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  • NEWS

    Malaysia to end visa-free entry for N Koreans

    Kyodo News, Published on 02/03/2017

    » KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has decided to end visa-free entry for North Koreans, effective on March 6, following the assassination in mid-February of the estranged half-brother of the reclusive country's leader Kim Jong Un, local media said on Thursday.


    We'll always have Casablanca

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 06/01/2017

    » In Casablanca -- yes, Casablanca -- they fall in love amidst the escalation of war. It wasn't supposed to be real: Brad Pitt is Commander Max Vatan, a Canadian intelligence officer parachuting into French Morocco at the height of World War II to meet his contact, a French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour, played by Marion Cotillard. They only need to pretend to be lovers in order to fool the Germans in the lead up to the assassination of a German ambassador. But like in Casablanca, which is a thousand times more romantic and sad by the way, Max and Marianne can't resist the dangerous lure of romance as the spectre of death and war smother them.


    When shortwave radio was my best friend

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 12/03/2017

    » After 20 years the BBC is ending its foreign-language shortwave transmissions from Nakhon Sawan after failing to renegotiate its agreement with the Thai authorities. The transmissions were directed mainly at places like Afghanistan and Pakistan where radios are sometimes still the only source of news.


    That precious gold statuette

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 24/02/2017

    » The Oscars takes place Monday morning Thailand time. We pontificate and prognosticate the results

  • NEWS

    You've been gouged

    News, Alan Dawson, Published on 05/02/2017

    » How can we fleece you? Let me count the ways. That probably wasn't an unusual week, just a more transparent one.


    A Cold War thriller

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 26/01/2017

    » The time was when visiting the USSR was difficult and leaving it impossible. Lenin and Stalin had built the ideal state and close contact with the outside world would only contaminate it. Until Hitler offered a deal they couldn't refuse -- to slice up Poland between them.


    It's fun but we deserve more

    Life, Kanin Srimaneekulroj, Published on 16/12/2016

    » There are many things to like about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. For one, it's definitely a true-blood Star Wars film, bringing with it all the spectacle and grandeur the franchise has always been known for. Continuing the example set by the previously released Episode VII, the film's action sequences and epic dogfight scenes are a delight to behold, and are even more prominent here than perhaps in any Star Wars film before it. It benefits greatly from a superb cast of supporting characters, a couple of whom are even worthy of joining the likes of C-3PO or R2-D2 in Star Wars' pantheon of excellent sidekicks.


    Top 10 movies led by Moonlight, La La Land

    Life, Published on 19/12/2016

    » [1] Moonlight. The life of Chiron, the young man who grows up in three distinct chapters in Barry Jenkins' masterpiece, is hard and full of pain. And yet Moonlight is so abundant with transcendent moments of grace and lyrical splendour. In the film's blue-tinged darkness shines a tortured soul, one of the most intimately and fully realised ones I can remember encountering in a movie.


    'Pre-truth' far scarier than 'post-truth'

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/11/2016

    » 'Post-truth" -- that's Oxford Dictionaries' word of 2016. Trump-inspired and aided by Facebook algorithms, it clicks. What happens isn't as important as what you think happens, and if you think something is true, then what is true is simply what you think. But truth be told, post-truth still suggests an involvement of truth, how truth is there and yet is blithely bypassed by emotion and prejudice, and thus there's a more dangerous term that fits better in some places: "pre-truth".


    Tackling IS

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 21/10/2016

    » After a delay that has tried my patience, this reviewer congratulates Britain's Stephen Leather for coming through for us. For half-a-decade authors have given IS (Islamic State) a wide berth, aware of their practice of murdering those disparaging their faith. Unlike suicide bombers, they have every intention of fleeing the scenes of their atrocities.

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