Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Wednesday 18th July 2012

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Wednesday 18th July 2012

THAILAND – PM officially visiting Germany, France this week
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra left Bangkok tyesterday for an official visit to Germany and France today through Sunday to strengthen ties between Thailand and the two European countries.

Bangkok Post – Troop pull-out opposed
The government plan to replace soldiers with four companies of elite Border Patrol Police near the Preah Vihear temple has enraged self-described nationalists, who will protest at the border Wednesday against Cambodia and the World Court. – HFMD forces closure, class suspensions in 29 Bangkok schools
Twenty-nine schools run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) were closed Tuesday due to the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease, according to a senior BMA Department of Health official.

The Nation – Corruption index worsens over first six months
Corruption in Thailand worsened in the first half of the year, with the private sector saying it must spend 30-35 per cent of a project’s budget as graft to win a government job, a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) and the Anti-Corruption Network found.

Bangkok Post – Euro crisis impact on GDP 0.5-1%
In the worst case scenario, the impact of the eurozone debt crisis would trim Thailand’s economic growth by between 0.5 and 1.0 per cent, Fiscal Policy Office director general Somchai Sujjapongse said on Tuesday.

Bangkok Post – Lese majeste guardians
A troubled Thai-New Zealand woman was confined for mental tests, but yellow shirt vigilantes went to the airport to stop her rumoured departure..

The Nation – First lot of tablets to be distributed
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) will distribute its first batch of nearly 50,000 tablet PCs to Prathom 1 or Grade 1 students across the nation today, Obec secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat said yesterday.

Bangkok Post – Roadjacking
Flood victims blocked two Bangkok streets in demands for more compensation – as the prime minister asked them to stop such actions.

Bangkok Post – B15bn to support rubber prices
The cabinet on Tuesday approved a 15 billion baht budget to shore up rubber prices, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar said.

The Nation – Tusks worth Bt22.8m seized
Customs at Suvarnabhumi Airport seized 158 African elephant tusks worth Bt22.8 million, a senior official said yesterday.

The Nation – Thai Premier League can follow in EPL’s footsteps: Everton chief
Thai Premier League could one day become as successful as the English Premier League (EPL), but the country has to be patient, Everton’s chief executive officer Robert Elstone said on Monday. – Bruda whale spotted in Gulf of Thailand
Some Bruda whales have been sighted in the Gulf of Thailand, a rare occurrence that indicates an abundance of food sources attracting the creature to this part of the sea.

ASIA – Burma’s Suu Kyi set for US visit
Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi is to travel to the US in September, in her first trip there in more than 20 years. – Shot fishermen deny US warnings
Indian fishermen injured when their boat was shot at by a US Navy ship near Dubai say they received no warnings before they came under fire. – Whale warning over Western Australia gas project
Conservationists in Australia have warned that a proposed natural gas hub project conditionally approved by the government could pose a threat to humpback whales.

UK – Government’s £50bn building plan
The Government says it will underwrite £50bn of investment in infrastructure and exports to try to lift the economy. – ‘Troubled families’ highlighted
Government adviser Louise Casey says the chaotic histories of thousands of “troubled families” need to be addressed to help them turn their lives around. – Cabbies block traffic in Games protest
Hundreds of London taxi drivers have blocked a major intersection in the heart of the city to protest their exclusion from the road lanes dedicated to Olympic traffic. – Texting overtakes talking in UK, says Ofcom study
People in the UK are now more likely to text than to make a phone call, according to new research from Ofcom.

EUROPE – Sicily may default, says Italy PM
Italian PM Mario Monti says the region of Sicily could default on its debts, and he is seeking confirmation that the governor will resign. – Spanish emigration up 44% for 2012
The number of Spaniards leaving the recession-wracked country is up 44 per cent in the first six months of 2012, figures show. – New Greek cuts almost impossible: govt
The head of a party in Greece’s coalition government says the country’s recession makes it “almost impossible” for it to achieve the $A13.8bn in cuts. – Spain royal family takes wage cut
Spain’s King Juan Carlos and his family announce that they are trimming their own salaries, following a recent bitterly contested cut to public sector wages. – Frank Schleck fails drugs test at Tour de France
Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck is out of this year’s Tour de France after failing a drugs test.

MID-EAST – Syria officials deny rebel push
Syrian officials dismiss rebel claims to have launched a final assault on Damascus, saying the army repelled isolated terrorist attacks. – Israel creates settler university
Israeli officials have taken the controversial step of creating the first university in a settlement in the West Bank.

US – US approval for weight loss drug
The US Food and Drug Administration approves the weight-loss drug Qsymia, the second such drug to be approved in recent months. – Intel warns of slowing economy
The world’s largest maker of computer chips, Intel, says the weak economy will mean its next profits will miss forecasts. – Goldman Sachs’ profits drop sharply in second quarter
Goldman Sachs has said its net profits dropped sharply in the second quarter due to a drop in its investment banking activities and a deteriorating market. – Clinton visits Mandela on birthday eve
Former US President Bill Clinton is visiting Nelson Mandela in his home village in South Africa on the eve of the anti-apartheid icon’s 94th birthday. – Microsoft gives Office a 2013 touch-up
Microsoft has unveiled a touch-ready version of Office, the latest version of the company’s market-leading productivity software suite. – Dylan to release 35th studio album
US folk rock legend Bob Dylan is releasing the 35th studio album in his 50-year recording career on September 11, Columbia Records has announced.

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