Blackbird.AI Launches Global Alliance Program to Bring Narrative & Risk Intelligence to Top Social and Media Technology Partners

Leading Narrative and Risk Intelligence Company Makes Cutting-Edge Analytics Platform Available to Partners Around the World

NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Blackbird.AI, a global leader in AI-driven narrative analytics and risk intelligence, is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Alliance Program to provide the capabilities of its world-class solutions to a network of partners comprised of market leaders in data science, social and broadcast intelligence, risk management & consulting.

“I’m thrilled to announce the first group of partners in what is going to be an extremely exciting ecosystem we are building. With these best-in-breed companies we will be bringing our solutions to market in such a transformational and innovative way,” says Matt Alario, Head of Partnerships at Blackbird.

“Blackbird’s Global Alliance Program is helping power the next generation of information risk assessment. The ever-changing threat information ecosystem requires purpose-built technology to surface a new class of previously undetectable threats,” said Wasim Khaled, CEO and co-Founder, Blackbird.AI. “We are excited to have an incredible group of market leaders that will provide our joint customers enhanced threat and risk management.”

The launch partners below will focus on introducing the Blackbird.AI Constellation Platform to new markets and open up new unique solutions to service Global 2000 corporations, institutional investors, the public sector, and the media.

Meltwater, the global leader in media and social intelligence, in partnership with Blackbird will enable brands and organizations to better understand and analyze emerging narratives and potential risks across news and social media.

“Meltwater is excited to partner with Blackbird. By combining their technology and our best-in-class global data set, we will enable our largest and most sophisticated customers to better manage their brand risk by understanding the key narratives that are having the biggest impact on the conversation surrounding their company in the news and across the entire social web. Whether it’s helping our customers better synthesize changing trends in real-time, or being able to provide comprehensive post-event analysis, the coupling of our data and Blackbird’s AI models and visualizations will provide unparalleled insights to customers,” said Johnny Vance, VP of Partnerships and Business Development, Meltwater.

Talkwalker, a Forrester Leader in Social Analytics & Consumer Intelligence provider partnering to extend Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation (MDM) detection and analytics to leading brands and agencies.

Kinetiq, the leading broadcast intelligence platform, brings the first MDM discovery to the world of TV, Radio, and Broadcast Monitoring.

“Kinetiq is excited to partner with Blackbird to incorporate Blackbird’s AI models like Narrative Discovery, Sentiment, Topic Extraction & Risk Intelligence to new data sources such as Broadcast & Podcast. Our organizations will be working closely to integrate key elements in an effort to create a first-to-market offering that produces deeper qualitative metrics for audio mentions and content segments,” said Doug Pollack, VP Business Development, Kinetiq.

Nichefire, a leading consumer and marketing insights solution providing foresight into business’s most important questions providing bespoke data science and predictive analytics.

“We’re very excited about this partnership. An alliance between Blackbird.AI and Nichefire means the next steps to innovation in narrative intelligence. Our patent-pending trends prediction engine will be able to plot the trajectory of emerging cultural trends over six months into the future. And with the power of Blackbird.AI, we’ll be able to help our customers understand how misinformation and disinformation are impacting those trends,” said Michael Howard, CEO & Co-Founder, Nichefire.

In the coming weeks, Blackbird will be announcing additional partners that will focus on solutions in the public sector as well as best-in-class data partners.

For more information on joining Blackbird.AI’s Partner Global Alliance Program, please visit https://www.blackbird.ai/alliances

About Blackbird.AI

Blackbird.AI helps organizations detect and respond to narrative manipulation and online risk that causes reputational and financial harm. Powered by their exclusive AI-Driven Narrative & Risk Intelligence Platform, Fortune 500s and governments can proactively monitor perception and reputation in real time. Blackbird was founded by a team of experts from artificial intelligence, behavioral psychology, and national security, with a mission to defend authenticity and fight narrative manipulation. Recognized by Forrester as a “Top Threat Intelligence Company”, the Blackbird Signals Framework is an industry benchmark. For additional information, please visit: www.blackbird.ai.

Media Contact:
Albert Stichka
albert@elkordyglobal.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8731702

Spryker เป็นผู้นำการเปลี่ยนแปลงทางดิจิทัลให้กับแบรนด์บริการสระว่ายน้ำแฟรนไชส์ที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในโลก

Poolwerx ได้เลือก Spryker เพื่อเชื่อมต่อประสบการณ์ทางออนไลน์และในร้านค้าเข้าด้วยกันผ่านโซลูชันการตลาดแบบผสานรวมทุกช่องทาง

บริสเบน ออสเตรเลีย, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Spryker ซึ่งเป็นแพลตฟอร์มชั้นนำสำหรับ Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce และ Unified Commerce ได้ประกาศว่าได้รับเลือกจาก Poolwerx ซึ่งเป็นแบรนด์บริการสระว่ายน้ำแฟรนไชส์ที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในโลกและเป็นแบรนด์บริการสระว่ายน้ำอันดับ 1 ของออสเตรเลียให้เป็นผู้นำในการแปลงโฉมทางดิจิทัล Poolwerx กำลังร่วมมือกับ Spryker เพื่อเชื่อมต่อประสบการณ์ดิจิทัลกับร้านค้าปลีกของแบรนด์ และทำให้สามารถค้าขายได้ทั่วทั้งเครือข่ายของแบรนด์

หัวใจสำคัญของการเปลี่ยนแปลงนี้คือการยกระดับประสบการณ์ให้กับลูกค้า พันธมิตรของแฟรนไชส์ และทีมงานของ Poolwerx ผ่านการใช้ความสามารถทางการตลาดอันเป็นเอกลักษณ์ของ Spryker เพื่อมอบพอร์ทัลอีคอมเมิร์ซลูกค้าใหม่ พอร์ทัลพันธมิตรของแฟรนไชส์เพื่อจัดการผลิตภัณฑ์และคำสั่งซื้อของตน และพอร์ทัลผู้ดำเนินการเพื่อมอบการมองเห็นและความสามารถในการปฏิบัติงานในทุกสภาพแวดล้อมและทุกช่องทาง

“เราต้องการระบบที่ช่วยให้เราสามารถสร้างสรรค์สิ่งใหม่ๆ อย่างรวดเร็วและปรับตัวให้เข้ากับทุกอย่างที่จะเกิดขึ้นในอนาคตได้ ไม่ว่าจะเป็นการเปิดใช้งานสระว่ายน้ำอัจฉริยะผ่านความสามารถในการจัดการข้อมูล IoT หรือการสร้างช่องทางการขายใหม่ผ่านความสามารถในการสั่งงานด้วยเสียง สถาปัตยกรรมแบบเสาหิน (Monolithic Architecture หรือสถาปัตยกรรมที่รวมทุกส่วนเอาไว้ในสภาพแวดล้อมเดียวกันและใช้ฐานข้อมูลเดียวกัน) ก่อนหน้านี้ของเรานั้นไม่สามารถก้าวไปได้เร็วพอ และทำให้เราสร้างวิธีแก้ปัญหาที่ไม่ถูกจุดและไม่คู่ควรกับผู้ใช้ของเรา” Shannon O’Brien หัวหน้าเจ้าหน้าที่นวัตกรรมและเทคโนโลยีของ Poolwerx กล่าว “ในโลกปัจจุบันนั้น ความคาดหวังด้านประสบการณ์ของผู้ใช้กำลังก้าวไปเร็วกว่าที่เคยเป็นมา ทีมงานและลูกค้าของเราต้องการระบบที่ไม่เกะกะ และช่วยให้ทำสิ่งที่ต้องการได้ง่ายขึ้น เร็วขึ้น และดีขึ้น หากคุณทำเหมือนคนอื่นๆ คุณจะเป็นแค่คนธรรมดา แต่ถ้าคุณทำสิ่งที่ไม่มีใครทำ คุณจะกลายเป็นคนพิเศษ Spryker ช่วยให้เราก้าวไปสู่ความพิเศษนั้นได้เร็วขึ้น”

Spryker จะเชื่อมต่อระบบที่ก่อนหน้านี้ไม่ได้เชื่อมต่อเข้าด้วยกันทั่วทั้งร้านค้าปลีก บริการ และหลังบ้านโดยใช้แนวทางที่ให้ API เป็นแกนหลัก ซึ่งจะช่วยให้ Poolwerx สามารถดูและจัดการทุกอย่างได้อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพจากพอร์ทัลการดูแลระบบเดียวที่ Spryker จัดหาให้ ทีมค้าปลีกและช่างเทคนิคบริการสระว่ายน้ำจะได้รับข้อมูลที่ถูกต้องอย่างทันท่วงที และพันธมิตรของแฟรนไชส์จะได้รับการยกระดับความสามารถทางธุรกิจอย่างมีนัยสำคัญ สิ่งสำคัญที่สุดคือ ลูกค้าจะสามารถรับประสบการณ์แบบรวมทุกช่องทางที่เชื่อมต่อกันโดยสมบูรณ์และใช้งานง่าย จึงสามารถใช้เวลาเพลิดเพลินไปกับสระว่ายน้ำได้มากขึ้นและกังวลน้อยลง

Poolwerx กำลังมองหาโซลูชันการค้าขายที่สามารถรวบรวมข้อมูลต่างๆ จากระบบที่ไม่ได้เชื่อมต่อกัน ด้วยระบบจัดการลูกค้า การจัดการคำสั่งซื้อ และอีคอมเมิร์ซของ Spryker จึงทำให้ Poolwerx สามารถมอบประสบการณ์การค้าที่ทันสมัยที่สุดในอุตสาหกรรมสระว่ายน้ำทั่วโลกได้

“ทั้งทีมงานและผมตื่นเต้นกับการออกแบบโซลูชันการตลาดแบบรวมทุกช่องทาง ที่ปรับแต่งให้ตอบสนองความต้องการทางธุรกิจของเราโดยใช้สถาปัตยกรรมแบบไม่มีหัว (headless architecture หรือแยกส่วนหน้า [ส่วนติดต่อผู้ใช้ – UI] ออกจากส่วนหลัง [ตรรกะทางธุรกิจ]) ของ Spryker โอกาสต่าง ๆ ที่การออกแบบนี้มอบให้กับประสบการณ์การค้าขายโดยรวมนั้นไม่มีที่สิ้นสุด” O’Brien กล่าว “เรามีแผนงานระยะยาวที่ต้องทำตาม แต่เรามั่นใจว่าจะส่งมอบได้แม้แต่เวิร์กโฟลว์ที่ซับซ้อนที่สุดโดยใช้แพลตฟอร์มแบบประกอบร่างได้ของ Spryker”

“ความมุ่งมั่นของ Poolwerx ในการแปลงโฉมทางดิจิทัลทำให้บริษัทเป็นผู้นำในตลาด และการได้เป็นพันธมิตรกับ Spryker ก็เป็นแค่ก้าวต่อไปในการเดินทางสู่ประสบการณ์การค้าขายแบบประกอบร่างได้โดยสมบูรณ์เท่านั้น แพลตฟอร์มแบบไม่มีหัวของ Spryker สร้างขึ้นมาเพื่อการค้าขายอันซับซ้อนในแบบที่ธุรกิจระดับโลกของ Poolwerx เกี่ยวข้องด้วยโดยเฉพาะ” Chris Gourvelos ผู้จัดการฝ่ายขายอาวุโสประจำภูมิภาคเอเชียแปซิฟิกของ Spryker กล่าว “อีกไม่นานลูกค้าของ Poolwerx จะสามารถซื้อสินค้าได้ทุกที่ ทุกเวลา บนทุกอุปกรณ์ ทีมสนับสนุนของ Poolwerx จะมองเห็นทุกแง่มุมของการปฏิสัมพันธ์กับลูกค้าได้อย่างสมบูรณ์แบบ ด้วยระยะเวลาส่งมอบบริการตามความต้องการที่รวดเร็วและมีความยืดหยุ่นในการปรับตัวให้เข้ากับตลาดที่แตกต่างกัน Spryker ตั้งตารอที่จะร่วมมือกับ Poolwerx เพื่อบรรลุเป้าหมายเหล่านี้ และช่วยเพิ่มขีดความสามารถด้านการค้าขายและประสบการณ์ดิจิทัลโดยรวมไปพร้อมกัน”

Poolwerx และ Spryker จะนำเสนอที่ NRF 2023 ในวันที่ 17 มกราคม เวลา 14:45 น. ที่ Level 1, Expo Stage 1 การสนทนาข้างกองไฟที่มีชื่อว่า “ไม่สู้ก็ตาย: Poolwerx กำลังพลิกโฉมอนาคตการค้าดิจิทัลด้วย Spryker อย่างไร” จะดูวิธีการที่ผู้นำในอุตสาหกรรมทำการแปลงโฉมทางดิจิทัลให้ธุรกิจแฟรนไชส์ที่ซับซ้อนซึ่งเติบโตอย่างรวดเร็วด้วยแพลตฟอร์มแบบประกอบร่างได้โดยสมบูรณ์และสิ่งอื่นนอกเหนือจากนั้น

เกี่ยวกับ Poolwerx
Poolwerx คือแบรนด์บริการสระว่ายน้ำแฟรนไชส์ระดับโลกที่ใหญ่ที่สุด Poolwerx ก่อตั้งขึ้นโดย John O’Brien ซีอีโอและผู้ประกอบการชาวออสเตรเลียในปี 2535 และเติบโตขึ้นจนมียานพาหนะให้บริการกว่า 630 คันและร้านค้า 170 แห่งในออสเตรเลีย นิวซีแลนด์ และสหรัฐอเมริกา

Poolwerx มีรายได้หลายช่องทาง ไม่ว่าจะเป็นลูกค้าประจำ การแข่งขันที่จำกัด มีความมั่นคงในภาคบริการตามบ้านที่กำลังเติบโต อีกทั้งยังเป็นผู้นำด้านเทคโนโลยีอีกด้วย นอกจากนี้ Poolwerx ยังให้ความสำคัญกับการสอนทักษะทางน้ำเพื่อช่วยชีวิตผ่านโครงการประจำปีของชุมชนที่ชื่อว่า Responsible Pool Person และ Learn2Swim Week โดยร่วมมือกับ Kids Alive สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม กรุณาเยี่ยมชม www.citadelmagnus.com

เกี่ยวกับ Spryker
Spryker เป็นผู้นำในแพลตฟอร์มการค้าแบบประกอบร่างได้สำหรับองค์กรที่มีรูปแบบธุรกิจที่ซับซ้อนเพื่อสร้างการเติบโต สร้างนวัตกรรม และสร้างความแตกต่าง เพราะออกแบบมาเพื่อธุรกิจธุรกรรมที่ซับซ้อนโดยเฉพาะ โมเดลของ Spryker ที่ใช้งานง่าย ไม่มีหัว และให้ API เป็นแกนหลักจึงนำเสนอแนวทางที่ดีที่สุดซึ่งมอบความยืดหยุ่นแก่ธุรกิจในการปรับตัว ขยายขนาด และเข้าสู่ตลาดได้อย่างรวดเร็ว ในขณะเดียวกันก็อำนวยให้มีระยะเวลาส่งมอบบริการตามความต้องการที่เร็วยิ่งขึ้นตลอดเส้นทางการแปลงโฉมทางดิจิทัล ในฐานะผู้นำแพลตฟอร์มระดับโลกสำหรับ B2B และ B2C Enterprise Marketplaces, Thing Commerce และ Unified Commerce นั้น Spryker ได้เสริมความแข็งแกร่งให้แก่ลูกค้าองค์กรแล้วกว่า 150 รายทั่วโลก และได้รับความไว้วางใจจากแบรนด์ต่างๆ เช่น ALDI, Siemens, Hilti และ Ricoh Spryker ได้รับการยอมรับจาก Gartner® ให้เป็น Visionary ใน 2022 Magic Quadrant™ สำหรับ Digital Commerce และยังได้รับการจัดอันดับให้เป็น Strong Performer ใน The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Solutions เมื่อไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2565 อีกด้วย Spryker เป็นบริษัทเทคโนโลยีเอกชนที่มีสำนักงานใหญ่ในกรุงเบอร์ลินและนิวยอร์ก

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Hotjar Welcomes Three New Executives to Support Next Phase of Global Expansion

The company appoints senior executives with experience from Uber, Zendesk and Stuart as it sets its sights on continued product growth and development.

Featured Image for Hotjar

Featured Image for Hotjar

NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hotjar, the leading Product Experience Insights platform, welcomes three new seasoned executive hires to its team. Celine Maher, Mattia Santin and Marta Abalos are taking on roles leading revenue, marketing and the people and culture teams, respectively. Their appointments will help fuel Hotjar’s continued growth and momentum to help drive customer empathy with qualitative and quantitative analytics.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Celine Maher, Mattia Santin and Marta Abalos to the Hotjar team,” said Mohannad Ali, CEO of Hotjar. “Their combined expertise and experience in marketing, customer experience, and culture will help us drive forward the global growth we want to accomplish for our products and people as we continue to scale. We are thrilled to have these new leaders on board during this key stage of growth.”

Hotjar’s appointments include:

Celine Maher joins Hotjar as the first Chief Revenue Officer and will lead the growth, expansion and success of Hotjar’s customer base alongside the sales, customer success and support teams. With over 16 years of focusing on go-to-market strategy and delivering excellent end-to-end customer experience, Maher will help Hotjar elevate customer value, bring new and old perspectives into its product maturity and uncover new revenue streams. Prior to joining Hotjar, Maher worked at Zendesk and New Relic where she led strategies focused on product-centric led growth across the EMEA market for commercial and business development.

Mattia Santin is the newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer at Hotjar. He will lead Hotjar’s global marketing strategy and vision. Santin will focus on scaling the demand generation engine, continuing to develop a distinctive brand and building long-lasting relationships with existing customers. He will also work closely with Hotjar’s product and revenue teams on defining Hotjar’s road maps and driving cross-functional projects to grow the business. Previously, Santin served as the CMO for two scale-up businesses, Atida and Leavy, and as Uber’s Head of Media for EMEA. He comes to Hotjar with over 15 years of experience across eCommerce, retail, mobility, travel and healthcare.

Marta Abalos is now Hotjar’s VP of People & Culture overseeing the People and Culture team. Abalos will work to foster a diverse and healthy workforce as Hotjar continues to expand. Her career includes more than 10 years of experience improving people processes and talent development in growing organizations, spending the past seven years at Stuart as their VP of People & Talent. During her time there, she led the team responsible for expanding a company from 40 people in two countries to 800 people in six countries, while ensuring a consistent employee experience with strong company culture and values. Abalos will help Hotjar build the foundations for this next wave of growth ensuring Hotjar has the resources and tools to provide the best employee experience to current and new employees.

Currently, customers in more than 180 countries utilize Hotjar’s capabilities. Most recently, Hotjar announced the acquisition of PingPong, officially renaming it to Hotjar Engage during the tail end of 2022. These executive hires across revenue, marketing and people teams will be instrumental in the business growth and expansion during a time of increased personalization in marketing tools. As customers and the market evolves, Hotjar is gearing up to ensure customers can continue to empathize with their audience online.

About Hotjar

Hotjar enables product teams to have empathy with their end-users and deliver value by making the right product improvements, fast. Its Product Experience Insights software is used on more than 1.1 million websites worldwide and its unique mix of quantitative and qualitative data is driving product decisions in over 180 countries. Hotjar was founded in 2014 and has always been a fully remote/distributed company. Today, Hotjar has over 350 team members across 48 countries within Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Contact Information:
Aneska Alino
hotjar@meetkickstand.com

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OTC Markets Group Announces the 2023 OTCQX Best 50

NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM), today announced the 2023 OTCQX® Best 50, a ranking of the top-performing OTCQX companies in the prior calendar year.

The OTCQX Best 50 is an annual ranking of the top 50 U.S. and international companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market, based on an equal weighting of one-year total return and average daily dollar volume growth. Companies in the 2023 OTCQX Best 50 were ranked based on their performance during the 2022 calendar year.

“We congratulate the 2023 OTCQX Best 50 companies on being able to outperform their peers in a year of difficult market conditions,” said Jason Paltrowitz, OTC Markets Group EVP of Corporate Services. “This year’s roster represents the breadth of industries and geographies that contribute to the diverse range of OTCQX-traded securities.

2023 OTCQX Best 50 Results and Highlights

The 2023 OTCQX Best 50 companies traded a total $6.5 billion dollar volume. The companies delivered to investors a median total return of 20% in 2022. The median market cap for the companies ranked in this year’s list was over $198.6 million, and among them were 13 companies with a market cap greater than $1 billion.

This year’s top performing company, Journey Energy Inc. (OTCQX: JRNGF), is a Canadian oil and gas exploration and production company. Journey Energy Inc. cross-trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in Canada under the ticker symbol “JOY.” They are among the 15 Canadian companies rounding out the list of the OTCQX Best 50.

U.S. and Canadian companies comprised a high concentration of the 2023 OTCQX Best 50 at 19 and 15 companies respectively. This year’s list also included representation from ten other countries. The list included companies traded on Frankfurt Stock Exchange, ASX, LSE, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, SIX Swiss Exchange, Madrid Stock Exchange, Istanbul Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and BM&F Bovespa. The diversity of countries further demonstrates the success of OTCQX as a global gateway to connect issuers with the U.S. investment community.

Fifteen U.S. community banks were also included among this year’s OTCQX Best 50 list:

Six companies from last year’s ranking made their second appearance on the OTCQX Best 50 list in 2023.

The 2023 OTCQX Best 50 Companies:

Rank Company Symbol
1 Journey Energy Inc. (OTCQX: JRNGF)
2 Silex Systems Ltd. (OTCQX: SILXY; SILXF)
3 Petrus Resources Ltd. (OTCQX: PTRUF)
4 Blue Dolphin Energy Co. (OTCQX: BDCO)
5 InPlay Oil Corp. (OTCQX: IPOOF)
6 K Plus S AG (OTCQX: KPLUY; KPLUF)
7 Sunrise Energy Metals Ltd. (OTCQX: SREMF)
8 Alvopetro Energy Ltd (OTCQX: ALVOF)
9 United Bancorporation of Alabama, Inc. (OTCQX: UBAB)
10 American Shipping Company ASA (OTCQX: ASCJF)
11 BankFirst Capital Corporation (OTCQX: BFCC)
12 Hemisphere Energy Corp. (OTCQX: HMENF)
13 Norsk Hydro ASA (OTCQX: NHYDY; NHYFK)
14 Filo Mining Corp. (OTCQX: FLMMF)
15 Communities First Financial Corporation (OTCQX: CFST)
16 Los Andes Copper Ltd. (OTCQX: LSANF)
17 TAG Oil Ltd. (OTCQX: TAOIF)
18 GBank Financial Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: GBFH)
19 JD Bancshares, Inc. (OTCQX: JDVB)
20 Grupo Financiero Banorte, S.A.B. De C.V. (OTCQX: GBOOY; GBOOF)
21 Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX: DTEGY; DTEGF)
22 Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (OTCQX: ZURVY; ZFSVF)
23 Rise Gold Corp. (OTCQX: RYES)
24 Barksdale Resources Corp. (OTCQX: BRKCF)
25 Table Trac, Inc. (OTCQX: TBTC)
26 G2 Goldfields Inc. (OTCQX: GUYGF)
27 Private Bancorp of America, Inc. (OTCQX: PBAM)
28 Wayne Savings Bancshares, Inc. (OTCQX: WAYN)
29 Altius Minerals Corp. (OTCQX: ATUSF)
30 Repsol S.A. (OTCQX: REPYY; REPYF)
31 Yankuang Energy Group Co Ltd (OTCQX: YZCAY; YSCHF)
32 Gear Energy Ltd (OTCQX: GENGF)
33 Bank of San Francisco (OTCQX: BSFO)
34 Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (OTCQX: FMCB)
35 ATLANTIC LITHIUM LTD. (OTCQX: ALLIF)
36 Heartland BancCorp (OTCQX: HLAN)
37 Akbank Turk Anonim Sirketi (OTCQX: AKBTY)
38 Lyons Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: LYBC)
39 Localiza Rent A Car SA (OTCQX: LZRFY)
40 U & I Financial Corp (OTCQX: UNIF)
41 CW Bancorp (OTCQX: CWBK)
42 Imperial Brands PLC (OTCQX: IMBBY; IMBBF)
43 XTRACT ONE TECHNOLOGIES INC. (OTCQX: XTRAF)
44 Turkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S. (OTCQX: TKGBY; TKGBF)
45 Critical Elements Lithium Corporation (OTCQX: CRECF)
46 Tri County Financial Group Inc. (OTCQX: TYFG)
47 Desert Mountain Energy Corp. (OTCQX: DMEHF)
48 Eagle Financial Services, Inc. (OTCQX: EFSI)
49 Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (OTCQX: FSUGY; FSUMF)
50 CreditRiskMonitor.com, Inc. (OTCQX: CRMZ)

OTC Markets Group applied the following criteria to eligible companies traded on OTCQX on December 31, 2023, to determine which companies would qualify for the 2023 OTCQX Best 50:

  • traded on OTCQX on December 31, 2021
  • closing share price of $0.25 or greater on December 31, 2022
  • closing share price on December 31, 2022, greater than on December 31, 2021
  • traded equal to or greater than $500,000 in dollar volume in 2022
  • not a “penny stock” on December 31, 2022, as defined under SEC Rule 3a51-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
  • member of the OTCQX Composite Index as of December 31, 2022

View the complete 2023 OTCQX Best 50 ranking.

OTC Markets Group reserves discretion to omit companies from the ranking that no longer demonstrate the OTCQX market standards of transparency and wide distribution of news and financial disclosure.

The OTCQX Best 50 is for informational purposes only. Neither OTC Markets Group Inc. nor its affiliates make any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing.

About OTC Markets Group Inc.
OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates the OTCQX® Best Market, the OTCQB® Venture Market and the Pink® Open Market for over 12,000 U.S. and global securities.  Through our regulated OTC Link® Alternative Trading Systems, the Company connects a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services.  We enable investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice and empower companies to improve the quality of information available for their investors.

OTC Link ATS, OTC Link ECN and OTC Link NQB are each an SEC regulated ATS, operated by OTC Link LLC, a FINRA and SEC registered broker-dealer, member SIPC.

To learn more about how we create better informed and more efficient markets, visit www.otcmarkets.com.

Media Contact:
OTC Markets Group Inc., +1 (212) 896-4428, media@otcmarkets.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8731533

Junshi Biosciences Announces Acceptance of NDA for VV116 in China

SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co., Ltd (“Junshi Biosciences”, HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180), a leading innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies, announced today that the new drug application (“NDA”) for Deuremidevir Hydrobromide Tablets (project code: JT001/VV116, “VV116”), an oral nucleoside analog anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug, has been accepted by the National Medical Products Administration (the “NMPA”) for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).

About Junshi Biosciences
Founded in December 2012, Junshi Biosciences (HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180) is an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative therapeutics. The company has established a diversified R&D pipeline comprising over 50 drug candidates, with five therapeutic focus areas covering cancer, autoimmune, metabolic, neurological, and infectious diseases. Junshi Biosciences was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company that obtained marketing approval for anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody in China. Its first-in-human anti-BTLA monoclonal antibody for the treatment of various cancers was the first in the world to be approved for clinical trials by the FDA and NMPA and has since entered Phase Ib/II trials in both China and the US. Its anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody was the first in China to be approved for clinical trials by the NMPA.

In the face of the pandemic, Junshi Biosciences’ response was strong and immediate, joining forces with Chinese and international scientific research institutions and enterprises to develop an arsenal of drug candidates to combat COVID-19, taking the initiative to shoulder the social responsibility of Chinese pharmaceutical companies by prioritizing and accelerating COVID-19 R&D. Among the many drug candidates is JS016 (etesevimab), China’s first neutralizing fully human monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and the result of the combined efforts of Junshi Biosciences, the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Science and Lilly. JS016 administered with bamlanivimab has been granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) in over 15 countries and regions worldwide. As of December 3 2021, over 700,000 patients have been treated with bamlanivimab or bamlanivimab and etesevimab, potentially preventing more than 35,000 hospitalizations and at least 14,000 deaths. Meanwhile, VV116, a new oral nucleoside analog anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug designed to hinder virus replication, is in global Phase III clinical trials. The JS016 and VV116 programs are a part of the company’s continuous innovation for disease control and prevention of the global pandemic.

Junshi Biosciences has more than 3,100 employees in the United States (San Francisco and Maryland) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc). For more information, please visit: http://junshipharma.com.

Junshi Biosciences Contact Information
IR Team:
Junshi Biosciences
info@junshipharma.com
+ 86 021-6105 8800

PR Team:
Junshi Biosciences
Zhi Li
zhi_li@junshipharma.com
+ 86 021-6105 8800

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8731749

Junshi Biosciences Announces Toripalimab as Perioperative Treatment for Operable NSCLC Patients Met Primary Endpoint in Phase 3 Clinical Study

SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co., Ltd (“Junshi Biosciences”, HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180), a leading innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies, announced today that a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center phase III clinical study (“Neotorch”, NCT04158440) of the company’s anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, toripalimab, in combination with platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy as perioperative treatment for operable non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”) patients, has finished the pre-specified interim analysis. The Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) has determined that the primary endpoint of event-free survival (“EFS”) has met the pre-defined efficacy boundary. Junshi Biosciences will communicate with regulatory authorities regarding matters related to the supplemental New Drug Application in the near future.

Lung cancer is currently the second most prevalent type of cancer with the highest mortality rate in the world. According to data released by the World Health Organization, in 2020, the number of new lung cancer cases in China amounted to 816,000 and accounted for 17.9% of all new cancer cases in China. In the same year, the number of lung cancer deaths in China amounted to 715,000 and accounted for 23.8% of all cancer deaths in China. NSCLC is a major subtype of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 85% of all cases. Amongst these patients, 20%-25% are surgically resectable at first diagnosis, but even after radical surgical treatment, 30%-55% of such patients will suffer from post-surgical recurrence and death. Radical surgery in combination with chemotherapy is a way to prevent recurrence, but chemotherapy, as preoperative neoadjuvant or postoperative adjuvant therapy, has limited clinical benefit and can only raise the 5-year survival rate of patients by approximately 5%.

Immuno-oncology (I-O) therapy, a type of treatment best represented by PD-(L)1 inhibitors, can provide patients with long-term tumor control or elimination. By relieving the immune suppression of immune cells caused by cancer cells, PD-(L)1 inihibitors reactivate the patients’ own immune system to destroy cancer. At present, the global community has accumulated sufficient clinical evidence proving that I-O can significantly improve the overall survival of patients with advanced NSCLC. However, the research on patients with operable NSCLC began relatively recently and focused solely on preoperative neoadjuvant or postoperative adjuvant I-O therapy. Perioperative I-O therapy covering the whole process, including pre- and post-surgery, is expected to be a better treatment model for patients.

Neotorch is the world’s first phase III registered study of perioperative I-O therapy for lung cancer with a positive EFS result. Led by Professor Shun LU of Shanghai Chest Hospital as primary researcher, the study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase III clinical study aiming to compare the efficacy and safety of toripalimab in combination with platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy versus placebo in combination with platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy for patients with operable NSCLC. The primary endpoints are EFS as assessed by researchers and major pathological remission rate (“MPR rate”) as assessed by the Blind Independent Pathology Review Committee (“BIPR”). The secondary endpoints include pathological complete remission rate (pCR rate) as assessed by BIPR and researchers, EFS as assessed by Independent Review Committee (“IRC”), and disease free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS) and safety as assessed by IRC and researchers, etc.

The study was launched in 56 centers nationwide. Patients with operable NSCLC received toripalimab/placebo in combination with platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy, and received toripalimab monotherapy as consolidation therapy after postoperative adjuvant therapy. Platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy was selected by researchers according to treatment practices of therapeutic institutions, of which paclitaxel in combination with cisplatin was for patients with squamous NSCLC, while pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin was for non-squamous NSCLC.

Based on the interim analysis, compared with chemotherapy alone, toripalimab in combination with chemotherapy as perioperative treatment for phase III operable NSCLC patients and toripalimab monotherapy for consolidation therapy thereafter may significantly extend EFS of patients. The safety data of toripalimab is in line with known risks, with no new safety signals identified.

About Toripalimab

Toripalimab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody developed for its ability to block PD-1 interactions with its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, and for enhanced receptor internalization (endocytosis function). Blocking PD-1 interactions with PD-L1 and PD-L2 promotes the immune system’s ability to attack and kill tumor cells.

More than thirty company-sponsored toripalimab clinical studies covering more than fifteen indications have been conducted globally by Junshi Biosciences, including in China, the United States, Southeast Asia, and European countries. Ongoing or completed pivotal clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of toripalimab cover a broad range of tumor types including cancers of the lung, nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, bladder, breast, liver, kidney and skin.

In China, toripalimab was the first domestic anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody approved for marketing (approved in China as TUOYI®). Currently, there are six approved indications for toripalimab in China:

  1. unresectable or metastatic melanoma after failure of standard systemic therapy;
  2. recurrent or metastatic NPC after failure of at least two lines of prior systemic therapy;
  3. locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma that failed platinum-containing chemotherapy or progressed within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy;
  4. in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine as the first-line treatment for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic NPC;
  5. in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin in first-line treatment of patients with unresectable locally advanced/recurrent or distant metastatic ESCC;
  6. in combination with pemetrexed and platinum as the first-line treatment in EGFR mutation-negative and ALK mutation-negative, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”).

The first three indications have been included in the National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) (2021 Edition). Toripalimab is the only anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody included in the NRDL for treatment of melanoma and NPC.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing the Biologics License Application (BLA) resubmission for toripalimab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin as first-line treatment for patients with advanced recurrent or metastatic NPC and for toripalimab monotherapy for the second-line or later treatment of recurrent or metastatic NPC after platinum-containing chemotherapy. The FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy designations for toripalimab in combination with chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic NPC as well as for toripalimab monotherapy in the second or third-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic NPC. Additionally, the FDA has granted Fast Track designation for toripalimab for the treatment of mucosal melanoma and Orphan Drug designations for the treatment of esophageal cancer, NPC, mucosal melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

In Europe, marketing authorization applications (MAA) were submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in November 2022 for: 1) toripalimab combined with cisplatin and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of patients with locally recurrent or metastatic NPC and 2) toripalimab combined with paclitaxel and cisplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable locally advanced/recurrent or metastatic ESCC. In December 2022, the EMA accepted the MAA.

About Junshi Biosciences
Founded in December 2012, Junshi Biosciences (HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180) is an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative therapeutics. The company has established a diversified R&D pipeline comprising over 50 drug candidates, with five therapeutic focus areas covering cancer, autoimmune, metabolic, neurological, and infectious diseases. Junshi Biosciences was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company that obtained marketing approval for anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody in China. Its first-in-human anti-BTLA monoclonal antibody for the treatment of various cancers was the first in the world to be approved for clinical trials by the FDA and NMPA and has since entered Phase Ib/II trials in both China and the US. Its anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody was the first in China to be approved for clinical trials by the NMPA.

In the face of the pandemic, Junshi Biosciences’ response was strong and immediate, joining forces with Chinese and international scientific research institutions and enterprises to develop an arsenal of drug candidates to combat COVID-19, taking the initiative to shoulder the social responsibility of Chinese pharmaceutical companies by prioritizing and accelerating COVID-19 R&D. Among the many drug candidates is JS016 (etesevimab), China’s first neutralizing fully human monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and the result of the combined efforts of Junshi Biosciences, the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Science and Lilly. JS016 administered with bamlanivimab has been granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) in over 15 countries and regions worldwide. As of December 3 2021, over 700,000 patients have been treated with bamlanivimab or bamlanivimab and etesevimab, potentially preventing more than 35,000 hospitalizations and at least 14,000 deaths. Meanwhile, VV116, a new oral nucleoside analog anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug designed to hinder virus replication, is in global Phase III clinical trials. The JS016 and VV116 programs are a part of the company’s continuous innovation for disease control and prevention of the global pandemic.

Junshi Biosciences has more than 3,100 employees in the United States (San Francisco and Maryland) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc). For more information, please visit: http://junshipharma.com.

Junshi Biosciences Contact Information
IR Team:
Junshi Biosciences
info@junshipharma.com
+ 86 021-6105 8800

PR Team:
Junshi Biosciences
Zhi Li
zhi_li@junshipharma.com
+ 86 021-6105 8800

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8731742

HOP ON BOARD VISTAJET TO USHER IN THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

VistaJet

‘Yum Cha’ on board VistaJet

Hong Kong/Singapore, January 17, 2023 – To celebrate Lunar New Year, the world’s first and only global business aviation company VistaJet has partnered with its gastronomy partners, including Shangri-La Singapore and The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong to provide unique Lunar New Year Experiences, including tossing of the auspicious Lo Hei on board a private jet while cruising at 45,000 feet.

Lo Hei, which in Cantonese means ‘prosperity toss’, is a popular custom during Lunar New Year in Southeast Asia involving the festive Chinese dish Yu Sheng. Shangri-La’s Michelin-star Shang Palace has created special Lunar New Year menus for VistaJet flights from Singapore, selecting the freshest and finest ingredients used in Chinese cuisine, such as abalone, scallops, lobster, coral trout, and suckling pig.

Shang Palace’s executive chef Daniel Cheung says: “A reunion feast during the Lunar New Year is never complete without Yu Sheng, which signifies good luck, prosperity and hope for the coming year.” He says: “It is a symbolic dish, we have incorporated into the VistaJet menu, adding to the festive celebration for the ‘Year of the Rabbit’. It is interesting to inject an interactive dimension to VistaJet’s in-flight dining experience with a Lo Hei,” says Cheung, adding that “it is our pleasure to be collaborating with VistaJet this festive season!”

VistaJet

‘Lo Hei’ on board VistaJet

While VistaJet has partnered with Shangri-La Hotel for flights out of Singapore, it has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong’s Michelin-star restaurant Tin Lung Heen for flights out of the territory.

For flights from Hong Kong, enjoy a traditional ‘Yum Cha’ (tea and dim sum), on the world’s highest dining table served by restaurant partner Tin Lung Heen, at The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong. ‘Yum Cha’ on board a VistaJet flight from Hong Kong includes options such as the Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Scallops and Jinhua Ham; and Steamed Alaskan Crab Meat Dumplings Topped with Salmon Roe. Give the ‘Yum Cha’ a sweet ending with a Double-Boiled Superior Bird Nest Served with Coconut Milk, Almond Cream and Syrup.

VistaJet’s unique Lunar New Year gastronomy experiences are further enhanced by unparalleled onboard service. Its international Cabin Hosts are trained by the British Butler Institute and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

VistaJet

VistaJet Global 7500 interior

“Lunar New Year is a very important period in many parts of Asia,” says VistaJet Chief Commercial Officer, Ian Moore. “Many are taking the opportunity to travel abroad for holidays. With the Chinese border now open, families can go back to China for reunions and corporations can send executives for business again. We are optimistic about the growth prospects for the region in 2023.”

VistaJet has already experienced a large year-on-year increase in passenger traffic in Asia Pacific — its flight traffic across Asia-Pacific grew 65% year-on-year for the first nine months of 2022, driven partly by growth in Southeast Asia. In 2022’s first three quarters, VistaJet posted a 376% year-on-year increase in Singapore flights, and compared to pre-pandemic 2019 figures this is up 40%. For the first three quarters of 2022, flight hours from Hong Kong have experienced 18% year-on-year growth and flight hours are up 20% compared to the first nine months in pre-pandemic 2019.

VistaJet

VistaJet Global 7500

Vista, the parent company of VistaJet, is the world’s largest on demand provider for private flying with a Member’s fleet of more than 360 aircraft, including the largest fleet of Global 7500 aircraft, the world’s longest-range business jet. VistaJet flies to over 1,900 airports in 187 countries, covering 96% of the world.

Media Contacts:

VistaJet

Amy Yang

T: +852 2901 0502
E: amy.yang@vistajet.com

About VistaJet

VistaJet is the first and only global business aviation company. On its fleet of silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries, covering 96% of the world.

Founded in 2004, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers have access to an entire fleet whilst paying only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program membership offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anytime, anywhere.

VistaJet is part of Vista — the world’s first private aviation ecosystem, integrating a unique portfolio of companies offering asset-light solutions to cover all key aspects of business aviation.

More VistaJet information and news at vistajet.com

VistaJet Limited is a European air carrier that operates 9H registered aircraft under its Maltese Air Operator Certificate No. MT-17 and is incorporated in Malta under Company Number C 55231. VistaJet US Inc. is an Air Charter Broker that does not operate aircraft. VistaJet and its subsidiaries are not U.S. direct carriers. VistaJet-owned and U.S. registered aircraft are operated by properly licensed U.S. air carriers, including XOJET Aviation LLC.

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000777732

FMC GlobalSat Becomes Official Starlink Reseller & Completes Network Integration for Maritime and Enterprise Customers

FMC – Starlink Maritime Cruise Ship

FMC – Starlink Maritime Cruise Ship

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. & SANTANDER, Spain, Jan. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FMC GlobalSat Inc. (“FMC”), a global provider of ‘best-in-class’ satellite and wireless connectivity solutions, is pleased to announce it has become an authorized reseller of SpaceX’s Starlink, the world’s largest constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, and will offer the service to its maritime and enterprise customers.

By adding Starlink’s revolutionary high-speed, low-latency, internet system to its offerings, FMC is providing disruptive and cost-effective connectivity solutions. The integration of Starlink to FMC’s innovative network platform provides a comprehensive end-to-end experience, seamlessly addressing the significant growth in global data consumption and expanding network convergence over 5G wireless and terrestrial fiber.

Implementing Starlink also further solidifies FMC’s market-leading vertical integration of telecommunication hubs, data centers, web hosting and worldwide connectivity services. Starlink coupled with FMC’s platform now further eliminates the burden of obsolete legacy network architecture and infrastructure with robust and resilient connectivity that is flexible and adaptable to the most discerning customers.

Emmanuel Cotrel, Chief Executive Officer of FMC, commented: “Starlink’s combination of network performance, ease of use and cost-effectiveness is incredibly disruptive and enables activities historically feasible only with fiber and 5G broadband. FMC’s innovative solutions integrated with Starlink’s connectivity enables applications and services that require low latency and significant Mbps of bandwidth, that were, until now, considered unrealistic or cost prohibitive.”  

About FMC GlobalSat 

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – USA, FMC GlobalSat, and its wholly owned subsidiary Santander Teleport, is a global provider of best-in-class satellite and wireless solutions to businesses that require reliable, secure, and cost-effective Broadband and M2M connectivity solutions.

FMC GlobalSat has pioneered the delivery of converged connectivity solutions on a global scale by partnering with major wireless carriers and satellite communications providers that incorporate 5G wireless solutions across CDMA, GSM, and LTE networks and high- throughput satellite (HTS) communications and now Low Earth Orbit satellite network. Our networks incorporate Tier 1 carriers, and satellite infrastructure, 24/7 enterprise-grade global technical support organization, which enable us to provide SD-Wan, direct VPN, MPLS, SCPC and other network tunnels while optimizing data traffic routes. For more information about FMC GlobalSat, please visit www.FMCGlobalSat.com

Contact Information:
Jerry Nevin
SVP Sales & Marketing
jnevin@fmcglobalsat.com
9546780697

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FMC’s Starlink installation on a Cruise Ship

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DSI chief abruptly moved to Central Institute of Forensic Science

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Director-General Triyarith Temahivong was abruptly transferred to the Justice Ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science in an order issued today (Wednesday) by Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin.

Triyarith will assume the post of acting director of the institute, while the chief of the institute, Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamol, will replace Triyarith as acting DSI chief until there is a formal appointment.

Somsak’s order did not include a specific reason for the lightening transfer of Triyarith, apart from saying that the “swap” of positions by the two men was for the “effective and performance of the DSI and the Central Institute of Forensic Science” and to allow the two men to do the jobs for which they are most suited.

The transfers of both Triyarith and Suriya take immediate effect.

Triyarith’s transfer is regarded as a demotion, because the DSI is a larger organisation, with more personnel and greater scope of responsibility.

Observers, however, pointed out that the abrupt removal of Triyarith is believed to be related to the ongoing scandal, in which some DSI officials are implicated, along with some police officers, wherein money was allegedly extorted from Chinese businessmen involved in illegal businesses, in exchange for setting them free.

Five DSI officials, nine 191 police officers, one army officer and a Chinese interpreter have been arrested on charges of extorting about 9.5 million baht from a group of Chinese people linked to illegal businesses in Thailand.

The group of officers had arrested 11 people, including some Chinese, in a house reportedly rented by the former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru on December 22nd. All but one was released and all the Chinese men fled the country after they gave money to the officers.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Eight bodies found after oil tank fire, search continues for one missing man

Rescue teams recovered five out of six bodies found on Wednesday in the Mae Klong River, bringing the confirmed death toll in the oil tanker fire and explosion to eight. One is still missing.

Dozens of rescue workers, including divers equipped with underwater scanners, and jet skiers resumed the search within a 100-metre radius of the oil tanker, which caught fire and exploded yesterday morning (Tuesday) in the Ruam Mitr Dockyard in Mueang district of Samut Songkhram province.

An official from a rescue team said that divers are having to exercise extreme caution, because there is a lot of steel debris from the tanker under the water.

At about 9am, rescue workers found one body floating in the river about 120 metres from the damaged tanker. The body was later brought ashore to be identified by his relatives.

Five more bodies were found and all except one were recovered and brought ashore. Rescue officials said that the last body was in 4-metres of water and is yet to be recovered.

All the recovered victims are Myanmar people working at the dockyard. The body yet to be recovered and the missing man are also believed to be Myanmar nationals.

Relatives of the dockyard employees have been waiting anxiously in front of the dockyard, hoping for the return of their loved ones. Some of them were seen weeping.

A CCTV system installed at the dockyard captured the explosion. It is reported that the force shattered windows in several houses, located about 5 km from the oil tanker.

It took firemen about seven hours to put out the fire. Forensic officers and police then boarded the vessel for an inspection, during which they found a body, believed to be a ship maintenance worker.

Deputy Director-General of the Marine Department Phuripat Theerakulpisut said that the oil tanker was in the process of being cleaned before undergoing maintenance.

He said that a panel will be set up to find out how the explosion occurred and whether safety measures were strictly applied when the vessel being cleaned, adding that he expects the results of the probe within ten days.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service