Thailand signs deal for advance procurement of COVID-19 vaccine

Thailand signed deal with AstraZeneca today, to secure COVID-19 vaccine for Thai people, with the first lot of about 26 million doses expected to be available in the middle of next year.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the signing of the agreement, between the Thai Ministry of Public Health and AstraZeneca Thailand, representing British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant, at Government House.

In his address, the prime minister said that, although Thailand has been successful in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, its economy has been hard hit and advance procurement of COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca will be a sustainable approach to preventing a new outbreak of the contagion and will allow Thai people to have access to a safe and effective vaccine.

Engie kicks off new Singapore research project to make net zero carbon happen

On a small island south of Singapore, a green hydrogen-powered electric vehicle rolls past a solar farm leisurely soaking up the sun’s energy. Towering over the scene is Singapore’s tallest wind turbine, humming quietly as its blades rotate in a gentle, tropical breeze.

What sounds like the next weekend getaway for energy geeks is Singapore’s biggest microgrid at the nation’s Pulau Semakau landfill, commissioned this month by French multinational electric utility company Engie to demonstrate how to generate clean power from multiple sources and test energy-efficient industrial solutions in tropical conditions.

Technology plays a pivotal role in the fight against climate change. But despite the great strides that renewables have made in recent years, some low-carbon solutions needed to power the world’s industries sustainably while curbing energy use have yet to mature.

To fast-track the global transition to a carbon-neutral economy, research and d

TAT organises the “Village Tourism Festival” to promote community-based tourism

Bangkok, 27 November, 2020 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising a “Village Tourism Festival” at Chulalongkorn University’s 100-year park from 27 to 29 November, 2020, to promote community-based tourism by showcasing the Thailand Rural Tourism Award 2020 winning communities from around Thailand.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, said that, “By assuming a leadership role in organising the event, TAT hopes to create added value for tourism products and services. The concept takes advantage of the Thai identity by reflecting on the local culture and community lifestyles, complementing the government’s policy of distributing income to local Thai communities by promoting

China jails doctors over illegal organ harvesting scam

Six people, including four doctors, have been jailed in China for illegally harvesting organs from 11 patients in the southeastern Anhui province between 2017 and 2018.

 Of the four arrested doctors, three were the designated organ procurement officer in their respective hospitals, according to local media.  

 The group had tricked the families of the deceased into thinking they were making official organ donations. The Intermediate People’s Court in Bengpu found the accused guilty and awarded them jail terms between 10 and 28 months.  

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PM presides over the launch of the Bangkok’s first electric boat service

Bangkok’s canal commuters will be treated to six-months of free rides on the city’s new electric boat service along Khlong Padung Krung Kasem. The service was officially launched today by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

The launch ceremony, which took place this morning at the Hua Lamphong pier, was presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The prime minister, several cabinet ministers and city officials took a ride the boats after the opening ceremony.

Seven electric boats, each equipped with 12 solar panels, with reserve energy stored in batteries, will be put into service on Khlong Padung Krung Kasem. Each boat has 30 seats, including one for a wheel chair. The maximum speed ranges between 10and 15km per hour.

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Why clean up efforts won’t solve the plastic pollution crisis in the world’s seas

The Ocean Cleanup is a highly touted nonprofit with the ambitious goal of cleaning up 90 percent of the ocean’s plastic. In reality, the initiative’s impact on the world’s floating debris would be minimal, researchers reported recently in Science of the Total Environment.

“I think the general public was believing that we had a solution to the plastic problem,” said Sönke Hohn, a marine biologist at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, Ger

Army officials join volunteers to remove graffiti from walls and road surfaces

Volunteer will join officials from the Army Science Department to remove graffiti, daubed on walls of public and private property, by anti-establishment protesters.

Army deputy spokesperson, Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, said today that Army Commander-in-Chief General Narongphan Chitkaewtae has instructed the Army Science Department to find an effective way of erasing the graffiti, which has become a public eyesore.

The officials were mobilized to do the cleaning on Ratchadapisek Road after the protest ended late on Wednesday night. The work will resume tomorrow, with the help of volunteers.

The writing or spray-painting of hate messages on walls or road surfaces has become a common practice among the protesters, to vent their anger and fru

Big builders’ plans threaten to wreck forest survival

Forest survival in the world’s great conservation targets − the Amazon, the Congo and Southeast Asia, for example − is at risk from not just ranchers, loggers and illegal foresters: it’s also under assault from some of the planet’s biggest spenders: governments and the big banks, giant mining corporations and road builders.

A new report warns that in the Amazon region alone − across Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador − governments have promised $27bn worth of investment on 12,000 kms (7,456 miles) of roads over the next five years. If all the promised infrastructure goes ahead, that could mean the loss o

Indian police open fire with tear gas and water cannon on farmers protesting ‘death warrant’ reforms

Police opened fire with tear gas and water cannons on farmers marching towards the Indian capital on Thursday, even as the country celebrated the adoption of its independent constitution.

The protesters, numbering in the tens of thousands, had intended to enter Delhi but were stopped by a huge police blockade out the capital.

The standoff took place at the state border between Haryana – Delhi’s neighbouring sta

Thailand approves transfer of 3 Iranians as Australian freed

In this frame grab from Iranian state television video aired Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, / Iranian State Television via AP)

Thai officials said Thursday they approved the transfer back to Tehran of three Iranians who were involved in a botched 2012 bomb plot, as Iran released a 33-year-old Australian academic who was imprisoned for more than two years on spying charges.

Thai officials did not go so far as to call it a prisoner swap or say what involvement Australia might have had in the arrangement. Iranian state TV said Tehran released British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert in exchange for three Iranians held abroad.

Chatchom Akapin, Thailand’s dep

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