VIDEO: This Week’s Top Stories April 1

VIDEO: This Week’s Top Stories April 1

This week: Keanu cancelled, tourism woes, deadly hazing and Will Smith’s slap.

China cancels Keanu Reeves

Most-viewed this week was the story of several Chinese streaming platforms taking down films starring actor Keanu Reeves after he participated in a Tibet-related concert.

The Canadian actor appeared in a March 3 concert organised by Tibet House US, leading to Chinese streaming sites, including Tencent Video and iQiyi, removing his films.

Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama, exiled in neighbouring India, of formenting separatism in Tibet, and has ruled the remote western region since 1951, after its People’s Liberation Army took control in what it calls a “peaceful liberation”.

Tourism sentiment in the doldrums

The tourism index in the first quarter remains depressed, while the risk of more unemployment still clouds the outlook for the next quarter, so said the Tourism Council of Thailand.

According to a council survey of 200 international travellers, 71% agreed that the RT-PCR test on arrival is a troublesome process while visiting Thailand.

The council said Thai tourism must retain 40% of 2019’s level, or 1.2 trillion baht, this year from 16 million international tourists and 75 million domestic trips to sustain the whole industry.

They said the government must scrap travel regulations, removing the complicated Thailand Pass and RT-PCR tests, to ease travel.

University to dismiss 15 students over deadly hazing

Rajamangala University of Technology Isan will dismiss 15 students involved in a violent hazing ritual that resulted in the death of a freshman earlier this month.

The university will dismiss the sophomores for organising the hazing and beating of 19-year-old freshman Padyos “Prem” Chonpakdi until he became unconscious. He died on the way to hospital.

Ten other senior students were found to have helped organise the event and forced first-years to take off their clothes, crouch, crawl and put their heads on the ground, which led to injuries.

So far, 32 students are facing various charges arising from the event.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock

This year’s Oscars ceremony will be remembered for the moment actor Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock for joking about his wife.

Rock had made a joke comparing Jada Pinkett Smith’s cropped hair to Demi Moore’s appearance in the film “G.I. Jane,” suggesting she appear in a sequel. She suffers from alopecia.

Smith strode up to Rock and slapped him, before returning to his seat alongside Jada and shouting profanities.

Smith apologised to Rock via an Instagram message. Rock has said he will not be pressing charges over the incident.