LuxBerths, a Global Online Marina Platform for Superyachts, Has Launched In Asia

Whilst technology has played a vital part in the development of yachting over the decades, the task of booking a berth has been left to basic methods.

That is all about to change with the launch of LuxBerths (www.LuxBerths.com): an advanced booking system for superyachts that provides a comprehensive database of marinas for yacht operators to search, select and book from.

Launched at the Thailand Yacht Show in Phuket in December, LuxBerths has a database of over 500 marinas accounting for more than 18,000 super yacht berths and offers yacht operators the advantage of a quick, convenient booking service to any marina on the system.

LuxBerths has selected the top marinas in the world and created a platform for marinas to promote their benefits and services to a global audience. The initial sign up phase has been completed and LuxBerths is now fully operational with specific functions focused on bookings, sales and destinations.

 James Wickens, CEO of LuxBerths, said: “The superyacht industry has been growing globally for many years and we believe that in terms of communications there is an opportunity for an upgrade in connectivity.

“LuxBerths platform provides a unique gateway for captains and owners to simply compare marinas plus book berths seamlessly online whilst saving money on more traditional booking options.”

“As marinas develop and become more sophisticated, not only in how they operate but also via their marketing programmes, there is a distinct need for an online, user-friendly platform that delivers convenience with a wealth of information,” he added.

As well as providing fast, convenient booking options, LuxBerths will offer captains up to date information on individual marinas as well as in depth destination features that will provide insights to key yachting locations.

One of the first groups to sign up to the platform is the Aseanarean Bluewater Alliance (ABA), a prestigious group of 13 marinas in Asia including Raffles Marina, Ocean Marina Yacht Club, and Phuket Boat Lagoon

Chief Executive Officer of Raffles Marina, Ray Parry, said: “The industry is developing fast and it’s important that yachting embraces new technology and all the advantages that it provides. This platform not only allows our alliance to promote our individual marinas but also our destinations, so it’s a great boost for the super yacht community in Asia and beyond.”

Part of the LuxBerths remit is to promote yachting destinations around the world and so it’s no coincidence that Luxberths is launching at the Thailand Yacht Show, which is backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and is a highlight of one of Asia’s leading yachting destinations.

Source: TheNation

 

Cambodia – Angelina Jolie’s film set for Siem Reap debut

The world premiere of Angelina Jolie’s highly anticipated film First They Killed my Father is set for February 18 in Siem Reap, seven months before its release on Netflix.

The premiere date and location were confirmed yesterday by longtime Jolie friend and acclaimed filmmaker Rithy Panh, who is also co-producing the film. Panh declined to provide any further detail about the exact location and time of the screening.

“We will keep you informed,” he wrote by email.

The Jolie-directed and produced film was shot partly in Battambang and partly in Siem Reap last year.

It is a cinema adaptation of Loung Ung’s Khmer Rouge memoir First They Killed My Father and is being produced for Netflix. A worldwide release date for the online platform has not yet been set but is scheduled for this year.

The memoir details the Khmer Rouge’s violent and bloody takeover of the country and Ung’s experience surviving the regime.

Ung is being played by Sareum Srey Moch, while her parents are being played by Phoeung Kompheak and Sveng Socheata. Some 500 Cambodians were employed in the production of the film.

Jolie has directed two other films, including In the Land of Blood and Honey and the 2014 Oscar-nominated World War II drama Unbroken.

Calls to Jolie’s talent agencies were not returned by press time.

Source: PhnomPenhPost

Why can Miss Thailand not win the Miss Universe title ?

Why can Miss Thailand not win the Miss Universe title ?
Manila 30 January, The Thaise Chalita ‘Nong Namtan’ Suansane has not reached the final Miss Universe title.
The title goes to Iris Mittenaere a French dental student.

The French Iris Mittenare is crownd as the 65th Miss Universe.

Miss Thailand, the 21 years old Chalita ‘Nong Namtan”Suansane from Samut Prakan reached the halve finals.

When her during the competition were asked which person they most admired she answered through an interpreter that she admired the deceased King Bhumibol for his commitment to the Thai people and Thailand.

Education is the biggest problem in Thailand.
The most can not write their own name in a common language.
Surprisingly, how she has reached such a famous contest ?

She can forget a international career.

Iris Mittenaere from France wins the Miss Universe crown 2017 in Pasay city in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Miss France was crowed Miss Universe on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle free of last year’s dramatic mix-up but with a dash of political controversy as the finalists spoke out on the refugee crisis and other hot-button global issues.

Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world’s most beautiful women at the event in the Philippines scheduled for primetime viewing in the United States.

Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia the second runner-up.

In the final question round, Miss France highlighted the benefits of open borders when asked about the global refugee crisis.

“In France we want to have the most globalisation that we can. We want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now we have open borders,” Mittenaere said.

“Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world and to find out more about what’s out there in the world.”

Miss Kenya, another finalist, said Donald Trump’s presidency “may not have been the choice of many people” and divided the United States.

She also spoke out in support of former US president Barack Obama and said she backed Hillary Clinton to be America’s first woman president.

“I feel once he took up his position, he was able to unify the entire nation,” said Mary Esther Were, 27.

Miss Colombia appeared to allude to Trump when asked why violence was prevalent in the world.

“Although there are presidents who don’t get along with others, we work together to unite. Campaigns, respect and inclusivity to be able to have a social transformation that would educate our children,” said Andrea Tovar, 23.

Monday’s show was headlined by US performers including Grammy award-winning rhythm and blues group Boyz II Men and rapper and Grammy award nominee Flo Rida.

Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines won last year following a major blunder in which the host – Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey – mistakenly awarded the title to Miss Colombia.

Harvey corrected the error minutes later, apologizing on air to Wurtzbach and Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez.

The mistake featured prominently on Monday’s show, with candidates and the home audience often ribbing Harvey about it.

“Steve, I never got to thank you but thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe,” Wurtzbach told Harvey at the opening of show.

Harvey this year got through the closing moments of the ceremony smoothly.

READ MORE:

Federer wins Nadal thriller

Miss Thailand enters final 6 at Miss Universe 2017

Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane kept her Miss Universe title hope alive after emerging as the final 6 contestants following completion of the evening gown show. 

The next round will be Q&A session, where only the top three will be advancing. Joining Miss Thailand to round of the last 6 are Miss France, Miss Kenya, Miss Philippines, Miss Haiti and Miss Colombia.

Source: TheNation

Cambodian parents of trafficking victims testify in Thailand

Chab Sanna, 67, yesterday told a courtroom how her three sons had been lured from their Svay Rieng province home in search of work abroad only to be trafficked into a life of near-slavery on a Thai fishing vessel. It’s an all-too-familiar tale, though one made unique by the setting: a Thai courtroom.

Sanna was one of two parents to testify in the case of 15 Cambodian fishermen rescued early last year off the coast of Thailand’s Ranong province. They are believed to be the first Cambodians to have ever testified in a human-trafficking case in Thailand who weren’t victims themselves, NGO officials said yesterday.

The trial of the captain and the owner of the fishing dock, who were arrested just over a year ago, began its hearings last week at the Provincial Court of Ranong, according to Chonticha Tang, program coordinator of the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) in Thailand.

The Cambodian broker has not been identified yet, she added.

Anchalee Pipattanawattanakul, a Greenpeace researcher on illegal fishing in Thailand, said that most of the 15 victims had stayed onboard about 13 months, sleeping only two or three hours a day during fishing periods.

Sanna, 67, whose three sons are between 24 and 31 years of age, said before the hearing that she was “very tired and sad”, but speaking to The Post yesterday, said she was “happy” to have testified.

“We hope we find justice,” she said before calling on the government to “provide jobs to our children, so they don’t need to risk their lives.”

Before the trial, she explained that her sons went to Thailand ostensibly to work as construction workers. She lost contact with them shortly thereafter.

“After six months, someone who was on the same boat with my sons told me they were trafficked,” she said.

When she met one of her sons on Tuesday, it was the first time she had seen him in more than two years.

The other parent to testify yesterday, 59-year-old Kong Touch, from Kampot province, had a similar reunion with his 28 year old son, Touch Bang, on Tuesday. Like Sanna, he had not heard from his son until six months after his departure, when someone who escaped told him about his son’s fate. “I will never let my son go away again,” the father said.

Tang from HRDF said in an email after the hearing that the parents testified that brokers came to give them money when they lost contact with their sons, claiming their sons “were doing good.”

Daniel Murphy, a consultant at Human Rights Watch and International Labor Rights Forum, said in an email that the registered owner of the vessel, Kamneungnuan Wongkachonkitti, directly benefitted from the trafficking. She controlled, he added, a newly established overseas fishing association.

“The Thai authorities need to ensure that key beneficiaries of trafficking and forced labour in the fishing industry are held to account, especially where they are company owners or government officials,” he said.

Reached yesterday, deputy director of Cambodia’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department So Vandy said that he was not aware of the 15 Cambodians who were trafficked in Thailand, but that trafficking was difficult to combat. “We have done so much to fight trafficking,” he said, “but we can still not stop [it] from happening. There are many things surrounding the issue.”

Indeed, the parade of rescued Cambodian fishermen continued apace yesterday as the Ministry of Foreign affairs announced the rescue of 16 fishermen from vessels in Indonesia. According to a press statement, eight were repatriated on Tuesday, while the rest are expected to arrive on January 30.

Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said the Cambodian fishermen were aged between 17 and 58 and hailed from Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Prey Veng, Kampot and Kampong Thom provinces.

They entered Thailand at the end of June and were then brought to Malaysia by boat, he said, before then being shipped to Indonesia. They were caught by Indonesian authorities at the end of July 2016 and detained in that country until they were ruled to be victims of trafficking in November last year, Sounry said.

Source: PhnomPenhPost

Thailand – Nan’s famous Phasing tree tunnel ruined by ignorance and lust for money: academic

#Thailand – NAN’S famous tree tunnel was damaged as people do not understand its value, an academic stated while emphasizing that in order to save the country’s beautiful tree tunnels people have to appreciate their worth and protect them.

Trees along the 800-metre-long Pha Sing tree tunnel on Highway 1080 from Nan to Chloem Phra Kiat had their crowns cut off during a highway extension, leaving the once beautiful tree tunnel without its unique silvan shade and leading to tree deaths since April last year. As a result it is feared the tree tunnel may cause road accidents if branches fall on the road.

On a field visit to the urban forest at Nan, Pracha Koonnathamdee, a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics at Thammasart University, said even though the Pha Sing tree tunnel had survived the highway extension, it had been defaced.

Pracha stated that the motive was the financial benefits the related agencies received while there was a lack of awareness of the real value of the tree tunnel.

“As we can see, despite an agreement being reached to save a small portion of the tree tunnel by constructing a new parallel road so the highway department could expand the highway without harming the existed tree tunnel, in the end the summer storm last year gave the final push and provided a good reason to cite road safety for those who want to cut the trees,” he said.

He explained that it was normal for authorities being uninterested in saving the trees, as in many other countries, because they could get a budget for expansion and the timber could be sold.

Nan mayor Surapol Teinsoot explained that the tree tunnel needed to be saved for transporters, as the road at the tree tunnel was an accident black spot.

“Everyone agreed to save this tree tunnel because it is beautiful and can be the tourist spot of Nan. However, we have to ensure road safety too and it is the duty of Highways Department to make the road safer,” Surapol said.

He stated that the road was an international highway running from China down to Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, so the road expansion was necessary to make transportation more convenient and to boost Thailand’s economy.

“I think conservation and road safety can coexist and most of the trees in this tree tunnel are still alive and can regrow their tree crowns soon,” he added.

However, Pracha insisted that if the people still did not see the value of tree tunnels, similar incidents would continue to happen.

“We can see in many cases from many countries that if the trees are sacred or the people understand the true value of the trees, they will be dearly protected. For instance, |the trees at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo are well preserved, as each tree represents one Japanese soldier who died during World War II,” he said.

“However, raising the people’s awareness of the true value of the trees is hard work and it will take time to get people to realize the trees provide them many benefits such as clean air, a good environment and so on.”

Source: TheNation

Federer, Nadal clash in blockbuster Aussie final

MELBOURNE – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will collide in a hugely anticipated Australian Open final on Sunday after both veterans beat the odds to open a new chapter in their thrilling Grand Slam rivalry.

Federer, 35, will become the oldest Grand Slam finalist in 43 years, while Nadal, 30, has defied a series of injuries to reach his first major title match since he won the 2014 French Open.

It’s a final that nobody saw coming but after the early exits of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the old rivals have seized their opportunity with both hands.

For Federer, it’s a chance to extend his all-time record tally of Grand Slam wins to 18, and exact a measure of revenge on his long-time nemesis.

Nadal can win his 15th Grand Slam title, closing the gap on Federer and drawing level with Pete Sampras in second place on the all-time list of major-winners.

It comes after Serena and Venus Williams, aged 35 and 36 respectively, met in the women’s final — making it the first Open-era Grand Slam tournament where all four singles finalists have been in their thirties.

Neither of the former world number ones was expected to reach the final after injuries disrupted their seasons last year and their rankings dipped, to 17 for Federer and nine for Nadal.

The unexpected reprise of one of tennis’s great rivalries will be their ninth meeting in a major final, the most between any two players in the post-1968 Open era.

Nadal has won six of their major finals, with Federer’s last victory in 2007. But the Spaniard said past results were irrelevant.

– May the best man win –

========================

“It’s a different match, different moment for both of us. I think this match is completely different than what happened before,” he said.

“It’s special. We have not been there in that situation for a while, so that makes the match different.

“I really don’t think about what happened in the past. I think the player who plays better is going to be the winner.”

The pair last contested a Grand Slam final at Roland Garros three years ago. They also met in the Australian Open semi-finals in 2014, with Nadal winning each time.

“Now it’s a different time. A lot of time has gone by,” Federer said. “I know this court allows me to play a certain game against Rafa that I cannot do on centre court at the French Open.”

It will be Federer’s sixth Australian Open final and his 28th Grand Slam decider in total, and caps a marvellous comeback after the second half of last season was wiped out by a knee injury.

He has thrilled his many fans with his revival, having not figured in a Grand Slam final since the 2015 US Open.

“This is the last one (match) so I will leave it all out here in Australia and if I cannot walk for another five months I will give it all I have,” Federer said.

Federer can become the first man to win five or more titles at three Grand Slam events, while Nadal stands to become the only man in the Open era to win all the majors at least twice.

Source: TheNation

Philippines bars 9,738 undesirable foreigners

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has barred more than 9,000 foreigners from entering the country in 2016 as part of the agency’s efforts to bolster the country’s border security.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the BI turned back 9,738 foreigners from the Philippines’ ports of entry last year in a bid to thwart the entry of undesirable or fugitive aliens.

“That we were able to stop these unwanted aliens from entering our borders is proof of our continued vigilance in the discharge of our mandate as gatekeepers of the country,” he said.

Last year’s figure is 45 per cent more compared to the foreigners turned away in 2015.

 Morente said these were part of the agency’s intensified efforts to strengthen border security against undesirable aliens.

Of the 9,738 foreigners who were turned away, 2,034 were Chinese nationals, followed by 269 Indians, 179 Vietnamese, 163 Americans and 119 Indonesians.

Most of the excluded aliens were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while others were turned away at the international airports in Mactan, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo and Davao.

Marc Red Mariñas, acting BI port operations division chief, said those barred entry included those in their blacklist of undesirables such as fugitives, suspected terrorists and convicted sex offenders.

Source: TheNation