Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 31st January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 31st January 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 31st January 2013THAILAND – Finally, behind bars
After a chase that lasted seven years, police have slammed prison gates on Kamnan Poh, the one-time godfather of Chon Buri – and a convicted murderer with a rap sheet so long it barely fits on a full newspaper page. – The Rohingya racket
A House committee ripped away some sordid details of trafficking Myanmar migrants – with smugglers charging 65,000 baht a head to get them to Thailand. – PM instructs economic team to help smaller enterprises
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is concerned with the strengthening and fluctuating Thai currency and instructed related agencies to urgently assist smaller businesses which have been affected by the situation. – Back on top
Rice exporters who were very gloomy six months ago now say sales will surge this year and Thailand will regain its position as world No 1 seller. – Deputy PM Chalerm to meet former Malaysian premier
Deputy PM Chalerm to meet former Malaysian premier Mahathir in Langkawi Feb 4-5 seeking advice for ending southern problems in Thailand – Pongsapat’s voting record in dispute
Election officials yesterday were investigating an allegation that Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen, the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s Bangkok gubernatorial candidate, failed to vote in a previous election, which would disqualify him from running. – Pongsapat’s promises
The Pheu Thai candidate for Bangkok governor went to party headquarters and made eight campaign pledges that he promised to keep – really. – Concern over plan to reduce homework
Concerned by the Education Ministry’s move to reduce homework for students, an education expert yesterday warned that such a policy must be implemented carefully, otherwise it would reduce students’ skills instead of providing more time for them to learn from different activities. – Abhisit seeks clarity on amnesty efforts
The government should specify the groups and individuals entitled to amnesty in order to give a clear idea of what the legal absolution would entail, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday. – Kwanchai urges ‘slow’ amnesty
Red-shirt core member Kwanchai Praipana Wednesday called on members of a red shirt-affiliated group to remain calm after they pressured the government to consider an amnesty for political offenders, warning such move could undermine voters’ support for Pheu Thai governor candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen. – Virabongsa worried about bubbles, supports a cut in interest rate
Pressure is bearing down on the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee, even from its own chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura, to cut the policy rate at its February 20 meeting amid a flood of foreign funds that has boosted financial markets. – Tourism revenue predicted at B1 trillion
Kasikorn Research Centre forecast on Wednesday that around 24.5 million tourists will visit Thailand in 2013, bringing in 1.06 trillion baht of revenue. – Health plan operators face squeeze
Financial pressure is growing on the providers of the country’s three main healthcare schemes in the wake of the Public Health Ministry’s decision to adjust medical-service fees at state hospitals across the country.

ASIA – S Korea satellite ‘communicating’
South Korea says the satellite launched on Wednesday has made contact with a ground station and is sending data. – China prosecutes 14 in pollution protest
Fourteen people have pleaded guilty to encouraging a violent mass protest in China in July 2012. – Ivory haul from Africa seized in Singapore
Customs officials in Singapore have uncovered a shipment of 1.8 tonnes of ivory, with a value of around $2.5m (£1.6m). – Monkeys attack 7 people in Indonesian town
Wild monkeys have entered a village in eastern Indonesia and attacked residents, leaving seven people injured. – Millions set to mourn Cambodia’s ex-king
Millions of Cambodians are expected to pay their final respects as the body of the late king, Norodom Sihanouk, is cremated in a lavish funeral ceremony. – Japan judo coach ‘beat top female athletes’
Japan’s top female judo wrestlers were subjected to violence by their coach, officials have admitted.

UK – Cameron in Algerian security talks
Prime Minister David Cameron says the international community should use “everything at its disposal” to fight terrorism, on a visit to Algeria. – EU exit would be ‘fatal mistake’ says Ken Clarke
Leaving the European Union would be a “fatal mistake” for the UK, former chancellor Ken Clarke has said. – Burger horsemeat ‘came from Poland’
Horsemeat found in burgers produced in the Irish Republic came from a Polish supplier, the UK Food Standards Agency says.

AFRICA – French forces take key Mali town
French forces secure the Malian town of Kidal, paving the way for the next phase in ousting Islamist militants from the vast north of the country. – Egypt opposition urge talks amid violence
Fresh violence had killed two people in Cairo as opposition parties call for urgent talks to resolve Egypt’s politi cal crisis. – Zimbabwe ‘had $217 in account’
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti says that the country only had $217 (£138) left in its public account last week after paying civil servants. – SA tycoon donates half his wealth
South Africa’s richest black man, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, announces he is giving away half his wealth to improve the lives of the poor.

EUROPE – Spain’s recession worsens in the fourth quarter
The downturn in the Spanish economy worsened in the final three months of 2012, as output fell 1.8% from a year earlier, official data has indicated. – Europe swoop on ‘people-smugglers’
More than 100 suspected people-smugglers have been arrested in countries around Europe in one of the largest such co-ordinated swoops, says Europol. – Greek protesters storm Athens office of labour minister
Protesters in Greece have stormed the Athens offices of a government minister in the latest demonstration against austerity measures.

LATIN AMERICA – Nightclub checks after Brazil fire
The governor of Brazil’s most populous state, Sao Paulo, orders tighter inspections of nightclubs and cinemas after a fire that killed 235 people. – Brazil club owner blames ‘whole country’
A Brazilian nightclub owner has blamed a deadly fire on “a succession of errors made by the whole country”. – Farc to go on targeting soldiers
Colombia’s rebel group Farc says it intends to carry on capturing military personnel, despite warnings that it could undermine peace talks. – Magnitude 6.7 quake hits Chile: report
US monitors say a 6.7-magnitude earthquake has rocked northern Chile. – Venezuela leader Chavez ‘better each day’
Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza says President Hugo Chavez is improving each day. – Jail for animal cruelty in Mexico
People hurting animals in Mexico City face a fine and up to four years in jail, according to legislation coming into force on Thursday.

MID-EAST – Syria ‘confirms’ Israeli strike
Syria’s military says Israeli jets carried out an air strike on its territory, but denies reports that a convoy of weapons bound for Lebanon was hit. – Syria massacre due to world inaction
The world is giving the Syrian regime a licence to kill by its inaction, the Syrian opposition says. – Syrian refugees flee in cramped trucks
Syrian refugees are fleeing the horror of their war-torn country, preferring the hardships that await them in the tent cities on the other side of the border.

US – Deadly storms wreak havoc in US
A massive storm system brings mayhem to a swathe of the US, leaving two people dead and thousands of households without electricity. – Immigration reform: Obama sees deal within six months
President Barack Obama has said US immigration reform could be achieved within six months, in an interview with Spanish-language TV channel Telemundo. – Giffords pleads for gun control
Wounded former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the head of the National Rifle Association testify at a congressional hearing on gun control. – US economy in surprise downturn
The US economy unexpectedly shrank at an annualised rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, official figures indicate.


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