Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Saturday 1st September 2012

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Saturday 1st September 2012

THAILAND – Flagging defences
Southern extremists in four provinces coordinated more than 100 attacks, bombings and propaganda raids, raising still more questions about the ability of security forces in the region. – Friendly battle
Bangkok wants them cancelled, the government insists on them – but both sides say they aren’t actually fighting over the canal drainage tests. – Thailand, Asean focus of US investment: Amcham
Asean, and Thailand in particular, has been highlighted as a key investment zone for American companies, thanks to the region’s economic strength and integration, as well as the reopening of Myanmar. – Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm fingers Myanmar at ASEAN ministers’ drug meeting
ASEAN’s hope for achieving drug-free status by 2015—a goal endorsed at a special ASEAN anti-drug meeting in the Thai capital which ended today—depends upon Myanmar, according to Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung. – Prayuth: Blame game ‘annoying’
Army chief Prayuth Chan-o-cha on Friday vented his frustration at reports that appear to blame military officers for their roles in the 2010 crackdown on the red-shirt rallies. – Bt30 scheme back, payment voluntary
The Bt30 healthcare scheme returns today for holders of the government’s so-called “golden card”, but the payment is voluntary and required only in cases in which medication is prescribed. – Police warn cab drivers, offer safe driving tips
Taxi drivers who refuse passengers will be liable to arrest and immediate fines from Saturday, traffic police announced on Friday — and also offered eight tips for safer driving. – Minority report
The One Tablet Per Student scheme wins praise as teaching devices from Myanmar students at a border school even though they can’t take them home yet. – Gasohol prices down last tonight
State-controlled PTT Plc and Bangchak Petroleum on Friday evening announced that they are cutting pump prices by 0.50 baht per litre for all kinds of gasohol, effective from midnight last night.

ASIA – KR ‘First Lady’ may go free
Prosecutors at Cambodia’s war crimes court on Friday conceded that the Khmer Rouge’s former “First Lady” was unlikely to face trial due to ill health and recommended her release. – China activist Wang Xiaoning free
A Chinese dissident convicted of subversion charges with the help of evidence provided by US internet giant Yahoo is released from jail. – Big quake strikes off Philippines
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes off the Philippine island of Samar, causing tsunami evacuations and power cuts. – Australia calls off search for asylum survivors
Australia has called off its rescue operation for survivors of a boat carrying asylum seekers that sank near Indonesia’s Java Island. – Man mails himself to his girlfriend
A romantic man in China thought it would be a nice surprise if he mailed himself to his girlfriend, but he got lost in the post.

UK – Julian Assange predicts ‘up to a year’ of living in embassy
Julian Assange has predicted that he will remain inside an embassy in London for “six to 12 months”. – Heads consider exam legal action
Head teachers are considering legal action after the exam regulator refused to order exam boards to regrade this summer’s GCSEs in English. – Jump in number of bank complaints
Complaints made about British banks – including ones related to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance – soar, new figures show.

AFRICA – SA rethinking mine murder charges
South Africa’s justice minister demands an explanation after state prosecutors charge 270 miners with murdering colleagues who were shot by police. – Alarm at Nigeria spy records leak
Former Nigerian secret agents tell the BBC they are concerned for their safety after personal records were published online, reportedly by an Islamist group. – 29 die as minibuses crash in Nigeria
Two minibuses have crashed head-on and burst into flames in Nigeria, killing at least 29 people and injuring 16.

EUROPE -Brussels pushes for ECB supervision of eurozone banks
All banks in the eurozone would be supervised directly by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt under new EU proposals to be unveiled next month. – Record 18m jobless in euro zone
Jobless numbers across the eurozone hit a record 18 million in July, the grim new high announced as recession takes grip across the debt-stricken 17-nation currency area. – Spain creates ‘bad bank’ for debt
The Spanish government is creating a “bad bank” into which all the toxic property assets of its debt-laden banking sector can be off-loaded. – Spanish firefighters battle blaze
Firefighters in southern Spain are struggling to control a huge wildfire that is blazing on the edges of the resort of Marbella on the Costa del Sol.

LATIN AMERICA – Peru minibus crash kills 10
At least 10 people have been killed when a minibus overturned on a road in Peru. – Mexico challenger urges protests
Mexico’s presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador refuses to recognise a court ruling upholding July’s election and calls for protests.

MID-EAST – Syrian defectors launch major offensives
Three co-ordinated attacks by army defectors called the Brigade of Free Syrians point to a higher-than-usual degree of planning by the rebels.

US – US Fed hints at further measures
The head of the US central bank, Ben Bernanke, says that he has not ruled out further action to boost the US economy. –  US floodwaters recede in Louisiana
The US state of Louisiana is slowly recovering from the impact of Hurricane Isaac, but more than 5000 people are still in shelters. – Funeral held for Neil Armstrong
A private funeral service is held for the first man on the Moon, US astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died last week at the age of 82.

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