smh.com.au Called the ''flight from hell'' by one shaken passenger, more than 20 fliers have been taken to hospital after severe turbulence forced an Air Canada flight to divert to Calgary.
bloomberg.com Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled she'll use Germany's economic power to turn a record influx of refugees to the nation's advantage and urged citizens to reject social conflict fomented by nationalists with ''hate in their hearts.''
washingtonpost.com A powerful winter cyclone has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year.
PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Phuketwan closes on December 31.
afp US President Barack Obama will host leaders from Asean at an ''unprecedented'' summ it in Rancho Mirage, California on February 15 and 16, the White House said.
bangkokpost.com Myanmar's ambassador to Thailand Win Maung appointed the Lawyers Council of Thailand (LCT) to launch an appeal in a higher court for two migrant workers sentenced to death last week for murdering two British tourists.
reuters New Year's Eve celebrations have been cancelled in Belgium's capital, Brussels, due to fears of a militant attack, as the city remains on high alert following the Paris terrorism attacks in November.
themalaysianinsider.com The tragedy of Rohingya refugees being stranded in the Andaman Sea in 2015 was bad enough but the refusal of Malaysia and other regional authorities to take them in was a human rights abomination of major proportions. The jungles of southern Thailand and northern Malaysia have been a major route for human traffickers bringing Rohingya from Myanmar (Burma).
hellomagazine.com Happy couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their kids, Maddox, 14, Pax, 12, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, nine, and seven-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, are staying in a luxurious 10-bedroom pad at the Amanpuri beach resort in Phuket. The stunning setting boasts pristine reefs, golf courses, Buddhist temples and unbeatable landscapes.
bangkokpost.com The Thai Journalists Association tells the government it is time undo media pressure which has created a ''dull, uncomfortable, paranoid'' atmosphere.
nationmultimedia.com The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has dubbed Phuket a ''City of Gastronomy,'' recognising the island's rich culinary history and unique cuisine. ''Being chosen as a member of the Unesco Creative Cities Network as a 'City of Gastronomy' is a wonderful honor for Phuket,'' said Unesco director-general Irina Bokova.
reuters A Thai defence ministry looking into allegations of corruption at a military-built park said it had found financial ''irregularities'' in the project but had no authority to investigate any wrongdoing.
bangkokpost.com The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation will add tukkai - curved-toed geckos - to its list of protected animals, saying the tiny, colorful creatures are threatened with extinction.
nationmultimedia.com The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand plans to invest Bt668.3 billion between 2016 and 2020 to build new plants as well as upgrade the existing power grid to connect to new ordinary and renewable power plants, Egat governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate said. The new power plants include the replacement of four generating units at Bang Pakong plant, the coal-fired power plant in Krabi and two more in Songkhla.
bangkokpost.com A girl selling plastic garlands on the popular tourist island of Samui is caught on video trying to force foreigners to buy them for 100 baht each. If they refuse, she abuses them in English and throws things at them.
nytimes.com Actor and comedian Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault over an alleged incident in 2004 at his Philadelphia-area mansion, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said, in the first criminal case after years of mounting accusations.
reuters More than one million refugees and migrants braved the seas in 2015 seeking sanctuary in Europe, nearly five times more than in the previous year, the United Nations' refugee agency said
DPA The Environment Agency said Britain had faced an extraordinary period of severe weather and flooding in December, with consultants PwC warning that the latest deluge from Storm Frank could take total losses above $6 billion. According to media reports, a group of Syrian refugees has been working in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, shovelling sand into sandbags to help avert more flooding.
AP Twenty-seven people were killed and 63 injured in shooting incidents across the US on Christmas Day, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This tally does not include people who shot themselves in suicide.
theage.com.au Global economic growth will be disappointing next year and the outlook for the medium-term has also deteriorated, the head of the International Monetary Fund said in a guest article for German newspaper Handelsblatt
smh.com.au Australia does not have a problem with alcohol. Australia has a problem with violence. Violence is not caused by trading hours or licensing rules. Nor is it caused by advertising or labelling or sponsorships. Violence is caused by violent people, in the same way that rape is caused by rapists and murder is caused by murderers.
allkpop.com The cast and crew of tvN's hit drama series 'Reply 1988' will be heading to Phuket, Thailand for a much deserved vacation! ''We'll be leaving to Phuket for a vacation on January 19 and returning on the 22nd. The actors and producers are doing their best to schedule. It looks like the majority will go.''
mumbaimirror.com Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra: Thai massages, exotic delicacies and bikinis are on PeeCee's mind, who's in Phuket for five days with her gal pals. ''Parties should be crazy. You wake up late in the afternoon in the next year asking each other what happened last night?'' she laughs.
cnn.com A priest in the Philippines has been reprimanded by church leaders for his creative idea to get worshipers moving during a Christmas service: using a hoverboard. On Christmas Eve, the priest, who hasn't been named, used the toy to glide in and out of rows of churchgoers while singing a Christmas song in English and Tagalog, which was caught on camera and has since gone viral.
afp The unvarnished brutality of the martial art Lethwei is the reason an increasing number of foreigners are seeking out Myanmar, primed for pain and ready to test their fighting skills. With head-butts among the array of painful blows permitted, Lethwei pugilists say their sport is the hardiest member of Southeast Asia's kickboxing family - even more brutal than Thailand's better known Muay Thai. A win is by knock out only.
afp Christian Benteke was on target again as Liverpool won 1-0 at Sunderland and made a significant impact on the Premier League as they moved up four places.
December 31 New Year's Eve public holiday
Until January 5 Red Cross Fair, Saphan Hin, Phuket City
January 7-10 Phuket International Boat Show