Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 19th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 19th March 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 19th March 2013WORLD – Huge funding boost needed to beat TB: UN
Tuberculosis (TB) infects around 8.7 million people worldwide every year and kills 1.4 million.

THAILAND – Witness to 2010 violence
A French journalist who was with government troops trying to end the violence on May 19 will testify they were definitely not responsible for the six civilians killed at Wat Pathumwanaram. – Deputy interior minister visits Songkhla; new insurgent killing in Pattani
Deputy Interior Minister Chat Kuldilok is visiting the southern province of Songkhla today, just hours after a local government official was shot to death in Pattani while patrolling his village last night. – Yingluck’s job may be on the line over two hot issues
Inconsistencies in her asset declaration and her government’s decision to issue a new passport to her brother, fugitive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, are two issues that have put Yingluck in a hot seat – leading to speculation that her sister Yaowapa Wongsawat is being prepared to step in. – Constitutional amendment move underway
A group of pro-government Lower House MPs and senators plans to propose a bill to amend the 2007 constitution which bans politicians of dissolved political parties and the state’s authority in signing agreements with other countries, according to Senator Direk Tuengfang. – Joint ventures opposed
Senators will ask the Constitution Court to stop the government’s plan to provide guarantees for loans to businesses building big infrastructure projects. – Thaksin’s shadow looms large over Yingluck’s govt
The prime minister is not being helped by her fugitive brother’s regular demonstrations that he is in charge of this administration – Rohingya killings
Video shot by Koh Surin villagers tells their version of events of what happened on the night the Navy stands accused of firing on Rohingya boat people. – Rice pledging scheme relaunch set for April 1
A new round of the rice subsidy which will cost the government Bt105 billion will be kicked off on April 1 if approved by the cabinet tomorrow, the manager of the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) said today. – Farmers warned of low water levels
Severe drought has hit 27,358 villages in 38 provinces, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Surapol Pattani said yesterday. – Minister defends first-time car policy
The highly publicised first-car scheme has not run into trouble even though 2,000 cars had been recalled from the buyers, Deputy Finance Minister Tanusak Lek-uthai said on Monday. – BOT alert as economy heats up
Despite comforting signs of continuing growth, there were words of caution yesterday about possible overheating in the economy – and “bubbles” in the financial and property markets. – EU told use Thailand as base
Thailand has the potential to be a hub for Europe to the fast-growing Greater Mekong sub-region, a forum was told on Monday. – ‘Best City’ third time running
Bangkok managed to defend its title as “Best City” according to votes by readers of the US “Travel and Leisure” magazine this year, making it the title champion for three consecutive years, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) deputy clerk Manit Techa-apichok said yesterday. – Nakhon Phanom: most happiest people
Residents of Nakhon Phanom, Pichit, Trang, Chaiyaphum and Krabi are the happiest people in the country, according to a National Statistical Office (NSO) survey. The NSO surveyed the happiness level of 80,000 participants aged above 15 nationwide last year.

ASIA – Power failure hits Fukushima plant
A power failure at Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant affects cooling systems to spent fuel ponds, but Tepco says there is no immediate danger. – Taiwan to aim missiles at China
Taiwanese experts estimate China’s People’s Liberation Army currently has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island. – Myanmar defers press law
Myanmar journalists just getting used to their new era of freedom howled when the government announced plans for a media law that could lock many old restrictions back into place. Then, in the latest of many moves that never would have happened under the country’s old military rulers, the government backed off.

UK – Parents ‘to get 20% childcare costs’
The government announces that parents across the UK will be able to claim back up to 20% of childcare costs from 2015. – UK pair ‘plotted to murder’ Joss Stone
Two men drove to Joss Stone’s home in Devon, southwest England in June 2011, with a sword, a knife and a hammer, a British court has been told. – Deal struck on press regulation
Plans for a new press watchdog able to impose million-pound fines and demand apologies are set out as a deal is struck between the three main parties after the phone-hacking scandal.

AFRICA – Deadly blasts at Nigeria bus station
At least 20 people die in blasts at a bus station in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, which has been targeted by Boko Haram militants in the past. – Deadly car bomb in Somali capital
At least 10 people are killed and 20 wounded by a massive car bomb in the centre of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, police and hospital staff say.

EUROPE – Cyprus crisis sends stocks down
Europe’s main stock markets lost ground on Monday on news that Cyprus might tax bank deposits as part of a controversial international bailout. –  Euro ministers urge Cyprus rethink
Finance ministers from the eurozone urge Cyprus to rethink a levy on bank savers with less than 100,000 euros, following an outcry among Cypriots.

LATIN AMERICA – Rains cause deadly Brazil landslides
At least 16 people are killed in landslides in a mountainous area north of Rio de Janeiro, after heavy rains. – Cruise Britons ‘shot’ in Barbados
The Foreign Office is investigating reports that two Britons on a Caribbean cruise have been shot while in Barbados. – Kirchner seeks Pope’s Falklands help
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner says she has asked for the Pope’s intervention in the Falklands dispute with the UK.

MID-EAST – Syrian planes bomb Lebanon border area
Lebanon has publicly committed itself to staying neutral in the violence engulfing Syria, but the conflict has already exacerbated tensions. – Syrian opposition names rival PM
Syria’s opposition coalition names Ghassan Hitto, an IT expert who spent decades in the US, prime minister to head a government for rebel-held areas. – Egypt MPs dismayed by public lynchings
Egypts justice minister has slammed vigilantes who hung two suspected thieves in a rural Nile Delta village as a crowd of thousands watched. – Israel’s new government sworn in
Israel’s new coalition government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is sworn in after nearly two months of negotiations.

US – Obama: Iran must ‘reduce tensions’
President Obama offers Iran a “practical solution” if it seeks peaceful nuclear capabilities rather than weapons, in a video marking Persian new year. – Obama looks to connect with Israelis
US President Barack Obama is visiting Jerusalem on Wednesday but his first visit in more than four years is viewed with suspicion by many there. – US man ‘planned university massacre’
A university student in the US state of Florida may have been planning to massacre fellow students before he killed himself instead, authorities say.


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