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Thais should be taller and smarter!

Posted by hasekamp on 18 July 2015 at 15:12 PM
The Department of Health has set a target to increase the average height of Thai men to 175cm, and women to 165cm, within 10 years. Deputy director Narong Saiwong said on Friday, the department's policy also aims at boosting the average intelligence quotient (IQ) of Thai children to at least 100 within 10 years. In a survey of Thai children's IQs in 2014, the average score for students at Prathom 1 (Grade 1) level nationwide was 93.1, falling from an average 94 in the previous survey in 2011, Dr Narong said. The world standard for an IQ average is 100. The 10-year plan also aims to reduce the rate of student obesity by 0.5% a year, from the current 9.9%, and reduce the incidence of short statured people from 7.5% to 5% of the population, Dr Narong said. To help accomplish all this, the department will increase school lunch subsidies from 13 baht to 20 baht per head and committees will be set up to check the quality of raw produce used for school meals to ensure students receive sufficient nutrition to boost their growth, the department deputy chief said. (Source: The Bangkok Post) Here we see an example of the great skills a military government has!


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Commercial fishing tools banned

Posted by hasekamp on 18 July 2015 at 15:03 PM
The Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing on Thursday resolved to cancel the use of four fishing tools deemed destructive to the environment and extend the operations of the sector's one-stop service units until July 24, CCCIF chairman and Navy commander Adm Kraisorn Chansuvanich said. The CCCIF attended the meeting with relevant agencies at Royal Thai Navy headquarters in Bangkok to follow up on the progress of problem-solving measures in accordance with issues raised by the European Union's inspection team. The four banned fishing tools are push nets (except those used to hunt opossum shrimp); "Ai Ngo" traps; the generator-powered anchovy purse seine; and "Pong Pang" stow nets. At the centre's next meeting, the Fishery Department is expected to present a new criteria for the number and size of fishing tools allowed for each type of fishing boat, while the centre's secretary office is slated to present a clear zoning plan for traditional fishing boats and commercial ones. (Source: The Nation)


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Thai airlines face ban to fly to US

Posted by hasekamp on 18 July 2015 at 15:00 PM
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Thailand 65 days to address shortcomings found in its aviation safety standards, Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said yesterday. Thai-registered carriers will face a ban on launching flight services to the US if the flaws cannot be fixed within the deadline, he said. ACM Prajin revealed the findings after the US aviation regulator wrapped up its five-day inspection of the country's aviation safety standards. He said FAA officials had assessed the operations of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) from Monday to yesterday. They also inspected Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways. The FAA inspection comes after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) red-flagged Thailand on June 18 following the DCA's failure to meet a 90-day deadline to correct shortcomings the ICAO had identified earlier. The minister said the FAA had verbally reported its findings to DCA director-general Parichart Khotcharat. It will then send its official findings in writing to the DCA within the next 30 days, he said. Among the flaws identified in the FAA's audit was a shortage of qualified DCA staff to carry out air safety inspections of airlines €” a concern which had also been raised by the ICAO. Some of the DCA's inspection methods are not up-to-date, and it has not carried out enough follow-ups on the progress of its work due to staff shortages, the auditors said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Watchlist for potential King offenders

Posted by hasekamp on 15 July 2015 at 10:43 AM
PEOPLE WITH the potential to defame the monarchy will be divided into five watchlist groups for monitoring, Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya said yesterday after chairing a meeting on how to tackle lese majeste offences. Some of these people were linked to groups in nearby countries. Paiboon said the five groups on the watch list included those not facing arrest but who had gone abroad; those facing arrest and active abroad; those active in Thailand; those part of the watchlist with 135 names; and offenders' allies. The minister said these people were being assessed and their behaviour monitored in order to see if they were acting together as a network. Police, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and other security agencies were involved. They were also tasked with extraditing offenders from abroad. A joint database among the Information and Communication Technology Ministry, police and the Army has been set up to process information gathered. Paiboon said he understood that some countries did not recognise lese majeste as a crime and he did not expect these states to extradite violators. Nonetheless, he said the situation had to be clarified with other countries, as offenders often claimed that the charges were political. On Monday, Paiboon handed a list of suspects facing lese majeste charges to French Ambassador to Thailand Thierry Viteau for acknowledgement. Viteau declined to comment about this. (Source: The Nation)


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Accused foreigners released

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2015 at 11:04 AM
The 14 students arrested for staging a political gathering in defiance of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) were ordered released on Tuesday by the Bangkok Military Court. The court rejected a request by military police for permission to detain them for another 12 days for further investigation. The court's denial of an extension had been expected following pressure and criticism from several groups of rights advocates, both inside the country and abroad. The students were arrested on June 25 on charges of defying an NCPO order issued under Section 44 of the interim constitution prohibiting a political assembly of five people or more, and for violating Section 116 of the Criminal Code. The charges carry sentences of up to seven years in prison. They were taken before the Bangkok Military Court on Tuesday morning and the military police submitted a request for court permission to detain them for another 12 days. The military court rejected the request on the grounds the students had not tried to flee and there was no reason to detain them further. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Foreigners behind activists?

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2015 at 11:00 AM
A military member of the National Reform Council (NRC) on Tuesday claimed that a foreign organisation encouraged the 14 arrested student activists to rally against the May 22 coup. Reform councillor Gen Thawatchai Samutsakhon said at the parliament that he knew one of the 14 student activists of the New Democracy Movement group, a native of the northeastern province of Surin, and had talked with the father when he visited the youth in prison. He quoted the parent as saying he was concerned about his son and did not want young people to get involved with politics. However, an ill-intentioned foreign organisation had encouraged students at Khon Kaen University to join anti-coup movements, and the student had done so last month, said Gen Thawatchai, former chief of the 2nd Army supervising the Northeast. The organisation's representative had talked with the man's son for two nights over a month ago, Gen Thawatchai said. He did not name the student or the foreign organisation, but said the movements started in Khon Kaen were expanding to other notheastern provinces, including Surin. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Prayut: Economy will grow

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2015 at 10:57 AM
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed that Thailand's economy will move forward, as he tried to maintain foreign confidence in the country. "The world today is full of conflicts already, so right now it's the time when we should put more effort in building and strengthening our economy instead of wasting time in conflicts," he remarked at the Nikkei Bangkok Forum at Bangkok hotel on Monday. "Thailand as one of the most important production bases. Thus, we should move forward together with the world community without leaving anyone behind," he said. He said the bureaucracy should not only uphold transparency but also work progressively to preserve trade credibility and international investment and make up for the time that had been wasted. (Source: The Nation)


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Rain next month?

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2015 at 10:54 AM
WITH water levels in dams "more critical than the 1987 and 1998 severe drought situations", the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) proposed yesterday that two major dams release less water to ensure stocks last for this month. The Thai Meteorological Department said that downpours to alleviate the situation may not arrive till August. The Royal Irrigation Department (RID), meanwhile, will send a team to look into the three-metre-deep collapse of a road in Pathum Thani's Nong Sua district by Klong Rapeepat. During a meeting at the RID head office, agencies expressed concern over the effect of the drought on the Chao Phraya River Basin. Bhumibol Dam in Tak province, Sirikit Dam in Uttaradit, Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam in Nakhon Nayok and Pa Sak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri held water below the minimum reservoir level as of yesterday. Another 14 dams contained only 30 per cent of capacity, the meeting was told. The lack of dam-refilling rainfall at reservoirs - especially Bhumibol Dam and Sirikit Dam - in the first five days of July, prompted officials to claim the dams had 42 per cent less water than in 1987. The RID plan to release eight million cubic metres of water from Bhumibol Dam and 17 million cubic metres per day from Sirikit Dam, must be cut to five million and 11 million respectively, an Egat official proposed. This was to ensure enough water to last the whole of July, or else it would affect the public's water usage, the official said. (Source: The Nation)


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