BANGKOK, Oct 8 Three crew members including the Thai pilot and two Myanmar nationals aboard a missing Thai helicopter have been reported safe after they lost contact for about ten days in their search operation for missing climbers in Myanmar.

The Thai helicopter took off from Putao in Kachin State to deliver supplies to a team searching for the mountain climbers on Mount Hkakabo Razi before it lost contact.

The Htoo Foundation, which has led the search operation, posted on its Facebook page that the helicopter had been found and all three men on board were alive.

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he was informed yesterday by the Thai Army that the missing helicopter had been found and all crew were safe.

Pilot Chatchawan Thaenthong was reportedly fatigued but was not severely injured.

PM Prayuth said the crew lost contact as they could not use the radio. The Thai prime minister said he himself wished them a safe return. The Myanmar was also worried and contacted the Thai authorities frequently.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:15

Tibet hosts record number of holiday tourists

LHASA, Oct 9 Tibet saw a record influx of 740,000 tourists during the National Day holiday, said the regional tourism bureau on Wednesday.

From Oct.1 to 7, the region hosted 296,000 overnight tourists and 449,000 one-day travellers. The total number of tourists grew 12.8 percent compared with the same period last year. Tourism revenue hit 337 million yuan (54.8 million U.S. dollars) in the past week.

On Oct. 3, 124,000 tourist’s arrived, the most for any single day.

With its rich and relatively untapped tourist resources, the southwestern region received 12.9 million domestic and overseas tourists last year, up 22 percent from the previous year. Tourism brought it 16.5 billion yuan of revenue in 2013, or more than one-fifth of the local economy.

SEOUL, Oct 9 Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has begun mass production of three-bit vertical NAND flash memory chips for the first time in the world to offer chips with improved data storage efficiency.

The world's largest chipmaker in August unveiled the chip, called triple level cell (TLC), which stores three bits of data in each cell. Until recently, the three-bit technology has been applied only to planar NAND flash products.

The newly developed three-bit V-NAND has 32 layers of laminated cells, and the degree of integration is at least 30 percent higher than the 24-layer V-NAND chips.

Along with dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, NAND flash memory chips are used in smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices to save data when they are turned off.

The market share for the South Korean electronics giant in NAND flash reached 30.8 percent in the April-June period, up 0.8 percentage point from a quarter earlier, the data compiled by industry tracker DRAMeXchange showed.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:10

Chinese ambassador meets Thai defense minister

BANGKOK, Oct 8 China's ambassador to Thailand Ning Fukui has met Deputy Prime Minister/Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan to strengthen ties and cooperation in all aspects between the two countries.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:08

NRC members begin registering

BANGKOK, Oct 8 Members of the National Reform Council (NRC), earlier endorsed by His Majesty the King, on Wednesday began registering at Parliament -- the first day of registration – while it is expected that NRC chairman and vice chairman would be elected on October 21.

A total of 250 members of the NRC were appointed by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:05

Thai PM to meet several leaders during ASEM

BANGKOK, Oct 8 Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, head of Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which seized power in the May 22 bloodless coup, said Wednesday that he would confer with a number of government leaders during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan, Italy on October 16-17.

Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct 9 A team of Indonesian and Australian scientists has dated some of the world's earliest known cave art on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, challenging the commonly held view that Europeans were the first to produce rock art.

The team dated 12 hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions at seven cave sites in the limestone 'tower karst' of southwest Sulawesi, with the earliest image (a hand stencil) being at least 40,000 years old. The findings are published today in the prestigious journal, Nature.

The Sulawesi project builds on decades of research carried out by Indonesian and European archaeologists, and more recently by the late Professor Mike Morwood from the University of Wollongong's (UOW) Centre for Archaeological Science in Australia, where many of the team members involved in this discovery are based.

Co-author of the paper, Thomas Sutikna, who is completing a PhD at UOW's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was part of the Indonesian team that uncovered the new species of tiny human nicknamed 'the Hobbit' ten years ago. He said this latest finding holds important implications for theories of human evolution.

"Rock art is one of the first indicators of an abstract mind - the onset of being human as we know it," he said.

Historically, archaeologists have thought that rock art first emerged in Europe, with a minimum age of 41,000 years for the oldest dated rock art in the world - a painting of a red disk at El Castillo in Spain. Co-author of the Nature paper, Dr Anthony Dosseto, Director of UOW's Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory, said the discovery shows that at the same time as Europeans were expressing themselves on cave walls, people in Sulawesi were doing the same.

"Europeans can't exclusively claim to be the first to develop an abstract mind anymore. They need to share this, at least, with the early inhabitants of Indonesia," Dr Dosseto said.

Mr Sutikna said the finding suggests that figurative art may have been part of the cultural repertoire of his ancient Indonesian ancestors - the first modern human populations to reach this region more than 40,000 years ago.

BANGKOK, Oct 7 Thailand's Public Sector Anti-Corruption  Commission (PACC) is sending a letter to Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Kumchaya today complaining of irregularities in a several million baht project to construct futsal pitches at schools in several northeastern provinces, according to PACC Secretary-General Prayong Preeyachit. 

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:02

Draft law on fisheries workers making progress

BANGKOK, Oct 7 Less than four months after the US downgraded the kingdom on its labour conditions and trafficking watch list, a draft law aimed at protecting Thai fishermen, ending human trafficking, forbidding persons below age 18 from working in the industry and making skippers legally liable employers is making gradual progress.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:58

Govt to set up ‘agricultural zoning’

BANGKOK, Oct 7 – The interim government of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will set up ‘agricultural zoning’  for growing rice, rubber and other agricultural products to persuade growers to use less land area and water but which offers higher yields.

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