Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 15th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 15th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 15th January 2013THAILAND – And… they’re off!
Bangkok voters have a fistful of hopeful candidates to consider for the March 3 election, with six challengers hoping to unseat the controversial incumbent MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra. – Camera blitz
The question: Why did southern insurgents destroy 80 CCTV cameras? One unpleasant possibility: to cover up a coming wave of attacks in Yala. – 250,000 people in North affected by cold spell
About 260,000 people in Thailand’s northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son have been affected by the current cold snap, and the provinces have declared disaster zones to be able to provide assistance to affected residents. – Foreign Ministry, minister sued for providing false info on Preah
A group of activists Monday filed a lawsuit against the Foreign Ministry, foreign minister and four other senior ministry officials accusing them of providing false information about the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. – Traffickers wanted
Arrest warrants accuse a Songkhla politician and a Myanmar man as masterminds in smuggling and trafficking 843 Rohingya into the South. – Deputy PM: High spending for Thai education with poor results
Deputy Prime Minister/Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana today expressed displeasure at the quality of Thailand’s education despite the mammoth national budget that has been allocated. – Ministry aims to vaccinate 400,000 people against new flu strain
The Public Health Ministry is preparing to vaccinate 400,000 people in risky groups against the strain of influenza that has recently spread widely in certain parts of United States. – Yingluck pressed to ban ivory trade
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched a global petition Monday that puts responsibility for African elephant poaching on Thailand. – PM urged to review NGV bus plan
The so-called group of 40 senators has urged the government to review its plan to purchase 3,183 new public buses fuelled by natural gas for vehicles (NGV), saying it was too expensive and put a burden on the government and the people. – One battle the Army chief wants to avoid
The row between General Prayuth Chan-ocha and Sondhi Limthongkul is a complex power game. Many may have thought that the Army chief is trying to gag the People’s Alliance for Democracy leader. But the issue of press intimidation is just the tip of the iceberg. – Bt50 million fund sought for helping foreign tourists
A Bt-50million insurance fund is moving towards establishment on February 1 to aid foreign visitors in distress as the government strives to restore international confidence in tourism in Thailand. – Telecom watchdog NBTC to give away discount coupons
Telecom watchdog NBTC resolves to give away discount coupons to 22 million households to buy set-top boxes for digital TV. – Thai Navy buys advanced missiles
The Royal Thai Navy has purchased nine Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile systems from US defence manufacturer Raytheon, the company announced Tuesday. – A minute lasts forever
Starting Friday, the NBTC will begin enforcing a rule to bar phone companies from expiring prepaid minutes – with fines and “other penalties” if they refuse. – Prayuth apologises to ASTV-Manager daily
Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday issued a public apology to the ASTV-Manager daily over his men holding a rally outside the paper’s offices on Friday and Saturday. – Thai rice ‘has lowest arsenic’
Research by the University of California into fears and claims of arsenic in rice said Tuesday that the world famous Thai khao hom mali had the least amount of the naturally produced poison of any grain in the world.

ASIA – UN rights chief urges probe into ‘deplorable’ N Korea
The UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has called for an international investigation into decades of serious human rights abuses in North Korea. – North Korea vows to bolster war deterrence
Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said in a memorandum on Monday North Korea will “continue to strengthen its deterrence against all forms of war”. – Japan boosts defence of disputed islands
Japan will deploy two more patrol ships to boost its defence of the Senkaku islands, which are at the centre of a territorial row with China.

UK – Trouble flares at Belfast flashpoint
Petrol bombs are thrown towards a Catholic Church at a sectarian interface in east Belfast, following a loyalist protest over the union flag. – Mali ‘serious concern’ for the UK
The Africa minister warns against allowing a “terrorist haven” to develop in northern Mali, telling MPs the situation is a “serious concern” for the UK. – UK govt says ‘insult’ ban will be dropped
The British Home Secretary has told MPs a “careful balance” must be struck between free speech and prosecuting those who cause “widespread offence”. – David Cameron to make key Europe speech on Friday
David Cameron’s long-awaited speech on the UK and Europe will take place on Friday.

AFRICA – Mali’s Islamists seize new town
Islamist fighters in Mali seize a town in government-controlled territory, though France says its military operation is making progress. – 30,000 displaced in Mali fighting: UN
The United Nations says at least 30,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Mali. – UN backs French Mali intervention
The UN Security Council backs France’s intervention against Islamists in Mali, as thousands of African troops are expected to join the operation. – Fresh clashes in S Africa’s wine country
South African police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing grape pickers who are striking in a wine producing town.

EUROPE – Berlusconi trial request rejected
An Italian court denies ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi’s request to postpone his trial on sex and abuse of power charges until after elections. – Ruby avoids testifying in Berlusconi trial
Lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi say Ruby the Heart Stealer, the exotic dancer at the centre of his trial for underage sex, will not be testifying after all. – Pneumonia scandal in Russian army
Russia’s new defence minister sacks the chief medical officer of the armed forces after five soldiers die of pneumonia. – Eurozone factory output falls again in November
Output from eurozone factories fell by 0.3% in November, according to the latest official figures from EU body Eurostat.

LATIN AMERICA – Farc ceasefire ‘to end on Sunday’
Farc rebels say their ceasefire will end on Sunday, as peace talks with the government of Colombia resume in Havana. – Sao Paulo to force crack addicts to get help
Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, is due to start mandatory treatment for crack cocaine addicts who are deemed at risk of death.

MID-EAST – Syrians face ‘staggering’ crisis
Syria is suffering a “staggering humanitarian crisis”, an aid agency warns, amid reports of fresh deaths in an air strike on a Damascus suburb. – 57 countries demand Syria war crimes case
Australia is one of 57 countries to call on the UN Security Council to refer the Syria conflict to the International Criminal Court. – Cairo train derailment ‘kills 17’
At least 17 people are killed and another 103 wounded after a train carrying army recruits derailed near Egypt’s capital Cairo, officials say.

US – Obama: US debt crisis looms
President Barack Obama warned of a new economic crisis Monday and said global stock markets would go “haywire” unless Republicans in Congress agree to raise the US sovereign debt ceiling. – Obama backs gun reforms as Newtown grieves
As Newtown marked a month since 20 children were shot dead, US President Barack Obama said he backs new gun reforms but doubts they will pass congress. – Lance Armstrong ‘admits doping’
Cyclist Lance Armstrong has admitted to talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs in a lengthy interview to be aired later this week, US media reported Monday. – JP Morgan must tighten risk controls, say US regulators
JP Morgan Chase, which lost billions of dollars in trades by an employee known as the London Whale, must revamp its risk management, regulators have said. – Apple shares hit by iPhone 5 order fears
Shares in technology giant Apple have fallen 3.5% after reports suggesting that orders for its iPhone 5 have been lower than expected.


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