Thailand Pass, Covid insurance to end July 1



News Desk, Barta24.com
Thailand Pass, Covid insurance to end July 1

Thailand Pass, Covid insurance to end July 1

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Thailand Pass registration and compulsory Covid-19 insurance will be lifted for all people arriving in Thailand from July 1, a senior government spokesman said on Friday.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said these decisions were made at a meeting of the CCSA on Friday.

Arrivals will need only show their vaccination certificates or Covid-19 test results.

Without such proof, arrivals will be given random, professional antigen tests at permanent border entry points. Random testing would continue until the government lifts all state-of-emergency measures to deal with Covid-19.

The Thailand Pass registration system will remain in place but be used only for travellers to report suspected symptoms of dangerous and other communicable diseases, as determined by the Public Health Ministry, Dr Taweesilp said.

Foreign nationals will not have to be insured for Covid-19, and thermal scanning will end at border checkpoints, he said.

A certification of fitness for entry, issued by a Thai consulate, will also no longer be required.

At present, visitors are required to have US$10,000 Covid-19 insurance coverage. From July 1, the government will still encourage visitors to have such insurance, the spokesman said.

Courtesy: Bangkok Post

Top 10 Nations With The Most Smartphone Users



Maria Gourtsilidou
Top 10 Nations With The Most Smartphone Users

Top 10 Nations With The Most Smartphone Users

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The country with the most smartphone users is China. More than 950 million people use smartphones in China. This means that the Chinese market is larger than that of India, the US, and Indonesia combined.

After China, in second place in the world is India. Smartphone users in India amount to 493 million. In third place in the world is the United States, with 274 million users. The USA is followed by Indonesia, with 170 million smartphone users.

Brazil with 119 million users, Russia with 102 million, Japan with 83 million users, and Mexico with 75 million are the next largest smartphone markets worldwide. Lastly, Vietnam with 67 million and Germany with 66 million users complete the top ten.

The data from Statista.com shows the number of smartphone users in the US from 2018 to 2025. By the year 2022, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 301.65 million. This number will further rise in the coming years. By 2023, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 305.1 million. In 2024, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 308.39 million, while in 2025, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 311.53 million.

Although the smartphone penetration rate as a share of the population in the United States in 2010 was 20.2%, it soon rose to higher levels. For example, in 2015, the smartphone penetration rate as a share of the population in the United States was 59,4%, in 2018 was 69,6%, in 2020 was 72,2% and in 2021 was 72,7%.
Statista.com indicates that the popularity of the smartphone in the US has risen immensely since Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007.

The first iPhone was quite different from other smartphones. This is because it used a large touchscreen for finger input rather than a stylus, keypad, or keyboard. It was in 2008 that the first smartphone to use the Android OS (HTC Dream) was released. Although people using this OS were not many at the beginning, it has since grown to be the most used operating system over the years.

The smartphone industry, despite problems in 2021, such as low stock availability, increased sales compared to 2020. Limited stocks in popular models are expected to postpone some of the potential sales for 2022.

Smartphone sales revenue between the years 2013 and 2020 reached 409 billion dollars, according to Statista.com. More specifically, between the years 2013 and 2018, the greatest smartphone sales value compared to other regions was reported in China. In China, smartphone sales value between 2013 and 2018 reached almost 153 billion dollars. At the same time, smartphone sales value reached 84 billion dollars between 2013 and 2017 in North America, while the value of smartphone sales in Western Europe between 2013 and 2017 reached 56 billion dollars.

There are some top manufacturers of smartphones on the market. For example, Huawei’s market share of smartphone shipments during Q4 2020 was 8.4%, while Samsung’s global smartphone market share was 20.6%. At the same time, Apple’s smartphone sales market share worldwide is 23.4%. Not to forget to mention that according to data from Statista.com, the Android operating system market share worldwide is 85.9%.

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Erdogan and Putin Meet Again



Nrws Desk, Barta24.com
Erdogan and Putin Meet Again

Erdogan and Putin Meet Again

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Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayip Erdogan today (7 August) in the Russian resort town of Sochi, with the two leaders set to discuss military invasions—both potential and ongoing.

Putin and Erdogan last met less than three weeks ago in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Despite their differences over the war in Ukraine (Ankara is a major arms supplier to Kyiv) their countries have made diplomatic strides.

The most striking has been a deal to resume Ukraine’s grain shipments from its remaining Black Sea ports. The agreement, which was also facilitated by the United Nations, was the first positive step in relations between Russia and Ukraine since the invasion began and has already borne some fruit. The first shipment from Odesa since the war began is on its way to the Lebanese port of Tripoli with 27,000 tons of corn on board.

The two men have good reasons to keep up a good working relationship. For Putin, Erdogan serves as a reliable spoiler on NATO policy as well as a willing customer for Russian gas. For Erdogan, Putin helps showcase Turkey’s independent foreign policy as well as keep the lights on at home: Russia supplies 45 percent of Turkey’s gas, and Russia’s Rosatom is constructing a nuclear plant on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast which is expected to power 10 percent of the country’s domestic energy needs when fully operational.

Today’s talks are expected to continue a topic pursued in Tehran: Turkey’s impending invasion of Syria. In an echo of Moscow’s description of its war in Ukraine, Ankara describes the incursion as a “special military operation.”

Erdogan has stated his desire to establish a 30-kilometer [19-mile] deep “security zone” that extends from the Turkish border into Syrian territory and one that is likely to come dangerously close to Russian, Syrian, (and Iran-backed) forces.

The move is seen as a direct assault on Kurdish militias in the region including the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which make up the majority of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. When Turkey sees YPG, it also sees PKK—the Kurdistan Worker’s Party—a group deemed terrorists by Turkey, the United States, and European Union.

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Australia advances major climate legislation



News Desk, Barta24.com
Australia advances major climate legislation

Australia advances major climate legislation

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Long criticized for ignoring the harmful effects of climate change, Australia — the world’s third-largest fossil fuel exporter — took a major step toward cutting its emissions.

The country’s Lower House of Parliament passed a bill that commits the government to reducing carbon emissions by at least 43 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and reaching net zero by 2050. It is expected to pass through the Senate in a few weeks.

“The impact of climate change is real. We need a response which is real,” said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who campaigned on the commitment when he challenged the long-governing conservative coalition in a May election. “The government is offering that.”

But the move is widely seen as long overdue. A separate proposal pitched by the Australian Greens that would have required a 75 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 was rejected. The leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, has argued that the government’s lower target will lead to the demise of the Great Barrier Reef, which is expected to continue struggling under current warming trends.

The 43 percent pledge brings Australia closer to reductions promised by Canada, South Korea and Japan, while still falling short of commitments from the U.S., the E.U. and Britain.

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In S. Korea, Pelosi avoids public comments on Taiwan, China



International Desk, Barta24.com
In S. Korea, Pelosi avoids public comments on Taiwan, China

In S. Korea, Pelosi avoids public comments on Taiwan, China

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After infuriating China over her trip to Taiwan, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met South Korean political leaders in Seoul on Thursday (August 4) but avoided making direct public comments on relations with Beijing and Taipei that could further increase regional tensions.

Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said Wednesday (August 3) in Taipei that the American commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad.”

In response, China on Thursday began military exercises, including missile strike training, in six zones surrounding Taiwan, in what could be the biggest of their kind since the mid-1990s.

After visiting Taiwan, Pelosi and other members of her congressional delegation flew to South Korea — a key U.S. ally where about 28,500 American troops are deployed — on Wednesday evening, as part of an Asian tour that included earlier stops in Singapore and Malaysia.

She met South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo and other senior members of Parliament on Thursday. After that hour-long meeting, Pelosi spoke about the bilateral alliance, forged in blood during the 1950-53 Korean War, and legislative efforts to boost ties, but didn’t directly mention her Taiwan visit or the Chinese protests.

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