Work on Phuket underpass to finish in April next year

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Photo by Phuket Gazette

Around Thailand February 10, 2018 14:43

By Phuket Gazette 


The construction of Phuket’s Chalong Circle underpass is expected to be finished around April next year – meaning at least 14 months of more pain for drivers, Phuket Highway Office chief Somwang Lohanut said on Saturday.


The office has already installed signs at the construction site suggesting detours via Kata, Karon, Chalong and Phuket Town to avoid traffic congestion, following an order from Phuket Governor, Norapat Plodthong.

Two countdown signs showing the finish date have already been installed as well, while the contractor has increased the number of workers and working hours during the night to push forward with the construction process.

“We are expanding routes 4021 and 4024, which have narrow lanes. As soon as the ceiling of the underpass is finished, we can expand that part as a traffic lane,” Somwang said.

“There’s still a part of the road where we have to pave the asphalt and we have to close the lane, as the material is very hot and could be dangerous.

“Be careful when using this route and plan ahead for travel time.”

The snail’s-pace construction of the two-lane underpass has frustrated southern locals who have to wait up to an hour at some times of the day to travel north along Vichit Road to the Chalong Circle.

Locals are now calling it the ‘Chalong car park’


Source :  The Nation Multimedia

Arrested activists released on bail

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Breaking News February 11, 2018 16:25

By The Nation

Four activists were released on bail, at Bt100,000 per person, on Saturday after they turned themselves in to police over their participation in a pro-election assembly last month.


One of the activists, Rangsiman Rome, was brought to Khon Kaen Police Station where another warrant was issued for him due to his attendance at a public forum on the junta-written charter draft. He was charged under the law of referendum and junta order for his public speech in Khon Khaen in 2016, and granted bail.

As Rangsiman refused to provide his fingerprints to the police, he was also charged with obstructing the criminal justice procedure.

Rangsiman, Sirawit Serithiwat, Ekachai Hongkangwan and Anon Nampa were charged with violating the junta’s ban on political gathering of five or more people, the public assembly bill, and sedition.

The charges followed their assembly near MBK shopping centre on January 27, demanding that the National Council for Peace and Order hold the long-delayed election by this year as promised earlier.

On Saturday, the four activists showed up at another pro-election assembly held near Democracy Monument, with more than 200 police officers providing tight security.

After over two hours of speeches, the four turned themselves in to the police.

At Pathumwan Police Station, where the four were charged, around a hundred people greeted them with a candle-lighting ceremony, seeking an immediate end to prosecution for peaceful political expression.

The candles were placed in funeral style on the poster of a clock, taunting Deputy PM and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan who has been embroiled in a scandal over his collection of luxurious watches.

Another activist, Piyarat Chongthep, who brought a pickup truck equipped with speakers to the assembly, was fined Bt200 for wrongful use of speakers before being released.


Source :  The Nation Multimedia

Thai ace Kiradech defies odds to win Super 6

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Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat reacts to spectators after winning the World Super 6 golf tournament in Perth on February 11, 2018. 
Greg Wood / AFP
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat reacts to spectators after winning the World Super 6 golf tournament in Perth on February 11, 2018. Greg Wood / AFP

sports February 11, 2018 16:56


Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat rode his luck to claim the $1.75 million Handa World Super 6 title in Perth for his fourth European Tour title on Sunday.


The unique tournament saw the top 24 players after the third round compete in matchplay on Sunday to decide the winner.

Aphibarnrat, 28, who was the last qualifier, prevailed in the final against Australian battler James Nitties.

The world number 53 had never seen the course before his first round on Thursday and had arrived in Perth only late the day before. He admitted his 10th tournament win was an unlikely result.

“I’m the last guy in the top 24 and I think I was the last guy to arrive this week as well,” he said.

Nitties had not won since 2015 and was desperate to gain his European Tour card with a victory.

He won the first hole in the six-hole final but went off the tee on the third, allowing Aphibarnrat to square the match.

The Thai then produced a stunning drive on the fourth to set up an eagle putt from around three metres, which he sank to take the lead.

Another perfect drive by Aphibarnrat on the fifth set up a birdie putt, which he coolly sank to beat Nitties 2 and 1.

It was the Thai’s fourth win on the European tour, and came after he played a marathon 35 holes on the final day to win five matches.

Aphibarnrat had looked on the verge of elimination several times over the weekend and was the last player to progress during Saturday’s playoff to get into the final 24.

He was behind Australian Lucas Herbert with one hole to play in the semi-final but the Victorian narrowly missed a three-metre putt which would have won the match.

The first playoff hole saw the Thai almost notch a hole-in-one with an impeccable tee shot that set up a simple birdie for victory.

Local amateur Min Woo Lee set a cracking early pace in the matchplay rounds, shooting birdies on 10 of his first 11 holes. He knocked out Japan’s Satashi Kodaira (3 and 1) and top qualifier Prom Meesawat (2 up) to advance impressively to the final eight.

Thailand’s Meesawat had won the qualifying stage by two strokes, with the top eight seeds in the final 24 earning a bye in the first round of matchplay.

He was chasing a tournament win to secure his European Tour card but could not get past his first opponent.

Lee was looking the player to beat after two matches but came undone in the quarter-finals as a wayward shot out of the bunker on the fourth hole handed England’s Sam Horsfield a 3 and 2 win.

The Florida-based Horsfield fell to Nitties in the semi-final.


Source :  The Natiuon Multimedia

Six family members killed, injured in Salahuddin armed attack

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Salauddin ( – Six people from the same family were killed and injured in an armed attack in Dujail district, south of Salahuddin, on Saturday night, the Interior Ministry’s media office was quoted as saying.

In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Alforat News, the media office said, “An armed group opened fire on a house in al-Jumhuri area, east of Dujail district, leaving three of the family members who were inside the home dead and three others injured.”

The office added that security forces launched a manhunt to arrest perpetrators of the shooting, and opened a probe to determine circumstances of the incident.

The Shia-dominated Dujail district is considered one of the calmest towns in Iraq despite the presence of Islamic State remnants in neighboring areas.

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

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Source :  Iraqi News

Two policemen wounded as bomb attack targets police vehicle in Kirkuk

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Kirkuk ( – Two security men were seriously wounded in a bomb attack that targeted their police vehicle in one of Kirkuk villages on Saturday night, a security source was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Shafaq News website, the source said, “A bomb exploded on Saturday night while a police vehicle was passing by Tal Khadija village in Kirkuk’s al-Rashad district, leaving two policemen seriously wounded.”

“The two security men were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source pointed out.

Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk in mid October in response to a referendum Kurdistan Region held in September for independence from Iraq. Kirkuk is one of the areas where Baghdad and Erbil dispute sovereignty.

Last week, six Islamic State militants were killed in a security campaign in Hawija city, west of Kirkuk. The city was recaptured from Islamic State last year.

In December, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.

Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.

The war against IS has so far displaced at least five million people. Thousands of others fled toward neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries, since IS emerged to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.


Source :  Iraqi News

Central Bank of Iraq Auctions $194,322,309 on 11 February 2018

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Baghdad ( The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) currency auction on February 11 registered $194,322,309 in sales, a -2.87% volume decline from the US $200,067,351 sold by Iraqi Dinar, credit and transfer at the previous auction held on February 8.

The latest auction was attended by 45 banks and 9 remittance companies. The same institutions attended the auction held on February 11 compared to the previous auction.

Data for the February 11 auction was made public by CBI Announcement Number 3632.

Dollar sales in the in the period January 1, 2018 to February 11, 2018 saw an increase of -1% compared to the sales of US $4.35 billion in the same period in 2017. The total amount of US currency sold by CBI in the calendar year 2017 was US $15.7 billion.

An analysis of the monthly dollar sales by CBI since January 2016 reveals highly fluctuating volumes. During the period from January 2016 to February 2018, sales of US dollars averaged US $1.79 billion per month. Peak volumes were reached in May this year when sales touched US $2.3 billion.

2017 January 2.2
2017 February 2 -9%
2017 March 2.1 5%
2017 April 1.8 -14%
2017 May 2.3 28%
2017 June 0.6 -74%
2017 July 2.2 267%
2017 August 2.1 -5%
2017 September 1 -52%
2017 October 2.2 120%
2017 November 1.9 -14%
2017 December 1.9 0%
2018 January 2.2 16%
2018 February 0.6 -73%


Source :  Iraqi News

Princess Haya launches Humanitarian Logistics Data Bank

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Filed on February 11, 2018

The bank will allow global mapping of available relief items and optimise efforts to better serve those in need

Princess Haya bint Hussein, chairperson of the International Humanitarian City, announced the launched of the Humanitarian Logistics Data Bank on Sunday.

On the first day of the World Government Summit (WGS), Princess Haya said the bank is an information-exchange platform that will help gather data on vital relief items and deliver it to those in need in real-time.

“The bank will facilitate real-time data collection for the deployment of aid in impacted regions, quickly and professionally,” the Princess told a crowd of delegates and VIPs, among them His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was also among the attendees.

“It is my pleasure in the name of the UAE to place the Humanitarian Databank at the disposal of the world to facilitate humanitarian efforts,” Princess Haya added.

The bank came about with the efforts of 70 UN agencies and international organisations. It will be duplicated by 10 other humanitarian hubs by 2019. The bank will allow global mapping of available relief items and help exchange coordination and optimise efforts to better serve those in need.

The event, Princess Haya said, commemorates the centennial birthday of the late UAE Founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and comes in line with announcing 2018 as the Year of Zayed.

David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, said 815 million people in the world today go to bed hungry everyday, while 110 million in the world go to bed without knowing whether they will have another meal the next day.

“Every five seconds, a child dies because of hunger. In a world where there’s over $300 trillion of available wealth, should one child in the world today go to bed hungry?” He added: “In the US alone, the stock market has increased by over $6 trillion in a year. Should a single child be starving in any giving day?”

Beasley thanked the Dubai government and noted that providing the necessary infrastructure is critical to changing and saving lives. “Now, we can go online and preposition and move any needed supplies to any given location in the world. That’s why the logistics database is very important,” he told the crowd. “It isn’t only about providing money, but the necessary infrastructure to achieve objectives to save lives in critical.”

He praised the government’s quick response to the Rohingya crisis and natural disasters like the Irma hurricane that recently hit the US and affected thousands of people. “Your highnesses, what you have done here is reality,” said Beasley, as he addressed the Dubai Ruler and Princess Haya.


Source :  The Khaleej Times