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Ban Sob Kai,Chiang Mai

Posted by arnon_k On August - 31 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Nestled atop a hillside characterized by the untouched beauty of its rivers and mountains, Ban Sob Kai is a small village where adventure awaits you. Rafting in either inflatable boats or traditional bamboo rafts will give you access to unprecedented views of stunning scenery with a rocky and curving shoreline along the Mae Tang River.

Accommodation : Homestay and nearby resorts.

Activities : Enjoy a tour of the area atop a noble beast with an elephant trek hit the rapids in a raft for a white knuckle ride which is fun for all the family.

Contact : Kued Chang Sub-district administrative organization, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
tel : 66 (0) 5331 7404-5

Reddit co-founder plans ‘Internet 2012’ bus tour

Posted by arnon_k On August - 31 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — The economy has been front and center during this presidential race, followed by issues such as national security, abortion and taxes.

But are the candidates talking enough about the Internet?

Some big-time Web players don’t think so and plan to launch a nationwide bus tour to see if they can change that.

Start-up guru Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social sharing site Reddit, is raising funds for the Internet 2012 Bus Tour.

“From taxes, to health care, to immigration — Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on anything,” reads the text on the project’s IndieGoGo fund-raising campaign. “But there’s one thing no one’s really talking about that both sides should be championing: The Open Internet.”

Ohanian, who also founded travel site Hipmunk and philanthropic geek-merchandise vendor Breadpig, was active in this year’s fight to derail the Stop Online Piracy Act. That bill and related legislation were designed to crack down on illegal sharing of copyrighted material, but critics attacked it as an overreaching assault on Web freedoms.

Ohanian said that the success of Reddit, which was launched in 2005 with just $12,000 in funding, speaks to the importance of a free and open Internet to the economic growth both parties promise to deliver. The site was bought by Conde Nast in 2006 and, last month, had nearly 40 million unique visitors.

“We got to live the American dream by having this great startup success at a company that continues to grow,” he said in an interview with CNN. “There is really no other industry right now where you can say that.

“There are companies right now, starting up all over the country, who could be the next Google.”

Tour leaders have drafted what they’re calling the Internet Declaration of Freedom. It calls for promises to never censor the Web, promote international access to fast, affordable Web services and defend online privacy, among other things.

And they’re encouraging both major U.S. political parties to add Internet freedom to their official platforms.

Ohanian said he’s heard “on pretty damn good authority” that some sort of Web-freedom language will be proposed for the Republican platform. He hopes that will help spur Democrats, many of whom also opposed SOPA and similar bills, to do the same.

“I would love to hear it brought up during the debates,” he said. “I would love it to be the thing that Obama and Romney try to one-up each other on.”

The bus (painted half-red and half-blue to give it a bipartisan vibe) will travel from Denver — site of the first presidential debate October 3 — to Danville, Kentucky, where the vice-presidential debate will be held eight days later. It will start with a kickoff event on October 1 in Denver.

Along the roughly 1,000-mile journey, they plan to host meet-ups with supporters, promote local Web start-ups, support candidates friendly to their cause and register people to vote.

Reddit is funding most of the cost of getting the tour from town to town, but the fund-raising campaign will cover expenses such as hosting local events, promotional material and documenting the journey.

The campaign is shooting to raise $40,000. Unlike fellow fund-raising site Kickstarter though, IndieGoGo doesn’t require that goal to be reached for the tour to receive all the contributions.

It won’t be the first time that folks from Reddit (current general manager Erik Martin is joining Ohanian) have sparred with presidential campaign players over Web freedom.

The site targeted Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan last year for his perceived support of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Critics considered Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, to have been too vague in his stance on the legislation and objected to the $288,600 in campaign funds he had received from groups considered to be for it.

Reddit users launched “Operation Pull Ryan,” publicizing the congressman’s muted stance on the issue and throwing support behind his political opponent. Ryan eventually announced he would oppose the bill, calling the Internet “one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history” and saying “it should stay that way.”

“A bunch of random people on the Internet made it an issue,” Ohanian said. “A bunch of citizens got him and his team to come out with a statement in opposition. That’s impressive.”

Reddit also joined Wikipedia and other sites that went black for a day in January to protest that legislation, which was eventually shelved without a vote.

Narat likely to take up rights post

Posted by arnon_k On August - 31 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Pol Col Narat Sawettanan, an inspector-general at the Justice Ministry, is tipped to become director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department (RLPD) in the ministry’s upcoming reshuffle.

Justice Minister Pracha Promnok yesterday said a list of suitable candidates to fill positions that will become vacant when several officials retire at the end of the current fiscal year next month will be forwarded for cabinet approval at its next meeting on Sept 4.

The senior C-10 ministry officials facing mandatory retirement next month include Sureeprapas Traivej, deputy permanent secretary for justice; Kasem Yaowarat, the ministry’s inspector-general; and Pitthaya Jinawat, director-general of the RLPD.

A Justice Ministry source said Pol Col Narat is expected to take the top post at the RLPD.

The name of the nominee to take over as secretary-general of the Narcotics Office of the Narcotics Control Board will also be submitted to the cabinet next week, with Pol Lt Gen Worapong Chiewpreecha, an adviser to the Royal Thai Police Office being the likely choice, the source said.

Pol Gen Pracha also said yesterday that drug trafficking is now at the top of Asean’s priority list of problems to tackle.

Justice ministers from all 10 Asean member countries will discuss the problem to work out joint measures to combat it during a meeting in Bangkok today, he said.

Myanmar removes names from blacklist

Posted by arnon_k On August - 31 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s two sons are among about 2,000 names removed from a blacklist in Myanmar, the president’s office revealed Thursday.

The list of those barred from entering the country also features international political figures, rights campaigners and journalists, such as British investigative reporter John Pilger and CNN’s Dan Rivers.

Another person no longer blacklisted is John Yettaw, an American citizen who made his way into Suu Kyi’s house — reportedly by swimming across a lake — in order, he said, to save her from assassination.

The late Philippine President Corazon Aquino is also on the list of names, as is Britain’s Glenys Kinnock, a former minister for Europe and wife of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.
Rights campaigners include Human Rights Watch’s Asia director Brad Adams and the late U.S. singer, activist and politician Sonny Bono.

The announcement that about 2,000 names were being taken off the blacklist was reported by state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar on Monday.

But the full list in English was only released on the website of the president’s office overnight Wednesday to Thursday.

Dozens of American names, often accompanied by passport numbers, are included in the document, including the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos. Scores of Britons, Australians and Germans are also among those named, as are many people from neighboring Thailand and nearby Malaysia.

Others are listed as “ex-Myanmar,” some of whom are probably exiled opposition activists. They will now have the chance to return home.

Announcing the decision Monday, New Light of Myanmar said it was being carried out in line with democratic, political and economic reforms. There was no mention of how many people might remain on the blacklist.

“In the past, companies and persons from all fields including media men were blacklisted and banned by the government in the national interest. But the government is lifting the ban on them in accord with the reforming system,” the newspaper said.

“Green light would be given to those Myanmar citizens who are currently in foreign countries, enabling them to return home.”

The move follows a series of reforms in the past year under the government of President Thein Sein, as the country’s ruling generals have loosened their grip.

Myanmar has released hundreds of political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, and instituted a series of political reforms after decades of repressive military rule. Western governments have responded to the efforts by easing sanctions on the country.