The real story from Asia Correspondent:
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, people in panda costumes pose in front of a Chengdu Airlines ARJ21-700 plane before its first commercial flight at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, China
CHINA’S first domestically-built jet made its debut flight on Tuesday, as the Chinese government attempts to make its mark in the commercial aircraft market.
The ARJ21-700 jet, operated by Chengdu Airlines, completed its inaugural voyage in a two-hour flight from the western city of Chengdu to Shanghai, carrying 70 passengers.
With the launch of its first jetliner, China’s government-backed aircraft manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), intends to become a competitor to Canada’s Bombadier Inc. and Brazil’s Embraer SA.
COMAC chairman Jin Zhuanglong said: “The first flight of the ARJ21 marks the beginning of commercial operations for the jetliner and signifies the first time a domestically made regional jet has been used by a Chinese airline.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, as the Wall Street Journal said that state news agency Xinhua had reported complaints from the plane’s pilot about noise and vibration in the cabin during the maiden flight.
“The manufacturer has plans to make improvements and we hope that they can resolve the noise and vibration issues,” said Chengdu Airlines Capt. Zhang Fangjie.
While China is one of the largest markets in the aviation industry, it has so far relied heavily on foreign-made aircraft.
However, as part of a government initiative to reduce that dependency, the ARJ21 and a full-size jetliner currently under development, the C919, were commissioned.The ARJ21’s debut was originally set for 2006, but a number of production setbacks kept it in development for longer than expected.
According to Chengdu Airlines, apart from the Chengdu-Shanghai route, other destinations will soon be added, such as Shenzhen, Nanjing, and Changsha.
So far, COMAC has received more than 300 orders for the ARJ21, most of which come from Chinese airlines and leasing firms, while Chengdu Airlines has ordered another 29 ARJ21s, with its second plane due to be ready by August.
With Britain withdrawing from the EU half a million British pensioners living in Spain will soon be forced to leave. Thailand's Minister of Foolish Foreign Fogies has said they will be most welcome in Thailand. We love British pensioners here, he remarked, they buy our Ponzi scheme, jerry-built condominiums for fantastic prices. They keep our private hospitals in business because they need to see a Doctor every time they have a cold or a belly-ache from eating Thai food. Our Dentists think they are great because they all have rotten teeth from living off a diet of chocolate bars when they were young. They swallow the output of an entire Thai brewery every day. And all they want is a grotty bar, decorated with British flags and old copies of the Daily Mirror, which shows non-stop football matches on the telly. Give them this and they will just sit around all day, drinking and complaining about everything.
The Ministry has offered a special invitation to David Cameron, who will soon be out of a job and will not be welcome in Europe or Britain.
Aljazeera had the boring story:
Some 761,000 Britons live in Spain, mostly pensioners living a sunny retirement on the Costa del Sol. Largely leading quiet lives, many would have been at the shops if Sunday had been a normal day, snapping up the new Malaga version of the board game, Monopoly.
But the Brexit vote has caused storm clouds to gather, keeping many inside worrying over endless cups of tea.
Will the excellent - and for this group, essential - healthcare they receive from Spain's public health system end in two years? Will they be forced to return to a cold, rainy England and a broken NHS?
Spaniards dependent upon Britons are worried, too. Property agents know there aren't enough Germans or Finns to buy all the surplus housing.
And there is a vast service industry in southern Spain dependent upon Brits. Spanish waiters, plumbers, cashiers and gardeners will not find jobs on the Costa - or anywhere else - if more than half a million Britons leave.
Aung San Suu Kyi's campaign to convince the world that the Rohingya do not exist is going well. On Wednesday the EU said they agreed with her (two days later Britain voted to exit the EU), now Thailand is on-board. A group of plain clothes police and soldiers stopped a Rohingya Rights Activist from holding a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (presumably because the Rohingya do not exist). However, a correspondent for Voice of America (Americans do think the Rohingya exist) was there, here is the report:
The sensitive issue of the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Thailand overshadowed the start of the visit of Myanmar’s de facto leader to neighboring Thailand on Thursday.
As the jet carrying Myanmar State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi was en route to Suvarnabhumi Airport, activists in Bangkok were quickly muzzled by Thailand’s military government.
A small group of police and soldiers, out of uniform, prevented a group from holding a full news conference at a space it had rented in the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.
“The concern is about ‘national security.’ This event doesn’t rise to that level,” Amy Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, told VOA at the event venue. “This is a violation of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Two activists advocating better treatment of the minority Rohingya in Myanmar read a brief open letter to Aung San Suu Kyi and explained they were prohibited by the junta from answering reporters’ questions.
Leaving the stage the secretary general of the Rohingya Thailand Group, Hajee Ismail, added “I cannot speak now,” as he put his hands over his lips. “This is a big problem.”
We are gratified to see that the lower orders still prostrate themselves before their superiors in the new Democratic Myanmar. Strangely, groveling before the masters had largely disappeared during British rule in Burma; now its back, and a good thing too. People need to know their place especially when the governors are trying to build an egalitarian society.
Private Tye is reminded of Jonathan Swift's account of Gulliver's audience with the King of Luggnagg. A messenger was despatched half a day’s journey before us, to give the king notice of my approach, and to desire, “that his majesty would please to appoint a day and hour, when it would by his gracious pleasure that I might have the honour to lick the dust before his footstool.” This is the court style, and I found it to be more than matter of form: for, upon my admittance two days after my arrival, I was commanded to crawl upon my belly, and lick the floor as I advanced; but, on account of my being a stranger, care was taken to have it made so clean, that the dust was not offensive.
Her Highness is now in Thailand where she is supposed to be visiting Burmese refugees, but according to The Irrawaddy, the trip to one camp has already been canceled:
BANGKOK, Thailand — Local Thai authorities have reportedly cancelled the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s official visit to the Tham Hin refugee camp in Ratchaburi province on Saturday, according to sources close to the camp administration.
Suu Kyi will be arriving in Thailand’s capital Bangkok on Thursday for her three-day visit, and had planned to travel on Saturday to Tham Hin camp in Ratchaburi, where more than 6,000 Burmese refugees are residing.
The source, who chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of issues concerning the refugee camp, told The Irrawaddy that local Thai authorities had informed the camp committee on Wednesday that the trip had been cancelled, with no reason given.
Thai automobile manufacturers are delighted by the first field trial of the incinerator bus. The bus is the brainchild of Thai auto designer Meenee Sycopatholai. Originally Meenee was just trying to cut production costs by saving on fire-retardant fabrics when he realized that by making coach seats and carpets out of ordinary plastics he could create the perfect incendiary device. Unlike a petrol tank explosion the incinerator bus does not create a fireball that can injure passers-by or stop traffic. The fire is neatly confined to the interior.
The manufacturers envisage a vibrant export market. A company spokesman said “many countries have a problem with illegal immigration. Authorities round up illegals then bus them home, but within a few weeks they are back across the border. The incinerator bus will solve this problem completely. We intend to call the American version “the Mexican” and we are looking forward to orders from the new US Administration.”
However, the main use of the incinerator bus will be for the transportation of political prisoners. In Thailand they can be a replacement for the aging fleet of “suffocation buses” which became famous in October 2004 when they were use to kill 80 Thai Muslims after arrest at a protest. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra insisted there had been no wrongdoing, but if he had had incinerator buses these murders could have been written off as an automobile accident.
The real story from Coconuts Bangkok:
A bus heading to Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) Airport burst into flames this morning (13 June 2016) on a highway to the airport as passengers fled the bus just in time.
Rattana Jenraksa, the bus driver, said he saw smoke coming out of the engine, so he pulled the vehicle to the roadside and told all 20 passengers to exit at about 7:30am today.
Right after the passengers were safe, the flames started and spreaded (sic) through the entire vehicle.
Firefighters took 20 minutes to put out the fire. The bus was completely destroyed.
A tiger slaughterhouse has been found in Kanchanaburi and is believed to be a source of tiger meat. It had been thought that rumors of Tiger-eating Men living in the jungle were just a myth. Private Tye talked to Loo Foa Gee a ninety year old resident of Kanchanaburi. He said that when he was a boy people told stories of Tiger-eaters, white men who had escaped from the Japanese railway and were living in the jungle off tiger meat. “We thought they were just trying to scare us and stop us from going to play in the opium poppy fields.” Foa Gee told Private Tye. “After all of Thailand's forest was cut down to grow maize, rumors of tiger-eaters stopped. We never imagined that they had moved into a temple.” Foa Gee also warned “It's said, once a man gets a taste for tiger meat he'll never eat anything else.”
The leader of a Buddhist sect in Thailand claims to have seen Steve Jobs in the afterlife. A Private Tye source says that Jobs revealed the secret of a new phone, the “iCon”, which will allow the living to talk to the dead. Jobs who has been dead since October 2011 met with Abbot Conaguy in August 2012, but plans for the iCon have only just emerged. The new phone could not have come at a better time for the Abbot who has now barricaded himself inside a flying saucer near Bangkok's old airport to avoid Officers from the Department of Special Investigation who are looking into the sect's financial irregularities.
Components for the new phone will, of course, be made in China but they will be assembled by tens of thousands of Conaguy devotees sat cross legged round the flying saucer. The phone will sell for only US $ 1,999 (plus US $ 499 for the recharger, US $ 299 for earphones etc.). For only US $ 20 per minute, users will be able to phone up and talk to celebrities from the past. These will include Elvis, John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Rasputin, Napoleon, Montezuma, Mary Queen of Scots, Caligula, Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. All of these spirits will communicate in English but with an Indian accent. The Mumbai Chamber of Commerce said they are delighted at the new development.