Hundred get free cataract surgeries

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TO mark World Sight Day 2017, the Pacific International Hospital (PIH) in partnership with Laila Foundation will be doing 100 free cataract surgeries for referral cases next week.
PIH consultant ophthalmologist Dr Amyna Sultan said patients with eye problem who had gone to urban clinics for an eye-check can be referred directly to the free eye clinic at the hospital.
“It will be sponsored by Laila Foundation so that patients will be seen quickly because the eye is a very delicate structure,” she said.
“There is always a very small window of opportunity sometimes where you will need to act and provide treatment.
“So sometimes when patients are waiting to get an appointment, they can lose out on the opportunity for treatment at the right time.
“I’m hoping that we will be able to offer this free consultation and treatment to the people who are referred to us.”
Sultan said the first national rapid assessment of avoidable blindness survey revealed that PNG had an estimated prevalence rate of 5.6 per cent of blindness.
This meant that 40,000-plus adults of 50 years and over are blind in both eyes and 70,000 blind in one eye.
She said they would also be conducting free diabetic tests because diabetes contributed to diabetic retinopathy, which is an increasing cause of blindness worldwide.

Boeing, Air India Celebrate Airline’s 125th Delivery

National carrier takes delivery of 27th 787 Dreamliner

EVERETT, Wash.Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Air India celebrated today the delivery of the airline’s 125thairplane from Boeing. The airplane is the 27th 787-8 Dreamliner for the national carrier.

“Boeing airplanes are, and always have been, the foundation of Air India’s fleet, providing us with the very best in economics, fuel efficiency, flexibility and passenger comfort,” said Rajiv Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India. “Taking delivery of our 125th Boeing airplane and 27th 787 Dreamliner marks an important day for Air India. The 787 has been integral to our expansion and competiveness, enabling us to open numerous new and nonstop routes and provide our customers with an unrivalled flying experience.”

Air India was an original member of the 787 Dreamliner launch group and took delivery of its first 787-8 in 2012. In all, the airline now operates 27 787-8 Dreamliners, along with 777-200LRs (Longer Range), 777-300ER (Extended Range), and 747-400s.

“Boeing and Air India have been strong partners in aviation for more than 70 years and it is a proud moment in our shared partnership to deliver their 125th airplane,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The Air India 787 Dreamliners offer a host of passengers-pleasing features such as large overhead bins, comfortable reclining seats, LED lighting, cleaner air, larger dimmable windows and an exclusive in-flight entertainment experience to passengers.

Air India operates the 787 Dreamliner to all its destinations in Europe and to other cities in the Gulf, Asia and Australia. The non-stop, direct operations of Air India with the state-of-the-art Dreamliner airplane – to both its international and domestic network – have become very popular to passengers in India and abroad.

The 787 Dreamliner family is the most innovative and efficient airplane family flying today. Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family has flown more than 196 million people on more than 560 unique routes around the world, saving an estimated 18 billion pounds of fuel.

About Air India:

Air India occupies a special place in the global and Indian aviation scenario. It pioneered the aviation in India and its history is synonymous with the history of civil aviation in India. Air India is not a mere airline that transports passengers, baggage and cargo. It is a multi-faceted organization. The aviation infrastructure it has created over the years is a testimony of its contribution. Apart from servicing of all its aircraft in-house with its own engineering facilities, Air India also undertakes ground handling services of many airlines in many cities in India. Air India has grown to become a mega international airline with a network of 44 destinations across the USAEurope, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Gulf. The airline’s domestic network covers over 72 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, its latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft. For additional information visit and/or follow us on Facebook/airindia and on Twitter @airindiain.

About Star Alliance:

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, AviancaBrasil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.


Joanna Pickup
International Communications
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
+1 425-879-6077


SOURCE : Boeing Website

Opponent dossier: World Cup history of Honduras

The Caltex Socceroos will face Honduras next month for a place at Russia 2018.

Australia will be aiming for a fifth World Cup appearance, while it would be a fourth World Cup for Honduras.

But how have Australia’s intercontinental playoff opponents fared at previous tournaments?

SPAIN 1982

In their first appearance on football’s biggest stage, Honduras acquitted themselves well after being drawn into a tough group.

Their opening match was against the hosts in Valencia and the CONCACAF debutants stunned the home crowd with Hector Zelaya scoring his nation’s historic first World Cup goal after just eight minutes.

But Spain equalised in the second half to deny Honduras a famous victory.

Next up were Northern Ireland who took the lead through Gerry Armstrong after just ten minutes before substitute Eduardo Laing headed home the equaliser just two minutes after being introduced on the hour.

That left Honduras needing to beat Yugoslavia in their final group game to progress, but a late penalty dashed their hopes – if not their pride – after an impressive World Cup debut.


After a 28-year absence, Honduras returned to the World Cup but suffered the ignominy of failing to score in their three group games.

A first-up 1-0 defeat by Chile in Nelspruit was followed by a 2-0 loss to eventual winners Spain in Johannesburg with David Villa nabbing a brace.

The Hondurans at least came away with a point in their last match, holding Switzerland to a goal-less draw in Bloemfontein, which also ended the Swiss campaign.



Having qualified for back-to-back World Cups, Honduras again failed to fire on the big stage, losing all three of their group games.

A first-half red card to influential midfielder Wilson Palacios saw them fall to a first-up 3-0 defeat to France with all three goals coming after they were reduced to ten men.

Things looked brighter when Honduras took the lead in their second game against Ecuador, Carlo Costly scoring his country’s first World Cup goal for 32 years.

It wasn’t enough though with West Ham United forward Enner Valencia scoring twice to consign the Hondurans to a 2-1 defeat.

In their final match, Honduras were on the receiving end of a Xherdan Shaqiri masterclass, the Swiss attacker scoring the World Cup’s 50th hat-trick in his side’s 3-0 win.

The loss meant Honduras have played nine World Cup matches without a win, more than any other country.



Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Royal Crematorium replicas set up nationwide

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national October 13, 2017 01:00


MOURNERS who cannot attend the Royal Cremation ceremonies in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang area can place sandalwood flowers at designated venues across the country on October 26 to pay a final farewell to the much-revered HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Replicas of the grand Royal Crematorium have already gone up in every province in Thailand to ensure that people could show their respects to the country’s most beloved paternal figure and one of the greatest Thai Kings on the day of his actual cremation.

“For example, there are seven such replicas in the capital,” Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executive Suthipa Nachoren said yesterday.

The replicas will be open to mourners to place sandalwood flowers in honour of the late King from 9am on October 26. Then there will be an hours-long break at about the time that HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn – the only son of the late monarch – arrives at the Royal Crematorium to perform rituals related to the ceremonies.

“Sandalwood flowers can be placed again at about 6pm,” Suthipa said.

As many as 61 million sandalwood flowers will be royally provided for people across the country.

People must wear appropriate clothes and court shoes to enter the grounds of the Royal Crematorium replicas.

Giant screens will be erected to ensure participants can see the live broadcast of the Royal Cremation ceremonies while waiting to place sandalwood flowers at each location.


Source  :  Nation Multimedia

Stricter controls over firearms, fireworks and explosives

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Breaking News October 12, 2017 18:07

By Prapasri Osatanond
The Nation

The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the third reading of amendments to the 1947 Weapon, Firearm, Explosive and Firework Act.

The amendments were proposed to keep the legislation abreast of weapons’ technology and the changing conditions in society.

Weapon silencers and electric darts will also come under the legislation.

As well, the amended rules cover fireworks, Bang Fai (locally-made rockets), Talai (rocket-like fireworks with a circular wing) as there have been contests of shooting Bang Fai and Talai that have caused injuries and deaths as well as property damage.

The amendment also specifies that only Thais can register a gun with authorities. Previously, nationality was not an issue and foreigners residing in Thailand could apply.

As well, anyone who creates a bomb scare can be jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to Bt60,000.

The NLA passed the amendment with 201 in favour, one against and five abstaining. It will become effective after it is promulgated in the Royal Gazette.


Source  :  Nation Multimedia

Designed for a divinity

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The royal crematorium of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is almost complete

Art October 13, 2017 01:00

By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Nation

The architect of the Royal Crematorium talks about his inspirations for the elaborate structure

HIS MAGNIFICENT Phra Merumas, the royal crematorium, is almost complete but artist Kokiart Thongphud is not counting the days until it comes into use.

“While I know that this is the most magnificent and majestic structure I have ever designed, I am neither glad nor proud to see it become a reality. My heart is crying and I don’t want October 26 to come – the day when I will send my beloved King back to heaven,” says the 49-year-old artist with the Fine Arts Department, who started work on designing the crematorium only hours after His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on October 13 last year.

The royal crematorium of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is almost complete. 

Like all Thais, Kokiart did not let his grief and suffering keep him from his work. The elaborate royal crematorium for King Bhumibol is the tallest of any such structures since the reign of King Rama V.

“My respected master Prince Naris – Prince Narisara Nuvadtivongs, considered the great master of Siamese art – once said that the highest and widest structure of Phra Merumas signified the greatest dignity. My first design had the structure standing 80 metres high on a 120-metre-wide base, but it was too large for Sanam Luang as it is today. I eventually had to settle on a practical structure 55.18 metres high and 60 metres wide,” says Kokiart, who was the right-hand man of the celebrated late architect Arwut Ngernchuklin, designer of the royal crematoria for HRH the Princess Mother, HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana and Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda in 1996, 2008 and 2012 respectively.

This sketch of the royal crematorium of the beloved monarch was prepared by Kokiart Thongphud on the night of his passing, a year ago today.

Kokiart prepared five draft designs of the royal crematorium in the busabok style in line with the structures sketched by the old masters since the reign of King Rama V. These showed elaborate pavilions with ornately decorated tiered roofs topped by one, five and nine spires respectively. The five drafts along with other artists’ sketches were presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the president of the Royal Funeral Committee, and the Princess selected his design featuring nine pavilions, each standing independently of the others.

The royal crematorium comprises nine busabok-style pavilions sitting on a three-tiered, square shaped base with a staircase on each of the four sides. On the topmost tier is the seven-tiered, spire-roofed principle pavilion, which will house the royal urn, while each of the four corners on the second tier have five-tiered, roofed pavilions called sang, which will be used by monks to chant scriptures during the ceremony. The remaining four pavilions are located at each of the four corners on the first tier.

Kokiart also marks the centre of the royal crematorium from where two axes intersect – one from the spire of the Phra Si Ratana Chedi pagoda in the adjacent Wat Phra Kaew and the other from the middle of the phra ubosot or ordination hall in the nearby Wat Maha That.

The structure is in three key colours of gold, white and grey. Gold doesn’t just symbolise kingship, but is also used as a substitute for yellow – the colour of Monday, the day on which the King was born. White represents both purity and righteousness and grey – a shade known as “dove-grey” – is the shade King Bhumibol chose for the structure of the Bangkok City Pillar Shrine and the roof of Wat Praram Kao Chalerm Phrakiat, built at his initiative.

Kokiart Thongphud

“There is very little difference in the design shown in the first draft, which was completed on the night the beloved Monarch passed away, and the structure that is nearly complete,” says Teerachat Virayuttanond, an architect with the Fine Arts Department, who translated Kokiart’s hand-written sketches for the computer-aided design program and also helped with designing the architectural landscape of the supplementary structures in the ceremonial ground.

Unlike the previous royal crematoria that were mainly made from wood, new construction technologies in the computer age have allowed the Phra Merumas structure to be built with pre-fabricated steel. These have been produced away from the funeral ground then transported to Sanam Luang for assembly. The inner steel structures are covered with wood that’s intricately decorated with an elaborate design. It can accommodate more than 7,000 people.

“Without the references of the old masters like Prince Naris, Phra Phrombhichitr, Ajarn Praves Limparangsi and Ajarn Arwut, I probably wouldn’t have been able to complete this task,” says Kokiart who was among the speakers in a recent talk “Phra Merumas of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej” at Silpakorn University, held as part of the exhibition “Phra Merumas of the Rattanakosin Period”.

As the royal crematorium symbolises Mount Sumeru, the centre of the universe, to where the late King will return, the base is decorated with auspicious animals and mythical creatures to represent the Anodard pond in the heavenly Himmaphan Forest. 

“Ajarn Arwut always taught me that in design, we must first think who we are designing for and the end user. I therefore tried to translate the late Monarch’s greatest contributions to the country into a magnificent visual structure while ensuring it was functional for those coming to bid a final farewell to their beloved King.”

The works of the masters referred to by Kokiart can be seen in the exhibition that continues until October 31. Visitors will be able to admire reproductions of the architectural designs of the royal crematoria built for King Rama VI by Prince Naris, for King Rama VIII by Phra Phrombhichitr, for Queen Rambai Barni – Queen consort of Rama VII – by Praves, and for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana by Arwut.

Thai architectural students of Silpakorn University create a model of the royal crematorium of King Rama VI that follows the design of Prince Narisara Nuvadtivongs.

Silpakorn University’s architecture students have added to the grandeur of the exhibition by building models of the royal crematoria of King Rama VI, Queen Rambai Barni and Princess Galyani Vadhana.

Based on the original design by Arwut Ngernchuklin, a model of the royal crematorium of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana is created by Silpakorn University students.


“The monarch is highly revered as a divine king, a tradition influenced by Hinduism and Buddhist beliefs. Therefore, the royal crematorium hall must be a grand and imposing building designed to ascend to heaven – a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, which is the centre of the universe in Buddhist cosmology.

An old photo shows the grandeur of the royal wood crematorium of King Rama IV in prang (Khmer-style tower) style and was taller than the central prang of Wat Arun.

“During the early Rattankosin era, no crematorium was grander, taller and larger than that of King Rama IV whose crematorium hall reached a height of more than 80 metres, making it taller than the central prang (Khmer-style tower) of Wat Arun,” says Patsaweesiri Preamkulanan of Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Archaeology.

King Rama V, however, considered that the massive size of the royal crematorium required tons of wood and wasted both manpower and money and ordered that his own crematorium be scaled down so that it fitted better with Siam’s opening to the world.

King Rama V scaled down the size of his royal crematorium, which was designed in busabok style and became the model for the crematoria of his successors. 

“Instead of the usual prang-style pavilions, King Rama V’s royal crematorium was done in shape of |busabok and served as a model for later Kings.

“Though the late King Bhumibol’s funeral brings great sadness to the entire nation, it’s a rare occasion for all of us to witness a revival of Thai traditional arts and architecture and thus be able to pass that knowledge on to the next generation,” says Patsaweesiri.

Splendours of the past

The exhibition “Phra Merumas of the Rattanakosin Period” continues until October 31 at Silpakorn University’s Wang Tha Pra campus. Call (02) 623 6115-21 or visit

Learn more about King Bhumibol’s royal crematorium and the cremation ceremony at

Source  :  Nation Multimedia

UPDATED: Abadi’s party office in Kirkuk sustains 2nd armed attack in a week

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Kirkuk ( The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s political party has sustained a second assault in a week by unknown individuals, sources were quoted saying on Thursday.

The source told Alsumaria News that the office of Islamic Dawa Party, located at the mainly-Turkmen Tiseen neighborhood in central Kirkuk, sustained an attack with a grenade by unknown persons. The source said the attack did not leave any damages, but added that police forces cordoned the facility off.

Earlier reports had told of a similar attack on Monday on the same facility.

“The current crisis between Baghdad and Erbil has caused a surge in attacks targeting partisan offices in Kirkuk,” Dawa Party office director on Kirkuk, Ghofran Khedr, said in a statement quoted by National News Center (NNC), an Iraqi website. “This evening, and though there was a police car parked outside the office, attackers, boarding a car, threw a grenade at the outer gate then fled away”.

Kheder confirmed that was the second attack this week.

Kirkuk has been at the center of the political crisis which erupted between Baghdad and Erbil after the latter had held a controversial referendum on independence from Iraq in September, including Kirkuk as a voting constituency.

The Iraqi government had removed Kirkuk’s governor, Najm al-Din Karim, a Kurdish politician, for backing the poll, and has declared plans to take over security at the province from Kurdish forces along with other disputed areas.

Kirkuk, with a mixed Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen population, is a major source of Iraqi oil exports, and both governments have disputed over the fair mechanism for distributing revenues from those exports.


Source  :  Iraqi News