Alaska Structures, Inc. Announces Company Renaming and Restructuring

A New Corporate Structure to Support Growth Strategy and Expand Individual Brands

KIRKLAND, Wash., July 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alaska Structures, Inc. (Alaska) is pleased to announce that, following the recent tremendous expansion of its product lines and its successful consolidation with WeatherPort Shelter Systems, the company is implementing a strategic renaming and restructuring program that reflects its continued growth and expanded product offerings. Effective July 1, 2022, Alaska will be renamed “AKS Industries, Inc.” and will serve as a parent corporation holding all its existing product lines under three new corporate divisions: Alaska Defense™, Alaska Structures®, and BLU-MED Response Systems®.

The timing of the renaming and restructuring program coincides with the expansion of Alaska Defense’s hard-wall container-based product lines, as well as a significant milestone in the company’s history. Alaska is known for providing the world’s most popular and widely used soft-wall shelter systems, with more than 65,000 shelter systems successfully deployed in 85-plus countries. Now, with nearly 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the USA, AKS Industries™ has grown to become the most efficient and largest manufacturer of its kind. In addition to manufacturing the highest-quality fabric buildings made anywhere in the world, AKS Industries now has the in-house capability to manufacture heavy-duty cargo trailers, expeditionary light towers, and modular container systems.

“This is an exciting development for AKS Industries and our customers. We now offer the option of both soft- and hard-wall building solutions. Bringing this capability in-house allows us to expand our product offerings and create containerized buildings that deliver the same rugged durability our customers expect, but also seamlessly integrate with our well-known plug-and-play capabilities,” stated COO Gerrit Boyle.

Under the new structure, the company’s three divisions will be as follows:

Alaska Defense™ — Formerly the Military Division of Alaska Structures, Alaska Defense will remain focused on providing rapidly deployable military shelter systems and military base camps while expanding its new lines of containerized facilities, including containerized shower/latrine systems to support military base camps. Alaska Defense will continue to support the rapid expansion of forces and enhance mission readiness with energy-efficient and scalable solutions that offer unmatched setup and strike capability for expeditionary or enduring deployments anywhere in the world.

For more information, please visit www.alaskadefense.com.

Alaska Structures® — Formerly Alaska’s commercial division, the Alaska Structures division of AKS Industries™ will continue to manufacture commercial fabric buildings and remote camp systems used by mining, construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing companies worldwide while expanding its consumer- and recreational-focused WeatherPort® product lines. Engineered fabric buildings from Alaska Structures meet area-specific wind and snow loads for safety, drastically reduce construction schedules, are easily relocated, and offer long-lasting durability in extremely hot, humid, and cold climates.

For more information about Alaska Structures’ commercial product lines, please visit www.alaskastructures.com.

For more information about Alaska Structures’ WeatherPort product lines, please visit www.weatherport.com.

BLU-MED Response Systems® (BLU-MED®— BLU-MED® will continue as the mobile medical facilities division of AKS Industries to supply government agencies (of all levels), response organizations, and first responders with medical facilities and mobile field hospitals to respond quickly to medical emergencies, disasters, hospital surge events, disease outbreaks (like Ebola, COVID-19, flu, etc.) and world conflicts “…when and where needed.” ®

For more information, please visit www.blu-med.com.

Point of Contact:
William Hansen
AKS Industries, Inc.
inquiry@aks.com

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ETC Announces Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa., July 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Environmental Tectonics Corporation (OTC Pink: ETCC) (“ETC” or the “Company”) today announces that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders (“Annual Meeting”) will be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. for the following purposes:

  1. To elect five (5) Directors to serve on the Board of Directors until ETC’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and until their successors are elected.
  2. To ratify the appointment of RSM US LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for ETC for the fiscal year ending February 24, 2023.
  3. To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting and any adjournment of the meeting.

ETC will be convening the meeting from our Corporate Headquarters via Zoom. If you would like to have the Zoom link emailed for access to the meeting, please email Andrea Morton at amorton@etcusa.com. Links will be emailed within twenty-four (24) hours of the meeting time.

The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on June 23, 2022 as the Record Date for the determination of shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the Annual Meeting. Materials for the Annual Meeting were made available on or about June 30, 2022 to registered shareholders as of the Record Date. Such materials are also available within the Investors section of ETC’s website at https://www.etcusa.com/investors/ shareholder-information/annual-meetingshareholders-materials/.

You can vote your shares by emailing your position on each of the above items to voting@etcusa.com. If you are unable to attend the Annual Meeting, it is still important that your shares be represented. Please vote your shares promptly.

______________

About ETC:

ETC designs, manufactures, and sells software driven products and services used to recreate and monitor the physiological effects of motion on humans, and equipment to control, modify, simulate and measure environmental conditions. Our products include aircrew training systems (aeromedical, tactical combat, and general), disaster management systems, sterilizers (steam and gas), environmental testing and simulation systems, and other products that involve similar manufacturing techniques and engineering technologies. ETC’s unique ability to offer complete systems, designed and produced to high technical standards, sets it apart from its competition. ETC is headquartered in Southampton, PA. For more information about ETC, visit http://www.etcusa.com/.

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements, which are based on management’s expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in circumstances. Words and expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements, and these statements may include words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “future”, “predict”, “potential”, “intend”, or “continue”, and similar expressions. We base our forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events or future financial performance. Our forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions about ETC and its subsidiaries that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results implied by these forward-looking statements. We caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Contact:      Joseph F. Verbitski, Jr., Chief Financial Officer
Phone:        (215) 355-9100 x1531
E-mail:        jverbitski@etcusa.com

Soba Launches Alpha and Raises Seed Round From Lightspeed, FTX and Cherry

Soba launches Alpha open-world gaming platform where anyone can create games on any device through no-code tools. Soba is built on web3 and focuses on creating the best environment for creators.

Welcome to Soba

Welcome to Soba

BERLIN, July 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Soba launches Alpha open-world gaming platform where anyone can create games on any device through no-code tools. Soba is built on web3 and focuses on creating the best environment for creators.

Additionally, Soba announced that it has raised $13.6 million in seed financing led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from FTX Ventures.

Cherry Ventures, Point Nine Capital and TQ Ventures in addition to creators like Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Tim “ClashwithAsh” Evans, Alvaro “Alvaro845” González de Buitrago, have also taken part in the financing round.

Soba’s vision is to build the most inclusive virtual world, where anyone can express their ultimate creativity through game creation.

You can access the full press release here and the media kit here.

For further questions, you can contact Soba’s head of marketing, Irina Nikolovska – irina.nikolovska@crew.gg

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Image 1: Welcome to Soba

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Sale of undelivered Iveco Group N.V. common shares

Demerger of CNH Industrial N.V. through the Separation and Transfer of its “On-Highway” Business to Iveco Group N.V. – Final Settlement

Sale of undelivered Iveco Group N.V. common shares

London / Turin, 30th June 2022

CNH Industrial N.V. (CUSIP: N20944 109; ISIN: NL0010545661; TICKER: CNHI) and Iveco Group N.V. (ISIN: NL0015000LU4; TICKER: IVG) announce the final corporate activities related to the spin-off of CNH Industrial N.V.’s On-Highway business to Iveco Group N.V. (“the Demerger”), consummated on January 1, 2022.

As of 5pm Eastern Time on June 24, 2022, a number of CNH Industrial shareholders entitled to receive Iveco Group N.V. common shares (representing slightly over 1% of issued Iveco Group capital stock), as a result of the Demerger, failed to provide the details of a securities account with an intermediary of Monte Titoli S.p.A., to which the Iveco Group common shares (listed on Euronext Milan and only capable of being held and settled within the systems of Monte Titoli S.p.A.) could be delivered (“the Relevant CNHI Shareholders”, and the Iveco Group N.V. common shares they are entitled to, “the Undelivered IVG Shares”).

Therefore, as per the Demerger documentation, Citigroup Global Markets Europe AG has been appointed to sell the Undelivered IVG Shares on Euronext Milan, in accordance with regulations and market practices. At the end of such sales the total proceeds (net of all transaction costs, including brokerage, administration and foreign exchange fees) will be credited to the Relevant CNHI Shareholders, which will receive their pro rata portion of such aggregate proceeds (in US dollars), either by check or by wire transfer, to the extent they have timely provided Computershare Trust Co N.A. (the transfer agent of CNH Industrial N.V.) with their bank account details and the relevant conditions are met. The exact payment dates cannot be confirmed at this stage; however, in case the Relevant CNHI Shareholders do not receive payment by July 31, 2022, they are kindly invited to contact Computershare Trust Co N.A.

Additional information about the announced activities (namely the allocation of Iveco Group common shares to CNH Industrial shareholders and the settlement of the Undelivered IVG Shares), is available on the corporate website of Iveco Group N.V.

CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) is a world-class equipment and services company. Driven by its purpose of Breaking New Ground, which centers on Innovation, Sustainability and Productivity, the Company provides the strategic direction, R&D capabilities, and investments that enable the success of its global and regional Brands. Globally, Case IH and New Holland Agriculture supply 360° agriculture applications from machines to implements and the digital technologies that enhance them; and CASE and New Holland Construction Equipment deliver a full lineup of construction products that make the industry more productive. The Company’s regionally focused Brands include: STEYR, for agricultural tractors; Raven, a leader in digital agriculture, precision technology and the development of autonomous systems; Flexi-Coil, specializing in tillage and seeding systems; Miller, manufacturing application equipment; Kongskilde, providing tillage, seeding and hay & forage implements; and Eurocomach, producing a wide range of mini and midi excavators for the construction sector, including electric solutions. Across a history spanning over two centuries, CNH Industrial has always been a pioneer in its sectors and continues to passionately innovate and drive customer efficiency and success. As a truly global company, CNH Industrial’s 37,000+ employees form part of a diverse and inclusive workplace, focused on empowering customers to grow, and build, a better world.

For more information and the latest financial and sustainability reports visit: cnhindustrial.com

For news from CNH Industrial and its Brands visit: media.cnhindustrial.com

Iveco Group N.V. (MI: IVG) is a global automotive leader active in the Commercial & Specialty Vehicles, Powertrain, and related Financial Services arenas. Each of its eight brands is a major force in its specific business: IVECO, a pioneering commercial vehicles brand that designs, manufactures, and markets heavy, medium, and light-duty trucks; FPT Industrial, a global leader in a vast array of advanced powertrain technologies in the agriculture, construction, marine, power generation, and commercial vehicles sectors; IVECO BUS and HEULIEZ, mass-transit and premium bus and coach brands; IDV, for highly-specialised defence and civil protection equipment; ASTRA, a leader in large-scale heavy-duty quarry and construction vehicles; MAGIRUS, the industry-reputed firefighting vehicle and equipment manufacturer; and IVECO CAPITAL, the financing arm which supports them all. Iveco Group employs approximately 34,000 people around the world and has 28 manufacturing plants and 29 R&D centres. Further information is available on the Company’s website www.ivecogroup.com

Contacts

CNH Industrial Iveco Group
Media Relations
Email: mediarelations@cnhind.com
Media Relations
Email: mediarelations@ivecogroup.com
Investor Relations
Email: investor.relations@cnhind.com
Investor Relations
Email: investor.relations@ivecogroup.com

China’s Top Diplomat Visits Myanmar Amid Opposition Protest

BANGKOK — China’s top diplomat on Saturday arrived on his first visit to Myanmar since the military seized power last year to attend a regional meeting that the government said was a recognition of its legitimacy and opponents protested as a violation of peace efforts.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will join counterparts from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in a meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group in the central city of Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The grouping is a Chinese-led initiative that includes the countries of the Mekong Delta, a potential source of regional tensions due to an increasing number of hydroelectric projects that are altering the flow and raising concerns of ecological damage. China has built 10 dams along the upper stretch of the Mekong, the part it calls the Langcang.

Military government spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun told a news conference in the capital Naypyitaw on Friday that the attendance of the foreign ministers at the meeting was a recognition of Myanmar’s sovereignty and its government.

He said the ministers will sign memorandums of understanding and contracts. He did not elaborate.

It’s unclear whether Wang would meet Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military government.

Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, 2021. It was quickly met by nonviolent nationwide demonstrations and triggered armed resistance that some U.N. experts now characterize as civil war.

According to a detailed list compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 2,053 civilians have died in the crackdown on the resistance movement.

Wang last visited Myanmar to meet with Suu Kyi just three weeks before the military ousted her.

China is Myanmar’s biggest trading partner and an old ally. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in Myanmar’s mines, oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure and is its major arms supplier, together like Russia.

Many in Myanmar suspect China of supporting the military takeover, and Beijing has refused to condemn the army’s power grab. China says it follows a policy of non-interference in other countries’ affairs.

The foreign minister of Myanmar’s shadow government, which opposes the ruling military council, protested the Bagan meeting, saying any such efforts in partnership with Myanmar’s military violate the will of the people and undermine community building.

The statement said that holding the foreign ministers’ meeting in Myanmar is in direct opposition to a peace plan by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Myanmar, although a member of ASEAN, has done little to implement the plan and its stonewalling led fellow ASEAN members to block government leaders from attending major ASEAN meetings.

Since the military seized power, Chinese special envoy Sun Guoxiang has visited Myanmar twice, and Wang has met his Myanmar counterpart, Wunna Maung Lwin, twice in China.

Source: Voice of America

Boost COVID-19 vaccination coverage: WHO

The World Health Organization today called on countries in South-East Asia Region to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination coverage. While significant progress has been made in the Region towards vaccinating populations against COVID-19, several countries missed the global target to fully vaccinate 70% of their total population with all primary doses of the vaccine by June end, and the Region is again witnessing a surge in cases.

“We know that the current COVID-19 vaccines provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death for all variants. We must focus on rapidly achieving high vaccination coverage prioritizing health workers, older adults, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women. The pandemic is not over yet, we must scale up our efforts to protect communities,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.

The Regional Director congratulated countries that have achieved the target of 70% of their population completing primary series of COVID-19 vaccination. Bhutan has 89% population vaccinated with all primary doses, Thailand 79.9%, Maldives 70.4%, and Bangladesh 70.2%. Nepal with 69.3% is close to achieving the global June end vaccination goal.

“India, which will soon mark 2 billion COVID-19 doses, accounts for nearly two-thirds of all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the Region,” Dr Khetrapal Singh said, adding, “We must acknowledge India’s impressive efforts and its support to other countries in providing COVID-19 vaccines at a time when vaccine supplies were a constraint globally.”

“While scaling up vaccination coverage, it is also important how it is achieved,” the Regional Director said.

“Many deaths from COVID-19 can be avoided if vaccinations specifically target groups such as healthcare and other frontline workers, the elderly and those with co-morbidities,” she said.

WHO recommends countries prioritize primary series and booster doses to all high priority groups – and expand vaccination to lower priority groups after high coverage rates are achieved in high priority groups.

“Even for boosters, the focus must be on protecting the vulnerable and high -risk groups rapidly, and on a priority,” Dr Khetrapal Singh said.

While pandemic fatigue is understandable, it is not the time to be complacent. We must continue to increase the momentum for vaccination, accelerate implementation of COVID-19 vaccination strategies by removing all barriers including addressing lower demand for vaccines from the populations as a result of a lower risk perception due to Omicron variant.

COVID-19 is not a mild disease, even if one is fit and healthy there is no guarantee that the infection will be mild. Vaccination improves the chances of preventing a severe form of COVID-19, which could result in hospitalization, death or long-term complications. All countries have access to multiple COVID-19 vaccines now and there is no shortage of vaccines.

Countries must also continue to adopt situation-specific public health and social measures, the Regional Director emphasized.

Home to a quarter of the world’s population with over 2 billion people, the WHO South-East Asia Region has 64.1% population who have completed their COVID-19 primary vaccination series, and 71.7% population who have taken at least one dose of the vaccine.

Ten of the 11 Member countries of the Region, except DPR Korea, are vaccinating their population against COVID-19.

Source: World Health Organization

Will Southeast Asia support Russia’s war with semiconductor exports?

Despite the efforts of Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the war in Ukraine continues. Whether governments in Southeast Asia are willing to admit it or not, the war matters, as it threatens the liberal international order, creates a dangerous precedent for other aggressor states, and harms the fragile post-pandemic economic recovery by causing inflationary pressures in energy and food.

Southeast Asian states, apart from Singapore, have eschewed sanctions and continue to trade with Russia. But as the war drags on, that will have consequences in terms of secondary sanctions and other penalties imposed by the west.

Russian supply chains run through Southeast Asia, and the United States and other western governments are have made the targeting of Russian sanctions evasion operations a top priority.

One area where Southeast Asian actors may be tempted into sanctions evasion – or where, conversely, they could help pressure Russia economically – is in the export of semiconductors.

A Protracted War

Initially, Ukrainian forces successfully repelled the Russian invasion near the capital Kyiv and other cities in the north. Now, the Russians have advanced in the east and south, where the flat terrain favors the offense and provides little security for the defense.

Tens of thousands of soldiers and over 4,500 civilians have been killed in 120 days of fighting. The United States estimates that the Ukrainians are losing 100 to 200 men a day. Cities, such as Mariupol, have been leveled by artillery fire and depopulated. Mass graves are being discovered, and the evidence of Russian war crimes is mounting.

While Ukrainians are maintaining the will to fight, the costs are rising.

Trying to Weather the Economic Storm

The initial shock of sanctions on the Russian economy has been stemmed. The ruble has not only recovered after its initial drop, but, buoyed by $150 million a day in oil and gas exports, it’s stronger than before the war began. Indeed, according to a recent report in The New York Times, in the first 100 days after the invasion, Russia netted $98 billion. Nonetheless, on June 26, Russia defaulted on $100 million in sovereign debt.

While the economy reeled from the immediate or planned departure of about 1,000 western firms, over half of the 300 Asian firms have remained and continue to do business.

Where Russia is going to start to feel the economic pinch is in its manufacturing sector, as it is highly dependent on the import of inputs such as European machine tools and Asian semiconductors. Though Russia has five foundries, they produce very low quality products and Moscow is highly dependent on imports. In 2020, Russia imported nearly $1.5 billion in semiconductors.

The largest producers of high-end circuitry, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and most importantly Taiwan, remain firmly committed to the sanctions regime. But firms in China and Southeast Asia may try to fill those critical supply chains for Moscow.

In 2020, China accounted for one-third of Russian semiconductor imports. Since the Russian invasion, China has complied with international sanctions, for fear of secondary sanctions and the loss of market access.

But diplomatically, China remains firmly in Russia’s camp, and continues to espouse the Russian justification for and narrative of the war. President Xi Jinping stated that there are “no limits” on the bilateral relationship and no “forbidden” areas of cooperation, suggesting frustration with western sanctions.

On June 29, the U.S. Treasury department added five Chinese electronics manufacturers to an export blacklist, which will deny them the ability to sell in the U.S. market, for their sales to Russian military industries. This should have a chilling effect on other Chinese suppliers.

Southeast Asia’s Role in Moscow’s Supply Chain

In 2020, Malaysia exported some $280 million worth of semiconductors to Russia, making it the second largest source after China, according to the Financial Times.

The Philippines and Thailand exported over $60 million each; Singapore exported roughly $10 million. In all, Southeast Asia accounted for nearly a third of Russian semiconductors.

Malaysia has already been called out for announcing their intentions to sell semiconductors to Russia as part of their policy of “strategic neutrality.” On April 23, the South China Morning Post reported that the Malaysian ambassador to Moscow told state-owned media that Malaysia would “consider any request” and continue their exports to Russia.

Malaysian manufacturers were warned that they could face secondary sanctions and loss of market access, threatening future investment in a nearly $9 billion export market. Similar warnings were made to manufacturers in the Philippines and Thailand.

Although Vietnam remains close to Russia, its semiconductor manufacturing is directly controlled by foreign investors. Intel, which is amongst the most prestigious foreign investors in the country, made an additional $475 million investment in 2021; bringing their total investment to $1.5 billion. As companies continue to decouple from China, Vietnam is eager to increase high-tech manufacturing and is cognizant of the costs of trying to evade sanctions on Russia.

Evading Sanctions

But Russia is desperate to revive its manufacturing and, as the war drags on, it will try to get countries to evade sanctions and/or use straw purchasers.

Countries including Indonesia that are hard-hit from soaring energy prices have already looked to Russia for below market energy supplies. Jokowi’s trip to Moscow and his defiant willingness to include President Putin at the G-20 summit in Indonesia in November, are clearly intended to curry favor with Moscow for narrow economic gain.

Indonesia’s leadership seems unable to grasp the fact that soaring food and energy prices that are hitting the public so hard have been caused by Russia’s illegal war of aggression.

And sadly they are not alone in Southeast Asia, where the governments continue to view the war in Ukraine as a remote European crisis that doesn’t impact them or have other geo-strategic implications for the region.

Southeast Asian countries can profess their neutrality, but actively abetting Russia’s war machine will have consequences, as the United States and European Union seek to escalate the economic pressure on Moscow.

In March 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed a new round of sanctions that targeted Russia’s tech sector, including their largest chip maker, Mikron, as well as two firms that are large importers of dual-use technology, Serniya Engineering and Sertal.

Amongst the sanctioned firms was Alexsong Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based front company for facilitating Serniya’s transactions. Another Russian front company in Singapore, MGI PTE LTD, was added to the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s SDN listing in April.

Previously the Treasury Department has targeted a Kremlin insider’s operations in Thailand. The U.S. government has made the targeting efforts by Russia to evade sanctions a top priority.

Endemic corruption and policies that promote economic growth over all else across Southeast Asia will facilitate Russian attempts to evade sanctions. And should the United States slip into recession, there will be a much greater financial incentive for manufacturers in Southeast Asia to increase their sales to a Russia, with plenty of cash on hand.

Radio Free Asia Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

Bitcoin falls below $19,000, further shaking crypto markets

Bitcoin dropped 6.1% to $18,866.77 at 2004 GMT on Thursday, putting the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency down $1,226.41 from its previous close and down 60.9% from the year’s high of $48,234 on March 28.

Several big players in the cryptocurrency markets have had difficulties, and further declines could force other crypto investors to sell holdings to meet margin calls and cover losses.

Ether , the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, dropped 7.5% to $1,016.08 on Thursday, losing $82.38 from its previous close.

Both digital assets have struggled since U.S. based lender Celsius Network this month said it would suspend withdrawals. Bitcoin and ether were further rattled by the apparent insolvency of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which a person familiar with the matter told Reuters has entered liquidation.

Many of the industry’s recent problems can be traced back to the spectacular collapse of so-called stablecoin TerraUSD in May, which saw the stablecoin lose almost all its value, along with its paired token.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

PM says incursion of Myanmar jet into Thai airspace not a big deal

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Friday) that the incursion into Thai airspace of a Myanmar MiG-29 jet, which flew over Tak province yesterday, is not a big deal, noting that the Myanmar military has already offered an apology and that the two countries enjoy good relations.

After the incident, he said that the Thai military had talked with their Myanmar counterparts about the incursion and he, too, had discussed the issue, adding that the Myanmar military explained that their pilot had no intention to infringe upon Thai airspace, but needed to make a turn, resulting in the plane to crossing into Thai territory.

The Royal Thai Air Force had scrambled two F-16 jet fighters, but the Myanmar MiG-29 was already back in Myanmar.

Prayut assured the public that the Thai military has the capability to defend the Thai territorial sovereignty.

The MiG-29 jet appeared to be providing support to Myanmar ground troops battling the Karen rebel forces entrenched in their base near the Thai border in Phop Phra district.

The presence of the aircraft caused panic among Thais in two villages. A school suspended classes and ordered all students to take cover in a bomb shelter in the school’s compound.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Gen Supot Malaniyom, said that incursions by Myanmar forces have happened 4-5 times this year.

He insisted that the fighting between the Myanmar government forces and the rebels was an internal problem, but it has impacts on the Thai side of the border.

He said Thai troops at the border there have, therefore, been ordered to tighten up measures to prevent the fighting from spilling over, adding that the Thai military and the Foreign Ministry have coordinated with their Myanmar counterparts to prevent a repeat of such an incursion in the future.

More than 500 Karen civilians are now taking refuge in temples or close to the border in two border villages.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service