Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 21st February 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 21st February 2013

Phuket’s daily world news round-up – Thursday 21st February 2013THAILAND – ‘I bring good news’
Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha visited Pattani to explain personally to villagers details of the partial lifting of harsh emergency law – but another bombing on a teachers’ convoy and a spate of violent attacks made it clear peace is not yet at hand. – Chalerm choice shows PM’s ignorance of the South
The flare-up of insurgency attacks in the deep South has worried all sides – although 16 Muslim militants were killed in their failed attack against a Marine base in Narathiwat’s Bacho district last week while the marines suffered no casualties. – Karen torture girl can only hope for partial cure
The scald wounds covering the body of the 12-year-old Karen girl who fell victim to slavery can be cured although she won’t make a perfect recovery, a doctor at Ramathibodi Hospital says. – BOT defies pressure, leaving rate unchanged
The Bank of Thailand has successfully defied the government’s pressure for a rate cut, as yesterday’s decision to maintain the policy rate at 2.75 per cent did not cause a further appreciation in the baht as feared. – Water management expert slams floodways plan
A Japanese water management expert has criticised Thailand’s plans to deal with its flood problems. – Country needs water monitor: UN
Thailand should set up an independent water-monitoring regulator, because water and sanitation service providers are to a large extent unaccountable, said Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. – Energy Minister: Power supply critical on April 5
The postponement of planned maintenance on the Myanmar Yanada gas pipeline has not eased concerns of a power shortage in early April, with the Yingluck government warning of the need to cut electricity use during this critical period. – Govt scraps plan to build Kaeng Suea Ten Dam
The government is scrapping its plan to construct the long-opposed Kaeng Suea Ten Dam, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi.. – Bird decries pic touch-up
Superstar Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre says the photo on the internet of himself apparently supporting Pheu Thai’s candidate for Bangkok governor Pongsapat Pongcharoen was doctored.

ASIA – Horsemeat fears spread to Hong Kong
Hong Kong authorities revealed on Wednesday they last week ordered a top local supermarket chain to remove the lasagne made by frozen food giant Findus. – Myanmar holds peace talks with ethnic groups
Myanmar’s reformist government on Wednesday held peace talks with a federation of ethnic groups to try to resolve issues including the conflict in the northern state of Kachin. – Sporadic violence marks India reforms strike
There has been sporadic violence in India at the beginning of a two-day strike called by the country’s trade unions in protest against the government’s economic reforms.  – Two Tibetan youths ‘self-immolate’
Two Tibetan youths, aged 17 and 18, have burned themselves to death in protest in western China, reports from activists and Tibetan exiles say. – China considers BBQ ban to combat smog
Pollution in Beijing was blamed on emissions from coal-burning in power stations and exhaust fumes from vehicles on choked streets. – Japan trade deficit hits record as yen weakens
Japan’s monthly trade deficit hit a record in January after its recent aggressive monetary policy stance weakened its currency sharply. – Football officials urge corruption action at Malaysia meeting
Officials in the world of football have said all countries and organisations must do more to tackle corruption. – Sea Shepherd activists clash with Japanese whalers
Japan’s whaling fleet has clashed with anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which was attempting to disrupt a hunt in the Southern Ocean, say the activists. – Sony announces PlayStation 4 console
Sony announces the fourth generation of its PlayStation video games console featuring a new controller and a “supercharged” PC-based processor.

UK – UK unemployment total falls to 2.5m
UK unemployment fell in the three months to December, while the number of people in work jumped to a new record. – British men ‘tortured by Dubai police’
A human rights charity has accused Dubai police of beating and giving electric shocks to three Britons who are awaiting trial on drugs charges. – Tottenham fans ‘attacked in bar’
The Foreign Office is investigating reports Tottenham Hotspur fans were attacked in a bar in Lyon on the eve of their Europa League match. – ‘Iconic’ Princess Di dresses up for sale
A UK auction house says 10 of the “most important and iconic” dresses worn by Princess Diana are to be sold next month. – Absent Adele scoops Brit Award
Adele, Emeli Sande and Ben Howard are among the winners at this year’s Brit Awards ceremony – but Adele misses the event to rehearse for the Oscars.

AFRICA – Pistorius police evidence challenged
Sprinter Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers challenge a detective who told a bail hearing that the athlete deliberately shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. – Pirates kidnap six foreigners in Nigeria
The kidnapping of foreign oil workers is common in Nigeria’s oil-rich south, with the hostages often released following a ransom payment. – Strike shuts down Malawi’s airports
Malawi’s airports are shut because of a civil servants’ wage strike, the biggest since Joyce Banda became president last year, leaving passengers stranded.

EUROPE – Outrage over Berlusconi tax letter
Opponents accuse Silvio Berlusconi of trying to buy votes in Sunday’s election by sending out letters promising a tax rebate. – Spain cuts deficit below 7% of GDP
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has told parliament his tough deficit-cutting measures have rescued Spain from “shipwreck”. – Russia proposes direct Syria talks
Russia and the Arab League say they want to broker direct talks to end the Syria crisis as the opposition prepares to hold a two-day summit in Cairo. – France asks nationals to leave north Cameroon
France has urged its citizens to leave north Cameroon “as quickly as possible” after seven of its nationals were kidnapped by gunmen on Tuesday. – Portugal seizes huge fake euros haul
Portuguese police say they have made the largest ever seizure of fake euro notes – worth more than 380,000 euros – in Oporto.

LATIN AMERICA – Rio ‘too slow’ on Olympics work
Rio de Janeiro needs to step up the pace if it is to be ready in time for the Olympics in 2016, the head of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) co-ordination commission said on Wednesday.

MID-EAST – Syria rebels threaten to fire on Lebanon
Lebanon is sharply divided over the Syrian conflict, with Sunnis supporting the revolt and the Shi’ite Hezbollah and its allies backing the regime.

US – Jesse Jackson Jr guilty of fraud
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to misuse of about $750,000 (£490,000) in campaign money. – In sting, US catches China with fingers in honey jar
US officials said Wednesday they had mounted a sting operation against two major firms illegally importing honey from China and selling it on the American market, avoiding $180 million in anti-dumping duties. – US groups object to plain tobacco packs
US trade organisations, including the Chamber of Commerce, have expressed “deep concern” over moves to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products. – US university breaks funding record
Stanford University becomes the first US college to raise more than $1bn (£650m) in a year, leaving rivals Harvard and Yale trailing.


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