Phuket to gain new charter yacht show

Phuket to gain new charter yacht show The organisers of the Singapore Yacht Show have confirmed the launch of a new charter yacht show, to be hosted annually at Phuket Yacht Haven in Thailand. The inaugural show, to be held in mid-December 2014, will combine the best aspects of yacht charter, boating industry and luxury lifestyle events. Destined to attract industry and consumers alike, the event will be staged in the biggest superyacht marina in the Asia Pacific region, currently being completely redeveloped by its owners.

Rapid growth in the Asia Pacific region
“After several years of really focused promotion, the numbers of yachts visiting Asia is at last becoming significant – and growing rapidly. We see this huge region – from Myanmar and the Andaman Sea, to Australasia and the Pacific Islands – as being very important for the international industry,” said Andy Treadwell, Managing Director of organisers Singapore Yacht Events.  “This event is being launched with the support of all the local industry, and will help to showcase everything the Asia Pacific region has to offer as a stunning charter and cruising destination. At the same time, we want to introduce the yachting lifestyle to the fast-growing potential client base here – there is a lot of wealth, but as yet, little experience of boating.”

Stunning venue redeveloped with an enhanced superyacht capacity
The beautiful Phuket Yacht Haven, in the North East corner of Phuket and just 15 minutes from the international airport, is widely regarded as the first port of choice for superyachts visiting Asia. The marina’s owners have recently commenced a complete redevelopment of their huge site, with a brand new private access road directly off the main highway and a new car park already completed. The upper part of the site will incorporate new residences, apartments, restaurants, and marine industry business units. Most importantly, on the lower level next to the marina, there will be a world-class Yacht Club accommodating 400 – 500 guests, with special facilities for captains and crew. In response to demand, the development will also include the addition of another 40 superyacht berths, 30 of which will be ready by December 2014 for the launch edition of the new Yacht Show.

Proprietor Jean Phataraprasit explained: “For several years we have been aware of the need for a world-class superyacht marina in Phuket with all the facilities that experienced and discerning yacht owners from the Mediterranean have come to expect. We have finally been able to bring the Yacht Haven project to fruition, and we are thrilled to be able to play a major part in developing the yachting industry in Asia, with all the economic benefits that it can bring. We are delighted to be working with such an experienced and respected show organising team, and we look forward to an excellent opening event in December 2014.”

Nick Wyatt, well-known to captains and yacht owners world-wide as the manager of Asia’s most popular superyacht marina, continued: “Most particularly, all of us at Yacht Haven and all the other marinas here are keen that Phuket continues to lead the way as the major destination hub for the region. We will have around 75 superyacht berths and all the infrastructure that such a facility needs, so we will be able to give a really great welcome to owners, captains, crew, and charterers alike. Phuket is also fast developing as the main refit and repair centre in Asia, and we are gradually filling in all the gaps to make this a genuine third yachting destination.”

Phuket tourists numbers still climbing

The Director of TAT Phuket office has revealed that in the first 6 months of 2012, Phuket saw growth of 30 percent in its number of tourists, with the majority being from China and Russia, whose numbers increased more than 100% against the same time last year.

Mr.Chanchai Duangjit, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand – Phuket office said “The figures we have received have revealed that from January to June 2012 Phuket International Airport has seen a 30% increase in tourists coming to Phuket.

There have been 100% increases in the number of Chinese & Russian tourists. The numbers of Chinese tourists who came to Phuket in the first 6 months of 2012 were 142,582, an increase of 106.63%, Russians 140,297 an increase of 104.91% whilst Australians were 121,916 an increase of 19.29%. However, Phuket saw lower increases in the number of European tourists, possibly down to the economic slowdown.

We expect to see similar increases in the second half of the year unless there is a big problem such as political violence or a natural disaster. We certainly expect the year 2012 to see more than 7 million tourists visiting Phuket”.

Mr.Chanchai added “Overall revenue from tourism in the 14 provinces in southern Thailand is about 200,000 million baht/year, Phuket Province alone has revenue of 100,000 million, in 2012 it is expected to no less than 110,000 to 120,000 million.”

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Monday 3rd September 2012THAILAND – Tuned in, but switched off
The tablets for first-graders are not nearly as charged up as their owners – who say they are getting only about 50 per cent of the battery use promised by the maker. – Resort resistance
National park officers say three resorts at Samet Island are illegal and must be knocked down – but their owners want an extension on the demolition orders. –  Second half expected to pose challenge to Thai GDP
Thailand surprised global economists with 4.2-per-cent economic growth in the second quarter against the consensus of 3.1 per cent. However, hard times are coming in the second half when the euro-zone crisis is set to deepen and drag down Thailand’s exports while creating greater volatility in capital flows across Asean. Along the way, authorities need to stay fully alert.

ASIA – China manufacturing dips further
China’s manufacturing activity falls to a nine-month low in August, adding to fears that its economy is slowing faster than estimated. – Cambodia arrests internet pirate
A co-founder of top Swedish “file sharing” site The Pirate Bay, who is on an international wanted list, has been arrested in the Cambodian capital at Stockholm’s request, police said Sunday.

UK –  Assange lawyer stopped at London airport
An Australian member of Julian Assange’s legal team says she was stopped by British authorities as she tried to board a flight home. – Fifty-five free schools to open
Fifty-five new free schools are due to open in England, the government says, amid Labour criticism of wasted money and the wrong areas being targeted. –  UK accused over Mubarak-era money
The UK is failing in its commitment to freeze assets of the regime of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, a BBC investigation finds. – Pilot whales stranded in Scotland
A total of 16 pilot whales die and 10 others are saved after being stranded on the east coast of Scotland. –  Harry to attend children’s awards
Prince Harry will make his first public appearance since his naked pictures appeared on the web when he attends a ceremony in London on Monday night.

AFRICA – Storms kill 20 people in Algeria
Storms sweeping across northeast Algeria have killed 20 people and injured 56, the state news agency APS on Sunday cited emergency services as saying. –  SA Marikana miners to be freed
South Africa is to begin freeing 270 strikers whose colleagues were shot dead by police, after murder charges against them were suspended.

EUROPE – ECB urged to take eurozone action
The head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development calls on the European Central Bank to take action on the eurozone crisis. – Credit Immobilier has assets guaranteed by France
Struggling French mortgage lender Credit Immobilier has had its assets guaranteed by the government.

LATIN AMERICA – ‘No evidence’ of Amazon attack
A team of Venezuelan military officers and prosecutors says it has failed to find evidence of a reported mass killing of Yanomami indigenous people.

MID-EAST – Syria rebels besiege town on Turkey border
Syria rebels have laid siege to the northern town of Harem, on the Turkish border, confronting regime forces in a battle lasting all day. – New UN envoy gloomy at Syria task
The new UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, describes his task as “nearly impossible”, in comments to the BBC after taking up the post. – Israel removes West Bank settlers
Scuffles erupt as Israeli police remove Jewish settlers from an illegal West Bank outpost of Migron, north of Jerusalem. – Veil breakthrough on Egypt’s TV
A woman presenter reads the news on Egypt’s TV in Islamic headscarf for what is believed to be first time since the state channel opened in 1960.

US – Clinton to skip Democrat conference
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is missing the Democratic Party convention to build ties in Asia. –  ‘The Possession’ tops US box office
Horror flick The Possession exorcised A-list action romp The Expendables 2 from the top slot at the North American box office at the weekend, according to industry estimates. – Man eats record 191 wings in 12 minutes
US organisers of the National Buffalo Wing Festival say competitive eater Joey Chestnut has devoured a record 191 chicken wings in 12 minutes.

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Saturday 1st September 2012

THAILAND – Flagging defences
Southern extremists in four provinces coordinated more than 100 attacks, bombings and propaganda raids, raising still more questions about the ability of security forces in the region. – Friendly battle
Bangkok wants them cancelled, the government insists on them – but both sides say they aren’t actually fighting over the canal drainage tests. – Thailand, Asean focus of US investment: Amcham
Asean, and Thailand in particular, has been highlighted as a key investment zone for American companies, thanks to the region’s economic strength and integration, as well as the reopening of Myanmar. – Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm fingers Myanmar at ASEAN ministers’ drug meeting
ASEAN’s hope for achieving drug-free status by 2015—a goal endorsed at a special ASEAN anti-drug meeting in the Thai capital which ended today—depends upon Myanmar, according to Thai Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung. – Prayuth: Blame game ‘annoying’
Army chief Prayuth Chan-o-cha on Friday vented his frustration at reports that appear to blame military officers for their roles in the 2010 crackdown on the red-shirt rallies. – Bt30 scheme back, payment voluntary
The Bt30 healthcare scheme returns today for holders of the government’s so-called “golden card”, but the payment is voluntary and required only in cases in which medication is prescribed. – Police warn cab drivers, offer safe driving tips
Taxi drivers who refuse passengers will be liable to arrest and immediate fines from Saturday, traffic police announced on Friday — and also offered eight tips for safer driving. – Minority report
The One Tablet Per Student scheme wins praise as teaching devices from Myanmar students at a border school even though they can’t take them home yet. – Gasohol prices down last tonight
State-controlled PTT Plc and Bangchak Petroleum on Friday evening announced that they are cutting pump prices by 0.50 baht per litre for all kinds of gasohol, effective from midnight last night.

ASIA – KR ‘First Lady’ may go free
Prosecutors at Cambodia’s war crimes court on Friday conceded that the Khmer Rouge’s former “First Lady” was unlikely to face trial due to ill health and recommended her release. – China activist Wang Xiaoning free
A Chinese dissident convicted of subversion charges with the help of evidence provided by US internet giant Yahoo is released from jail. – Big quake strikes off Philippines
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes off the Philippine island of Samar, causing tsunami evacuations and power cuts. – Australia calls off search for asylum survivors
Australia has called off its rescue operation for survivors of a boat carrying asylum seekers that sank near Indonesia’s Java Island. – Man mails himself to his girlfriend
A romantic man in China thought it would be a nice surprise if he mailed himself to his girlfriend, but he got lost in the post.

UK – Julian Assange predicts ‘up to a year’ of living in embassy
Julian Assange has predicted that he will remain inside an embassy in London for “six to 12 months”. – Heads consider exam legal action
Head teachers are considering legal action after the exam regulator refused to order exam boards to regrade this summer’s GCSEs in English. – Jump in number of bank complaints
Complaints made about British banks – including ones related to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance – soar, new figures show.

AFRICA – SA rethinking mine murder charges
South Africa’s justice minister demands an explanation after state prosecutors charge 270 miners with murdering colleagues who were shot by police. – Alarm at Nigeria spy records leak
Former Nigerian secret agents tell the BBC they are concerned for their safety after personal records were published online, reportedly by an Islamist group. – 29 die as minibuses crash in Nigeria
Two minibuses have crashed head-on and burst into flames in Nigeria, killing at least 29 people and injuring 16.

EUROPE -Brussels pushes for ECB supervision of eurozone banks
All banks in the eurozone would be supervised directly by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt under new EU proposals to be unveiled next month. – Record 18m jobless in euro zone
Jobless numbers across the eurozone hit a record 18 million in July, the grim new high announced as recession takes grip across the debt-stricken 17-nation currency area. – Spain creates ‘bad bank’ for debt
The Spanish government is creating a “bad bank” into which all the toxic property assets of its debt-laden banking sector can be off-loaded. – Spanish firefighters battle blaze
Firefighters in southern Spain are struggling to control a huge wildfire that is blazing on the edges of the resort of Marbella on the Costa del Sol.

LATIN AMERICA – Peru minibus crash kills 10
At least 10 people have been killed when a minibus overturned on a road in Peru. – Mexico challenger urges protests
Mexico’s presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador refuses to recognise a court ruling upholding July’s election and calls for protests.

MID-EAST – Syrian defectors launch major offensives
Three co-ordinated attacks by army defectors called the Brigade of Free Syrians point to a higher-than-usual degree of planning by the rebels.

US – US Fed hints at further measures
The head of the US central bank, Ben Bernanke, says that he has not ruled out further action to boost the US economy. –  US floodwaters recede in Louisiana
The US state of Louisiana is slowly recovering from the impact of Hurricane Isaac, but more than 5000 people are still in shelters. – Funeral held for Neil Armstrong
A private funeral service is held for the first man on the Moon, US astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died last week at the age of 82.

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Friday 31st August 2012WORLD – Food prices jump will hit poor, World Bank warns
Global food prices have leapt by 10% in the month of July, raising fears of soaring prices for the planet’s poorest, the World Bank has warned.

THAILAND – Clarification sought directly from Kittiratt
A motion filed in the House against Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong in relation to his “white lies” controversy has been postponed to next week. – Bangkok’s anti-flood efforts hit by politics
Officials’ comments about the upcoming water-drainage tests in Bangkok appear to confirm suspicions of a lack of coordination between the central government and the city administration. – Finance slashes export growth figures
Exports growth in 2012 is now expected at only five to six per cent due to the impact of the global economic recession and the eurozone debt crisis, Boonchai Charassaengsomboon, director of the Macro Economic Bureau at the Finance Ministry, said on Thursday. – Reports on tackling southern border problems prepared for PM next week
The government’s progress in tackling problems in the southern border provinces during the past year will be prepared for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her performance delivery to Parliament next month, Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said here Thursday. – PTTEP pleads guilty
PTTEP admits four charges over a huge oil spill off northwestern Australia, the country’s worst ever offshore drilling accident. – Kingdom shatters world mass-massage record
Thailand yesterday set a world record when 641 masseurs simultaneously practised holistic head-to-toe Thai massage on 641 people for 12 minutes.

ASIA – China mine blast toll rises to 37
The death toll from a gas explosion at a coal mine in southwest China has risen to 37, with another 10 people still trapped, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday. – China calls for action on Europe debt
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has expressed alarm about Europe’s debt problems following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. – Asylum seekers taken to Indonesia
A group of 54 migrants rescued by Australian and commercial ships are being sent back to Indonesia, as the search continues for scores missing. – Suu Kyi sons taken off Burma blacklist
Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Aung San Suu Kyi’s two sons have been removed from Burma’s entry blacklist. – China in $3.5bn deal with Airbus
China agrees to buy 50 Airbus planes worth $3.5bn (£2.2bn), as part of a slew of trade deals signed by Angela Merkel at the start of a visit to China.

UK – UK ‘needs infrastructure boost’
The British Chambers of Commerce calls for government spending on infrastructure as it forecasts a 0.4% shrinkage of GDP in 2012. – Assange row: Hague says ‘no solution in sight’
There is ‘no solution in sight’ to resolving the Julian Assange extradition row, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said. – London Metropolitan University students fear deportation
More than 2,000 students potentially face removal after a university had its licence to teach and recruit students from outside the EU revoked. –  Kate to make her first speech overseas
Prince William’s wife Catherine will make her first speech in a foreign country when the couple visit South-East Asia and the South Pacific next month to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign. – Paralympics under way in London
The Paralympics gets down to business as the sport gets under way, following Wednesday’s night spectacular opening ceremony. – Film to chronicle Rolling Stones’ journey
A documentary with newly released historic footage will trace The Rolling Stones’ 50-year journey from teenagers to rock icons, publicists for the band say. – Summer ‘wettest in 100 years’, Met Office figures show
This summer is set to be the second wettest in the UK since records began – and the wettest summer in 100 years – provisional Met Office figures suggest.

AFRICA – S.Africa charges miners with murder
Lonminmine workers arrested two weeks ago after police opened fire killing 34 striking workers have been charged with the murder of their colleagues, an official said.

EUROPE – Rabbi beating sparks fury in Germany
The brutal daylight beating of a rabbi in front of his six-year-old daughter sparked furious condemnation in Germany. – Russian TV channel censors ‘The Simpsons’
A Russiancartoon series to comply with a new law banning scenes of violence, drinking and smoking before a late evening watershed. – France’s grape harvest ‘exceptionally low’
France’s 2012 grape harvest will be “exceptionally low” at 42.5 million hectolitres, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said. – Historic Metropol hotel sells for $267m
Moscowhas sold off for $US277 million ($267 million) its landmark Hotel Metropol near the Kremlin, an iconic Art Nouveau building where Lenin once gave speeches and stars like Michael Jackson have stayed.

Brazil cuts interest rates again
Brazil’s central bank cuts its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 7.5% in an attempt to reignite a stalled economic recovery.

MID-EAST –  Officials ‘working against’ Syrian regime
A Syrian diplomat who has defected from the regime says other diplomats and public servants are working from the inside to help opposition forces. – Iran ‘doubles capacity at plant’
The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, says Iran has doubled production capacity at the Fordo nuclear site, in its latest quarterly report. – Syria refugee camp plea vexes UN
The UN Security Council discusses Turkey’s demand for refugee camps inside Syria but admits the issue raises “serious questions”.

US – Romney vow to revive US ‘promise’
Mitt Romney pledges “to restore the promise of America” as he accepts the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Florida. – Pentagon may sue Bin Laden author
The Pentagon says it may take legal action against an ex-US special forces member who has written a book about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. – Isaac-battered barriers intentionally breached
Levees in low-lying New Orleans have stood firm, but sea water has
Officials have begun a controlled release of water at a Mississippi dam that was battered by Hurricane Isaac. – BP donates $1 million for Isaac relief
Oil giant BP has announced plans to donate $US1 million to charities involved in the Tropical Storm Isaac relief effort. – Citigroup pays out $590m to settle subprime case
US banking giant Citigroup has paid $590m (£370m) to shareholders who accused the bank of hiding its subprime exposure. – Sage Stallone death due to natural causes
US coroner’s officials say Sage Stallone died in July from a condition that causes blockage of the arteries. No other factors were involved. – Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty dies in NYC
Chris Lighty, a hip-hop mogul who helped Sean Diddy Combs, 50 Cent and Mariah Carey attain hit records has been found dead in his New York apartment.

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Wednesday 29th August 2012

Bangkok Post – Accused turns accuser
It was all smooth and polite when former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban went for interrogation at the DSI – until Mr Suthep turned the tables and charged that DSI commander Tarit Pengdith was involved in the 2010 killings.

Bangkok Post – A fine situation
Dtac, the nation’s second largest mobile phone company crashed yet again on Tuesday – and regulators are levying fines of tens of millions of baht.

Bangkok Post – No choice
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said he had to transfer three generals because they forced his hand by challenging his authority. – Flooding affects 100 homes in Trang
About 100 houses in the southern province of Trang have been hit by flood. – Thai students’ academic proficiency stagnates
Thailand Prathom 6 (Grade 6) students perform better in the Thai language, mathematics and English but the nation’s overall academic proficiency has not improved, according to the Basic Education Commission (BEC). –  Thai infidelity claim brings strong denials
Thai lovers and couples have been identified as the world’s most unfaithful in a Durex sex survey of 29,000 people in 36 countries.

ASIA – Japan, N Korea hold first talks in years
Japan-North Korea talks that are due to start in Beijing are being closely watched for their tone and the topics raised. – China fishermen killed in typhoon
At least five Chinese fishermen are killed and 10 others are missing after their boats capsize as Typhoon Bolaven hit South Korea, officials say. – Drug-free ASEAN in 3 years affirmed
Ten ASEAN member countries will reaffirm a joint intention to evolve Southeast Asia as a drug-free region in 2015—the year the ASEAN Economic Community is officially launched. –  Burma trims down entry blacklist
Burma announces the removal of 2,082 names from its blacklist, which bars people deemed a threat to national security from the country.

Bangkok Post – Indonesia, Cambodia ‘to sign rice pact’
Indonesia plans to sign an agreement to import rice from Cambodia if needed to supplement domestically produced supply, Iman Pambagyo, director general of international trade cooperation at the Trade Ministry, said on Tuesday. – Typhoon hits N Korea after floods
A powerful typhoon has hit N Korea, where storms often mean catastrophe because of poor drainage, deforestation and decrepit infrastructure.

Bangkok Post – Myanmar pardons imprisoned aid workers
Myanmar has granted a presidential pardon to three local aid workers imprisoned for participating in recent sectarian unrest in western Rakhine state, the government announced on Tuesday. –  Anger over ‘no Indians’ job ad
An Australian supermarket contractor sparks outrage by advertising for cleaners, but stipulating, “No Indians or Asians please”.

UK – Rich should pay more tax – Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggests the wealthiest people in the UK could be asked to pay more tax for a limited period. – Heathrow capacity ‘harms’ economy, say MPs
The restriction of capacity at Heathrow is harming the UK’s economic potential, a group of MPs has said. – MPs demand action on alcohol tax
The UK’s tax authorities should do more to tackle alcohol smuggling, including more prosecutions, a committee of MPs says. – G4S takes $A76m hit after Olympics fiasco
Swecurity firm G4S says the contract to provide security for the London 2012 Olympic Games has cost it $A76m, after it failed to provide enough guards. -Prince Harry naked photo prompts 3,600 complaints
The Sun newspaper’s decision to print naked photographs of Prince Harry has prompted about 3,600 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). – Paralympic torch heads for London
The Paralympic flame is lit and a 24-hour torch relay leaves Stoke Mandeville to make its way to the opening ceremony in London.

AFRICA – Tutu snubs Tony Blair over Iraq
Archbishop Desmond Tutu refuses to share a platform with Tony Blair, saying his support for the Iraq war was “morally indefensible”. – Pirates seize Greek oil tanker
Pirates have seized a Greek-owned oil tanker off the coast of Togo in West Africa, a maritime group reports.

Catalonia seeks 5bn-euro bailout
The debt-ridden Spanish region of Catalonia asks for a bailout of 5bn euros ($6.3bn; £4bn) from the central government. – France opens Arafat murder case
France opens a murder inquiry into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, weeks after his family filed papers alleging he was poisoned. – Female suicide bomber kills six in Russia
At least six people are dead after a female suicide bomber disguised as a Muslim pilgrim detonated a suicide belt in Russia’s Dagestan region. – Norwegian PM ‘sorry’ over Breivik
Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg apologises for errors in the response to Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks last year, pledging new anti-terror measures. – Arctic sea ice reaches record low, Nasa says
The Arctic has lost more sea ice this year than at any time since satellite records began in 1979, Nasa says.

LATIN AMERICA – Brazil accepts three-person union
A notary in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo sparks controversy by accepting a civil union between a man and two women. – Haiti death toll climbs after Isaac
At least 24 people have died in Haiti as a result of accidents linked to Tropical Storm Isaac. – Greedy gulls threaten Argentina whales
Seagull attacks on southern right whales have become so common that Argentina authorities are planning to shoot them to reduce their population.

MID-EAST – Deadly car bomb at Syria funeral
Twelve people are killed by a car bomb at a funeral in the Jaramana suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, state TV says.

US – Hurricane Isaac lashes Louisiana
Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in US state of Louisiana, bringing heavy rain and storms surges as it heads towards the city of New Orleans. – Clinton heads for talks in Asia and Russia
US Secretary of State Clinton is on her way to Asia and Russia, where she is expected to discuss disputes in the South China Sea and the violence in Syria. – Lawyers in WikiLeaks case argue over email
A lawyer for US WikiLeaks accused Bradley Manning has argued that prosecutors have not handed over about 700 emails in their possession. – GM to idle production of Volt hybrid
General Motors is to suspend production of its Volt hybrid car, the vehicle once touted as the future of the US car giant, the Wall Street Journal reported. – Virus warning to 1,700 US campers
Yosemite National Park warns 1,700 visitors who stayed in some of its tent cabins this summer that they may have been exposed to a deadly virus.

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Tuesday 28th August 2012

PHUKET – Phuket tourists saved when Thai boat sinks
Australian tourists have told of being rescued when their speed boat sank in rough seas near Thailand’s resort island of Koh Phi Phi.

Bangkok Post – Sathian waved off
The defence minister moved three inconvenient senior officers to inactive posts, clearing the way for a Thaksin-friendly army general to succeed Gen Sathian Phoemthongin as new permanent secretary of defence. – Treasury Dept eyes property purchases in euro zone
The Treasury Department is interested in buying land and other property in the troubled euro zone due to the attractive prices currently available there. – Commerce Minister concedes export growth target may be reduced
Thailand’s 2012 export growth target may be reduced, but the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) is set to meet with the private sector next month.

Bangkok Post – Abhisit confident
The former prime minister and his deputy told the DSI they had acted legally against the red shirts in 2010, denying responsibility for 91 deaths. – Panel to issue data on water situation soon: PM
The Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC) will release data on the country’s water situation later this week, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday in response to a query as to whether drought and flooding would wreak havoc this year.

Bangkok Post – White lies
As the prime minister defended Mr Kittiratt’s strange confession, the government’s NESDB is widely suspected of “massaging numbers” to please her.

Bangkok Post – Chalerm: Reds must stay cool
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung on Monday called on red shirt leaders to dissuade their followers from persistent harassment of Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva. – Latest savings bond rate attractive, insists PDMO
The interest rate of 3.99 per cent for the latest government savings bond issue, which has a six-year maturity, is attractive for retail investors, the Public Debt Management Office said yesterday.

ASIA – Myanmar president promotes reformers in cabinet reshuffle
Myanmar’s president reshuffled his cabinet on Monday, a move viewed as a step forward in the country’s fragile political and economic reform agenda.

Bangkok Post – Quarry explosion kills 9 in China
A load of explosives accidentally went off on Monday at a quarry supplying a cement plant in southern China, killing nine people and leaving another missing, state media said. – China seamen missing in typhoon
At least 31 Chinese fishermen are missing after two boats sink as Typhoon Bolaven hits South Korea and lashes China’s coast with huge waves.

UK – Call for PM to act on Heathrow
A Conservative MP urges Prime Minister David Cameron to decide whether he is a “man or a mouse” over the issue of expanding Heathrow Airport. –  British police call off search for ‘lion’
British police have called off their search for a suspected “big cat” after reports of a lion being spotted in a field near a seaside town. – Parade for 800 Team GB athletes
A celebration parade will take place in London on 10 September to mark the success of Team GB athletes at London 2012.

AFRICA – Somali school children blown up
At least six Somali children die after picking up explosives in their school playground in a town recently seized from militants, a local official tells the BBC. – Egypt migrants killed in capsize
A boat carrying Egyptian migrants thought to be on their way to Europe capsizes in the Mediterranean, with more than 30 feared dead. – ‘Intimidation’ keeps SA mine shut
Miners are being threatened into staying away from work at the South African mine where 34 people were recently shot dead by police, the owners say.

EUROPE – Greek exit idea sparks German row
German centre-right politicians criticise a leading conservative partner for suggesting that Greece will have to leave the eurozone. –  France warns Syria over chemical weapons
The French president says the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would be a legitimate reason for a foreign intervention. – Italy miners protest underground
Miners in Italy barricade themselves and hundreds of kilos of explosives inside their pit to protest against a possible closure of the site. – German business confidence falls again, says Ifo
German business confidence has fallen for the fourth month in a row to a 29-month low, according to the closely-watched Ifo survey. – Javelin accident kills German athletics official
An official at an athletics event in the German city of Dusseldorf has died after being speared in the throat with a javelin.

LATIN AMERICA – Venezuela refinery fire spreads
A fire at Venezuela’s largest oil refinery caused by an explosion on Saturday spreads to a third tank, as the death toll rises to 48. –  7.3 quake off the coast of El Salvador
A tsunami warning that was issued after a 7.3 earthquake struck El Salvador has been cancelled and there are no immediate reports of damage or casualties. – Haitian migrant boat runs aground
A boat carrying more than 150 illegal Haitian migrants capsizes off the Bahamas, with most surviving but more than a dozen feared drowned. –  Bid to end 50-year conflict in Colombia
Colombia has announced the start of a peace process, but vows military operations will “continue on every single centimetre of national territory”.

MID-EAST – Gaza ‘not liveable by 2020’ – UN
Urgent action is needed to improve basic services in the Gaza Strip or it will not be “liveable” by 2020, according to a new UN report. –  10,000 Syrian refugees stuck at border
Turkey has so far taken in more than 80,000 Syrians, and all nine refugee camps along the border are full.

US – Obama declares storm emergency
US President Barack Obama declares an emergency in Louisiana, as a strengthening Tropical Storm Isaac churns directly toward New Orleans. –  US approves 4-in-1 HIV combination pill
A new once-a-day pill has been approved in the US to control HIV in adults who have not previously been treated. –  Apple hits new high after US court victory
Apple shares have jumped to a record high after a legal victory against Samsung, reinforcing its place as the world’s most valuable company. – Apple seeks to ban sale of eight Samsung phones in US
Apple has asked a court to ban eight Samsung mobile phones in the US. The phones include the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T model, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile model, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail.

Phuket’s daily morning world news round-up – Monday 27th August 2012

PHUKET – Transport Ministry orders speeding up of illegal taxis registration in Phuket
The Land Transport Department was ordered to register about 3,600 illegal taxis in the resort town of Phuket to solve the problem of overcharging, said Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan.

Bangkok Post – Building a vanity cabinet
The foreign minister kicked off an orgy of back-patting and self-congratulation by a government that has not made an error for an entire year – starting with minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul’s claim that capturing Thaksin is not his duty. – PM affirms balanced water management in dams
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra affirms water management in Thailand’s dams is balanced, and denied that drought in some areas resulted from too much release of water from dams. – Bangkok prepares for this year’s possible flood
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has been bracing for possible flood and the water run-off from the North. – PM to meet Myanmar President to discuss Dawei project
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will visit Myanmar next month to discuss development of the Dawei deep-sea port project with the country’s president, Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Sunday. – Universities agree to start academic year later from 2014
The Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) yesterday resolved to postpone the start of the academic year to August or September from 2014 onward. The move is aimed at bringing the schedule in line with those of other Southeast Asian nations and Europe. – Thai players enjoy double success
Thai badminton players were on cloud nine yesterday after capturing two titles at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix in Ho Chi Minh.

ASIA – Typhoon lashes Japan’s Okinawa
A powerful typhoon moves past the Japanese island of Okinawa, causing power cuts and forcing thousands of residents to take cover. – Burma floods displace thousands
Major flooding in Burma displaces 85,000 people from their homes and destroys rice crops, the government says. –  6.4-magnitude quake hits off Indonesia
A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck off Indonesia’s Moluccas islands, the US Geological Survey said, revising down a preliminary reading of 6.8. – Chinese bus collides with tanker, killing 36
At least 36 people have died after a sleeper-bus collided with a methane-laden tanker in northern China, state-run media say. – Samsung to appeal after $1bn Apple award in US case
Samsung says it will appeal against a US court ruling that the South Korean giant stole designs from Apple to make smartphones and computer tablets.

UK – UK Wikileaks’ Julian Assange ‘threat’ over
Britain has “given up its threat” to enter Ecuador’s London embassy to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuador’s president has said. –  Recovered Prince Philip appears in public
Prince Philip has accompanied the Queen to church in his first public appearance since being discharged from hospital. – Murdoch sends message in royal photo saga
Commentators say Rupert Murdoch may have let The Sun run photos of a naked Prince Harry to warn Britain’s establishment he can still shake things up. –  British parliament could shut for 5 years
The Palace of Westminster, the London building where Britain’s parliament sits, may have to close for several years for repairs. –  Branson hails ‘extraordinary’ Armstrong
British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, whose company is launching a space tourism program, has hailed the late US astronaut Neil Armstrong as “an extraordinary individual”.

AFRICA – Niger floods leave dozens dead
Flooding in Niger kills dozens of people and leave thousands homeless across the country, as aid begins to arrive.

EUROPE – Drought-hit Serbs pray for rain
Worshippers in Serbia heed a bishop’s call to pray for rain in order to end weeks of drought that have blighted crops and sparked wildfires.

LATIN AMERICA – Fires burn at Venezuela refinery
Two tanks are still on fire at the Amuay refinery in northern Venezuela after a gas leak set off an explosion, which left 41 people dead. – Haitian migrant boat runs aground
A boat carrying more than 150 illegal Haitian migrants capsizes off the Bahamas, with most on board surviving, but more than a dozen feared drowned.

MID-EAST – ‘Scores of bodies’ found in Syria
Opposition activists say they found scores of bodies in a town near the Syrian capital where government forces carried out a “massacre”.

US – US Gulf states declare Isaac emergency
Three US Gulf Coast states have declared states of emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac barrels towards land, threatening to slam into Louisiana as a hurricane. – Obama leads tributes to Armstrong, first man on Moon
US President Barack Obama has led tributes to astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, who died on Saturday at the age of 82. –  Apple ‘to unveil mini iPad in October’
Apple will unveil a new, smaller version of its wildly popular iPad in October after the release of the latest version of its iPhone next month, the All Things Digital website has reported.