Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Wednesday 22nd August 2012

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Wednesday 22nd August 2012

British tourist identified as among 4 Phuket fire victims
A young British man was officially among victims killed in the Phuket discotheque fire last Friday. Institute of Forensic Medicine has identified one of the Caucasian bodies as belonging to Michael Pio Tzouvanni, 24. His elder brother, Joseph, has already signed for his body and been in the process of bringing it back to his homeland. – Phuket launches pineapple trading centre
Thailand’s southern tourist town of Phuket officially launched a pineapple trading centre on Tuesday, the first of its kind in the province, in a move to penetrate Southeast Asian markets.

Bangkok Post – Violent end to Ramadan
A bomb on a road in the deep South was part of a day of coordinated attacks by militants, apparently aimed to coincide with the Muslim fasting month – with saw an upsurge in bombings and killings in the region.

Bangkok Post – Sin taxes
The government has once again put the onus on smokers and drinkers to raise 12 billion baht by adding a few baht to cigarette and liquor prices. – Police on full alert for Wednesday’s bail decision
At least 300 police officers will be deployed at Bangkok’s Criminal Court Wednesday when Red Shirt demonstrators are expected to be present to give moral support to their compatriots, Red Shirt activist defendants, charged with terrorism. – Thailand gives US$100,000 aid to the Philippines
The Thai government on Tuesday extended financial assistance of US$100,000 (about three million baht) to the Philippines to help alleviate the hardship of people affected by a series of storms that hit the island country.

Bangkok Post – Child healthcare
The government will provide free medical care to children under 6, for both Thai and immigrants who need vaccinations and other basic health services. – Thailand still sees exports expanding 9%
The Thai government is still certain that exports this year will grow 9 per cent, despite the National Economic and Social Development Board Office (NESDB) lowering its export projection from 15.1 per cent to 7.3 per cent this year due to the global economic slowdown.

ASIA – Foxconn improves work conditions
Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturer in China, is improving working hours and conditions, says the US-based Fair Labour Association (FLA). – NKorea completes key step in reactor
North Korea is a step closer to completing a reactor at its main nuclear complex, a satellite image shows. –  Tobacco firms battle plain packaging in NZ
British American Tobacco has unveiled its campaign against the New Zealand government’s proposed move towards plain packaging for cigarettes. – Tourists guilty for Buddha photos
A Sri Lankan court gives suspended jail terms to three French tourists for wounding the religious feelings of Buddhists by taking pictures deemed insulting. – Shanghai tops ‘flood risk list’
The Chinese city of Shanghai is the most vulnerable major metropolis in the world to serious flooding, a study suggests. – Glasses-free 3D tech in S Korea
Technology that could lead to the creation of glasses-free 3D cinemas has been developed by in South Korea.

UK –  Assange supporters target UK websites
The Anonymous cyber-hacking group has claimed responsibility for a series of attempted attacks on British government websites, in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. – Climbers create Paralympic flames
Four teams will set out at dawn to scale the highest peaks of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to create the Paralympic flames.

AFRICA – SA mine drops dismissal threat
Mining giant Lonmin drops its threat to fire workers who fail to return to work at South Africa’s Marikana mine, where 34 people were shot dead by police. – Rescued migrants reach Europe
More than 500 migrants from north and sub-Saharan Africa arrive on Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa over three days.

EUROPE – Greece ‘needs more time’ for cuts
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called for more time to make tough cuts, ahead of crucial talks on his country’s EU/IMF bailout. – Spain’s borrowing costs fall on hopes of ECB action
Spain’s short-term borrowing costs have fallen boosted by hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB) will soon start buying its bonds. –  Death toll from bomb in Turkey rises to 9
The death toll in a bomb blast in Turkey’s southeast has risen to nine following the death of a 12-year-old girl. –  ‘Assange should seek guarantees from US’
Sweden has said it is up to Washington to give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who fears the US wants to prosecute him for divulging state secrets, the guarantees he has sought from Stockholm. –  Russia bid for Europe’s tallest skyscraper
Saint Petersburg authorities have given Gazprom the go-ahead to build Europe’s tallest skyscraper near the Gulf of Finland. – Petty crime ‘increases’ in Italy
Figures show a rise in the number of reported crimes in Italy last year, with big increases in burglaries, bag snatching and shop theft.

LATIN AMERICA – Latin America wealth gap ‘grows’
The gap between the rich and the poor is widening in Latin America, according to a study by the United Nations Agency on Human Settlements. – Embassy entry ‘would be suicide’
Ecuador’s president says it would be diplomatic suicide for the UK to enter his country’s London embassy amid the row over Julian Assange.

MID-EAST – Assad exit ‘up for discussion’
Syria’s deputy prime minister says all issues – include President Assad’s resignation – are up for discussion, but the West should not seek to intervene. – Deadly clashes in north Lebanon
At least three people are killed and 25 hurt in clashes in the Lebanese city of Tripoli between opponents and supporters of Syria’s president. – Iran announces upgraded missile
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils an upgraded version of the country’s Fateh-110, a short-range ballistic missile.

US – Hurricane could hit US convention
A tropical storm forming in the Caribbean poses a potential threat to Florida next week during the Republican National Convention. –  New Martin Luther King audio found
A US man says he has found an unpublished audio tape of an interview with Dr Martin Luther King in 1960. – Samsung boosts US iPad chip plant
Samsung invests $4bn into a factory in Texas that makes chips for mobile devices including Apple’s products. – US swimmer halts Cuba-Florida bid
US woman Diana Nyad was pulled from the water during her attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to the US without a shark cage.

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