Saturday, April 30, 2016

British tourist family brutally attacked in Thailand

See video here (graphic, viewer discretion advised)

Four Thai men have been arrested and charged with the brutal assault of an elderly British couple and their middle-aged son who were punched and kicked unconscious

The footage, which makes for disturbing viewing, shows that the altercation began when the younger Briton apparently brushed shoulders with a Thai carrying a bottle.

There was a melee in the street and protracted pushing and shoving, with hands raised, before the Britons were knocked to the ground by a series of punches, including one straight to the face of the elderly woman.

They were then kicked as they lie motionless on the busy street while onlookers stood back and watched the assault.

Three Thai men were arrested two days after the attack and a fourth was detained on Thursday. They are expected to make an initial court appearance in coming days, but their victims will not need to be present as they have already given statements to investigators.

"The accused men say they are sorry and that they wouldn't have done this if they weren't drunk," .

A witness, who gave his account on the Hua Hin Forum internet site and called himself “Usual suspect”, said that he was walking down the same alley with his wife when he witnessed the brutal assault.

“Small groups were scattered at various places, all with the intention of attacking tourists. “The girls in the bar I was in all night waved goodbye to to elderly customers and their son. My wife and I followed only seconds after them.

“Within 20/30 metres of leaving the bar, the Thais were punching the 65-year-old old lady in the face!! The elderly gentleman was down on the floor, & their son was beaten very badly!!!”

“At this point I caught up to the scene and pushed one of the youths away from the woman. I got severely punched and kicked for my troubles, but felt the need to protect this frail lady.”

Writing in the aftermath of the attack, he continued: “Not one person (other than myself) came to aid these old folk, & they ended up laid in the road bleeding.

Hua Hin has a reputation as a family resort town, popular with middle-class Thais and tourists, and far removed from the “party town” excesses of holiday destinations such as Pattaya.

But there have been an increasing number of unprovoked street attacks on foreign tourists by locals in bar areas in resorts across the country.

There have also been a series of high profile murders and mystery deaths of Britons and other Western tourists in the country in recent years, raising concerns about Thailand’s safety as a tourist destination.

After the Hua Hin attack, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "Our staff have been in contact with the family to offer assistance and will remain in contact with the local authorities."

The Foreign Office travel advice makes no reference to the Prachuap Khiri Khan province where the incident occurred. “British nationals make nearly one million visits to Thailand every year,” it states.

“Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been attacks (sometimes violent), particularly on the islands of Samui archipelago. Two British nationals were killed on 15 September 2014 on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.”

Culled from Telegraph UK

Friday, April 29, 2016

Saudi Arabia: Now you can convert Umrah Visa to Visit Visa

Prince Sultan Bin Salman, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), launched here Sunday the Post-Umrah Program, an initiative which allows Umrah pilgrims to convert their visas into tourist visas.

This is a key channel of “The Kingdom is Muslims’ Destination” initiative, which was proposed by the commission several years ago.

In a press statement following the launching ceremony in Riyadh, Prince Sultan said the program aims at providing an opportunity to Umrah pilgrims to see the landmarks of the country, Islamic historical sites, attractive tourist destinations and shopping centers and malls.

They might also opt to make cultural, medical, educational and marketing tours, visit exhibitions and attend conferences after having completed their Umrah, he added.

He said the SCTH is carrying out the program in cooperation with the ministries of interior, foreign affairs and Haj.

Prince Sultan said the SCTH started the program several years ago and it took a long time to study. There were procedures that were not ready yet, like converting Umrah visa into tourist visa, among other procedures.

Before now, there is no tourist vis to saudi arabia. there are family visit, business visit, umrah and permanent family visit but nothing like tourist visa. Pilgrims on Hajj or Umrah visa are allowed to visit only Makkah, Medina and Jeddah. However, there are other historic sites in Islamic tradition which are located in other cities which pilgrims may also wish to visit. other pilgrims may wish to visit family members living in saudi arabia.

Article published by Saudi Gazzette

Imperial College London; Masters Scholarship, Faculty of Medicine

Dean's Master's scholarships

The Faculty of Medicine is offering 9 fully funded scholarships for students starting full-time or part-time Master's programmes in October 2016.

Please note:
Applications for 2016/17 scholarships are now open
The deadline for applications is Tuesday 26 April 2016
Applicants will be given a decision by Thursday 30 June 2016

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide who have the potential to become leaders in their field.

Home/EU students
Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000*
5 places are available

Overseas students
Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000*
4 places are available

Stipends will be paid in monthly instalments, subject to satisfactory progression. Awardees on courses which last more than a year will have their £17,000 stipend spread over the full lengh of the degree.

The Faculty offers a wide range of Master's degree programmes, as well as PG Certificates and Diplomas, and all students will belong to the Graduate School, which provides a comprehensive Transferable Skills Programme.

Please ensure you read our eligibility criteria before making an application. Exceptions cannot be made to these criteria so please check them carefully.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

University of Edinburgh Scholarship

Scholarship Highlights
All applications must be submitted no later than 1st June 2016
Scholarship available for undergraduate, postgraduate and online
60 postgraduate masters scholarships available

The scholarships will be awarded to students who are residents and citizens of a Sub-Saharan African country 

About the Program
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh supports Africans from economically disadvantaged communities to study at the University of Edinburgh. Through the generous support of the Foundation, Scholars will be provided with the opportunity to become leaders within their communities and to improve the lives of countless more when they return home to Africa.

The Program at the University of Edinburgh
At the University of Edinburgh, the seven year programme will support 200 of the brightest and best students from Africa, from disadvantaged backgrounds who have a commitment to give back to their communities. It will provide full scholarships, including accommodation costs, living costs, travel and tuition fees to 80 undergraduate students and 60 postgraduate students taking courses on campus at Edinburgh. 60 Scholars from other MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program institutions will also benefit from participating in a number of online distance learning Masters programmes offered by the University of Edinburgh.
As well as receiving an excellent education at one of the top ranked universities in the world, undergraduate Scholars will:
  • Participate in UK and Africa based Summer Schools
  • Complete a course on African development
  • Engage in a volunteering project in their home country
  • Undertake a work-based placement in the UK; and
  • Receive an outduction course on their return to their home country.
Following their graduation, around 50% of our undergraduate Scholars will then be supported to complete distance learning Masters degrees after their return to Africa.  
Postgraduate masters Scholars will:
  • Complete six courses followed by the production of a dissertation 
  • Participate in a retreat designed to nurture leadership skills
  • Attend a short Summer School based in Africa; and 
  • Undertake an internship which will include reflective learning.
Online distance Masters Scholars will:
  • Undertake a range of online distance Masters degrees which will be available to 60 Scholars from other MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program institutions.

How to Apply:

Click here to read more

Contact: Scholarship and Financial Support Team
Work: +44 (0)131 651 4070