Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 8th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 8th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 8th January 2013THAILAND – Africa-Asia rhino trade busted
Two Vietnamese men are under arrest in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City after customs officials intercepted black rhino horns smuggled from Mozambique worth half a million US dollars. – Over 3,400 have lost jobs in 6 months
The Bt300 wage policy has cost at least 3,434 workers their jobs during the past six months, according to official statistics. – Regulators step back
The NBTC has refused after all to rule on the Nua Mek 2 soap opera cancellation – instead, forming a committee to look at what may be lese majeste problems. – PM vows to put up tough fight at ICJ
The government will do everything in its power to fight a court battle with Cambodia over the ownership of the contested land around the Preah Vihear temple, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says. – Judges are ‘meddling’
A House sub-committee on charter change says the Constitution Court should be abolished, along with the Supreme Court’s section on political crimes. – Court spokesman dismisses red move
The Constitution Court refused to respond yesterday to questions by the red shirts on whether there is an obligation to hold a national referendum before proceeding with changes to the charter. – NBTC: Thaksin’s Ch11 speech OK
The live broadcast on Channel 11 featuring former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra at a boxing event in Macau last month was not illegal, according to a formal ruling by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). – New Year drunk driving up 23%
The number of drunk driving cases recorded throughout the country over the “seven dangerous days” of the New Year period is up 23% on the corresponding period of the previous year and most of them are first-time offenders, according to the Department of Probation. – Bangkok governor to quit post Tuesday
Incumbent Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra will resign from his four-year political position tomorrow to pave the way for a new bid in the gubernatorial election. – Business steps up fight for subsidies
The business sector is renewing efforts to win government subsidies amid fears the minimum-wage hike will force many small companies to close down and push living costs up nationwide. – DNP seeks Bt9bn for reforestation
A Bt9-billion budget is being sought for forestation projects across the country while plans are being put in place for a nationwide crackdown on encroachers, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced yesterday. – Migrant lure
The B300 daily minimum wage is proving an irresistible lure for workers from neighbouring countries who have begun to arrive in Thailand in droves.

ASIA – Heat and wind fan Australia fires
Residents in south-eastern Australia have been warned of the risk of catastrophic fires fanned by high winds and record temperatures. – China newspaper journalists stage rare strike
Journalists at a major Chinese paper, Southern Weekly, have gone on strike in a rare protest against censorship. – McDonald’s to become ‘Macca’s’ in Australia
Global fast food chain McDonald’s is embracing its Australian nickname Down Under, with selected stores around the country changing their signage on Tuesday to “Macca’s”. – Samsung estimates record profit
Samsung Electronics says it expects to post a record profit for the three months to end of December, powered by growing sales of its smartphones.

UK – Plastic bullets fired in Belfast
Water cannon are used after trouble erupts for a fifth night in east Belfast over a decision to limit the number of days the union flag is flown over City Hall. – Spit test ‘improves’ asthma care
A simple spit test could identify thousands of children with asthma who are taking medication which will never work for them, according to scientists. – Free school breakfasts for all tested by council
Free breakfasts for all primary school pupils are to be provided by a council, in a three-month pilot project to stop children starting the day hungry. – Online shopping bolsters Christmas sales
Strong growth in online shopping stopped retail sales falling in December, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

AFRICA – Opposition snubs Ghana inauguration
Ghana’s main opposition party boycotts the swearing-in ceremony of President John Mahama following last month’s disputed elections. – Mali army ‘clash with Islamists’
Malian soldiers fire on Islamist fighters, military sources say, in the first significant clashes reported since Islamists seized the north in April.

EUROPE – Berlusconi ‘won’t stand for PM’
Silvio Berlusconi will not be a candidate for prime minister in next month’s Italian election, according to a pact he has signed with the Northern League party. – Global deal boosts bank shares
European bank shares rise following the weekend agreement on the minimum amounts of cash and easy-to-sell assets that banks have to hold. – Barroso: Threat to euro overcome
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the threat to the euro has been overcome, but warns challenges remain for the EU. – Messi wins record fourth Ballon d’Or
Lionel Messi added yet another record to his stellar list of achievements over the past 12 months on Monday when he won an unprecedented fourth, consecutive, Ballon d’Or at a FIFA gala in Zurich.

LATIN AMERICA – Show of support called for Chavez
Venezuela’s assembly speaker calls for a major rally on Thursday to mark Hugo Chavez’s inauguration, despite the president’s likely absence. – Pack of dogs kills four people in Mexico
Mexico City police have rounded up 25 stray dogs after the deaths of four people, including a mother and her baby. – Honduras police seize golden gun
Honduras police put on display a gold-plated, jewel-encrusted AK-47 assault rifle, seized during a raid.

MID-EAST – Bahrain rejects activists’ appeal
Bahrain’s highest appeal court upholds the sentences of 13 activists for their part in pro-democracy protests in 2011. – Syrian opposition cold-shoulders Assad
Syria’s domestic opposition has rejected President Bashar al-Assad’s call to dialogue until the violence stops. – Palestine name change shows limitations
President Abbas is keen to refer to the “State of Palestine” in official documents, but he will not provoke Israel by changing passports and ID documents. – Iranian oil revenues ‘plunge 45%’
A leading Iranian MP says oil revenues have dropped 45% because of sanctions, amid reports of airlines cancelling flights over unpaid fuel bills.

US – Obama nominations under scrutiny
President Obama names Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon and terrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA, but Republicans question the nominations. – US bank to pay $11.6bn settlement
Bank of America agrees to pay US government mortgage agency Fannie Mae a total of $11.6bn to settle claims over home loans.


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