Former Democrat MP to contend for Patong Mayor

Former Democrat MP to contend for Patong MayorOn 18th March 2014, Khun Chalermlak Kebsub, a former Patong Mayor, councilor, and Democrat MP for Phuket, held a press conference to launch her campaign for the election to be the next Patong City Mayor. This comes after the 7th March 2014 announcement that the court ordered a new election, with a new election date set for 26th April 2014.

Khun Chalermlak said “After the House of representatives announced that the election in 2012 was invalid, and because I have previously worked in partnership with various groups in the area of Patong I have decided to join the upcoming election for Mayor of Patong. Patong is known to have many problems that over many years have failed to be resolved, and I believe that the people of Patong want change, which I am willing to bring.

“The competition in the election to become Patong Mayor is an intense one and is always very close. Due to the business activity in Patong a lot of attention is paid to this election, and for centuries the day has seen large numbers of votes. I believe this year will be the same and I don’t for see there being any problem with voting on the day. Prior to the election I will meet with the people in the area to discuss and propose ideas to solve the continuous problems the area has encountered, as well as listen to additional problems the people raise with me.

“Whilst I have confidence in the election process and I will work my hardest to win. However, whether I get elected or not depends on the decision of the people in the area. But I can promise them that if I do, I will work closely with them to make Patong a better place for all.”

Phuket PAO in Decentralisation Seminar

Phuket PAO in Decentralisation SeminarOn March 11th 2014, a seminar on decentralization to local government organizations (LGOs) was held by PPAO at the Royal City Hotel in Phuket Town. Hosting the seminar was Chief Executive – Paiboon Upattising together with his team consisting of Deputy Chief Executive – Chawalit Na Nakorn, Chief Administrator – Watcharin Pathomwattanapong, Council Members, Division Heads, officials and administrators as well as representatives from LGOs and involved agencies. Altogether, there were 120 participants.

Based on the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand BE 2540 and the Determining Plan and Process of Decentralization Act BE 2542, the Office of the Decentralization to Local Government Organization Committee (DLOC) has defined the role of Provincial Administration Offices (PAOs) in monitoring the public work of LGOs as follows:

1. PPAO will undertake public work within the province that is deemed too large a responsibility for certain LGOs or when responsibilities of some LGOs are seen to be overlapping.
2. LGOs are to create their own operational plans and coordinate with PAOs to make a master plan for the whole province.

Phuket PAO in Decentralisation SeminarChief Administrator Watcharin said that the seminar, funded by PPAO, aim to develop knowledge of decentralization to LGOs, government agencies, PPAO Council Members and involved agencies for greater coordination and to ensure smooth transfer of functions from PAOs to LGOs without interrupting productivity and efficiency of the public services.

He added that the seminar has been given support by DLOC, whose Director – Weerachai Chomsakorn was present at the seminar. DLOC provided six speakers to lead the seminar.

Phuket PAO in Decentralisation SeminarIn his speech, Mr Paiboon emphasized the importance of all attendees actually applying what they learn from the seminar in their public service work. He thanked Mr Weerachai for being present and for providing the seminar leaders. Decentralization, he said, means that LGOs are trusted with certain autonomy to carry out their public work while DLOC is responsible for developing policy.

He continued to say that Phuket is a small province with 19 LGOs. PPAO alone has operational budget of 1,000 M baht while a budget for all LGOs is set for 4,000 M baht. He urged all to work hard as use the funds effectively for public services.

“PPAO is the first in Thailand to broadcast its council meeting. I would like the decentralization process to be transparent and the funds used with utmost efficiency. I thank all PPAO officials who work hard to keep our budget on track and I expect the same from our LGOs. I would like our Council to be able to monitor transparency in using funds by LGOs. Decentralization means giving power and spreading equality among locals and locals should be able to check our work. This is democracy and Phuket province will be the top model for decentralization of power,” concluded Mr Paiboon.

Phuket Vice Governor joins government protestors

Phuket Vice Governor joins government protestorsOn 14th January 2014 at Phuket Provincial Hall, a large group of anti-government protestors joined the Phuket branch of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee gathered there in support of the ongoing “Shut Down Bangkok” protest which is urging caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra to resign from her position and demanding reforms for the country’s before the general election supposedly taking place on 2nd February 2014.

Last night, Phuket Vice Governor – Khun Sommai Preechasil pais a visit to the protest site to listen to speeches delivered by Phuket representatives of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.  Khun Sommai said that the people had their right to protest as if an election is held as scheduled the problems will not end and the country will be back in the same position it was in before. She also advised that she agrees that reforms should take place before the election. She, as a Thai person, and as a government official, has the right to join the demonstrations to help the protesters in their bid to over throw the caretaker government.

Phuket hoping to cope with election protestors

Phuket hoping to cope with election protestorsKhun Kittipong Teangkunakit – Director of the Phuket Election Commission Office recently held a meeting with relevant agencies to discuss the preparations for the upcoming general election to be held on 2nd Feb 2014.

At the meeting he said “We now have a committee in place that is able to report progress to the Director of the Electoral Commission and also assign tasks to the island’s various election districts. Unfortunately, this election is not like any other we have held because the entire process never normally encounters any problems.

“In advance of the elections, Phuket hasactually had to prepare for separate two election options, one is for those who are from outside the province and have come to work in Phuket, and these people had to register their right to vote with the provinces election representatives by Jan 2nd 2014, and we have had around 32,000 people register. The second is for those in Phuket who hold house registrations, and those who wish to vote should register between 13th-17th Jan 2014.”

Khun Kittipong added “With regards to preparations to cope with any groups of protesters, the election laws will be strictly enforced at each unit elections and it is illegal for people to disable an election of a person’s right to vote. If there is anything which happens which breaks the election laws or if thing get out of control we will report incidents to the central election office.”

Phuket Preparing for February Elections

Phuket Preparing for February ElectionsOn 26th December 2013 at the Phuket Provincial Election Commission Office, Phuket Vice Governor – Somkiat Sangkhaosutthirak together with Phuket Provincial Deputy Commander – Arun Kawevatee, Phuket Election Commission Director -Kitipong Thiengkunakrit presided over a meeting of the election for members of the House of Representatives 2014.

The most important issues on the meeting’s agenda included preparing to maintain tranquillity in recruiting Parliament members, the installation of a communication tool, alternative electrical installations and the support of personnel elected to appoint a Board of Directors.

Khun Somkiat said “Phuket has 2 election areas in 400 election units, and the number of people who can votes is 220,109 peoples. On 28th December 2013 until 1st January 2014, Phuket will have open admissions for representatives at the Phuket Community Centre. A general election ballot is still scheduled to be held on February 2nd, 2014.

Phukets Khatu District has two candidates for Major

Phukets Khatu District has two candidates for MajorOn 17th October 2012 at Kathu Municipality Office, applications were taken for those wishing to apply for the position of Kathu Major. There were 2 candidates who applied, Mr.Prasert Khaokitpaisan from the Kathu-Phattana group and Mr.Chaiarnan Sutthikul from the Rak-Kathu group.

Mr.Prasert Khaokitpaisan will be registered as candidate number 1 and Mr.Chaiarnan Sutthikul as candidate number 2.

Mr.Theerapong Asawadarakorn – Secretary of Kathu Municipalities said “In the past only a small number of people have turned out to vote in Kathu. It is hoped this time we will see 65-70% of Kathu’s registered people turn out. There are currently around 7,000 people in Kathu who have right to vote.

Phuket’s new Governor announced

Phuket’s new Governor announced

Yesterday, 2nd October 2012 Cabinet Ministers approved the appointment of Phayao’s old Governor Mr.Maitree Intrasut as Governor of Phuket, replacing Mr.Tri Arkaradecha who retired on September 30th 2012.

Mr.Maitree graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a Masters in Political Science at Thammasat University and the Institute of Administration Development. He has previously served in many positions: 2003 as Deputy Governor of Phangnga, in 2005 as Deputy Governor of Nakornsrithammarat, 2006 & 2008 as Deputy Governor of Lopburi & Lieutenant Governor Srisaket, 2009 as Governor of Trang and in 2010 as the Governor of Payao.

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.