Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Get Adobe Flash player

Battery-operated LED eyelashes that flash in various colours have emerged as the latest clubber-inspired fad in recent weeks but officials have decided they can still be sold in Thailand despite growing health concerns including the risk of cataracts.

Ignoring warnings from a leading Mahidol University ophthalmologist, among others, authorities said this week they can be sold legally as a fashion accessory if they carry accurate instructions for use in line with the Consumer Protection Act.

Deputy police spokesman Kritsana Pattanacharoen said yesterday the fake lashes, which use thin wires and can be glued to the lids in a matter of minutes, have not been prohibited by the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB).

Importers and distributors are within the bounds of the law as long the products carry the correct labels and instructions as required by Sections 30 and 31 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1979, he said.

The lashes are lightweight but require the use of a controller that can be attached to the back of the head. At least some versions offer different flashing settings such as scroll, dance and sparkle, reports claim.

But Assoc Prof Narit Kitnarong, an ophthalmologist at the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, recently told Thai News Agency the lashes can accelerate the development of wrinkles around the eyes and cause frequent blinking due to heat from the LED lights.

Regular use may even cause blepharoptosis, or drooping upper eyelids, due to the weight of the accessory, he said. The condition requires surgery. The ultraviolet radiation they emit may also cause other abnormalities.

Pol Col Kritsana said those who violate the Consumer Protection Act could face a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to 50,000 baht or both.

If the LED eyelashes are prohibited in Thailand under Section 36 by the OCPB — a possibility given the potential health risk — retailers could be jailed for up to five years, face a fine of up to 500,000 baht, or both, he said.

The product does not fall under the control of the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (Tisi) as it had been identified as a fashion item, he added.

According to the Industrial Products Standards Act of 1968, light bulbs and lighting equipment require Tisi labels, Pol Col Kritsana said.


Tillerson to press Thailand on North Korea

Posted by pakin On August - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will press Thailand and other Asian countries to take tougher action against North Korea when he visits Bangkok and attends regional meetings in Manila starting this week, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

Tillerson will visit Thailand next Tuesday and then Malaysia. His visit includes a trip to the Philippines this weekend for the start of Asean meetings and the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), which includes North Korea.

Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Tillerson will meet with Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai during his overnight stay in Bangkok Tuesday night. The two met privately in Washington in May.

His visit to Bangkok will be the first by a US secretary of state since the military seized power in the May 22, 2014, coup.

US-Thai relations have warmed this year, after the election of President Donald Trump. President Barack Obama and his secretaries of state – Hillary Clinton and John Kerry – pressured Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the regime to hold elections and resume democratic rule.

He plans to engage with China’s foreign minister at the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, but had no plans to meet North Korea’s foreign minister there.

Thornton said Tillerson, who begins his quick Asean tour in Manila on Saturday, will press Thailand for greater cooperation in isolating North Korea and in enforcing UN sanctions over its missile and nuclear weapons programmes. She said Washington wanted to see countries “drastically” reduce their dealings with Pyongyang.

“What we are trying to do is galvanise this pressure and isolate North Korea so it can see what the opportunity cost is over developing these weapons programmes,” she told reporters in a telephone briefing to preview Tillerson’s trip.

During his overnight stay in Bangkok, Mr Tillerson will pay respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He is expected to stress the “enduring” US-Thailand partnership, his spokesman said earlier.

Mr Tillerson is intimately familiar with Thailand. As a rising executive on his way to become chief of Exxonmobil, he was president of Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc.

Starting in 1996, he directed the ramping up of production in Thailand’s first commercial natural gas field at Nam Phong district of Khon Kaen.

Thailand has diplomatic relations with Pyongyang including full embassies in each other’s capitals.

Thornton said China had taken “significant steps, … frankly unprecedented steps” to increase pressure on its neighbour North Korea, but it could do “a lot more” to step up enforcement of existing sanctions and to impose more.

“We would like to see more action faster and more obvious and quick results, but I think we’re not giving up yet.”

US President Donald Trump on Saturday accused Beijing of doing “nothing” to help on North Korea and pointed to the huge US trade deficit with China.

A senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday that Trump was close to a decision on how to respond to what he considers China’s unfair trade practices and was considering action that could lead to tariffs or other trade restrictions on Chinese goods.

Thornton declined to comment on any possible action but stressed that despite Trump’s tweets, North Korea and the trade issue were not linked in a “transactional,” but “in a sort of philosophical way.”

“Can we work together jointly on the key security challenge facing Northeast Asia, which is the North Korea challenge?” she said. “If we can work together to do that, surely we can have a productive, mutually beneficial economic relationship in which we both enjoy reciprocal and fair access to each other’s markets.”

Thornton said Tillerson would continue to press China on the South China Sea issue while in Asia, where the United State has been pressing for rapid adoption of a code of conduct over competing territorial claims.

She said the United States would “certainly” raise human rights with Philippine President Duterte’s government.

US criticism of Duterte’s bloody war on drugs under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama damaged relations between the long-standing allies. Duterte has remained defiant, accusing critics of “trivialising” his drug campaign with human rights concerns.


Prayut gives Sakon Nakhon drain deadline

Posted by pakin On August - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed authorities Wednesday to focus on the flood-plagued province of Sakon Nakhon and ensure most of the excess water is released into the Mekong River within a week.

After the floodwater is depleted, a full-scale rehabilitation plan will be implemented in flood-ravaged areas including industrial and agricultural businesses, he said.

Gen Prayut was speaking during his visit to the province after he was briefed on the situation there by provincial governor Witthaya Chanchalong and Royal Irrigation Department chief Sanchai Ketworachai.

He expressed his appreciation to local officials who he said worked at full steam to assist villagers.

Meanwhile, Government House is raising donations to help the flood victims, it said. Donors are eligible for tax reductions if they pledge to government-registered funds.

Gen Prayut said an additional budget has been allocated to repair Hua Sai Khamin reservoir in Muang district after it overflowed following heavy rains. The repair work is due to be completed by Aug 12.

The reservoir will be dredged to increase its capacity, officials said.

After the maintenance work wraps up it will be able to conserve an additional 600,000 cubic metres of water, bringing the total capacity to 3 million cu/m, they said.

According to the prime minister, the province was recently hit with 500 million cu/m of rainwater, exceeding the reservoir’s 240 million cu/m capacity and leading to overflowing in Muang district.

Gen Prayut also ordered inspections of the Kam and Un rivers, as well as forest land on Phu Phan mountain to assess how much rainwater they can absorb.

He also requested the media refrain from publishing what he described as a trivial matter, referring to the breach of Huai Sai Khamin reservoir.

“Now we are using 40 to 50 pumps to drain water from flood-hit areas in Sakon Nakhon,” he said.

“Would these facilities be sufficient if floods were to strike several provinces at the same time? No, we’d all be in trouble. So, we shouldn’t make a mountain out of a molehill,” he said.

Gen Prayut said villagers in flood-prone areas were still being warned to prepare for heavy rains that could trigger flash floods.

The prime minister then travelled to Nakhon Phanom to inspect floodwater discharged from Sakon Nakhon at a sluice gate in That Phanom district.

Seven of 12 districts in Nakhon Phanom were reported to have been hit hard after the province was inundated with floodwater from Sakon Nakhon. The situation was exacerbated by heavy rains, flash floods and runoff from nearby mountains.

Over 53,000 residents from 17,000 households were affected by flooding while 134,000 rai of farmland was devastated, according to reports.

The sluice gate inspected by Gen Prayut was the last barrier to filter overflow from Nong Han Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake.

Eleven provinces in Thailand have been severely ravaged by flooding due to tropical storm Sonca, according to Somchai Lertlarpwasin, director of the northeastern-based Bank of Thailand.

Many farms have been swallowed by floodwater causing estimated damages of anywhere between 7 billion baht and 10 billion baht.


The magazine said its real-time tracking of personal fortunes showed Bezos with a net worth of $90.5 billion, ahead of the $90 billion for Gates.

Bezos owns around 17 percent of the equity of Amazon, which has been expanding from its original mission as an online retailer to a diversified tech firm in cloud computing, online video, computing hardware and artificial intelligence.

The company also recently announced plans to acquire US grocer Whole Foods, which could help Amazon expand in that sector.