Thailand Expects On 'Magic Pill' to Raise Birth

Thailand has tried everything to raise the declining birthrate. Starting from providing cash bonus, to tax incentives. But on Valentine's Day this year, the Thai government is trying a new way of sharing vitamin pills.

As in many other Asian countries, the elderly population in Thailand is increasing rapidly. The birth rate fell sharply to 1.5 children per woman by 2015, from more than 6 children per woman in 1960, according to World Bank data

In Bangkok, health workers distributed folic acid and iron pills in colored boxes yellow, to attract couples to prepare for pregnancy. The pills are accompanied by a brochure containing an explanation of how to lead a healthy life to soon have a baby.

Previous relationships and sexuality are taboo subjects to talk about. But the behavior has changed and the Thai people have dealt with this issue more openly. Nevertheless, Thai health experts have to discuss more about the process of pregnancy and birth, if the government wants to raise the population.

With China, Thailand has a high proportion of elderly people compared to other developing countries in East Asia, World Bank data show . Thailand's population is expected to begin to decline by 2030, leading to economic problems such as shortage of labor and the number of taxpayers shrinking as the working-age population shrinks.

Various ways that the government launched are not very successful in boosting the birth rate, just like the neighboring countries Singapore, one of the countries with the lowest birth rates in the world. Experts say the financial incentives offered by the government have not been able to cover the true cost of raising a child.

 Health workers distribute pre-pregnancy vitamins to couples in celebration of Valentine's Day, in Laksi District, Bangkok, Thailand, February 14, 2018 .

Health workers distribute pre-pregnancy vitamins to couples in Valentine's Day celebrations, in Laksi District, Bangkok, Thailand, February 14, 2018.

The birthrate in Thailand in 2015 is 1.5 births per woman, below 2.6 births in Cambodia and 2.1 in Malaysia. Experts say that if Thailand wants the population to grow, birth rates should reach 2.1 births.

There are many reasons to explain the decline in the birth rate in Thailand, from rising living and work costs, to population shifting from agricultural activities, which require much (19659002) Some have accused the success of free condom campaigns in the early 1990s, aimed at combating HIV / AIDS, as the cause of reduced births.

"From 1970 to 1983, the average 1 million Thai babies are born every year. After that, the birth rate starts to fall. Now only a little over 700 thousand babies are born each year, "Kasem Wetsutthanon, director of the Metropolitan Health and Wellness Institution, told Reuters.

Kasem accused the change in views of the traditional family as the cause of the decline in birthrate

" Now, many who thinks a child has a burden. "

Nalin Somboonying, 27, the mother of a four-year-old said some felt they needed to collect the price of things before starting to build a family.

" I think now people people want to be ready first. They feel they must have a house, a car, before they have children, "he told Reuters.

Satta Wongdara, 31, who took the pills at a kiosk at Lak Si in Bangkok, blamed long working hours.

"People now work more, so they do not have many children," Satta told Reuters.

However, Kasem said he hoped the pills, which he called the 'magic pill' could make Thais think twice about pregnancy.

"We want people to have more children." [fw/au]

US Secretary of State Expects Diplomacy to Prevent North Korea's Nuclear Threats

Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson on Tuesday showed a different tone regarding North Korea. He said that America is ready to hold its first meeting with Pyongyang "without pre-requisites." But the US diplomat chief also said there needs to be a quiet period, with no nuclear tests and additional missiles before the talks can begin in earnest.

Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson seems to revive hope for a diplomatic solution to the impasse with North Korea over the country's nuclear program and missile tests. The statement was made in a speech at a forum on Korea at the Atlantic Council, a research institute in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

"We are ready to talk whenever North Korea wants to speak, and we are ready to hold the first meeting without prerequisites. we meet and let's talk about anything if we want We can talk about the preferred form of meeting, "said Rex Tillerson.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in recent months, including in late November Pyongyang claims that the American mainland is now within range of its missiles, raising fears of a possible nuclear war disaster on the Korean peninsula Tillerson said that talks can only begin once the missile test is halted.

"If there is a requirement for talks then it is worth noting that it will be difficult talking, if in the middle of the conversation they decide to mengu ji try another device; it would be difficult to negotiate if in the middle of the conversation, they decided to fire the missiles again. So, I think they clearly understand that if we are going to speak, we must have a quiet period, "he explained.

Although he chose what he called" peaceful pressure, "Tillerson said that harsh sanctions and other acts could only succeed because the American military is fully prepared to act if diplomacy fails. He also acknowledged that China has taken steps to prepare for the entry of North Korean refugee masses in the event of "instability" in North Korea.

For years, China's policy towards North Korea has been prioritized to maintain stability in the country. Beijing fears the collapse of the Pyongyang regime will lead to the entry of North Korean refugees. Media reports say China's Changbai District government is now building refugee camps in preparation for North Korean migrants fleeing the possibility of a crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Hours after Tillerson's Foreign Minister's statement put aside the offer of talks without pre-conditions

"The President's view of North Korea has not changed," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "North Korea acts rashly not only against Japan, China and South Korea but also for the whole world North Korea's actions are bad for any country and certainly not good for North Korea," he added.

At United Nations -Bangsa, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told reporters that his visit to Pyongyang last week was "constructive and productive."

He met Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Vice Foreign Minister Mr. Myong Guk Feltman that he did not ask for a meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Feltman said that he urged them to signal Pyongyang's readiness to consider willingness to discuss possible negotiations but did not get commitment from those North Korean officials. [lt/uh]

Apple CEO Expects Forbidden Apps in China to Be Re-Allowed

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday he is optimistic that a number of banned computer applications under China's strict Internet law will eventually be restored.

Speaking at a business forum in southern China, Cook also denies criticism who protested his performance a few days earlier at an internet conference promoting Beijing's view of internet censorship.

Cook's appearance on Sunday at the Chinese-organized World Internet Conference attracted criticism from many US activists and politicians. They say Apple should do more to counter China's restrictions on the internet.

Cook says he strongly supports freedom but also assumes that foreign companies need to comply with local regulatory authorities in which they operate.

Cook said he did not care to be criticized for cooperating with China because he believes a change may happen if companies operate rather than take a dodge and then shout protest. [ab/uh]