Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thurday 24th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thurday 24th January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thurday 24th January 2013THAILAND – The baht keeps rising
As the value of the Thai baht flies nearly off the charts the government called top experts to a “don’t panic, yet” meeting – and heard some inconvenient talk from the likes of critic and former minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula. – Thai activist gets 10-year jail for royal slur
Thailand’s Criminal Court on Wednesday handed down a 10-year  imprisonment sentence to a Thai political activist-magazine editor accused of insulting the monarchy. – Abhisit, Suthep sue DSI chief
Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban on Thursday filed a lawsuit with the Criminal Court against Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdit, accusing him of making false charges against them in connection with the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April-May 2010. – Abhisit tells Hun Sen not to link disputes
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appears to be confused about issues related to land and maritime border disputes with Thailand, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday. – Defence Minister: Southern insurgency killings severely disrupt education
Thai Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat today described yesterday’s murder of a Muslim teacher in the South as another blow to education in the region but stood firm in his belief that the existing security measures for educators needs no adjustment. – Foreign Ministry talks with international bodies on Rohingya underway
Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials will meet with related state agencies Friday seeking practical solutions to the problem of Rohingya migrants in Thailand in preparation for further talks with international organisations. – Pongsapat begins to lead the race
Pheu Thai candidate Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen began to lead the race for governorship of Bangkok, Abac Poll at Assumption University reported on Thursday. – Thailand rice exports hit 12-year low
Rice exports from Thailand plunged 37 per cent last year to the lowest in more than a decade, plunging the nation from best in the world to third place. – New rice stock under pledging scheme to be auctioned
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom has ordered a new bid for rice under the rice pledging scheme given increasing demand in the local market. – Bt300 wage forces Siriraj to hike fees
Siriraj Hospital plans to hike its fees this year after shouldering an additional Bt800 million in wage costs due to the Bt300 wage policy and losing Bt1 billion in income to the government’s measures to reduce drug expenses, the dean of Mahidol University’s Medicine Faculty said. – Hello! Anyone listening?
Instead of venting at the court over the lese majeste law, red-shirts should ask the govt they installed, “Why won’t you change it?” says Voranai. – ‘Female monks’ cause stir
Women in saffron robes make rounds each morning, seeking alms in a Nakhon Pathom village like “real monks” – and the Office of Buddhism is not amused.

ASIA – North Korea ‘plans nuclear test’
North Korea says it is proceeding with plans for a third nuclear test, two days after the UN Security Council condemned its rocket launch. – Japan runs record trade deficit
Japan posts a record high trade deficit of 6.9tn yen ($78bn) for 2012, as exports to Europe and China continue their plunge. -Vietnam to produce own poison for executions
Vietnam says it is to begin producing home-grown poisons to be used in the execution of prisoners.

UK – Businesses divided over EU speech
As David Cameron heads to the Davos Economic Forum, some business leaders warn his EU referendum proposal will hurt investment, but others back the prime minister’s move. – More poor health than good in UK: survey
The British may have good reason to whinge after all, with the results of a new survey showing that on average they only feel healthy for 61 days a year. – IMF’s Olivier Blanchard: Time for UK to consider Plan B
The IMF chief economist has told the BBC that Chancellor George Osborne should consider toning down austerity in his March budget.

AFRICA – Mali’s army accused of abuses
Malian troops have carried out “summary executions” as they fight to recapture the Islamist-controlled north, a France-based rights group says. – ‘Beheadings’ in Nigerian city
Suspected militant Islamists behead five people overnight in Nigeria’s north-eastern city of Maiduguri, a resident and journalist tell the BBC. – Boko Haram ‘threat’ to other nations
The Nigerian president says the local al-Qaeda-linked group, Boko Haram, could threaten the rest of Africa if it is not rooted out. – Poachers kill 32 SAfrican rhinos this year
A record 668 rhinos were killed last year, most of them in the vast wildlife reserve and South Africa’s top safari destination, Kruger National Park.

EUROPE – EU leaders warn Cameron over poll
Germany and France warn that Britain cannot pick and choose the terms of its EU membership after Prime Minister David Cameron announces a referendum. – Russia’s Lavrov says Beirut flights not Syria evacuation
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is not beginning a mass evacuation of its citizens from Syria. – General strike cripples Slovenia
A general strike has crippled Slovenia as a political crisis threatened to bring down the government.

LATIN AMERICA – Venezuelans in democracy rallies
Venezuela’s government and opposition mark the 55th anniversary of the end of the military dictatorship with rallies in the capital, Caracas. – Eleven held over Mexico violence
Mexican authorities arrest 11 gang members suspected of killing and dismembering up to 16 people in the city of Toluca in the last 10 days.

MID-EAST – Lapid snubs ‘anti-Netanyahu bloc’
Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party came second in the Israeli election, says he will not try to block a new coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu. – Iraq suicide bomb at mosque kills 42
A blast has struck Sayida al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician. – Bahrain princess on torture charge
A Bahraini princess is facing charges of torturing three pro-democracy activists in the Gulf island kingdom. – Palestinian threat to sue Israel
The Palestinians threaten to take Israel to the International Criminal Court over plans to build new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

US – US to end ban on women in combat
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is to lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat, a senior Pentagon official says. – US House passes debt-ceiling rise
The US House passes a bill to extend the country’s debt limit until May, deferring a budget debate with the White House. – Hillary Clinton’s back, and fighting fit
Facing down senators who questioned her about the fatal attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton has given a dominant display.


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