To truly start understanding Thai society, keeping up with the news is essential. Expats and foreigners in general often regard Thai newspapers as inaccessible. The language barrier does not have to be a problem, though. Thailand has several English-language newspapers. In fact, Thailand’s oldest newspaper has always been exclusively available in English. Additionally, an increasing number of publications and periodicals have an English-language edition. Here is an overview of my favorite online news outlets. They feature news, analysis, opinion and op-ed pieces. Do post a comment if you spot another one.
When my Mom recently needed emergency surgery to save her eye, she was racketeered by her physician to upgrade to a more expensive single-person room. The time-sensitive procedure would not be carried out, if she refused. You see, in Belgium MD’s are allowed to charge an elevated fee when a patient is staying in a private room. My parents alerted the media, resulting in a small media storm. Mom’s story was a headline on national TV news and in newspapers De Morgen, Gazet van Antwerpen, HLN and Het Nieuwsblad. My question is: whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?
The article below is highly interesting, but has been extremely carefully worded 🙂 The down-to-earth synopsis is: non-EU citizens contribute to Belgian society to a lesser extent than their counterparts in other EU countries. The same phenomenon can be observed with EU citizens with a lower degree of eduction. The suggested cause is to be found in elevated unemployments benefits. My remark does not reflect any of my polical views, I just love how the true message was sugarcoated and swept under the rug with rates of activity and labor market immobility. That indirect mode of communication, with built-in conditionalities, is highly Belgian in itself 🙂 Like my colleague always says, when asked if they would like a cup of coffee, Belgians will answer “Yes, maybe, if it is not too much trouble and you were making coffee anyway”. The Dutch response will likely be “Any chance of a Cappucino?”.
When I took a stroll this morning, I didn’t just and up at my grandmother’s place for Easter, I also walked into the story of the Brussels protests. You see, my gran lives close to the train station in Vilvoorde. All roads into her neighborhood were blocked by a police patrol vehicle and a helicopter was surveying the area. By the time I left her building (about an hour or so later), all police vehicles were gone and I had learned that soccer supporters had met up at the station to head to Brussels city center to protest terrorism. When I got home about 15 minutes later, a Swedish video live feed showed a rather quiet memorial with some music and a slogan being yelled out, every now and than. The road of this story to a fork after that. De Wereld Morgen even kicked it up a notch.
A peculiar story surfaced in Australia today. The police pulled over a carpenter and found methamphetamine, ecstasy and Viagra in his car. In the police station, he claimed to be worth 12 billion Australian Dollar (about € 8,000,000,000), which he was forced to prove in court. The 29-year old logged into his bank account and showed a balance of € 400,000,000 and proof of € 1,000,000,000 in real estate holdings … both cash and property was acquired over the last 12 months. When asked how he had earned his fortune, he answered he was not at liberty to say. This even beats the story of the carpenter turning water into wine 🙂
In this strange new world of terrorist attacks, wars around the world and remarkable elections, the need to diversify our news sourcing has been becoming apparent. Local outlets are suffering from myopia and censorship, even in the Western world. International media are increasingly colored by their nation’s flag. The need to consider a story from all angles has never been higher, nor will it diminish any time soon. Over the last few months I have gathered several news feeds that are diverse, accessible, convenient and to top it off … free. To summarize: watch and read the news anytime, anywhere and without spending a cent. This post is a work in progress. I would really appreciate your input. Please share your preferred feeds and websites in the comment section. The best submissions will be added to the post.
In another surrealist turn of events, Salah Abdeslam (the prime suspect of the Paris attacks) is suing the French prosecutor, because the latter publicly announced that Abdeslam said that he meant to blow himself up but backed out, during questioning. Wasn’t that sort of a given!? I agree that all defendants have the right to the best legal council they can get, and procedure needs to be followed. But this is a bit audacious, to be honest. How did he get one of the best and most expensive lawyers in the country, is what I’d like to know.