Thai beach to stay closed for ecosystem to recover
BANGKOK • A Thai beach made famous by the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach will stay closed indefinitely to give its ecosystem time to recover, the authorities said yesterday.
Maya Bay, on Phi Phi Leh island in the Andaman Sea, was closed for four months starting on June 1 in a bid to save the area's coral reefs, which have been damaged by warmer temperatures and a flood of tourists.
Up to 6,000 visitors had gone to the beach every day, travelling by speedboat from the nearby resort islands of Phi Phi and Phuket as well as Krabi on the mainland.
KL arrests Syrian stuck at airport for 7 months
KUALA LUMPUR • A Syrian man has been arrested after being stranded for almost seven months in the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Hassan al-Kontar, 36, had been stuck there since March 7, when officials refused to let him board a flight to Ecuador. Kontar, reportedly sought by the authorities in his homeland for failing to serve in the military, was also refused entry into Cambodia and not allowed back into Malaysia because of visa issues.
Malaysian officials say they will work with the Syrian authorities to get him deported to his homeland.
Germany easing rules to woo foreign job seekers
BERLIN • Germany will ease immigration rules to attract foreign job seekers, ministers said yesterday.
Migrants without residency permits who are awaiting decisions on their asylum applications or their deportation may get to stay if they are gainfully employed and can show they have joined the fabric of German society.
Job seekers from outside the European Union who are, for example, cooks or IT technicians, can also come to Germany for six months to try and find employment, provided they speak German.