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  2. Thailand's parliament on Tuesday named Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as the new king, completing a formal step for the heir to take the throne following the death of his father last month. The Cabinet, following a 1924 law on succession, submitted Vajiralongkorn's name to the National Assembly after a brief meeting, where members formally acknowledged him as the new monarch. "I would like everyone to stand up and give their blessings to the new king," said National Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai. His statement was followed by a cheer of "Long live the king" by all assembly members. Pornpetch said he would invite Vajiralongkorn to take the throne, the 10th in the Chakri dynasty, which was founded in 1782. He did not say when Vajiralongkorn would formally accept, but Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters earlier that the royal audience would be in the next few days. Vajiralongkorn was originally supposed to assume the throne the day his father died, but in a surprise announcement, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the prince asked for the ascension to be put off so he had time to mourn. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/11/28/world/asia/ap-as-thailand-king.html?_r=0
  3. According to Khaosod English, the Thai government has approved 10 year visas for foreigners. Affluent foreign residents over 50 will soon be able to apply for 10-year visas, a government spokesman said Tuesday. Intended to promote Thailand as a hub for medical services, the policy was approved by the interim cabinet on Tuesday, according to spokesman Athisit Chainuwat. It would replace one-year renewable visas and come in two installments of five years each, Athisit said. It was not immediately clear when the plan would be implemented. Applicants must either earn a monthly salary of at least 100,000 baht or have more than 3 million baht in their bank account, which cannot be withdrawn within the first year after receiving the visa. They must also have health insurance that covers hospital stays and provides at least USD$10,000 in annual coverage. http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/business/2016/11/22/govt-approves-10-year-visas-foreigners-50/
  4. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to advise the following during this time of sadness for the Thai people: Most mourners in the country will be dressed in black or white clothing as a display of the reverence to our Beloved King and as part of Thai culture, but this is not mandatory, especially for visitors. Tourists should kindly wear appropriate and respectable attire in public. Visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behavior. The Government has asked for the cooperation from entertainment venues to refrain from conducting any boisterous performances. Most of the traditional, religious and cultural events including MICE and weddings will be taking place as usual, although the celebrations may be changed for appropriateness as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Meetings, receptions, and other related occasions that are held in indoor premises can be held as usual. Tourist attractions will be open as usual with the exception of Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace, as they will be the venue of the Royal Funeral Rites. All transport, banks, shopping areas, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual. We would like to recommend that any visitors with travel or tourism plans reconfirm with agents and check local media regularly as well as follow the advice of the local authorities for announcements and updates. Many people will be travelling from the provinces to Bangkok during the mourning period to pay their respects to the King. This may cause some congestion in certain parts of the city as well as to commuters. Visitors planning travel and trips should stay updated via the local media about road closures or delays. Due to the commuting of the people during this time, the safety and security measures for all Thais and visitors is a major priority of the related authorities. For any enquiries, please contact our TAT domestic and overseas offices or the TAT Call Centre Tel.: 1672. http://www.tatnews.org/updated-visitor-information-during-the-mourning-period-for-his-majesty-king-bhumibol-adulyadej/
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