Thailand Bulletin For Friday, June 22, 2012
Round up of Thailand news with AJW
WEATHER: Hot (33C), cloudy, and 60 percent chance of a wet day once again in Bangkok
Euro = 39.99 THB
US = 31.56 THB
UK = 49.54 THB
CHF = 33.29 THB
AUD = 32.15 THB
1,173 (+0.01 percent)
Euro = 39.91 THB
US = 31.80 THB
UK = 49.61 THB
CHF = 33.23 THB
AUD = 31.97 THB
1,159 (-1.21 percent)
ROUND UP OF THAILAND'S NEWS
- World: Bali bomb maker, Umar Patek, gets 20 years. Syria MIG pilot defects. Egypt tense as election results delayed. After judicial coup, Pakistan selects new PM.
- Bangkok: Nasa gives Tuesday deadline for use of U-tapao. Two Portuguese men sought in Phi Phi sisters case. Yingluck wants Aids under healthcare.
- TG: Former THAI President, Piyasvasti Amranand, filed a lawsuit against THAI board with the Central Labour Court for unfair termination of his employment contract.
- Nasa: Nasa said it would withdraw it's request for use of U-tapao air base if by June 26 Thailand cannot yet give it an answer, FM Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.
- Health Care: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has backed a proposal to merge medical benefits for last-stage HIV/Aids and chronic kidney disease patients under three healthcare schemes.
The nation's three main healthcare schemes, the Civil Servant's Welfare Fund (CSWF) for civil servants and their family members, the Social Security Fund (SSF) for employees within the private sector, and the Universal Healthcare Scheme (UHS) for people who are not entitled to the CSWF and the SSF, are prepared to carry out their work to the same standard.
In Thailand, there are 38,780 patients in the last stage of chronic kidney disease. Of them, 20,077 patients seek treatment under the UHS (known as the 30-baht healthcare scheme), 9,193 patients are under the SSF, and the rest seek treatment under the CSWF.
There are 225,272 HIV/Aids patients receiving anti-Aids drugs. Of these, 148,357 patients seek treatment under the 30-baht healthcare scheme, 46,114 patients are under the SSF, 12,059 patients come under the CSWF; and the remaining HIV-Aids patients seek treatment under other healthcare schemes, the Minister said.
- Perth travel agent death: The owner of the resort where a travel agent guest was stabbed in the heart in the street outside, called today on all Phuket resort owners to help restore Phuket's reputation as a safe destination.
Sombut Atiset, who owns the popular five-star Katathani Beach Resort, told a media conference that Phuket's undermanned police force needed all the help they could muster.
"We must catch these men. I am prepared to pay for witnesses to fly back from Australia to Phuket if it will help to convict these evil killers," he said.
Perth travel agent, Michelle Smith, walking back to the resort from dinner, was cut in the heart at 10.30 pm by a pair of bag-snatching motorcycle riders who sped off empty handed and left her dying in the street.
Mr. Sombut said his resort, which is one of the most popular on Phuket, with occupancy usually above 90 percent, had 110 security cameras on the inside and 8 more covering the road outside.
The resort also employs 23 security guards. Mr. Sombut, who rushed to the resort to see for himself when tragedy arrived, said Phuket resort owners needed genuine security guards, not people just filling a uniform.
The passing of the Australian travel agent has sent shockwaves through the entire island of Phuket and the travel industry. The Tourism Authority Thailand is in "deep shock and regret" following the death of an Australian travel agent in Phuket, a spokesman said.
Public Relations Manager, Pongsak Kanittanon, said that the tourist bureau considers agents its "closest friends" and will "try their best" to locate and arrest the two attackers.
In a related incident, a British tourist has told of being stabbed in Phuket the same night as Michelle Smith, an Australian woman, who died.
The man, who gave his name as Mohamad Zubair Edwa, 37, but is also believed to use the name Edward Wright, was grimacing in pain today in Phuket International Hospital as he told how three men on a motorbike confronted him, and one stabbed him in the side.
- Banks downgrade: Credit Suisse credit rating was cut three levels by Moody’s Investors Service, Morgan Stanley was reduced two levels, and 13 other banks were downgraded in moves that may shake up competition among Wall Street’s biggest firms.
Credit Suisse and UBS were lower by two levels also.
"All of the banks affected by today’s actions have significant exposure to the volatility and risk of outsized losses inherent to capital-markets activities," Moody’s Global Banking Managing Director, Greg Bauer, said today in a statement.
- Phi Phi Deaths: Police are looking for two Portuguese men last seen with the two holidaying Canadian sisters who died under mysterious circumstances at a hotel on Koh Phi Phi off Krabi province last week.
The men are believed to hold clues about the women's deaths.
Investigators yesterday checked CCTV footage from cameras at Phi Phi Palms Residence Hotel.
The footage, recorded between 1:10 am and 1:14 am on June 13, captured a male foreigner escorting the sisters back to their hotel room. A source close to the police investigation said the man was identified as Luciano Tinto, a 30-year-old Portuguese.
The man and his friend of the same nationality stayed at the same hotel as the sisters.
Before they were found dead, the two sisters were spotted with the two men at night entertainment venues on Phi Phi island.
Noemi Belanger, 26, and Audrey Belanger, 20, checked into the hotel in tambon Ao Nang of Muang district on June 13 and were found dead in their room on June 15.
The two Portuguese men checked out of the hotel and headed to Phuket on the same day the two Canadians died.
- Football Euro 2012: Results: Portugal 1-0 Czech Republic. Tonight's match: Germany vs Greece.
Portugese fans hoping for a Cristiano Ronaldo roadshow had their appetite satisfied as he single-handedly steered his country into the Euro 2012 semi-finals by beating the Czech Republic 1-0.
- Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai on Thursday admitted that he should have awarded a goal to Ukraine in their final Euro 2012 match against England and apologized for his mistake.
- Star Alliance: Avianca and TACA Airlines announced their official entry into Star Alliance. The airline network is the world's largest in terms of daily flights, route network, service excellence, and number of airline members.
After two years of work in the approval process and with the adoption of the highest standards of operation and service, Avianca and TACA Airlines now offer passengers the opportunity to access this global network, which brings together 28 internationally-renowned airlines.
Star Alliance, with 15 years of experience (since 1997) is recognized as the first truly global airline alliance. Consistent with its goal of offering customers worldwide the largest number of destinations and a great travel experience, it now offers exclusive services and assistance to frequent flyers in 990 airport lounges on all 5 continents. It has the support of nearly half a million employees in America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
The Alliance transports an average of 650 million passengers per year and has sales revenues of US$160 bn.
The combined Star Alliance network will provide Avianca and TACA Airlines an opportunity to strengthen their presence in Latin America and the Caribbean in general. Passengers of the global network can quickly and seamlessly fly to over 50 destinations in the region through Avianca and TACA Airlines Hubs in Bogota (Colombia), San Salvador (El Salvador), Lima (Peru), and San Jose (Costa Rica).
The member airlines of Star Alliance are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, AviancaTaca, Blue1, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United, and U.S. Airways.
EVA Air and Shenzhen Airlines have been announced as future members. In total, the Star Alliance network offers more than 21,200 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 181 countries.