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Learn English with VOA NEWS >Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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Home » national » Prayers across Asean borders to welcome new year




Prayers across Asean borders to welcome new year



The Nation December 30, 2015 1:00 am


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CROSS-BORDER prayer ceremonies


Dubbed "Asean prayers", the campaign aims to boost Thailand's ties with neighbouring countries through friendly exchanges via the religious dimension, Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat said yesterday. This is the first time the Religious Affairs Department has extended this New Year activity to the border provinces of Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Tak, Loei, Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket, Sa Kaew, Surin, Ranong and Songkhla, he said.

In Central Thailand, traditional prayers will be held on New Year’s Eve at several renowned temples, including Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangalaram (Wat Pho), Wat Sraket Rajavaramahavihara (Golden Mount) and Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, he added.

Meanwhile, police spokesman Pol General Dechnarong Suticharnbancha yesterday inspected police and related officials' preparedness at four key New Year countdown venues in Bangkok.

He said some 4,000 policemen would be deployed to provide security at the most popular countdown site in Bangkok, the CentralWorld Plaza, where some 200,000 partygoers are expected to show up. Early on New Year's Eve, the area will be cleared of roadside stalls, and before midnight a bomb squad will be on hand to provide security.

About 10,000 city law enforcers and police will be patrolling 11 sites across Bangkok and manning 18 metal-detector entrance points, he added.

Eye on road accidents

The beginning of the so-called "seven dangerous days" of road accidents yesterday saw Interior Ministry permanent secretary Krissada Boonrat preside over the opening of a Road Safety Centre at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. The centre will monitor road accidents and provide daily updates until January 5.

Public opinion is being sought over the policy of police and the Peace and Order Maintaining Command to temporarily seize cars and motorcycles from drunk drivers, which has been operating since Christmas Day.

A Suan Dusit Poll said yesterday that 80.47 per cent of 1,280 people surveyed from December 24 to 28 agreed with the measure on grounds that it would prevent road accidents, serve as a punishment and as a warning to motorists to abide by traffic laws. About 13 per cent disagreed with the policy, and suggested that fines and prison sentences be imposed, and alcohol-beverage selling outlets be dealt with as the root of the problem.

In the Northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, a provincial transport office added another 100 bus trips to its 300-strong daily service yesterday and today, to serve an expected 20,000 holidaymakers. It also conducted alcohol breathalyser tests on bus drivers and checked their buses. Traffic volume on Mitraparp Highway heading towards Nakhon Ratchasima also rose yesterday, but cars were moving at an average speed of 70 to 80 kilometres per hour.
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What's Trending Today?

What's Trending? #HoverboardFails

FILE - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver B.J. Daniels rides a hoverboard as he arrives for an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, in Seattle. Amazon warned customers that their hoverboards may be unsafe.
FILE - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver B.J. Daniels rides a hoverboard as he arrives for an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, in Seattle. Amazon warned customers that their hoverboards may be unsafe.


What's Trending? Hoverboard Fails


Hoverboards were among the most popular Christmas gifts of 2015. They may have also been most dangerous gifts of 2015.

A true hoverboard looks like a skateboard without wheels. To “hovermeans to float in the air without moving much in any direction. The popularity of hoverboards began in the 1980s, with the “Back to the Futuremovies. Characters in the second and third films used hoverboards as transportation.

This year’s popular hoverboards, however, do not actually hover. They have wheels. And, as it turns out, they are not easy to use.

Adults and children around the world suffered hoverboard-related injuries over the weekend. Many posted pictures of the damage on social media. As a result, the hashtag #hoverboardfails trended on Twitter.

Twitter user David Douglas posted a photo of both him and a young girl with casts for the broken arms they suffered on Christmas Day.

And Twitter user Erin Rafferty tweeted a video of her mother falling off a hoverboard, with the caption, “Who let mom on the hoverboard?”


Falling is not the only risk with some hoverboards. They are also a fire risk. At one store in Texas, an employee tried to fix a defective hoverboard a customer brought in. The hoverboard then caught fire.

Studies suggest that some hoverboard brands have faulty batteries or plugs.

Many major airlines worldwide have banned hoverboards because of the fire risk. But some passengers did not hear the news. Australian actor Russell Crowe tweeted on Monday about his disappointment that Virgin Australia Airlines did not permit his children to take their hoverboards on the plane.

Major retailers are also taking steps to improve the safety of the hoverboards they sell. Amazon in the United States now only sells hoverboards from brands that have submitted safety standard documents.

The UK’s Amazon no longer sells actual hoverboards. It has also advised customers who bought unsafe brands of hoverboards to throw them away.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Ashley Thompson.


Words in This Story


skateboard - n. a short board that is on wheels and that a person stands on to move along a surface or to perform tricks

cast - n. a hard covering that is put on an arm, leg, etc., so that a broken bone can heal

defective - adj. having a problem or fault that prevents something from working correctly

submit - v. to give (a document, proposal, piece of writing, etc.) to someone so that it can be considered or approved





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