Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 17th November 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 17th November 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Saturday 17th November 2012WORLD – Kids’ IQs affected by small alcohol intake
Women who drink one glass of wine a week while pregnant could risk reducing their child’s IQ, a study says.

THAILAND – Pitak Siam rally security a major headache for govt
The Yingluck Shinawatra administration’s concerns about next week’s scheduled anti-government rally by Pitak Siam seem to be increasing daily. One clear sign of this is the change in attitude of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is known to command a large intelligence network. – Counter rallies
Red shirts will rally on Nov 24 – not anywhere near the Pitak Siam rally in Bangkok, but ready to move if there is violence during Saturday’s protest. – Military chiefs oppose using Security Act
Police can handle crowd at anti-govt rally, Yingluck assured; Pitak Siam hopes for thousands to attend Nov 24 demo – NSC to discuss Seh Ai rally Monday
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung has called a meeting of National Security Council (NSC)for Monday to discuss preparations for the planned anti-government rally by the Pitak Siam group. – Critically low supply of donated blood leaves hospitals in precarious position
The country’s supply of donated blood has dwindled to the point that it now takes the National Blood Centre a few days to respond to a hospital’s request for blood. – No trade – yet
The foreign ministry wants it clear that Thailand is not accepting Mr Obama’s TPP free-trade proposals – only agreeing to study and debate them. – Democrat seeks Sukampol’s impeachment
The Democrat Party Friday filed an impeachment motion against Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat, alleging him with abusing authority in his order to strip the Democrat leader of his Army rank. – Licence conflict
Regulators and broadcasters are playing “chicken” on a Dec 16 deadline to apply for licences that pay-TV operators say are vague and unpredictable.

ASIA – Welcome to realpolitik
Human rights protests, check. Tight security, check. But the big story at the Asean and East Asia summits is the reality there will be no deal on South China Sea disputes, as diplomats work to delay a proposed code of conduct. – China premier to visit Cambodia, Thailand
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will take part in a Southeast Asian meeting in Cambodia and also visit Thailand. – Japan PM set for general election
Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda dissolves parliament ahead of an election next month seen as unlikely to deliver a clear winner. – Minister slams India’s health system
India’s rural development minister Jairam Ramesh says the public health system has collapsed. – Australia declares world’s largest marine reserve
Australia has created the world’s largest network of marine reserves, protecting oceans around its coast.

UK – UK cuts aid to Ugandan government
The UK cuts all aid to the Ugandan government, following an investigation into corruption in Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s office. – Meningitis jab set for UK licence
A vaccine to protect children against one of the deadliest forms of meningitis wins European approval and is set to be licensed in the UK. – UK government threatens firms over hidden customer data
The UK government has repeated its threat to legislate if businesses do not voluntarily release data gathered on customers who ask to see it. – Banks criticised after CPP card protection fine
Banks must share the blame for mis-sold card protection, after a regulator fined the firm CPP £10.5m, says an influential MP.

AFRICA – Civilians flee heavy fighting in Congo
The UN says there are indications that between 1500 to 2500 people may have fled eastern Congo as a result of heavy fighting. – Mali Islamists clash with rebels
Tuareg-led rebels say they have launched an offensive against militant Islamists in northern Mali, even as mediation efforts continue in Burkina Faso. – Nigeria Islamist chief ‘killed’
Nigeria’s army kills a top commander of militant Islamist group Boko Haram in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, a military spokesman says. – Uganda records rise in gorilla numbers
An increase in Africa’s mountain gorilla population has been attributed to ‘extreme conservation’ measures.

EUROPE – France bars entry to ‘end of world’ refuge
France has banned access to a mountain believed to be a refuge for when the world ends on December 21, according to the Mayan calendar. – Ikea ‘regrets’ forced labour use
Ikea says it “deeply regrets” the use of political prisoners as forced labour at the furniture giant’s suppliers in communist East Germany. – Vow to restore order in Corsica
The French government vows to restore order on the island of Corsica, which accounts for one in five of the country’s gangland murders. -Light and sound used against Rome’s birds
Sound & light attacks, which last around an hour, are being used in Rome to rid the city of starlings that migrate there every autumn and winter.

Israel ‘to intensify Gaza raids’
Israel puts 75,000 reservists on stand-by and vows to intensify its Gaza raids after militants target Jerusalem for the first time in decades. – UN chief urges restraint in Middle East
The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, has urged Tel Aviv to show restraint and Hamas to end rocket attacks on Israel as the conflict threatens to escalate. – Iran ‘ready to double enrichment’
Iran is ready to double the output at its underground uranium enrichment facility, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says.

US – JP Morgan and Credit Suisse pay $417m to settle securities charges
JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse will together pay $417m (£263m) to settle charges that they misled investors in residential mortgage-backed securities offerings, US regulators have said. – Two missing in US oil rig fire
Two people are missing and four people are being treated for serious burns after a fire on Gulf of Mexico oil rig, officials say. – Optimism in ‘fiscal cliff’ talks
The US president and Congressional leaders voice their optimism over resolving the so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax rises. – US lifts Burma imports ban ahead of Obama visit
The US has lifted a decade-old ban on most imports from Burma, ahead of a historic visit by President Obama. – Counterfeit bills pictured wrong president
A man who tried to use $US100 counterfeit bills to buy some items made a small but significant mistake – the bills bore a picture of the wrong president.


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