Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Monday 24th December 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Monday 24th December 2012

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Monday 24th December 2012PHUKET – Aussies warned about Phuket scamsters
People travelling to Phuket have been warned to be wary of extortion gangs, particularly when hiring jet-skis or motorcycles.

THAILAND – ‘Lackey PM can’t hang on’
A scathing challenge and political threat to the prime minister comes from Suthep Thaugsuban, the former secretary-general and security minister of the Democrats: “If she continues to follow Thaksin’s orders … she won’t be able to stay in the country.” – Thai Jan-Nov rice exports decrease in volume & value
Thai rice exports from January through November decreased 37 per cent in volume and 25 per cent in value year-on-year, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association. – Replacements sought for Buddhist teachers in south
Volunteer teachers or teachers from the Border Patrol Police School should be deployed to replace Buddhist teachers moved from the far South out of fear they will be killed by insurgents, the chairman of the Confederation of Teachers of the Three Southern Border Provinces said yesterday. – Chiang Mai to declare all districts disaster zones
Chiang Mai to declare all districts disaster zones affected by cold spell, initial survey finds 90,000 households in need of winter clothing – Steeper tax cut needed to stop ‘brain drain’
The Pheu Thai government is trying to keep taxpayers happy by restructuring the personal income tax rates, but a steeper cut is necessary if the Kingdom wants to raise its profile among foreign investors, who are being wooed by countries with lower tax rates. – Chaturon: Charter referendum risky
The government’s plan for a referendum on constitutional amendment is at risk of failing to pass, former acting leader of the now defunct Thai Rak Thai Party Chaturon Chaisaeng said on Sunday. – Abhisit wants Section 309 untouched
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Saturday rejected a government suggestion that he thoroughly study a proposed referendum on charter amendments before calling for a public boycott. – Fire at Chachoengsao Toyota factory causes millions in damage
A fire broke out Sunday night at a Toyota assembly plant oil storage tank in this province, about 100 km east of the capital, causing millions of baht damage. – Migrant workers in limbo
The fate of Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand is hanging in the balance as labour ministers of the two countries fail to reach common ground over the extension of nationality verification. – Dumping Payungsak
The Federation of Thai Industries will have two 3pm meetings today – one to back the current chairman and the other to try to kick him out. – Dawei gamble
Myanmar and Thailand will set up a holding company to impress international investors with how fast the cash is rolling in to build the deepwater port. – Province of fear
Police believe they have broken the back of a brutal five-year warlord campaign in Prachin Buri marked by murders and intimidation.

ASIA – N Koreans ‘have 10,000km rocket’
North Korea has the ability to fire a rocket more than 10,000km, theoretically putting the Western US in range, South Korean officials say. – North Korean leader calls for more rockets
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told scientists at a banquet that he wants them to make more powerful rockets. – Abe ‘to review Fukushima’ atomic crisis
Japan’s incoming pro-nuclear premier Shinzo Abe said Sunday his government will again investigate the Fukushima atomic crisis, after which the country’s reactors could be restarted, reports said. – India rocked by protests over assaults
A TV cameraman has been shot dead by police during protests over sex assaults on women in India. – Blast kills Pakistan politician
A suicide bomber kills at least eight people, including a key provincial minister, at a political rally in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. – China challenges Thailand, Vietnam in Laos
A Shanghai-based firm has started construction on a $1.6 billion (49 billion baht) property project in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, boosting Chinese presence in Asean’s smallest economy.

UK – More flood misery hits parts of UK
Flooding and heavy rain continue to cause problems in south-west England and parts of Wales and Scotland, with a woman rescued from a river overnight. – Former UK general warns Western troops could trigger Syria ‘collapse’
Sending Western troops into Syria too soon could create a power vacuum and a “sudden, uncontrolled state collapse”, a retired British general has warned. – Thatcher ‘in good spirits’ after op
Margaret Thatcher will spend Christmas in hospital as she recovers from an operation two days ago to remove a growth from her bladder. – Retailers facing ‘critical’ financial issues
Nearly 140 retailers are in a “critical condition” despite Christmas being their peak trading time, business recovery firm Begbies Traynor has said. – Warning over Christmas Day calories
The average person in Britain could consume the equivalent of half a pack of lard in saturated fat on Christmas Day.

AFRICA – Egypt opposition alleges ‘fraud’
Egypt’s main opposition demands an investigation into the referendum on the draft constitution, citing “fraud and violations” in the voting. – Nelson Mandela responds to treatment, says President Zuma
Nelson Mandela is continuing to respond to hospital treatment, the government has said after President Jacob Zuma visited his predecessor. – Kenya arrests 61 over tribal violence
More than 60 suspects have been arrested over a brutal attack on a remote Kenyan village involving two rival communities that left 45 people dead. – Somali troops ‘free’ 22 hostages
Troops in Somalia’s region of Puntland free 22 hostages seized by pirates nearly three years ago, the authorities there say. – Timbuktu mausoleums ‘destroyed’
Islamists in Mali are reported to have resumed a campaign to destroy mausoleums that they consider idolatrous in the historic city of Timbuktu.

EUROPE – Monti ‘available to lead Italy’
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he is not siding with any party in the next elections, but remains available to head a future government. – Skiers rescued from gondolas in France
Rescuers using ropes and helicopters have plucked 73 skiers to safety in France after they were stuck in gondolas for four hours. – Norway minister’s EU exit warning
Norway’s foreign minister calls on the UK to think of the advantages of staying in the European Union, rather than consider leaving.

LATIN AMERICA – Frenzied tourists harm Mayan temple
Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization. –  Chavez allies ‘rule out election’
Venezuela will not call new elections if the recovering President Hugo Chavez is unable to attend his swearing-in ceremony in January, the Congress leader . – Red alert in Chile over volcano
Chile raises the alert to the highest level as the Copahue volcano on its border with Argentina increases its activity spewing more ash and gas.

MID-EAST – ‘Deadly strike’ on Syria bakery
Dozens of people are killed in a government air strike on a bakery in central Syria, activists say, but Damascus blames the attack on a “terrorist group”. – Israel preparing for fall of Syrian regime
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his cabinet the country is preparing for the fall of the Syrian regime. – Bahrain protesters demand departure of PM
Thousands of protesters have demanded the removal of Bahrain Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

US – US gun lobby issues point-blank ‘no’
The US gun lobby is refusing to support further regulation of firearms in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre. – Science reveals chang shan secrets
Scientist in the United States on Sunday offered a molecular-level explanation for how a Chinese herbal medicine used for more than 2,000 years tackles fever and eases malaria. – Hobbit extends No.1 journey in US
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has retained the No.1 spot at the American box office for the second-straight weekend.


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