Archive for the ‘April’ Category

Thai Bits: Thai CCSA: No Alcohol Means No COVID-19, Parts of Phuket To Go Dark, Samut Sakhon Still Dealing WIth Third Wave of COVID-19

June 23, 2021

CCSA Believes Alcohol and COVID-19 Don’t Mix

Bars and nightclubs might not reopen in Thailand for a while. The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing today pointed fingers at customers who are far less likely to follow disease control practices when under the influence of alcohol.
As of April 1, 2021, more than 190,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 at Bangkok’s Thong Lor and Ekkamai nightlife venues. As the virus rapidly spread, bars and nightclubs were the first venues to be closed.
CCSA spokesperson Aphisamai Srirangsan expressed sympathy for those in the nightlife industry after being closed for weeks, but the Thai media outlet Siamrath quoted the spokesperson as saying alcohol can lead to behavior that could increase the risk of Covid-19.
Bar and club o The Provincial Electricity Authority announced that power will be temporarily cut in parts of Kathu, Phuket tomorrow. High voltage cables are being installed.

PEA TO Shut Off ELectricity in Parts of Phuket

The power will be shut off between 9 am and 4:30 pm in the Kathua area on the Wichit Songkram Road, and from the Kathu Wittaya School to the intersection with the Kathu-Koh Kaew road

This area includes:

Soi Rakchat Uthit
Soi Si Kor, Soi Sahakorn, Phuket Golden Ville 2-5
Soi Kathu Waterfall
Sing Thao Thani housing estate
Ban Pakdee community
Phanason Park Ville housing estate
Patong and the Heroines Monument area briefly lost power earlier this month.

PEA apologizes for the inconvenience not having power may cause.

You can contact the Thalang PEA office at 076-354379 or the PEA call center at 1129 if you have questions about power.perators should propose ways to reopen safely, she added.

Samut Sakhon Desperate For Vaccines To Deal With Third Wave

A coastal province southwest of Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, has been hard hit by the pandemic. As a result of the high number of Covid-19 cases and cluster outbreaks during the second and third waves of the virus, Governor Veerasak Vichitsangsri contracted Covid-19 in December and developed a severe lung infection. He was on a ventilator for 42 days.
Now, as the province struggles with the third wave of the virus, which has infected over 5,000 people in Samut Sakhon since April 1, 2021, the latest order for vaccines has been drastically cut, from 300,000 doses to 70,000.
Samut Sakhon is a major industrial hub in Thailand, so the governor appealed to the government. More and more people are supporting Veerasak’s call for more vaccines with the hashtag “Give Back Vaccines to Samut Sakhon People.”
During the second wave of infections in December, Samut Sakhon was the epicenter of infections. The outbreak started at a shrimp market in a major fishing hub in the province, affecting migrant workers who lived and worked closely together. Veerasak caught the virus during that time and spent nearly three months in the hospital and nearly 42 days on a ventilator. He was unable to speak at one point.
As a result of the infection, some of the governor’s lung tissue was destroyed. Veerasak also has a cerebrovascular disease that affects blood flow to the brain. Doctors said earlier that the bacterial infection affected his brain function. When the governor was released from the hospital, he told the press that at one point, he thought he would never be able to speak again.
Samut Sakhon is one of the top 10 provinces with the highest infection rates in the wave, which was first recorded on April 1 in Bangkok’s nightlife districts. There has been an increase in infections in crowded areas such as factories, construction sites, and prisons. More than 7,000 factories are located in Samut Sakhon and the city has a high number of undocumented migrant workers, some suspected of entering Thailand illegally during the pandemic. Both factors increase the risk of outbreaks, say officials.


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US Game Spending Declined 2 Percent In April 2021

May 28, 2021

According to NPD Group’s April 2021 results, US game spending has dropped for the first time in 13 months, although it was only a 2% decline.

Last month, the US spent $4.7 billion on games. Hardware lost the most, dropping 30% year-over-year to $296 million.

Nintendo Switch led in unit sales and dollar sales for the month. Further, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are still in short supply, which limits sales of both consoles.

Spending on console, mobile, PC, cloud, and subscription services grew by 12% to $4.1 billion in the software category.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (physical sales only) was dethroned by MLB: The Show 21 in April and fell to second place.

Nintendo’s Switch-exclusive New Pokemon Snap ranked third, and Square Enix’s RPG remaster Nier Replicant placed fifth. Returnal, a roguelike shooter from Housemarque, debuted at number eight.

Mortal Kombat 11 ranked sixth on the best sellers list in April 2021, marking its first appearance in the top ten since July 2020, when it ranked ninth.

Additionally, accessories spending decreased 23% to $168 million, with the PS5 DualSense controller remaining the best-selling peripheral.

According to the NPD, gaming spending increased 35% in April 2021. (At the time, the NPD’s monthly report did not include mobile spending, subscriptions, and other major contributors to the consumer spending figure.)

Here are the US Top 20 (based on dollar sales) for April 4, 2021, through May 1, 2021:

Last Month This MonthTitle
NEW 1 MLB: The Show 21^
1 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
NEW 3 New Pokemon Snap*
3 4 Outriders
NEW 5 NieR: Replicant
14 6 Mortal Kombat 11
2 7 Monster Hunter: Rise
NEW 8 Returnal
22 9 It Takes Two
6 10 Mario Kart 8*
11 11 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
5 12 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
4 13 Super Mario 3D World*
10 14 Minecraft
8 15 Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
9 16 Super Mario 3D All-Stars*
12 17 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
7 18 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
13 19 Pokemon: Sword/Shield*
16 20 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
*Digital sales not included

^Xbox digital sales not included

Game Bits: New Xboxes Come To China, Bohemia Doing Well So Far In 2021

May 15, 2021

Xbox Comes To China in June 2021

The Xbox Series X and Series S consoles will launch in mainland China next month.
Both consoles will be available on June 10th, 2021, and preorders will open on May 19th, 2021.
Series X is recommended for a price of 3899 ($600), while Series S is priced at 2399 ($372).
Sony’s PlayStation 5 will go on sale tomorrow, May 15th, in China, prompting Microsoft’s announcement.
Sony originally planned to launch the PlayStation 5 in Q2 2021, but the launch has been moved forward, making it the first current-generation console to launch in China.
On April 29th, 2021, PlayStation 5 pre-orders began in China, selling out within 20 minutes.

Bohemia’s Sales Went Up in Last Quarter of 2021

In its most recent financial report, Bohemia Interactive revealed its highest year-over-year revenue in five years.
The net sales for the fiscal year were $47.5 million, an increase of 10% over last year.
The company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $31 million, up 30% year over year.
Both DayZ and Arma 3 have been supported on a continuous basis since 2013, according to the Czech developer.
The company shared further that its continued support of both titles kept them popular among fans across their respective platforms.
We expect to achieve slightly better results at the end of 2021 than we did the year before, stated Bohemia CFO Slavomr Pavlek.
Our goals are to expand our market position on consoles while also expanding geographically.
The company plans to grow geographically and strengthen its position in the console market. Tencent invested in Bohemia in February, and it will continue to invest in its multiplatform engine Enfusion.

Myanmar Journalist Has Been Sentenced To Three Years In Prison by Myanmar Military

May 14, 2021

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reporter Min Nyo from Pyay, Bago Region, was sentenced to three years in prison by a court inside Pyay Prison on May 12th, 2021.
As with many other detained journalists, he has been unable to contact his family.
We were only able to meet with his lawyers. He hasn’t been permitted to visit with his family since his arrest, Min Nyo’s wife Moe Moe said.
Section 505a of the Penal Code punishes incitement with a prison sentence of three years, changed from two years following the February 1st, 2021, coup by the military council.
A variety of public figures, lawmakers, media representatives, and others opposed to the military junta have been accused of the charge.
Moe Moe announced that she would file an appeal.
During a protest in Pyay, Min Nyo was beaten and arrested on March 3rd, 2021.
In his eighth hearing, the military council ruled that he had contacted a fire department member by phone and incited him to take part in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
The military council only holds hearings for detainees in prison courts, justifying the practice as a preventative measure for Covid-19.
Salai Kaung Myat Min, secretary of the Myay Latt Journalists Network, said the military crackdown on journalists has not hampered news reporting.
The dictator will torture you, make you feel uncomfortable and paranoid in your own home while abusing their power. But the media are doing their best, he said, adding, their actions should not hinder us.
The London-based Amnesty International petitioned the court for the reporter’s release on his sentencing day.
It underscores the appalling situation journalists face in Myanmar, where they risk their lives and freedom to expose abuses committed by the military. The military authorities are ruthless and determined to suppress those who speak out, Amnesty International’s statement said.
On March 1st, 2021, another DVB reporter, Aung Kyaw, was arrested at his home in Myeik, Tanintharyi Region.
Additionally, members of the military council’s armed forces have taken Nay Lin, editor of Voice of Myanmar, and reporter Shine Aung away for talks and cut off contact between them and their families.
Nay Lin’s wife, Zarni Mann, said that her husband had been taken to court in Mandalay’s Chanmyatharzi Township recently.
Since the coup on February 1, 48 journalists have been detained, including a reporter from Myanmar Now, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
Kay Zon Nway has been in solitary confinement at Insein Prison since April 28th, 2021, after being charged under Section 505a after being arrested in Myaynigone.
Xinhua, AP, BBC, and other international outlets have released some of the detained journalists, but the majority remain in jail.
As the result of her arrest, reporter Wunna Soe was released on bail the same day during a protest in Meiktila.
The military council revoked the licenses of Myanmar Now, Mizzima, DVB, 7Day and Khit Thit on March 8th, 2021. Kachin newspaper 74 Media and Myitkyina Journal lost their license on April 29th, 2021.

Myanmar Muslim Reporter Put In Solitary Confinement For Fasting For Ramadan

May 7, 2021

Kay Zon Nway, a Myanmar Now reporter who was arrested while reporting on a demonstration against a coup in Yangon in late February 2021, has been placed in solitary confinement at Insein Prison after she began fasting for Ramadan.
As a result of being charged under Section 505a of the Penal Code for incitement, she has been placed under solitary confinement since April 28. It was only when her lawyer, Nilar Khine, saw her on Thursday that she discovered this.
She says she didn’t do anything that Nilar Khine said. Some people do sit-in protests in prison, but she fasts because it’s Ramadan. She’s being arrested for no reason.
Prison officials couldn’t be reached for further information about her situation. Thursday’s hearing was held at the prison, not at a court.
Kay Zon Nway was accused falsely of fasting for Ramadan when the government arrested her, a woman recently released from Insein who had been arrested for protesting.
Some individuals have told prison officials that she is fasting because she is protesting.
Nilar Khine said that the plaintiff in the case, a deputy police major at Sanchaung police station, testified at Thursday’s hearing that she was arrested for inciting protests underneath the Myaynigone bridge in Sanchaung.
According to Nilar Khine, Kay Zon Nway has a right to report under Myanmar’s media law.
Her lawyer explained that she only had her phone and a tripod for the phone when she was arrested. Those items were used for reporting and not protesting.
The case against freelancer reporter Soe Yarzar Tun was also heard at Thursday’s hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for May 20th, 2021.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reports that 48 reporters are currently being detained in Myanmar in April of 2021.

The Opposition Group NUG Wants To Set Up A Defence Force To Protect People From The Myanmar Military

May 6, 2021

Recently in April 2021, Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), set up by opponents of military rule, announced that it had formed a people’s defense force to protect its supporters from attacks and violence by the military government.
Myanmar has seen daily protests and a surge in violence since the military seized power on February 1st, 2021, and ousted a government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The new force was argued to be a prelude to the Federal Union Army (FUA), which is responsible for ending decades of civil wars and for dealing with military attacks and violence by the State Administration Council (SAC) against its people.
Last month, an array of groups opposed to the junta, including ethnic minorities militias, established a unity government that promised to restore democracy, end violence, and build a federal democratic union.
It is reported by the Karen Information Center media group that as of March 31 the KNU’s Brigade 5 has killed 194 government troops, the country’s oldest rebel group.
An election commission found the November election fair, despite the military’s complaints of fraud by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy(NLD) party.
The military disputes the AAPP figure and has banned the group.
A total of 248 people have been killed since mid-April, 2021, and 24 police officers and soldiers have also been killed in the protests.
It has been impossible for independent media to verify casualties. Many of the journalists and activists have been arrested and detained as well. The Myanmar military has carried out military operations against ethnic groups in Karen and Kachin States, driving thousands of people to flee – some into Thailand.
The latest development comes as thousands of people stage protests across the country despite the violent crackdown.

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