Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 16th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 16th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 16th March 2013THAILAND – There will be talks
A bomb attack which killed three police officers in Narathiwat on Friday will not derail the government’s deep South peace talks push, Defence Minister Sukumpol says. – HIV trial result
Thai Red Cross says HIV-positive patients have a high chance of a “functional cure” if they receive antiretroviral drugs within two weeks of infection. – Convict acquitted
The court acquitted the convicted mastermind behind the killing of an activist who led protests against a coal-fired power plant project 9 years ago. – Finance Minister stands in for PM on her weekly TV prgramme
Finance Minister stands in for PM on her weekly TV prgramme, clarifies government’s Bt2.2 trillion infrastructure projects as transparent, to prepare infrastructure for AEC – Ministers told not to skip House meetings
Deputy Parliament President Charoen Jankomol has asked that all Cabinet members – in particular Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – attend House meetings and answer MPs’ queries. – Pollution by fire
The North and part of central Thailand are under a blanket of smoke and haze caused mostly by farmers and companies burning fields in Thailand and Myanmar. – Russians caught with macaques
Two Russian tourists were arrested yesterday on charges of illegally possessing three protected pig-tailed macaques. They were allegedly exploiting the animals by letting tourists pose with the monkeys for a fee. – Pridiyathorn sounds public debt alarm
Former Bank of Thailand governor Pridiyathorn Devakula has warned the government about excessive public debt because of its populist policies. – THAI plane tyre explodes while landing
A plane tyre of the Thai Airways International from India exploded while landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday morning. All on board the plane were rescued. – Road death toll in Thailand among highest in the world
Up to 26,000 people are killed in road accidents every year in Thailand, which puts the country in the 6th spot in terms of road casualties. Of those killed, up to 70 or 80 per cent are motorcyclists or their passengers. – Most people still don’t wear crash helmets
Only 43% of Thais bother to wear a crash helmet when riding on a motorcycle, despite the government’s campaign for 100% helmet compliance since 2011, according to an extensive nationwide survey by two road safety groups. – Tourists head to Myanmar islands as Thai reefs decline
Coral bleaching around Thai islands in the Andaman Sea has made a dent in tourism numbers. Many foreign divers have flocked lately to St Luke Island in Myanmar instead.

ASIA – New Zealand North Island hit by worst drought in 30 years
A drought has been declared on the entire North Island of New Zealand – in what the government describes as the worst dry spell in 30 years. – Another 800 dead pigs in Shanghai river
Another 800 pigs have been fished out of a main river in China, bringing the number of carcasses to 8300. – India airports on alert over Italy ambassador Mancini
Airports across India have been told to stop Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini if he tries to leave the country, a home ministry official told the BBC.

UK – Comic Relief raises record £75m
Celebrities and the public help this year’s Comic Relief telethon raised a record £75m. – School sport handed £150m boost
The Government announces a new Olympic legacy fund to improve sports provision in every primary school in England.

AFRICA – Zimbabwe to vote in key referendum
Zimbabweans are due to vote in a key referendum on a new constitution, amid simmering political tensions, with elections due later this year. – Cape Town crash kills South African churchgoers
At least 24 people were killed when a double-decker bus carrying about 80 passengers crashed in a mountain pass near Cape Town, rescue workers in South Africa say.

EUROPE – Spanish debt hits record 84.1% of GDP
New figures show Spain’s public debt hit a new record of 84.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. – France defends Syria weapons plan
France’s president defends his plan to supply arms to Syria’s rebels, as activists mark two years since the start of the anti-government uprising. –  Eurozone closing in on Cyprus rescue
Eurozone finance ministers look set to agree a bailout, worth around 10bn euros, for near-bankrupt Cyprus as talks continue. – Berlusconi’s lawyers seek to move trials
Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers claim the Milan courts are biased against the former premier and want his trials moved. – Hungary uses tanks after snowstorm
Tanks are deployed to reach snowbound motorists in Hungary as cold weather causes transport chaos across eastern Europe.

LATIN AMERICA – Mexico fireworks explosion kills 11
A small truck loaded with fireworks exploded during a religious procession in a central Mexican village, killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens. – Gun attackers kill seven at Mexico bar
Authorities at the Mexican resort town of Cancun say two gunmen have burst into a bar and shot seven people dead. – Chavez body reaches Caracas museum
Hugo Chavez’s coffin has been laid to rest at a military museum in the capital, Caracas, after lying in state for 10 days.

MID-EAST – Syria warplanes launch raids near capital
At least 82 people were killed in Syria on Friday, including 40 civilians, as the European Union looked ahead to next week’s talks on an arms embargo.

US – US output tops forecasts
Industrial production in the United States rose more than forecast in February as factories turned out more business equipment and motor vehicles, showing manufacturing is helping spur the recovering economy. – Barack Obama pitches $2bn clean energy research fund
US President Barack Obama has called for pumping $2bn (£1.3bn) from gas and oil royalties over a decade into clean energy research. – US to boost nuclear missile defences
The US unveils plans to beef up missile defences on the West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea, after its third nuclear test last month.


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