bangkokpost.com – Celebrations – and sober warnings
While Bangkok is decked out with decorations of the end-of-year holiday season, academics warned seriously of the future danger from floods, storms and droughts.
mcot.net – Thailand’s South hit by severe rainfall, flooding, water runoff
More than 200 homes in Kanchanadit district in this southern province are cut off from the outside world after a 60-metre bridge was destroyed by logs carried down with water runoff from two highland national parks.
nationmultimedia.com – Pheu Thai chooses to go ahead
The ruling Pheu Thai Party will go ahead with its plan for a referendum on amending the Constitution after concluding it is feasible, after Deputy PM Chalerm Yoobamrung and others softened their opposition.
bangkokpost.com – DSI asked to probe graft in police station construction
The Pheu Thai Party has asked the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate alleged graft in the construction of 396 police stations at a cost of more than five billion baht.
nationmultimedia.com – Complaint over Abhisit’s remarks about referendum
Activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana applied to the electoral watchdog yesterday for a probe into Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in connection with plans for a referendum on changing the Constitution.
nationmultimedia.com – Tsunami warning system finally ready, after 8 years
Thailand now has the best warning system in Southeast Asia, eight years after the Andaman coast was ravaged by a devastating tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004.
mcot.net – Operators seek Bt140 billion to offset new minimum wage losses
Almost one million private enterprises in Thailand are unready to cope with the Bt300 daily minimum wage, effective January 1 nationwide, and risk having to close down, a university survey disclosed yesterday.
bangkokpost.com – B100m damage to Rayong factory
A blaze at a medical equipment manufacturing facility in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Pluak Daeng district of Rayong province has caused damage of B100 million.
bangkokpost.com – Well-off cabinet
Among the 23 reshuffled ministers, the family of Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana is richest – with the “poorest” minister at “only” 3.4 millon baht.
mcot.net – Foreign tourists visiting Thailand rise 14%
Inbound tourists to Thailand reached 21.8 million persons this year, representing a 14 per cent increase from last year and generating a total revenue of Bt 930 billion (US$31 billion), a senior official of the Tourism and Sports Ministry said today.
bangkokpost.com – 3,000 police for Bangkok Countdown
At least 3,000 police will be deployed around the CentralWorld shopping plaza in Bangkok for the annual New Year Countdown celebration.
bbc.co.uk – India, Russia sign defence deals
Russia and India sign new defence deals worth billions of dollars during President Vladimir Putin’s day-long trip to India.
news.com.au – Japan’s new China envoy urges better ties
Japan’s new envoy to China says his main mission is to reach out to China and improve economic ties.
bangkokpost.com – China busts child trafficking ring
Chinese police have rescued 89 children and arrested 355 suspects after busting a series of child trafficking rings, officials said Monday.
bbc.co.uk – China school bus crash kills 11 children in Jiangxi
Eleven children have been killed in China when the van taking them to school crashed, Chinese state media have reported.
news.com.au – ‘Lost tribe’ migrates from India to Israel
More members of an Indian community believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel have arrived to live in the Jewish state.
bbc.co.uk – Fresh rain brings more flooding
A band of rain sweeping the UK brings fresh flooding to south-west England and Scotland, with train services disrupted.
bbc.co.uk – Queen due at Christmas service
The Queen should attend the Christmas morning church service at Sandringham, along with other members of the Royal Family, after recovering from a cold.
bbc.co.uk – Retailers bring forward online sales promotions
The battle for the consumer has moved online with retailers bringing forward the start of sales after reports of lacklustre spending on the High Street.
bbc.co.uk – ‘Italian’ ship raided off Nigeria
Gunmen kidnap four foreign sailors off the Nigerian coast after attacking their vessel, reportedly owned by an Italian firm, officials say.
news.com – Egyptian opposition using thugs: MP
An Egyptian MP has accused the opposition of using violence in the country’s political struggle.
news.com.au – Hundreds of Congo kids in foster homes
Hundreds of children remain separated from their parents a month after fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo displaced nearly a million people.
bbc.co.uk – Mandela in hospital for Christmas
South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas in hospital, where he is being treated for a lung infection, the government says.
new.com.au – King urges Spain to unite against crisis
Spain’s King Juan Carlos has used his Christmas message to urge Spaniards to unite against the economic crisis.
bbc.co.uk – Deadly cold grips eastern Europe
Freezing weather in eastern Europe has claimed at least 220 lives since the middle of the month, most of them in the former USSR.
news.com.au – Pope leads Christmas Eve celebrations
Thousands of people have flocked to the Vatican Basilica in St Peter’s Square for the traditional Christmas Eve mass.
bbc.co.uk – Christmas celebrations under way
Thousands gather in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, as Pope Benedict holds a Mass in Rome.
bbc.co.uk – Hugo Chavez ‘improves slightly’
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s condition has “improved slightly” after his latest operation for cancer in Cuba, a statement says.
bbc.co.uk – Mexico police killed in ambushes
Gunmen ambush and shoot dead seven Mexican police officers in two separate drug-related attacks in the west of the country.
bbc.co.uk – Rihanna gives $1.75m to hospital
Pop star Rihanna donates $1.75m to a hospital in Barbados in memory of her late grandmother.
news.com.au – Syrian troops ‘using killer gas bombs’
Syrian observers say the military has used bombs containing a killer gas while fighting rebels in the central city of Homs.
bbc.co.uk – UN envoy in fresh Syria peace bid
UN peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has talks with President Assad in Damascus, a day after dozens were killed in a government air strike on what activists said was a bakery.
news.com.au – Syrian Christians ‘pray for peace’
More than 1000 people have attended Christmas mass in Damascus, praying for peace to return to Syria.
news.com.au – Blast kills 7 in coal mine in Pakistan
A coal mine explosion in western Pakistan has killed at least seven people, the Geo television reports.
bbc.co.uk – Gaza attacks on Israel ‘violation of laws of war’
Palestinian militants in Gaza violated the laws of war by firing rockets into Israel during last month’s conflict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.
bbc.co.uk – US firefighters shot dead at blaze
Two US volunteer firefighters are shot dead and two injured while responding to an emergency call in the town of Webster in New York state.
news.com.au – US gun sales soar as owners fear new rules
Firearm sales have sky-rocketed since the US school massacre amid fears certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines could be banned.
bbc.co.uk – Newsweek unveils last print cover
Newsweek, the 80-year-old US current affairs magazine, unveils the cover of its last ever print edition.
bbc.co.uk – Piers Morgan: Thousands petition for deportation
More than 31,000 Americans have signed a petition calling for British TV host Piers Morgan to be deported.