Thailand Bulletin For Friday, July 6
Roundup of Thailand news with AJW
BANGKOK BRIEF: More hearings on constitution today. Myanmar arrests hundreds of Thais allegedly encroaching on rubber farms.
WORLD SUMMARY: Japan says nuke crisis “man-made” - not just tsunami. UK arrests 6 terror suspects. Iran war games target US. "Pilot caused" 2009 Air France crash.
COURT: Thailand's Constitutional Court will today hand down a verdict that could ultimately lead to the dissolution of the ruling Pheu Thai party. The court is set to rule on whether plans by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's party to amend the constitution are a threat to the deeply-revered monarchy.
PM DENIES: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is downplaying an audio clip, which the opposition says proves her elder brother is pulling the strings behind the charter change push.
RANONG : Hundreds of Thai villagers encroaching on Myanmar territory opposite Ranong's Kra Buri district have been detained by Myanmar forces, the Fourth Army confirmed yesterday.
Recently, Maj. Gen. Manas Khongpaen, of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4, had revealed that a number of Thais had encroached on more than 6,000 rai of land in Myanmar just opposite Ranong's Kra Buri district and Chumphon's Tha Sae district.
DOING A GOOD JOB? House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said he managed to convince Thaksin Shinawatra to change his mind and not force through the controversial reconciliation bill, averting a potentially explosive political showdown, but the Democrats think otherwise and want him removed.
TODAY: Weather 33C, Hot Wet Cloudy, Euro:US 1381, Euro:Baht 39.11, SET Index 1204
IN OTHER NEWS
MARKETS: Asian stocks and oil retreated for a second day while the euro headed for its worst week this year after interest-rate cuts in Europe and China failed to assure investors the moves will be enough to boost economic growth. Bond risk in Asia rose before a monthly US jobs report.
According to Reuters, China, the euro zone, and Britain all loosened monetary policy in the space of less than an hour, signaling a growing level of alarm about the world economy.
TRAVEL STUDY: Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. company, unveiled its 2012 Global Corporate Travel Benchmarking Study and Travel Manager Research. The study evaluates the current business travel landscape and supply environment for air, hotel, and rail inventory. Focusing on top domestic and international business destinations in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, Egencia analyzed industry trends, supplier data, and capacity implications in Q1 2012.
Additionally, Egencia surveyed over 300 travel buyers globally identifying current trends and challenges.
For air travel, Average Ticket Prices (ATPs) for intra-APAC destinations increased 3 percent YoY.
The hotel environment worldwide experienced an Average Daily Rates (ADRs) increase in the majority of destinations. ADRs increased an average of 3.3 percent in Europe, 6 percent in North America, and 5.7 percent in Asia-Pacific.
Asia-Pacific represents a mixed air pricing landscape, varying on a market-by-market basis. However, as a whole, APAC is averaging an increase in overall ATPs. Prices for intra-APAC destinations have increased by an average of three percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to increased fuel costs and increased demand into China. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to increased competition in the local markets and increased capacity on a majority of routes, as more and larger aircrafts enter the Asia Pacific region.
LONDON DEAL: Malaysia's SP Setia and Sime Darby said they plan to develop $12 billion worth of homes, offices, and shops on the south bank of the River Thames after buying London's Battersea Power Station site from liquidators for 400 million pounds.
PHUKET: Britons Jonathan Bennett, 28, and Roberta Norton, 31, according to the BBC, were headed for Phangan and a full moon party when a bus crashed in Surat Thani, killing 11 people and injuring them. Ms. Norton said: "Jonathan actually got up and walked up to the driver asking and gesturing at him to slow down. He was driving like a mad man. He did slow down for a while.
LCC BRANDING: Asia-Pacific budget airlines AirAsia and Qantas Airways' Jetstar overtook full-service carriers in a brand-reputation survey as more passengers in the region turned to cheaper options amid a global economic slowdown.
IATA FORECAST 2012: Global airline profits are set to fall in 2012 by more than half to $3 billion from $7.9 billion last year, according to the International Air Transport Association, as recessions in the UK, Spain, and other European countries damp demand and erode gains from lower fuel prices.
SYRIA: Wikileaks began publishing 2.4 million emails it says involve the Syrian government and associated companies that “reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.”
FIREFLY SAMUI: Firefly, with flights between Penang and Phuket four times a week, will commence two new services to South Thailand this August. On August 11 the airline will start services to Samui from Penang three times a week. From August 17, Subang Airport on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur will link to Had Yai four times a week.
APPLE: The surge in popularity of tablets and smartphones means that the same number of people could be using iOS as Windows with the year, new data suggests.
At its peak in 2004, 54 times as many PCs were sold as Macs, however, users are increasingly favoring new tablet and mobile devices, and that those tend to run Apple software.
The data does not mean that fewer Windows machines are necessarily going to be sold, as more users have a number of devices.
Since the 2004 peak, the number of PC sales relative to Mac has fallen sharply.
“Although PC volumes continued to grow, they did so more slowly, and the Mac grew faster,” a leading analyst observed, “What coincided with this was the emergence of portable computing. The MacBook became easily differentiable as a ‘better’ laptop. It was not faster, did not have more storage or any key metrics being used to sell PCs. It was just better as an integrated product. The integration manifested itself through a sense of quality and robustness, as well as intangibles like aesthetics and ‘feel.’”
WALDORF-ASTORIA: Did you ever take anything from New York City's famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel sometime between its 1931 opening and 1960? The luxury hotel wants it back.
The Waldorf-Astoria launched an amnesty program for all its sly, sticky-fingered guests who in their old age are having a change of heart.
“The hotel has in the past launched a digital archives website waldorfarchive.org,” said Meg Towner, the hotel's social media manager.
“Right now we mostly have old black-and-white photographs on there. We found that people use it as a research tool and are fascinated by the hotel's history, so we want to build it up,” she said.
“But our collection of physical items isn't as vast as our collection of photos. We have a few items on display in our hotel lobby, some wineglasses, dinner plates, old room keys, things like that, but it's not very much. We know there are treasures out there that belong to the Waldorf; we see them going up on eBay all the time. We'd like them back, and we'd like to know where they came from,” she added.
WIMBLEDON: Marquee match-ups seldom come more enthralling than a face-off between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the Wimbledon green. The pair have had needling duels in New York and rumbustious encounters at Roland Garros but never, until Friday afternoon, have they confronted one another on the manicured lawns of the All England Club.
For Djokovic, the defending champion, the proposition is daunting as he seeks to unseat his nemesis on the surface where Federer feels as comfortable as Juliet, the cow that the Swiss was once given for winning an event in Gstaad.
Federer v. Djokovic has evolved into one of this sport’s most compelling rivalries: a juxtaposition of elegance and defiance, of effortless technique and unbound aggression, of a player clutching at the last vestiges of his glory, and an adversary savoring the first flush of his own.