Republic of South Africa Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Acquisitions LLC (RSAMMDA.LLC) Completes Acquisition of Protext Mobility, Inc. (TXTM)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Republic of South Africa Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Acquisitions LLC (“RSAMMDA.LLC”) is pleased to announce it has closed on the acquisition of Protext Mobility, Inc (OTC PINK: TXTM) (A.K.A. Protext Pharma) in a share exchange whereby 100% of capital stock in RSAMMDA.LLC will be exchanged for Preferred Stock in Protext. RSAMMDA.LLC. is a jointly owned company focused on acquistions with two principals, Mr. Dylon Du Plooy and Dr. Ahmed Jamaloodeen (“Dr. J”) who represent the South African business entities of RSAMMD and Leeds Boerdery. RSAMMD is a South African pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of medical cannabis and cannabinoids. Leeds Boerdery, controlled by Dr. J, owns the 5000 Hectacre New Castle Farm as well as federally issued cannabis and hemp licenses issued by the Government of South Africa. RSAMMD management have taken over the daily operations of Protext headed by Mr. Du Plooy as CEO and Director, and Dr. Jamaloodeen as President and Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Dylon Du Plooy, Protext CEO and Principal of RSAMMD.LLC, commented, “This transaction has been a long time in the making. For the past couple years we have been focused on building our operations in South Africa and globally, where have built an extensive infrastructure and global cannabis/hemp business. During this period of time, we have invested heavily in building a significant cannabis/hemp operation to facilitate complete seed to sale, R&D, global off-take agreements for end product as well as all the extraction infrastructure needed to create what we believe to be some of the highest quality hemp and cannabis on the planet. In South Africa right now, we have just completed our semi-annual grow. RSAMMD in Joint Venture with Leeds Boerdery, cultivated hemp and cannabis crops this past season on a combined 1000+ hectacres. All of this is done under federally issued permits and licenses to grow, import/export hemp and cannabis, as well as research permits for conducting testing of final products for human consumption and medicinal benefits.”

Dr. Jamaloodeen, Protext President and Chairman, commented, “We are excited about this transaction and taking Protext to the next level. We believe there to be numerous synergies to incorporate the Protext proprietary live plant extraction technology and processes into our existing infrastructure. We envision adding other assets into the operations of Protext, including our off-take agreements and present sales, with the goal of uplifting exchanges in the future. As previously announced, Protext and RSAMMD jointly worked together and conducted a series of tests on live cannabis to prove out that the Kettle system and extraction technologies did what they were supposed to do. We look forward to discussing this further as well as our upcoming operational plans.”

“Over the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing our immediate term road map and long-term plans we are developing for Protext which should translate into increasing shareholder value. These plans include adding other valuable assets to the company which complement the core business, and executing on commercializing the proprietary live plant extraction technology as well as deploying our crypto platform, with a TXTM token which we are excited to rollout very soon,” concluded Mr. Du Plooy.

CONTACT INFORMATION
For all media inquiries or for further information, please contact
Dylon Du Plooy at: dylon@rsammd.co.za
Dr.J at: exportintl@aol.com

About RSAMMD
RSAMMD Acquisitions LLC is a jointly owned business of RSAMMD, a South African pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of medical cannabis and cannabinoids, and Dr. J, who operates the 5000 Hectacre New Castle Farm as well as the federally issued cannabis and hemp licenses. Together, we partner with leading hospitals and universities globally to advance the clinical benefits and applications of cannabinoids.

RSAMMD’s founders are a group of medical doctors and pharmacists, and cannabis activists who have been at the forefront of medical cannabis legislation and South African cannabis legalization, which took place in September 2018. We are committed to the advancement of technology and scientific research that leads to an improved quality of life for patients around the world.
Please visit www.rsammd.co.za for further information.

About Protext (OTC PINK: TXTM)
Through previously disclosed acquisitions, Protext has engaged in the research, testing and commercialization of highly bioavailable botanical products all-natural ingredients formulated for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications through the use of proprietary live plant extraction technology.

Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, we can give no assurance or guarantee that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by the use of words like “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend,” or “project” or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous factors and uncertainties, including but not limited to: adverse economic conditions, competition, adverse federal, state and local government regulation, international governmental regulation, inadequate capital, inability to carry out research, development and commercialization plans, loss or retirement of key executives and other specific risks. To the extent that statements in this press release are not strictly historical, including statements as to revenue projections, business strategy, outlook, objectives, future milestones, plans, intentions, goals, future financial conditions, events conditioned on stockholder or other approval, or otherwise as to future events, such statements are forward-looking, and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. The company disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement. This press release shall not be deemed a general solicitation.

Philips to repurchase up to 3.2 million shares to cover long-term incentive and employee stock purchase plans

June 13, 2022

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced that it will repurchase up to 3.2 million shares to cover certain of its obligations arising from its long-term incentive and employee stock purchase plans. At the current share price, the shares represent an amount of up to approximately EUR 68 million.

The repurchases will be executed through one or more individual forward transactions, expected to be entered into in the second and/or the third quarter of 2022, in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation and within the limits of the authorization granted by the company’s General Meeting of Shareholders on May 10, 2022. Philips expects to take delivery of the shares in 2024. Further details will be available via this link.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Zwirs
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 6 1521 3446
E-mail: ben.zwirs@philips.com

Derya Guzel
Philips Investor Relations
Tel.: +31 20 59 77055
E-mail: derya.guzel@philips.com

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

Forward-looking statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of Philips and certain of the plans and objectives of Philips with respect to these items. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements made about the strategy, estimates of sales growth, future EBITA, future developments in Philips’ organic business and the completion of acquisitions and divestments. By their nature, these statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances and there are many factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements.

Philips announces positive three-year clinical research results from its Tack Optimized Balloon Angioplasty (TOBA) II below-the-knee (BTK) clinical trial

June 13, 2022

  • For below-the-knee arterial dissection repair following balloon angioplasty, innovative medical technology shows sustained treatment effect and positive impact on quality of life for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI)
  • First and only FDA-approved device of its kind demonstrates consistently high rates of target limb salvage (93.9%) and freedom from clinically-driven target lesion revascularization (69.6%)

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the latest results from the Tack Optimized Balloon Angioplasty (TOBA) II below-the-knee (BTK) clinical trial, demonstrating that the Philips endovascular system – Tack (4F) – the first and only device of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), provides a sustained treatment effect and positive impact on quality of life for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), a severe stage of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), out to three years of clinical follow-up.

CLI occurs when an obstruction in an artery severely reduces blood flow, causing painful wounds, debilitating rest pain, recurring ulcers and life-threatening infection. If left untreated, 50% of patients with CLI will undergo an amputation or die within the first year [1].

The TOBA II BTK trial studied the safety and efficacy of post-angioplasty dissection repair using the Philips Tack endovascular system in patients with CLI and infrapopliteal disease. The Tack endovascular system is a unique specialized implantable device to optimize the treatment of dissections in patients with CLI. Endpoints included rates of major adverse events, target lesion revascularization (TLR), target limb salvage (TLS) and quality of life (QoL) metrics.

“Based on 36-month follow-up in the TOBA II BTK trial, which is following 233 patients at 41 sites internationally, the Tack endovascular system offers a new standard in repairing below-the-knee arterial dissections,” said co-principal investigator George Adams, M.D., director of cardiovascular and peripheral vascular research at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., and clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who presented the results to hundreds of interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons at the New Cardiovascular Horizons (NCVH) conference in New Orleans, USA, on June 2.

Adams added: “The device stands to significantly benefit patients with CLI whose treatment with balloon angioplasty often leads to this particular complication, which typically goes untreated and unaddressed, to the detriment of long-term clinical outcomes.”

The three-year analysis of TOBA II BTK results includes the following clinical insights on the Tack endovascular system:

  • 93.9% target limb salvage in CLI patients at three years
  • 69.6% freedom from clinically-driven target lesion revascularization across all patients at three years
  • Sustained improvement in established clinical classification systems including the Rutherford clinical category and hemodynamics in ankle- and toe-brachial indices
  • Sustained improvement in patient-reported quality-of-life and mobility measures

“In treating peripheral arterial disease below the knee with balloon angioplasty, dissections of the popliteal, tibial and peroneal arteries occur with considerable frequency,” explained Chris Landon, business leader of Image Guided Therapy Devices at Philips. “With the Tack endovascular system from Philips, interventionists can reliably repair below-the-knee arterial dissections – and in doing so, improve major amputation rates and quality of life.”

Philips has previously reported data from the TOBA II and III studies, which evaluated the Tack endovascular system for superficial femoral and proximal popliteal artery dissection repair following uncoated balloon angioplasty and/or drug-coated balloon (DCB) angioplasty. These multicenter, global and European studies demonstrated that the use of the Tack endovascular system resulted in overwhelming dissection resolution following uncoated or DCB angioplasty.

  • In TOBA II, which involved uncoated and drug-coated balloons, dissection repair with the Tack System resulted in 89.6% and 86.5% 12-month primary patency (uncoated balloon group) and freedom from CD-TLR
  • In TOBA III, which involved drug-coated balloons, dissection repair with the Tack endovascular system resulted in 95.0% and 97.5% 12-month primary patency and freedom from CD-TLR

There were no major adverse events reported through 30 days in either study.

Together, the TOBA II, TOBA III and TOBA II BTK trials support the safety and efficacy of the Tack endovascular system for post-PTA dissection repair in above- and below-the-knee arterial disease. The 36-month TOBA II BTK data reported at NCVH adds to the robust body of clinical evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of the Tack Endovascular System in both vessel beds.

Philips Tack endovascular system is currently available for sale in the USA and some EU countries. Further information, including safety information, is available here. The system is part of the company’s peripheral vascular portfolio, which includes advanced interventional imaging systems for precision guidance including Vascular Suite on its Image Guided Therapy System – Azurion; intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheters to assess the location of the disease and lesion morphology and guide and confirm the treatment; peripheral atherectomy devices to remove blockages; sculpting balloons to prep the vessel; and peripheral therapy devices, such as Philips’ Stellarex drug-coated balloon, to treat lesions.

[1] Hirsh AT, Jaskal ZJ, Hertzer, et al. ACC/AHA 2005 guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): executive summary a collaborative report from the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Develop Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease) endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Society for Vascular Nursing; TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus; and Vascular Disease Foundation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Mar 21;113(11):e463-654.

For further information, please contact:

Joost Maltha
Philips Global Press Office
Tel: +31 610 558 116
E-mail: joost.maltha@philips.com

Fabienne van der Feer
Philips Image Guided Therapy
Tel: + 31 622 698 001
E-mail: fabienne.van.der.feer@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

Attachments

mai welcomes packaging printing service provider STP on June 14

Bangkok, Market for Alternative Investment (mai) will list

Sahathai Printing & Packaging pcl, a manufacturer and printing service provider

for paper packaging and all kinds of printed materials, on June 14, under the

ticker symbol “STP”. The company has a market capitalization at its initial

public offering (IPO) of THB 1.80 billion (approx. USD 52.17 million).

mai President Prapan Charoenprawatt said that STP would list and start trading

on mai in Industrials industry group.

STP provides packaging printing services using offset printing system for

packaging made of paper supplied by the company or customers and all kinds of

printed materials. The company offers one-stop services starting from developing

and designing packages, producing high quality plates, printing up to 12

colors, to providing post-printing services as required by customers, such as UV

coating, silver and gold foil stamping, and corrugating and die-cutting.

The company’s large-scale clients consist of manufacturers of export-oriented

products in food and beverages, medical supplies, and consumer goods. In 2021,

packaging products made of paper supplied by the company accounted for 94

percent of total revenue, and services and other revenue made up 3 percent each.

STP’s current factory is located on a 25-rai land plot on a 30-year leasing

contract in Ladlumkaeo district, Pathum Thani province (north of Bangkok), with

expiration date on August 31, 2049. The plant has an annual production capacity

of 49.7 million printed sheets.

STP has a registered paid-up capital of THB 100 million, consisting of 74.60

million existing common shares and 25.40 million newly issued shares, with a par

value of THB 1.00 each. It offered 17.99 million newly issued shares to persons

under the underwriters’ discretion, 2.50 million shares to institutional

investors, 3.81 million shares to its patrons, and 1.10 million shares to its

directors, executives and employees on June 2, and 6 – 7, 2022, at THB 18 each,

for a total of THB 457.20 million. The IPO price was equivalent to

price-to-earnings ratio of around 15 times. The earnings per share is equal to

THB 1.22, which was calculated based on the company’s net profit of THB 122.30

million in the past 12 months (from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022), divided by

fully diluted shares. KGI Securities (Thailand) pcl is its financial advisor

and Asia Plus Securities Co., Ltd. is the lead underwriter.

STP Chief Executive Officer Suranai Rojwongcharas said that the has the

experience and expertise in packaging printing business for more than 50 years

with focus on quality services and world-class production process catering to

customers’ needs, as such gaining customer trust and confidence continuously.

The proceeds arising from the fundraising will be used to invest in factory

expansion and additional machinery, and as working capital.

STP’s major shareholder after IPO is the Rojwongcharas family (74.60 percent).

STP’s dividend policy is to pay no less than 40 percent of net profit after tax

from the company’s separate financial statement of each period, and after legal

reserves and those required by the company’s regulations.

Source: The Stock Exchange of Thailand

Durian is Thailand’s top export earner, outranking rice and rubber

Thai durian has outranked rice and para rubber as Thailand’s top export performer, with export volume last year estimated at about 187 billion baht, compared to 100 billion baht for rice exports and 90 billion baht for rubber, according to the Centre for International Trade Studies at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Director of the Centre Assoc. Prof. Dr. Att Pisarnvanich said that, in the next five years, Thailand is likely to retain its position as the world’s leading durian exporter, but its export market share may shrink from 85% to 76%, due to stiff competition from both Vietnam and Malaysia.

He said Thai durian still has good export potential, especially to China, which is the main export market for Thai durian, but it may face increased challenges, such as quality, increased production, labour shortages and price controls imposed by Chinese wholesale buyers in Thailand.

Increased transportation costs also pose a new challenge, according to President of the Thai Fresh Fruit Traders and Exporters Association Sanchai Puranachaikhiri.

He disclosed that the shipping rate for one cargo container has recently risen from US$2,300 to about US$9,000 and land transport for each container has increased from 80,000 baht to 250,000 baht.

The price of Thai durian sold to China between now and 2026 is likely to increase to about 417 baht/kg for the Mon Thong strains, based on the price at Guangzhou’s Jiangnan fruit and vegetable wholesale market, which is the largest market of its kind in China, if China imports more than 15% of Thailand’s output. Ex-farm prices are likely to increase from 121 baht/kg this year to 149 baht/kg in next five years, according to the UTCC centre.

Due to the attractive price of durian, many farmers in Thailand’s north-eastern provinces have migrated from other crops to durian in the past ten years, with land used for durian cultivation increasing six fold since 2011. About 80% of farmers in Thailand’s eastern region have cleared their land of rubber trees and now grow durian instead, resulting in a fivefold increase in durian output.

According to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, export of durian to China, from the eastern region alone, between February and June 5th this year, amounted to 433,809 tonnes, compared to 425,000 tonnes for the same period last year.

In Chanthaburi province alone, 91% of this year’s crop has been harvested, of which 87% has been exported.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

SET partners with maiA on reforestation as part of Care the Wild: “Plant & Protect” project

BANGKOK, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), in collaboration

with mai-listed Company Association (maiA), the Royal Forest Department, and

communities, reforests 91 rais under SET-led collaborative Climate Action, Care

the Wild: “Plant & Protect” project, in Ban Wiang sub-district of Rong Kwang

district, Phrae province in the northern part of Thailand. The initiative is to

rehabilitate the ecosystem in the upstream forest area, create food sources, and

generate income for 390 community households, leading to balanced development

and co-exist with communities and environment in a sustainable way.

SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai said that SET has rolled out the Care the

Wild “Plant & Protect” project since the year 2020 as a platform of

collaboration among the business, the government, the social sectors and

communities to build sustainable reforestation. This can be carried out by

‘planting’ trees to expand forestland, ‘protecting’ the forest by promoting

community participation in forest maintenance, and embracing forests via the

governance mechanism of transparent information disclosure. The ultimate aim is

to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cope with climate change, and solve

environmental problems, in accordance with SET’s vision: ‘To Make the Capital

Market Work for Everyone’.

“SET and maiA have jointly raised fund for planting 18,200 trees on 91 rais, of

which 25 rais have been reforested by SET and the remaining 65 rais by

mai-listed companies, in the community forests of Ban Oi and Ban Boon Roeng

villages in Ban Wiang sub-district of Rong Kwang district, in Phrae province.

The expected results are that the 91-rai reforestation will annually absorb

greenhouse gases amounting to 163,800 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents,

and rehabilitate the ecosystem in the upstream forest area. Moreover, the

project will benefit 390 households or about 1,300 people who can grow

agricultural products for consumption and commercial purposes, generate income

and add value to develop the area in to an ecotourism destination creating

community empowerment in the long run,” added Pakorn..

maiA President Trisorn Volyarngosol said that mai-listed companies have

continuously cooperated with one another as a network to exchange viewpoints

and experiences to drive sustainable business growth. In addition, maiA has

participated in SET’s various environmental projects aiming to create business

models that enable business organizations of all sizes to jointly solve social

and environmental problems for the wider and more effective outcomes.

Currently, the Care the Wild “Plant & Protect” project has expanded the

forestatiobn altogether for a total of 145 rai in six provinces across various

regions: Chiang Rai and Nan in the North; Maha Sarakham in the Northeast; and

Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi and Phetchaburi in the Central Plains. Interested

organizations are welcome to take part in this effective reforestation.

Source: The Stock Exchange of Thailand

Diesel up by another ?1 per litre, to ceiling of ?35, effective June 14

Thailand’s Fuel Fund Executive Committee decided today (Monday) to increase the diesel price by another one baht per litre, to 34.94 baht, effective tomorrow, the fourth rise since May 1st and almost reaching the ceiling price set at 35 baht/litre.

Director of the Oil Fuel Fund Office (OFFO) Wisak Watanasap explained that global oil prices increased to US$172.77 per barrel on June 10th, up from US$158.29 per barrel on June 2nd, as a result of increasing oil demand in the United States, driven by labour market improvements in May and the relaxation of lockdowns in China, which has spurred the resumption of business activity.

Wisak said that the global oil price increase has prevailed, despite the fact that OPEC has increased oil production for July and August by 648,000 barrels a day.

He said, however, that the government has been trying, through the use of the Oil Fuel Fund and through excise tax cuts, to slow the price increases of diesel, to ease the impacts on consumers.

For every one baht increase in the diesel price at the pump, the government is subsidising it by another one baht, as agreed by the cabinet on March 22nd, said Wisak.

As of yesterday, the Oil Fuel Fund is 91.089 billion baht in the red.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Oral Update on the High Commissioner’s report on the central role of the State in responding to pandemics and other health emergencies, and the socioeconomic consequences thereof, in advancing sustainable development and the realization of all human right

Mr President, Excellencies,

In this third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, divergent economic recoveries, intersecting with other challenges such as climate change, growing inequalities and raging conflict, continue to have devastating impacts.

The need for international solidarity to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines remains pressing. While more than 11.8 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally, just under 18% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

Several countries are experiencing or are just coming out of a COVID-19 resurgence and restrictions to civil and political rights remain in many others.

Many low- and middle-income countries are still in the throes of severe debt distress – unable to prioritise the protection of rights and the provision of public services due to escalating debt and debt repayments.

The International Labour Organization reports that only 46.9 per cent of the global population were effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 53.1 per cent – as many as 4.1 billion people – were left completely unprotected. Only 26.4 per cent of children globally receive social protection benefits, with the great majority lacking effective coverage.

Excellencies,

My report presented to you at the 47th session, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 44/2, responded to a request for a needs assessment, particularly for developing countries, to support their efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in responding to pandemics and other health emergencies, and the socioeconomic consequences thereof, in advancing sustainable development and the realization of all human rights.

Among the report’s key recommendations are better resourcing of economic, social and cultural rights; upholding the rule of law and civil and political rights; strengthening health systems; ensuring access to vaccines without discrimination; protecting the marginalised; and ensuring universal health coverage and universal social protection.

Across the globe, I welcome the positive developments we are starting to see in some of these areas. For instance, Malawi, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States expanded their social assistance programmes by introducing cash transfers targeting those who are typically excluded, such as informal workers, freelancers and the self-employed, including people working in the gig economy.

Some countries have also changed eligibility rules for social protection programmes with a view to extend their coverage. Brazil expanded eligibility criteria regarding minimum income thresholds, to include the number of children and the members’ health status. For its part, Lesotho increased the amount provided through its child grant programme, which is an unconditional cash transfer given to households living in vulnerable situations.

Other countries, such as Argentina and Bolivia have moved towards more progressive taxation systems thereby expanding the fiscal space available to respond to the pandemic.

And the ongoing negotiation of a WHO instrument on pandemic preparedness, response and recovery is another opportunity. With the lessons of the pandemic fresh in our minds, I encourage the International Negotiating Body and the World Health Assembly to ensure the meaningful contribution of rights holders to that process, as well as civil society, community-led organisations, and other human rights advocates.

My Office has also strengthened its cooperation with Member States, United Nations Resident Coordinators and country teams, National Human Rights Institutions and civil society to provide advice on human rights-based socioeconomic responses. We contributed human rights analysis and advice to UN Common Country Analyses and Cooperation Frameworks and contributed to National Development Processes.

My Office has also been advocating for effective measures that comply with international human rights standards to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, reduce inequalities and provide non-discriminatory access to public health services.

And through the Surge Initiative, my Office has analysed international and national economic policies and measures, including the impact of sanctions and debt distress, stimulus packages and sectoral interventions. From Chile to Guinea Buissau, Sudan, Tanzania and Timor Leste, among others, we have worked on building disaggregated datasets and methodologies to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those who are left behind.

OHCHR field presences worldwide have also supported Member States, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions in implementing the country-specific guidance provided by the human rights mechanisms, relating to a number of the issues reflected in the recommendations of the Report.

We also continue monitoring, reporting and addressing emerging human rights challenges during the pandemic, including states of emergency, restrictions on public freedom, new forms of surveillance and data collection, women’s rights, and incidents of racism, discrimination and xenophobia, with a particular focus on people in vulnerable situations.

Mr President,

Full and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from the reality for the majority of people around the world.

As we emerge from the devastating consequences of a global emergency, one of the most crucial lessons we have is that we need to put people at the centre of our efforts. Let’s all commit to doing that.

Thank you.

Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Police seize over 20 cherry bombs at Bangkok’s Din Daeng intersection

Bangkok police have seized more than 20 homemade cherry bombs under the Din Daeng expressway intersection overpass and in nearby areas, believed to have been hidden there by hard core anti-government protesters for use against the police.

Officers from the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit, the 191 special patrol and operations unit and Din Daeng district police, with the help of sniffer dogs, combed areas under the expressway for more weapons which might have been hidden there.

Besides the explosives, police have also uncovered many glass pellets and disposable lighters since Saturday.

Anti-government protesters, including members of the hardcore Talugas group, held a protest march, from the Democracy Monument to the Victory Monument on Saturday, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. It is the first such protest after several months of hiatus.

The police kept a close watch on the protest, but did not attempt to stop it as the protest was peaceful and orderly.

In the evening of Saturday, however, the Talugas protesters split away and headed for Din Daeng intersection, which was the scene of almost daily street fights between the group and the police last year.

The protesters fought a running battle, during which police arrested one protester and a police patrol car was torched when the protest ended late at night.

Protests by the same group occurred on Sunday evening, with the hurling of firecrackers and pyrotechnic flares and the firing of glass pellets, using slingshots, at the police. Two police officers were slightly injured.

Police are standing by today (Monday) at Din Daeng intersection in case the protesters converge there again.

Deputy Spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen said yesterday that they have to enforce the law against violent protesters strictly, claiming that there were more than 250 violent protests last year.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also warned youths among the violent protesters to think about their futures, saying that, when they get caught by the police, they will be charged and prosecuted, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service