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MediaWATCH: 'Death for Adulterers' in Aceh

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective and reports from national and international media.

Associated Press Adulterers can be stoned to death and homosexuality is punishable by steep prison terms under a new law passed unanimously by lawmakers in Indonesia's devoutly Muslim Aceh province on Monday. Aceh's regional parliament adopted the bill despite strong objections from human rights groups and the province's deputy governor, who said the legislation needed more careful consideration because it imposes a new form of capital punishment.

Xinhua Mek Wok Kundor, a 107-year-old Malaysian, was in search for her 23rd marriage when she felt insecure with her current husband, a local daily reports. The Star said Mek, better known as Tok Wook, was afraid that her husband might leave her to marry a younger woman. The centenarian married Mohd Noor Che Musa, 37, in 2005. She said she was not searching for a handsome man but someone to be a companion in her remaining years.

Today's Must Read

telegraph.co.uk Emily Rose writes: Paris may be the city of love but it is also the capital of perverts. To experience this, you simply need to be female and walk down the street. You're almost guaranteed to get your daily dose of dirty old men and if you live on the Left Bank, you really don't need to go far. A respectable looking middle-aged man wearing a suit unzips himself right in front of us and pulls it out. Several similar episodes later, I start to think that maybe this is the norm here in Paris.

Reuters A US jury has convicted a pair of married Hollywood producers of paying more than $1.8 million in bribes to a former Thai government official in charge of tourism, in part so they could manage the Bangkok film festival. In return for the bribes made between 2002 and 2007, Gerald and Patricia Green obtained Thai government contracts for the festival and other dealings that funneled more than $13.5 million to their companies, US prosecutors said.

afp President Barack Obama has bluntly warned that some Wall Street bosses were ignoring lessons of the financial crisis, as he demanded a new age of prudence after bloated years of unchecked excess. ''The old ways that led to this crisis cannot stand,'' the US leader said in an outspoken address delivered in the shadow of US finance firms he blamed for unleashing global contagion one year ago. ''History cannot be allowed to repeat itself.''

zeenews.com Sea pirates attempted to board two tankers in the busy shipping lanes off Malaysia and Singapore but managed to flee after the crew thwarted the attacks, a maritime body said in Kuala Lumpur. Noel Choong, head of the Piracy Reporting Centre of the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre, said: ''The pirates attempted to attack the first tanker but failed and two hours later they managed to board another vessel but were thwarted by the crew on-board.''

wsj.com Attempts to censor the Internet are spreading to Southeast Asia as governments turn to coercion and intimidation to rein in online criticism. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam lack the kind of technology and financial resources that China and some other large countries use to police the Internet. The Southeast Asian nations are using other methods to tamp down criticism, including arresting some bloggers and individuals posting contentious views online. That is distressing free-speech advocates.

nytimes.com For Indonesians, it is a point scored in a long-running rivalry with their neighbor Malaysia: The UN has decided to recognise Indonesian batik as one of the world's important cultural traditions. After a run of what Indonesian nationalists view as Malaysia's poaching of its culture, the announcement that the Unesco would add batik to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list was especially welcome. To celebrate, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked all Indonesians to wear batik on October 2.

independent.co.uk Tee in China: To be rich is to play golf, say China's new breed of entrepreneurs. After 30 years of economic growth, plaid trousers, Ping hats and spiked golf shoes have edged out the Mao suits and People's Liberation Army slippers. Welcome to China's golf revolution. The primary motivation behind developing the game of golf in China is property, not bashing a little white ball around a course. Plush villas pay the green fees.

nytimes.com A new audiotape, reportedly from Osama bin Laden, denounced President Obama as no different from his predecessor and warned that anti-American attacks would not stop unless the US ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 11-minute, 20-second taped message, distributed online two days after the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, also said American support for Israel was the main underlying reason for anger in the Muslim world. It was the first time in three months that a voice recording attributed to Mr. bin Laden had surfaced.

nytimes.com A British judge has sentenced three men to life in prison for plotting to bomb at least seven trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives smuggled aboard in soft-drink bottles, concluding the largest counterterrorism investigation in British history. The man described as the plot's ringleader, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, was given a minimum of 40 years in prison. Another conspirator, Assad Sarwar, was jailed for at least 36 years, while Tanvir Hussain, described as the man responsible for acquiring and assembling the explosive devices at a London warehouse, received a minimum term of 32 years.

Bangkok Post Normita Thongtham writes: If you are one of those who buy coral for financial gain or for your own gratification, please think again. The Andaman Sea is rich in natural resources, but there would be nothing left if exploitation is allowed to continue. Transplanted in an aquarium, the coral would soon die; spare a thought for those dedicated men and women who are doing their best to conserve them for the benefit of your own children and grandchildren.

Reuters Beijing's sway over Burma may be too weak to deter the junta from launching fresh offensives against armed ethnic groups on its volatile frontier with China, the International Crisis Group says in a new report. In a survey of the opaque relationship between China and its neighbor, the group found Beijing's influence over the generals who rule Burma is more brittle than many human rights campaigners and Western diplomats assume.

wikinews.org Keiichi Iwasaki, a 36-year-old Japanese tourist has spent eight years cycling more than 45,000km across 37 countries with the equivalent of just $2 in his pocket, relying on his bicycle for transport. Iwasaki left his home for a short tour through Japan in 2001. He was robbed by pirates, attacked in Tibet by a rabid dog, escaped marriage in Nepal and was arrested in India.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo
Photo Album Concern about the 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand' series has led to permissions and releases being withheld. But the British producer says the series is not harmful to tourism.
Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo

US Aircraft Carrier, Warships Heading for Phuket
Latest The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and two warships are heading for Phuket . . . not to cause problems for jet ski operators, but to enjoy the island's delights on shore leave.
US Aircraft Carrier, Warships Heading for Phuket

Phuket's Vegetarian Warriors Take a Wild Ride
Photo Album Phuket's Vegetarian Festival 2009 will be another trip to a world where possessed ''warriors'' show how different the holiday island can be in its culture.
Phuket's Vegetarian Warriors Take a Wild Ride

British Warning Follows Phuket Beach Drownings
Latest Phuket has failed to adequately protect tourists and residents on its beaches.The consequences of years of neglect are about to damage the island's tourism industry.
British Warning Follows Phuket Beach Drownings

Hail Pink for a Trip Through Phuket and Time
Photo Album Shocking pink is the favorite color of just about everyone in Thailand these days. And now you can hail a Pink Special as 'twin bench' buses make a 16m baht comeback.
Hail Pink for a Trip Through Phuket and Time

Confessions of a Farang Bangkok Bodysnatcher
Bodysnatcher Profile Phuket has its volunteer foundations but Bangkok is noted for its Bodysnatchers, and Marko Cunningham is the only farang among them. He tells his story in a new book.
Confessions of a Farang Bangkok Bodysnatcher

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines
Scam Scandal Update New footage shows Phuket jet ski JJ operator ripping off US marines; national anger at scams grows; Zeman remakes Hong Kong; Aussies prime sex offenders
MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines

MediaWATCH: Thai Party Island Gives Up Drugs
News Digest Phangan, a Thai holiday island notorious for drugs, goes straight; Checks on security; Indonesia holds boat people; McCurry to expand franchise.
MediaWATCH: Thai Party Island Gives Up Drugs

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