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Electricity price hikes set to hit marine exports

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Electricity-price-hikes-set-to-hit-marine-exports-30231873.html

SPEED READ

Exports of marine products will be adversely impacted by increased electricity charges, said Dr Toe Nanda Tin, vice-chairperson of the Myanmar Marine Producers and Exporters Association.

In fiscal year 2013-14, the total earnings from marine exports amounted to US$536.27 million, falling short of the targeted $700 million.

“Even without any power [price] hikes, our exports fell short by $112 million of the target,” Dr Toe Nanda Tin

” If electricity costs increased by 50 percent, it will be the worse for us. Can the government accept it?

“If they do, all the SMEs [small and medium enterprises] will collapse. Without exports, can the country survive? Currently, we have more imports than exports.”

Myanmar’s marine exports set a record $652.84 million in FY 2012-13. Then it fell by $116.57 million the following year.

The total export volume of marine products was just over 340,000 metric tonnes for the last fiscal year, a more than 30,000 tonne reduction from the FY 2012-13.

At the same time, exports of fresh water fish yielded just over $86 million against the targeted $120 million.

“In view of power hikes, production costs soar, making our products uncompetitive for exports,” a marine exporter said.

“The scarcity of marine resources exacerbate the problem, putting additional pressure on export capability.”

Business forum to discuss the private sector

The private sector Myanmar Business Forum will be held in July, it has been revealed.

During a meeting between President Thein Sein and businessmen in February Thein Sein instructed the formation of the MBF.

The forum – in which Thein Sein will chair – is meant to allow businessmen to voice their grievances and outline their activities.

In turn, the government will tackle their problems and help the sector.

“Our country needs 90% growth in private sector to develop,” said Zaw Min Win, vice-chairperson of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

“We’re planning to hold the forum in the last week of July and to present the gist of Myanmar 2014 business proposals.”

The MBF will draft laws and bylaws while aiming to solve conflicts affecting the economy.

The plenary sessions will be held twice a year.

To form the MBF, the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) will lend know-how support to the UMFCCI after gaining expensive experience in similar forums elsewhere.

Asean countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have held similar forms.

UNIDO to upgrade fish factories

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will help upgrade eight Myanmar fish product factories to licence exports for European Union countries and the United States.

Tin Hla, an advisor to the Myanmar Fishery Products Processors and Exporters Association, said that at present there were 116 fishery product factories, most of which export to China.

“Eight factories will be upgraded by UNIDO, which is under the United Nations, in order to make them more advanced than they are now,” Tin Hla said.

“They will be standardised to standards of the factories exporting to EU. They will mainly export to EU and United States.”

Twenty of the 116 factories processing fish products have a permit to export products to the EU, according to the Fisheries Department.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Singh, a ‘patient man who was ready to help’

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Singh-a-patient-man-who-was-ready-to-help-30231882.html

Star MD recounts how politician helped him as a young reporter

Being a Penangite, Star Publications group managing director and chief executive officer Wong Chun Wai had been curious about the penal colony of Pulau Jerejak as a young reporter and had asked Karpal Singh to take him there.

Wong, who joined The Star in Penang in 1980, covered the courts. It was in the courts that he met Singh.

Singh, 74, a lawyer and former chairman of Malaysia’s opposition Democratic Action Party, died in a road accident on Thursday.

Wong said for many Penangites, Pulau Jerejak was a mysterious island where hardcore criminals were detained under Emergency regulations.

“I told him that I’d like to go there and Karpal said: ‘No problem, but you cannot go as a reporter but as my assistant’.”

He then told Wong to wear black and white the following day and carry his bag.

The boat that would transport people there broke down that day and they ended up hopping onto a boat filled with watermelons, convicts and prison wardens who were bringing food to the island.

“The convicts and wardens ate some of the watermelons on the boat and gave some to us too,” he said.

Once on the island, Wong was introduced as the legal assistant, and he got to see life there.

Wong also recalled that as a rookie reporter doing his court rounds, reporters used to fear one magistrate who would openly reprimand reporters who reported cases incorrectly.

Having no knowledge of court processes, he used to call Singh three or four times whenever his case was involved at the court to get his information right.

“He’d patiently answer every call without losing his cool even though he was busy, and told me how it should be phrased and quoted,” said Wong.

Singh’s office was in Green Hall then, across the road from the Penang court complex and a five-minute walk from The Star office on Pitt Street (now Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling).

Seeing him perform

Wong also recalled that the High Court would be full of people whenever Singh turned up for high-profile drug trafficking cases involving foreigners because people wanted to see how he “performed”.

“Karpal was practically holding court in the High Court,” he said.

It was through court reporting and Singh that Wong said he got into political reporting because many lawyers then were also politicians. Singh was not just a Penang politician but also a national figure.

Wong said the public saw Singh as outspoken and aggressive but he was actually soft spoken, and at times, shy.

Until he sued Utusan Malaysia and won in December 2012, he had never been known to take legal action against any newspaper.

Singh was awarded 50,000 ringgit (Bt495,000) in damages after the High Court ruled that Utusan Melayu had defamed him in the article “DAP diingat jangan bakar perasaan orang Melayu,” published in Utusan Malaysia on August 25, 2008.

Wong said Singh’s life was always open to all media, even to those who seemed unfriendly to him, and he was ever ready to provide legal service to journalists who faced problems in their profession.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Families of MH370 passengers to get financial assistance

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Families-of-MH370-passengers-to-get-financial-assi-30231883.html

The families of the passengers and crew of Flight MH370 will receive financial assistance from Malaysia Airlines to ease their burden, said Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin.

Zainuddin, who heads the sub-committee focusing on the next-of-kin, said that the process to identify those who would receive the assistance started two weeks ago.

The assistance would come solely from MAS, with the government only stepping in to bear some of the costs if there is a need for it.

During a briefing with the families at the Royale Chulan Hotel yesterday, Zainuddin said the families have been requested to submit their own amounts for financial assistance.

“Some of the families have lost their breadwinners and may be facing financial difficulties. Those affected will all receive some form of financial assistance from MAS. However, when the assistance will be given will be determined at a later date as we have recipients from 15 different countries, ” he told reporters.

He added that two Malaysian representatives were in talks with the families in China regarding financial assistance, with MCA vice-president Chew Mei Fun expected to fly to Beijing to speak to the next-of-kin as well.

Selamat Omar, 60, the father of aviation engineer Mohammed Khairul Amri Selamat, said he was grateful for the government’s offer.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

VN e-commerce sales expected to soar in 2015

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/VN-e-commerce-sales-expected-to-soar-in-2015-30231884.html

Vietnamese e-commerce sales are expected to hit more than US$4 billion in 2015, thanks to growing Internet users, reports the Vietnam e-commerce and Information Technology Agency (Vecita).

According to Vecita, which is under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the value of e-commerce sales in Vietnam was estimated at $2.2 billion with an average spending of $120 per capita last year.

Vietnam currently has more than 30 million internet users.

In the report, Vecita forecast that by 2015 Vietnam will have between 40-45 per cent of its population using the internet.

With the rapid pace of economic development and the growing trend in internet use, a Vietnamese is estimated to spend at least $150 on e-commerce purchases per year, bringing an estimated revenue of $4 billion in 2015, Vecita said.

With a population of 93 million, if 70 per cent of internet users shopped online it would generate annual revenue of about $4.3 billion.

If the figure were 65 per cent, $4.08 billion in revenue would be generate.

The percentage of online shoppers via applications installed on mobile devices reached 6 per cent in 2013.

Of the total online shoppers, 59 per cent are women and 41 per cent are men.

In terms of occupation, managers and state employees are most regular online buyers, accounting for 41 per cent of the total number of online purchases.

According to the report, they are usually pressed for time and that is why they shop online so much.

This group is followed by students (37 per cent) and those directly involved in business and production activities (7 per cent).

The major products sold online were fashion and beauty followed by furniture and electronics technology, home appliances and airfares.

In Vietnam, cash-on-delivery remains the most popular payment method used by clients after they ordered products online, followed by banks transfers, card payment accounts, scratch cards, and electronic wallets (an e-commerce payment gateway provided by a third party).

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Thousands attend funeral of Malaysian politician

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Thousands-attend-funeral-of-Malaysian-politician-30231885.html

Thousands of people yesterday joined the funeral procession of a senior Malaysian politician and lawyer who was killed in a traffic accident last week.

Opposition and ruling party politicians were among those who gathered at the house of Karpal Singh at dawn in George Town in the northern state of Penang, about 290 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur.

Singh, 74, former chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), died when his van collided with a lorry before dawn on Thursday on a highway in the nearby state of Perak.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Singh had taught Malaysians to defend their rights.

“Karpal showed us how not to fear the government,” he said in his eulogy. “Let us mourn and also honour him by realising his integrity, fight for freedom.”

Mourners who joined the funeral were dressed in black and white, with many wearing small stickers with the politician’s image on them.

Police have detained the lorry driver involved in the accident after he tested positive for drugs.

Singh’s aide was also killed in the crash.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Philippines’ oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Philippines-oldest-artworks-in-danger-of-disappear-30231886.html

On a small rock wall a short drive from the Philippine capital, enigmatic carvings that are believed to date back 5,000 years are in danger of disappearing before their mysteries can be solved.

The 127 engravings of people, animals and geometric shapes are the Southeast Asian nation’s oldest known artworks, but encroaching urbanisation, vandals and the

ravages of nature are growing threats.

“Eventually they will disappear… preservation is out of the question,” said veteran anthropologist Jesus Peralta, who did an extensive and widely respected study of the carvings in the 1970s.

The artworks have been declared a national treasure, regarded as the best proof that relatively sophisticated societies existed in the Philippines in the Stone Age.

“They show that in ancient times, the Philippines did have a complex culture. It’s a recording of our ancestors,” said Leo Batoon, a senior researcher of the National Museum.

Museum scientists believe the carvings date back to 3000 BC, based on carving tools and pottery shards discovered at the site, indicating they originated before the use of metal tools.

This makes them far older than the country’s second oldest known artworks, a series of geometric shapes in the mountainous northern Philippines that are believed to date to 1500 BC, according to Batoon.

But museum workers say it is difficult to conclusively determine the age of the carvings – scientifically referred to as “petroglyphs” – due to technical and financial constraints.

“Most of our artifacts in the museum are sent abroad and only if we have partners and proponents to spend for such dating,” said Batoon.

Little else is known about the figures, or the people who etched them.

One clue is that many of the human carvings appear to be in a squatting position, which has led scientists to theorise that the area was a place of worship.

The carvings were first documented by acclaimed Philippine artist Carlos Francisco in 1965 while he was leading a Boy Scout troop on a hike.

Since then, they have been known as “the Angono Petroglyphs”, after Francisco’s hometown nearby.

On list of endangered monuments

The World Monuments Fund, a New York-based private group that works to protect historical sites, placed the Angono Petroglyphs on its list of endangered monuments in 1996 and has provided help in their preservation.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has also placed the petroglyphs on its “tentative list” of world heritage sites.

But that has done little to stem the powerful tide of neglect.

The carvings are in mountains about 90 minutes’ drive from Manila that only a few decades ago were entirely forested.

But most of the trees have since been chopped down to make way for the country’s fast-growing population, with a holiday resort, a golf course and upper-class housing now surrounding the rock wall.

A real estate developer owns the land on which the petroglyphs sit.

He donated the hillside on which the carvings are located back to the national museum but allowed only a small buffer zone, and a road runs just 10 metres from the carvings.

Wind and rain, as well as plant roots creeping through the stone, have also damaged the soft rock where the carvings are etched.

The poorly funded national museum cannot afford to pay for adequate security so vandalism is also a constant worry.

People have scrawled their names on the rock and there are slash marks on some carvings that archaeologists have determined were only made recently.

Mining at a nearby gravel pit a few years ago also shook the ancient site, said Roden Santiago, a national museum guide.

Fortunately, after the museum made a request, the pit owners found a less threatening way to extract their minerals, according to Santiago, but he fears the foundations of the rock wall face more threats.

Not a major tourist attraction

He said planned new housing developments nearby would mean more underground pipes, which could weaken the hillside.

And despite their rich importance to the nation’s history, the carvings are not a major tourist attraction.

The national museum has constructed a small wooden viewing deck so visitors can get a good look at the petroglyphs without getting close enough to deface them, but there is little else to attract.

Tattoo artist Myke Sambajon did make the trip from Manila recently with his friends to see the carvings and said it was worth the long motorcycle ride despite being initially disheartened by the rudimentary nature of the tourist site.

“I felt pride because I never knew our people had anything this old,” Sambajon said. “I thought only other people had these things. We realised we also have an ancient history.”

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Lao businesses need to adjust plans after govt belt-tightening policy

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Lao-businesses-need-to-adjust-plans-after-govt-bel-30231887.html

A number of businesses – ranging from construction firms to office equipment suppliers – need to revise their business plans following the government announcing its belt tightening policy, according to economists.

“Business leaders in Laos need to adjust their business plans to the reality of the situation so they can run their businesses smoothly,” the Lao National Economic Research Institute director-general, Dr Leeber Leebouapao, told Vientiane Times.

Leeber made the comment amid concerns the government reigning in spending will hurt business sales, given the government is the biggest customer in the country.

In October, the government stopped paying state employees a monthly living allowance of 760,000 kip (US$95) per person as a measure to pay off the country’s debt.

It also announced a suspension of the state investment policy, which allowed private sector companies to invest in infrastructure projects first before collecting the debt later from the government, as a further austerity measure to avert economic crisis.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the government was granted approval from the National Assembly to spend 29,745 billion kip ($3.7 billion).

But it expects to collect only 25,261 billion kip ($3.1 billion) in revenue, according to a report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Challenges

The government has challenges implementing the current budget plan as it is facing difficulty collecting revenue.

Over the first quarter of this fiscal year, it was able to collect only 12 per cent of the annual revenue plan. The shortfall also delayed government expenditure.

The businesses that economists and business leaders believe will face a negative impacts from the government cutting spending are construction firms, car dealers and office equipment suppliers, as policymakers may consider purchasing these types of goods unnecessary amid revenue shortfalls.

Car dealers said they would have to revise their business plans because the government would now not be spending money on new cars.

They said they would instead focus sales and services on individual and private sector customers.

Dealers said despite the economy slowing they were confident it would recover over the next few years due to the construction of hydropower plants. “We expect to sell cars to hydropower plant construction projects as they still have high purchasing power,” a car dealer on the T2 road in Vientiane said.

Leeber said businesses should not worry too much because Laos remained one of the fastest growing economies in the region.

“Laos’ economy will continue to grow even if it sees a little bit of a slowdown. Lao economic growth will keep purchasing power high,” he said.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Army says 22 people killed in Kachin state

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Army-says-22-people-killed-in-Kachin-state-30231890.html

Strife threatens to delay peace process

Fighting between the military and ethnic minority rebels in northern Myanmar has left at least 22 people dead this month, the army said yesterday, dimming hopes of a nationwide peace deal.

Bloodshed in the state of Kachin, scene of the last major active civil clashes in the former junta-ruled country, has uprooted tens of thousands of people and tempered optimism about sweeping political reforms. Eight government soldiers, including one officer, have been killed in clashes this month, according to a statement carried by the army-owned Myawaddy newspaper.

The military also retrieved the bodies of 14 Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fighters along with weapons, it added.

There was no immediate comment from the KIA, one of the country’s largest rebel armies.

Kachin sources said thousands of villagers were taking refuge along the border with China.

According to the UN, about 100,000 people have been displaced in remote, resource-rich area since a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the rebels broke down in June 2011.

The total death toll from the conflict is unknown.

The military said fighting flared up earlier this month after one of its officers was killed in an ambush by the KIA, prompting it to deploy troops to clear areas along supply lines.

President Thein Sein’s reformist government has struck a series of tentative peace deals with major rebel groups in the country, which has been wracked by civil conflict for six decades.

After many rounds of talks, the government and Kachin rebels signed a plan in May 2013 aimed at ending hostilities.

At the time the agreement was hailed as a breakthrough by the government, which is now seeking to ink a nationwide ceasefire with a coalition of rebel groups to burnish its reform credentials as it woos foreign donors and investors.

Another round of peace talks is scheduled for early May although it could be delayed because of the fresh unrest, according to a person close to the talks who did not want to be named.

Since decades of outright military rule ended three years ago, former general Thein Sein has won international praise by freeing hundreds of political prisoners, easing censorship and letting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi enter parliament. But optimism has been marred by the Kachin conflict and outbreaks of deadly Buddhist-Muslim strife and concerns about continued repressive laws.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Japan, US to back ASEAN’s sea surveillance: report

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Japan-US-to-back-ASEANs-sea-surveillance-report-30231804.html

Japan and the United States will pledge to jointly help Southeast Asian nations boost their marine surveillance capabilities, a newspaper said Saturday, as tensions over territorial disputes in the region simmer.

US President Barak Obama will discuss the issue with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan next week. A deal is expected to be included in the joint statement signed by both leaders and issued after the summit meeting, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Under the planned accord, the two countries are expected to offer patrol vessels to members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), the mass-circulation daily said, citing unnamed sources.

They will also agree to train ASEAN coastguards and help the countries develop an information-sharing system against pirates and suspicious ships in the region, the newspaper said.

The Japan-US initiative is aimed at helping ASEAN members not only take effective measures against pirates and natural disasters but also boost their deterrence capacity against China’s assertive claim to disputed territories, it added.

“Improving ASEAN’s ocean surveillance capability will benefit Japan and the United States,” a Japanese government official said, according to Yomiuri.

China and Japan are at loggerheads over the ownership of a string of islands in the East China Sea, while Beijing is also in dispute with several nations over territory in the South China Sea, which it claims almost in its entirety.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Cellphone app to help Singapore soldiers

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Cellphone-app-to-help-Singapore-soldiers-30231656.html

Singapore’s Military commanders can now easily gauge the risk of say, whether lightning will strike during training, with a new mobile phone application.

Launched last Friday by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Army Safety App will provide about 4,000 commanders with information such as lightning risk classifications, the PSI and weather forecasts.

Such data is critical in deciding whether to carry on training.

It also provides hospital contact information and can route commanders to nearby medical facilities. The phone app, which took less than a year to develop, allows commanders to report safety hazards directly to the Army Safety Inspectorate (ASI) via e-mail.

It is currently available only to army commanders with Android smartphones.

It is too early to tell if there will be a version for operationally ready servicemen.

The app will not replace existing safety measures but, instead, it will be a “convenient and complementary source of information”, ASI’s Captain Muhammad Noor Ehsan was quoted as saying in SAF publication Cyberpioneer.

Most development work on the app was done by three full-time national servicemen, who worked under their supervisor in a team of eight.

Separately, Mindef is also trying out a mobile application by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to track the exercise and dietary habits of NSmen.

The trial commenced on April 1 and is currently open to an NS battalion, which usually consists of about 600 men.

They can key in their daily food intake and exercise activities into the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracker (iDAT) app, which will compute their calorie balance.

The app also has a social element, allowing users to share their progress and targets.

Replying to The Straits Times’ queries, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies defence analyst Collin Koh said the use of such applications is “in sync with societal and technological trends” and also appeals to younger soldiers who are more tech-savvy.

He also lauded the SAF’s efforts to develop its own applications: “This ensures there is a certain level of safety and cyber security embedded in them. But there is also a need to carefully manage whatever sensitive data [that] is gathered.”

NSman and research associate Charles Chew, 25, said he would consider using the iDAT app as it can help him get in shape but added: “It will be quite a hassle to key in the information daily, so there should be some kind of incentive for it.”

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

New phase if sub fails to find MH370

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/New-phase-if-sub-fails-to-find-MH370-30231657.html

Australia says search will be completed in a week or so

The hunt by a mini-submarine for a Malaysian airliner in the uncharted depths of the Indian Ocean – the latest phase in a huge international search – will end in about a week, Australia says.

If the best leads now being pursued to locate wreckage from the Boeing 777 prove fruitless, said Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the search would not be abandoned but enter a new phase.

The US Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Bluefin-21 is the newest tool deployed in the hunt, after satellite data and electronic signals from the plane’s black box helped narrow the search area.

But the unmanned torpedo-shaped sonar-mapping device is operating at the extreme limit of its range, and has twice had to cut short its mission.

“We believe that [sub] search will be completed within a week or so,” Abbott told the Wall Street Journal in an interview yesterday as the device mapped the seabed 2,000 kilometres off the western Australian city of Perth.

“If we don’t find wreckage, we stop, we regroup, we reconsider.”

The AUV completed its first full mission yesterday at the third attempt, officials said, and was getting ready to dive again. Data it retrieved is being analysed.

The first two partially completed missions failed to produce any results.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished on March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The cause of its disappearance, after being diverted hundreds of kilometres off course, remains a mystery. No debris has been found despite an enormous search involving ships and planes from several nations.

“My determination for Australia is that we will do whatever we reasonably can to resolve the mystery,” Abbott said.

“If the current search turns up nothing, we won’t abandon it, we will simply move to a different phase,” he was quoted by the Journal as saying, reiterating his confidence that searchers were looking in the right place.

After more than three weeks of listening for signals from the black box flight recorder, the sub was deployed for the first time on Monday night but aborted the mission after breaching its 4,500 metre operating limit.

An unexplained technical problem cut short the second mission, raising questions about the whole search, which is expected to be further complicated by thick silt on the seabed.

The Bluefin is being deployed from the deck of the Australian vessel Ocean Shield, which has led the search.

Before Abbott’s comments the US Navy estimated it would take the Bluefin-21 “anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire search area”.

Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) has repeatedly called for patience and warned the search will be a long, laborious process.

“Bluefin-21 has searched approximately 90 square kilometres to date and the data from its latest mission is being analysed,” JACC said.

JACC chief Angus Houston has stressed that the mini-sub cannot operate below 4,500m and that other vehicles would have to be brought in to cope with greater depths.

Experts have said these could include remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that can go as deep as 6km.

An ROV was used to pluck the flight data recorders of Air France 447 from the bottom of the Atlantic in 2011.

Houston had announced on Monday the end of listening for electronic pulse signals from the black box and the launch of the submarine operation.

The mini-sub is supposed to conduct a sonar survey of the ocean floor for 16 hours at a time. The dive itself takes two hours as does re-surfacing.

Houston has described the detection of the electronic pulses, last heard more than a week ago, as the best lead in the hunt for the plane.

An oil slick had also been sighted in the search area, he said on Monday, and was taken ashore by sea for testing to see whether it came from the plane.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Indonesia to have a locally built warship

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Indonesia-to-have-a-locally-built-warship-30231658.html

The Indonesian Navy will soon have its own locally made frigate when the construction of the PKR 10514 guided-missile destroyer escort is completed in 2016.

Navy chief of staff Admiral Marsetio led a keel laying ceremony for the PKR, which the navy classifies as a frigate, at the state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia in Surabaya on Wednesday. The warship is being built under the supervision of Dutch shipbuilder Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).

“The PKR frigate will have the modern surface warfare capabilities being equipped with [anti-ship] Exocet missile, anti-submarine warfare with torpedoes, anti-aircraft warfare and electronic warfare,” Marsetio said after the ceremony.

The new warship is the largest to be built domestically and is 105 by 14 metres in size.

Marsetio was accompanied by the Defence Ministry’s Defence Facilities Agency chief Rear Admiral Rachmat Lubis, Dutch Ambassador Tjeerd F de Zwan and DSNS CEO Hen van Ameijden.

The Defence Ministry ordered two PKR 10514s with a contract of US$220 million (Bt7 billion). The first steel cutting was conducted in January to mark the start of the frigate construction.

Rachmat said the contract already covered training for PT PAL’s engineers both at home and in the Netherlands and weaponry for the frigates, which must include domestically made weapon systems.

“Initially the warship was to be fully built abroad but after some discussions, it was agreed that the production would be conducted jointly with PT PAL,” he said.

The construction is divided into six modules, of which four will be built at PT PAL’s facility while the remainder, engine and bridge, would be built in Vlissingen.

“Once finished, the two modules from the Netherlands would be brought and assembled here at PT PAL,” Marsetio said.

The navy chief guaranteed that though most of the modules were to be built in Indonesia, the quality would still be the same with those made in the Netherlands as construction would be conducted under the direct supervision of a special DSNS team.

The first ship should be ready by December 2016 while the second frigate in October 2017.

Meanwhile, van Ameijden was upbeat that the cooperation would go smoothly.

“Early January there was nothing here [in the shipyard] but today we can see, there is good progress,” he said.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Malaysian dies from virus he picked up in Mecca

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Malaysian-dies-from-virus-he-picked-up-in-Mecca-30231660.html

A Malaysian has died from complications caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) after returning from Saudi Arabia, in what appears to be the first fatal case of the disease in Southeast Asia.

The Health Ministry said yesterday that a 54-year-old man from Batu Pahat in Johor had visited Mecca to perform the umrah, a Muslim pilgrimage trip, and returned to Malaysia on March 29.

He developed fever, cough and breathing difficulties on April 8, and was admitted to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail in Batu Pahat last Thursday for three days. He succumbed to complications caused by the virus on Sunday.

Health Minister S Subramaniam has urged passengers who took the same flights as the victim to contact the ministry for a health screening. The victim took Turkish Airlines flights TK93 and TK60 on the Jeddah-Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route on March 29.

“The Health Ministry is conducting disease prevention and control measures, including monitoring those who have come into contact with the case,” the minister said yesterday.

He added that the people being monitored currently include health workers who have handled the infected case.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the Mers-CoV, first identified in the Middle East in 2012, had not been previously detected in humans and little is known about the transmission of the virus.

The WHO said the virus is believed to be of animal origin, but it has yet to be identified in any animal species. Symptoms of infections include fever, cough, shortness of breath and diarrhoea.

The WHO has so far recorded 238 cases, including 92 deaths. These cases were recorded in several Middle East countries including Qatar and Oman. Despite that, it did not recommend travel restrictions to these countries.

Last week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported 10 cases of the Mers-CoV infection among healthcare workers who were identified through screenings following contact with an infected person in Abu Dhabi. This person died last Thursday, but all 10 workers were reported to be in stable condition.

A Filipino health worker in the UAE who returned to the Philippines yesterday tested positive for Mers-CoV, according to health officials.

He had reported his condition to the Philippine authorities and is reported to be in isolation, media reports said.

Another Filipino health worker had died of the disease in Al Ain in the UAE last Thursday.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Lawmaker who defended Anwar killed in accident

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Lawmaker-who-defended-Anwar-killed-in-accident-30231661.html

A leading Malaysian politician who gained fame defending opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in his sensational sodomy trials was killed in a road accident yesterday, police said.

Karpal Singh, 73, was killed along with a longtime assistant when his vehicle struck a lorry on a highway in the northern state of Perak in the early morning, state police chief Acryl Sani Abdullah said.

Anwar said the news of Karpal’s death came “like a lightning bolt.”

“Just last evening, I had had a lengthy chat with him,” the opposition leader said in a statement, expressing “profound sadness.”

He called Karpal “an inspiring symbol for the struggle against oppression and injustice.”

The outspoken Karpal – wheelchair-bound following a 2005 road accident – emerged as a leading lawyer in the 1970s.

First elected to parliament in 1978, he was detained in 1987 for more than a year under a tough crackdown on opposition figures.

He later went on to defend Anwar, who was ousted in 1998 from the top ranks of the authoritarian Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition that still rules Malaysia. After losing a struggle for power, Anwar was convicted on sodomy and corruption charges widely viewed as politically motivated. He spent six years in jail.

He later emerged to lead a once-divided political opposition to stunning electoral successes that have brought it to the cusp of power.

Karpal again defended Anwar against new sodomy charges brought in 2008. Anwar was acquitted in 2012 but that was overturned by a higher court in March in a ruling denounced by rights groups. Anwar, who faces five years in jail, plans to appeal.

Karpal, an ethnic Indian of the Sikh faith, was convicted in February of sedition in a ruling he denounced as “political intimidation” by the Barisan government led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The case stemmed from comments he made in 2009 that were deemed to have questioned the actions of Perak’s ceremonial Islamic sultan. It is illegal to insult predominantly Muslim Malaysia’s nine state sultans.

Najib, currently on a trip to Turkey, offered his “condolences to the family” of Karpal in a Twitter posting.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Country braces for tourist boom with 48 new hotels in 3 months

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/Country-braces-for-tourist-boom-with-48-new-hotels-30231663.html

There will be 48 hotels – providing a total of 37,024 rooms – opened across the country within the next three months, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Last year, there were 923 hotels and more than 30,000 rooms opened while in 2012 there were 787 hotel launches.

Despite the increase in accommodation, some regions have been unable to accommodate increasing numbers of visitors.

Many tourists are interested in visiting remote parts of Chin, Kachin, Kayah and Shan States which used to be out of bounds – but many of these areas lack appropriate accommodation.

“In Chin State … tourists mostly visit to Natmataung in southern part,” tour guide Ye Htet said.

“We usually send tourists to northern parts such as Teedin and Harkhar townships but there are fewer hotels there. Even if there are hotels, the hotels don’t meet international standards. We saw bungalows being constructed near Reed Lake (and) now that transportation is better, tourists may increase in the future,” he said.

At present, there are two hotels in Kalay, Chin State, 52 hotels in Nay Pyi Taw, 244 in Yangon, 114 in Mandalay, 77 in Bagan, Nyaung Oo and 75 in Taunggyii-Inlay, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

เมษายน 21, 2014 Posted by | ASEAN, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น