EC member unenthusiastic about CDC’s MP candidate registration idea

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Breaking News August 08, 2017 07:00

By The Nation

If implemented, the Constitution Drafting Commission’s (CDC) idea of registering MP candidates separately in each constituency would put more of a burden on the Election Commission in organising the whole electoral process, EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said on Monday.

From gathering all the MP candidates to draw lots in every constituency, collecting and collating the votes for different numbers from across the country, to proving their authenticity would be new challenges for the EC if such a plan came into effect, he said.

It would also be confusing for voters as MP candidates from the same party would be registered with different numbers in each constituency, the commissioner suggested.

The idea was revealed on Sunday when CDC spokesperson Norachit Sinhaseni said that the plan, if it was included in the coming organic law on the election of MPs, should help “create fairness” for all sides.

But the idea is yet to be finalised and political parties are welcome to submit their opinions on the matter to the CDC or the National Legislative Assembly, he added.


Source  :  The Nation

Fears for stream after copper ore spill

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Breaking News August 08, 2017 07:00

By Seksanti Kanlayanawisut
The Nation

A lorry carrying copper ore accidentally drove into a stream in Udon Thani, causing copper ore to disperse into the water and sparking concern among locals about heavy metal contamination.


The kamnan of Tambon Phasuk in Udon Thani’s Kumphawapi district, Niyom Chatukane, said the accident happened late on Saturday night. The driver fell asleep behind the wheel and drove the lorry into Huai Sampad stream, spilling 28 tonnes of copper ore into the water.

Niyom said took several hours to get the lorry back on dry land, and copper ore still lay on the stream bed. He said the mining company had started to retrieve copper ore from the water on Sunday and Monday, but a lot of the ore remained in the stream.

He said his inspectionhad shown that the water quality had changed and turbidity had increase. “The water also smells like gunpowder, so I have ordered people to avoid using the water and catching any fish from the stream until further notice,” he said.

“If there is water contamination, it will have large impact, as this stream is the water head of Nonghan Kumphawapi Lake and Lam Pao River, and it is also used for agriculture by farmers in two villages.”

Sayan Mheekaew, an environmental officer, stated that half of the ore was still underwater and posed the risk of heavy metal contamination, because the ore normally contained traces of heavy metal such as lead and arsenic.

 Sayan said teams of officers from the regional environmental agency and Provincial Industry Office had already collected the samples from the stream for inspection.

Pol Lt-Colonel Thanadul Seethet, Kumphawapi Police investigation officer, said the lorry driver Sayan Samlee, 45, confessed that he was transporting copper ore from Laos to Map Taphut Industrial Park in Rayong, and that he had fallen asleep while driving.

Sayan was fined Bt500 for reckless driving. There is an ongoing investigation as he failed to show a permit to transport copper ore.


Source  :  The Nation

Planned bus service changes hit a roadblock with angry passengers

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File photo

national August 08, 2017 01:00


PLANS BY THE Transport Ministry to change well-established and familiar bus routes and numbering in Bangkok have caused an uproar.

The ministry announced earlier this month that as part of a major revamp, bus services in Greater Bangkok – which refers to the capital and its adjacent provinces – would be radically changed to “improve quality and efficiency”.

But many passengers have expressed anger about the plan that will alter the city’s numbering system, which has been in existence for years, and eliminate some familiar bus routes.

For example, bus number 54 for the Huai Kwang-Victory Monument route will become “B44”, and the route will change to Rama IX-Suttisan.

Transport Ministry deputy permanent secretary Somsak Hommuang said “B” would stand for the Blue Zone, which would cover the old Bus Service Areas 7 and 8.

“Who cares about Bus Service Areas? Why should we remember them?” said one irate passenger on a Facebook page dedicated to Thailand’s bus system.

Another Facebook user said she wondered whether the planners behind the revamp had ever used the bus. “Did you know that for some people it takes years to remember the bus route numbers? Did you know that some people have to get on and off buses several times during their commuting routine in a day?” she said.

Jiraz Pipatwasin said via Facebook that English characters should not be included as bus identifiers as public transportation should be designed for everyone, not just people who understood English.

Ritthichan Sup said English characters could be confusing. “Why don’t you use four-digit numerals instead?” he suggested. On the same Facebook page, “CoOkaii Leepokpinyo” said elderly people might see a B as the number 8. “The use of only numerals should be fine, even for foreigners,” she said.

Consumers also pointed out that the majority of passengers were from the older generation, who would find the changes particularly difficult. Somsak said just four English characters would be used: G for green, R for red, Y for yellow and B for blue.

The B area would cover inner zones of Greater Bangkok and some of its northern parts, G eastern and northeastern parts, R southern and southeastern parts, and Y southern and western parts. He said the revamp would not be just about new bus route numbers.

“We will reduce the length of each bus route, with the average distance dropping from 31 kilometres to 28 kilometres. The shorter the route, the better the traffic flow,” Somsak said.

He added that people did not need to worry about unfamiliar bus route identifiers because the old numbers would be placed next to the new ones until passengers became used to the changes. “As well, we will not change the whole system immediately. We will introduce changes to eight routes first and assess the results.”


Source  :  The Nation

Iraq to run municipal and parliamentary elections jointly in April

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Baghdad ( Iraq will run municipal elections in April coinciding with parliamentary elections based on amendments voted for in the parliament on Monday.

“A majority of MPs voted today to conduct local elections — initially slated for September — at the same time as next April’s parliamentary polls,” Abbas al-Bayati, an MP for Iraq’s Shia National Alliance bloc, told Anadolu Agency.

The formation of the commission supervising the elections, as well as the system adopted for the polls had sparked protests in Baghdad led by Shia cleric and militancy leader Muqtada al-Sadr over the past months.

Sadr and his fans had decried what they described as corruption, the imbalanced formation of the commission and the unfair electoral system.

The elections are coming as Iraq nears removal of the last Islamic State havens in the country, having marked the biggest victory retaking the militants’ largest stronghold and former capital: Mosul.


Source  :  Iraqi News

Security forces thwarts terrorist attack in western Baghdad

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Baghdad ( The Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) has repulsed a terrorist attack in Amiriyah area, west of Baghdad.

“A force from the 54 brigade of the BOC has managed to arrest two terrorists, and found an explosive belt, 14 IEDs and a sniper with them”, according to a statement.

The operation was carried out according to accurate intelligence information, the statement added.

On Sunday, the (BOC) has found 16 IEDS and two mortars in different parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Bombings and armed attacks are seen on almost a daily basis against security members, paramilitary groups and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake IS-occupied areas in 2016.

More than 500 Iraqis were killed and injured during the month of July due to violence and armed conflicts, according to a monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).


Source  :  Iraqi News

Four civilians killed, others injured by mortar missiles, IED blasts in Diyala

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Diyala ( Four civilians were killed, while seven others were wounded in several parts in Diyala province, news reports quoted security sources as saying on Monday.

Five mortar missiles fell on villages of al-Mekheisa, abu Karma in abu Saida town, northeast of Baquba, on Monday evening. Two women were killed, while five others were injured.

Moreover, a bomb exploded while a Federal Police patrol was passing at al-Katoun district in west of Baquba, leaving a policeman killed and two others wounded.

Another bomb blast in abu Hassan village in al-Abbara town, north of Baquba killed a member of the paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units).

Attacks launched by Islamic State militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), issued on Tuesday, said 518 Iraqis were killed and injured during the month of June. Nineveh province was the most affected governorate with 233 casualties, Baghdad came next then Anbar.

Source  :  Iraq News