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- Foreign diplomats invited to see coconuts being picked by monkeysThe Thai Commerce Ministry will invite members of the foreign diplomatic corps to observe the harvesting of coconuts by pigtailed macaque monkeys, in an effort to prove that the process...
The Thai Commerce Ministry will invite members of the foreign diplomatic corps to observe the harvesting of coconuts by pigtailed macaque monkeys, in an effort to prove that the process does not involve cruelty to animals, as alleged by animal rights group PETA.
Commerce Permanent Secretary Mr. Boonyarith Kalayanamit says that he wants to show that using monkeys to harvest coconuts is a traditional way of life and the practice does not amount to torture.
He said he has instructed commercial attachés at Thai embassies abroad to clarify the matter, especially with supermarkets that sell coconut products from Thailand.
Meanwhile, Mr. Somdet Susomboon, director-general of International Trade Promotion Department, said that the Thai Foreign Trade Promotion Office in London has been instructed to explain, to supermarkets and retail outlets, that the harvesting of coconuts by trained monkeys is not cruel.
Four British retailers, Waitrose, Co-op, Boots & Ocado, have promised not to sell coconut products that use monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed such products from its shelves.
PETA claims that monkeys are captured as babies and trained, often being chained to old car tyres or confined in cages, and that male monkeys are forced to pick as many as 1,000 coconuts a day.5 July 2020Businesshttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251373
- Thai army confirms US army agrees to abide by Thai anti-virus regulationsThe US military delegation, due to visit Thailand on July 9th and 10th, will strictly observe the regulations imposed by the CCSA to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Thailand’s Army...
The US military delegation, due to visit Thailand on July 9th and 10th, will strictly observe the regulations imposed by the CCSA to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Thailand’s Army Public Relations Centre has announced.
The centre described as groundless reports on social media that the US military delegation, led by Army Chief of Staff General James McConville, has asked for a waving of the regulations.
The requirements include:
– Fit to fly medical certificates
– Doctor’s certificates, issued within 72 hours prior to arrival, stating the holder is free of the virus
– A clear itinerary while in Thailand
– A COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport
– The delegation will be accompanied by a Thai medical team during their trip to Thailand
– No visits to public places
The six-member military delegation will be the first group of foreigners to officially enter Thailand since the easing of restrictions.
Gen McConville will meet his Thai counterpart, General Apirat Kongsompong, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the visit.
The US delegation has been tested and quarantined for 14 days in the US before the trip and will be tested again in Singapore and at the military air terminal at Don Mueang airport. After visiting Thailand, they will leave for Japan.5 July 2020Uncategorizedhttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251369
- Action Coalition for Thailand party elects new leaderThe Ruam Palang Prachachart Thai Party (Action Coalition for Thailand) elected its new executive and leader today (Sunday), following the resignation former leader, M.R. Chatu Mongol Sonakul. The general assembly...
The Ruam Palang Prachachart Thai Party (Action Coalition for Thailand) elected its new executive and leader today (Sunday), following the resignation former leader, M.R. Chatu Mongol Sonakul.
The general assembly of the party elected Mr. Thaweesak na Takuathung to lead them. The new executive committee members include Mr. Duangrith Benjathikul, also the new secretary-general, Ms. Chuthatat Laothammatas, Mr. Tantornthep Yam-uthai, Mr. Anek Laothammatat, Mr. Chak Panchupetch and Mr. Naidanut Tanthoedthit.
The general assembly also nominated Mr. Anek Laothammatas as Labour Minister, to succeed M.R. Chatu Mongol, who resigned as party leader on June 11th.
The general assembly also elected new ethical and candidate screening committees and endorsed the change of the party’s logo design, with a white elephant in the middle of the Wheel of Dharma.
A core founder of the party, Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, said that the new executive committee will hold office for a temporary period, until the next general assembly at the end of next year or early 2022, adding that he believes the administration of Prime Minister Prayut will complete its 4-year term.
He urged the party faithful to recruit as many members as possible, noting that the party needs financial support from the people in order to function properly.5 July 2020Newshttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251360
- Thailand records five new COVID-19 cases in state quarantineThailand recorded five new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, all asymptomatic returnees from abroad in state quarantine. According to the CCSA, the five are two Thai’s from Kuwait and one each...
Thailand recorded five new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, all asymptomatic returnees from abroad in state quarantine.
According to the CCSA, the five are two Thai’s from Kuwait and one each from India, Japan and the United States.
The new cases bring total infections in Thailand, since the pandemic began, to 3,190, with 3,071 recoveries and 58 fatalities.
Dr. Naret Karatnaiyarawiwong, director-general of the Health Support Service Department, explained that foreigners, allowed to enter Thailand for medical services, must be patients with appointments, who need urgent treatment and have a record of previous medical treatment in the country.
Patients must arrive in Thailand by air, adding that each of them may bring up to three companions. Each must have a valid health certificate, showing they are clear of COVID-19, and they must undergo RT-PCR screening 72 hours before their arrival.
Upon arrival in Thailand, the patients and their companions must remain quarantined for at least 14 days and be subjected to three COVID-19 tests during their stay, said Dr. Naret.
Patients must also have insurance coverage for all medical expenses.
Dr. Naret stressed that people infected with coronavirus will not be allowed to enter the country for treatment.5 July 2020Coronavirus Outbreak Updatehttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251354
- For nation’s birthday, Trump slams the enemy withinWASHINGTON (AP) — On a day meant for unity and celebration, President Donald Trump vowed to “safeguard our values” from enemies within — leftists, looters, agitators, he said — in...
WASHINGTON (AP) — On a day meant for unity and celebration, President Donald Trump vowed to “safeguard our values” from enemies within — leftists, looters, agitators, he said — in a Fourth of July speech packed with all the grievances and combativeness of his political rallies.
Trump watched paratroopers float to the ground in a tribute to America, greeted his audience of front-line medical workers and others central in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and opened up on those who “slander” him and disrespect the country’s past.
“We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and the people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing,” he said. “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children.
“And we will defend, protect and preserve (the) American way of life, which began in 1492 when Columbus discovered America.”
He did not mention the dead from the pandemic. Nearly 130,000 are known to have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.
Even as officials across the country pleaded with Americans to curb their enthusiasm for large Fourth of July crowds, Trump enticed the masses with a “special evening” of tribute and fireworks staged with new U.S. coronavirus infections on the rise.
But the crowds wandering the National Mall for the night’s air show and fireworks were strikingly thinner than the gathering for last year’s jammed celebration on the Mall.
Many who showed up wore masks, unlike those seated close together for Trump’s South Lawn event, and distancing was easy to do for those scattered across the sprawling space.
Trump did not hesitate to use the country’s birthday as an occasion to assail segments of the country that do not support him.
Carrying on a theme he pounded on a day earlier against the backdrop of the Mount Rushmore monuments, he went after those who have torn down statues or think some of them, particularly those of Confederate figures, should be removed. Support has been growing among Republicans to remove Confederate memorials.
“Our past is not a burden to be cast away,” Trump said.
Outside the event but as close to it as they could get, Pat Lee of Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania, gathered with two friends, one of them a nurse from Fredericksburg, Virginia, and none in a mask.
“POTUS said it would go away,” Lee said of the pandemic, using an acronym for president of the United States. “Masks, I think, are like a hoax.” But she said she wore one inside the Trump International Hotel, where she stayed.
By the World War II Memorial, the National Park Service handed out packets of five white cloth masks to all who wanted them. People were not required to wear them.
Another nurse, Zippy Watt from Riverside, California, came to see the air show and fireworks with her husband and their two daughters, one of whom lives in Washington. They wore matching American flag face masks even when seated together on a park bench.
“We chose to wear a mask to protect ourselves and others,” Watt said. She said her family was divided on Trump but she is “more of a Trump supporter. Being from southern California I see socialist tendencies. I’m tired of paying taxes so others can stay home.”
Pat Lee made the trip from north of Philadelphia after seeing last year’s Mall celebration on TV.
She said the protests over racial injustice that unfolded near her were so threatening that people in her suburban neighborhood took turns staying up all night and those who didn’t own guns stationed bats and shovels in their garages. Her friend from Pennsylvania, who didn’t want to be identified, said she spent more than three hours in line to buy a gun.
“I want people to stop calling us racists,” Lee said. “We’re not racists. Just because you love your country, love the people in your country, doesn’t make you a racist.”
Trump’s guests on the South Lawn were doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers and military members as well as officials from the administration, said Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary. He said the event was a tribute to the “tremendous courage and spirit” of front-line workers and the public in the pandemic.
In many parts of the country, authorities discouraged mass gatherings for the holiday after days that have seen COVID-19 cases grow at a rate not experienced even during the deadliest phase of the pandemic in the spring.
In New York, once the epicenter, people were urged to avoid crowds and Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest happened at an undisclosed location without spectators on hand, in advance of the evening’s televised fireworks spectacular over the Empire State Building.
In Philadelphia, mask- and glove-wearing descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence participated in a virtual tapping of the famed Liberty Bell on Independence Mall and people were asked to join from afar by clinking glasses, tapping pots or ringing bells.
Yet Trump continued to crave big crowds when it came to his events.
He opened the holiday weekend by traveling to Mount Rushmorein South Dakota for a fireworks display Friday night near the mountain carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. In stark words, he accused protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”
Even as he pushed ahead with celebrations, the shadow of the coronavirus loomed closer to him. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for the president and girlfriend of his eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for the virus, Trump’s campaign said late Friday. Guilfoyle tweeted Saturday that she was looking forward to “a speedy recovery.”
In a presidential message Saturday morning on the 244th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Trump acknowledged that “over the past months, the American spirit has undoubtedly been tested by many challenges.”
His Democratic rival, Joe Biden, said in a statement that the U.S. “never lived up” to its founding principle that “all men are created equal,” but today “we have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country.”
Trump’s endorsement of big gatherings at the National Mall and at Mount Rushmore came as many communities decided to scrap fireworks, parades and other holiday traditions in hopes of avoiding yet more surges in infection.
Confirmed cases were climbing in 40 states, and the U.S. set another record Friday with 52,300 newly reported infections, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Trump did not dwell on the pandemic in his remarks Saturday evening. Instead, he declared that “our country is in great shape.”
Trump has been aching to see the nation return to normalcy, and has been willing to push the envelope farther than many states and big city mayors are willing to go.
For Trump and the country, it was yet another holiday clouded by a pandemic that the U.S. has failed to bring under control.
In late March, a little more than a week after he bowed to the need to shut down much of the country, Trump spoke of reopening with “packed” churches by Easter Sunday. He relented on that push as his medical advisers warned that it was far too ambitious. Then he spent chunks of his Memorial Day weekend fuming about critics who he said were ignoring falling cases and deaths at the time.
Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington, Michelle Liu in Columbia, South Carolina, and Sara Burnett in Chicago contributed to this report.5 July 2020Newshttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251349
- China reports eight new coronavirus cases in mainlandBEIJING, July 5 (Reuters) – China reported eight new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 4, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said on Sunday....
BEIJING, July 5 (Reuters) – China reported eight new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 4, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said on Sunday.
Six of the new infections were imported cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, while the capital Beijing reported two new cases. There were no new deaths.
China reported seven new asymptomatic patients, up from four a day earlier.
As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,553 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. China’s death toll from the COVID-19 remained 4,634, unchanged since Mid-May.
(Reporting by Min Zhang and Tony Munroe; Editing by William Mallard)5 July 2020Generalhttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251344
- Ibrahimovic on target as Milan severely dent Lazio title hopesROME, July 4 (Reuters) – Veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, starting his first match since the coronavirus stoppage, converted a penalty to help AC Milan to an emphatic 3-0 win at...
ROME, July 4 (Reuters) – Veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, starting his first match since the coronavirus stoppage, converted a penalty to help AC Milan to an emphatic 3-0 win at Lazio on Saturday, severely denting the Serie A title hopes of their ragged opponents.
Lazio, missing Serie A leading scorer Ciro Immobile through suspension, dropped seven points behind leaders Juventus with eight games to play after slumping to their first home defeat in the league this season.
The hosts were a far cry from the fluent and confident side which enjoyed a 21-match unbeaten league run from September till their season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The effort of having to come behind to win their last two games 2-1 seemed to take its toll and the confidence drained out of them after Milan went ahead.
Milan, unbeaten since the season re-start, climbed to sixth.
Lazio’s other main striker, Felipe Caicedo, was also suspended although midfielder Lucas Leiva returned for the first time since a knee operation in April.
“It’s a heavy loss in terms of the standings,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. “We weren’t lucky in the key moments: in the first half, we conceded a goal from a deflected shot and another from a penalty.
“When we could have got back into it, we conceded the third goal which finished the game. But we won’t give up.”
The hosts could have gone in front early on when Jony fired a low ball across the face of the goal but two Lazio players failed to make contact.
Instead, Milan scored from their first real attack in the 23rd minute as Hakan Calhanoglu’s shot took a wicked deflection off Patric and looped over stranded Thomas Strakosha.
Ibrahimovic had a goal chalked off for offside but there was no reprieve two minutes later when Lazio defender Stefan Radu conceded a penalty for handball.
The 38-year-old Swede stepped up and, although Strakosha got a hand to it, the ball rebounded off his foot and into the net.
Lazio were wide open at the back and left Ante Rebic completely free to slot the ball past Strakosha in the 59th minute.
Theo Hernandez twice missed a chance for Milan’s fourth, the first after a solo run from near his own area. (Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)5 July 2020Generalhttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251338
- Film fans bid farewell to Thailand’s temple of cinema, ScalaBangkok’s last surviving standalone cinema – the iconic Scala at Siam Square – is bidding farewell to movie fans this weekend after half a century of ups and downs. With...
Bangkok’s last surviving standalone cinema – the iconic Scala at Siam Square – is bidding farewell to movie fans this weekend after half a century of ups and downs.
With COVID-19 safety measures in place, Scala is hosting an exclusive screening event in collaboration with the Thai Film Archive on Saturday and Sunday (July 4-5). All tickets were sold out soon after going on sale.
The very last film to be screened at the cinema, on Sunday evening, will be the award-winning 1988 Italian drama “Cinema Paradiso” – which celebrates the magic of movies.
The farewell comes just over a month after cinemas were allowed to reopen on June 1, following more than two months of closure due to the virus outbreak.
Yet many fans are still opting to shun cinemas over fear of contracting COVID-19.
Saturday saw a large crowd gather at Scala, some waiting for a screening while others dropping by simply to take photos with the iconic cinema hall in the background or to pose with its famous middle-aged ushers in bright yellow jackets.
The colourful lighting and marquee have been left on for the last three nights, providing final photo opportunities for fans of cinema and architecture.
Social media like Twitter and Facebook are being flooded with posts by Scala fans. Some express sorrow over the cinema’s shutdown and the possibility that the magnificent art deco building could be torn down.
Some recounted precious memories of the cinema. “During my years working in Bangkok, Scala was always one of my comfort zones. Now it’s time to say goodbye. That’s life,” wrote Twitter user “Richmond”.
Others showed off selfies taken at the cinema – some of them proudly clutching tickets. More than a few Twitter users offered to buy tickets “at any price” for the last screening.
At the cinema, fans pinned farewell messages on a notice board. “Despite the closedown, I will still remember the good memories,” said one on blue notepaper.
“Miss you, Scala”, “Can’t forget”, “With sorrow, [heart] Scala”, “Thank you, Scala”, read other notes.
Long-time foreign residents of Bangkok, recalling fond memories during its heyday, were saddened by the shutdown of Scala.
“I am absolutely heartbroken. It’s sad that Bangkok is losing this iconic cinema,” said expat Ramona Varma, 53.
“The first film I saw was the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ when I was 14 during my first trip to Thailand. Since moving here in the ’80s, I have watched films at Scala frequently. I just love the art deco architecture, the sweeping staircase, the chandeliers,” she lamented.
“Another part of Thai history bites the dust. What a shame!” said Luci, another expat who has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years.
“It is sad to see such an icon of downtown Bangkok shut down,” said Tamara Wyachai, an educator and long-term Bangkok resident.
“The retro interior really takes one back. I wish it could be maintained and used for some other purposes, or even an indie film/music venue for local talents. It seems a waste to lose another one of Bangkok’s iconic locales,” she added.
Scala holds a special place in Tamara’s heart as the place she and her future husband chose for their first date. “Just last year, the kids and I went for a ‘Stranger Things’ event,” she said.
Scala is the last of three legendary standalone single-screen cinemas that once graced Bangkok’s Siam Square. Run by the Apex group, the trio also included the Lido and Siam cinema.
In the 1970s, the three theatres were the main attractions at Siam Square, which eventually turned into a massive shopping destination for increasingly affluent urbanites.
March of the multiplexes
The early ’90s brought stiff competition as modern, high-tech multiplexes sprang up inside shopping malls, luring customers away from the three standalones.
Scala, along with other cinemas, suffered again with the advent of movie streaming services in mid-2000s. The digital era has left cinemas all over the world struggling against a seismic shift in consumer habits, as online subscription streaming services rise in popularity. Young people, in particular, have moved towards online media platforms such as Netflix, while streaming piracy is rife.
More pressure arrived when COVID-19 struck early this year and a state of emergency declared in March shut down cinemas. It signalled the final nail in the coffin for 50-year-old Scala.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the film industry across the world. Cinemas have been closed, festivals cancelled or postponed, and film releases delayed – sometimes indefinitely.
The 1,000-seat Scala – named after Milan’s famous opera house La Scala, which means ladder – was opened in December 1969, three years after the Siam cinema and a year after Lido.
The Siam was burnt down during the 2010 political mayhem while Lido closed its doors after the lease expired in May 2018. Lido’s three screens reopened a year later as Lido Connect, which also features multifunctional spaces and boutiques. The cinemas now screen documentaries and art house flicks.
Scala is internationally renowned for its glittering art deco decor, curved wide staircase, stunning modernist ceiling design, and palatial chandeliers imported from Italy.
The building was designed by Jira Silkanok, a former president of the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) who was also behind the iconic Indra Regent Hotel. In 2012, the cinema won the Architectural Conservation Award from the association.
Apex, the company which runs Scala, has rented the land that houses the cinema from Chulalongkorn University since the 1960s. The lease, managed by the university’s Property Management Office, is due to expire in December.
After Scala’s last screening on Sunday, the building remains available for rent, until the end of the year, by anyone interested in using the venue for events or movie screenings.
Its long-term fate remains unknown, but many hope that this unique cinematic and architectural treasure can be saved from the wrecking ball.
By Thai PBS World’s General Desk5 July 2020Generalhttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251333
- UK supermarkets may ban Thai coconut products over use of monkeysThe Thai Animals Protection Association has urged the Commerce and Agriculture ministries to issue a clarification to British retailers quickly about the use of pigtailed macaques in the harvesting of...
The Thai Animals Protection Association has urged the Commerce and Agriculture ministries to issue a clarification to British retailers quickly about the use of pigtailed macaques in the harvesting of coconuts in Thailand.
Mr. Roger Lohanan, secretary-general of the association, made the call after four British retailers pledged to stop offering coconut products that use monkey labour in their production.
According to a BBC report on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conservationist fiancée, Carrie Symonds, called on all other supermarkets to stop selling the products, which include certain brands of coconut water and coconut milk.
“I am glad Waitrose, Co-op, Boots & Ocado have vowed not to sell products that use monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed them from its stores,” Symonds tweeted.
Mr. Lohanan said that the use of animal labour, such as macaque monkeys to pick up coconuts, is a separate issue from cruelty to animals, pointing out that farmers have been using the labour of cattle and elephants for generations, just as farmers in the West have used horses and dogs in agriculture.
Animal rights protection groups should evaluate how the animals are treated and trained, before declaring it whether cruelty is involved, said Mr. Lohanan, adding that monkeys, cattle and elephants are treated like part of the family.
Accusing Thai people of being cruel to the monkeys for using them to pick coconuts is unfair, he said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an American animal rights group, however, said it had found eight farms in Thailand where monkeys are forced to pick coconuts for export. Male monkeys are able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day while a human can pick about 80, said PETA.
The group claims that monkeys are captured as babies and trained, often being chained to old car tires or confined in cages.
The Walmart-owned ASDA supermarket chain said it was removing two specific brands from sale, while it investigates the report with its suppliers.
“We expect our suppliers to uphold the highest production standards at all times and we will not tolerate any form of animal abuse in our supply chain,” it said in a statement.4 July 2020Generalhttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251328
- Hong Kong officials disappointed at Canada’s move to suspend extradition pactHONG KONG (Reuters) – Senior officials in Hong Kong said on Saturday they were “very disappointed” at Canada’s decision to suspend its extradition treaty with the Chinese-ruled city and again...
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Senior officials in Hong Kong said on Saturday they were “very disappointed” at Canada’s decision to suspend its extradition treaty with the Chinese-ruled city and again slammed Washington for “interfering” in its affairs.
Beijing imposed a new national security law this week on the former British colony, despite protests from Hong Kong residents and Western nations, setting China’s freest city and a major financial hub on a more authoritarian track.
“The Canadian government needs to explain to the rule of law, and explain to the world, why it allows fugitives not to bear their legal responsibilities,” Hong Kong’s security chief, John Lee, told a radio programme on Saturday.
Lee was very disappointed and strongly opposed Canada’s move, he added, as it let politics override the rule of law.
The comments followed Canada’s statement on Friday that it was suspending the treaty with Hong Kong in the wake of the new law and could boost immigration from the city.
Canada would also bar the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.
On Saturday’s programme, Hong Kong Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng said she was disappointed and expressed extreme regret over Canada’s move, adding that she thought it could probably violate international law.
On Friday, a Hong Kong government spokesman described as “totally unacceptable” a bill passed by the U.S. Senate to penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement the new law.
“We reiterate that any ‘sanctions’ imposed under the act will not create an obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law,” the spokesman said in a statement.
He urged the United States to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong’s internal matters, adding that Beijing, as well as the city’s government, could take counter-measures when needed.4 July 2020Newshttps://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=251325