bangkokpost.com – Accuser and accused
Tarit Pengdith crossed frosty paths with Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra Wednesday, as the DSI chief agreed to look into allegations of fraud against a skytrain infrastructure fund tied to the governor’s dicey BTS contract extension.
bangkokpost.com – Four injured in Narathiwat attack
Four people were wounded in shooting and motorcycle bomb attacks in Narathiwat’s Muang district on Wednesday evening.
mcot.net – Thai Deputy PM signs 5 security pacts with Malaysia, aiming at peace in southern region
Thailand and Malaysia today signed five agreements on national security in a move that Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung strongly believes will ease the long-standing insurgency in the kingdom’s far South.
nationmultimedia.com – Unsafe mercury levels found
A civic group will submit to the United Nations a report showing that fish in a river in Prachin Buri, and hair samples taken from villagers living nearby, contain high levels of mercury believed to come from an industrial park in the province.
mcot.net – Minister insists wage hike not causing business closures
Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikua on Wednesday asserted that entrepreneurs closing their businesses, particularly in December, have nothing with the government’s Bt300 minimum wage rise nationwide, starting January 1.
bangkokpost.com – Abhisit slams 300 baht wage hike policy
The government needs to accept the truth about the negative impact of its policy to suddenly raise the daily minimum wage to 300 baht nationwide, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Wednesday.
mcot.net – Bank of Thailand keeps key interest rate unchanged
Bank of Thailand keeps key interest rate unchanged at 2.75%, Bt 300 minimum wage rise likely impacts inflation slightly at less than 1%.
mcot.net – Thailand’s imports of luxury goods increased almost 50%
Thailand’s imports of luxury goods last year skyrocketed with fruit, perfumes, cosmetics and leatherware topping the list with a combined value of US$1.2 billion (Bt38.4 billion), according to the Customs Department.
bangkokpost.com – Sudarat on board
Pheu Thai turned out in force for its presumed Bangkok governor candidate Pogsapapat Pongcharoen – who is to be officially nominated Sunday.
nationmultimedia.com – Ministry cuts 5cm rule on schoolboys’ hair length
Strict limits on the length of students’ hair will be abolished, Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said yesterday.
nationmultimedia.com – Siam Center set for hi-tech reopening
Plain old window shopping is set to become a thing of the past, as Siam Center officially reopens tomorrow after a five-month closure for major renovations with an invigorating mix of technology, art, fashion and design featuring an interactive approach between shoppers and retailers.
bangkokpost.com – New Asean chief seeks talks
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is seeking early talks with China to discuss a code of conduct to manage tensions over the disputed South China Sea, the bloc’s new chief said Wednesday.
bbc.co.uk – Australia races to control fires
Fire crews in south-east Australia work around to clock to tackle bushfires ahead of a new hot spell forecast for the weekend.
bbc.co.uk – Vietnam convicts 14 activists of ‘anti-state plot’
A court in Vietnam has convicted 14 political activists of plotting to overthrow the communist state.
bbc.co.uk – N Korea ‘urged to widen Internet’
Ex-US governor Bill Richardson and Google’s Eric Schmidt tell North Korean officials in Pyongyang to halt nuclear tests and open Internet access.
bbc.co.uk – Chinese trade surge fans optimism
China reports better-than-expected trade data, adding to hopes that growth in the world’s second-largest economy may be on the rebound.
bbc.co.uk – Foxconn being investigated over bribery claims in China
Foxconn, one of the world’s biggest contract electronics maker, has said it is being investigated by Chinese authorities over bribery allegations.
bbc.co.uk – Change to inflation measure awaited
A change to the way inflation is measured is set to be announced on Thursday, which is likely to affect how changes in rail fares and pensions are calculated.
bbc.co.uk – Watchdog warns of defence delays
Major defence projects are suffering from delays and overspending despite government promises to control costs, the National Audit Office warns.
bbc.co.uk – Traineeships programme to boost youth skills
Plans to help young people in England improve their preparation for the world of work have been unveiled.
bbc.co.uk – SA wine region hit by violence
South Africa’s police fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse striking workers in the wine-producing Western Cape region.
bbc.co.uk – Explosion in Nigeria’s Lagos port
An oil depot in the port area of the Nigerian city of Lagos is hit by a major explosion and fire.
bbc.co.uk – AU calls for Nato troops in Mali
The African Union’s chairman Thomas Boni Yayi calls for Nato to send forces to Mali to help fight militant Islamists who have captured the north.
bbc.co.uk – Central African Republic peace talks under way in Gabon
Peace talks between the government of the Central African Republic, the Seleka rebel alliance and opposition parties have opened in Gabon.
bbc.co.uk – Peugeot Citroen hit by ‘crisis’ in European car sales
Peugeot Citroen saw its global sales fall sharply last year, which it blamed on “the crisis affecting the European automobile market”.
bbc.co.uk – Russia probes ‘zorb’ ride death
Russia launches an investigation after a man is killed during a ride down a ski slope inside a giant inflatable ball, known as a zorb.
news.com.au – Berlusconi blasts ‘feminist, commo’ judges
Silvio Berlosconi has blamed ‘feminist, communist’ judges for an expensive divorce settlement.
bbc.co.uk – Chavez swearing-in delay ‘legal’
Venezuela’s Supreme Court rules that the postponement of President Hugo Chavez’s inauguration for a new term in office is legal.
bbc.co.uk – Brazil lawmakers’ details exposed
A hacker in Brazil reveals sensitive emails, addresses and phone numbers of politicians convicted by a major corruption trial known as the “Mensalao”.
news.com.au – Israeli, US defence chiefs meet
Leon Panetta and his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, have pledged to co-operate on “Syria, Iran, and Gaza”.
news.com.au – Two die in West Bank as floods hit Mideast
Two women have been found dead in the West Bank after their car was swept away in floods.
bbc.co.uk – Iranians held in Syria released
Forty-eight Iranians held hostage by Syrian rebels since August are freed, reportedly in exchange for 2,130 prisoners held by the Syrian authorities.
bbc.co.uk – Hamas and Fatah hold key talks
The leaders of the Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas hold talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to try to heal their rift.
bbc.co.uk – Obama ‘wants action’ on gun crime
US President Barack Obama is “determined” to curb gun violence, Vice-President Joe Biden says, as high-profile White House talks begin.
news.com.au – NY governor wants ban on assault weapons
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed the “toughest assault weapons ban in America”.
bbc.co.uk – US concerns over UK vote on EU
The Obama administration publicly expresses concern about the impact of a UK referendum on its future relationship with the EU.
news.com.au – US blames Iran for cyber onslaught
Cyber attackers are using a potent new weapon to hit US bank websites with overwhelming numbers or requests for information.
bbc.co.uk – Scores hurt in NY ferry collision
A New York passenger ferry hits a dock during the Manhattan rush hour, injuring scores of people and tearing a hole in the vessel’s bow.