What's new in business news: February 6, 2015

What's new in business news: February 6, 2015

Bangkok ranked 8th worst traffic in the world, conditions on China's loan offer for railway construction not acceptable & new smartphone device can test for HIV & syphilis.

TRANSPORTATION

Bangkok ranked 8th worst traffic in the world 

Bangkok was ranked as having the eighth worst traffic based on research by the motor-oil company Castrol compiled in the Castrol MAGNATEC STOP-START Index (See here)

The index uses GPS data and includes traffic conditions and number of annual start and stops per car to determine how traffic affects journey times. More than 18,000 stop-starts is defined as severe traffic for a city. More stop-starts also increases engine wear. The index also looks at the amount of time cars spend idling. Some of the worst idling times were recorded in Thailand. Around 36% of an average driver’s travel time in Bangkok was spent with the motor of the car idling.

Here are the 10 worst cities for traffic: 1. Jakarta, Indonesia (33,240); 2. Istanbul, Turkey (32, 520); 3. Mexico City, Mexico (30,840);  4. Surabaya, Indonesia (29,880);  5. St. Petersburg, Russia (29,040);  6. Moscow, Russia (28,680);  7. Rome, Italy (28,680); 8. Bangkok, Thailand (27,480);  9. Guadalajara, Mexico (24,840); 10. Buenos Aires, Argentina – 23,760, last Rotterdam, Netherlands (6360)

Read full story at Thai PBS here

TRANSPORTATION

China loan offer for railway construction not acceptable

The Exim Bank of China has offered Thailand a 20-year loan for the construction of two new railway lines but the terms of the loans will need to be renegotiated.  In December Chinese companies won the right to build rail lines from Nong Khao to Map Ta Phut in Rayong via Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi and from Kaeng Khoi to Bangkok. 

The loan offered had an interest rate ranging from 2 to 4% and a four-year interest-free period with conditions attached. The conditions included a requirement for the project to use Chinese technology and give China responsibility for the design and civil works. China also wanted to manage the routes in exchange for the loan.

The Exim Bank's conditions were not acceptable as Thailand remained firm on managing the trains on the new tracks. The interest rate for the loan was also too high and Thailand had asked Beijing to lower it. The loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of the Airport Rail Link had an interest rate of only 1.5%.

Read full story here

MEDICINE

Smartphone device can test for HIV, syphilis

AFP News agency

US researchers have found a way to turn a common smartphone into a device to conduct quick on the spot medical tests for the diseases HIV and syphilis. Using an attachment that costs $34 to make -- a far cry from the standard $18,000 for testing equipment -- blood drops are tested for the diseases' antibodies in minutes instead of hours. Scientists say the test is similar to ELISA, a well-known test for HIV, and performed almost as well. This lab-on-a-chip device could be especially useful in places where small temporary clinics are set up to help remote or underserved populations.

The device is also a "proof of concept" showing that a full laboratory-quality immunoassay medical test can be run on small highly portable smartphone devices. Coupling microfluidics with recent advances in consumer electronics can make certain lab tests accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones. This kind of capability can transform how health care services are delivered around the world.

Read full story here

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Vocabulary

  • a far cry from: not as good as, much worse than -
  • acceptable: that somebody agrees is of a good enough standard - ที่ยอมรับได้
  • affect: to produce a change in somebody/something - กระทบ, ส่งผล, มีผลต่อ
  • annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี
  • antibody (noun): a substance that the body produces in the blood to fight disease, or as a reaction when certain substances are put into the body - สารภูมิต้านทาน
  • attached (verb): connected; involved; taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, ประจำ
  • attachment: a strong feeling of affection for somebody/something - ความผูกพันทางอารมณ์
  • average: ordinary; not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ
  • based on (verb): information or facts used to make a story, calculation, judgement or decision - ตั้งอยู่บน,ยึดเป็นหลัก
  • civil works: the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings - วิศวกรรมโยธา
  • clinic: a place where a person goes to receive medical treatment -
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • compile: to collect information from different places and arrange it in a book, report or list - รวบรวม
  • concept: a principle or idea - ความคิด
  • condition: something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข
  • conditions: the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things - เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์
  • construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
  • data: facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out things or to make decisions - ข้อมูล, ตัวเลข, สถิติ
  • determine: to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something - กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
  • device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
  • disease (noun): a health problem and problem with a person's body, often caused by an infection, either from a bacteria or virus - โรค
  • drop (noun): one small amount of water or other liquid - หยด
  • equipment: the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity - อุปกรณ์, เครื่องมือ
  • firm: definite and not likely to change - แน่นอน, แน่วแน่
  • GPS: global positioning system (a system by which signals are sent from satellites to a special device, used to show the position of a person or thing on the surface of the earth very accurately) - จีพีเอส (ระบบกำหนดตำแหน่งบนโลก)
  • idle: not being used; not working - อยู่นิ่ง ไม่ให้บริการ
  • in exchange for: giving something to someone and receiving something else from them of a similar type or value - แลกเปลี่ยน
  • index: a number that shows the price, value, or level of something compared with something else - ดัชนี
  • interest rate: the percentage that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the percentage it pays you when you keep money in an account - อัตราดอกเบี้ย
  • journey: travelling from one place to another, especially when they are far apart - การเดินทาง
  • line (noun): a public transportation route that a bus or train travels along sending people from one place to another place -
  • loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้
  • offer (verb): to make something available or to provide the opportunity for something - ให้, เสนอ
  • on the spot: at a particular place where something is happening or happened - ที่เกิดเหตุ
  • perform (verb): to do what is required - ปฏิบัติหน้าที่
  • population: a particular group of people or animals living in a particular area - กลุ่มที่อาศัยอยู่ในที่เดียวกัน
  • proof: information, documents, etc. that show that something is true - การพิสูจน์
  • railway: the whole transportation system of trains connecting stations along rail tracks - รางรถไฟ, ระบบทางรถไฟ
  • rank: to put someone or something into a position according to their success, importance, size etc - จัดลำดับ
  • remote: far away from other cities, towns, or people - ที่ห่างไกล 
  • renegotiate: to try to reach an agreement for a second time by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาอีกครั้ง, ต่อรองใหม่, เจรจาใหม่
  • requirement: something that you must have or do in order to do or get something else - ข้อกำหนด, ข้อบังคับ
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • researcher: a person who carriers out a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - นักวิจัย
  • responsibility: a duty; a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • right: something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have - สิทธิ
  • route: the roads, paths, waterways, etc., used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • severe: very serious and unpleasant - รุนแรง
  • standard: average or normal rather than having special or unusual features - ซึ่งเป็นมาตรฐาน
  • temporary: for a limited time; not permanent - ชั่วคราว
  • terms: conditions; requirements - ข้อกำหนด
  • tracks (noun): the two long metal strips that a train travels along - รางรถไฟ
  • traffic (noun): the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time - การจราจร
  • traffic: the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time; also used for data traveling along a network - การจราจร
  • wear: the damage or loss of quality that is caused when something has been used a lot - ความเสื่อมเสีย
  • well-known (adj.): famous, everyone knows about it - ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียง, ซึ่งเป็นที่รู้จักกันดี, เป็นที่รู้จัก, เลื่องลือ
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