BANGKOK, Oct 6 Ninety thousand Thais are suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) annually, with 37 per cent of working age or younger than age 60, Deputy Health Minister Dr Somsak Chunharas said yesterday. 

NAKHON PHANOM, Oct 6 Tourists from other parts of Thailand and foreigners alike gathered in Nakhon Phanom province bordering Laos to view the annual illuminated boat procession held the end of Buddhist Lent, the end of the rainy season. 

BANGKOK, Oct 6 – Warnings for heavy rains over the weekend  mostly in Central and Southern provinces, beginning two days ago, are continuing through tomorrow, according to Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). 

BANGKOK, Oct 3 Bangkok’s Pathumwan district court on Friday ordered the medical doctor accused of involvement in surrogacy services provided for a intending Japanese father to report next Thursday.

Saturday, 04 October 2014 10:29

Global air travel demand picks up in August

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 Global air travel passenger traffic for August showed a pick-up in demand, with total revenue passenger kilometres 5.9 per cent higher over the same period last year, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA said load factor was high at 83.9 per cent, which was 0.3 percentage point rise over August 2013.

Its director-general/chief executive officer, Tony Tyler, said August was a good month right across the industry with all regions reported an expansion in demand for air travel.

"We should, however, keep an eye on potential downside risks.

"European travel, for example, continues to show robust growth with its 6.1 per cent year-to-date expansion in demand, reflecting a solid step up from the 3.8 per cent growth recorded in 2013.

"However, it remains a question how long the robust trend in passenger travel can continue in light of the continent's increasingly worrying economic outlook," Tyler said.

IATA said Asia-Pacific airlines saw their traffic increased 5.8 per cent in August over the same month last year while capacity rose seven per cent and load factor declined 0.9 percentage point to 81 per cent.

The association said the Chinese economy had been stabilising, supported by the government's fiscal stimulus and regional trade activity, which encouraged business travel and rebounded fully.

On the Ebola crisis, Tyler said, the airline industry was taking its guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and public health authorities to keep flying safe for passengers and crew.

"Travellers should be reassured. WHO has clearly said that the risk of Ebola transmission on board an aircraft is low. Moreover, WHO is not advising any restrictions on travel," he said.

BEIJING, Oct 3 The illegal gatherings of the Occupy Central movement are aimed at challenging both China's supreme power organ and Hong Kong citizens' democratic rights, and are doomed to fail, according to a commentary to be carried by Friday's People's Daily.

For several days, some people have been staging protests in Hong Kong in the name of seeking the so-called "real universal suffrage."

They attempt to force the central authorities to change the decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Hong Kong's electoral system. Such actions blatantly violate the Basic Law of Hong Kong and the principle of rule of law, according to the opinion piece.

"There is no room to make concessions on issues of important principles," says the commentary on the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

The decision made on Aug. 31 granted universal suffrage in the selection of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)'s chief executive on the basis of nomination by a "broadly representative" committee.

The decision possesses unchallengeable legal status and authority. It is "a certain choice and the only choice" to safeguard the decision, according to the commentary.

The NPC decision is in line with the "one country, two systems" policy and the Basic Law. It has fully heeded opinions from all walks of life in Hong Kong, it says.

The core purpose of instigators of illegal activities is to ensure that their representatives, including those in defiance of the central authorities, can become candidates of HKSAR's chief executives, the commentary says. "Such a demand is neither illegal nor reasonable."

As one of China's local administrative regions, Hong Kong is directly under the jurisdiction of the central government rather than a state or an independent political entity, the commentary says.

Once the public opinions were hijacked by a minor group, it would not be conducive to the implementation of "one country, two systems" policy, Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability as well as realization of universal suffrage, the commentary warns.

Saturday, 04 October 2014 10:19

Deputy PM, Army Chief travel to deep south

BANGKOK, Oct 3 Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan flew to Thailand's insurgency-impacted deep south today to meet with senior army officers in the region, aimed at ending the bloody violence there which resumed more than a decade ago.

BANGKOK, Oct 3 -- Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and sugar tycoon, is the richest member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), according to Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

BUSAN, Oct. 2 Asia's top film festival will kick off in South Korea's largest port city of Busan on Thursday night with a Taiwanese drama about a boy who serves his military service in a frontline military brothel in Taiwan.

BANGKOK, Oct 1 Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said that current data led to the projection that next year's drought would start sooner and be longer and severe than that of this year. 

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