Thailand is stepping up efforts to curb ocean plastic waste and conserve endangered marine life, through a comprehensive programme named after well-loved baby dugong Mariam, who died after consuming plastic. The Mariam Project, which is expected to involve many stakeholders in the public and private sectors, includes initiatives to increase the number of dugongs and other endangered species, ban single-use plastic bags, straws and cups as well as styrofoam in a few years, redelineate fishing zones, collect ocean waste by boat, and build hospitals and recuperation centres for endangered species. "The (Natural Resources and Environment) Ministry wants to use Mariam's death to drive forward these initiatives to conserve not only dugongs, but all endangered species both on land and at sea," said Mr Ukrit Sataphumin, head of the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute. "Mariam's death has created a social shock. She is now an icon for the dangers of ocean plastic … [Read more...] about Thailand speeds up plans to cut ocean waste
About cutting speed
Asean's plan to complete talks this year on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) got a boost after India, one of the dialogue partners outside Asean, gave a positive political commitment to support negotiations that are to conclude in November.According to acting commerce minister Chutima Bunyapraphasara, who just returned from a three-day visit to India, the country welcomed the chance to finish all negotiations relating to the RCEP later this year. The conclusion of the talks is expected to be announced at the Asean summit held in Bangkok in November, Ms Chutima said. She and Enggartiasto Lukita, Asean secretariat and Indonesia's minister of trade, met Piyush Goyal, India's commerce and industry minister, to discuss ways to speed up the negotiations, especially in the opening of goods, services and investment, so that the pact is in place by year-end. "India has been asked to become more flexible on the talks," she said. "India has welcomed the request but asked the … [Read more...] about India enthusiastic about sealing RCEP
BRASILIA: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Brazil's capital on Thursday (May 30) following calls for a second nationwide demonstration in as many weeks over the government's plan to slash education spending.Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's government has provoked outrage among students and teachers over its proposal to freeze 30 per cent of discretionary spending for public universities in the second half of this year.A suspension of post-graduate scholarships for students in science and the humanities has also fuelled anger.Tens of thousands protested across Brazil on May 15, but Thursday's turnout could be lower after the government said it would free up 1.59 billion reais in funding (about US$400 million) for the sector.Protests began in Brasilia ahead of demonstrations in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities later in the day."I'm here for those who are poor and deserve the right to quality public education," social services student Kaio Duarte told AFP in … [Read more...] about Thousands protest in Brazil over education cuts
Two men driving Mitsubishi Evolution 10 sports sedans decided to "play with each other" by racing on the Central Expressway (CTE) at speeds of about 180kmh. They swerved across lanes and overtook several vehicles while driving at twice the 90kmh speed limit in the early hours of Oct 14 last year. Business development executive Allan Chia Chee Shin, 39, and Ng Chee Yong, 27, were each jailed for two weeks and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for four years after they pleaded guilty to rash driving yesterday. District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said the sentence should act as a deterrent and send a message to motorists not to endanger the lives of others. He said the duo would have posed a risk to other motorists as "there were other vehicles on the road" at the time of the offence. Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong told the court that Chia had met about 15 drivers, including Ng, for a motorcar group gathering at Loyang Temple at about 11.30pm on Oct 13. When the group … [Read more...] about Two men jailed after driving on CTE at about 180kmh
By Christopher Hume Star Columnist Mon., May 6, 2019 By the time Ontario Premier Doug Ford is finished with Toronto, the city will be lucky if it’s allowed to hire a dogcatcher without Queen’s Park first passing enabling legislation. Mayor John Tory will want to keep his short pants close at hand. Forget about governing by disruption, Ford’s gleeful politics of destruction have wreaked havoc across the province, nowhere more so than in its largest city, which he is remaking as fast as the legislative process will allow. Last week alone he cleared the way for the province to “upload” Toronto’s subway system, undid Ontario Municipal Board reform and, to add insult to injury, brought back old developer-friendly rules, and then withdrew funding that supports more than 6,000 subsidized daycare spots in Toronto. Last fall, Ford cut Toronto city council in half, seemingly on a whim, and again made a point of adding insult to injury … [Read more...] about Booze, speed and dangerous cuts — is this what Ontarians want?