Archive for the ‘2020’ Category

Pokemon Will Become Part Of Amusement Park In Japan in 2022

October 8, 2021

A Pokemon theme park will open in Osaka, Japan, thanks to the Pokemon Company and Universal Studios.
The collaboration means that Super Nintendo World will now include the Pokemon expansion, as reported by VGC. The Pokemon attractions will begin opening next year.
“Universal Studios Japan and The Pokémon Company will embark on a long-term collaboration in 2022 to explore innovative entertainment that will immerse guests in the world of Pokémon with innovative technology and creativity,” states the statement.
It is unknown what will be featured in the Pokemon expansion at the Japanese Universal Studios. If there isn’t a Pokemon Snap-themed rollercoaster, we’re going to be disappointed. It’s already on the rails! I love it!
“We are delighted to have a long-term partnership with The Pokémon Company while developing ground-breaking Pokémon entertainment at Universal Studios Japan for Pokémon fans and our guests,” said Universal Studios Japan president and CEO, J.L. Bonnier.
Pokémon characters, combined with Universal’s innovative approach, create an unparalleled theme park entertainment experience for the whole family.
‘Universal Studios Japan’s incredible team has creative vision as well as exceeding expertise in world-class theme park technology to craft an unforgettable Pokémon experience,’ says The Pokemon Company’s CEO and president, Masashi Ishihara

Myanmaar Military Are Forcing Certain Civilians To Flee Their Homes

October 3, 2021

A number of civilians are believed to have been forced to flee their village in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar after security forces allegedly burned down homes and opened fire on residents.
The Irrawaddy news website reports that on Thursday – one day after two police officers died along with their families – government troops burned down a village in the township of Taze, northwest of Mandalay.
The Irrawaddy identified the area as Kyikone Village in a series of images posted on social media. Attacks on the military have increased since parliament members were ousted by the generals who called for a “people’s defensive war” earlier this month.
On September 18, soldiers attacked some 100 members of a local defense group after being “ambushed” in Thantlang, Chin, a military spokesman said on Tuesday, without specifying casualty numbers.
20 homes and a government building were destroyed in a fire after the clash, without specifying the cause. There are reports of casualties.
As a result of the violent overthrow of the government in February by the military, Myanmar has been in turmoil ever since. The ensuing uprising has been suppressed by the army.
Sagaing’s violence comes just one day after thousands of people fled Chin state near the Indian border following fighting between anti-coup dissidents and the militar

UN Agency Reports That 2020 Was The Deadliest Year For Rohingya Refugees

August 21, 2021

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports the year 2020 was the deadliest ever for Rohingya refugees crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, the preferred sea route for Rohingya trying to reach Southeast Asia from the sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh.
218 of the 2,413 people who traveled in 2020 died or went missing at sea, according to a UNHCR report issued on Thursday, Left Adrift at Sea: Dangerous Journeys of Refugees Across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. This made an already dangerous journey eight times more deadly than in 2019.
Southeast Asian countries have become increasingly hesitant to accept Rohingya refugees, citing the COVID-19 outbreak as a reason not to accept them.
In its report, the agency noted that countries had “pushed back” vessels, leaving refugees stranded for months on unseaworthy boats which lacked food and water.
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in June 2020 that the economic downturn caused by the pandemic prevented Malaysia from taking Rohingya in. There are more than 100,000 Rohingya in Malaysia, and they are left to survive on their own with the support of civil society and community groups. Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. They cannot work and have limited access to health care and education.
UNHCR called on all states in the region to look for and rescue refugees in distress at sea and allow them to disembark to safety.
It also called on countries in the region to provide access to asylum procedures for those who disembark and to address the root causes of refugee maritime movements, such as expanding access to safe legal pathways.
Earlier this week, a boat carrying about 40 Rohingya refugees capsized in bad weather in the Bay of Bengal after trying to escape Bhasan Char. About 14 people were rescued and taken back to the island, but more than two dozen others are believed to have drowned.
After drifting for more than 100 days at sea, a boat carrying 81 people washed ashore on an uninhabited island off the Indonesian island of Sumatra in June 2021. Refugee workers report that the group, many of whom are women and children, had originally come from Bangladesh camps to the waters off India’s coast. When their boat broke down, the Indian coastguard fixed it and provided supplies, but refused to let them land.

Thailand Did Well At First With COVID-19, But Now, It Is So Bad That Some Thais Want The Thai PM To Resign Over The Pandemic

August 6, 2021

Although Thailand reported the first Covid-19 case outside of China in January 2020, it kept its infection numbers low thanks to effective containment measures. However, it faces a much bigger challenge this year. Thailand is struggling to contain the third wave of infections that has pushed daily caseloads and death tolls to unprecedented levels. Thailand reported a record number of daily confirmed infections on Wednesday, with 20,920 cases, the second day reporting over 20,000, according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The death toll in Thailand also reached 160, bringing the total to 5,663.Bangkok’s hospitals have been overwhelmed by the surge in cases, and the demand for beds has far exceeded capacity. Health care authorities are racing to reduce the burden on the system. Dr. Supat Hasuwannakit, president of the Rural Doctor Society, says more than 400 physicians and nurses from provinces are being sent into Bangkok’s slums and densely populated areas in order to test and isolate 250,000 residents. Although we may not be able to reduce the infection rate just yet, we are hoping to ease the bed shortage in Bangkok and slow the death rate, Supat said.
Thailand extended its national lockdown until the end of the month to slow the rising number of cases. 29 provinces are now under the strictest protocol, meaning 40% of the country’s population will be under lockdown, according to CNN’s calculations based on CCSA data.At Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport, a warehouse has been converted into a 1,800-bed field hospital for Covid-19 patients with less severe symptoms, and 15 passenger trains have been converted into community isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients waiting for hospital beds. The prolonged economic downturn and the rise in Covid fatalities have taken a toll on Thai citizens. Several bodies were found on the streets of Bangkok and left lying on the road for hours before an ambulance could retrieve them. Many people have joined recent anti-government protests across the country, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, whose government has been heavily criticized for its handling of the pandemic. Thailand plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 23% of the country’s 70 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 5% are fully vaccinated.

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The Myanmar Military Raid Of Opposition Military Force Results In 25 Getting Killed

July 5, 2021

 At least 25 people were killed by Myanmar security forces in a confrontation with opponents of the military junta in a town in the nation’s center, residents and Myanmar language media reported.
The military’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the violence at Depayin, which is about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of the capital, Naypyidaw.
Myanmar’s state-run Global New Light reported that “armed terrorists” ambushed security forces patrolling there, killing one and wounding six. As a result of retaliation by the security forces, the attackers retreated.
With Aung San Suu Kyi’s Feb. 1 coup against her, Myanmar, a country of 53 million people, is engulfed in chaos.
Four military trucks dropped soldiers in Depayin early on Sunday morning, according to an anonymous Depayin resident.
Youths from a local People’s Defense Force, formed to oppose the junta, took positions to face them. According to the resident, the intruders only had makeshift weapons and were forced back by the security forces’ heavier firepower.
According to the resident, 25 bodies had been collected after the fighting.
BBC Burmese service and Than Lwin Khet News carried similar accounts.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the details.
According to a post on the Depayin People’s Defence Force’s Facebook page, 18 of its members were killed and 11 wounded.
People’s Defence Forces were founded by opponents of the junta in many parts of Myanmar, some of them in conjunction with a National Unity Government set up underground to fight the military administration.
There have been about two dozen ethnic armed groups fighting in Myanmar’s borderlands for decades, but Depayin is in the heartland of Myanmar’s Bamar majority, which also dominates the armed forces.
Since the coup, violence has driven more than 230,000 people from their homes, according to the United Nations. It also says more than 880 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, and more than 5,200 are in custody.
These figures are untrue, but the military authorities have not provided their own estimates.
The army says it assumed power in accordance with the constitution. Former electoral officials dismissed the allegations of fraud in elections swept by Suu Kyi’s party in November.
The Myanmar Military recently announced that they don’t like foreign journalists using the word junta. They want to sue them for using this word. 

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Opposition Are Killing People Who Work For The Myanmar Military

June 24, 2021

Yangon’s Hlaing Township lost an alleged informant recently and at least six young people who posted photos of the crime scene were arrested, residents say.
Kyaw Aye, whose tea shop was reportedly used by members of Ma Ba Tha to gather, was fatally wounded in Ward 13 at close range after being shot in the chest by an unknown gunman. 
According to a resident, he was on his way to the teashop when the attack occurred, and he died on the spot. 
“We heard the sound of gunfire,” she said. “When we went outside there was no one there anymore.”
After the incident, twenty soldiers came to the ward and arrested three women and three men who had taken pictures of the aftermath.
Hla Win, the military-appointed administrator in the ward, went into hiding late last month, leaving the neighborhood without an administrator.
The resident who heard the gunshot described Kyaw Aye as an informant who worked with Hla Win to arrest over 20 anti-coup protesters. 
The killing is the latest in a series of assassinations targeting pro-regime officials across the country. Ward administrators are often targets because they are part of the regime’s surveillance network. 
In Yangon alone, nine administrators have been killed.

The Myanmar Coup Has Made The World Refugee Problem Worse

June 22, 2021

The United Nations refugee agency reports that a record 82.4 million people have been displaced worldwide in 2020 because of violence and persecution, including 680,000 in Myanmar following ethnic conflict and the recent military coup.

According to UNHCR Director Indrika Ratwatte, in Bangkok on Friday, there have been an estimated 200,000 more internally displaced people (IDPs) within Myanmar since the removal of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government in February 2021.

The majority of the recent IDPs come from the states of Kayah and Kayin, where ethnic groups are engaged in armed combat with the military. There are also tens of thousands of displaced people in Shan and Kachin states.

Ratwatte said the situation in Myanmar is of extreme concern, adding that life-saving assistance must be provided to the Myanmar refugees.

After a military crackdown in 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled to neighboring Bangladesh, while more than 100,000 of the persecuted minority remain in camps in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Forcibly displaced individuals continue to be a global phenomenon, and the numbers are increasing every day, he said.

According to the report, children make up 42 percent of all refugees worldwide, with nearly one million of them born as refugees between 2018 and 2020.

Nearly two-thirds of all people who fled abroad came from just five countries, including 6.7 million from Syria, 4 million from Venezuela, 2.6 million from Afghanistan, 2.2 million from South Sudan, and 1.1 million from Myanmar.

A record low of only 37,000 refugees were resettled in a third country in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many countries closed their borders because they feared infection vectors, which also meant that those seeking protection had limited access,” he said.

Ratwatte cited the plight of Rohingya, about 200 of whom died last year while attempting to cross from Bangladesh to a third country.

According to the report, the record number of refugees in 2020 is four percent higher than the previous record of 79.5 million refugees in 2019.

UNHCR oversees about 20.7 million refugees, including 5.7 million Palestinians and 3.9 million Venezuelans.

More than 800,000 Rohingya refugees have registered with the UNHCR in Bangladesh since the latest influx in August 2017. However, the actual number is likely to be much higher since some of them have not been registered, or arrived during earlier waves of mass migration.

“This is a group of people living in 34 refugee camps in an area with about 40,000 people per square kilometer of population density,” Saleh said.

The Rohingya refugees have become more vulnerable to the COVID pandemic, which, like most other countries, has hit Bangladesh.

The government in Dhaka has managed the disease’s spread in the country, as well as in the camps, but the situation remains “unpredictable” with COVID vaccines still in short supply, Saleh said.

A massive fire in Rohingya camps in recent months further worsened the refugees’ already dire situation, destroying about 10,000 of their shelters and making 60,000 of them homeless.

UNHCR reported that millions of people were displaced within their own countries as well as fleeing across borders.

Nader Nadery, a member of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating panel, said armed violence remained the driving force behind Afghanistan’s refugee crisis.

“Unfortunately, that is not likely to change anytime soon,” Nadery said, predicting that factors driving the refugee crisis will continue.

The violence has increased since the United States announced its withdrawal of coalition troops, with the Taliban and other armed groups increasing attacks on towns and villages, he said. There has also been an increase in targeted killings against certain sectors of society and ethnic groups, such as Hazaras.

The ongoing drought in Afghanistan has also contributed to the displacement, as has the continuing spread of COVID-19, Nadery said. At least 3,800 deaths have been reported due to COVID in the country so far.

Personal Bit: My Thai Medical Experiences, Part 1

June 20, 2021

Today, I went to the doctor and I found out that I have a virus that is causing the lymph nodes in my groin to form a growth. The doctor recommends that I rest and take 3 injections until I feel better or the growth is eliminated.
Since I have more time, in addition to my articles about Thailand, gaming, and Myanmar, I will be remembering previous things that I have experienced in Thailand. The first focus will be on my Thai medical memories.

Once upon a time, I was standing in front of my apartment in the late evening, trying to find my keys to the apartment.
While I was looking for my keys, I noticed three figures behind me. I did not think anything would happen.
Suddenly, one of them struck me with a two-by-four piece of wood. It is something that you can buy at any Home Depot or borrow from some construction site.
For some reason, my first instinct was to be Batman and to go after them. They were surprised for a second and then started running down my street.
I captured one of them. He was young. He could have one of my high school students. He stared at me like a trapped animal.
I hesitated. I was not sure what to do. I don’t have any superpowers like Spider-Man or a Batmobile to take him to the police.
While I hesitated, one of the attackers came behind me and hit me again with the piece of wood on the back of my head. Blood started to gush from the back of my head.
I chased after them again and they got on their motorcycles. All I could do was stand there, and watch them leave.
Fortunately, there was a security guard at one of the nearby buildings and called the police.
An ambulance soon came and the ambulance people came out. They took off my shirt and put me on a gurney.
I never saw that shirt. It was the only thing that I lost during this whole experience. T
They took me to the hospital and put me on another gurney.
In this new gurney, while I was waiting to be registered and to go to my home space in the hospital, the two police officers arrived. They questioned me about the attack. They asked me two or three times whether I was drunk or not. If you knew me, you would find this question laughable. I almost never drink alcohol. It seemed like they kept on asking me because I was not giving them clear answers. You try to answer questions after being hit twice in the head with a piece of wood.
The police finally left and the hospital placed me in my home space. I was placed in a room with about 10 patients. During my 4 day stay, I could hear everything. If they coughed or vomited, I could hear their lovely noises.
In the morning, they wanted me to take a shower, but I refused to do so. Every time I stood up, the world would spin. I could not stand for anymore, so I would not be able to go to the shower. I made them give me a sponge bath.
Eventually, a doctor came and asked me questions. I told him about vertigo (vertigo means that you think the world is spinning, it does not mean that you are afraid of heights). He went away and I lay there in my bed as I would for four days. All I could do was either sleep or eat my meals. I had no phone or laptop with me.
Once, they did take me to the MRI to see how damaged my head. They said that there was none, but why was having vertigo?
I did get visits from my colleagues from the agency that I worked for. I also got visits from the Thai teachers at the high school that I taught at.
After four days of eating, sleeping, and listening to sounds that you would normally not want to hear on a normal basis, I got out of the hospital. I got out by lying to the doctor that I was no longer experiencing vertigo. I would actually experience vertigo off and on for the next year. I usually experienced it while I was sleeping. I would wake up and the world would be spinning. It is not a fun way to wake up.
As far as my attackers, they were captured when they mistakenly attacked a plainclothes police officer in an isolated location. I was also in an isolated location. He could do what I could not.

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UN Finally Reacts To Myanmar Coup And Tries To Pass An Arms Embargo

June 20, 2021

In response to this year’s violent military coup, the UN has called for the suspension of arms sales to Myanmar.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the military junta that overthrew the elected government in February 2021.

Also, the UN called for the release of political prisoners, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, and an end to violence against peaceful protesters.

Even though the resolution is not legally binding, it has political significance.

As UN special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener told the General Assembly, “the risk of a large-scale civil war is real.” “Time is of the essence. The opportunity to reverse the military takeover is dwindling.”

Belarus was the only country to vote against it, with 119 countries supporting it.

Another 36 countries abstained, including Russia and China – Myanmar’s two largest arms suppliers.

Abstainers argued the crisis was an internal matter for Myanmar, while others argued the resolution did not address a crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim population four years ago that forced almost a million people to flee their homes.

EU ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, said the resolution “delegitimizes the military junta, condemns its abuse and violence against its own people, and demonstrates its isolation from the world.

Myanmar’s military has brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters, activists, and journalists since the coup.

According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), security forces have killed more than 860 people and detained nearly 5,000 to date.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch urged the UN General Assembly to pass a resolution calling for an arms embargo, stating that “while not legally binding on states, such a resolution would have a significant political impact.”

Governments need to recognize that any arms sold to Myanmar’s military will likely be used to commit abuses against the population. “Arms embargoes can help prevent such crimes.

Myanmar in profile
Burma, also known as Myanmar, became independent from Britain in 1948. It’s been under military rule for most of its modern history. In 2009, however, the restrictions began to ease, and in 2015, a new government was installed led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Myanmar army responded to attacks by Rohingya militants in 2017 with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN called an “ethnic cleansing textbook example.”
Suu Kyi, 75, has been under house arrest since the coup and hasn’t been seen or heard from much outside of short court appearances.

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Game Bits: Twitch Sets New Hours Record, The Leadership Shake-Ups At Gaming Companies Continue At Ubisoft Massive

June 18, 2021

According to StreamElement’s monthly data report, put together with its analytics partner Rainmaker.gg, Twitch has set a new record for viewership for the fourth time this year.
In May 2021, Twitch users watched 2.2 billion hours overall, up 37% year-over-year and slightly above April’s 2.2 billion hours.
Although Facebook Gaming didn’t set records, it still surpassed 400 million hours watched and grew 23% year-over-year.
As measured by hours watched, Jut Chat, Grand Theft Auto 5, and League of Legends continued to be the most popular categories in May, but there were some changes further down the chart.
Apex Legends found itself in ninth place with hours watched up 33% to 61 million, while Resident Evil Village made its debut in the top 10 with 48 million hours watched. After a 19% increase month-over-month, Value was the fourth most watched category with 95 million hours watched in May 2021.

David Polfeldt is moving to a different role with Ubisoft Massive.
A memo sent to Ubisoft staff today revealed that Polfeldt will step down from his current role on July 1 to take a sabbatical, returning to the company in 2022 in a new strategic position.
According to a memo from Ubisoft, the next head of the studio will take over in October 2021, but Ubisoft cannot announce them yet to avoid problems with their current employer.
Massive has been with Polfeldt for 17 years, and he has been managing director for 12 of those years.
The studio is behind The Division series, as well as two upcoming collaborations with Disney: a Star Wars open-world game and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
In a post on the Massive website, Polfeldt said, “When we signed Star Wars and built Eden in 2020, I felt like I had accomplished everything I once dreamed of.
Based on The Division, Avatar, Snowdrop, and Ubisoft Connect, the studio is in great shape, and I am incredibly grateful for what we have achieved together.
This is the third studio at Ubisoft to see leadership change in four months. Kolibri Games announced departures of the CEO and CTO in March, while Ubisoft Owlient studio managers Charlie Guillemot and Rémi Pellerin stepped down in May 2021.
A series of high-profile departures and firings occurred across Ubisoft studios last year as a result of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct reported by various leaders and the human resources department.