Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Friday 4th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Friday 4th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Friday 4th January 2013THAILAND – New wage ‘helps business’
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong insists the 300-baht minimum wage will help businesses rather than cripple them – but the Veena Garments factory locked out all workers rather than pay the new wage. – Floods hit Thailand’s southern provinces
Heavy rain triggered flooding in several southern provinces and disaster zones have been declared to facilitate processes to assist flood victims. – Slain nurse’s mother seeks action against Tarit
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief, Tarit Pengdith, cannot be absolved from his responsibility for the people killed in the 2010 crackdown as he was a member of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), Payao Akhad said. Her daughter Kamolkaed, a Red Cross volunteer, was shot down while tending to patients at Wat Pathum Wannaram. – Lt Abhisit counter-attacks
The defence minister has stripped Acting Sub-Lieutenant Abhisit Vejjajiva of his rank – but the opposition leader files an appeal to the corruption board. – Surat Thani to stop issuing permits to carry guns
Authorities in Surat Thani yesterday decided to stop issuing or renewing permits for individuals to carry weapons in Koh Pha-ngan as part of tighter security measures after a British tourist was killed in a crossfire between two Thai gangs on New Year’s Day, Governor Chatpong Chataraputi said. – 3,380 killed in nine years of violence
A total of 3,380 people have been killed and 8,388 wounded in terror attacks since the resumption of insurgent violence in the deep South nine years ago today, according to figures released yesterday by the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre. – Volunteers step up
The police force got veteran volunteers to fill nearly all the 150 detective slots in the deep South, with a lottery needed for just three positions. – Gov’t declares 2013 ‘Year of Safety for Tourists’
Safety measures for tourists will be enhanced and highlighted as a national agenda, the Tourism and Sports Ministry announced today. – 3G still not certain
The court gives the Ombudsman a second chance to reverse the 3G auction – as the NBTC regulators flex muscles on phone companies and broadcasters. – Historic stamp to mark Thai Children’s Day
Thailand Post will create the widest stamp in the country’s postal history to mark the coming National Children’s Day, a senior executive of the state corporation said today. – Car production this year likely to increase to 2.7 million
The number of cars and pickup trucks produced in Thailand this year could increase to 2.7 million from the earlier targetted 2.5 million, according to the Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA).

ASIA – More than 100 dead as cold snap hits India
More than 100 people have died of exposure as northern India deals with historically cold temperatures. Many of the dead were homeless or poor. – China railway firm in fatal ‘tunnel blast cover up’
A railway company in northern China has been accused of covering up an explosion in a tunnel last month which left eight dead, state media report. –  UN allocates $10m for typhoon victims
The UN has allocated $US10 million for emergency assistance to nearly a million people in the Philippines displaced by typhoon Bopha in December. – Indonesia city to ban women ‘straddling motorbikes’
A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers. – Outrage over HK’s shark fin rooftop
Hong Kong conservationists are outraged after the discovery of a factory rooftop covered in 15,000 to 20,000 shark fins destined for Chinese banquets. – Starbucks to open first Vietnam store next month
Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee-shop company, is set to open its first store in Vietnam next month as it continues expanding in Asia.

UK – Labour pledge new ‘jobs guarantee’
Labour unveils a plan to guarantee a temporary job for people out of work for more than two years, to help ease them back into full-time work. – Argentina rebuffed over Falklands
Prime Minister David Cameron strongly rebuffs a call by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for the UK to return the South Atlantic islands. – Eight police hurt in city flag protest
Eight police officers are injured as trouble breaks out in east Belfast following a loyalist protest against restrictions to the flying of the union flag. – Put curbs on mortgage lending: UK group
A UK think-tank has urged policymakers to look at putting greater curbs on mortgage lending to lessen the chances of any return to potentially risky lending. – Labour pledge new ‘jobs guarantee’
Labour unveils a plan to guarantee a temporary job for people out of work for more than two years, to help ease them back into full-time work.

AFRICA – Rebel threat to quit Congo talks
The M23 rebel group threatens to pull out of peace talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo unless President Joseph Kabila signs a ceasefire. – Sudan leaders to meet in Ethiopia
The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan are to meet to address disputes that brought them close to war following the South’s independence in 2011. – Mandela doing well, says family
Nelson Mandela’s grandson says the anti-apartheid icon is “stronger than before” after nearly three weeks of hospital treatment.

EUROPE – Swiss bank to close after US fine
Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin, is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to helping Americans evade their taxes. – Spain sees jobless total fall in December
The number of people registered unemployed in Spain fell in December, the Labour Ministry has said, a rare glimmer of hope for its recession-hit economy. – Basque nationalists Batasuna disband French party
Basque nationalist group Batasuna has announced it is closing down its party in France. – Rescuers evacuate 1200 skiers in Spain
More than 1000 skiers have been evacuated from a Spanish resort after being trapped by strong winds a day earlier. – Depardieu becomes Russian citizen
Actor Gerard Depardieu hails Russia’s decision to grant him citizenship, following a tax row with the government in his native France.

LATIN AMERICA – Chavez ‘problems after surgery’
Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez, is suffering from “complications” brought on by a “severe lung infection” which developed after surgery, officials say. – Mexican troops kill 12 in gun battle
A deasdy gunfight erupted when soldiers and suspected criminals ran into each other in the city of Rio Grande, sparking a pursuit along 50 kilometres.

MID-EAST – Syria petrol station hit by bomb
At least nine people have been killed and many injured by a car bomb at a petrol station in Damascus, say activists. – Egypt league back despite clashes
Egypt’s Premier League will resume next month, a year after a ban following the deaths of over 70 fans in clashes in Port Said.

US – New US Congress faces more fiscal battles
A new US Congress has been sworn in but it is as divided as ever with more fiscal battles ahead and the Republicans focused on curbing government spending. – Transocean agrees oil spill fine
Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, agrees a $1.4bn (£867m) settlement with the US government for violating the Clean Water Act. – Clinton eager to be back at work next week
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is “raring to go” after being released from hospital and is planning to be back at her desk next week, officials say. – Google avoids legal action in US
Google agrees to make changes to how it does business, after US regulators conclude a long-running anti-trust investigation.


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