International

  • British independent school Is Packed With Activities Exemplifing The Curriculum

    The British independent school curriculum is recognised as the best in the world. It helps to encourage children’s versatility, giving them a strong academic curriculum in combination with multi-skills activities, delivered through more school hours than other schools, and small class sizes so that teachers can focus on individual students and design personalised lessons. It also includes better well-being for the children and involves the use of well-equipped, global-standard school facilities.

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    DBS Denla British School is one of the few international schools in Thailand that has adopted the curriculum from British independent schools. Recently, the Cambridge Assessment International Education, which is a part of the University of Cambridge, and the world’s largest accrediting institution for international education, officially certified DBS as a Cambridge International School after reviewing the curriculum standards and quality of DBS teachers.

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    Becoming a Cambridge International School means that DBS has been accredited to integrate the Cambridge Curriculum into its teaching and learning process. It can also arrange IGCSE examinations for Y10-Y13 students at DBS itself. IGCSE examination scores are globally recognised and students can use their scores to apply to leading universities anywhere in the world

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    In addition to intense academia, DBS also focuses on various activities, for example its membership of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards, a project founded by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the royal consort of Queen Elizabeth II, which provides support to youth around the world to engage in creative, challenging activities. Activities include volunteer work to help society, sport and games, as well as, educational trips and excursions abroad. Students can use the profiles of participating in these activities to enhance their application for universities and add them to their resumes to apply for future jobs.

    “Education is life’s most rewarding investment,
    and students deserve only the best.”

  • AQUARIUS INTERNATIONAL UNVEILS AQ-GOURMET.COM, A ONE-STOP-SHOP AND ONLINE SHOWCASE FOR CULINARY CONOISSEURS IN ASIA

    Hong Kong – AQ Development (Asia) Limited – Vietnam, a subsidiary of Aquarius International Hospitality Development (AQI), the pioneering company specialising in high-end travel and hospitality experiences in Asia, is now giving customers the chance to bring the joy of world-class dining into the comfort of their own homes, with the launch of AQ-Gourmet.com, its virtual showcase of first-class gastronomy.

    Opening its e-doors on 13th December 2020, this brand new online store will be a one-stop shop for all culinary connoisseurs in the region. Visitors can browse a broad selection of premium produce, including ocean-fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat, vibrant herbs, fruit and vegetables, specialist sauces and condiments, and much more, all sourced from trusted and responsible suppliers. Guests can then check-out and pay securely online, and have their shopping delivered straight to their doorstep.

    AQ-Gourmet.com is not only a sophisticated supermarket however; it is a comprehensive marketplace featuring a wide range of ready-to-eat meals, perfectly prepared by in-house chefs, and meal boxes complete with recipe cards and all the ingredients you need to recreate restaurant dishes in your own kitchen. Still in need of some epicurean inspiration? The website will also offer a series of demonstration videos, providing step-by-step advice and professional cooking tips by top chefs. This makes it ideal for party hosts, special occasions, or anyone with a passion for fine food.

    Premier and Diamond tier members of the AQ Privilege Club (AQP), AQP’s rewarding membership programme, can take advantage an exclusive E-Concierge service which lets them request bespoke ingredients. Are you trying to find a specific cut of the best wagyu beef or the highest grade Japanese tuna? Simply ask AQ Gourmet & Dine’s dedicated virtual concierge, who will strive to satisfy every request.

    The introduction of AQ-Gourmet.com represents the initial phase of an impressive expansion strategy for AQ Gourmet & Dine (AQGD), Aquarius International’s food & beverage division, which will eventually create an extensive, regionwide ecosystem of products and services. The company is also planning to create a chain of AQ Gourmet & Dine Stores which focus on first-class ingredients from all over the world. These sleek and modern shops will feature market-style counters, open kitchens, sushi bars, interactive butchers, fishmongers with tanks of live seafood, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, natural wellness and spa products, and even Japanese knife stores, all displayed in eye-catching, open-plan galleries.

    AQUARIUS INTERNATIONAL CONOISSEURS ASIA Gourmet Dine

    The inaugural AQ Gourmet & Dine Store is scheduled to open its doors in Ho Chi Minh City on 13th December 2020, and the company’s flagship stores in Bangkok and Shanghai are due to follow in the first quarter and second quarter of 2021 respectively. More stores are expected to be rolled out across the region in due course. AQGD’s growth strategy will then introduce new fine-dining restaurants and noodle houses to key Asian cities.

    “It gives us great pleasure to reveal AQ-Gourmet.com, which will raise the bar for epicurean experiences in Asia. Working with leading culinary experts, from farmers, producers and suppliers to chefs, sommeliers and kitchen equipment specialists, we have compiled a definitive collection of gastronomic arts in an attractive, intuitive online showcase. This virtual store will reflect the style of our AQ Gourmet & Dine Stores, which will soon be unveiled in Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, and Shanghai. So whether you choose to shop in person or online, we look forward to making five-star cuisine accessible to all,” said Nixon Chung, Chief Operations Officer of AQI and AQGD.

    AQUARIUS INTERNATIONAL CONOISSEURS ASIA Gourmet Dine

    AQI and AQ Development are no newcomers to the F&B industry; it already has a strong relationship with JCC, a major Japanese supplier with 25 years of heritage in the restaurant and catering sector and a portfolio of 45 dining establishments in Okinawa. As part of this relationship, AQGD’s Gourmet Stores will showcase a series of exclusive Japanese products, including mouth-watering Motobu beef and Agu pork.

    To learn more about AQI or any of its investments and ventures, including AQGD, please visit Norcal Venture Capital Group (NVC)’s website at www.norcal-asia.com.

  • German Railway Company Says Greta Thunberg’s Photo Misleading

    BERLIN (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg and Germany’s national railway company created a tweetstorm Sunday after she posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor of a train surrounded by lots of bags.

    The image has drawn plenty of comment online about the performance of German railways.

    Thunberg posted the tweet late Saturday with the comment “traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home!”

    But German railway company Deutsche Bahn suggested that Thunberg may not have spent the whole time sitting on the floor. And the 16-year-old Swedish activist later sought to draw a line under the matter by tweeting that she eventually got a seat and that overcrowded trains are a good thing.

    Some Twitter users expressed pity for Thunberg for not being able to get a proper seat on the train for the long ride home from Madrid, where she was attending the U.N. climate change conference. Others wished her a safe trip home after months of traveling by trains and boats to different climate events in Europe and the United States.

    Thunberg doesn’t fly on planes because it’s considered harmful to the climate. Last week, she was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for her efforts to prod government and others to take faster actions in fighting climate change.

    Deutsche Bahn, which used to be famous for its punctuality, has come under fire in recent years for delays, last-minute train cancellations and expensive ticket fares.

    In Deutsche Bahn’s first reply to the teenager’s initial tweet, the company wished her a good trip back home and adding that “we continue working hard on getting more trains, connections and seats.”

    Later, however, the railway company wrote in a statement to the media that Thunberg had a seat in first class between Kassel and Hamburg and that other members of her team were already sitting in first class from Frankfurt onwards.

    In the photo on Twitter, Thunberg is sitting on the floor at the end of a rail car with her back leaning against a suitcase, staring out of a window. There’s an empty food box next to her and more suitcases and backpacks piled up by her side.

    Later on Sunday, Deutsche Bahn tweeted twice more in regard to Thunberg’s train travels through Germany.

    In the first tweet, the company thanks the teenager for supporting Deutsche Bahn’s battle against climate change and pointed out that the train she used had been running 100% on eco-friendly electricity.

    In the second tweet, however, Deutsche Bahn seemed to suggest that Thunberg hadn’t spent the entire train ride sitting on the floor.

    The company pointed out to the teenager that “it would have been even nicer if you had also reported how friendly and competently our team served you at your seat in first class.”

    Thunberg later tweeted that the fact she didn’t first sit in a seat wasn’t meant as a knock against Deutsche Bahn.

    She wrote that “this is no problem of course and I never said it was. Overcrowded trains is a great sign because it means the demand for train travel is high!”

    Source

  • Former Japanese Empress in Poor Health, Palace Says

    TOKYO (Kyodo) — Former Empress Michiko has been in poor health since mid-September, vomiting multiple times and losing weight, with stress seen as one of the possible causes, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

    The 85-year-old underwent breast cancer surgery in early September and has since been receiving hormonal treatment. The agency said the post-surgery treatment is not suspected to be the cause of her vomiting, which included a small amount of blood.

    Continue reading the story here

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  • Court Rules Toilet Use Limit for Transgender Gov’t Official Illegal

    TOKYO — A court ordered the government on Thursday to pay damages to a transgender official, ruling that it was illegal for her workplace to impose restrictions on her use of women’s toilets.

    The Tokyo District Court ordered the state to pay the official, who was born male but has led a life as a female, a total of 1.32 million yen ($12,000).

    It is the first court ruling in Japan in favor of a plaintiff suffering discrimination in a workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and seeking improved treatment, according to the lawyers of the plaintiff.

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  • 9 more arrested with fake passports.

    The Immigration Police are arresting more foreigners in Thailand every day thanks to the help of the Biometrics system that has been a great success since its installment. Officials from the Immigration Bureau reported the arrests from 9 cases that took place in November 2019 of illegal foreigners that entered the country unlawfully.

    The Immigration Police have received important orders with the goal to arrest foreigners acting against the law and those who are a risk to society within this year in 2019. The implementation of the Biometrics System has greatly assisted officials with clear background information on the passport holders, revealing the truth if they are holding a fake passport or if they are using someone else passports, including fake Visa stamps in hopes of leaving to another country.

    Out of the 9 cases, 7 involved suspects holding fake passports. The 7 suspects included a suspect from Bangladesh, a suspect from Taiwan, a suspect from China, 2 suspects from Morocco, and 2 suspects with unknown origins. The remaining 2 cases involved suspects that used passports that did not belong to them. The 2 suspects included one from Mexico and one from China.

    The 7 suspects with fake passports tried to use such passports to leave the nation and travel into other countries while the 2 other suspects tried to use the passports to enter Thailand. The 2 passports were real but it wasn’t theirs in the first place. The passports had pictures that were similar to their appearances but the biometrics system revealed that they were, in fact, different persons.

    Officials have charged the Mexican man and the Chinese man for using another person’s passport. The 2 Moroccans have been charged with the possession of a fake passport and a fake Visa stamp (Schengen Visa) with the intention to travel internationally with the stamp. The rest of the suspects have been charged with possession of a fake passport with the intention to travel internationally. The 9 suspects have been sent to the Suvarnabhumi Police Station for further prosecution.

    FB Caption: The 9 Suspects included 2 from China, 1 from Bangladesh, 1 from Mexico, 1 from Taiwan, 2 from Morocco, and 2 with unknown origins.

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  • Ex-Workers Furious Over Japanese 7-Eleven’s Handling of Unpaid Pays

    TOKYO — Former employees of Seven-Eleven Japan Co.’s franchise stores on Wednesday gave vent to their anger and frustration on social media over the company’s handling of unpaid overtime wages.

    Japan’s largest convenience store chain said Tuesday it did not pay a portion of overtime wages to at least 30,000 workers, totaling some 490 million yen ($4.5 million), after March 2012 due to a miscalculation in its payroll system. It said records only exist from that month onward.

    Still, the company admitted that the problem dates back to its founding in the 1970s and promised to provide all the unpaid wages before March 2012, if the former employees can show their pay slips or other proofs of working records.

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  • Leaders Scramble for Final Votes as UK’s Ugly Election Ends

    LONDON (AP) — Britain’s election has been like the country’s late-autumn weather: chilly and dull, with blustery outbursts.

    On the last day of the campaign, political leaders dashed around the U.K. on Wednesday trying to win over millions of undecided voters who will likely determine the outcome.

    Opinion polls suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have a lead over the main opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn ahead of Thursday’s election. But all the parties are nervous about the verdict of a volatile electorate fed up after years of Brexit wrangling.

    Truck driver Clive Jordan expressed a weariness that could be heard up and down the country during the five-week campaign.

    “Basically I just want it over and done with now,” he said. “Nobody’s doing what they said. Everybody’s lying.”

    Britain’s first December vote since 1923 has been dubbed the Brexit Election. It is being held more than two years early in hopes of breaking Britain’s political deadlock over the country’s stalled departure from the European Union.

    Johnson has focused relentlessly on Brexit throughout the campaign, endlessly repeating his slogan “Get Brexit done.” He says that if he wins a majority of the 650 House of Commons seats on Thursday, he will get Parliament to ratify his “oven-ready” divorce deal with the EU and take Britain out of the bloc as scheduled on Jan. 31.

    “If we can get a working majority, we have a deal, it’s ready to go,” Johnson said Wednesday as he watched pies being baked at a catering firm in central England. “We put it in, slam it in the oven, take it out and there it is — get Brexit done.”

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    As a slogan, “Get Brexit done” is both misleading and effective. If Britain leaves the EU on Jan. 31 it will only kick-start months or years of negotiations on future trade relations with the bloc, involving tough trade-offs between independence and access.

    “His campaign was all about ‘Getting Brexit done,’ but actually it’s about getting Brexit started,” said Tony Travers, professor of government at the London School of Economics. “Elections seem to suggest these things are easy; they’re not.”

    But the notion of an end to the Brexit melodrama is tempting to voters who have watched politicians bicker for more than three years since Britain’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

    “Brexit is fueling the election,” said Allan Bailey, a parish councilor in Clowne, a former coal-mining village in the central England constituency of Bolsover. “If one person can offer this area … Brexit, that person will win.”

    The Conservatives have focused much of their energy on trying to win seats like Bolsover — working-class towns in central and northern England that have elected Labour lawmakers for decades, but also voted strongly in 2016 to leave the EU.

    Polls suggest that plan may be working, and the Conservatives have also been helped by the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, which decided at the last minute not to contest 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

    Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses an eve of poll rally in London, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Britain will go to the polls tomorrow Dec. 12, to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Labour — which is largely but ambiguously pro-EU — faces competition for anti-Brexit voters from the centrist Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties and the Greens.

    “The only reason the Conservatives are so far ahead in the polls now is that the ‘remain’ vote is divided,” said Rosie Campbell, professor of politics at King’s College London. “For ‘remain’ voters it has been a real failure of leadership.”

    If the Tories fail to win a majority, it will be a sign that voters think other issues are just as important as Brexit. Labour has focused on domestic issues, especially the wear and tear to the country’s state-funded health service after nine years of Conservative government austerity. Labour also promises to boost public spending, nationalize Britain’s railways and utilities and provide everyone in the country with free internet access — all paid for by raising taxes on high earners.

    “My message to all those voters who are still undecided is that you can vote for hope in this election,” Corbyn said Wednesday at his final campaign rally.

    On Brexit, Labour says it will negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU, then offer voters the choice in a new referendum between leaving on those terms and remaining in the bloc.

    For many voters, Thursday’s election offers an unpalatable choice. Both Johnson and Corbyn have personal approval ratings in negative territory, and both have been dogged by questions about their character.

    Johnson has been confronted with past broken promises, untruths and offensive statements, from calling the children of single mothers “ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate” to comparing Muslim women who wear face-covering veils to “letter boxes.”

    Corbyn has been accused of allowing anti-Semitism to spread within the party. The 70-year-old left-winger is portrayed by opponents as an aging Marxist with unsavory past associations with Hamas and the IRA.

    British opposition Liberal Democrats Party Leader Jo Swinson joins activists for a final day election rally at Esher Rugby Club in Hersham, England, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 during the General Election campaign tour. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Though the candidates claim to carry positive messages, the campaign has been littered with allegations of mudslinging and dishonesty — largely by the Conservatives. The Tories doctored a video of an interview with a senior Labour lawmaker to make it appear as if he had failed to answer a question, when he had. The party re-branded its press office Twitter account “FactCheckUK” during a television debate, earning a warning but no sanction from the social media site.

    Johnson combined an aggressive online campaign with a cautious approach to live appearances. He largely avoided tough interviews — to the fury of opponents — and had a generally gaffe-free election until the final days of the campaign.

    On Monday, Johnson was caught making a ham-fisted and seemingly unsympathetic reaction to a picture of a 4-year-old boy lying on a hospital floor because no beds were available. Asked to look at the picture on a reporter’s phone, Johnson grabbed the device and pocketed it.

    On Tuesday, the father of a man killed in last month’s knife attack near London Bridge accused the prime minister of using his son’s death for political gain.

    It’s unclear how much those moments will influence the outcome when Britain’s voters pass their verdict on Thursday. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (0700GMT to 2200GMT), with most results expected early Friday.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Danica Kirka and Jo Kearney in London and Alex Turnbull in Clowne, England, contributed to this report.

    Source

  • Kawasaki City Enacts Japan’s 1st Bill Punishing Hate Speech

    KAWASAKI — The Kawasaki city assembly on Thursday passed an ordinance bill imposing criminal penalties for hate speech, a first for Japan.

    The new ordinance enacted in Kawasaki, to enter into force on July 1, bans discriminatory language and actions against those from countries or regions other than Japan in public spaces in the city near Tokyo. It makes repeat violations punishable by a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,600).

    While Japan enacted in 2016 a law designed to deter hate speech, the city deemed the law has not been effective in eradicating discrimination against ethnic minorities as it lacks provisions to ban or punish the use of discriminatory language.

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  • Hong Kong Police Say They Discover 2 Homemade Bombs

    HONG KONG (Xinhua) — The Hong Kong police said on Tuesday that the discovery of two home-made bombs in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai on Monday might not be a single case, warning that criminals may have stored more firearms and lethal explosives in the community.

    The police said in a post on social media that upon further inspection by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) on Tuesday morning, the two remote-controlled bombs were proved to be fully functional and readily deployable.

    The two bombs were found Monday evening on a slope near the foundation of a building of Wah Yan College, a secondary school in Wan Chai. Bomb disposal officers were deployed and safely defused the bombs on Monday night.

    Based on the current findings from intelligence gathering and investigation, the police suspected that the discovery of the two bombs is not a single case, and some criminals are planning to cause casualties in the community with firearms and explosives.

    Photo shows weapon seized by Hong Kong police on Dec. 8, 2019. (Source: TVB)

    In an operation early Sunday, the police seized a semi-automatic pistol and over 100 bullets suspected to be used by radicals in a demonstration. It was the first time that a handgun has been seized related to the recent unrest in Hong Kong.

    The police said on Tuesday that the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau have decided to investigate the two cases as a whole, and are now tracing the source of the ammunition and the concerned criminal group.

    “The police will not rule out the possibility that criminals have stored more firearms and lethal explosives in the community,” the police said.

    Apart from a large quantity of ammonium nitrate, the two bombs also contained many nails, which would remarkably enhance their lethality.

    Photo shows the nails contained in the home-made bombs seized by the police in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China. (Hong Kong Police)

    Based on the quantity and nature of the explosives contained in the bombs, the EOD estimated that they were capable of causing casualties in a range of up to 50 to 100 meters in the surrounding area.

    The bombs, if detonated in a busy area, will indiscriminately hurt everyone within the range and lead to very severe casualties, said Bomb Disposal Officer Suryanto Chin Chiu.

    Source

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