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MediaWATCH: Addicts' Changing Drugs World

MediaWATCH: Addicts' Changing Drugs World

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Today's Must Read

bbc.com Global markets for cocaine, opiates and cannabis are steady or declining, the UN's annual drug report says. Opium cultivation in Afghanistan fell by 19 percent in 2008 while cocaine production in Colombia dropped 28 percent, it says. Consumption of the drugs in major markets in Western countries is said to be stable or declining. But the production and consumption of synthetic drugs are thought to be growing as they shift increasingly to the developing world. The UN Office for Drugs and Crime said that synthetic drugs - amphetamines, methamphetamine and ecstasy - has now become 'big business'. Huge laboratories in South East Asia, including Thailand, are producing massive quantities.

news.com.au Indonesia has expressed fears about holidaying Australians bringing the virus to Bali. Victoria's premier, John Brumby, said the toll would grow. ''There are always, from normal seasonal flu, something like 2000 to 3000 lives that are lost,'' he said. ''H1N1 is becoming, in a sense, the normal seasonal flu, albeit in most circumstances not as severe.'' Indonesia has confirmed its first two cases, both from Australia. Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari called for Bali officials, who are screening all passengers from Australia, to be more vigilant. ''To be frank, I am worried about people from Australia,'' she said.

examiner.com Michele Bigley advises: After prowling through Travelzoo, Travel-ticker, and Smarter Travel, we finally found a reasonable airline flight to Thailand. The next day, I suddenly found that I could fly from San Francisco to Rome, or Athens, or Barcelona, or Paris, or Amsterdam for $350. Now my brain was fried. Would I sacrifice some rainy days in Phuket for epic sun drenched strands on the Costa Brava? This is what plagues travelers today - too much choice, too much knowledge, and in the end, too slow reflexes. I wanted a night to decide and of course, the next morning, the cheap flights to Europe were gone Use the Internet to find a cheap flight. When you find one, book it. Immediately.

asiatraveltips.com Finnair Leisure flights will fly nonstop to Phuket four times a week from November 6 with new Airbus A330 wide-bodied aircraft. The aircraft are part of Finnair's extensive long-haul traffic fleet modernisation. Economy Class has spacious, ergonomically designed seats, which have an adjustable neck support with entertainment for an additional fee. Stopovers will no longer be needed and the aircraft will fly to Phuket direct from Helsinki.

Bangkok Post Sanitsuda Ekachai writes: Hands off! The back-breaking rice farming work is only for Thais. If you are a foreigner wanting to invest in farming here, our laws allow you to partake only in the more profitable business of food processing and other agriculture-related investments which require high capital and technology. No, no, you foreigners cannot engage in contract-farming here, either. That would turn independent farmers into hired hands on their own land. That would be daylight robbery. Only Thai agro giants can do that and still call it agricultural development! But if you still want to invest in farming, get a Thai front. This is how our laws on farming protection work.

dvb.no (democratic voice of burma) Larry Jagan writes: Relations between Thailand and Burma are set to deteriorate dramatically following Bangkok's warning that the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi could all but destroy Burma's already fragile credibility. Thailand's current position on Burma is stronger than usual, bolstered by concerns that Burma's behavior, by implication, would also impact on the credibility of the regional Asean bloc. The junta dismisses these concerns, citing the Asean mantra of non-interference in its defence. But this time Burma's political games are certain to be met with more pressure from its Asian allies and neighbors, especially Thailand. Burma is high on the agenda of Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's current visit to Beijing.

the malaysianinsider.com Non-Malays must have felt like bit players today reading comments from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the man who promised that he would usher in a new era of equality for all Malaysians. He appealed to PAS to reconsider the proposal to form a unity government with Umno, saying that the Islamic party should not allow political considerations to get in the way of uniting the Malay/Muslim community. But what about the rest of the country? What about the Chinese, Indians, Kadazandusuns, Dayaks, Sikhs, Eurasians and others? What role will they play in a Malay unity government? Who will look after the interests of non-Malays? Will crumbs be tossed their way?

thejakartaglobe.com Nattakorn Devakula writes: When angry protesters recently took to the streets in Iran, the seething masses claiming that they had been robbed of true democracy looked reminiscent of recent protest scenes in Thailand. It is in Thailand, where angry street mobs have for the past three and a half years challenged the legitimacy of successive democratically elected governments, that the parallels are starkest with Iran. In a true democracy, an elected leader does not lose his legitimacy just because he is opposed by powerful minority forces, nor do those forces have the right to extra-constitutionally remove a democratic leader. An obvious and dangerous trend in international politics is that when any demagogue-type politician wins a landslide election, the opposition claims vote fraud and in many cases sends its supporters into the streets to stir unrest.

mmail.com.my A Singaporean man who texted insulting SMS messages to a woman he didn't know was jailed for two weeks for the offence. Lee Wei Loon, 26, had sent a message saying: 'Can I make love with u. I give u 200. Service very good not to worry u will be very SHIOK.' The woman accounts executive who received it last October, did not know who sent it and warned: 'U r messing with d wrong person. U'll regret tis.' The man ignored the warning and sent another insulting SMS.

strom.com David Strom writes: What do the services Pixelpipe.com, Etherpad.com, Tr.im and namechk.com have in common? All four are tools that I can't live without these days and didn't even know existed a few months ago. That is how fast the Internets are changing. I suggest you give each of the four a quick try out and see if you agree that you can save yourself a lot of time with each of them.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Supermodel Spat as Fashion Week Prices Plunge
Latest Ticket prices to Phuket Fashion Week and Music Festival have been slashed after a group of Thai supermodels had their performances cancelled unexpectedly. Showings start tonight.
Supermodel Spat as Fashion Week Prices Plunge

Patong Bars Get Set for US Navy, and Holy Day
Latest Thousands of sailors have already booked some Patong bars and clubs for activities when a group of US warships dock this week. But bars will close in July for a Buddhist holy day.
Patong Bars Get Set for US Navy, and Holy Day

Phuket Fashion Week: Preview Party Special
Photo Album Many of Thailand's top models are on Phuket for Fashion Week . . . and the after show parties. At the preview party, there was plenty of evidence that good times lie ahead.
Phuket Fashion Week: Preview Party Special

Safety Flags, Guards Dot Risky Phuket Beaches
Beach Safety Photo Album Safety first seemed to be the message all along Phuket beaches this week after the needless deaths of four people within three days.
Safety Flags, Guards Dot Risky Phuket Beaches

Phuket Hotels Asked to 'Help Security Clamp'
Latest The Immigration Department is asking all Phuket hotels and guesthouses to supply information about newly arrived guests as part of a security clamp for leader summits.
Phuket Hotels Asked to 'Help Security Clamp'

Phuket Timeshare Touts Take to Two Wheels
Latest Officials in the Phuket beach resort of Karon are concerned about a new trend for expat and Thai timeshare touts to take to two wheels to tempt tourists along the beachfront.
Phuket Timeshare Touts Take to Two Wheels

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