Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 11th December 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 11th December 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 11th December 2012THAILAND – Govt: We didn’t know
The government says it was unaware that Thaksin would show up during the state-run Channel 11 kickboxing broadcast on Sunday. Thaksin’s opponents don’t believe it and say those who authorised the broadcast, including PM Yingluck, should be held accountable. – Abhisit defends crackdown order
Former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva defends his order for live ammunition to be used against anti-government demonstrators two years ago. – Graft buster vows to continue probe of rice pledging scheme
Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will press on with its investigation on alleged irregularities in the government’s rice pledging scheme despite the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s attempted intervention, a senior official announced. – Thai people slam politicians as most corrupt: Poll
Thai politicians have been branded as the most corrupt people in the country, followed by civil servants, according to a Suan Dusit University poll. – All schools to reopen in far south today
All schools in southernmost Narathiwat province will fully resume classes today after a week-long closure due to teachers’ dissatisfaction over safety measures to prevent attacks by insurgents. – Education system overhaul
Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana says Thais are lagging behind international standards and it’s time to overhaul the country’s curriculum. – Govt aims to cut cost of civil-servant scheme
The government’s efforts to lower the cost of the Civil Servant Medical Benefit (CSMB) scheme will mean lower medical benefit expenses for those working in the civil service. – Second tablet auction planned
Plans by the government to move ahead with a second tablet auction looks likely by next month with a budget of 4.48 billion baht. – As AEC looms, MPs get to know their neighbourhood
As the starting date for the Asean Economic Community nears, Thai MPs are preparing for 2015 in their own individual ways. One has begun to watch Indonesian drama via satellite TV and is reading the history of neighbouring countries, while another shares a meal with his Filipino friends weekly to learn more about their community. – Coalition: Amend charter
Four coalition parties vow to support the government’s bid to amend the constitution, as hundreds of red-shirts rallied yesterday for the charter change.

ASIA – 7.1 quake hits eastern Indonesia
A major 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Indonesia’s Maluku islands Tuesday but there was no tsunami alert, the US Geological Survey said. – North Korea extends rocket launch window
North Korea has said it is extending the window for it latest rocket launch by a week because of a “technical deficiency” in an engine module. – Bali police seize 33 endangered turtles
Indonesian police have confiscated 33 endangered sea turtles believed to be headed for Bali’s restaurants. –  Asia ‘set to eclipse’ US by 2030
Asia will wield more global power than the US and Europe combined by 2030, a forecast from the US intelligence community has found.

UK – Coalition may boost Syrian rebel support
A coalition including the UK is considering ways of boosting support for Syrian rebel fighters, Britain’s Independent newspaper reports. – Clegg opposes web-monitoring bill
The deputy prime minister says he will block government plans to give police and intelligence services new powers to monitor email and internet use.

AFRICA – Morsi gives army powers of arrest
President Morsi orders Egypt’s military to maintain security and protect state institutions as tensions rise in the run-up to a referendum on the constitution. – At least 13 dead after floods in Congo
At least 13 people have died in the Republic of Congo and two dozen others were injured after torrential rains in southern Brazzaville. – Rhino anti-poaching deal signed
South Africa signs a deal with Vietnam to fight the escalating illicit trade in rhino horn, used in traditional medicine in Asian countries. – Mandela ‘doing well’ in hospital
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is said to be “doing well” after spending a second night in hospital where he is to undergo further tests.

EUROPE – Italy’s Monti leaves options openMario Monti
Italian PM Mario Monti plays down rumours that he is about to quit, saying he is focusing on completing his mandate before polls expected in February. – Euro crisis ‘behind us’: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande claims the eurozone crisis has been dealt with, saying it is ‘behind us”. – Strauss-Kahn in hotel maid ‘deal’
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has signed a settlement with a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, a New York judge says.

LATIN AMERICA – Five killed in Honduras jail shootout
Five prisoners have been gunned down and four others wounded in a shootout at a notoriously violent and overcrowded Honduran jail.

MID-EAST – Syria rebels overrun Aleppo base
Rebel fighters are reported to have captured large parts of a military base in northern Syria, the latest in a string of losses by government forces. – Abbas warns of reaction to settler homes
Israel’s plans to build 3000 settler homes in east Jerusalem will get a response “through other means”, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas says.

US – HSBC ‘to pay $1.9bn’ in US deal
HSBC will pay US authorities $1.9bn in a settlement over a money-laundering probe, say reports, the largest amount ever in such a case. – Barack Obama takes ‘fiscal cliff’ plan to Michigan
US President Barack Obama has addressed Michigan car workers to build support for his plan to raise taxes on the rich and avert a looming “fiscal cliff”.


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