Comment: No megafloods in Thailand this year says water committee chair Dr Virabongsa. He said the government has invested more than Bt350 billion to improve flood prevention infrastructure. More flood embankments, canals and flood-related structures have been built, which he said would prevent future floods and the public could rest assured of the matter.
He also added if major floods do happen, neither this government nor himself in his position could last long.
Thailand’s worst flood in decades late last year devastated vast areas of the kingdom, especially in the central plains where major industrial estates are located, and left more than 600 people dead.
The estimated financial losses of industrial plants due to the flood crisis reached Bt230 billion, according to the Department of Industrial Works. [MCOT]
A round up of Thailand’s news:
World: Korea bans US beef on mad-cow scare. Romney wins 5 states, certain to face Obama. Israel army chief: Iran won’t go nuclear. Sarkozy rejects rightists.
Bangkok: China firm sold 10 billion “cold tablets” in growing drug scandal. South on alert as Islamic Conference visit due, violence feared.
•More than 100 policemen will provide security for a meeting between key figures in the Yingluck Shinawatra government and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda at his Si Sao Thewes residence in Bangkok today.
•Pheu Thai’s defeat in the Pathum Thani by-election over the weekend had no overall impact on the ruling party’s popularity, Suan Dusit Poll said.
•A group of MPs plans to ask the Constitution Court to rule on the legality of constitutional amendment after a number of lawmakers were accused of voting on behalf of fellow party members in the parliament.
•The UDD Chiang Mai has agreed with local leaders in the three districts to have constituents vote for a candidate of their choice and nominate them for the party’s consideration rather than to let it “pick a candidate whom people don’t love or have faith in,” Mr Dapphichit said.
Their move comes after the defeat of Pheu Thai candidate Somchai Rangsiwatanasak to Democrat candidate Kiatisak Songsaeng in a by-election in Pathum Thani last Saturday. The unsuccessful candidate has been criticised for not helping people enough during their struggle against heavy flooding in the province last year.
•Thailand is seeking help from China and South Korea to support its efforts to crack down on the smuggling of pseudoephedrine-based cold pills.
The move came after the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) obtained information that a Thai company had struck a deal to buy 10 billion pseudoephedrine-based cold tablets from a Chinese firm.
•Smartphones and tablets are driving an internet shopping boom in the UK, according to a survey.
The easy availability of the internet on mobile devices has led to a boom in spending online, according to a survey from WorldPay, an internet payments system. Britons do 25 per cent of their spending online, while one in six buy using a smartphone.
WorldPay said the high amount of money spent online was due to the ability to shop while away from the computer. Over half of Britons purchased items while watching TV and 3 per cent did so in the bathroom.
The most popular items to buy online are clothes, books and CDs.
Britain’s mobile spending revolution is partly due to it having one of the highest rates of smartphone ownership, according to a separate survey from TNS, a research consultancy. Over half of Britons own app-enabled mobiles. [Telegraph]
•Football: Bayern all set for the European Cup final with Chelsea.
Bayern Munich will face Chelsea in next month’s European Cup final after beating Real Madrid in a penalty shoot-out.
Real Madrid 2 Bayern Munich 1; agg 3-3, Bayern win 3-1 on penalties.
•Britain is suffering the longest peacetime slump in a century, economists said on Wednesday as figures confirmed a double-dip recession. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) surprised the City by announcing that the economy shrank by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, the second consecutive fall.
•Airlines: As part of a €1.5 billion savings program, Lufthansa is freezing fleet expansion for two years, scrapping first class on a large part of its long-haul network and pondering further route withdrawals. A widely leaked letter to staff last week from board member Carsten Spohr said the measures are necessary to combat competition from low-cost carriers and Middle Eastern airlines, and to provide investment for more fuel-efficient aircraft. The airline by 2016 intends to phase out its 55-strong Boeing 737 fleet and 70-seat commuter aircraft.
Lufthansa recently axed unprofitable services to Hyderabad, Kolkata and Guangzhou. Spohr said services to Nanking, Madras and Bangkok now are under review.
The airline will also remove first class from its remaining Airbus A340-300s and 13 B747-300s. However, it is looking at introducing a premium-economy cabin, which has proved profitable for rivals such as British Airways.
•Phuket: Phuket Coming Events:
Until April 28 Phuket Pride Festival
May 1 Labor Day public holiday
May 5 Krabi celebrates the province’s 140th anniversary
May 5-7 Coronation Day long weekend
May 9 Royal Ploughing ceremony
May 25-27 Phuket Rugby Tens
May 26-June 5 National Youth Games, Phuket
June 8-10 Laguna Phuket International Marathon
•Funny: ”I went to the zoo the other day, there was only one dog in it, it was a shitzu.”
Written by : Andrew J Wood