PHUKET: A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media.
AirAsia has dropped plans to set up an airline in Singapore, citing high costs and weak market potential.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand plans to promote Thailand in India's secondary cities, riding the rising trend of arrivals from that country. Thailand recorded 1 million arrivals from India last year and the number is expected to reach 1.1 million this year.
A young dolphin that marine biologists at Phuket's Marine Biology Centre were hoping to keep alive has died. The dolphin's mother, rescued with its offspring, also failed to survive.
US President Barack Obama declared that a decade of war was ending, the nation's economy was recovering and ''America's possibilities are limitless'' as he launched into a second term.
Britain's Prince Harry has acknowledged that he killed Taliban insurgents on his latest tour of duty in Afghanistan as a crew member of an Apache attack helicopter.
Police say floods in Indonesia's capital have killed at least 26 people and sent more than 100,000 fleeing their homes.
Thai authorities said they were investigating allegations that army officials were involved in the trafficking of Rohingya boat people fleeing deadly sectarian violence in Burma (Myanmar). Rohingya in Thailand risk falling into the hands of people smugglers who demand large sums to transport them to Malaysia. Those unable to pay are believed to be forced into labor to pay.
''The broker said that they bought us from police,'' Ahmed, a Rohingya Muslim refugee who was sold by Thai police, told the BBC News Online. Thai officials say that selling Rohingya Muslims is the ''natural'' solution to the problem of refugees arriving on Thai shores.
''We cannot at this moment conclude who these perpetrators are but the Thai government is determined to get to the bottom of the problem,'' said Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Sihasak Puangketkaew.
Saudi Arabia announced a contribution of $ 1.88 million toward UNHCR's humanitarian program in Myanmar providing shelter to Rohingya in Rakhine state.
A spokesman for Iran's Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said the Islamic republic is working to open an embassy in Myanmar, Press TV reported.
Having your teeth fixed up at a reasonable cost should not be such a pipe dream???-???the Brits do it at low cost. It???s unacceptable that dentistry is so unaffordable in Australia. [And one of the reasons many Aussies come to Phuket and Thailand.]
Clint Dempsey scored a late equaliser for Tottenham to deny Manchester United victory at White Hart Lane. The Spurs forward scrambled the ball over the line in time added on, to leave Sir Alex Ferguson's side only five points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
It was everything everyone's come to expect from Roger Federer - relentless, error-free tennis to bemuse, break down and eventually beat another Grand Slam opponent. Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic found himself kicked to the Australian Open fourth round kerb by Federer despite doing little wrong.
January 30-February 2
Bay Regatta, Phuket Phang Nga Krabi
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Fourth Asia Beach Games, Phuket