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Hong Kong march spirals into chaos, again

Published October 21, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377596

Hong Kong march spirals into chaos, again

Oct 21. 2019
By Asia News Network

167 Viewed

Violence begets violence as more protests hits Hong Kong on the weekend.

An illegal protest rally through Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui spiraled into chaos on Sunday, as protesters began to engage in acts of vandalism and arson even as the police warned of a response.

Signs of trouble began to emerge towards the end of the march near the West Kowloon terminus in a now familiar pattern. Protesters were seen spraying over the MTR logo with black paint, building barricades and digging up bricks from the ground.

At Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station, demonstrators tossed multiple rounds of Molotov cocktails at the station and police responded with multiple volleys of tear gas from the upper floors of the building while warning protesters over a loudspeaker to stop. Two hoses were constantly spraying water to douse the flames.

A similar scene played out at the Mong Kok police station, prompting officers inside to raise an orange flag signaling to protesters to disperse or be fired upon.

In more violence, petrol bombs were thrown into the exit of Yau Ma Tei MTR station as well as the Mong Kok MTR station, while branches of Best Mart 360 and Yoshinoya were attacked by protesters. A protester was seen using an electric chainsaw to cut down a CCTV camera, before setting it on fire.

Meanwhile, a Bank of China outlet was fire-bombed at Canton Road, while one of its ATMs was vandalized in Yau Ma Tei. Roadblocks were set up on Mong Kok Road and Tong Mi Road, with steel fences, road signs and trash bins, which were then set on fire, causing traffic disruptions.

There were unconfirmed reports of shots being heard and protesters in Yau Ma Tei said tear gas had been fired. Local media reports said that a water cannon firing blue dye was used on Nathan Road.

The organizers of the demonstration went ahead with the march through Tsim Sha Tsui despite a ban on the procession by the authorities, with the territory’s train operator bracing for chaos.

 

Molotov Cocktails Tossed at Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station

Police had banned the march in the city’s Kowloon district, citing concerns over public safety, and a court on Saturday said the destination of the march – the main railway interchange with mainland China – could be attacked and vandalized.

The planned route for the march, aimed at opposing a law banning face masks that was introduced on Oct. 5, was from Tsim Sha Tsui to the express rail terminus in West Kowloon.

Members of the Civil Human Rights Front, which was behind million-strong and two-million-strong protests in June, had vowed to carry on marching in their personal capacity despite the ban.

The protesters, numbering in the tens of thousands, stretch banners reading “Free Hong Kong” across the ground, while other posters read “Hongkongers Resist”. Graffiti on one wall read, “Better Dead than Red”.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Sunday pledged to find other ways to assuage concerns about police conduct during the protests if an official probe into key incidents during the turmoil failed to do the job.

Mrs. Lam said the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) would focus on controversial episodes during the escalating protests, including an attack by alleged gangsters on protesters in Yuen Long and a police charge at Prince Edward station.

However, Mrs. Lam did not outline her plans if the police watchdog’s investigation, the findings of which are to be made public by the end of this year, does not pacify angry residents.

 

Both Critics And Supporters Say Carrie Lam Failed to Inspire

“We sincerely hope to show the public the truth about these incidents,” she said.

“But if the report of the independent IPCC, when it is delivered, still fails to quell the controversies with a lot of doubts in society, at that time I believe the chief executive and the (Hong Kong) government will definitely think of another way to make a sufficient response to the public,” she said.

Security was tightened ahead of the anti-government march, with some public facilities shuttering as pro-democracy leaders called on citizens to join the protest in spite of the risk of arrest.

“Carrie Lam is not listening to us at all. This may work in China but not in Hong Kong,” Cheung, a 33-year-old woman wearing a face mask and black T-shirt, symbols of the democracy movement, told Reuters. She declined to give her first name.

“You can’t ask a city that already has freedom to walk backward. You can’t close the door and keep everyone inside. You can’t do this in an international city,” she said, adding she was not afraid of being arrested.

Chinese Tourists Heckled in Tsim Sha Tsui

The police issued a warning to protesters in a statement.

“At around 1.30 p.m., some protesters gathering at Tsim Sha Tsui are blocking the carriageways on Nathan Road near Salisbury Road, and are committing the offense of ‘Participating in an unauthorized assembly’,” the statement said.

“Police appeal to members of the public to leave immediately. Due to the obstruction of traffic, drivers are advised to stay tuned to the latest traffic arrangement,” it said.

In a separate statement issued in the late afternoon, the police said it would conduct dispersal and arrest operations soon, dubbing the protesters’ rioters.

At the city’s high-speed rail station in Kowloon, several areas were closed and only passengers with tickets were permitted entry. All food and beverage outlets were also closed.

Members of the group are also asking for reform of the police force, which has come under fire for alleged brutality and a lack of accountability.

 

Protesters Running from Tear Gas Fired in Tsim Sha Tsui

In anticipation of chaos breaking out after the march, as has been seen before after peaceful rallies, the city’s train operator shut down the Austin and Tsim Sha Tsui stations from midday on Sunday.

Other stations or exits might also be closed without prior notice.

Train services were scheduled to end at 10 p.m. as MTR continues to repair the damages to its facilities. The Airport Express — which runs between Hong Kong Station and the airport — will be the only exception and will run till 1 p.m.

According to the MTR website, Mong Kok, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Prince Edward, Austin and Tsim Sha Tsui stations were closed and trains would not stop at those stations.

Train stations have been a common target of protesters who believe MTR Corporation is pro-China.

The unrest in Hong Kong is approaching five months as protesters press the government to give in to their five demands, including amnesty for those arrested and an independent probe into alleged police brutality.

A prayer sit-in on Saturday evening drew hundreds of people to the central business district, while on Friday, protesters formed a human chain along with the metro network. Many donned masks in defiance of a ban on covering faces at public rallies.

Prominent human rights activist Jimmy Sham was attacked by hammer-wielding men last week in the gritty Mong Kok district in Kowloon. Pro-democracy lawmakers said the attack was designed to intimidate protesters and incite violence.

Mr. Sham heads the CHRF. On Saturday, Mr. Sham issued a public “Letter to Hong Kong”.

 

Hong Kong Democracy Activist Injured in Knife Attack

“I have been attacked twice within 45 days. In fact, my family and friends have been harassed by different forces as well. I cannot compare my wounds with those who suffer from police violence and torture.

The pains of my injuries are far less than that of seeing our authority falling. Today, one of us was assaulted severely in Tai Po. I really wish such a terrible attack no longer happens,” wrote Mr. Sham.

He said the Civil Human Rights Front upholds the principle of peaceful, rational and nonviolent resistance. However, he said the organization’s commitment to organizing peaceful, rational and non-violent rallies and assemblies has been repeatedly objected by the police commissioner of Hong Kong.

“The government doesn’t tolerate dissenting opinion and isn’t capable to solve the social problems. Rather, it only attempts to silence people who address the problem. It only shows that the government is deceiving itself,” wrote Mr. Sham.

He said the CHRF appealed against the police objection to the proposed rally on Sunday, but although his colleagues tried their best to explain the importance of holding the rally the appeal board, it was rejected.

 

“Therefore, what we can do is to stand with each other, and face the inevitable fear and challenges tomorrow,” he wrote.

“I am moved by the human chain action last night. I received a photo from my friend. The photo portraits a protestors’ banner saying, ‘we are all Jimmy Sham’. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone. I am moved by your bravery and efforts that make me experience a sense of belonging: We are all Hongkongers,” Mr. Sham wrote.

Mr. Sham wrote that he would like to ask two favors of Hong Kongers.

“First of all, let us connect with and protect each other. Do not label anyone by ethnicity in the movement. I believe that, everyone who joins this path to democracy are our brothers and sisters, regardless of nationality, language, color and race.

“Second, please take care of yourself. Go home safely. I send my wish to everyone who take a risk and gives themselves for Hong Kong, and my colleague as well as senior fellows who take an act of civil disobedience tomorrow,” wrote Mr. Sham.

He concluded his letter with “Peace be with you. I love you all.”

Later in the day, the CHRF issued a statement saying that Mr. Sham had left Kwong Wah Hospital.

“He has to continue to receive medical treatment and physical therapy. Thus he will not attend any public events in the coming days. Jimmy expresses his gratitude to everyone who concerns his condition,” the statement said.

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Việt Nam shortens gender gap

Published October 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377570

Việt Nam shortens gender gap

Oct 20. 2019
Female workers assemble electronic components at Bao Sen Ltd Co in Bắc Giang Province. VNA/VNS Photo

Female workers assemble electronic components at Bao Sen Ltd Co in Bắc Giang Province. VNA/VNS Photo
By Viet Nam News

18 Viewed

Việt Nam has recorded gender equality achievements in political and economic sectors since the Law on Gender Equality took effect.

The percentage of female parliamentarians in Việt Nam has reached 27.1 per cent, higher than the global average (23.4 per cent) and Asian average of 18.6 per cent.

In the economic sector, the percentage of enterprises with female leaders increased from 4 per cent in 2009 to 27.8 per cent in 2017, the highest rate in Southeast Asia.

In the scientific sector, Vietnamese women have also gained achievements. Dr Nguyễn Thị Hiệp, a female Vietnamese scientist in the biomedical research sector at the HCM City International University, was ranked among 100 outstanding Asian scientists in 2019. Việt Nam grants the Kovalevskaya Award named after a Russian mathematician to outstanding female scientists every year

The Law on Gender Equality was approved by the Vietnamese National Assembly in 2006 and took effect in 2007. This marked a progressive step towards ensuring gender equality in Việt Nam.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung said over ten years since the law was enforced, the State management agencies had combined gender quality with legal documents to “promote women’s participation in politics and empower them”.

“Empowering women, especially the right to engage in politics, must be ensured.

“It is compulsory to have women taking a role in local Party committees and People’s councils,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the percentage of women members of the Politburo and Central Party Committee has increased over three consecutive tenures.

In ten years, for the first time, Việt Nam has a chairwoman of National Assembly and three female Politburo members.

“Over the past ten years, an important change has been made. That is the change in awareness of men towards women and girls. The changes are present in every family,” Dung said.

The achievement has been made not by any single individual but contributions of agencies specialising in gender equality work, according to Dung.

Although more and more Vietnamese participate in political and economic sectors, the percentage of women in these sectors has not met the potential. Different retirement ages between men and women (60 for men and 55 for women) had hindered women from engagement, Nguyễn Thị Hà, deputy minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said.

Violence towards women and girls were still pressing issues in society. The preconception towards the roles of men and women had created pressure on both men and women. The preference for boys over girls resulted in gender imbalance and abortions, Hà said.

Women in rural areas and from ethnic minority groups had limited access to reproductive healthcare services. The quality of jobs for women remained low and unsustainable with lower wages than men.

Deputy Minister Hà said the ministry aimed to complete policies on gender equality and offer public services on gender equality nationwide.

Việt Nam ranked 77th out of 149 countries in terms of progress towards gender parity in the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 of the World Economic Forum.

The report measured countries in four categories – economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health survival; and political empowerment.

Of these four, Việt Nam ranked highest in economic participation and opportunity, with a score of 0.74, 33rd globally.

According to the World Economic Forum, Việt Nam experienced a decrease in gender parity for women in ministerial positions and fully closed the gender gap among its technical and professional workers. Likewise, equal opportunities were recorded for enrolment in tertiary education sectors.

Moon requests support for peace efforts, Busan summit with ASEAN

Published October 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377569

Moon requests support for peace efforts, Busan summit with ASEAN

Oct 20. 2019
By The Korea Herald
Yonhap

21 Viewed

President Moon Jae-in asked foreign ambassadors here Friday to join a “historic” peace journey on the Korean Peninsula.

He also requested their keen attention to South Korea’s efforts to play a bigger role on the global stage, as he hosted more than 110 foreign ambassadors serving in South Korea and their spouses to a Cheong Wa Dae garden reception.

It marked Moon’s first formal invitation for all of the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Seoul since his inauguration in May 2017.

“South Korea is now challenging the historic change of denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. We are facing the last wall,” Moon said in his welcoming remarks. “Moving beyond that wall is the only way to open a bright future without turning back to the age of confrontation.”

To that end, he added, the international community’s support and cooperation are inevitable, in addition to foremost efforts by the two Koreas and the United States.

He recalled news reports that the members of the Diplomatic Corps made a tour of a Demilitarized Zone trail that was opened to the public in accordance with the Sept. 19 inter-Korean military deal last year.

Moon also reminded them of his offer of turning the DMZ into an international peace zone, which he presented in his UN speech last month.

He proposed that the world work together to remove landmines in the DMZ and set up UN and other international institutions there.

“I believe it’s a path for the international community to make peace  with action,” he added, expressing hope that foreign ambassadors in Seoul take part in the “historic journey” to open the road of peace.

The president also stressed the role of diplomacy in revitalizing the world economy through “fair and free trade” and responding to climate change.

He also asked them to put their weight behind the South Korea-ASEAN special summit to be held in Busan in late November and the second P4G summit, which Seoul will host in June next year. P4G stands for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, a public-private initiative to tackle climate change and other sustainable development challenges.

Moon invited the ambassadors of 113 countries with standing diplomatic missions here and those of 111 nations attended it, according to Cheong Wa Dae. Representatives from 17 international agencies with offices in Seoul were on hand as well.

The Venezuelan and Marshall Islands ambassadors sent prior notices of absence, citing other engagements.

Japan’s outgoing ambassador, Yasumasa Nakamine, was also present, as his successor, Koji Tomita, has not yet presented his credentials to Moon, a Cheong Wa Dae official said.

Cheong Wa Dae had a similar group reception for foreign ambassadors here once under the Park Geun-hye administration. There were three such events when President Lee Myung-bak was in office.

Nepal seeks China’s support for human resettlement in mountainous regions

Published October 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377568

Nepal seeks China’s support for human resettlement in mountainous regions

Oct 20. 2019
By The Asia News Network
Prithvi Man Shrestha

30 Viewed

Despite plans to resettle population, the government has not yet identified the areas with scattered population, where they should be resettled and how it should be done.

Nepal sought China’s support for an integrated development, including resettlement of scattered population in the Himalayan region, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal last weekend.

But the government’s preparations on the ground toward an integrated development of the region which is backward in terms of human development and infrastructure connectivity is next to nothing, admit the Nepal government officials.

“No detailed plan has been prepared so far, though we have been holding discussions on how to relocate the scattered population to a single location and deliver infrastructure and other government facilities to them,” said Puspa Raj Kandel, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission.

According to Kandel, there is a need for such an approach as the settlements in the region are becoming thinner due to migration of people to the hill and Tarai regions.

“As per our envisioning, resettlement will not happen in the entire mountain region, but only in the areas where there is extremely scattered population,” he added.

According to the Population Census 2011, only 1.7 million people were residing in the mountain region out of 26.49 million people in the country.

Despite plans to resettle population, the government has not yet identified the areas with scattered population, where they should be resettled and how it should be done.

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration said that it was currently preparing a guideline on how to go ahead with the integrated development of the region.

“The guideline which we are drafting will provide a roadmap for the purpose,” said Yadav Raj Koirala, secretary at the ministry. “We have aimed to have the guideline within one and a half months.”

According to the Human Development Report 2014, the mountain region lags behind both Hills and Tarai in human development. According to the report, the mountain region has the lowest human development index (HDI) value at 0.440 followed by 0.468 in the Tarai and 0.520 in the Hills.

Considering the cost and the efforts required to deliver government services to the scattered population in the mountainous region, the government has envisioned developing the region in an integrated way by resettling scattered population to a single location and providing various facilities and infrastructure in an integrated way.

The government has allocated Rs1 billion for implementing the Northern Region Infrastructure Development and Livelihoods Improvement Programme aimed at infrastructure development and livelihoods improvement in the current fiscal year.

“Under the programme, local governments are supported to initiate integrated development plans,” said Kandel of the National Planning Commission.

The government officials said they plan to resettle the scattered population, run employment-generation programme, and build schools and health posts as part of an integrated development modality.

With the government preparing plans for integrated development in the region, it wants to learn from China on the issue.

“Considering China’s experiences of fast-tracking rapid development in mountainous Tibet and other regions, cooperation was sought from China,” Kandel added.

Asia – the global giant in medical tourism

Published October 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377567

Asia – the global giant in medical tourism

Oct 20. 2019
By The Asia News Network
Nabeela Khan Inayati

59 Viewed

What makes Asia the most popular destination in terms of medical tourism? Blame it on lack of specialised treatments in home countries or credit it to the cost-effectiveness of the treatments available in Asia – all these factors combined with ease of travel with lax visa rules for medical treatments have opened vast avenues for the Asian region.

From sun, sea, sand to now surgery! What makes Asia the hot favourite among foreign medical tourists? Let’s take a look.

Over the past decade, Asia has become a top favourite medical tourism destination for people from all across the world. From being world-famous for its pristine white beaches, historic monuments and rich cultural legacy, now it is healthcare in Asia that’s garnering a great deal of attention. Right from liver transplants and bariatric surgeries to dental detailing and botox, more and more people are turning to Asia.

But what makes Asia the most popular destination in terms of medical tourism?  Blame it on lack of specialised treatments in home countries or credit it to the cost-effectiveness of the treatments available in Asia – all these factors combined with ease of travel with lax visa rules for medical treatments have opened vast avenues for the Asian region.

It has been reported that in 2017, one million medical tourists visited Malaysia and 3.3 million medical tourists visited Thailand. India too saw a surge from 4, 27, 014 medical tourists in 2016 to 4, 95, 056 medical tourists in 2017.

So, let’s take a look at the top Asian countries for various medical treatments:

Thailand

Thailand is widely popular among medical tourists for breast implants and gender reassignment surgeries. Since 2003, the Thai Government has made efforts to make Thailand a global centre for medical tourism through its Centre of Excellent Health Care of Asia initiative and has 37 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals.

A WHO study published in 2016 reveals that the medical tourists visiting Thailand were less likely to be residents of high-income countries than to be residents of the eastern Mediterranean or south-east or south Asia. However, what makes the country a preferred destination for healthcare is their world-class hospitality, highly specialised care and tailored service packages.

India

India is the favoured destination of medical travellers for its cutting-edge technology, world-class surgeons and cost-effective treatments. Patients visit India not just to get specialised treatment and surgeries but they also seek appointments for routine check-ups as well.

It was the Indian government’s initiative to amended the e-visa rules for 150 countries in 2016 that has made visa procurement easy for foreign travellers. Besides, India’s National Health Policy, 2002, specifies that the government supports medical tourism and issues MX visas to the accompanying spouse of the patient.

Singapore

Singapore is a top choice for patients seeking state-of-the-art facilities, well-trained doctors and quality care. Although it is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, the country has more than 15 hospitals catering to the needs of medical tourists. According to the data from a medical tourism index , Singapore was ranked the most attractive among seven Asian countries in terms of “patient experience”, but was also one of the least attractive in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Malaysia

Malaysia is picking up the pace and is currently one of the preferred destinations for people from other Asian countries especially Indonesia. Out of one million medical tourists who visited the country in 2017, 600,000 were from Indonesia.

According to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Malaysia is targeting to get at least one million health tourists from Indonesia by 2020. Since the health ministry regulates the prices that private hospitals charge in Malaysia, foreign patients know that they will not be overcharged. Quality care at affordable prices lures patients from all across Asia and other parts of the world.

South Korea

World-famous for its beauty clinics, South Korea’s ambitions extend beyond cosmetic surgery. According to the South Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, about 3,64,000 foreign medical tourists were reported to visit the country in 2016. This included patients from Canada, US, UAE, China and Japan.

South Korea’s healthcare system is considered the best in Asia and has established a niche in the medical technology industry. To promote medical tourism, the government offers a special visa to patients visiting South Korea for treatment and insurance which covers both injury and death which results from medical treatment or procedure.

Japan looks to other visitors as South Korean tourists stay away amid diplomatic standoff

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377528

Japan looks to other visitors as South Korean tourists stay away amid diplomatic standoff

Oct 18. 2019
Few tourists are seen at a quiet bay area in Hakodate in Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: The Japan News/ANN

Few tourists are seen at a quiet bay area in Hakodate in Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: The Japan News/ANN
By The Japan News
Asia News Network

329 Viewed

The worsening relationship between Japan and South Korea has had a negative impact on tourism, casting a shadow over the regional economy.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, the number of South Korean visitors to Japan in September decreased by nearly 60 per cent from the same month last year. With the situation expected to continue for a significant amount of time, some local governments and organisations are trying to attract visitors from countries and regions other than South Korea.

Since this summer, South Korean visitors to Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura, a tourist spot popular among foreigners for ninja shows, in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, have almost disappeared. In the past, people from that country accounted for the majority of admissions to the cultural park.

“No tourism facility can do anything about the diplomatic issues between Japan and South Korea,” a director of the company operating the facility said.

Of the 3.12 million foreigners who visited Hokkaido last year, about 730,000, or about 23 per cent, were South Koreans.

Reservations to stay in the Jozankei Onsen hot spring area in Sapporo have also been cancelled by South Koreans. According to the Jozankei Tourist Association, the number of South Korean tourists to that area fell below 1,000 in September, although it was 10,000 per month on average until this spring.

The decline in the number of South Korean visitors is likely to continue for the time being. According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, eight South Korean airlines, which operated about 1,200 flights a week to and from Japan up to July, have so far decided to reduce such flights by a total of about 30 per cent.

In Hokkaido, some local governments and financial institutions have begun to offer financial assistance to companies. North Pacific Bank, the largest bank in Hokkaido, has launched consultation services at all its branches in the prefecture for businesses such as hotels, restaurants and souvenirs shops that have suffered a decline in tourists.

The Hokkaido government has earmarked 30 million yen (Bt8.3 million) for urgent countermeasures, such as having websites aimed at Chinese people introduce tours to Hokkaido, and encouraging airlines to launch new routes to places other than South Korea.

In Tottori Prefecture, where flights to South Korea have been suspended since July, the prefectural government approached Chinese airlines and succeeded in having regular Shanghai flights established from January next year.

Since the latter half of last year, the number of South Korean visitors to Japan has been registering year-on-year losses due to the weak won and sluggish economy. South Korean tourists spend less in Japan than people from other countries and regions because the two countries are geographically close and many South Koreans stay only a few days in Japan.

In 2018, South Korean tourists spent about 78,000 yen per person in Japan, the lowest among the 20 major countries and regions. This is only about one-third of Australians’ spending.

According to the Japan Research Institute, spectators at the Rugby World Cup ‒ many are believed to be affluent people who will stay a long time in Japan ‒ are projected to spend a total of 105.7 billion yen.

The institute expects the economic impact on an annual basis of the decline in visitors from South Korea to be offset by the RWC effect.

“It’s necessary to strengthen promotional activities aimed at European and American customers, whose consumption is high,” said Kazuki Kita- tsuji, a researcher at the institute.

In Oita Prefecture, which has popular hot spring areas such as Beppu and Yufuin, the number of South Koreans has decreased by 70 to 80 per cent, according to an official from an association of local hotel operators.

But changes in South Koreans’ consumption habits are beginning to be seen in the prefecture. “The number of South Korean individuals who spend ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 per night for a room is gradually increasing”, while the number of group travellers, who usually spend less than ¥10,000, has decreased, the official said.

Toru Azuma, a professor of Rikkyo University researching tourism, said: “This is a good opportunity to think about a shift from quantity to quality. It’s important to prepare options for visitors with various needs, such as people who want a leisurely trip even if it’s expensive, and to increase the fans of Japan over the long term.”

Ex-IT engineer first Singaporean to be convicted of terrorism financing, jailed 30 months

Published October 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377497

Ex-IT engineer first Singaporean to be convicted of terrorism financing, jailed 30 months

Oct 17. 2019
A police vehicle transporting Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman, the first Singaporean national to be sentenced for terrorism financing, to the State Courts on Oct 17, 2019.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A police vehicle transporting Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman, the first Singaporean national to be sentenced for terrorism financing, to the State Courts on Oct 17, 2019.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
By The Straits Times/ANN

268 Viewed

SINGAPORE – A 35-year-old former information technology engineer was sentenced on Thursday (Oct 17) to two years and six months’ jail for funding terrorism.

Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman is the first Singaporean national to be sentenced for terrorism financing.

On Thursday, Ahmed pleaded guilty in a district court to two charges in connection with two payments he had made amounting to about $1,145 in total to an individual who was “facilitating terrorist acts” overseas.

The court heard that Ahmed had become radicalised some time in 2013 after he came to know of the website and YouTube channel of Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, a radical preacher living in Jamaica.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yonghui said Ahmed was aware that the radical preacher supported physical jihad, “including the use of violence against ‘intruders’ who were described as ‘non-Muslims attacking a Muslim area or location'”.

The preacher also said it was an obligation for Muslims to set up a Muslim caliphate, and commended the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for doing this through violence.

Ahmed agreed with the preacher’s religious ideology and reached out to him, said DPP Chong.

The duo communicated via Facebook, e-mail and the messaging app WhatsApp.

Ahmed then discovered that he could donate money to Sheikh, and did so in July 2016 by transferring $1,059 to a “Patrick Gray”, who was collecting donations on Sheikh’s behalf. A second sum of US$62 (S$85) was transferred to Sheikh’s wife in Sept 3 that year.

Ahmed was arrested by the Internal Security Department in July 2018 and detained under the Internal Security Act because he was found to be radicalised and had wanted to undertake armed violence in Syria in support of ISIS.

“The present facts highlight starkly the dangers of terrorist propaganda and its insidious far-reaching effects,” said DPP Chong, who called for a deterrent sentence to reflect the “approbation of such offences”.

“It cannot be overstated that the funding of terrorist propaganda which preaches violent religious ideology must be clamped down upon unequivocally,” he added.

“In so doing, Singapore continues to fulfil her duty as a member of the global community in the unending fight against terrorism.”

Ahmed, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency, adding that he had a mother who has dementia, and a young son.

He told the court that he wants to be a good citizen of Singapore upon his release.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong agreed with the prosecution’s proposed sentence of 30 months’ and 18 months’ jail for the two charges respectively. Both sentences will run concurrently.

For terrorism financing, Ahmed could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined $500,000.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/first-singaporean-to-be-convicted-of-terrorism-financing-jailed-for-30-months

1.4 million Muslim voters in Sri Lanka looking for a national leader who will eradicate extremism

Published October 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377494

1.4 million Muslim voters in Sri Lanka looking for a national leader who will eradicate extremism

Oct 17. 2019
By The Island/ANN

227 Viewed

Conscious of the security concerns in the country, the nearly 1.4 million Muslim voters of Sri Lanka will be strongly influenced this time by the election manifestos as well as the ‘promise-upholding’ credentials of the presidential candidates, who pledge an end to terrorism without multiplying extremism among the different communities.

The influence of Muslim politicians on the community’s decision making process will be minimal as was the case in the run-up to the January 2015 presidential elections, former Member of Parliament M M Zuhair has stated. His statement is as follows:

 

The failure of Muslim politicians to honestly address community concerns when in power and the gross neglect of Muslim political parties to meet at least the key presidential candidates to address the security concerns of the country and the community have led to a loss of trust of most of them, within the community.

 

The community is still in deep fear of the 21/04 terrorist attacks by an insignificant number in the community, being exploited to stigmatise the wider community including innocent Muslims, the community’s civil activists and even its politicians. They fear that any form of harassment of the innocent will lead to increased radicalization among Muslims and counter radicalization amongst the rest. This will result in sharpening divisions and not help uniting communities. Over 1,800 Muslims have been arrested since 21/04 with several released and some enlarged on bail while the rest are in detention for many months. The community is looking forward to a genuine national leader who will eliminate the terrorist problem without cornering a weak segment of the country’s population, nearly 100% of whom are anti-terrorist. The 1.4 million Muslim voters are looking for a leader who will pledge to eradicate extremism amongst all the communities.

 

The elimination of terrorism cannot be achieved by Sri Lanka openly facilitating persons from countries with vested interests, led by those who treat the dark-skinned and the Muslims around the world as their enemies. External interferences will multiply the country’s problems. Manifestos which declare Sri Lanka as a non-aligned nation and the Indian Ocean as a “Zone of Peace” will therefore score heavily at the forthcoming elections.

 

Incidents of terrorism, similar to the 21/04 attacks, can never be eradicated by adding to the arsenal of ultra-nationalists, such arms industry inspired Islamophobic weapons as ‘fundamentalism’, ‘wahabism’, ‘salafism’ or ‘arabisation’. Rehabilitation programmes can help to eliminate violent extremism more effectively. The support of the Muslims, not ostracizing the community, is the key to the successful elimination of this problem. We have lessons to be learnt from the total failure of Western countries and their so called ‘experts’ to eradicate terrorism anywhere in the world since 9/11. Sri Lanka can handle successfully the eradication of all forms of terrorism if it liberates itself from foreign interferences in this arena.

 

Election manifestos and campaign speeches which reflect the forging of national unity and economic self-sufficiency without exploiting ethno-religious sentiments will also be assessed in deciding on whom to vote, he has said.

Japan counts the cost of Typhoon Hagibis, as death toll rises to 75

Published October 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377448

Japan counts the cost of Typhoon Hagibis, as death toll rises to 75

Oct 16. 2019
A soldier from Japan's Self Defence Force searches an apple orchard for bodies after heavy flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis, on Tuesday in Hoyasu near Nagano, Japan. Japan has mobilised over 100,000 rescue workers after the typhoon, the most powerful in decades, swept across the country killing at least 75 people and leaving thousands injured and homeless. Photo: Getty Images

A soldier from Japan’s Self Defence Force searches an apple orchard for bodies after heavy flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis, on Tuesday in Hoyasu near Nagano, Japan. Japan has mobilised over 100,000 rescue workers after the typhoon, the most powerful in decades, swept across the country killing at least 75 people and leaving thousands injured and homeless. Photo: Getty Images
By The Straits Times
Asia News Network

613 Viewed

Rescue workers are now working around the clock in search of survivors as the death toll continues to mount from Typhoon Hagibis, which pounded wide areas of Japan with record-breaking rainfall on Saturday.

As of Tuesday night, there were at least 75 dead across 12 prefectures, while at least 16 were missing and 228 were injured.

Leaders, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, have expressed their condolences.

Japan is still scrambling to get a full picture of the scale of the devastation wrought by the typhoon, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowing to draw on an emergency fund and to work assiduously to support survivors, given that winter is coming.

“There are many concerns over the long-term impact on living standards and the economy,” he told an emergency disaster meeting, as he vowed to anticipate the needs of survivors so as to quickly improve conditions at shelters and to secure housing for the displaced.

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are “deeply disturbed by the loss of so many lives and the scale of damage”, the Imperial Household Agency said in a statement yesterday.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko are also paying close attention to the developments, with celebratory events for the latter’s 85th birthday on Sunday to be cancelled.

Defence Minister Taro Kono said yesterday that he will mobilise 200 reserve members of the Self-Defence Forces for emergency relief efforts, and may yet raise this number to 1,000 personnel. This is the first time the reserve force has been activated since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

But amid the recovery efforts is a brewing controversy, as two homeless men were shut out of evacuation centres in Tokyo’s Taito ward at the peak of the storm. The ward oversees such popular tourist attractions as the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and Ueno Park.

The ward office’s rationale for turning them away was that the two homeless men, one of whom is a 64-year-old with a speech impediment due to a stroke, “did not have registered addresses”.

The move has split public opinion, with many lambasting it as heartless. But others argue that the homeless are “not taxpayers and should not inconvenience others seeking refuge with their odours”.

Abe, asked about the government’s position in Parliament yesterday, stressed that there should be no discrimination in times of natural disaster.

At least one of the 75 confirmed dead is suspected to have been homeless. The man, in his 70s, was found beside the riverbed of the Tama River in Tokyo, entangled in debris such as fallen tree branches. The river had overflowed in the storm.

About one-third of those who died were from Fukushima, where the dykes of the Abukuma River collapsed, causing a sudden surge in flood waters in low-lying areas.

Many people were washed away as they tried to flee in their cars, or were on the first storey of their homes.

In Nagano, where the embankment of Japan’s longest river Chikuma was breached, hundreds of people had been stranded. Widespread flooding also occurred in Kanagawa and Miyagi prefectures, which accounted for 14 deaths each.

Typhoon Hagibis caused mudslides in 146 places, while at least 13,000 homes were damaged by flooding.

As of Tuesday, 128,000 homes in 12 prefectures did not have running water. About 20,000 households were also without electricity, though this is down from a peak of 520,000 homes.

China opposes US passage of HK-related legislation

Published October 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30377442

China opposes US passage of HK-related legislation

Oct 16. 2019
By China Daily/ANN

355 Viewed

China expressed opposition on Wednesday to the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed by the United States House of Representatives, saying it will take countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in an online statement that if the act becomes a law, it will not only undermine China’s interests and Sino-US relations, but also the interests of the US itself.

Geng noted that the US House of Representatives ignored the facts and called white black, and also regarded serious crimes like committing arson, smashing shops and assaulting police as human rights and democracy issues.

It fully revealed the double standards the US applies, the hypocrisy of some people in the US regarding human rights and democracy issues, and their wicked intentions to mess up Hong Kong and contain China’s development, he said.

Calling the passing of the act a “wrong decision” by the US, Geng urged Washington to understand the situation clearly, immediately stop advancing the act and interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs as well as China’s domestic affairs.

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