Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 22nd January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Tuesday 22nd January 2013THAILAND – New Myanmar border trade zone
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took the cabinet to the North on Monday, where ministers approved investments of 51 billion baht in the area – including a special border economic zone in Mae Sot district of Tak province. – Call for regional help to deal with Rohingya
Ethnic Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar deserve the attention of Asean as their problems are huge, a panel of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says. – Abhisit: Soldiers ‘defended themselves’
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in an interview Monday that soldiers acted in self-defence when setting up live-fire zones around a protest site in 2010, as he fights murder charges over a crackdown that killed more than 90 people. – Industrialists say exports affected by stronger Thai currency
The private sector has called on the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to lower the interest rate in light of the successive appreciation of the Thai currency which is adversely impacting the country’s exports. – Whispers on the campaign trail
In their very first public statement aired on Nation Channel, five candidates running for the Bangkok poll, including Sukhumbhand Paribatra, boasted about their policies, though the more interesting ones seem to come from independent contenders. – Airline workers defiant
The labour union told the president of Thai Airways International to fast-track pay rises and bonuses – and demanded the THAI chairman resign. – ‘Patriots’ slam ICJ
The Thai Patriots Network led a protest of hundreds against having the International Court of Justice hear the Preah Vihear temple issue in April. – Scholarship to tackle skill shortage
The cabinet has agreed to extend a scholarship scheme for Mathayom 6 students from poor families to further their studies in Thailand or overseas.

ASIA – Strong quake kills one in Indonesia
A strong magnitude 5.9 earthquake has hit Aceh province in western Indonesia, reportedly killing a child. – North Korea rocket ‘was domestically made’
The long-range rocket launched by North Korea last month was largely made using domestic technology, South Korea says. – China anger at US remarks on East China Sea islands
China’s foreign ministry has strongly criticised the US for backing Japan’s control of a disputed group of islands in the East China Sea. – Japan man held after biting ‘son to death’
A Japanese man has been accused of killing his son by head-butting and biting him after the 23-year-old began writhing around claiming to be a serpent. – Malaysians get voting rules
Malaysians living in south Thailand will have to return home to vote in the upcoming general election, the Election Commission (EC) announced. – North Korea allows foreign visitors to use own mobiles
Foreign visitors to North Korea are for the first time being allowed to take their own mobile phones with them into the country, according to reports. – India raises gold import tax to tackle trade deficit
India has raised import duties on gold by a half to try to rein in demand for the precious metal. – Singapore in bid to boost birth rate
Singapore has increased cash bonuses for parents of newborn babies in an attempt to boost its population and reduce dependence on foreigners. – Censored Skyfall opens in China
The latest James Bond film, Skyfall, opens in China after a two-month delay, with key scenes removed by Chinese censors.

UK – UK PM to give delayed EU speech this week
British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to give his long-awaited speech on the EU this week in London. – MoD plans third round of Army cuts
The Ministry of Defence is to unveil plans for a third round of Army job losses, with a higher proportion of compulsory redundancies expected among about 5,000 axed posts. – Michael Winner: Death Wish director dies aged 77
Film director and newspaper columnist Michael Winner has died, aged 77, his wife Geraldine has confirmed.

AFRICA – Algeria siege death toll climbs past 80
Algerians searching for explosives have found dozens more bodies, many so badly disfigured it is unclear if they are hostages or militants. – French forces ‘seize’ two towns
French and Malian troops seize the key Malian towns of Diabaly and Douentza from militant Islamists, the French defence minister says.

EUROPE – EU carbon price hits all-time low
The price of carbon under the EU Emissions Trading System hits a record low as Europe’s economic weakness contributes to an over-supply of permits. – Berlusconi verdict after Italy elections
An Italian court has ruled the verdict in Silvio Berlusconi’s trial for underage sex will not come before the February elections. – Austrian trains in head-on crash
Dozens of people have been injured in a head-on collision between two commuter trains in the Austrian capital Vienna. – Snow grounds hundreds of Europe flights
Heavy snow and freezing weather across much of Europe has forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled and severely disrupted road and rail traffic. – French, Germans mark 50 years of ties
The leaders of Germany and France have kicked off events marking 50 years of post-war reconciliation.

LATIN AMERICA – Hugo Chavez ‘joking and laughing’
Hugo Chavez is joking and laughing again, a minister says, the latest positive comments after the Venezuelan president’s cancer surgery. – Cuba’s internet cable ‘finally on’
A high-speed fibre-optic cable connecting Cuba to the global internet has been switched on – more than a year after it was ready.

MID-EAST – Israelis prepare to go to polls
Israelis are preparing to go to the polls in a general election which looks set to return Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to office. – Syria car bomb kills 30, no hope of peace
A car bomb in central Syria has killed 30 people while the UN says its efforts had produced no hope of a peaceful solution to the bloody conflict. – UN leader slams powers that arm Syrians
UN leader Ban Ki-moon has slammed “outside powers” that are arming both sides of the Syria conflict and adding to the growing death toll.

US – Seize the moment, Obama tells US
Barack Obama urges the American people to “seize the moment”, in a speech inaugurating his second term as US president in Washington DC. – Dreamliner: Japan and US probe battery maker
US and Japanese authorities have begun a joint investigation into GS Yuasa, the Japanese battery maker for Boeing’s troubled 787 Dreamliner aircraft.


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