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Casinos Shut, Jobs Lost as Cambodia Bans Online Gambling

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Since the ban on online gambling in August around 7000+ Cambodians have lost jobs while dozens of casinos are closed down. There are more losses to be expected when the government officials announce to begin inspections on Tuesday.

The coastal city of the south, Sihanoukville, was a hub for gambling and several dozens of Chinese owned casinos that have flourished along with an elaborate setup of online gambling operations.

In the Prime Minister Hun Sen’s statement this week, he said that he would ban online gambling permanently after the first announcement in August claiming that this industry had been misused by foreign offenders to extort money.

Ros Phearun the deputy director-general of the Finance Ministry’s financial industry department told Reuters that officials will begin the inspection of all the casinos in the country on January 1st to check whether they have shut down their online operations.

Ros Phearun even further said that government might face revenue hard hit since online gambling contributes around 1/4th of the $80 million per year estimate which comes in the form of taxes from these casinos. After the ban, most of them went back to their own countries

After the announcement in August, a huge number of casinos goes shut with only 136 casinos left nationwide by December. That number is expected to further go down to only 94 casinos left nationwide by the end of this January.

According to Yov Khemara, the director of Sihanoukville labour department, more than 7,700 locals lost their jobs after the ban. These people used to work as labour in factories and shifted to casinos as there were better opportunities in casinos. Now most of them are again back to working in factories as only around 36 of 70 casinos are left in Sihanoukville.

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Harsh Weather Delays Nepal Avalanche Rescue Missions

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On Friday after a heavy snowfall, an avalanche occurred at an altitude of about 3,230 metres close to the Annapurna base camp. Around four South Koreans and three Nepalis still remain missing while 200 people have been rescued after the avalanche hit.

Trekkers were en route on a Himalayan mountain near a base camp when the avalanche struck. There were four South Korean volunteer teachers and two Nepali guides missing. Heavy snowfall of about five metres(16ft) at the scene has delayed the rescue operations on Saturday.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports, rescue operations were set to resume on Sunday with helicopters and 10 more police officers are expected to join the search on Mount Annapurna which is one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. The avalanche has said to have occurred in an altitude of 3,230m (10,600ft) about 150 km from northwest of the country’s capital Kathmandu.

According to South Korean foreign ministry, the missing trekkers include two women in their 30s and 50s and two men in their 50s who are teachers staying in Nepal for volunteer work. Other five South Korean members of the group took shelter in the lodge before being they were airlifted to safety. According to Sandesh Pandey of Janbogo Tour Nepal who helped organize the trek said that the four missing people were part of 11-member team from South Korea.

안나푸르나에서 실종된 선생님들과 현지 가이드의 신속한 구조를 국민들과 함께 간절히 기원합니다. 설 명절을 일주일 앞두고 생사의 갈림길에서 사투를 벌이고 계실 실종자들과 가족들을 생각하니 애가 탑니다.사고수습이…

Posted by 문재인 on Saturday, 18 January 2020

 

On Friday, they began their descend as heavy snowfall prevented them from going higher. The five were brought to safety and the remaining two did not go up in the trek. The South Korean government have dispatched an emergency team to assist rescue efforts and help those who are affected. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said in a statement on Facebook that he would do his best to find the missing trekkers. He also said that his thoughts were with the families of the missing trekkers who have flown down to the city fo Pokhara and are waiting for further updates.

Hundreds of foreigners visit Nepal to climb one or the other 14 highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest. Such fatal accidents are normal as was in October 2018 where nine climbers died as a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp.

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First Time Ever A Police Officer Being Apprehended For Supporting Protests in Hong Kong

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On Friday, seven people were arrested along with an off-duty Hong Kong police officer as they tried o put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge in Tuen Mun. This is the first-ever known case where a police officer faced an arrest for supporting this massive protest going on for seven months arresting more than 65, 000 people.

At 3:00 am on Friday, the officer who was 31 years old along with seven other people aged from 14 to 61 were arrested in Tuen Mun which is a district in northwest Hong Kong. According to the police statement, they were accused of possessing objects with an intent to vandalize or destroy properties along with a suspicion of trying to attempt damage a footbridge. The police said that the group possessed things like posters, plastic scrapers, gloves and electric drills. All the eight are still held in detention for further investigations as of Friday night.

【新屯8街坊無故被扣查】

Posted by 李家偉 Kawai Lee on Thursday, 16 January 2020

 

According to local media reports, the group aimed to build something like a “Lennon Wall” by using collages of pro-democracy visual art which were now in trend in the past few months on walls and roads across the city. The police say that the force has an attachment of great emphasis on its members’ professional ethics and any violation of law by a fellow police officer must be handled in a serious and just manner.

Among the thousands of people who were arrested during protests around 41 of them were civil servants including 24 being from disciplines like the fire services. No police officers were arrested though there were several complaints against police personal of blinding some protestors, driving motorcycles into a march and showing a reporter’s ID card to a camera on a live broadcast.

Carrie Lam who is the city’s chief executive and a pro-Beijing appointee on Thursday said that she would not accept any complaints or accusations of police brutality or that the force had been smeared. The protests began by a trigger proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China in early June which have now evolved into a much larger revolt against China’s control over the semi-autonomous state of Hong Kong. There were several violent clashes between protesters and riot police.

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China’s Mystery Virus Now Infecting Other Countries

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Since last month, several patients in a Chinese city have been showing symptoms similar to pneumonia from an unknown mystery virus. Health officials are worried as this could lead to a potential outbreak similar to SARS. New cases have been popping out in Japan and Thailand and as the evidence suggests, this unknown virus could be spread by human to human transmission.

On Thursday, Japan’s health ministry confirms that a thirty-year-old man had been tested positive for coronavirus strain after he was back from his visit from the Chinese city of Wuhan which is the epicenter of this virus outbreak. But, Japanese health officials said that a Chinese national was discharged from the hospital and no other cases were reported. The second case has been confirmed on Monday in Thailand were Thai authorities quarantined a 61-year-old woman who returned from Wuhan infected with the virus.

Experts have not been able to figure out how the virus spreads as no new patient visited the seafood market in Wuhan which has been identified as the outbreak’s original source. This has raised concerns as to the virus could have spread through the human transmission. Though the health officials could not verify this, there remains a huge possibility which means it could lead to a massive outbreak.

The World Health Organization on Thursday mentioned that though there seem to be cases with no link with the Huanan seafood market means that human to human transmission remains a high possibility. They even said that it is not surprising to hear new cases outside China and there could be more cases popping out in other countries in the future.

Last month this mystery virus appeared in Wuhan where one person died while 40 other infected people are hospitalized as their condition was critical with symptoms that included high fevers, invasive lung lesions, and breathing difficulties. Last week, few Chinese researchers identified the microbe behind the outbreak is a new strain of coronavirus and published the draft genome.

Coronaviruses are a huge virus family that causes several illnesses starting from the common cold to more harmful diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS). All this has brought back memories from the 2003 SARS outbreak in South China which killed 774 people.

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Ex-Chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn’s Musical Escape From Japan

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Carlos Ghosn, the ex-chairman of Nissan, is said to have fled to Lebanon in a musical instrument box trying to escape a trial in Japan. According to Ghosn, he has done so to escape from “injustice and political persecution.”

Ghosn was under house arrest and charged with financial misconduct in Japan which he managed to avoid by fleeing the country in a private jet and reaching the Middle East. According to the Lebanese news channel MTV, his wife is claimed to have helped and plan the escape which was supposedly carried out by some sort of “paramilitary-style group.”

The channel reported that the members had disguised themselves as musicians who were supposed to give a musical performance for a Gregorian style dinner at Ghosn’s place in Japan. Ghosn is later said to have escaped by hiding in a case or a box that was supposed to be carrying out musical instruments and reached the airport nearby to leave Japan.

The ex-car manufacturing boss has denied all the accusations and claimed that Japan has the system “rigged.” He was kept under surveillance as he was out on bail and even surrendered his passports.

Junichiro Hironaka, Carlos Ghosn’s Lawyer

As Japan has no extradition treaty with Lebanon it has left the authorities uncertain about the further procedure to seek his return. Prosecutors along with Ghosn’s defence team were shocked and unaware of this till he reached Lebanon. Ghosn’s defence lawyer Junichiro Hironaka considers his client’s behaviour condemnable and inexcusable.

The millionaire has been accused of leading the firm while understating his salary, diverting Nissan’s money to himself and transferring his financial losses to his employer. He has even accused his ex-colleagues of backstabbing and a conspiracy against him in a video earlier this year. He even insisted that he was innocent and alleged that some selfish executives played a very nasty game.

He was arrested in November 2018 where he was supposed to face trial in the coming April of 2020. If found guilty he would have had to do a 15 year jail time.

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Turkish Parliament to Vote On Troop Deployment to Libya Bill

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The Turkish Parliament has received the bill that allows troops to be deployed in Libya while the Libyan conflict intensifies. Turkey is allied with Libya’s current UN-backed government which is based in the country’s capital of Tripoli. No one has been expecting this move which seems to go in pace with President Recap Tayyip Erdogan’s accelerating plans.

Under Gen Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan insurgency has been taking place in eastern parts of Libya. This warlord is backed by several entities including countries of Egypt, the UAE and according to some rumours even Russian Mercenaries.

They have been trying to capture the capital city which is what the Libyan government is fighting ever since. On the other hand, the Tripoli-based government has been receiving aids from Turkey, Qatar and Italy.

In the last week, after the Government National Accord(GNA) request support, President Erdogan is looking for parliamentary approval for the deployment of troops in Libya. According to his statement to the Associated Press, he said that there will be a motion for the same be submitted to the parliament after the winter recess ends this January 7th.

Turkey still argues the fact whether the Libyan conflict threatens the country’s interests and could escalate into civil war. The bill will be debated on Thursday although there is no mention about when the law will be voted on. The law is still expected to be passed as Mr Erdogan and his ruling party have enough support in the house to get this motion approved.

The bill will allow the deployment of non-combatant troops who will act as advisers as well as trainers for the Tripoli government forces against the insurgency of Gen Haftar. President Erdogan even added that he was ready to send troops to Libya if GNA makes a request.

A statement from France President Emmanuel Macron’s office says that France along with Egypt has asked for “greatest restraint” from Libya as well as from several international authorities to help avoid escalating the Libyan conflict. There are several talks about the conflict are set by the UN in Berlin in the month of January to try and end this conflict.

The previous month, Turkey has also signed two agreements with the GNA out of which one was on security and military cooperation while the other was on the Maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean. In words of critics, this would help extend Ankara’s territorial claims.

After Gen Haftar declared a “final and decisive battle for the capital” the insurgent fighting escalated around the Tripoli area. In April, Gen Haftar launched a major attack that attempted to seize the city but his forces face resistance and sent away from southern outskirts of the city. Turkey has supported the GNA by supplying drones, weapons and trucks to fight Gen Haftar forces.

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