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MediaWATCH: H1N1 Checkups for Asean Chiefs

MediaWATCH: H1N1 Checkups for Asean Chiefs

Friday, July 10, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

xinhua Amid the rapid H1N1 virus outbreak, Thailand, as the host of the forthcoming Asean meetings, is preparing preventive measures, including a daily physical checkup to protect participants from the H1N1 virus, a senior official told Xinhua. From July 17 to 23, Thailand will host the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM), Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and 16th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Thailand's southern resort island of Phuket. The important regional meetings, however, are coming amid the domestically rapid outbreak of H1N, as the death toll in Thailand had risen to 14, according to the Public Health Ministry.

the nation No street demonstrations - even peaceful ones - will be allowed during the coming meeting of Asean ministers in Phuket, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan says. ''Phuket must have no protests whatsoever. We will designate no areas for demonstrations. No road blockade, no submission of a protest letter, and not even a peaceful gathering is allowed,'' said Prawit, who is in charge of security during the international meetings. The Internal Security Act is due to be enforced on the resort island until July 24 (two weeks). Prawit said he did not think the law would negatively affect businesses in the province.

TNA Preventive measures by Thailand against H1N1 are appropriate, according to the World Health Organization. Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Director for South-East Asia, said it is not appropriate to say the spread of the influenza in Thailand is more severe than elsewhere in the region, although the number of fatalities is higher. The number of new cases and fatalities is small in some countries because they may not be monitoring their situation appropriately. Each country has the right to come up with its own measures to control the virus, he said.

TNA Anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship on Thursday protested at Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, demanding Minister Kasit Piromya resign after being charged with terrorism and other criminal charges related to the seizure of Suvarnabhumi Airport late last year. Amid tight security, protesters demanded that Mr Kasit quit his post after police had filed charges against him as they feared his remaining on the job could lead to interference in the legal process. Protesters said he could return to his post if he is later proved innocent. They later presented a letter demanding his resignation.

thephuketinsider.com The northern part of Phuket is seeing a flurry of activity with temporary structures housing plants and flowers being installed by the roadside in Chengtalay, Surin and on the main airport road. With the upcoming Foreign Ministers Meeting scheduled from the 16th to the 23rd of this month at Laguna Phuket, the local Government looks to be making cosmetic additions with the hopes of improving the island's curb appeal.

Bloomberg President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono swept toward a second five-year term, receiving a strong mandate from Indonesia's 176 million voters to take the country's economy to new heights of growth. Yudhoyono, better known as 'SBY,' won 61 percent of votes in Wednesday's election, according to a sampling of nationwide ballots by the Indonesian Survey Institute. Leveraging that victory into achieving his goal of growth rates on par with China and India will hinge on the ability to build roads, ports and power plants and lure foreign investment. To do so, he'll have to overcome a bureaucracy where power is decentralized down to the district level across 17,500 islands.

Today's Must Read

AFP Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair said it was in talks with US planemaker Boeing about adapting its aircraft so that some passengers could be placed in ''vertical seating''. The low-cost carrier, which in recent months has suggested heavy passengers pay a ''fat tax'' and travellers pay to use its on-board toilets, said it wants to get more people onto its aircraft by ripping out traditional seating. Passengers ''wouldn't be fully standing, they would have something like a stool to lean on or to sit on,'' a spoesman added. He added that Ryanair was looking into removing four rows, or 12 seats, of traditional seating on its planes to accommodate the standing room.

aap Australians may be among the loudest travellers, but overall they are polite, don't whinge, and are well behaved, a new survey has found. In its second annual global Best Tourist Survey, online travel company Expedia found hoteliers around the world rank Australians the sixth-best tourists among 27 nationalities surveyed. Japanese tourists retained the top prize as the world's best tourists, being ranked the quietest and most polite, as well as the cleanest and least likely to complain. British tourists held second spot overall, being the biggest tippers after the Americans, and most polite after the Japanese, but ahead of the Canadians, who came third overall. After the Japanese, Canadians and the Swiss were seen as the least likely to complain. The French hold the unenviable reputation for being the world's worst tourists, being the most frugal and meanest tippers, as well as the most impolite.

AFP Budget carrier AirAsia launched 'Redbox,' an express courier service it says will be 50 percent cheaper than its rivals. AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes said the new venture would expand the low-cost carrier's non-airline revenue and help protect it from future oil-price spikes. The company is billing Redbox - named after the airline's signature colour - as the world's first low-cost courier service. It will start within Malyasia at first.

the nation The Unique Collection of Hotels and Resorts, in a move to expand its hotel-management and investment-consultancy services, will assume three new boutique hotels in Thailand by next year. The group will sign management contracts with hotels in Khon Kaen and Krabi provinces this year and one in Phuket next year. The Bangkok-based firm, founded by Peter Kaelli, now looks after 10 hotels and resorts in Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Trang, Sukhothai and Krabi.

wsj.com Google's plans to launch a computer operating system using the Chrome name will add to the competitive pressure that is gradually eroding Microsoft's stranglehold on the market. But Google already has launched an operating system called Android. It is designed for various devices including, like the new Chrome, cheap ''netbook'' laptops. Launching another, separate system will be confusing. There isn't a guarantee how widely embraced the new product will be, especially by computer makers. And despite consumer complaints about Microsoft software, dislodging Windows from its dominant market position would likely take years.

wsj.com The North Korean ship that tried to steam to Burma last month isn't the only problem facing the US and its allies. There's a much broader military relationship growing between the two pariah states - one that poses a growing threat to stability in Asia-Pacific. A government report leaked by a Burmese official last month shed new light on these ties. It described a Memorandum of Understanding between Burma and North Korea signed during a secret visit by Burmese officials to Pyongyang in November 2008. The visit was the culmination of years of work. The two countries formally re-established diplomatic relations in April 2007. After that, the North Korean ship the Kang Nam - the same ship that recently turned away from Burma after being followed by the U.S. navy - made a trip to Burma's Thilawa port. Western defense analysts concluded that the ship carried conventional weapons and missiles to Burma.

Phuketwan File on the Asean Summit

Latest: Phuket's Asean Summer Summit Family Fun
Latest Only on Phuket could the introduction of the Internal Security Act for an Asean summit coincide with the Summer Family Festival. Carry your ID, smile a lot, and be polite.
Latest: Phuket's Asean Summer Summit Family Fun

N Korea Fires July 4 Missiles: Phuket Talks Follow
Update With regional security talks on Phuket looming, North Korea defies UN sanctions and fires more missiles, coinciding with the July 4 US Independence Day holiday.
N Korea Fires July 4 Missiles: Phuket Talks Follow

Phuket Asean Clamp Unnecessary: Red Shirt
Latest Phuket's red shirt leader wonders whether a tight military hold on the island is really necessary for the important series of Asean meetings this month.
Phuket Asean Clamp Unnecessary: Red Shirt

Phuket Set for Secure Summit, says Defence Chief
Latest Tourism not terrorism is Phuket's stock in trade. Thailand's Defence Minister pays a visit and says that everything appears to be going fine for the big July summit.
Phuket Set for Secure Summit, says Defence Chief

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phuket Internet Shops Protest at H1N1 Closure
Latest Phuket internet cafes along with others throughout Thailand are to be asked to close for two weeks from Monday because of H1N1. But why? The idea seems to have little value.
Phuket Internet Shops Protest at H1N1 Closure

Bangkok Airport Scam Condemned in Europe
Latest Another traveller, this time an Irish lecturer, has told of a ''harrowing ordeal'' in a Bangkok airport scam as another blow is delivered to tourism in Thailand.
Bangkok Airport Scam Condemned in Europe

Turmoil as Patong Klong Earmarked for Resort
Photo Album A Phuket landmark is to vanish under a plan to convert a wide estuary klong in Patong into a canal and exclude longtails. A resort is to be constructed on the site.
Turmoil as Patong Klong Earmarked for Resort

Phuket Lashed by Torrential Storm, Flooding
Photo Album Can an island be wet and dry at the same time? Yes if it's Phuket, where an alcohol ban today was accompanied by a furious downpour.
Phuket Lashed by Torrential Storm, Flooding

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