BANGKOK, 31 July 2015, The Traffic Police has announced several road closures for the Bike for Mom rehearsal scheduled on Sunday, August 2.

Police said the first route includes the road around Dusit Palace, at the U Thong Nai Junction to the Royal Plaza; Si Ayutthaya Road, from the Wat Benchamabophit Intersection to the Pol 1 Intersection; and Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, from the King Rama V Intersection to the Suan Mitsakawan Intersection and Royal Plaza. These roads will be sealed off from 6:00 - 9:00 hrs.

The second route includes Si Ayutthaya Road, at Wat Benchamabophit Intersection to the Phaya Thai Intersection; a portion of Ratchaprarop Road, from the Ratchaprarop Intersection to Ratchawithi Road; and Ratchawithi Road to the outbound lanes of Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, from the First Infantry Regiment to the Sutthisan Intersection. These roads will be sealed off from 6:00 - 12:00 hrs.

Motorists can contact the Traffic Control And Command Center at its hotline 1197 for more information.

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 - The Minister of Transport is expediting the development of high speed railway route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Transport Minister ACM Prachin Juntong spoke of the progress of the Bangkok - Chiang Mai high speed rail route which is being developed under the cooperation between the Thai and Japanese governments. He said the two sides are scheduled to conclude the project’s details for submission to the Cabinet by June 2016, and a government-to-government agreement will likely be reached by the end of the same year.

He said the project would require some land expropriation, and the construction was originally scheduled to commence in 2018. However, negotiations will be carried out to move up the construction to begin in 2017.

ACM Prachin added that the Japanese has particularly asked Thailand to separate the high-speed rail project from the existing rail track of Thailand for safety reasons, noting that this is the first time for the Japanese to lay the Shinkansen trains outside Japan.

NAKHON PATHOM, 30 July 2015 - Devout Buddhists from all walks of life have gathered at Phutthamonthon Buddhist Park in Nakhon Pathom province in order to conduct religious activities on the occasion of Asanha Bucha Day.

In the late afternoon today, concerned officials, including Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Suwaphan Tanyuwattana, the director of the Office of National Buddhism and the governor of Nakhon Pathom, as well as civil servants, students and members of the general public came together at Phutthamonthon Buddhist Park in observance of Asanha Bucha Day.

On this occasion, Their Majesties the King and Queen have designated Privy Councilor Ampol Senanarong to preside over the ceremony. Upon arrival at the venue, he proceeded to the ceremonial ground and lit candles and joss sticks to pay respects to the Triple Gems before listening to sermons chanted by His Holiness Somdet Phramaharatchamangkhlachan, Acting Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.

Afterwards, Mr Ampol performed the clockwise circumambulation around the Principal Buddha Statue of Phutthamonthon three times. He also presented necessities to Buddhist monks and poured consecrated water to end the ceremony before his departure.

Asanha Bucha Day is the day the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples following his enlightenment. It falls on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month and precedes the beginning of the Buddhist Lent.

NONG KHAI, 30 July 2015 - A workshop to improve the quality of foreign teachers in Thailand is held in the northeastern province of Nong Khai on Thursday, as part of the project to develop the country as ‘education hub’ in the region.

115 foreign teachers have enrolled in the three-day workshop which will end on August 1st. They are teaching science, maths and English language in fourteen schools nationwide.

The workshop was opened by Deputy Governor of Nong Khai Anothai Thammakun and is conducted at Pathumthep Witthayakhan School. The program has been assisted by several guest speakers from Thammasat University and the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST).

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 -The Ministry of Public Health has warned the general public to be wary of leptospirosis, an infectious disease that often occurs during the rainy season.

Leptospirosis, also known as field fever, has infected more than 600 people and claimed 10 lives across 55 provinces since January. Provinces with a high incidence of leptospirosis include Ranong, Sisaket and Phang Nga. Sixty percent of patients were farmers between the ages of 44 and 64.

The fatal disease is caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water bodies tainted by animal urine. Its symptoms include dry cough, fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and diarrhea. Those who have developed these symptoms after having come into contact with contaminated water must seek immediate medical attention.

People can prevent leptospirosis by avoiding stagnant water or wading through mud without rubber boots. Those who have come into contact with unsanitary water sources must wash their skin and any open wounds immediately.

BUENG KAN, 30 July 2015 - Continuous downpours have resulted in flooding in some areas of the northeastern province of Bueng Kan, prompting authorities to provide urgent help for local residents.

In the wake of torrential rains which have continued in Bueng Kan for three weeks, Ban Na Kham Village in So Phisai district has been flooded with 1.2 meters of water while Moo 1 and Moo 2 Villages in Mueang district are also affected by overflows from canals.

So far, 25 homes and three fish farms have been damaged by the floodwater. The road linking Ban Pong Pueai Village and Ban Na Waeng Village is now submerged under one-meter-deep water. Residents are unable to travel in small vehicles and have to rely on military trucks in their daily commute.

However, the overall damage is still considered minimal as Mueang District Chief Adithep Kamolvej previously instructed officials to help villagers move their belongings to safe places in anticipation of a flood disaster. A special task force set up by the local administrative organization is also providing assistance for flood victims in the area.

Friday, 31 July 2015 09:35

Exports to contract 3-4% this year

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 - The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) has expressed concern for the export sector, forecasting a contraction in the latter half of 2015.

TCC Vice Chairman Sanan Angubolkul said that exports in the second half of the year will contract 3-4%. The TCC forecast overall exports to contract 3% in the third quarter, and only 1% in the fourth quarter, in an indication of economic recovery.

Exports have suffered from the low prices of agricultural and industrial products. The private sector has been pushing for more government support in penetrating foreign markets, especially those of neighboring countries.

However, Mr. Sanan expressed optimism that the export sector will rebound at the beginning of next year, when there will be a clearer effect of the baht's depreciation. Several foreign economies are also expected to improve next year, including the US and China.

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 - The Department of Employment (DOE) will allow foreign ship workers to apply as technicians, in a move to deal labor shortages in the fishing industry.

According to DOE Director-General Sumet Mahosot, the new policy applies to workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who have already obtained work permits.

Employees who have acquired ship technician certificates issued by the government can apply for the position change via the Department Employment. The processing fee is 1,100 baht.

The processing fee is 3,100 baht for foreign workers who have completed their nationality verification or those contracted under a memorandum of understanding.

However, ship workers holding pink one-year work permits are still unable to upgrade their jobs, pending an executive order from the PM Office.

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 - The Deputy Director-General of the Public Relations Department (PRD) has been has won a Thai Idol award.

The Broadcaster and Journalist's Assembly of Thailand and other related agencies have conferred a Thai Idol Award on PRD Deputy Director-General Charoon Chaiyasorn. He is among 162 individuals across the country that were handpicked by the assembly’s committee. MR Somlabh Kitiyakara, Secretary to HRH Princess Soamsawali, presided over the award ceremony.

The Thai Idol Award, otherwise known as the Golden Swan, is an accolade aimed at recognizing individuals from different occupations whose achievements are both remarkable and inspirational. The award is part of the Goodness Idol Project meant to laud those who are determined to create a better society.

BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 - Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat has disclosed, following a courtesy call from the US charge d' affaires Patrick Murphy, that the U.S. is to return more Thai antiques located in the US. 

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