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  1. Spotify, Twitter have treat lined up for music fans By The Nation Twitter and Spotify have partnered to provide music fans “with a totally immersive and interactive experience” at this year’s SpotifyOnStageBKK2019, which will be held on October 16 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Bang Na. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128586-spotify-twitter-have-treat-lined-up-for-music-fans/
  2. Spotify, Twitter have treat lined up for music fans By The Nation Twitter and Spotify have partnered to provide music fans “with a totally immersive and interactive experience” at this year’s SpotifyOnStageBKK2019, which will be held on October 16 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Bang Na. Part of a series of concerts in Southeast Asia, SpotifyOnStage connects some of the world’s most popular artists with music fans in a live concert. Thai superstar rapper F.Hero, American pop-rock band One Republic, and K-pop boy group Stray Kids have confirmed they will take to the stage at the concert, SpotifyThailand said in a press statement. As part of the collaboration, Twitter launched a dedicated brand emoji that is activated with the hashtag #SpotifyOnStageBKK2019. “Tweeting with the hashtag will ensure fans are part of Thailand’s hottest music conversation of the year,” SpotifyThailand said. For more information about tickets and performances, SpotifyThailand has invited fans to follow it on Twitter. Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/lifestyle/30377391 -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-10-14 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  3. Strengthening of baht and divisive politics could hurt Thai economy By The Nation Anusorn The baht could shoot up to Bt29 against the US dollar when the US Federal Reserve cuts the policy rate by another 25 basis points this month, according to Anusorn Tamajai, director of Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Rangsit University. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128585-strengthening-of-baht-and-divisive-politics-could-hurt-thai-economy/
  4. Strengthening of baht and divisive politics could hurt Thai economy By The Nation Anusorn The baht could shoot up to Bt29 against the US dollar when the US Federal Reserve cuts the policy rate by another 25 basis points this month, according to Anusorn Tamajai, director of Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Rangsit University. If, as seems likely, the Fed lowers its key policy rate again, pressure would be put on the Thai baht which has been seen by investors as a safe haven. The strengthening of the baht has already brought headaches to Thai policymakers, with exporters complaining their competitiveness is being eroded as the exchange rate makes Thai products more expensive. The Bank of Thailand has been preparing to launch new measures that are expected to include capital outflow liberation, the opening of the currency exchange business allowing exporters to place money overseas, management of the gold trade and a current account surplus. The Thai baht has appreciated about seven per cent since early this year, edging closer to Bt30 per dollar and last week hitting a six-year high. Uncertainties in the global economy remain high even though US President Donald Trump agreed to postpone tariff hikes od 30 per cent on Chinese goods worth $250 billion due to come into effect this week, Anusorn added. It is expected that the US and China will achieve a partial trade deal. However, the US still plans to raise tariffs to 15 per cent on another batch of Chinese goods worth $160 billion in December. Anusorn cited some researchers who have suggested that prolonged trade tension would severely damage the Chinese economy, costing around 25-30 per cent of China’s gross domestic product while costing the US about 5 to 10 per cent of its GDP. The US dollar remains favourable for reserve currencies estimated to be at 65 to 70 per cent of global reserves while the Chinese yuan accounts for only 1 to 3 per cent of global currency reserves. China, however, has a strong fiscal position as the government has large international reserves. China could also strengthen its international role via the Belt and Road initiative as well as its high-tech industry and artificial intelligence. The US recently blacklisted Chinese tech companies accusing them of violating the rights of minority Muslim populations in China and Trump also commented on the Hong Kong protests indicating that if the Chinese government were to use violence to suppress protestors, it would affect the trade deal between US and China. US actions suggest that it is linking trade issues with human rights, which could mean that trade tension will continue and affect global trade and economy, experts say. In Thailand, divisive politics have the potential to dampen both consumer and investor confidence, Anusorn warned. Opposition politicians, academics and civil groups are campaigning to amend the junta-sponsor Constitution while the Army Chief opposes the move. “Hate speech could deepen political conflicts and adversely affect confidence. There is a need for political reconciliation by all sides and a determined move towards democracy and raising the standard of living of the people” he added. Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30377393 -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-10-14 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  5. Saudi visit showcases Putin's growing Middle East influence By Stephen Kalin, Olesya Astakhova FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a conference of the Israeli foundation Keren Hayesod in Moscow, Russia, September 17, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo RIYADH (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first time in over a decade, seeking to capitalize on growing influence borne of military advances in Syria, strong ties with regional rivals and cooperation on energy policy. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128584-saudi-visit-showcases-putins-growing-middle-east-influence/
  6. Saudi visit showcases Putin's growing Middle East influence By Stephen Kalin, Olesya Astakhova FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a conference of the Israeli foundation Keren Hayesod in Moscow, Russia, September 17, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo RIYADH (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first time in over a decade, seeking to capitalize on growing influence borne of military advances in Syria, strong ties with regional rivals and cooperation on energy policy. Moscow accrued power in the Middle East in 2015 by sending troops to Syria, where it and Iran have been key backers of President Bashar al-Assad amid civil war, while the United States pulled back. On the eve of Putin’s trip, U.S. troops were evacuating northern Syria as their erstwhile Kurdish allies struck a deal with Assad’s Russian-backed army aimed at halting a Turkish offensive. Russia has also strengthened ties with both Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, which are locked in a decades-old contest for influence that veered towards open conflict after a recent spate of attacks on oil assets in the Gulf that Riyadh and Washington blame on Tehran. Iran denies the charges. Tensions with Iran, which is locked in several proxy wars with Saudi Arabia including in Syria, have risen to new highs after Washington last year quit a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran and re-imposed sanctions. Putin, accompanied on the trip by his energy minister and head of Russia’s wealth fund, is due to hold talks with King Salman and de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Putin says he has friendly relations. The strengthened ties have seen non-OPEC Russia, once regarded as a rival in oil markets, join OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in forming an alliance known as OPEC+ to support crude prices by restraining output. Ahead of the visit, Putin, who offered to provide Russian defense systems to the kingdom after Sept. 14 attacks on its oil facilities, said he could also play a positive role in easing tensions with Tehran as he had good ties with both sides. Any progress on long-mulled Saudi plans to purchase the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems would cause disquiet in Washington, which announced over the weekend it was sending around 3,000 troops and additional air defense systems to Saudi Arabia following last month’s attack. OIL AND INVESTMENTS Asked about concerns Riyadh was cozying up to Moscow, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said he saw no contradiction. “We don’t believe that having close ties with Russia has any negative impact on our relationship with the United States,” he told reporters on Sunday. “We believe that we can have strategic and strong ties with the United States while we develop our ties with Russia.” Russian and Saudi flags lined the streets of Riyadh ahead of Putin’s one-day visit, which includes a performance by Russia’s Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. Putin then travels to the United Arab Emirates. In meetings with Saudi leaders, the Russian president will discuss the OPEC+ pact, which has seen production cut by 1.2 million barrels per day since January. A forum will convene 300 Saudi and Russian CEOs. The two sides are expected to sign more than $2 billion of deals, including a joint investment by state oil giant Saudi Aramco and Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund. RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said a number of Russian investors were interested in a planned initial public offering of Aramco, which could sell between 1% and 2% through a local listing as early as November ahead of a potential international offering. Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia’s Gazprom is interested in cooperating with Saudi firms on natural gas. Moscow, the world’s largest wheat exporter, made some progress in accessing the Saudi and Middle Eastern markets when the kingdom agreed in August to relax specifications for wheat imports, opening the door to Black Sea imports. -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-14 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  7. China's crackdown on sugar smuggling leaves global storage headache By Maytaal Angel, Hallie Gu White sugar products are placed for sale at a supermarket in Beijing, China September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) - A crackdown on sugar smuggling into China has left abundantly supplied markets in Asia and beyond struggling to absorb excess supplies, causing a wider storage problem for global markets. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128582-chinas-crackdown-on-sugar-smuggling-leaves-global-storage-headache/
  8. China's crackdown on sugar smuggling leaves global storage headache By Maytaal Angel, Hallie Gu White sugar products are placed for sale at a supermarket in Beijing, China September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) - A crackdown on sugar smuggling into China has left abundantly supplied markets in Asia and beyond struggling to absorb excess supplies, causing a wider storage problem for global markets. Vast tonnages of sugar smuggled into China are believed to be produced mostly in India or Thailand and shipped to Myanmar, Laos or Vietnam before entering the Chinese mainland. Those flows should more than halve this year to about 800,000 tonnes versus previous years when between 1.5-2.8 million tonnes would be smuggled in, according to Wang Weidong, a sugar analyst based in southern China. The crackdown comes as Beijing faces pressure from industry to extend hefty sugar import tariffs beyond 2020 and keep growth in licensed imports into China historically low. “Chinese authorities have really clamped down on that (smuggling trade) this year. It’s been shut down for all intents and purposes,” said a source a London-based sugar trader with ties to Asia. Traders and analysts in London and Beijing said they expect the clamp-down to continue. International Sugar Organization (ISO) figures show the global market will record a deficit of nearly 5 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, meaning Asia will be able to absorb some of the excess resulting from China’s crackdown. However, following two straight years of surplus, the world market has some 95 million tonnes of stock to absorb, the ISO said. That is equivalent to about six months worth of demand and is disproportionately concentrated in Asia. CHINA’S OFFICIAL IMPORTS SLOW China’s tariffs should leave official sugar imports into the country little changed this year at around 3 million tonnes, said Justin Liu, China-based senior sugar analyst at Chaos Research Institute. The lack of growth is unusual for a developing economy like China which has a sugar deficit, and shows Beijing is serious about protecting its domestic industry. “With the domestic output and imports under the quota, China’s domestic demand can be met. Supply and demand is balanced. If China opens its market completely, the domestic sugar industry will be doomed,” said Weidong. “Everyone is speaking from their own interest. Why produce so much when you can’t consume it?” he added. China in May 2017 hit major exporting nations with hefty tariffs on sugar imports, and started to levy extra tariffs on out-of-quota sugar imports from all origins in August last year. The measures, with the smuggling crackdown, have helped push Chinese white sugar prices CSRc1 up some 20 percent this year, after they sank to near four-year lows last year. THAI STOCKS BUILD China’s smuggling crackdown has also contributed to a build-up of stock in Thailand, some of which made its way onto global markets mid this year via record deliveries against ICE futures contracts. Analysts Green Pool said Thailand, the world’s second largest exporter, was sitting on nearly 7 million tonnes of stock at end-September, 1.1 million tonnes more than last September and nearly 3 million more than the previous two years. “In an ideal world they would have sold all their stock by September,” Green Pool analyst Tom McNeill said. A large proportion of this stock will have to be cleared by the end of the year to make way for the new crush, he added. Industry sources say Thai raw sugar is again trading at a premium to the ICE futures SBc1, indicating the supply-demand balance in Asia is starting to tighten. But the China crackdown still leaves Asian markets with unwelcome excess supply. -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-14 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  9. Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders over failed independence bid By Isla Binnie, Ashifa Kassam Students sit at Plaza Universidad after a verdict in a trial over a banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine separatist leaders from Catalonia to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid, triggering protests in Barcelona. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128476-spain-readies-for-landmark-ruling-on-catalan-independence-trial/
  10. Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders over failed independence bid By Isla Binnie, Ashifa Kassam Students sit at Plaza Universidad after a verdict in a trial over a banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine separatist leaders from Catalonia to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid, triggering protests in Barcelona. Three other defendants who were also on trial for their involvement in a referendum held in spite of a ban and a short-lived independence declaration, were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison. All defendants were acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion, but leading separatists were quick to condemn the court’s decision and the jailed men sent out messages of defiance, urging people to take to the streets. Former head of Catalonia’s regional government, Carles Puigdemont, said the prison sentences were an “atrocity”, and the head of the regional parliament Roger Torrent called them an “attack on democracy”. In Barcelona, three main streets were blocked by protesters holding signs calling for “Freedom for political prisoners”. Outside the pro-independence Omnium Cultural headquarters in Barcelona, a crowd chanted “We’ll do it again” - a slogan used by separatist supporters who want to hold another referendum. Demonstrators also gathered in other parts of Catalonia. Regional train tracks were blocked outside the town of Girona, a separatist stronghold, rail operator Rodalies said on Twitter. Much is at stake in how the court’s decision will be received, both for Spain and for its wealthiest region. Catalonia’s independence drive attracted worldwide attention and triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades and unnerved financial markets. Separatist protests have been largely peaceful but police sources have said authorities are prepared for any violence. Spanish authorities are keen to avoid any condemnation from abroad of the sentence as too draconian, and the separatist movement will have to decide how to react to the ruling. The jailed separatists said via social media that they would carry on their fight. “Nine years in prison won’t end my optimism. Catalonia will be independent if we persist. Let us demonstrate without fear, let us move forward determinedly from non-violence to freedom,” said Jordi Sanchez, who was sentenced to nine years in jail. Sanchez was the leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) grassroots movement. “UPRISING” The longest prison term - 13 years - went to the former deputy leader of the Catalan regional government, Oriol Junqueras. The court convicted Junqueras and eight other leaders on charges of sedition and four of them of misuse of public funds, the court ruling showed. “What happened on October 1 was not just a demonstration or a massive act of citizen protest. If that had been the case, there would have been no criminal sentencing. It was a tumultuous uprising encouraged by the accused, among many others,” the Madrid court said in its ruling, delivered in writing rather than in an open session. After the ruling was published, the CDR grassroots movement tweeted: “It’s time to rise up against the authoritarian fascism of the Spanish state and its accomplices. It is time for the #RevoltaPopular (popular revolt).” The government has said it is ready to take direct control of Catalonia as it did in 2017 if secessionist leaders break the law. “The sentence must be carried out and complied with,” acting public works minister Jose Luis Abalos told public broadcaster TVE. “In Catalonia, there is a need for clear and responsible leadership on behalf of separatists.” The ruling is likely to color a national election on Nov. 10, Spain’s fourth in four years, and influence the direction taken by the separatist movement. An opinion poll in July showed 48.3% of Catalans against secession and 44% in favor. -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-14 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  11. Redevelopment work begins for Queen Sirikit National Convention Center By The Nation NCC Management & Development Co Ltd (NCC), an affiliated company under the management of its shareholder Thai Beverage Plc, owned by Thai billionaire and founder Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has begun demolishing the existing Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) to make way for a redevelopment project. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128143-redevelopment-work-begins-for-queen-sirikit-national-convention-center/
  12. Redevelopment work begins for Queen Sirikit National Convention Center By The Nation NCC Management & Development Co Ltd (NCC), an affiliated company under the management of its shareholder Thai Beverage Plc, owned by Thai billionaire and founder Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has begun demolishing the existing Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) to make way for a redevelopment project. Under a contract signed with the Treasury Department, it will build and become the owner of the new property for 50 years. The new centre is scheduled for opening at the end of 2022. It will be a three-storey complex of 180,000 sqm, five times the size of the existing one, with a underground parking lot for 3,000 vehicles. It will also be linked via a tunnel to a station of the mass-transit MRT network. Thai Obayashi and Design 103 will take charge of construction and design work under a budget of Bt6 billion. “The new Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre will be able to accommodate domestic and international conferences and exhibitions for more than 10,000 peoples, said Charoen. Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30377327 -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-10-11 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  13. Man arrested after five stabbed at UK shopping mall By Peter Powell MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Five people were stabbed at a shopping centre in the northern English city of Manchester on Friday and police said counter-terrorism detectives were leading the investigation. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128141-man-arrested-after-five-stabbed-at-uk-shopping-mall/
  14. Man arrested after five stabbed at UK shopping mall By Peter Powell MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Five people were stabbed at a shopping centre in the northern English city of Manchester on Friday and police said counter-terrorism detectives were leading the investigation. The stabbings took place at the Arndale shopping centre in the heart of the city. The mall was evacuated as armed police rushed to the scene. “We can confirm that five people have been stabbed and taken to hospital,” Greater Manchester Police said in a statement. “In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them. “Given the location of the incident and its nature, officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.” They said a man in his 40s had been arrested at the scene on suspicion of serious assault. Pictures posted on social media showed officers using a stun gun on one man. Mall director David Allinson told the Manchester Evening News the centre had been evacuated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.” The city was the location for Britain’s most deadly militant attack in recent years when a suicide bomber killed 22 people in May 2017 at the end of a pop concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena, not far from the Arndale centre. -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-11 Follow Thaivisa on LINE for breaking Thailand news and visa info
  15. Gold a new headache for Thai central bank as baht surges By Orathai Sriring, Satawasin Staporncharnchai FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Central Bank Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand, October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Matthew Tostevin/File Photo BANGKOK (Reuters) - After surging gold shipments helped push Thailand’s baht to a 6-year-high, dealers in the yellow metal voiced doubt on Friday at the central bank’s hopes of getting them to bring back their export proceeds more slowly. Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1128134-gold-a-new-headache-for-thai-central-bank-as-baht-surges/
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