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  • Doctors: Warmer world is unhealthier place for children
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Children are growing up in a warmer world that will hit them with more and different health problems than their parents experienced, an international report by doctors...

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Children are growing up in a warmer world that will hit them with more and different health problems than their parents experienced, an international report by doctors said.

    With increasing diarrhea diseases, more dangerous heat waves, air pollution and increases in mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, man-made global warming is already harming public health around the world, the annual climate change and health report from the medical journal The Lancet said Wednesday.

    But the report and its authors said they worry that the future health of the world’s youngest people will get even grimmer if emissions of heat-trapping gases aren’t curbed.

     

    “A child born today as they go through their lives they are going to be increasingly exposed to more and more harms that I did not experience,” said study co-author Dr. Renee Salas, a Boston emergency room physician and professor at Harvard.

    “I cannot think of a greater health emergency,” Salas said.

    Already, the number of days when conditions are ripe for the spread of the water-borne bacteria Vibrio, a major cause of debilitating diarrhea, have doubled since 1980 with last year ranking second highest on record, the report said. Because of the warming climate, 29% more of the U.S. coastline is vulnerable to Vibrio. The report also said the cholera version of Vibrio has increased nearly 10%.

     

    Nine of the top 10 years where conditions were most ripe for dengue fever transmission have occurred since 2000, the report said.

    Those diseases hit children harder, the report said. And children, the elderly, the poor and the sick are most hurt during extreme heat with dangerous overheating, respiratory disease and kidney problems.

     

    “Children are the most vulnerable. They will bear the vast majority of the burden of climate change,’’ said Dr. Nick Watts, an Australian emergency room physician and the lead author of the global report. “Their health will be hit by climate change in a profoundly different way.”

     

    While medicine and public health have improved over the decades, allowing people to live longer, climate change “threatens to undermine all of the gains we’ve had,” Salas said.

    Dr. Cindy Parker, an environmental health professor at Johns Hopkins University, praised the peer-reviewed report, which she wasn’t part of, but she worried that focusing on the health effects that have already happened lessens the urgency of the future.

     

    “Climate change is a risk amplifier,” Parker said in an email. So as bad as the health problems are, add in water and food shortages caused by climate-change and there will be more social unrest and conflict around the world that will still hit the United States in indirect ways, she said.

    As an emergency room doctor, Salas said diseases that spread farther because of a changing climate, such as Lyme Disease, are something she has to consider when she treats patients.

     

    During an emergency room shift in July, Salas saw an elderly man during a heat wave with a body temperature of 106 degrees. The ambulance crew said he lived on the top floor of a public housing complex with no air conditioning and when they opened the door “there was this wave of heat that hit them.”

     

    Salas was able to save him. But as a doctor she struggles with cases where there is no way to treat the patient, such as with devastating bleeding inside the brain. With climate change health problems, she said, the remedy is stopping emissions of heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

     

    “We can’t ‘doctor’ our way out of this,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it. “We must address the root causes of climate change.”

    14 November 2019
    General
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241311
  • Can charter amendment follow the 1997 formula?
    A “similar” process has been called for. The “situation”, however, is quite different. The paradox is that if the present Constitution is to be amended significantly, the only way to...

    A “similar” process has been called for. The “situation”, however, is quite
    different. The paradox is that if the present Constitution is to be
    amended significantly, the only way to do it is to follow the highly-
    unorthodox 1997 methods. Can that happen?

    Most people are aware that, with senators solidly empowered in the
    charter amendment process, there is no way the appointed members of
    Parliament will support potential changes preferred by the opposition. It
    is very unlikely, for example, that the senators would agree to abolition
    of the Senate or popular election of the Senate.

    The 1997 Constitution prescribed senatorial election. That charter,
    however, was absolutely unusual in its origin. It was the first Thai
    constitution written by a popularly-elected drafting assembly. Although
    the Constitution Drafting Assembly’s blueprint was approved by a normal
    Parliament, conventional politicians dared not change the revolutionary
    content, which was said to be what the Thai people really wanted.

    Now, advocates of charter changes are demanding the CDA formula.
    The main reason is that the process can get the divide between
    politicians out of the way or at least reduce divisive politics. Since anti-
    change sceptics are saying that the opposition and some in the
    government only want amendments that further their interests, the 1997
    methods will curtail the politicians’ influences in the writing process, it’s
    said.

    The present political situation, however, is quite different from 1997. The
    country was not ideologically divided then; it is now. What gave birth to
    the 1997 “People’s Charter” was a mixture of bad economy, corruption in
    the government, and dismay of constant military interferences in politics.
    The current call for charter amendment has firmly focused on military
    intervention. Last but not least, for all criticism, this current Constitution
    went through a public referendum; the one preceding the “People’s
    Charter” did not.

     

    The opposition has admitted that it’s impossible to put radical ideas in
    the current Constitution through the normal process. Senators will
    certainly stand in the way. Government MPs, with a few exceptions, will
    not allow it.

    Therefore, those advocating the 1997 methods are proposing that any
    radical idea should be made by a CDA lookalike. All the opposition
    needs to do is to get the government side to agree on setting up such an
    assembly and letting the new body do the rest.

    But creating another CDA is a radical idea itself. To do it, Article 256
    needs to be changed in its entirety. It’s this article that gives senators
    tremendous power when it comes to passing any charter amendment.
    It’s nearly impossible that senators will relinquish that power.

    Hence the paradox. To change the charter the way the opposition wants
    it is virtually impossible without the CDA formula, and the CDA formula is
    virtually impossible thanks to senators’ power, which the opposition
    wants to constitutionally reduce in the first place.

    Advocates of the CDA formula will also have to convince the public that
    a popularly-written Constitution will really serve the people. One big
    irony concerning the much-lauded “People’s Charter” is that it was never
    properly followed even by so-called “democracy” activists before it was
    abolished in a coup.

    Under the much-cherished charter, the prescribed Election Commission
    came under heavy criticism although its “red” and “yellow” cards had
    been praised as a good way to combat vote-buying. Laws on conflicts of
    interests were taunted as a tool to destroy beloved politicians.

    “Independent organizations” such as the National Anti-Corruption
    Commission were often ridiculed, or, in the case of the National
    Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, was born very late
    because telecom interests were heavily intertwined with national politics
    and has been functioning questionably.

    The “People’s Charter”, in fact, died before it was abolished in a coup.
    One big lesson it gave is that things that look good on paper can be
    abused and turned into the opposite in reality, and that politicians and
    the military often found a way to hijack anything proclaimed as belonging
    to the people.

    14 November 2019
    Highlights of the week
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241308
  • Five suspects held in pre-dawn sweep in Yala province
    Security forces have been combing the Nang Chan mountain range, which straddles the borders of Muang district of Yala and Kok Po district of Pattani, to search for suspects involved...

    Security forces have been combing the Nang Chan mountain range, which straddles the borders of
    Muang district of Yala and Kok Po district of Pattani, to search for suspects involved in November 5 th
    attack on a defence outpost in Tambon Lam Phraya of Yala’s Muang district, killing 15 volunteers and
    injuring five others.

    Five suspects were apprehended for questioning in pre-dawn raids on nine targets in Krong Penang,
    Bannang Sata and Muang districts of Yala province today (Thursday).
    An informed source tells Thai PBS that some of the suspects involved in the November 5 th attack were
    believed to be hiding in Nang Chan mountain range.

    The search operation by police, army troops and para-military rangers, which started yesterday, is due
    to end on November 25 th .

    The Fourth Army Region has warned local villagers not to venture into the Nang Chan mountain range
    during the operation for their safety.
    Other suspects have already been held for questioning.

    More than 30 insurgents and their sympathisers are believed to have been involved in the attack on the
    defence outpost, with the bulk of them carrying out the attack, some serving as lookouts and others
    burning car tyres and scattering spikes on the road to hamper pursuit by the authorities.

    14 November 2019
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241304
  • Ministry to launch volunteer projects to ease graduate unemployment
    Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation has set aside 8.6 billion baht to help tackle unemployment among university graduates, the number of whom will reach 500,000 in...

    Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation has set aside 8.6 billion baht
    to help tackle unemployment among university graduates, the number of whom will reach 500,000 in
    the next four months.

    HESRI Minister Suwit Maesinsee said yesterday that the ongoing trade war between US and China has
    impacted Thai industries and the employment situation, with about 370,000 university graduates unable
    to find work, and that number is expected to grow to over 500,000 when the new batch of about
    300,000 graduates leave their campuses.

    The 8.6 billion baht budget will fund the Nation-Building Youth program. This will be split into three
    projects, namely the graduate volunteer project, the Pracharat volunteer project and the Start-up Youth
    Enterprise Fund.

    Mr. Suwit said that the projects are expected to provide temporary jobs to 10%, or about 50,000 jobless
    graduates.

    The bulk of the fund, about 8 billion baht, is allocated for the graduate volunteer project, modelled after
    Dr. Puey Ungphakorn’s graduate volunteer program. Applications are open at all universities to new
    graduates and those who graduated in the past three years. The work duration is 12 months and the
    monthly pay ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 baht. The successful applicants will be required to work in
    rural areas for about a year.

    500 million baht is allocated to the Pracharat volunteer project, which will target third and fourth-year
    students. About 10,000 students are expected to be hired to work with villagers in rural areas for 4-5
    months, or one semester, and each will be entitled to allowances of 5,000 baht a month.

    The pilot Pracharat volunteer project will be launched in December in Kalasin, one of the three poorest
    provinces in Thailand. 500 student volunteers will be split into groups of 8-10 to work with rural folk in
    their communities, so they can use their classroom knowledge to help solve villagers’ problems.

    The third project, the Start-up Youth Enterprise Fund, enables students to work with university
    personnel in developing local products for start-up enterprises.

    14 November 2019
    General
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241299
  • Farmers told not to dry crops on roads following fatal road accident
    Rice farmers have been warned to stop drying their crops on roads or face legal action. The instruction was issued today by the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial justice officer after a...

    Rice farmers have been warned to stop drying their crops on roads or face legal action.

    The instruction was issued today by the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial justice officer after a fatal road
    accident on November 10 th on a highway in Tambon Makha, Non Soong district.

    Two pickup trucks collided when the drivers tried to avoid driving over rice laid on the road surface to
    dry, resulting to two fatalities and two others being injuries.

    Mr. Wichien Chaisorb, director of the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial justice office, paid a visit yesterday
    to the family of one of the dead victims, Mr. Nikhom Chitklang, to offer condolences and support.

    He reportedly told the family that his office will provide legal assistance if they want to take action
    against the farmers who used the public road as a place to dry their crops.

    After the fatal accident, the Makha Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) vice mayor called a
    meeting, with village heads, kamnan and highway police in Non Soong district, to discuss measures to
    prevent similar accidents.

    At the meeting it was agreed that there should be a ban on the use of roads to dry rice, with the Makha
    TAO promising to find alternative space for farmers.

    Sun-drying freshly harvested rice on local roads has been common practice for many farmers, so that
    the crops fetch better prices.

    14 November 2019
    General
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241294
  • Economic stimulus packages still needed to spur domestic economy – Finance Minister
    Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana has stressed the need for the Government to introduce economic stimulus packages periodically to spur the domestic economy and to help small suppliers badly affected...

    Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana has stressed the need for the Government to introduce
    economic stimulus packages periodically to spur the domestic economy and to help small suppliers
    badly affected by the global economic slowdown.

    He said yesterday that the Government could not just sit idly by, otherwise the economy will further
    deteriorate. He maintained that the Thai economy was not as bad as some perceive it to be, adding that
    the Government has been trying its best with occasional economic stimulus measures.

    The finance minister admitted that the global economic slowdown is affecting the Thai economy,
    especially small suppliers, who depend on exports, with several of them forced to close down.

    He said that he could not forecast whether Thailand’s economic growth next year will improve or not,
    adding that the Finance Ministry is closely monitoring the global economy and has taken precautionary
    steps to cushion the impacts of any further slowdown.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Amornthep Jawala, senior director at the research office of CIMB Bank, said that most
    people who subscribed to the “Chim-Shop-Chai” scheme did not spend more than the 1,000 baht
    Government giveaway because they did not have extra money or because they were reluctant to pay
    more, preferring instead to save.

    He said the scheme was similar to the Government’s welfare card program, which only helped provide
    low-income earners with a small amount of money, but did not actually encourage them to spend more.
    Since the launch of the “Chim-Shop-Chai” (Eat-Shop-Spend) program on November 9 th , about 11.72
    billion baht has been spent by subscribers to the scheme, which has spurred growth by 0.1%-0.2% only.
    94% of the 11.72 billion baht spent was the 1,000 baht/head giveaway and the other 6%, or 730 million
    baht, was additional spending.

    Both Mr. Amornthep and Mr. Kobsith Silpachai, an executive of research and capital market economy of
    Kasikorn Thai Bank, suggested that, if the Government wants to spur spending, it should concentrate on
    high income-earners by reducing personal income tax to encourage them to spend more.

    They cited the case of the United States, where the government decided to slash corporate income tax
    from 35% to 21% and to reduce personal income tax by 2.6%, which resulted in an increase, from 2.4%
    to 2.9%, in GDP growth.

    They urged the Government to invest more to create jobs and generate higher incomes for the people.

    14 November 2019
    General
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241292
  • Another day of chaos looms for Hong Kong amid relentless city-wide protests
    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Anti-government protesters paralyzed parts of Hong Kong for a fourth day on Thursday, forcing school closures and blocking highways and other transport links to disrupt the...

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Anti-government protesters paralyzed parts of Hong Kong for a fourth day on Thursday, forcing school closures and blocking highways and other transport links to disrupt the financial hub amid a marked escalation of violence.

    Protesters have torched vehicles and buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police stations and trains and vandalized prime shopping malls over the past week in some of the worst violence seen in more than five months of unrest.

    Black-clad protesters and university students maintained their blockades of major roads, including the entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel that links Hong Kong island to the Kowloon area, and a major highway artery between Kowloon and the rural New Territories.

    Police fired tear gas near the tunnel early on Thursday to try to clear the protesters.

    Thousands of students barricaded themselves inside campuses with makeshift fortifications at several universities, blocking entrances and occupying nearby roads, preparing stockpiles of food, bricks, petrol bombs and other makeshift weapons as they hunkered down for possible clashes with police.

    Anti-government protesters scout at a makeshift gate during a standoff with riot police at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

    Commuters queued at metro stations across the city after some rail services were suspended and roads closed. Some citizens, dressed in office wear, shouted at riot police who were deployed on station platforms.

    Demonstrators are angry about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in the freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

    China denies interfering and has blamed Western countries, including Britain and the United States, for stirring up trouble.

    Police said on Wednesday violence in the Chinese territory had reached a “very dangerous and even deadly level”.

    Authorities said on Thursday 64 people were injured during Wednesday’s clashes, which left two men in critical condition. There were no further details about the injuries they sustained.

    Police said in a statement a man had died after falling from an unspecified height on Wednesday but gave no further details.

    One woman, a 24-year-old worker caught in the traffic gridlock who gave her name as Kristy, said: “The government and the police have escalated the violence.”

    “If the government wants the violence to stop they need to listen to our demands,” she said.

    Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, met senior officials late on Wednesday, media reported, amid speculation of fresh emergency measures to deal with the crisis.

    The city’s Education Bureau announced that all schools would be shut on Thursday due to safety concerns, a decision that typically only happens during severe typhoons or natural disasters.

    Several universities also announced there would be no classes on campuses for the rest of the year from Thursday, meaning they would rely on online learning and other assessment methods for the remaining weeks of term.

    A number of major shopping malls also announced they would close on Thursday due to safety concerns as protesters planned further demonstrations throughout the day.

    Lam said this week protesters paralyzing the city were “selfish” and were now the people’s enemy.

     

     

    14 November 2019
    Breaking News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241288
  • Diplomats accuse Trump as impeachment hits Americans’ TVs
    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, the Democrats’ case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment streamed from Americans’ TVs Wednesday, including a new contention that he was overheard asking about...

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, the Democrats’ case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment streamed from Americans’ TVs Wednesday, including a new contention that he was overheard asking about political “investigations” that he demanded from Ukraine in trade for military aid.

    On Day One of extraordinary public U.S. House hearings — only the fourth formal impeachment effort in U.S. history — career diplomats testified in the open after weeks of closed-door interviews aimed at removing the nation’s 45th president.

    The account they delivered was a striking though complicated one that Democrats say reveals a president abusing his office, and the power of American foreign policy, for personal political gain.

    “The matter is as simple and as terrible as that,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the Intelligence Committee, as he opened the daylong hearing. “Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency but the future of the presidency itself.”

    Career diplomat William Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, offered new testimony that Trump was overheard asking on the phone about “the investigations” of Democrats that he wanted Ukraine to pursue that are central to the impeachment inquiry.

    Trump said he was too busy to watch on Wednesday and denied having the phone call. “First I’ve heard of it,” he said when asked.

    All day, the diplomats testified about how an ambassador was fired, the new Ukraine government was confused and they discovered an “irregular channel” — a shadow U.S. foreign policy orchestrated by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that raised alarms in diplomatic and national security circles.

    The hearing, playing out on live television and in the partisan silos of social media, provided the nation and the world a close-up look at the investigation.

    At its core, the inquiry stems from Trump’s July 25 phone call when he asked Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for “a favor.”

    Trump wanted the Ukraine government to investigate Democrats’ activities in the 2016 election and his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden — all while the administration was withholding military aid for the Eastern European ally that is confronting an aggressive neighbor, Russia.

    Both sides tried to distill it into soundbites.

    Democrats said Trump was engaged in “bribery” and “extortion.” Republicans said nothing really happened — the military aid was ultimately released after Congress complained.

    Trump restated his aggressive defense with rapid-fire tweets, a video from the Rose Garden and a dismissive retort from the Oval Office as he met with another foreign leader.

    “It’s a witch hunt. It’s a hoax,” he said as he appeared with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by his side.

    Across the country, millions of Americans were tuning in — or, in some cases, deliberately tuning out.

    Viewers on the right and left thought the day underscored their feelings. Anthony Harris, cutting hair in Savannah, Georgia, had the hearing on in his shop, but he said, “It’s gotten to the point now where people are even tired of listening.”

    The hours of partisan back-and-forth did not appear to leave a singular moment etched in the public consciousness the way the Watergate proceedings or Bill Clinton’s impeachment did generations ago.

    “No real surprises, no bombshells,” said committee member Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah.

    Still, the session unspooled at least partly the way Democrats wanted with the somber tones of career foreign service officers telling what they knew. They sounded credible.

    The witnesses, the graying Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent in his bow tie, defied White House instructions not to appear. Both received subpoenas.

    They are among a dozen current and former officials who already testified behind closed doors. Wednesday was the start of days of public hearings that will stretch into next week.

    Taylor, who was asked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to return to Ukraine as Trump was firing Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, introduced new information Wednesday.

    He testified that a staff member recently told him of overhearing Trump when they were meeting with another diplomat, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, at a restaurant the day after Trump’s July 25 phone call to the Ukraine president that sparked the impeachment investigation.

    The staff member explained that Sondland had called the president and they could hear Trump on the phone asking about “the investigations.” The ambassador told the president the Ukrainians were ready to move forward, Taylor testified.

    In the face of Trump’s denial, Schiff expects the person to appear before investigators for a closed-door deposition. He is David Holmes, the political counselor at the embassy in Kyiv, according to an official unauthorized to discuss the matter and granted anonymity.

    Republicans argued that even with the diplomats at the witness table the Democrats have only second- or third-hand knowledge of Trump’s alleged transgressions.

    A Trump ally on the panel, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, mockingly called Taylor the Democrats’ “star witness” and said he’d “seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this.”

    Taylor, a West Point graduate and former Army infantry officer in Vietnam, responded: “I don’t consider myself a star witness for anything.”

    The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, said Trump had a “perfectly good reason” for wanting to investigate the role of Democrats in 2016 election interference, giving airtime to a theory that runs counter to mainstream U.S. intelligence which found that Russia intervened and favored Trump.

    Nunes accused the Democratic majority of conducting a “scorched earth” effort to take down the president after the special counsel’s Russia investigation into the 2016 election failed to spark impeachment proceedings.

    The veteran foreign service officers delivered heartfelt history lessons about Ukraine, a young and hopeful democracy, situated next to Russia but reaching out to the West.

    Asked about Trump’s withholding military aid from such an ally, Taylor said, “It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.”

    Both men defended Yovanovitch, a career officer who Kent has said was subject to Giuliani’s “campaign of lies.” She is to testify publicly Friday.

    Kent, in his opening remarks, directly contradicted a core complaint against Joe Biden being raised by allies of the White House. While he said he himself raised concerns in 2015 about the vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, being on the board of Burisma, a Ukraine gas company, he “did not witness any efforts by any U.S. official to shield Burisma from scrutiny.”

    Republicans sought to hear from the anonymous whistleblower by subpoenaing him for a closed-session. The panel voted down the request and Schiff and repeatedly denied the GOP claim that he knows the person.

    “We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower’s identity,” Schiff declared.

    The Constitution sets a dramatic but vague bar for impeachment, There’s no consensus yet that Trump’s actions at the heart of the inquiry meet the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    The anonymous whistleblower first alerted officials to concerns about the Trump phone call with Zelenskiy. The White House released a rough transcript of the telephone conversation, with portions deleted.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was initially reluctant to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. But she pressed ahead after the whistleblower’s complaint. She said Wednesday it was sad that the country has to undergo the inquiry with Trump, but “he will be held accountable.”

     

    14 November 2019
    Highlight
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241285
  • Charter court rules Pheu Thai’s Nawat disqualified as MP
    Convicted Pheu Thai MP for Khon Kaen province Nawat Tohcharoensook lost his parliamentary status on October 16th, when he was suspended by the Constitutional Court from performing his duty as...

    Convicted Pheu Thai MP for Khon Kaen province Nawat Tohcharoensook lost his parliamentary status on October 16th, when he was suspended by the Constitutional Court from performing his duty as an MP, according to a ruling by a panel of Constitutional Court judges.

    Nawat was sentenced to death, by Khon Kaen’s provincial court on September 24th, after it found him guilty of ordering gunmen to kill Suchart Kotethum, an assistant mayor of the Khon Kaen provincial administration organization, on May 3rd, 2013.

    The ruling Constitutional Court noted that Nawat was not qualified to be an MP once he had been sentenced to death and, hence, his MP status had ended.

    As a result of the disqualification, the Election Commission must hold a by-election in Khon Kaen’s Constituency 7 within 45 days to fill the vacant seat.

    13 November 2019
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241281
  • NACC finds Sino-Thai executives and Nakhon Si Thammarat officials took a 20 million baht bribe
    Four officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat and two senior executives of Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Company have been faulted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for taking a 20 million...

    Four officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat and two senior executives of Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Company have been faulted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for taking a 20 million baht bribe from a Thai-Japanese consortium contracted to build a power plant in Khanom district of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

    The four officials are named as Sathjt Chinnavorn, director of the provincial harbour office, Kanin Muangduag, vice mayor of Tambon Thongnian, Apichart Sawatdirat, village head of Tambon Thongnian and Pol Lt-Col Santipong Pongsawat, a marine police inspector of the 6th subdivision. The two executives of Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction are managing director Parkpoom Trichhamni and Rakes Galia, assistant managing director for support operations.

    NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said that the six men had demanded 20 million baht from Mitsubishi Hitachi Systems Ltd, a Japanese company in a consortium with Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction contracted to build the power plant.

    The bribery case dates back to February 2015, when three cargo vessels, carrying equipment for the power plant construction, were not permitted to dock at the Khanom pier by harbour officials, who claimed that the vessels were too big for the pier.

    The management of the Japanese firm offered 20 million baht in exchange for allowing the three boats to dock and unload the equipment, otherwise the firm could have faced a fine of 11 million baht for every day that the equipment was delayed.

    Worawit said the two executives of Sino-Thai Company then arranged for a contract to be signed for non-existent work, under which 20 million baht was paid by Sino-Thai to the Japanese firm to be delivered to the four officials.

    The money was later shared among the four officials and the two Sino-Thai executives, according to Worawit.

    13 November 2019
    General
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=241270