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Worker shortages across Southeast Asia may cause big delays in holiday shipping this year – Business Insider

Posted: October 21, 2021 at 1:49 am

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A shortage of workers in several Southeast Asian manufacturing hubs is adding to the global supply chain crisis that is expected to wreak havoc on Christmas shipping.

Countries including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand are still grappling with containment of the COVID-19 virus, causing disruptions in the movement of the workforce required to produce goods.

Those disruptions could cause major problems for retailers ahead of the holiday season.

"The rebound in economic growth in many of the world's largest consumer markets, including the US and EU, is boosting demand for ASEAN exports," Rajiv Biswas, chief economist for the Asia Pacific at research house IHS Markit, told Insider.

But the labor crunch in affected areas will persist, he said, leaving low-wage industries like manufacturing and agriculture vulnerable until border restrictions are eased.

In Vietnam, factories making clothing, footwear, and electronics are now facing worker shortages after tens of thousands left the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City after months of strict lockdowns.

Many workers who flocked to the city have returned to their rural homes, as they report fatigue and fear from the pandemic.

Earlier lockdowns had already caused problems, with Nike warning of "supply chain headwinds," while the delivery of Apple's iPhone 13 has also been delayed, the Nikkei reported.

Factories are now looking for ways to safely bring in workers again, according to local media outlet VnExpress. Doing that will likely further slow production down, as virus containment guidelines and protocols require additional time and administration.

Such safety measures are especially critical in a place like Vietnam, where only around 17% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

In Malaysia, the palm oil industry faces a similar issue, but with foreign migrant workers.

Malaysia produces about a third of the world's palm oil; the versatile, edible oil is used in various products, from chocolates to detergents and shampoo.

The country's palm oil industry, however, has long relied on migrant workers from countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh to harvest the crop.

As COVID-19 cases exploded in the country spiking over four times in two months to about 25,000 cases a day in late August the country put in movement restrictions and strict border controls. Migrant workers left the country in droves, and many have not been able to return, though the government has recently loosened restrictions to allow around 32,000 workers to return, according to the New Straits Times.

But that's less than half of the number of 75,000 workers the industry is short of, per the New Straits Times report.

Malaysian oil palm plantations have tried to entice local workers with higher pay to pick up the slack and use more machines. But locals are generally not interested in what they consider "dirty, dangerous and demeaning," Bloomberg reported.

In neighboring Thailand, factories and farms that once hosted over 1 million migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar have been hit by a double whammy.

Hundreds of thousands of them have left because of the pandemic, according to Frontier Myanmar. And Myanmar's military coup earlier this year has injected uncertainty and caused delays in work permit renewals, reported the Bangkok Post.

Thailand is a major manufacturer and exporter of vehicles, car parts, electronics, and food, and the labor crunch is hitting the supply chain, particularly in lower-end segments like farming.

The Thai labor ministry is looking to fill these positions with local workers, reported Bangkok Post.

But as with Malaysia's palm oil industry, Thailand may find the mission a tough order.

"They are jobs that Thai workers don't want to do," said Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin in a July interview with Reuters.

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Worker shortages across Southeast Asia may cause big delays in holiday shipping this year - Business Insider

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October 21st, 2021 at 1:49 am

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Stars of Tomorrow 2021: Chi Thai (producer) | Features | Screen – Screen International

Posted: October 10, 2021 at 1:56 am

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British-Vietnamese producer Chi Thai will shoot Paris Zarcillas debut feature, horror Raging Grace, this November in the UK. With inspirations including Get Out and Parasite, the film centres on an undocumented Filipina immigrant who lands a job that ensures a better life for her and her daughter, only to discover it will destroy everything she holds dear. Thai says the film will connect with any group thats been confronted with marginalisation or oppression from systemic forces.

To support Zarcilla while writing the script during the pandemic, Thai used money from the 2020 BFI Vision award for her company Last Conker. AMC-owned horror platform Shudder fully financed the film in April.

It is the latest step forwards for Thai in a career that kicked off at Leeds Northern Film School, where she graduated in 2001. She stepped away from the industry around the time of the 2007-08 recession, before returning a couple of years later with a real intensity after becoming a parent.

A passion for inclusion led to producing Kim Albrights 2016 short The Purple Plain, about the 13 women who underwent NASA astronaut training in the early 1960s. Matt Kays short doc Little Miss Sumo followed, about a female sumo wrestlers struggle against tradition and stigma. Netflix picked it up after it played at Tribeca 2019, releasing it in October that year.

The Promise, a 2020 animated short made for the BBC based on Nicola Davies and Laura Carlins book, was presented at Doc Societys Climate Story Lab, and launched in more than 1,500 UK schools. Her upcoming slate includes childrens animated series Me Jane with Irelands Cartoon Saloon, based on Patrick McDonnells picture book about UK primatologist Jane Goodall; plus Dark Chapter, adapted from Winnie M Lis Not The Booker prize-winning crime fiction.

This year Thai and cinema analytics executive Delphine Lievens published The Exclusion Act, a report indicating how the film industry is failing British East and Southeast Asians (BESEA). It found only 0.8% of British films in the last 10 years come from that diaspora. I want to work bigger, and with partners that help me do stories that centre on BESEA people, she says.

Contact: Chi Thai

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Stars of Tomorrow 2021: Chi Thai (producer) | Features | Screen - Screen International

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October 10th, 2021 at 1:56 am

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The Rescue Tests Murky Arthouse Waters: We Need To See Multiple Films Performing Well Specialty Preview – Deadline

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The Rescue, an arresting truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story of a Thai youth soccer team trapped in a remote flooded cave system, opens on five screens in NY/LA/Chicago this weekend in a specialty market waiting for audiences to wake up and see that theyre missing out, according to Ed Arentz, co-president of the docs distributor Greenwich Entertainment. And sooner rather than later hes counting on strong word of mouth to expand to 350-400 screeens next weekend.

A triumph at Telluride and Toronto, The Rescue has the reach of National Geographic (its a Nat Geo film) and pedigreed filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, the husband-and-wife team who won a Best Documentary Film Oscar for Free Solo in 2019.

That film followed a professional rock climber attempting the first free solo ascent of the famed El Capitans 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. The Rescue instead features a cast of hundreds assembled to help the Wild Boars soccer club led by a handful of eccentric amateur cave divers who performed the seemingly impossible. The 12 boys and their coach, hungry and sick and with monsoon rains about to flood their small air chamber, seemed irretrievable. Divers ultimately anesthetized and pulled them one by one over the course of three days through narrow, winding passages in pitch dark water to the cave mouth, each perilous foray taking two to three hours. Saving even one would have been considered a victory. They all made it. Deadline review here.

Jimmy and I, like many people in 2018, were living the story, the lows and the highs, said Vasarhelyi. How many different people came together. Both of us being Asian and having spent time in Thailand, we were tracking the story from the beginning.

Finding footage was a huge challenge. Many docs have lots of footage but no story. We had a great story but no footage, said Vasarhelyi. The duo gathered it piece by piece from divers GoPros and never-before-seen images they tracked to the wife of a Thai admiral. The rescues were re-created in part at Pinewood Studios with the original divers and deftly melded. When you see a child get initially anesthetized, that was real footage. Then they go underwater. Someone underwater, that is a re-enactment, she said.

Some 2,000 people attended a NYC premiere Tuesday night outside in Central Park.

Most filmmakers including us want the big screen and the theatrical experience, Vasarhelyi said. But more than anything, I want people to feel safe and do what they feel comfortable with. I am grateful for anyone who comes out to see the film.

That sums up a specialty market now, still awaiting the arthouse equivalent of Shang-Chi, Venom or Bond (is it The French Dispatch? The Tragedy of Macbeth?) and a return of its key older demo. Theres debate over whether the trouble is the product, the audience or the theaters. A still-shuttered ArcLight in L.A. is sorely missed, for example, but other arthouses were losing traction even pre-Covid.)

Mostly we need to see multiple films performing well and drawing from different segments of the audience, said Arentz. The past few months have seen maybe one decent holdover each weekend with everything else is left in the dust.

So the films keep coming. This weekends releases include A24s twisted Icelandic horror Lamb, from Cannes, in 500-plus theaters; Bleecker Streets well-reviewed drama Mass on four screens (two in NY and two in LA, adding Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston and Phoenix next weekend; and Aharon Keshales noirish Jason Sudeikis starrer South of Heaven.

Lamb, starring Noomi Rapace, follows a sad, childless couple in rural Iceland who make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn and face the consequences of defying the will of nature. This dark, atmospheric but also deadpan-funny folk tale is a debut feature from director Valdimar Jhannsson.

Mass, Fran Kranzs writing and directing debut, has two set of parents sitting down to talk years after an unspeakable tragedy a school shooting tore their lives apart. With Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd as the respective parents of the victim and the shooter, who took his own life, on a journey of grief, anger and acceptance.

In South of Heaven, after serving 12 years for armed robbery, Jimmy (Sudeikis) gets an early parole. Upon his release from prison, he vows to give Annie (Evangeline Lilly), his childhood love whos now dying from cancer, the best year of her life. If only it were that simple. From RJLE Films. In 19 theaters. With Mike Colter, Shea Whigham. Deadline review here.

Elsewhere in specialty, Hard Luck Love Song from Roadside Attractions is a gritty love story inspired by singer-songwriter Todd Sniders Americana hit Just Like Old Times. It follows Jesse (Michael Dorman), a charismatic, down-on-his-luck troubadour living in cheap motels and making bad decisions. He finds himself at an existential crossroads during a chance encounter with Carla (Sophia Bush), an old flame. Written and directed by Justin Corsbie.

Jacinta will premiere on Hulu and in select theaters. The doc landed first-time director Jessica Earnshaw the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award at the Tribeca Festival. It follows a young woman who struggles to find stability after years of addiction and reconnect with the daughter she left behind. Shot over three years, the film begins at the Maine Correctional Center where Jacinta, 26, and her mother Rosemary, 46 both recovering addicts are incarcerated together.

Knocking from Yellow Veil Pictures is Frida Kempffs Swedish horror thriller about a woman who, after experiencing a traumatic incident, is unnerved by a haunting knocking sound from upstairs in her new apartment building. Cecilia Milocco stars. Premiered at the Midnight section at Sundance.

Demigod from Gravitas, more horror. Miles Doleacs film follow a woman (Rachel Nichols) who travels with her husband (Yohance Myles) to Germanys Black Forestto collect her inheritanceafter her huntsman grandfather dies. A terrifying secret forces her to reckon with her familys past and a mysterious ritual she thought was the stuff of fairy tales.

Comedy Golden Voices from Music Box Films follows Raya (Maria Belkin) and Victor (Vladimir Friedman), who built career as the Soviet Unions most beloved film dubbers, translating the work of Federico Fellini and Stanley Kubrick into Russian over the decades. Upon the collapse of the USSR in 1990, the Jewish couple must emigrate to Israel and reinvent themselves, but opportunities for first-rate vocal performances are few and far between. Raya finds herself catering to a lonely Russian community as a phone-sex operator, while Victor falls in with a band of black-market film pirates from the VHS underground. Directed by Evgeny Ruman.

Ascension from MTV Documentary Films, shot at locations across China by Jessica Kingdon, explores the class divides exposed by the nations economic growth. It took awards for best documentary and best new documentary filmmaker at the Tribeca Festival.

The Gig Is Up by Shannon Walsh, from Gravitas, takes on the gig economy, bringing to light the often-harrowing stories of the countrys shadow workforce.

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The Rescue Tests Murky Arthouse Waters: We Need To See Multiple Films Performing Well Specialty Preview - Deadline

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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now – Reuters

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A health worker administers a test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a member of the public at the Bondi Beach drive-through testing centre during a COVID-19 outbreak lockdown in Sydney, Australia, October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

New Zealand drops elimination strategy

New Zealand on Monday abandoned its longstanding strategy of eliminating coronavirus amid a persistent Delta outbreak, and will instead look to live with the virus and control its spread as its vaccination rate rises.

The Pacific nation was among just a handful of countries to bring COVID-19 cases down to zero last year and largely stayed virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in mid-August frustrated efforts to stamp out transmission.

"With this outbreak and Delta, the return to zero is incredibly difficult," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference, in a major policy shift. read more

Australia sees outbreak levelling off

Australia's Delta outbreak appears to have levelled off, with more than half the country in extended lockdowns and vaccination rates starting to approach national targets, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.

Hunt said 80% of Australians will have had their first COVID-19 jabs this week, while the overall battle against the virus has been boosted by the arrival in recent days of 15,000 additional doses of treatment drug sotrovimab.

The Australian government wants all restrictions, including travel bans, to be lifted when 80% of the population above 16 is fully vaccinated. It expects that target will be reached in mid-November. read more

Indonesia's Bali to reopen to some foreign tourists

Indonesia will reopen its tourist island Bali for some international travellers, including those from China, New Zealand and Japan, from Oct. 14, senior cabinet minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday.

Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport will be open to foreign tourists from that date, with visitors required to quarantine for eight days at their own expense, Luhut told reporters. read more

Workers flee Vietnam's largest city

Tens of thousands of people, mostly migrant workers, left Ho Chi Minh City over the weekend as the largest metropolis in Vietnam eased a months-long lockdown, triggering fears of labour shortages and more disruption to manufacturing.

The mass exodus comes as the city and its nearby industrial provinces struggle to ensure sufficient workers to help revive the country's economy, which posted a record GDP slump in the third quarter due to COVID-19 curbs. read more

Thailand in talks for 200,000 courses of potential COVID-19 treatment

Thailand's government is in talks with U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co to purchase 200,000 courses of the company's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 treatment, a Thai official said on Monday.

Many Asian countries are scrambling to lock in supplies of the potential treatment early after they lagged behind Western nations in vaccine rollouts, hit by tight supplies.

South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia said they are all in talks to buy Merck's potential treatment, while the Philippines, which is running a trial on the pill, said it hopes its domestic study would allow access to the treatment. read more

Hungary's deaths rise to highest since start of fourth wave

Hungary's COVID-19 deaths and new infections jumped over the weekend to their highest level since the start of the fourth wave of the pandemic, government data showed on Monday.

Health authorities registered 1,492 new infections and 31 deaths over the past three days, bringing the total number of cases to 824,876 and deaths to 30,230 since the start of the pandemic.

Although the latest figures are still well below those registered during previous waves, the data reflects a slowly worsening trend. read more

Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now - Reuters

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‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’: Everything you need to know about the new Marvel movie | Gallery –

Posted: September 6, 2021 at 1:46 am

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By Topher Gauk-Roger 5:23am PDT, Sep 3, 2021

The 25th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will introduce viewers to a brand new superhero when it hits theaters on Sept. 3, 2021. Simu Liu stars as the titular character, who must confront the past he thought he left behind after hes drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The skilled martial artist is surrounded by an ensemble that includes Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung. rounded up everything you need to know about the latest entry in cinemas biggest franchise.

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RELATED: Stars attend the premiere of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings

Shang-Chi is a skilled martial artist who was trained to be an assassin by his father at a young age. He doesnt have a traditional superpower, but he has enough abilities to earn the nickname Master of Kung Fu. The character was inspired by the Chinese American character Kwai Chang Caine from the TV showKung Fu and was originally developed as an unparalleled hand-to-hand fighter who fought his fathers global criminal machinations as part of Britains MI6 intelligence agency. In the comics, Shang-Chi eventually gained the ability to create duplicates of himself and carried various pieces of Tony Stark-built tech. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Destin Daniel Cretton described the film version as afish-out-of-water and compared him to the character Will fromGood Will Hunting, whos a mixture of masculinity and vulnerability, noting that both characters had secrets and superpowers they do not understand. Star Simu Liu told Mens Health that Shang-Chis struggles with identity are the core of the character, rather than his martial arts skills.

RELATED: Marvel superheroes, sidekicks, antiheroes and Avengers ranked

Shang-Chi was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin and debuted inSpecial Marvel Edition #15in December 1973 after Marvel Comics failed to acquire the rights to adapt theKung FuTV show. Up to that point, the comic series had followed Thor and Nick Fury. Shang-Chi was originally modeled after Bruce Lee and, as the martial arts craze swept the U.S. in the 70s, Shang-Chi, from from 1974 to 1983, ran in a solo comic entitled The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu and enjoyed crossovers with other Marvel martial artists like White Tiger, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon. Hes one of the strongest non-superhumans in Marvel Comics and has been sought out by many other characters including Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine to help them strengthen their own hand-to-hand combat skills. The Shang-Chi comic book became massive in the 70s, but the Kung Fu craze died down in the 80s, and so did Shang-Chis popularity eventually relegating the character to occasional guest appearances. He made his way back into the spotlight as part of 2010sSecret Avengers series, eventually making it to the core Avengers team and the newAgents of Atlas. In anticipation of the film, Marvel debuted anew ongoing series in May 2021.

RELATED: Avengers stars: How their lives have changed over the years

The Ten Rings were originally established as the once-dormant international terrorist group that kidnaps Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie in 2008. Tony builds his first Iron Man suit while being held captive by them. Members of the organization include Shang-Chis father, Wenwu (aka The Mandarin). In the films trailer, Wenwu tells his son that throughout my life, the Ten Rings gave our family power, and the rings are shown as physical bracelets with eerie lights and some kind of superpower. The movie seemingly depicts Shang-Chis father as leader of the Ten Rings who attempts to bring his son into the fold. But our hero appears to be a on a journey to free himself from his evil destiny.

It was quite the journey getting Shang-Chi to the big screen, with attempts dating as far back as the 80s. During a 2018 interview with Inverse, former president and CEO ofMarvel Productions Margaret Loesch revealed that Stan Lee considered Bruce Lees son Brandon to play the role and met with the actor and his mother, Linda Lee,to discuss a potential movie or television series starring the character. Stan did believe in the character, Margaret said. He used that as an example of the comic that could transition into the movie and television world. Unfortunately, Brandon tragically passed away in 1993 at 28. Then in 2001, Blade director Stephen Norrington signed on to direct the film The Hands of Shang-Chi but was replaced by famed martials arts choreographer and director Yuen Woo-pingwhen the project moved to DreamWorks a few years later. After getting stuck in development, the rights to the character reverted back to Marvel and it was listed as one of many potential projects inits new film deal with Paramount Pictures. Marvel eventually signed a deal with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures before it could get made, which led to the current release schedule.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gave actor Simu Liu his breakout role. He was raised in Ontario, Canada, and worked as an accountant before eventually getting laid off. Simu then used his background in martial arts such as TaekwondoandWing Chun, as well as gymnastics, to pursue a career as an actor and stuntman. His first role was as an extra in the 2013 blockbusterPacific Rim, which led to small roles on TV shows like Nikita and Beauty and the Beast and a stunt-double gig on Heroes Reborn. He then nabbed lead roles on the acclaimed Canadian programs Blood and Water and Kims Convenience before Marvel gave him the chance of a lifetime in 2019: Simu petitioned for the role of Shang-Chi on Twitter in 2018 when the movie was revealed to be in development and it was announced duringComic-Con 2019 that hed landed the part.

Following her breakout turn in 2018s Crazy Rich Asians and her Golden Globe-winning work in 2019s The Farewell, Awkwafina makes her Marvel debut as Katy. Little is known about the character other than that she works as a hotel valet alongside Shang-Chi and is the heros closest confidant. That said, she doesnt know much about his history or his action-packed world of assassins and kung fu masters. The funnywoman told StyleCaster in 2020 that Katy is thrust into a world where she doesnt really know what to do. At the same time, shes discovering things about herself. Awkwafina also told Entertainment Weekly that the character doesnt do a lot of the heavy lifting. But at the end of the day, she has a real heart, and she has a loyalty and dedication to her friendship with Shang-Chi. Shes super brave. Katy isnt sourced from the comics and, based on her poster image, this original character might just know how to use a bow and arrows.

Michelle Yeoh is best known for her work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crazy Rich Asians and Star Trek: Discovery. She made her Marvel debut in 2017s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as space pirate Aleta Ogord. Now the Malaysian actress is taking on a new role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ying Nan, a guardian of a mythical city. Michelle told Collider that the films other characters come to her to learn how to protect history and to protect not just this world but the worlds that are around us from the demons that are locked away. So its magic, its reality, so many things happening and its a lot of fun.

Tony Leung is considered one of Asias most successful and internationally recognized actors. The Hong Kong-born star, whos best known for his numerous collaborations with legendary director Wong Kar-wai, makes his Marvel debut in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He stars as Wenwu, Shang-Chis father and the leader of the Ten Rings. Wenwu is a hybrid character for theMarvel Cinematic Universe, replacing Shang-Chis original comic book father, Fu Manchu. The character has many different names including The Mandarin which producer Jonathan Schwartztold Entertainment Weekly was due to audience expectations based on The Mandarins comic book history. He described Wenwu as a more complex and layered character than the comic book version. Director Destin Daniel Cretton explained to the outlet that Tony avoided Asian stereotypes and a one-dimensional portrayal by bringing humanity and love to the role.

Menger Zhang portrays Xialing, Shang-Chis estranged sister and Wenwus daughter. Menger is a relative newcomer and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marks her first big screen credit. Xialing is based on the comic book character Fah Lo Suee, who was raised to be The Mandarins right hand, but eventually attempts to subvert her fathers control by leaving the Ten Rings. In the film, Xialing is similarly estranged from her father and partners with her brother to take him down once and for all. Menger told Comic Book Resources that she underwent four months of training before shooting began, explaining, I didnt have any martial arts background. I did muay thai, tai chi and some weapons work. Theyre all hard but so much fun. She also called the role monumental, like a dream come true.

Andy Le has been revealed as the masked actor portraying the villainous Death Dealer. Its a huge moment for the star, who up until this point had worked as a stuntman and acted in small roles in The Paper Tigers and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. In the comics, Death Dealer is an MI6 double agent and one of Shang-Chis closest confidants who also betrays the hero and his sister by teaming up with their dad and becoming one of the Ten Rings deadliest warriors. The stories find the brutal fighter and Shang-Chi fighting to the death, with our hero coming out victorious. The films trailer keeps Death Dealers identity a secret, only showing them clad in a mask with red, black and white face paint. But given their origins, its safe to assume Wenwu will dispatch him to take down his son in a fight for power.

Florian Munteanu is a German Romanian actor, model and former heavyweight boxer whos best known for his role as boxer Viktor Drago, the son ofIvan Drago, in the 2018 sports dramaCreed II. Now hes taking on Shang-Chi as Razor Fist, a skilled martial artist andmercenarywith steel blades for hands. The villain is hired to assassinate Shang-Chi, and in the comics, he has a storied history with the Master of Kung Fu, having fought and been defeated by him multiple times. Razor Fist is also known for having served as a nemesis for numerous other Marvel heroes including Wolverine, Hawkeye and Elektra. The films trailer teases a a massive fight between Shang-Chi and Razor Fist aboard a San Francisco bus.

Ronny Chiengis a senior correspondent onThe Daily Show and creator and star of the sitcomRonny Chieng: International Student. The Malaysian comedianandactor had a breakout feature role as the over-ambitious Eddie Cheng in2018s Crazy Rich Asians before nabbing the part of Jon Jon in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Not much is known about the character other than that hes a close friend of both Shang-Chi and Katy. Well have to wait until the films release to find out if there is more to Jon Jon or if hell act as the storys comic relief.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The Hawaiian-born filmmaker worked at a group home for at-risk teenagers while attending film school. He then used both of those experiences to create the 2009 short film Short Term 12, which received acclaim when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It wasnt long before he moved into feature-length films, writing and directing the indie dramas I Am Not a Hipster and the theatrical adaptation of Short Term 12, which was nominated for multipleIndependent Spirit Awards and served as a breakout for Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson. Destin then directed the major studio films The Glass Castle and Just Mercy, both of which reunited him with Brie and received critical raves. In 2019, Marvel announced he would be helming his first blockbuster. He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that he wanted the departure to create a hero he could identify with. I grew up without a superhero to look up to, he told the outlet. I gravitated toSpider-Manwhen I was a kid, primarily because he had a mask covering his face and I could imagine myself under that mask. I would love to give my son a superhero to look up to. I feel very privileged to be a part of telling that story.

While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marks the title characters debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, elements of the story do have connections to previous films. Shang-Chis father in the movie is The Mandarin, a villain long teased in the Iron Man film series. He surfaced in 2013s Iron Man 3 as the leader of the Ten Rings before eventually being unmasked as a struggling British actor, played by Ben Kingsley, who was hired to play the villain in order to cover up the storys true antagonist, Aldrich Killian. As mentioned, the Ten Rings have also played a part in the Iron Man movies, starting with overseeing Tony Starks capturing in the first film, which prompted him to create the first Iron Man suit. He then spends much of that movie dismantling the organizations operations in the Middle East. The Ten Rings also appeared in the Marvel One-Shot shortAll Hail the Kingon theThor: The Dark WorldBlu-ray and in adeleted scenefromAnt-Man.

One of the biggest changes in the Shang-Chi film is an update to his famous parentage. In the comics, hes the secret son of the villainous Dr. Fu Manchu, a character whos also been steeped in racial stereotypes. Marvel Studios doesnt have the film rights for that character and its doubtful it wanted to unearth that problematic elements of the comics. Hence the character has been reconceived as known Marvel supervillain The Mandarin in the movie. The version of The Mandarin portrayed in Iron Man 3 was essentially a parody version of Fu Manchu, intact with all the same racist tropes. But Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige described Tony Leungs casting in 2019 as a chance for him to play the real Mandarin. As director Destin Daniel Crettontold Observer that same year,We are not looking to contribute anymore to the Asian stereotypes that we have seen both in cinema and pop culture. Were hoping to just show some different sides to both Asian Americans and Chinese Americans and Mainland Chinese characters. Tommy is such an incredible actor and Im excited to have him help us break some of those stereotypes because that villain could easily become a punchline.

Production on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings wasnt without its complications. Filming began in February 2020 but was put on hold in March due to theCOVID-19 pandemic. Work building sets for the film resumed at the end of July 2020, and by the next month, all cast and crew members had arrived in Sydney to begin shooting. Any cast and crew members returning to Australia from outside the country had to be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival before returning to work, according toAustralias guidelines. Shooting then moved to San Francisco and wrapped by October 2020. As a result of the pandemic, the films release date shifted multiple times, originally going from February 2021 to May to July and, ultimately, September. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universes previous entry, Julys Black Widow, Shang-Chi wont be released simultaneouslyin theaters and on Disney+. Instead, it will be in theaters exclusively for 45 days before being added to the streaming platform.

Following the success of 2018s Black Panther as well as repeated calls for more diversity and less Chris in Marvel movies, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is helping expand the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also breaking ground for Asian representation on a blockbuster scale. Star Simu Liu discussed the films significance with Entertainment Weekly, calling it a celebration of our culture while also pointing out that this is just one step in the battle forvisibility in media. Just because theres one Asian American superhero in the MCU, it does not by any means imply that our fight is finished right there, he told the outlet.When we dont have to celebrate every single win, I think well be a little bit closer to our goal, but until then, theres just so much left to do. Im ready to be in a position where I can effect real change, amplify voices and put people in positions to get stories told that wouldnt ordinarily get that opportunity. So, yes, all of that stuff Im ready for. It couldnt come fast enough, actually.

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The 16 Greatest Street Food Cities In The World (And Exactly What You Should Eat There) – BuzzFeed

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If you travel with your stomach first, add these cities to your bucket list.

BuzzFeed Staff

Traveling to Mexico City is an exercise in stamina for your stomach. Everywhere you go, the city wafts with the smells of flame-grilled meats and blue corn masa tortillas sizzling on the griddle, and just about every other block is lined with street carts and vendors dishing out everything from tlacoyos and tacos to tamales.

Seek outJenni's Street Quesadillasin the Roma Norte neighborhood for famous fresh blue corn tortillas smothered in melted cheese and squash blossoms (it'll only set you back about $1). And for the best esquites you've ever tasted, look for a nondescript little stand on a street corner by Reforma 222 shopping mall. There, you can fill up on a heaping cup of corn tossed with mayo, cotija cheese, lime, and chipotle pepper for less than 50 cents.

While you're in CDMX, make sure to sample al pastor tacos, thinly sliced marinated pork shaved from a spit and served with white onion, pineapple, and cilantro. While it's hard to go wrong at any taqueira, El Vilsito (Colonia Narvarte), Taqueria el Greco (Condesa), and El Turix (Polanco) are three top spots for pork-filled tacos.

Singapore is like two sides of a coin: on the one hand it's glitzy and pristine. but on the other it's chaotic and dazzling just look at the busy night markets filled with hawker stalls like the Chinatown Street Market. Singaporean cuisine is a blend of flavors and dishes from other countries: China, India, Malaysia, even Europe.

Prepare to eat lots and lots of rice, noodles, and seafood, but whatever you do, don't missHainanese chicken rice, char kway teow (stir fried, flat rice noodles),roti prata (a flaky fried bread served with butter) and laksa (noodles in creamy coconut broth).

At first glance, Paris might not be an obvious top street food city, but if you know where to look, the city offers everything from crpe stands to open air markets like the March des Enfants Rouges. In the heart of the old Jewish Quarter, LAs du Falafel doles out pita sandwiches stuffed to the brim with crispy falafel, fried eggplant and pickled vegetables, all smothered in tahini and spicy sauce.

Over in the 11th arrondissement, Chez Aline is home to some of the best sandwiches in the city simple combinations like jambon, feta, and pesto on freshly baked baguette. And in the Latin Quarter, you'll find life-changing savory and sweet crepes (around $5 a piece) from the tiny shop, Au P'tit Grec. And of course, a flaky croissant or freshly baked baguette from one of the city's many boulangeries is just as delicious as any fancy meal on earth, but if there's one spot to seek out it's Du Pain et des Ides located by Canal St Martin.

If you walk through Djema al Fna, Marrakesh's main square, around sundown, you'll be intoxicated by sights, sounds, and smells. There are snake charmers and monkeys, henna tattoo artists, storytellers, and stalls upon stalls of food selling fragrant spices, bowls of snail soup, fresh squeezed orange juice, and pyramids of sweet nuts coated in honey.

Other dishes includeharira, a traditional tomato and chickpea soupand tagine, a slow cooked stew of couscous, vegetables, and meat. But the crown jewel of Marrakesh's street food scene can be found inMechoui Alley where lamb is slow cooked underground for days at a time in clay ovens until it's tender, sprinkled withcumin and salt, and served with pita.

Taiwan is often overlooked, but it's an incredible destination with a sprawling urban city (Taipei) and lots of natural beauty (beaches, hot springs, and mountains, for starters). But if you visit Taiwan for one thing, it should be the food. Eating is a national past time, and you'll see that first hand if you visit one of the 30 night markets in Taipei alone.

Make sure to try Xiao Long Bao (the original Din Tai Fung is in Taipei and 10 plump soup dumplings will set you back about $5), eggs enveloped in scallion pancakes, spicy fried chicken tossed in salt, pepper, and basil leaves, and umami-packed beef noodle soup. If you're not sure where to begin, Nanjichang night market is a local favorite, while Ningxia and Raohe are two of the more manageable options for tourists just dipping their toes into Taiwanese street food culture.

If there's one city that could be crowned street food capital of the world, it might just be Bangkok. There's perhaps no other city where you could eat as well on a tight budget where tiny hawker stalls deserve Michelin stars (and in fact, many have them). But in a city that is home to over half a million street food stalls, it can be tough to choose where to eat.

At the street-side restaurantRaan Jay Fai, the eponymous female chef wears goggles as she cookscrab omelettes, stir-fries, and curries over a blazing flame. Then there'sKuay Jub Mr. Joe, famous for the crispiest pork belly in Bangkok ($4), which can be served over a piping bowl of noodle soup.Chakki, located in Bangkok's Chinatown, is the place to go for deep fried noodles with meat in a thick gravy. And of course there'sThipsamaifor what's commonly lauded as the best pad Thai in the city.

As soon as you touch town in Rio, you'll notice a different kind of energy, and this vibrance also manifests itself in the street food. The cuisine is a blend of African, European, and indigenous cultures, and you can find the iconic dishes at the Sunday markets, hole-in-the-wall shops, and carts along the busy streets to Ipanema and Copacabana.

Fill up on colorful aai bowls made with tropical fruits, po de queijo (a chewy, cheesy bread made of cassava flour), cod dumplings, pastis, and coxinha, deep fried pastries filled with shredded chicken and cheese.

It's easy to associate Berlin street food with dner kebabs and currywurst, but there's so much more to it. An extremely international city, Berlin's cheap eats are inspired by global cuisines and flavors all around the world. Just about every week, you'll find some new pop-up like Bite Club at Badeschiff and Street Food Thursday in Markthalle Neun, where eclectic vendors come together to sell drool-worthy dishes like gourmet burgers, tacos, tapas, and craft beer.

Then there's Thaipark, a decades-old tradition held on weekends during the warm weather months. You'll find over 100 Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian vendors cooking up food from their home countries like shrimp pad Thai ($6), sticky rice with mango ($2), and chicken satay skiewers ($2). And finally theres' Boxhagener Platz, a flea, farmer's and street food market where you can chow down on things like falafel, charcuterie, bruschetta and more.

When you think of Tokyo, you might be inclined to think of fine dining and expensive restaurants. And while you can easily blow a whole paycheck on an omakase meal, Tokyo is also heaven on earth for affordable, street food. The maze of streets and buildings that make up Tsukiji Market is a feast for all the senses, especially the stomach.

As you get lost in the alleys you'll pass ramen stalls (a heaping bowl will set you back about $5), shelves of fresh onigiri, vendors grilling skewers of chicken yakitori and thinly sliced wagyu beef over a flame, and tiny sushi bars where hungry locals sling back pieces of fatty tuna nigiri for breakfast. This is a microcosm for the whole city. Incredible food is everywhere you look. In fact, 7-Elevens on every street corner serve the best $2 egg salad sandwich you'll ever eat.

Mumbai is a melting pot of different cultures and flavors. Here, you can find not only international cuisines, but also regional dishes from Punjab and southern India to Goa. The city also never sleeps, which means delicious street food is available all the time, whether it's a hot cup of chai, crispy, pani puri, or chaat.

Make your way toKhau Galli, Mumbai's biggest and best neighborhood for street food, where every street offers something a bit different. On the block namedMahim Khau Galli there are rows of vendors grilling things likerotis with lamb and chicken tandoori. Nearby, Mohammed Ali Road is known for kebabs and biryani. AlongTardeo Khau Galli you'll findsamosas, vada pav (fried potato dumplings on a bun) and pav bhaji (mashed vegetable stew served on a bun).

Tel Aviv is known for its food, but in addition to great restaurants, you can eat extremely well for cheap in this vibrant beach city on the Mediterranean Sea. Walk through Shuk HaCarmel, the city's largest market where you can buy everything from olives and spices to halva.

Once you've tried a plate of the creamy hummus topped with whole chickpeas and paprika ($6) from Hummus Abu Hassan, you'll never be able to eat the store bought stuff again. At Levinsky Burekas try one of the famous Middle Eastern pastries plucked right from the oven, and of course, you'll want to get a falafel sandwich from HaKosem. Biting into one of the fluffy pitas filled with fried chickpea balls, chopped Israeli salad, and tahini is the true definition of a religious experience.

You can avoid high end restaurants entirely and still eat like a king in Shanghai, China's most populated city. The food stalls along Xiangyang Road are great for a quick breakfast of jianbing (egg crpes filled with veggies) and on South Yunnan Road Food Street you'll find tons of hot pot and noodles.

Huanghe Road is the dumpling capital: try thesmall, gently pan fried soup dumplings atYang's(4 pieces for around $3) and the more traditional, delicate crab xiao long bao atJia Jia Tang Bao.OnQibao Old Street, vendors sell all sorts of steamed buns and dim sum and inTianzifang, snack stalls on every black sell all of the best cheap eats like rice cakes, grilled meat skewers, and egg tarts.

Lagos is the most populated city in Africa. It's a fast-paced, constantly moving commercial hub with a thriving street food scene to match. Grilled spicy beef skewers called suya and akara delightfully greasy and crunchy fritters made from beans can be found on street corners throughout the city.

There's puff puff, a favorite West African snack that are similar to French beignets, and there are plantains that are roasted on hot charcoals and served with nuts. These snacks are even sold on busy roadsides and can be delivered right to your car window during rush hour.

The island of Oahu, home to the capital city of Honolulu, is the cultural hub of Hawaii. The cuisine is influenced by Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Hawaiian culture, and that's most obvious when you look at the affordable eats and snack foods served at roadside shacks and food trucks all across the island. Fuel up for the day on loco moco from Rainbow Drive-In.

For lunch grab a heaping portion of shrimp scampi over rice from Giovanni's Shrimp Truck or pop into Ono Seafood for a giant scoop of the freshest tuna poke you've ever tasted ($13). There's Ray's Kiawe Broiled Chicken, where huli chicken roasts over coals on in a parking lot. And of course, no trip to Oahu is complete without trying a fried spam musubi, a few aai bowls or a refreshing shaved ice.

You can't talk about Seoul without mentioning street food. A huge part of the culture in this culinary-minded city is the cheap food sold by tiny stalls on busy city streets and in crowded subway stations. The most famous spot for street food is Gwangjang Market, a traditional market where seemingly endless rows of carts sell everything from bindaetteok (mung bean cakes) to pajeon (savory vegetable pancakes) and kimbap (the Korean take on sushi rolls).

Myeongdong Street is the place to go for tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes that bathe in a pool of chili sauce, and there are several markets around the city like Tongin Market, Dongdaemun Night Market and Namdaemun Market where you can taste Seoul's iconic dishes like Korean fried chicken, mandu (dumplings), and small banchan style dishes.

In a country known for delicious food, Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is Vietnam's culinary jewel. In this wonderfully chaotic city where cooking and eating is a way of communicating and connecting, you can never be far from authentic, cheap, and most importantly, spectacular food.

On Vinh Khnh Street (seafood street), there are rows of outdoor grills cooking crabs, cockles, and sizzling seafood hot pot. In district 1, Ch Bn Thnh is an authentic market where you can sample all the classic dishes like spring rolls and banh mi, and more. Nearby, seek outBanh Xeo 46Afor savory egg crpes filled with shrimp and vegetables ($3) andPho Bo Vien, a hole-in-the-wall for quality pho.

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The 16 Greatest Street Food Cities In The World (And Exactly What You Should Eat There) - BuzzFeed

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September 6th, 2021 at 1:46 am

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Delta variant is ravaging the world but it’s pushing Southeast Asia to breaking point – CNN

Posted: August 10, 2021 at 1:54 am

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Frustrations among citizens forced to endure yet more curbs on their freedoms and ability to work are reaching boiling point -- and protests against their governments' handling of the outbreaks have broken out in Malaysia and Thailand. Meanwhile, Myanmar is on the verge of collapse as a February military coup and ensuing bloody crackdown has shattered the health system and vaccinations have completely stalled.

While wealthier countries, like the United Kingdom and Singapore, are seeing renewed outbreaks, they have fully vaccinated more than half of their populations. Comparatively, Vietnam has fully vaccinated less than 1% of its population, Thailand around 5%, the Philippines 7.2%, and virus epicenter Indonesia 7.6%, according to Our World in Data.

More than a year and a half into the pandemic, the more contagious Delta variant is exposing the weaknesses of nations with low vaccine rates, even if they previously had control of the virus.

Perhaps nowhere in Southeast Asia is that flip more evident than in Vietnam.

But since late April, Vietnam has reported a sharp increase in Covid-19 infections. On Wednesday, Vietnam reported 7,623 new cases, down from 8,620 on Sunday with most new infections in Ho Chi Minh City, the Health Ministry said. In total, Vietnam has confirmed 177,813 cases, more than 85% of those were reported in the past month alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Of Vietnam's 2,327 deaths, about half were reported in the past month.

The government has imposed strict lockdowns in the capital, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City to try to curb further spread and Covid treatment centers have been set up to accommodate more patients.

But the outbreak has put pressure on the government to increase its vaccine supply and ramp up inoculations. So far, only 0.6% of Vietnam's 96 million population has been fully vaccinated, according to JHU.

Of its 354 million reported cases since the pandemic began, 1.2 million were recorded in the past month, according to JHU. On Wednesday, Indonesia surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths, becoming only the second country in Asia to do so. On Wednesday, 1,747 fatalities were reported by the Health Ministry and 35,867 cases.

If the spread continues unabated, experts say it could push Indonesia's health care system to the brink of disaster. Some fear the situation may be worse than the numbers show, because not enough people are getting tested for the virus. One local survey found that nearly half of the 10.6 million residents of the capital, Jakarta, may have contracted Covid-19.

The country is suffering a health crisis, with hospitals stretched to their limits, full cemeteries expanded to hold the Covid dead, and exhausted health care workers.

Experts say Indonesia is now reaping the costs of not implementing strict lockdowns nor investing enough in efficient contact-tracing systems.

Despite a national lockdown, Malaysia has also seen an exponential rise in cases and deaths, with the outbreak forcing a month-long suspension of Parliament.

Anger among the people is mounting. Hundreds broke coronavirus restrictions to protest in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, over the weekend against the government's handling of the outbreak and called on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign. Following the suspension of a special sitting of the legislature on Monday due to Covid, opposition lawmakers marched toward the Parliament building also demanding Muhyiddin's resignation.

Frustration over the mounting deaths, vaccine rates and economic pain is exacerbated by Malaysia's current political crisis, in which Muhyiddin's government appears on the verge of collapse after taking control of the ruling coalition following elections last year.

Last week, thousands of overworked Malaysian doctors went on strike over conditions in hospitals, saying they have been pushed to the brink, as beds and ventilators run low.

The protest came as total Covid cases in Malaysia surpassed 1 million with the country reporting its highest number of daily infections. On Wednesday, Malaysia reported a new record number of cases, with 19,819 new infections, according to the Health Ministry, up from about 7,000 a month ago. Covid deaths are also at record levels, with 257 reported on Wednesday.

Malaysia's vaccine rates have improved in the past month, especially compared to its regional neighbors. About 22.5% of people in Malaysia are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to Our World in Data.

Although it was the first country to report a Covid-19 case outside of China in January last year, Thailand kept its infection numbers low in 2020 thanks to successful containment measures.

This year, however, it is facing a much bigger challenge. After containing a second wave that started last December, Thailand is struggling to curb a third wave of infections that has pushed daily caseloads and death tolls to unprecedented levels. On Wednesday, Thailand reported a record high in daily confirmed cases, with 20,920 infections -- the second day of reporting over 20,000 cases, according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Thailand also recorded 160 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 5,663.

"We may be unable to reduce the rate of infection just yet, but we hope to ease the bed situation in Bangkok and slow down the death rate," Supat said.

On Tuesday, Thailand extended its national lockdown until the end of the month to slow the rising cases. Now, 29 provinces have been placed under the strictest protocol, meaning 40% of the country's population will be under lockdown, according to CNN's calculation of data from the CCSA.

Prolonged economic pain and fears of rising Covid fatalities are taking a toll on Thai citizens. There was public outcry after several bodies were found on the streets of Bangkok and left lying on the road for hours before an ambulance retrieved them.

And thousands of people joined anti-government protests across the country on Sunday, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, whose government has been heavily criticized for its handling of the pandemic.

Thailand is aiming to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year. But according to data published by the CCSA, 23% of the country's 70 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 5% are fully vaccinated.

On Thailand's border, Myanmar is collapsing under the double crisis of pandemic and military coup. There is a desperate oxygen shortage in the country, with families of the seriously ill queuing for oxygen or frantically searching online for Covid treatments.

Residents are choosing to self-treat at home, doctors say. If they do go to hospital they are often turned away as the facilities are running out of oxygen, treatments and beds, and there's not enough staff to care for patients, they said. The United Nations estimates only 40% of the country's health care facilities are still able to function.

Reported daily cases in Myanmar have risen from about 100 in early June to about 5,000 a day, with the total confirmed infections at 315,118, according to the World Health Organization. Myanmar has also reported 10,373 deaths.

Last week, Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward warned that half of Myanmar's 54 million people could be infected with Covid-19 in the next two weeks.

Adding to the trauma, those in the country say the military, which seized power in February, is wielding the Covid crisis against the people and as infections and deaths climb, the junta is escalating its attacks on doctors and health care workers, many of whom went on strike to protest the coup and have been forced into hiding to evade arrest.

CNN's Kocha Olarn in Bangkok, Masrur Jamaluddin in Jakarta, and Joshua Berlinger, Nectar Gan, Jessie Yeung, Sophie Jeong and Meenketan Jha in Hong Kong contributed reporting.

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Delta variant is ravaging the world but it's pushing Southeast Asia to breaking point - CNN

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Special train takes Covid patients home to northeastern Thailand – The Thaiger

Posted: July 27, 2021 at 1:59 am

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Today, Special train No. 971 took 137 Covid patients to various northeastern Thai provinces. The Special train left from the Rangsit railway station.

A cabinet resolution earlier in the month decreed that the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public health were to arrange transportation to bring Covid patients back to their home provinces. Both ministries were ordered to cooperate with the National Health Security Office and the National Institute of Emergency Medicine.

The Special train is supposed to let patients off at Nakhon Ratchasima around 1:30 pm. Then, it will stop at the Buri Ram station an hour and half-ish later. Next, it will drop more patients off at the Lam Chi station in Surin about 40 minutes later. Then, it is on to the Nong Waeng station in Si Sa Ket about 20 minutes after 5 pm. Finally, it is scheduled to arrive at the Warin Chamrap station in Ubon Ratchathani around 6 pm.

The Covid patients are to be collected at the station by local health officials. From the station, they will be taken to hospitals.

A different, but still Special train, was supposed to depart from Bangkok yesterday with nearly 1,500 Covid patients bound for home. However, the train was cancelled when officials discovered Sunday that the patients had made other transportation arrangements. Todays train took the Covid patients that were unable to secure a non-special form of transportation. Officials cited insufficient passengers to make yesterdays train practical

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Special train takes Covid patients home to northeastern Thailand - The Thaiger

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July 27th, 2021 at 1:59 am

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HCMC receives 25 tons of vegetables from overseas Vietnamese – sggpnews

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According to Mr. Le Ba Linh, a Vietnamese Thai who is Chairman of Pacific Foods and member of the Vietnam-Thailand Friendship Association, the 25 tons of agricultural products were transported by an express boat from Song Thuan Wharf in Tien Giang Province to Bach Dang Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Cao Thanh Binh, Head of Department of Society and Culture of the HCMC Peoples Council said that the HCMC Peoples Council and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City will distribute the goods above to localities, field hospitals and isolated areas in Thu Duc City and 21 districts.

At the same time, they will send essential goods to beloved kitchen, zero dong market in the city. This is very meaningful and precious support for HCMC residents amid the current complicated Covid-19 pandemic.

On the same day, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City received 18 containers of vegetables, fruits, dried-fishes and essential goods from the Central province of Ha Tinh to support front-line forces at field hospitals and residents in lock-downed, isolated areas to prevent and control the pandemic in 21 districts and Thu Duc City.

By Manh Hoa, Hoai Nam- Translated by Huyen Huong

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HCMC receives 25 tons of vegetables from overseas Vietnamese - sggpnews

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HCMC supplies foods, essential items to households in blocked areas – sggpnews

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A vegetable handcart donated by benefactors arrived at the gate of the People's Committee of Nhon Duc commune of Ho Chi Minh Citys Nha Be District at 9 PM on July 23.

After a long day of work, officials in the commune had to unload and sort out vegetables so that they can deliver these goods to poor people in the blocked areas and rental houses.

According to Nguyen Phuong Toan, Chairman of Nhon Duc Commune People's Committee, administrators and staff members have done the work during prolonged social distancing. Since the city implemented Directive 12 of the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, the commune administrators had to work hard to hand essential goods over to residents.

Elsewhere in the city, District 7 reported 87 restricted areas and medical isolation areas with 13,800 inhabitants. District 7 Party Secretary Vo Khac Thai said the district has directed administrators in wards to prepare rice and instant noodles to provide to households, ensuring supplies of food in 14 days.

Along with that, the locality also distributed vegetables, fruits, and eggs donated by benefactors to each household in the quarantined area, medical isolation every three days.

The district in coordination with Co.op mart and Bach Hoa Xanh systems organized mobile vehicles to supply fresh food for blocked and medical isolation areas in the first seven days of implementing Directive 12. Women's groups will announce lists of available food items through Zalo groups summarizing each households demand of food, then deliver food to the doors of each household.

Authority in District 11 where has 128 blocked zones set up a hotline so that dwellers who need to buy something can phone to order essential items. After that, youth volunteers in the District will pick up goods at supermarkets and deliver to residents in blocked areas. Chairman of District 11 People's Committee Tran Phi Long said that the district set up a hotline for food and food supply for people, in addition to buying goods to help people.

Similarly, residents in District 1 can place orders of food through an app on their smartphones meanwhile the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in District 6 where has 88 blocked zones with more than 1,000 people also receives donations of food to distribute to locals. Last but not least, many unions and departments of District 6 have shopped to help people in restricted areas.

Meanwhile, Chairwoman of the District 6 People's Committeealso said that the district's community Covid-19 teams both reminded people to strictly observe the social distance rule and understood dwellers difficulties for timely support. The district also provided boxes of lunches to people in rental houses every day.

Le Thi Bac, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Thu Duc City, said that to ensure supplies of goods, Thu Duc City called up more volunteers. On average, Thu Duc City supports each family with five kilograms of rice weekly. Particularly, vegetables and fruits will be distributed to residential areas, ensuring people have fruits and vegetables during these days. The government in Thu Duc City will deliver ready-to-eat meals to public houses where lonely elderly people and people with disabilities are residing.

Furthermore, Thu Duc City will give each difficult household one gift including necessities and cash, medical treatment worth VND800,000 each. As of July 23, Thu Duc City has approved to spend more than VND1.8 billion to support approximately 2,300 households.

By staff writers - Translated by Anh Quan

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HCMC supplies foods, essential items to households in blocked areas - sggpnews

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