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    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.


    Clinging to hope

    Asia focus, Erich Parpart, Published on 21/05/2018

    » They have survived many challenges, from a genocide that killed nearly 3 million of their people, the ultimate fight for freedom from Pakistan, a series of coups since independence in 1971, and the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But the people of Bangladesh still find it in their hearts to help those even less fortunate than themselves, in this case hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.


    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.


    The midlife crisis

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 09/03/2018

    » What newlyweds with stars in their eyes aren't told by their elders is that there will be speed bumps in the marriage. One of the more common is the so-called seven-year-itch. The figure is approximate and refers to either or both parties being irresistibly drawn to others several years into a relationship. Usually he or she does nothing about -- but if they do, they take lovers.


    Bond's countdown clock still ticks

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 06/11/2015

    » The first shot in Spectre begins above a carnivalesque party during Mexico's Day of the Dead; the camera then comes down to the ground, weaves among the masked revellers dressed as skeletons, glides into a hotel door, up the elevator, out of the elevator, slips into a bedroom where Her Majesty's secret agent kisses a woman, then follows him out of the window -- "I won't be long", he tells her -- then it goes up again to see Bond sneak across the roofs to a spot where he performs his first assassination in this 24th James Bond movie.


    Autocratic filmmaking is our forte

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 20/12/2014

    » In the week Sony censored itself and shelved the Christmas Day release of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, I'm reminded of this slim book on my desk which I sometimes flip to random pages. One has this: "In the capitalist system of filmmaking the director is called 'director' but, in fact, the right of supervision and control over film production is entirely in the hands of the tycoons of the filmmaking industry who have the money, whereas the directors are nothing but their agents."


    On unhappy women and clumsy hitmen

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 19/01/2018

    » Pen-ek Ratanaruang's movies -- eight of them in the past 20 years and the ninth slated for a Feb 1 release -- are often inhabited by unhappy women and clumsy hitmen. Unhappy, yet those women are neither resigned nor passive. Clumsy, yet those hitmen have aspirations, dreams and worries like people in other respectable professions. A genre geek, Pen-ek likes crime thrillers, but one of Thailand's best-known directors is also a diligent investigator of human relationships and man-woman dynamics, their eccentric and mysterious rapport and misunderstandings that determine the course of the world, and of cinema.


    Exhibition captures killer shots

    Life, Kaona Pongpipat, Published on 19/11/2014

    » At around 7pm on May 13, 2010, Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, or Seh Daeng (Red Commander), was shot in the head while giving an interview to foreign reporters. Photographer Steve Pace was there and took the key picture. His image of the collapsed and bloodied general being carried away, published in several major newspapers worldwide, is what people still remember about this still-unresolved political assassination.


    A treaty for peace

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 23/11/2017

    » Following the two-decade-long Napoleonic Wars, Europe, not least France, licked its wounds and agreed "never again". Then they set about making a lasting peace. They felt able to do it. It was the Age of Reason and they were was intelligent as one could be in 1815.


    Contempt for tradition

    News, Postbag, Published on 07/11/2017

    » For two nights in a row in Chiang Mai, Thais were setting off firecrackers until six in the morning during the Loy Krathong festival, constantly waking up the entire neighbourhood.

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