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BANGKOK, 20 Dec 2014, The Meteorological Department has warned locals in the North to prepare for harsh winter temperature, which is expected to drop 1-2 degrees Celsius further. 

BANGKOK, 18 December 2014 - The Transport Ministry has plans to enhance the efficiency of airports nationwide in terms of service and safety standard in preparation for the arrival of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Transport Minister revealed. 

BANGKOK, 18 December 2014 - The Ministry of Public Health is preparing to propose a new draft law aimed at reducing the number of teen smokers.

The new anti-smoking law, if approved, is expected to fill the loopholes in the current one, which has been in effect for 22 years. Under the new tobacco control law, the definition of tobacco products will cover all kinds of things containing nicotine, including baraku, electronic baraku, and electronic cigarettes. In addition, people who can legally buy tobacco must be 20 years of age or above, instead of 18.

Advertisements, sales promotion activities, as well as points of sale of tobacco will be monitored more strictly. Operators will be unable to divide cigarettes into smaller units for sale as they will be required to sell them in the form of packets.

Over the past 20 years, more than five million Thais succeeded in quitting smoking. However, the number of teenagers taking up smoking is now close to the number of those who gave it up. The improved law is intended to reduce the rate of new smokers, which is estimated at 100,000 per year.

According to the Ministry of Public Health’s statistics, seven out of ten young smokers are unable to quit smoking throughout their lives. The rest can only give it up after 20 years of addiction. A young tobacco addict can cause 156,000 baht in economic loss and treatment.

BANGKOK, 18 December 2014 - The Ministry of Transport is planning to adjust the fares of bus line operators as pricing competition with low-cost airline carriers intensifies.

The Minister of Transport Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong today held talks with bus line operators led by the President of the Thai Transportation Operators Association Sujinda Cherdchai to seek measures that will aid operators who have been affected by the cheap ticket prices of low-cost airline carriers.

The Minister said that he has ordered the Department of Civil Aviation to find an appropriate minimum fare for low-cost airlines in order to avoid disturbing other modes of transportation, especially on the Bangkok - Phuket and Bangkok - Chiang Mai routes where airfares have been adjusted to 650 baht per flight, which is the same rate as the bus fare.

The Ministry of Transport is also to introduce measures to tackle illegal passenger service cars by putting the Department of Land Transport and the Transport Co.,Ltd directly in charge of solving the issue.

The Ministry will also hold a conference on 22nd December 2014 regarding a request for cooperation in reducing bus fares in the wake of the falling oil price, while noting that operators had in the past requested a fare hike even before the oil price began to climb.

Bus operators will gather all relevant information and submit it to the Director-General of the Department of Land Transport Teerapong Rodprasert for further consideration.

Friday, 19 December 2014 13:19

Bangkok waste disposal program MoU signed

BANGKOK, 19 Dec 2014, The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Coca-Cola (Thailand) Company Limited have signed an MoU on the 2nd Phase of the complete recycle waste disposal program aimed at creating a network of environmental preservation and reduction of waste and recyclable materials.

The signing ceremony was attended by BMA Deputy Governor Jumpol Sampappol, Chairman of Coca-Cola Foundation Nantiwat Thamhathai, and Acting Director of the Mirror Foundation Jareewan Kawirat.

The BMA Deputy Governor said the office gives particular importance to the reduction of waste by promoting public cooperation in separating different types of trash for the recycle purposes and preparing the complete cycle of waste management system.

There are also plans to apply advanced technology to developing waste disposal techniques, turning trash into useful materials, an approach that will be studied and implemented in the BMA’s 50 district offices.

Friday, 19 December 2014 13:16

RTP to overhaul 191 Emergency Hotline

BANGKOK, 19 Dec 2014,  The Royal Thai Police Office is to overhaul its 191 hotline, aiming at responding to emergency call within 5 minutes. The campaign, a New Year gift for the public, will be implemented on December 29th.

Commissioner General Police General Somyod Poomphanmuang unveiled the overhaul plan yesterday. According to him, the 191 emergency hotline capacity must meet the demands of the public, especially during the New Year holiday period.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner General Police General Worapong Chiewpreecha admitted that the quality of service has not been up par during the past decade due largely to the lack of manpower and necessary equipment. However, these factors have been addressed, and a green light has been given to the Office's plan to hire a third party to work together with police officers manning the hotline.

Under the new campaign, officers are required to answer the call within 4 seconds and arrive at the crime scene within 5 - 15 minutes, Police General Worapong said, stressing that severe punishment will also be handed down to prank callers for obstructing police’s work.

BANGKOK, 19 December 2014  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed an economic team to monitor the Russian currency crisis for fear that it would affect the Thai economy.

General Prayut told members of the economic team to closely observe a possible impact of the weakening Russian Ruble on the Thai economy after the currency has collapsed around 45% against the US dollar so far this year.

The Prime Minister insisted that his government has taken a proactive approach in promoting economic growth while maintaining a global perspective.

General Prayut admitted he was concerned about the direction of the economy, politics and society next year. He added that as long as the situation in the country is stable and peaceful, the international community will have more confidence in Thailand.

CHIANG MAI, 19 December 2014 - Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali yesterday proceeded to the auditorium of Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai Province, to preside over the opening of the Royal Project Fair 2014. The fair is organized annually to honor His Majesty the King on the occasion of his birthday on 5 December and to publicize the success of royal agricultural research projects.

His Majesty the King began the Royal Project in the northern part of Thailand in 1969 to help hilltribe people grow useful crops that would give higher income than growing opium. The Project is also intended to change the traditional farming method of cutting down and burning the forest conducted by hilltribe villagers, which has led to forest destruction and deterioration of soil quality.

The Royal Project Fair 2014 features both an exhibition on His Majesty’s work to develop the northern highlands and a market of fruits, flowers and handicrafts from the 38 development centers under the Royal Project. These centers help farmers distribute and sell highland produce while improving their quality of life through education, healthcare and environmental conservation.

In this year’s fair, new strains of fruits and vegetables are also on display. Among them are heart-shaped bitter cucumber, Siamese tulip, new strains of chrysanthemum and radish. The Royal Project Fair 2014 will continue until 21 December.

BANGKOK, 18 December 2014 - The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) is looking to pilot its new core curriculum for basic education in 2016, before schools nationwide adopt it the following year.

Kamol Rodklai, secretary-general of the OBEC, said that the new core curriculum will be a major revamp of the one in use now. According to her, the B.E. 2551 core curriculum has been in use for six years and it is time to make adjustments to suit the social changes that have taken place since and also to support the goal of producing the type of human resources the country needs.

The OBEC will evaluate the pros and cons of the present curriculum, the curricula used by other countries as well as the draft of the basic education curriculum earlier studied by Mr. Phawit Thong-rot, a former secretary to the minister of education.

According to Mr. Kamol, the new core curriculum will place greater emphasis on local culture and way of life.

Thursday, 18 December 2014 14:57

PM attends science fair in Bangkok

BANGKOK, 18 Dec 2014,  Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has emphasized the importance of scientific and technology development and the creation of new innovation as a national strategy aimed at increasing the country's competitiveness in the modern world.

The comment was made during the opening ceremony of the science fair dubbed, ‘Return Happiness to the Youth’, now underway at the Planetarium in Bangkok until January 10th

Aside from being one of the government’s many New Year gifts for the public, the admission-free event serves as an initial step toward the nation's integration of science, technology and innovation.

According to the Prime Minister, the country is in need of technological advancement in order to strengthen its global competitiveness, adding that he has discussed with the Ministries of Education and Science & Technology about offering more science and technology courses in school.

The nation must lay down strategies involving the development of science, technology and innovation, in order to generate a new generation of experts in such areas and induce them to work in the nation’s education system, General Prayut said.

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