Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 13th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 13th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 13th March 2013THAILAND – ‘Get over him!’
The army commander backs the opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva with a message to the prime minister – time to cast off the shadow of Thaksin and “listen to people who live here”. – Skype address proves Thaksin still the boss
Former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s address to Pheu Thai Party via Skype on Monday once again proved that he is the leader, something Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been consistently denying, at least in public. – Street rally alert
A labour union is taking workers to the US, Australia and Dutch embassies Wednesday – to protest unfair practices by foreign firms over the 300-baht wage. – Amnesty law could free many convicted for arson attacks
If the ruling Pheu Thai Party and red-shirt leaders succeed in pushing through an amnesty law, those involved in the 2010 torching of provincial halls and a state-run TV station in the Northeast could also benefit. – Thai PM: Legislators are solely responsible for amnesty move
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra stood firm today that she left it to the legislative body to decide whether amnesty bills will be proposed to the Lower House for parliamentary deliberations. – Sukhumbhand clear
Call him Governor Sukhumbhand – probably – as the Election Commission clears the candidate of charges of defamation during his election campaign. – Anti-graft body to review police stations
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will look into a complaint involving two senior Democrat Party members, Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, over their role in the Bt5.8-billion project to build 396 police stations. – Abhisit warns against B2 trillion loan bill
The government should rethink its plan for legislation allowing it to acquire 2.2 trillion baht in loans for infrastructure projects, and instead finance the work through its annual expenditure budget, opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Tuesday. – B74bn more for crop pledging scheme
The cabinet meeting has given the Ministry of Finance approval to guarantee 74.17 billion baht in loans for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to fund the government’s price pledging schemes, government spokesman Thosaporn Serirak said on Tuesday. – Security blanket
The Navy has set up a new task force of 2,000 marines to beef up security in four key districts of Narathiwat as peace talks proceed. – Delay of AEC launch to late 2015 hailed by Thai private sector
Almost all of Thai business operators agreed with delaying the launch of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) from early 2015 to the end of the year, a university academic said today. – Most SMEs not ready for AEC
With less than two years to go before the Asean Economic Community (AEC) come into effect, more than half of Thai small and medium-sized enterprises still lack a proper understanding of what is going to happen and are unprepared for the challenges of market liberalisation, according to a new survey. – 3G mobile phone service to be launched in April
Thailand’s long-awaited third-generation mobile phone service on the 2.1 GHz spectrum will be available in this country in April, according to a senior official of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). – Big cigarette warnings draw dissent
Two government departments have urged the Public Health Ministry to reconsider its plan to alter the size of the graphic warnings on cigarette packs. – Number of Thai smokers on upward trend to 13 million
Despite unrelenting measures to curb smoking, the number of Thai smokers has increased to 13 million, a rise by 500,000 people in four years, a senior health official said. – Rental apartment business at risk
The apartment business is at risk as growing numbers of Thais move away from renting and instead want to buy condominium units, according to a new study released Tuesday by TMB Analytics.

ASIA – Four killed in North Borneo standoff
Clashes between Malaysian forces and Filipino gunmen killed four in the eastern state of Sabah on Tuesday, as thousands of troops were hunting a group of armed followers of a Philippine sultan laying claim on the land. – China mine accident kills 21: state media
An accident at a Chinese coal mine has killed 21 miners, state media is reporting. – S Korea warns on armistice threat
South Korea says North Korea cannot scrap the armistice that ended the Korean War and calls on Pyongyang to tone down its rhetoric. – 1.7 million apply for 1500 Indian jobs
India’s largest state-run bank has received 1.7 million applications for 1500 entry-level clerk jobs, and has promised to review them all. – Japan taps gas from methane hydrate
Japan says it had successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast, in what it says is a world first. – HK woman jailed for laundering $860m
A woman in Hong Kong is jailed for 10 years for laundering $860m through nine banks over four years.

UK – UK’s Cameron ‘may veto EU arms embargo’
David Cameron has said the UK would consider vetoing any extension to the European Union’s arms embargo on Syria. – Alcohol price plan ‘may be dropped’
Plans for minimum pricing on alcohol in England and Wales may be dropped because of differences between ministers, the BBC understands. – Queen cancels more events through illness
The Queen has cancelled more engagements this week as she continues to recover from illness. – Legal bid over disabled living fund
The High Court is to begin hearing a challenge to government plans to scrap a £320m scheme that helps people with severe disabilities live independently.

AFRICA – Mali media strike over editor arrest
Mali’s private media go on strike after an editor was arrested for publishing a letter from soldiers complaining about poor conditions on the frontline. – CAR rebels seize key town from army
Rebels in the Central African Republic capture the key south-eastern town of Bangassou, despite a peace deal to end the conflict, a government minister says. – Sudan rivals ‘to resume pumping oil’
South Sudan and Sudan agree to resume pumping oil after a bitter dispute over fees which saw production shut down more than a year ago. – SA dragging case police denied bail
A South African court refuses to give bail to nine policemen charged with the murder of a Mozambican taxi driver who was dragged behind a police van.

EUROPE – MEPs set for new EU budget battle
Euro MPs set conditions for a deal on the EU’s multi-year budget, amid tensions with austerity-minded governments. – France to miss deficit target, President Hollande says
President Francois Hollande has admitted France will miss its target on lowering the budget deficit this year. – Cyprus peace push to follow bailout
Cyprus peace envoy Alexander Downer says a bailout for the Cyprus economy must come before new reunification talks. – Snow disrupts Frankfurt flights and Eurostar trains
Frankfurt airport, Europe’s third-busiest hub, has partially re-opened after heavy snow caused severe travel disruption in north-west Europe.

LATIN AMERICA – Chavez ‘murder’ claim to be probed
Venezuelan officials say they will set up inquiry to investigate suspicions that President Hugo Chavez might have been murdered by foreign intelligence agencies. – – Cameron says Argentina should respect vote
David Cameron has called on Argentina to respect the wishes of the people of the Falkland Islands to remain British.

MID-EAST – Syria rebels, army locked in Homs combat
Battles between Syrian rebels and troops are continuing in Homs and Baba Amr, as the toll from Monday’s violence is estimated at 148. – Children ‘recruited’ into Syria war
Increasing numbers of children in Syria are being recruited by armed groups on both sides of the conflict, Save the Children says in a report. – Israeli troops kill Hamas member
Israeli troops have shot dead a Hamas militant and wounded two other Palestinians, officials say. – Saudi death from SARS-like virus: WHO
A 39 year-old Saudi man is the latest victims of a SARS-like virus that has also appeared in Britian and elsewhere in the Middle East.

US – Ryan unveils House Republican budget
House Republicans begin the latest round of US fiscal negotiations by unveiling a budget proposal that aims to cut through the social safety net. – US won’t balance budget for 10 years
US President Barack Obama says a plan by Republican congressman Paul Ryan that balances the budget in 10 years is too punitive. – US Senate panel backs tough gun checks
A bill requiring universal background checks for gun sales has cleared a US Senate panel, but passage through the full Congress will be harder. – Dreamliner plane battery fixes approved
The US airline regulator has approved a set of fixes to the battery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, clearing the way for the aircraft to resume flights.


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