Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 31st October

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 31st October

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Wednesday 31st OctoberTHAILAND – Constitutional re-launch
With Thaksin confidante Jarupong Ruangsuwan as new party leader, Pheu Thai says it is ready to try again to get public opinion behind a rewrite of the constitution. – Censure debate set for Nov 25-26; vote set for Nov 28
The Opposition Democrat Party will submit a request on November 9 to hold its censure debate on November 25 and 26. Not all Bhum Jai Thai MPs have agreed to support a no-confidence motion, however. – Southern volunteer
Chalerm Yubamrung wants to be top commander for operations in the deep South, proposing to appoint two retired generals to carry out operations. – Govt set to sell rice below cost in secret deals, source says
The Commerce Ministry is secretly arranging to sell the government’s rice to local traders at below cost, aiming to clear up its overwhelming stockpiles rapidly in preparation for upcoming rice production under the pledging project. – China offers loan for tablet scheme
China has offered to provide a massive loan for full implementation of Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child scheme. – Govt urged to enact city planning law
Advocates of land protection rallied at Government House Tuesday to demand quick action on a proposed law on urban planning for the Eastern region. – Futsal D-day
Fifa will decide today whether to try to play the World Cup at the Futsal Arena, or just declare the stadium too far behind schedule to use.

ASIA – Myanmar relief camps ‘overwhelmed’
SITTWE, Burma – Food, water and medical help are in short supply at overcrowded camps in violence-hit western Burma that are “stretched beyond capacity”, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. – Ethnic violence in Indonesia ‘leave 10 dead’
At least 10 people have been killed and thousands evacuated after ethnic clashes erupted in two villages in Indonesia’s Lampung province. – China confronts Japan ships near islands
Chinese patrol boats have confronted Japanese ships near islands disputed by both countries. – Earthquake shakes Manila buildings
A smal earthquake has shaken buildings in the Philippine capital of Manila but caused no damage. – Southern India and Sri Lanka on cyclone alert
A cyclone has displaced more than 4,000 people in Sri Lanka and is threatening southern India, officials say. – ‘Tsunami money spent on unrelated jobs’
Money meant to rebuild Japan’s tsunami-devastated areas has been spent on unrelated projects, the government says. – N Korea leader’s wife reappears
The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un makes public appearances, state-run media report, after being absent from the public eye for 50 days. – Indonesian anger at ‘maids on sale’ ad
JAKARTA – An advertisement in Malaysia offering Indonesian maids “on sale” has gone viral online in Indonesia and sparked new outrage over an issue that has long divided the two countries. – Singapore Airline buy 10% stake in Virgin Australia
Singapore Airlines has bought a 10% stake in Virgin Australia as it looks to counter the growing strength of competitors in the region.

UK – Heseltine reveals plan for growth
Lord Heseltine recommends ending a century of centralisation and moving growth funds nearer to industry in his report into boosting UK growth. – Living standards ‘may stagnate’
Millions of poor and middle-income households could see their living standards no higher in 2020 than they were in 2000, a think tank says. – London police to sell Scotland Yard HQ
Budget cuts are forcing London police to look at selling off the central London headquarters of Scotland Yard. – Economy changes shoppers’ habits
UK consumers are feeling worse about the economy than last month, a survey shows, while retailers say shoppers are acting as if they don’t expect a recovery soon. – Elderly ‘housebound’ by fall fear
Some elderly people will not leave their homes because they are fearful of having a fall while they are out, a survey suggests. – Would-be UK migrants hiding with coffins
British border officials have detained three people who tried to enter the country illegally by hiding in a truck full of coffins. – Vivienne Westwood to sell Assange T-shirts
UK fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is to sell T-shirts in support of Julian Assange.

AFRICA -SA census shows big racial divide
The income of white South African households is six times higher than that of black households, 18 years after the end of apartheid, census figures show. – Armed robbers kill 20 in northern Nigeria
Armed robbers have shot dead 20 people in northern Nigeria’s Zamfara state, an area plagued by violent clashes between vigilante and criminal groups. – South Africa mine strikes: Police fire tear gas
Police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse about 1,000 striking miners at a leading platinum mine in South Africa. – Protesters won’t interrupt royals: PNG PM
Papua New Guinea’s police say they won’t allow protesters to interrupt Saturday’s visit by Prince Charles.

EUROPE – Greece reaches austerity accord
Greece reaches agreement with its international creditors on new austerity measures, but the deal needs parliamentary approval. – Greece delays austerity vote
Greece’s coalition government will delay a vote on major new austerity measures by another week. – EU budget rise: Lead negotiator Cyprus wants 50bn-euro cut
The EU’s next multi-year budget proposal should be cut by at least 50bn euros (£40bn; $65bn), says the Cypriot government, chairing hard negotiations. – France makes tax claim against Google
French tax authorities have made a 1.3 billion claim against Google to pressure it in a dispute over compensation to media websites – Kurds clash with Turkish police
Thousands of Kurdish protesters have clashed with police in Turkey on what they called a day of resistance in towns and cities across the country. – Russia ‘returns to Stalin-era show trials’
Stalin-Era tactics including show trials and camp sentences are being employed by the Russian government, a prominent rights group says. – French PM Ayrault says 35-hour week rethink ‘not taboo’
France’s Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has suggested the 35-hour week brought in by his Socialist party in 2000 is open to review. – UBS cuts 10,000 jobs as it slims down investment bank arm
Swiss bank UBS has announced it is cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide as it tries to cut costs and slims down its investment banking activities. – New Dutch government ditches ‘weed pass’
Plans to effectively ban tourists from Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes have been ditched by the incoming Dutch government.

LATIN AMERICA – Haiti, Jamaica losses from Sandy
Hurricane Sandy has destroyed 70 per cent of the crops in southern Haiti while in neighbouring Jamaica it’s left at least $US16.5 million worth of damage. – Jamaica rounds up gang suspects
About 100 suspected gang members are detained and questioned by police in Jamaica who fear a recent murder could ignite gang rivalries.

MID-EAST – Protesters disrupt Libya assembly
Protesters have stormed Libya’s national assembly, derailing a vote on a cabinet line-up in a new blow to efforts to form a government. – Bahrain government bans protests
Bahrain’s interior ministry announces a ban on all protests and gatherings amid escalating clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators. – Syrian general ‘killed by rebels’
A senior Syrian air force general has been shot dead by rebels in a suburb of the capital Damascus, state television reports. – Syria warplanes hit inside Damascus
Damascus has been targeted for the first time by a Syrian fighter jet following the assassination of an air force general.

US – US counts cost as Sandy recedes
At least 40 people have been killed, millions are without power and transport across the north-eastern US has been severely disrupted as storm Sandy heads north for Canada. – Storm and fire devastates 50 homes in NY
More than 25 people have been rescued after fire swept through a New York neighbourhood in the wake of superstorm Sandy. – Insured US storm losses $7-15 bn: experts
Insured losses from the massive superstorm Sandy that has battered the US East Coast could run between $US7 billion and $US15 billion. – US meningitis death toll rises to 28
In the US 28 people have died from fungal meningitis they contracted after using suspected tainted steroid injections blamed for a growing outbreak. – Disney buys firm behind Star Wars
Disney buys Lucasfilm, the company behind Star Wars, from George Lucas for $4.05bn (£2.5bn) and will release a seventh Star Wars film in 2015.


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