ECR 2023 in Vienna, Esaote presents new ultrasound system: MyLab X90

ECR 2023 in Vienna, Esaote presents new ultrasound system: MyLab X90

The ceremony took place at Esaote Booth, where it is possible to deepen features and performances of the new system throughout the duration of the Congress.

VIENNA, Austria, March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LaPresse – Esaote, a leading Italian company in ultrasound, dedicated MRI and healthcare IT, unveiled today the new MyLab™X90 premium ultrasound system, with a ceremony dedicated to the European Society of Radiology, on the occasion of ECR 2023 in Vienna.

“MyLab™X90 provides premium performance and it is designed to maximize diagnostic confidence and streamline workflows through automation,” said Guillaume Gauthier, Global Product Marketing Manager Esaote. “Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the system. Our Augmented Insight™ includes A.I.- powered solutions with a multidisciplinary clinical approach.”

“MyLab™X90 was designed according to an operator-centric approach, to provide an unparalleled user experience,” stated Florence Labb, Global Customer Marketing Manager Esaote. “Our target is making complex processes simpler and advanced technologies readily available in everyday clinical practice. With MyLab™X90, healthcare professionals can expect a truly transformative experience in this respect.”

Technology-wise, MyLab™X90 offers premium-level components such as ClearWave architecture, XCrystal probes and an eLed monitor. MyLab X90 is the result of strategic developments and international multidisciplinary teams focused on innovation and enriches the range of ultrasound systems Esaote offers.

The ceremony took place at Esaote Booth, where it is possible to deepen features and performances of the new system throughout the duration of the Congress.

For more information:
Press Office LaPresse ufficio.stampa@lapresse.it

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/92cc9559-bfc0-49ba-85dc-ce5210dc4cc1

The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8779521

Fortinet Introduces New Specialized Cybersecurity Products and Professional Services for Operational Technology Environments

New and enhanced OT security offerings extend the capabilities of the Fortinet Security Fabric, reinforcing Fortinet’s commitment to reducing cybersecurity risk for cyber-physical and industrial control systems

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Operational Technology Security Summit 2023

John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet
“Operational technology environments are more connected to the cloud and their supply chains than ever before, which has created a huge opportunity for cyber attackers. Traditional information security products are not well suited for cyber-physical security. The Fortinet Security Fabric for OT is specifically designed for operational technology, and we’re pleased to introduce additional cyber-physical security capabilities to protect these environments.”

News Summary
Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, today announced new and enhanced products and services for operational technology (OT) environments as an expansion of the Fortinet Security Fabric for OT. Fortinet enables organizations to build a platform of integrated solutions to effectively mitigate cyber risk across OT and IT environments.

The State of OT Security
As more industrial environments increase connectivity with external and internal applications, devices, and corporate IT networks, the attack surface grows exponentially, exposing critical OT assets to increasingly advanced and destructive threats. The 2022 Fortinet State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report found that 93% of organizations had one or more security intrusions in the past year, with 61% of intrusions affecting OT systems. Security breaches have the potential to disrupt critical infrastructure, resources, and services that support everything from local communities to entire nations. Organizations must prioritize securing their OT environments by integrating tools and practices to help alleviate security risks that may arise from lack of visibility and real-time response.

Securing OT Environments with the Fortinet Security Fabric for OT
Highlighting its commitment to OT security, Fortinet has released new and enhanced products and services to help organizations better protect their OT environments. Fortinet’s OT solutions are natively integrated across the Fortinet Security Fabric to seamlessly enable IT/OT convergence and connectivity. This helps improve visibility and real-time response across the entire attack surface and empowers security operations center (SOC) teams to become more efficient and effective in their time to respond across factories, plants, remote locations, and vehicles.

New specialized products include:

  • FortiGate 70F Rugged Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is the latest addition to Fortinet’s rugged portfolio designed for harsh environments and features a new compact design with converged networking and security capabilities on a single processor. The 70F has FortiGuard AI-powered enterprise-grade security services and delivers complete coverage for content, web and device security with dedicated OT and IoT services that are natively integrated with SD-WAN, universal zero trust network access (ZTNA), and LAN edge controllers. 5G support is also available through an integration with FortiExtender.
  • FortiDeceptor, Fortinet’s deception technology for early breach detection and attack isolation, is now available as an industrially hardened rugged appliance – the FortiDeceptor Rugged 100G – for harsh industrial environments. FortiDeceptor (both appliance and VM) also provides new OT/IoT/IT decoys to support diverse environments. To combat emerging threats and vulnerabilities, FortiDeceptor also now enables on-demand creation of deception decoys based on newly discovered vulnerabilities, or suspicious activity, providing automated, dynamic protection across OT/IoT/IT environments.
  • FortiPAM Privileged Access Management for Secure Remote Access offers enterprise-grade privileged access management for both IT and OT ecosystems. It includes secure remote access to critical assets regulated and monitored through workflow-based access approvals and session video recording. FortiPAM also supports secure file exchange and a password vault to manage all credentials and keep them secret. It supports integration with FortiClient, FortiAuthenticator, and FortiToken to enable ZTNA, single sign-on, and multi-factor authentication.

New enhancements providing SOC teams with faster time to response in OT and IT environments include:

  • FortiSIEM unified security analytics dashboards now include event correlation and mapping of security events to the Purdue Model. It also includes built-in parsers for OT security solutions, a MITRE ATT&CK for ICS (industrial control system) dashboard for OT-specific threat analysis, and support for data-diode technologies.
  • FortiSOAR now offers features to reduce alert fatigue and enable security automation and orchestration across IT and OT environments. Features include IT/OT dashboards mapped to the Purdue Model hierarchy, OT-specific playbooks for threat remediation, MITRE ATT&CK for ICS for threat analysis, and enhanced integration and connectors for OT threat intelligence.
  • FortiGuard Industrial Security Service now includes more than 2,000 application control signatures for OT applications and protocols that support deep packet inspection. The service also includes intrusion prevention signatures for over 500 known ICS vulnerabilities, so vulnerable assets can be virtually patched using FortiGate’s next-generation intrusion prevention system.

New OT specialized assessments and readiness services to stay ahead of threats include:

  • Fortinet Cyber Threat Assessment Program (CTAP) for OT validates OT network security effectiveness, application flows, and includes expert guidance, enabling organizations to improve the security posture of their OT environments.
  • OT Tabletop Exercises for OT Security Teams are led by FortiGuard Incident Response team facilitators with expertise in threat analysis, mitigation, and incident response. The exercises help OT security teams identify security gaps through a series of real-world OT attack scenarios to test an organization’s incident response plan.

An Integrated Approach to OT Security
Today’s announcement builds on Fortinet’s long-time support for OT customers with solutions specifically designed for cyber-physical security as part of the Fortinet Security Fabric for OT. This includes more than 500 technology integrations with over 300 Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance partners, FortiGuard Labs threat intelligence, and enhanced security operations management as organizations expand their IT/OT network operations center (NOC) and SOC capabilities.

Join Fortinet at the Operational Technology Security Summit
Explore the convergence of cybersecurity across IT and OT networks from the production facility to the board room at the Operational Technology Security Summit, a virtual event happening on March 1, 2023 from 8:30am – 11:30am PT. Register now to learn how to reduce operational risk and increase network and cybersecurity resiliency.

Additional Resources

About Fortinet
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) is a driving force in the evolution of cybersecurity and the convergence of networking and security. Our mission is to secure people, devices, and data everywhere, and today we deliver cybersecurity everywhere you need it with the largest integrated portfolio of over 50 enterprise-grade products. Well over half a million customers trust Fortinet’s solutions, which are among the most deployed, most patented, and most validated in the industry. The Fortinet Training Institute, one of the largest and broadest training programs in the industry, is dedicated to making cybersecurity training and new career opportunities available to everyone. FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s elite threat intelligence and research organization, develops and utilizes leading-edge machine learning and AI technologies to provide customers with timely and consistently top-rated protection and actionable threat intelligence. Learn more at https://www.fortinet.com, the Fortinet Blog, and FortiGuard Labs.

FTNT-O

Copyright © 2023 Fortinet, Inc. All rights reserved. The symbols ® and ™ denote respectively federally registered trademarks and common law trademarks of Fortinet, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. Fortinet’s trademarks include, but are not limited to, the following: Fortinet, the Fortinet logo, FortiGate, FortiOS, FortiGuard, FortiCare, FortiAnalyzer, FortiManager, FortiASIC, FortiClient, FortiCloud, FortiMail, FortiSandbox, FortiADC, FortiAI, FortiAIOps, FortiAntenna, FortiAP, FortiAPCam, FortiAuthenticator, FortiCache, FortiCall, FortiCam, FortiCamera, FortiCarrier, FortiCASB, FortiCentral, FortiConnect, FortiController, FortiConverter, FortiCWP, FortiDB, FortiDDoS, FortiDeceptor, FortiDeploy, FortiDevSec, FortiEdge, FortiEDR, FortiExplorer, FortiExtender, FortiFirewall, FortiFone, FortiGSLB, FortiHypervisor, FortiInsight, FortiIsolator, FortiLAN, FortiLink, FortiMoM, FortiMonitor, FortiNAC, FortiNDR, FortiPenTest, FortiPhish, FortiPlanner, FortiPolicy, FortiPortal, FortiPresence, FortiProxy, FortiRecon, FortiRecorder, FortiSASE, FortiSDNConnector, FortiSIEM, FortiSMS, FortiSOAR, FortiSwitch, FortiTester, FortiToken, FortiTrust, FortiVoice, FortiWAN, FortiWeb, FortiWiFi, FortiWLC, FortiWLM and FortiXDR. Other trademarks belong to their respective owners. Fortinet has not independently verified statements or certifications herein attributed to third parties and Fortinet does not independently endorse such statements. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, nothing herein constitutes a warranty, guarantee, contract, binding specification or other binding commitment by Fortinet or any indication of intent related to a binding commitment, and performance and other specification information herein may be unique to certain environments.

Media Contact: Investor Contact: Analyst Contact:
Michelle Zimmermann
Fortinet, Inc.
408-235-7700
pr@fortinet.com
Peter Salkowski
Fortinet, Inc.
408-331-4595
psalkowski@fortinet.com
Brian Greenberg
Fortinet, Inc.
408-235-7700
analystrelations@fortinet.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8778979

Colliers named one of the top three commercial real estate brands

Ranking reflects continued strength of global brand, platform and leadership

TORONTO, March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Leading diversified professional services and investment management company Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) has been named one of the top three global brands in commercial real estate by The Lipsey Company for the sixth consecutive year.

“Backed by our enterprising culture and growth mindset, we are proud to be recognized as leaders in the industry by both industry professionals and clients,” said Becky Finley, Chief Brand & People Officer | Global. “We are committed to investing in relationships and will continue to seek out opportunities to build for our future as we accelerate success for our clients and investors.”

The Lipsey Company is an international leader in training and consulting for the commercial real estate industry. Now in its 22nd year as the industry standard for commercial real estate brand recognition, the survey uses a combination of voting, focus groups, and interviews to establish its rankings. View the full 2023 survey results here.

About Colliers
Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 65 countries, our 18,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert real estate and investment advice to clients. For more than 28 years, our experienced leadership with significant inside ownership has delivered compound annual investment returns of approximately 20% for shareholders. With annual revenues of $4.5 billion and $98 billion of assets under management, Colliers maximizes the potential of property and real assets to accelerate the success of our clients, our investors and our people. Learn more at corporate.colliers.com, Twitter @Colliers or LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Andrea Cheung
Senior Manager, Global Integrated Communications
Andrea.cheung@colliers.com
416-324-6402

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8779079

Philips highlights AI-powered integrated diagnostic approach at ECR 2023

 

March 1, 2023

Fully interoperable smart imaging systems and informatics solutions connect teams in radiology, oncology, cardiology and pathology to enhance clinical confidence and advance precision in diagnosis and treatment

Vienna, Austria and Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced its radiology portfolio of smart connected imaging systems and vendor-neutral integrated radiology workflow solutions featured at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) international meeting (March 1-5, Vienna, Austria). Visitors to Philips @The Blue Level at ECR, the largest exposition space at the Congress, will experience how Philips’ AI-powered technology turns data into actionable insights to increase diagnostic confidence and improve clinical outcomes, enhancing patient and staff experience, driving operational efficiency, and helping lower the cost of care.

“At this year’s ECR, together with our customer partners, Philips will demonstrate how our latest AI-powered integrated smart diagnostic systems and informatics solutions can help reduce clinical complexity and drive operational efficiency to address workforce shortages and staff burnout, all while optimizing the right care pathway for patients,” said Bert van Meurs, Chief Business Leader of Image Guided Therapy and Precision Diagnosis at Philips. “With our AI-enabled technology, we can automate and accelerate routine tasks to generate patient-centric insights from large volumes of data to help improve productivity and enhance patient outcomes. Underpinning each of our innovations at ECR is Philips’ commitment to delivering sustainable, resilient diagnostic solutions that help hospitals receive ongoing value from their investments.”

Smart connected imaging systems powered by leading clinical and AI technology
Philips will showcase its latest innovations connecting radiology, cardiology, pathology and oncology across MR, CT, diagnostic X-ray and ultrasound, including MR SmartSpeed, the next-generation imaging technology that leverages Philips’ state-of-the-art speed engine and an award-winning Artificial Intelligence (AI) [1] reconstruction technology that boosts speed and image quality. In partnership with Leiden University Medical Center (Leiden, The Netherlands) Philips is innovating with AI to further speed up and improve MR examinations, with the aim to reduce scan times to less than five minutes and to reconstruct detailed MR images despite patient or internal organ movement. The approach is already showing promising results in leading hospitals worldwide.

“In systematic research studies, we have seen strong evidence of the ability of SmartSpeed to significantly accelerate acquisition times for knee and spine examinations without compromising image quality, with scan times that can be reduced up to 64% for certain sequences,” said Dr. Andra-Iza Iuga, Department of Radiology at the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany.  “Since musculoskeletal (MSK) exams make up a large part of all MR procedures, these acceleration benefits have the potential to result in significant operational cost reductions and we are currently successfully implementing the results of our research studies into our clinical routine.”

Integrated radiology workflow solutions driving operational efficiency
Optimizing clinical workflows can help eliminate waste and allow hospitals to use their resources more efficiently, which translates into improved patient flow and delivery of higher quality care to patients. At ECR, Philips will spotlight its advanced technology to simplify and connect workflows to help reduce variability and staff workload, drive operational efficiency, and enhance the patient experience.

For more information on Philips’ fully integrated radiology portfolio of imaging and informatics solutions being featured at ECR, visit the Philips ECR Press Backgrounder. Read more about Philips’ partnerships with public and private customers, peers, and industry-leading global organizations to help reduce the environmental impact of radiology.

Join Philips in person at the Blue Level at ECR, or virtually via the Philips interactive online radiology experience and follow @PhilipsLiveFrom for #ECR2023 updates throughout the event.

[1] According to the definition of AI from the EU High-Level Expert Group.

For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.:+1 978 221 8919
E-Mail: kathy.oreilly@philips.com
Twitter: @kathyoreilly

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being through meaningful innovation. Philips’ patient- and people-centric innovation leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver personal health solutions for consumers and professional health solutions for healthcare providers and their patients in the hospital and the home. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, image-guided therapy, monitoring and enterprise informatics, as well as in personal health. Philips generated 2022 sales of EUR 17.8 billion and employs approximately 77,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

Attachments

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000795505

Henley & Partners: Invest in Namibian Real Estate and Secure Residence Rights

LONDON, March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world’s latest investment migration option — and Africa’s second — the Namibia Residence by Investment Program has been launched by Henley & Partners, the global leaders in residence and citizenship planning.

The Namibian government is actively seeking foreign investment to boost the country’s economic growth and diversify the economy. The program provides numerous opportunities for international investors seeking a foothold and growth on the African continent, including tax incentives, financing, and a one-stop bureau service for international companies. For a minimum real estate investment of USD 316,000 in the new luxury golf and eco-friendly President’s Links Estate in Walvis Bay, successful investors will receive a five-year, renewable work permit which gives them the right to live, do business, and study in Namibia.

Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, Dominic Volek, says, “We are delighted to announce this innovative new residence by investment offering in Africa. Namibia’s stunning landscape, attractive tax system, and business-friendly environment make it an ideal option for international entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals, or retirees. There are fewer than 600 real estate units available in this exclusive coastal estate that qualifies for residence, so investors need to move quickly if they want to take advantage of this limited opportunity to secure residence rights in one of the most nature- and wildlife rich countries in the world.”

One of Africa’s fastest growing private wealth markets

The total private wealth currently held on the African continent is USD 2.1 trillion and is expected to rise by 38% over the next 10 years, according to the Africa Wealth Report, published by Henley & Partners in partnership with New World Wealth. Namibia is expected to be one of Africa’s fastest growing markets going forward, with high-net-worth individual (those with wealth of USD 1 million or more) growth of over 60% forecast for the next decade (until 2032). According to New World Wealth’s December 2022 statistics, Namibia holds USD 26 billion in total investable wealth. The average wealth of a resident of Namibia (wealth per capita) is USD 10,050, ranking as the third highest in Africa after Mauritius and South Africa. The nation is home to around 2,100 high-net-worth individuals and three centi-millionaires (with wealth of USD 100 million or more).

To attract inward investment, the government has made major improvements to its tax system in recent years. Namibia operates a source-based tax system, which means that foreign residents are generally only taxed on the income they generate in the country. What is more, tax rates are relatively competitive compared with many other emerging markets and particularly with neighboring countries such as South Africa. The top rate of income tax in Namibia is a modest 37%, but perhaps most notably there are no capital gains, estate, gift, inheritance, or net wealth/worth taxes.

Unprecedented interest in domicile diversification

Currently, the President’s Links Estate is the only investment route for the Namibia Residence by Investment Program. Group Head of Real Estate at Henley & Partners, Thomas Scott, says international real estate has always been a reliable asset class for global investors due to its long-term staying power. “Real estate–linked investment migration programs such as the offering in Namibia have the additional advantages of enhancing your global mobility and expanding your personal access rights as a resident or citizen of additional jurisdictions, creating optionality in terms of where you and your family can live, work, study, retire, and invest. The potential gains over the lifetime of this investment include the core value of the asset, rental yields, and global access as an ultimate hedge against both regional and global volatility.”

Volek points out that there has been significant and ongoing growth in the demand for residence and citizenship by investment options over the past few years. “The appeal of investment migration for affluent families is truly universal due to its many benefits, ranging from domicile diversification to global mobility enhancement, to accessing world-class education and healthcare, to having a plan B in times of turmoil. No matter where you were born, or where you currently reside, wealthy investors can futureproof themselves and their families for whatever might lie ahead through investment migration options such as the new Namibia Residence by Investment Program.”

Media Contact

Sarah Nicklin
Group Head of PR
sarah.nicklin@henleyglobal.com
Mobile: +27 72 464 8965

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000795319

Gucci coup: Gen Prawit gets trendy to woo army of young voters

The ruling party appears to be reinventing the image of its leader, General Prawit Wongsuwan. His wardrobe has been updated with trendy clothes popular among fashion-conscious young celebrities half his age.

The 77-year-old, who also serves as deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, recently appeared in Calvin Klein jeans, a Gucci jacket, and an eye-catching Hugo Boss sweatshirt during unofficial trips to various locations in Bangkok and the provinces.

While visiting Bangkok’s Chinatown during the recent Lunar New Year, Prawit wore a bright red shirt with a dark-green Gucci bomber jacket, jeans and sneakers.

Strolling around the upscale MFO (Or Tor Kor) Market in late January, Prawit appeared in a zip-up jacket made by Issue, a Thai designer brand. The jacket featured a colourful design of a tiger and a dragon made popular by certain showbiz celebrities with a “bad boy” image.

In early February, the deputy premier surprised morning joggers at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. Prawit was taking a brisk walk in a grey Adidas warm-up jacket and a green polo shirt. He was greeted by passers-by, some of whom wished him success in the upcoming general election.

On February 18, Prawit was spotted with his nieces at popular food shops in Bangkok’s Giant Swing neighbourhood. He was wearing a Boss x Khaby zip-up sweatshirt featuring a colourful yellow and purple design inspired by TikTok star Khaby Lame.

A kind and friendly uncle?

Along with the new fashionable look, the former Army chief has adopted a civilian image as a kind and friendly uncle in an apparent attempt to shed his reputation as a military strongman. Prawit has adopted a happy, approachable persona as he mingles with the public in markets and neighbourhoods, posing for selfies with fans and engaging in group activities like traditional Thai dance and walks in the park.

The “makeover” for Prawit’s image seemed to start in late August after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, his now estranged brother-in-arms, was suspended as PM pending a Constitutional Court verdict on his tenure limit. Back then, Prawit was spotted wearing tight jeans during weekend visits to the provinces.

Prawit recently disputed media claims that his new casual style was part of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party’s election campaign strategy.

“This is the way I normally dress,” he declared.

However, political analysts remain convinced that Prawit is adopting the avuncular look to appeal to young voters. The ruling party recently resolved to nominate him as its only candidate for prime minister in the next election.

Targeting young voters

Assoc Prof Nantana Nantavaropas, dean of Krirk University’s Political Communication College, said Prawit appears to be competing with PM Prayut and other potential PM candidates to win the hearts of young voters, who number in the millions.

She said political parties are targeting voters from Generation Y and Z, aged between 18 and 42, as many of them are first-time voters who have yet to decide which party they favor. In contrast, Gen X and baby-boomer voters are often loyal to well-established and older parties, she added.

Thailand has about 11 million baby boomers (those aged 59 to 77), 16 million Gen X voters (aged 43-58), 15 million Gen Y voters (aged 27-42), and about 7 million Gen Z citizens (aged 11-26).

Nantana also pointed out that General Prayut has also changed his fashion style as the election countdown gets underway.

“Previously, he tended to wear business suits, official khaki attire, or military uniforms. But now he visits constituencies in a jacket just like other politicians. This is meant to show that he is closer to the people,” she said.

The academic judged that both Prawit and Prayut have adopted the political gimmick of trendy fashions and a friendly image to please young voters. However, she doubts this strategy will be effective.

“Voters tend to make decisions based on their confidence in the parties. They often choose the party with the ideology and policy platform that benefits them most.”

PM Prayut was Palang Pracharath’s sole prime ministerial candidate in the previous election, in March 2019. However, he recently defected to join a new outfit called Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation) and is expected to be its sole PM candidate in the next election tentatively scheduled for May 7.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Excessive PM2.5 pollution in most of northern Thailand on Wednesday

PM2.5 dust in most northern provinces today (Wednesday) exceeds the safety level, being measured at between 61 and 200 microns. The situation is likely to deteriorate in the coming days, according to the Pollution Control Department.

The level of PM2.5 in most of Bangkok and its suburbs has been measured at between 39 and 114 microns, compared to the safety level in Thailand of 50 microns.

Only five areas in the north-east are reported to have excessive levels of PM2.5, measured between 23 and 130 microns.

Most central and western provinces also report high levels of air pollution, measured at between 39 and 67 microns, while only three areas in the east have excessive particulate matterin the atmosphere, measured at between 33 and 52 microns.

The South is the only region where the air quality is good, with low levels of PM2.5, measured at 14-39 microns.

Those living in areas with health-threatening levels of PM2.5 are advised to avoid all out-door activities and wear their face mask if it is necessary to go outdoors.

In areas with less pollution, people are still advised to reduce their outdoor activities and to wear face masks while going outdoor.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

New park chief says it’s OK to be seen as a “mafia figure” if poachers fear him

Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn, the newly-appointed director of the Office of National Parks, declared today (Wednesday) that he would not mind being seen as a “mafia figure”, if it wouldstrike fear in the hearts of illegal loggers and poachers.

The former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi Province assumed office as the director of the Office of National Parks today, to a warm welcome from his colleagues and subordinates at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Red roses and bouquets of flowers adorned his office.

Chaiwat has been embroiled in multiple controversies, including the alleged torching of an ethnic Karen Ban Bang Kloi village in the park and the enforced disappearance of Karen activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen.

After going through the highs and lows of his career, Chaiwat told Thai PBS that he is glad to be returning to his old home,to protect national parks, the flora and fauna.

He insists that he is not a “mafia figure” and his job is to try to increase the forest cover in the country, from 31% to 40%, adding that, if someone views him as a “mafia” because of his no non-sense crackdown on poachers and illegal loggers, he would not mind at all.

He pleaded with the public to trust that park rangers will not bully settlers who occupied land before it was incorporated into a national park.

The new national park chief insists that he is not answerable to politicians, nor is he their lackey. “Politicians have never helped me and I am not submissive to them. I am ready to confront anybody who threaten my forests,” he said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Man arrested with 30 live monitor lizards and a large quantity of reptile flesh

Wildlife officials and police have arrested a man and seized 30 live monitor lizards (Varanus salvator), 59 lizard carcasses and several live turtles in a raid on an illegal slaughterhouse in Suphan Buri province.

Padet Laithong, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, said that the meat was being sent to wildlife restaurants in Trat province, falsely identified as tree monitor (Varanus bengalensis) meat.

He also said that officials are investigating a report in social media that the monitor lizard meat might have been sent to customers to turn into meatballs.

The owner of the abattoir claimed that he used to be a hunter, who captured monitor lizards and sent 2-5 lizards to his customers at a time. Eventually, he turned to slaughtering the lizards and sending the meat to eateries in Trat province, where it fetches higher prices.

Padet said that monitor lizards are a protected species in Thailand, but can be found almost everywhere, especially near natural waterways. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has strongly opposed the idea of lifting the protection so they can be farmed for commercial purposes.

The slaughterhouse owner was charged with possessing a protected species, which carries a penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of not exceeding 50,000 baht on conviction. Trading protected species carries higher penalties, with 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to a million baht on conviction.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)