at Central malls.
Chaiyapat Paitoon, chief strategy officer at MINT, told the Bangkok Post the capital is being raised based on a pessimistic scenario. The plan to beef up the balance sheet using 25 billion baht consists of perpetual bonds (targeted for 10 billion baht), rights offering (10 billion baht) and warrants (5 billion baht) over the next three years, which are expected to reduce the debt-to-equity ratio to 1.3 times this year. Despite being a giant in the Thai hospitality business with various business interests across the world, the far-reaching impact of the pandemic has been beyond everyone's expectations, including MINT, Mr Chaiyapat said. In the first quarter, MINT posted total revenue of 22.4 billion baht, down by 22% year-on-year, with a net loss of 1.77 billion. Furthermore, this year's capital expenditure has been cut to 10 billion baht from 17-20 billion.
Competition from clean technologies along with government policies to achieve climate targets and energy security are pushing the fossil fuel industry toward "terminal decline", the study concluded. "We may now have seen peak fossil fuel demand as a whole," said Bond, who worked for 25 years in equity research. The IEA foresees an eight percent drop in fossil fuel demand in 2020 due to the pandemic. "By then, renewable energy technologies will be large enough to supply all the growth in energy demand." In 2018, the World Bank valued future profits from oil, gas and coal -- cast over a roughly 50-year period -- at $39 trillion.
SKC cuts revenue goal by 10%Farm machinery maker Siam Kubota Corporation Co (SKC) cut its 2020 revenue target by 10% as markets have been hit hard by Covid-19 and a months-long drought. "It will be difficult to achieve our target revenue in domestic and overseas markets," said Somsak Mauthorn, senior executive vice-president. In 2019, SKC registered total revenue of 54 billion baht, thanks to higher demand for agriculture machinery products in domestic and overseas markets. The firm believes given new market conditions, it cannot avoid a 10% decrease in 2020 revenue. Before the spread of the coronavirus in January, SKC announced its full-year revenue will grow by 5-10% because of business expansion to multi-crop markets and the use of digital marketing.
Searching 'racist' on Twitter brings up Trump as top resultPresident Donald Trump appears as the leading "racist" in a user search on Twitter amid inflammatory comments during protests over police brutalityWASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump appears as the first result of suggested accounts when users type "racist" into Twitter's people search, it emerged Wednesday. The result, reported by the British news outlet The Independent and verified by AFP, highlights the intense discord around the president. Trump has more than 80 million followers, although there is much dispute about how many of them are genuine, active human Twitter users. Analysts said the news suggests Trump opponents, more than critics of any other Twitter account, have been labeling him as racist, although the social media giant itself did not confirm this was the case. Trump has been facing heightened criticism for his comments during protests over police brutality but has always dismissed suggestions that he is racist.
Pandemic leads to falling rents, glutAn aerial view of Bangkok's central business district with high-rise residential and office buildings.Somchai PoomlardThe Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already uncertain residential and office property market in Bangkok, likely to lead to falling rents and a glut of vacancies, says the chief executive of Savills Thailand. An "enormous" amount of new office supply is expected to come online this year from ongoing projects in the face of decreasing demand and growth in the sector. The recent push to get employees working from home in response to the pandemic will not likely have a considerable impact on the office market, Mr Collins said. A key trend in the office market may be large corporations looking to fully purchase space in the CBD area, something in short supply currently. "On the flip side it will allow existing supply to stabilise and not be under constant pressure from new supply.
In 2019, Pruksa posted 38 billion baht in revenue and planned early this year to have 40 billion in 2020. In the first five months it opened five projects worth 5 billion baht, but has no new projects planned for June. With spending of 5 billion baht, Pruksa is developing Vimut International Hospital near Saphan Kwai BTS station with 230 beds, targeting middle-income earners. As of the end of March, Pruksa had 4 billion baht in cash. The company plans to roll over bonds of 2.6 billion baht due to expire in July, and 2.5 billion in November after completing 3 billion baht worth in May, he said.
Restive locals turn to Hua HinTourists ride horses at Hua Hin beach. Thanarak KhuntonWorking from a resort is the latest trend in Hua Hin, with seaside hotels packed last weekend and set to remain busy through the end of June. Chotechuang Soorangura, managing director of NS Travel and Tours, said hotels owned by his group in Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Sukhothai began seeing local guests check in last week. The seaside town of Hua Hin saw 100% occupancy rates on May 30 and 31. Udom Srimahachota, executive director of Baan Talay Dao Resort and vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association's western chapter, said the occupancy rate in Hua Hin closed at 40% in May, higher than the 20-30% expected.
Many beaches are starting to see visitors from different provinces dying for a break from the unprecedented lockdown. Still, it's going to be a long while before tourism reaches the pre-pandemic level. So it's not surprising that national parks, forest reserves and other protected natural sites remain closed to tourists. In 2003, I revisited Namtok Krok E-dok, a big but less-known waterfall on the western boundary of Khao Yai National Park. In 2004, I made a long road trip to the lower Isan region to check out the attractions along the border with Laos and Cambodia.
June 03, 2020 22:41 UTC