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MediaWATCH: Red Bull Ban May Boost Sales

MediaWATCH: Red Bull Ban May Boost Sales

Monday, June 1, 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.

straitstimes.com Taiwan authorities say they have confiscated nearly 18,000 cases of Red Bull energy drinks with traces of cocaine. The drinks were part of a shipment that arrived from Austria in April, of which some were available from retailers and department stores, AFP reported. In Singapore, An Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority spokesman said that the Red Bull energy drinks in Singapore are imported mainly from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, but the AVA will send samples for testing.

online.wsj.com Energy-drink maker Red Bull is facing a setback in Germany, where lawmakers in two states began pulling Red Bull Simply Cola off shelves after a study found the drink contains trace elements of cocaine. ''We have a zero-tolerance,'' said a spokesperson. The amounts in question are minute, around 0.4 micrograms of cocaine in a can. A microgram is one-millionth of a gram. About 100,000 liters would need to be consumed to be harmful, according to one expert. In the US, Forbes reports a ban in Germany could boost US sales.

The Nation Exporters are urging the government to give serious consideration to managing the exchange rate because they say the baht's continued appreciation is destroying their competitiveness. They believe it is very important for the government to maintain a weaker and more stable currency to ensure Thailand's economic growth amid the global economic downturn and weak demand. The export sector is Thailand's key economic driver. The comments came after some economic experts suggested the government not try to weaken the baht, saying exporters did not trade solely in US dollars but used other currencies, too.

travel.asiaone.com The birth of a baby panda in Chiang Mai Zoo is expected to give a big boost to tourism in the northern province. As the birthplace and current residence of the female first offspring of popular giant pandas Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, Chiang Mai is preparing to welcome even more visitors wishing to see the cub. ''Thanks to the cub, the number of tourists should rise at least 10 per cent this year,'' said Chalermsak Suranant, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Chiang Mai office.

Bangkok Post Human rights and justice advocate Angkhana Neelaphaijit is offering to help relatives of people who died in the 2004 Tak Bai massacre if they decide to take legal action against the authorities in charge of the crackdown. The Songkhla provincial court found seven demonstrators had died outside the Tak Bai police station in Narathiwat during a crackdown by authorities on Oct 25, 2004, from suffocation. The court also found that another 78 demonstrators had suffocated in military trucks en route to an army camp in neighbouring Pattani, but did not apportion blame.

Today's Must Read

smh.com.au Google co-founder Sergey Brin wants to overthrow email as the dominant mode of internet communication and replace it with a new hybrid. ''I think you will see a form of interaction that you would not have previously imagined,'' he said. Christened Wave, the new system is a combination of email and instant messaging plus document-, maps- image- and video-sharing all housed in one spot. It also allows conversations between more than two people in different languages and it can be used from any computer or internet-enabled mobile phone. It should be publicly available by 2010.

joongangdaily.joins.com North Koreas recent nuclear test, climate change and the global economic crisis will dominate many of the conversations at the Korea-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Jeju today and tomorrow. But officials hope to make room on the plate for another topic, too: food. More specifically, Korean food. Government leaders will use the special summit, attended by leaders of the 10 Asean member states, as a venue for showcasing some of the country's famous dishes in a bid to raise awareness of hansik, or Korean cuisine. hoping to position it among the world's top five cuisines, an elite group that currently includes Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Thai.

bernama news agency A Thai governor has suggested that a tunnel be built to serve as a gateway between Malaysia and Thailand at Bukit Batu Puteh, if a proposal to open a border crossing there is realised. Satun governor Sumeth C. Vanitkul told reporters during an unofficial visit to Bukit Batu Puteh that, if implemented, it would be the first tunnel to link Malaysia and Thailand.

abclocal.go.com Fresno, California (KFSN): ''There are new developments in the mysterious death of a valley native who died while vacationing with her fiancee. 28-year old Jill Saint Onge died in Thailand earlier this month. She lived in Seattle, but grew up in Coarsegold. Investigators in Thailand initially suspected she and another tourist at the same resort both died of food poisoning. But a doctor hired by saint Onge's family now says, she likely suffocated, after her lungs were mysteriously eaten away. Exactly what destroyed her lungs is still under investigation. A more detailed medical report is due out in a few weeks.''

UPI news agency Burma has delayed the resumption of the trial of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, members of her political party say. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party was informed by the country's military junta during the weekend that the trial will resume Friday rather than Monday, CNN reported. The lone defense witness for Suu Kyi, who is accused of subversion for violating the terms of her house arrest, testified on Friday in Rangoon, after which the trial was adjourned for the weekend. CNN said the judge had asked both sides to submit their summarised arguments by Monday.

voa.com (voice of america) Burma's government in exile says it is changing its strategy to reach democracy, following the military government prosecution of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Tensions in Rangoon are reported to be rising as the trial progresses. The government in exile, the National Coalition Government for the Union of Burma, says it will announce its new strategy for a transitional process to democracy in late June. It says the trial of opposition-leader Aung San Suu Kyi has undermined the credibility of the military's planned 2010 elections.

AFP news agency Described by inmates as a ''hell" where beatings are common and disease is rife, Insein Prison, where Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial, is the brutal symbol of the ruling junta's repression. ''It's like a hell where people really suffer,'' Bo Kyi, who spent seven years in the jail following a failed student uprising in 1988, told AFP. Bo Kyi said during questioning he was whipped with a rubber cord and counted 150 lashes before he lost consciousness and awoke in a solitary cell. At least 139 political detainees have died in detention in the country since 1988, several of them in Insein, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma (AAPPB), co-founded by Bo Kyi. Many prisoners are starving, diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B are rife, while joint pains, eyesight problems and mental illness are commonplace.

Phuket Gazette An 18-year-old German in detention since March over charges of the sexual abuse of minors is seen as the victim of an older Briton who also faces charges; Government revenue from real estate is down more than 70 percent in 2009, according to Land Office figures; An editorial attributed to The Editor in the print version has a new heading and a credit for two writers in the online version. It describes Australian tourist Annice Smoel as a ''glamorous beer mat bandit'' and ''mother of eight.''

myrepublica.com While mostly dealing with Nepal tourism, Rupka D Sharma notes how ''even today that unruly act of capturing Bangkok's international airport is blamed for the decline in the number of [Thailand's] foreign visitors. And, at a time when competition is rife and lots of destinations are offering similar packages, one foolish act made by a single group can make millions of travelers change their plans. And when these travelers opt to go to some other destination, it can have harsh impacts on tourism-dependent individuals at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.''

ft.com Sandy Gall, guest on board a two-week section of a round-the-world cruise, writes of ''arriving early one morning on the magical Thai island of Phuket, so brutally savaged by the tsunami on Boxing Day, 2004. In Patong, the resort which was one of the hardest hit, Carlotta booked a room in the beachfront Impiana, which bore the brunt of three tidal waves, suffering one million pound's worth of damage. And yet you would not think so today. The hotel is immaculate, the beach unscarred. I have never swum in more beautiful water, although the motorboats dragging the parasailers into the sky were irritatingly noisy, the only flaw in this particular paradise.''

Phuketwan Phuket News


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Cut the bull. Put the coca back in Coca-Cola. Demand accurate food and drug labeling. End prohibition.

Posted by Anonymous on June 4, 2009 10:47


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