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Memories of  Phuket and Phi Phi rekindled by tsunami anniversary

MediaWATCH: Santa Slaying 'Em, Says Study

Friday, December 18, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Santa Claus should snack on his reindeer's carrots and get off his sleigh and jog as portrayals of the portly brandy-drinker promote obesity, drunk-driving and other unhealthy behaviors, an Australian doctor says. The use of Santa in advertising should be regulated because images of him promoting alcohol and cigarettes convey potentially harmful messages, Nathan Grills, a public health researcher at Melbourne's Monash University, wrote in the British Medical Journal. Perhaps more than anywhere else on Earth, the catastrophic fear of rising seas hits home when flying into Majuro atoll, a narrow strip of land in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. There is no high ground at all in this idyllic atoll nation of 1200 islands. None. A natural disaster such as the recent tsunami in Samoa could wipe the entire Marshall Islands nation of 60,000 people, and 3000 years of culture, off the surface of the Earth. A 10-year-old boy whose parents died in the Asian tsunami five years ago has been charged with savagely murdering his adoptive mother after she allegedly taunted him about having no real mother and father any more. The tragic case of the youngster who faces up to 15 years in an Indonesian prison emerged as the south east Asian region prepares to remember the 230,000 people who died in the tsunami on December 26, 2004. Former Sunday Times managing editor Peter Malherbe, who lives in Thailand, reported from Phi Phi after the tsunami struck: ''The power of the ocean had reduced this tropical paradise to little more than a barren plain. All around me were the reminders of the human tragedy - a girl's swimming costume caked in blood, a running shoe, a takeaway pizza box, a tube of sun cream. Here lives and dreams had been washed away.''

earthtimes.orf Five years after the 2004 tsunami, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is still working on related recovery efforts, the head of the relief agency's tsunami operations said. ''This job isn't over yet, particularly in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives," said Al Panico, head of the IFRC tsunami unit. The disaster on the day after Christmas that claimed the lives of thousands of Western tourists holidaying in Thailand sparked an unprecedented outpouring of donations that reached 14 billion dollars.

aap The Christmas holiday plans of one million British Airways passengers have been saved thanks to the High Court in London blocking a planned 12-day strike by the airline's cabin crew. BA on Thursday won an injunction from the court banning the strike from going ahead as planned from December 22, arguing it was illegal because of irregularities with a ballot of cabin crew staff. Suspicions that China is facilitating illegal North Korean arms exports have gained new credence as authorities investigate a plane carrying weapons from Pyongyang that was detained during a refueling stop in Thailand. Larry A. Niksch, a specialist in Asian affairs at the Congressional Research Service who monitors North Korea's proliferation activities, said: ''Two-thirds of the flight path of that plane was over Chinese territory. It should have raised Chinese suspicions.''

Associated Press Thailand's seizure of tons of illicit weapons from a plane from North Korea was the result of cooperation with the United States, a senior official says. Speaking at a news conference, National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri confirmed media reports that there had been US assistance in the seizure, but gave no details. An Australian man who faced three years' jail and was detained for months in the United Arab Emirates for saying ''What the f***'' to a Dubai Airport official has been released after being fined. Sun McKay, 32, a security consultant, can now realise his dream of being home by Christmas Day, after a judge found him guilty but chose to sentence him to a $600 fine instead of imprisonment. Mainland researchers have developed a new type of herbal remedy that can slay the H1N1 virus, Beijing municipal authorities say. Dr Wang Chen, president of Chaoyang Hospital, said the formula could reduce the average length of swine-flu-related fever from 26 to 16 hours and cut the use of antibiotics by more than 70 per cent. The formula is taken as a tea. The remedy showed positive effects on more than 95 percent of patients, based on more than 200 clinical trials in nearly 30 hospitals in the capital.

afp The centerpiece of an $8.5-billion complex intended to redefine the Las Vegas resort experience, opens today with a lavish private party and fireworks. Thousands of tourists and Las Vegans are expected to pour into the Aria Hotel-Casino after celebrities, moguls and other VIPs mark the official completion of the most expensive private construction project in US history. The glass-sheathed Aria 4004-room hotel was designed by Pelli, besy known for the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia. The following scenario is neither joke nor fantasy, but a travel tip provided by the Australian Government. A man is travelling overseas and walks into a bar. He is beckoned by a woman, who requests a drink. He quickly obliges. What did he do wrong? According to a travel bulletin titled ''Partying Overseas,'' issued this week, the bar-goer should have checked the prices before bestowing his largesse. Otherwise, the bill could end up larger than his ego. Investigators probing the June crash of an Air France flight in the Atlantic Ocean still do not know what brought the plane down, who was at the controls when it crashed, or what the pilots did in the moments leading up to the disaster, according to a new report. Flight 447, an Airbus A330, went down in stormy weather in the Atlantic on June 1 while flying from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris. All 228 people on board were killed. Most of the bodies were not recovered.

Reuters Under rules aimed at bringing order to Rio's famous beaches, ball games are among the undesirable activities being curtailed or banned as the city that will host a World Cup and Olympics within seven years seeks to clean up its act. But the shock of order policy is running into resistance on Rio's sands, amid worries that it will kill the soul and spontaneity of beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, which have been celebrated in many a samba and bossa nova song. Rail travel into Cambodia from other Asian countries could be a possibility again by 2013 thanks to a new loan from the Asian Development Bank. Cambodia is a popular destination for backpackers, as it sits between tourism hotspots Vietnam and Thailand. Extra funds will allow the rebuilding of track that once linked Cambodia with Thailand, and the construction of a new maintenance facility. An Australian venture would be responsible for managing the railway system to attract more tourism and boost trade. Malaysia unveiled a three-year action plan to combat worsening corruption amid worries of declining investor interest. Various steps were announced - from an online public database of convicted offenders to the disclosure of privatisation contracts - as part of a plan to lift Malaysia's rankings in the corruption perception index compiled by global watchdog Transparency International from 56th, an all-time low. Thailand is in 84th place. Cambodia is facing mounting pressure over the fate of 22 Uyghurs who fled China to avoid prosecution for their alleged involvement in violent protests earlier this year. Besides the Philippines, Cambodia is the only South east Asian signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, committing it to protect people fleeing persecution who qualify as refugees. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, is often touted as an example of tolerance and democracy in the Islamic world. But a huge new study suggests it's actually among the most restrictive countries in the world when it comes to religion. The study charted publicly reported incidents of religious violence, intolerance, intimidation and discrimination in 198 countries and territories from mid-2006 to mid-2008, its authors said. About one-third of the countries in the world have high restrictions on religion, exposing almost 70 percent of the globe's population to limitations on their faith, new research shows. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life based its analysis on 16 sources of information, including reports from the US State Department and human rights groups as well as national constitutions.
Phuket's Simple Tune: Kiss Guesthouses Goodbye
Latest The end may be nigh for the Patong guesthouse as Tune Hotels finally declares its hand in Thailand, promising quality at a low price . . . plus AirAsia style aggressive marketing.
Phuket's Simple Tune: Kiss Guesthouses Goodbye

Phuket Town Bars Seek Better Understanding
Latest A bar spokesperson emails their case for being just what old Phuket Town needs. No argument there, but please start telling customers when they have too much to drink.
Phuket Town Bars Seek Better Understanding

Phuket Water Park Dispute Ends: January Opening
Latest Phuket's Splash Jungle and West Sands Resort are set to open next month after a dispute with villagers was settled with the gifting of a public access roadway to Mai Khao beach.
Phuket Water Park Dispute Ends: January Opening

Phuket Full Moon Partying: Official Aussie Guide
Latest Lower fares are bringing more young Australians to Phuket and Thailand. The Australian Government has now issued an official guide to 'Patying Overseas,' especially at Full Moon.
Phuket Full Moon Partying: Official Aussie Guide

Phuket's Dive Industry in Economic Distress
Latest Phuket is a world class dive destination but the global economic downturn and an oversupply of unregulated competition has left many businesses short on air.
Phuket's Dive Industry in Economic Distress


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The "study" about Santa Claus written by Nathan Grills and published in the British Medical Journal is a lampoon, a joke, a parody, a satirical spoof, a 'send-up' of political correctness.

It's a bit of Christmas fun, a seasonally relevant public health joke. If your reporters had bothered to read the "study" instead of blindly regurgitating the story filed at Bloomberg by an apparently humourless Japanese journalist, they would have understood this.

Editor: The Washington Post tags those kinds of articles 'Satire' to avoid misunderstandings. I guess they realise that not all people share the same sense of humour. Perhaps the British Medical Journal has yet to learn that prevention is better than cure.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by Peter Bradshaw on December 19, 2009 05:44

Tuesday October 27, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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