reuters Thai prime minister and junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha gave a sweeping year-end speech on Wednesday in which he reiterated that the junta will hand back power in 2017 and that it was entering ''phase two'' of its reform plan.
afp A New Zealand judge ruled that Internet mogul Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the United States where he is wanted on money laundering, racketeering and breach of copyright charges.
ft.com Amnesty International says Russian air strikes in Syria may amount to war crimes after gathering reports on hundreds of civilians killed in their homes, medical facilities and other public spaces.
PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Phuketwan closes on December 31.
bangkokpost.com The prime minister has released his new single Because You are Thailand, a follow-up to his 2014 first smash hit, Returning Happiness to Thailand.
theguardian.com More than a million people have now reached Europe through irregular means in 2015, the International Organisation for Migration has announced, in what constitutes the continent's biggest wave of mass migration since the aftermath of the second world war.
bangkokpost.com A foreign tourist was arrested and three illegal migrant workers detained when Pattaya police raided popular Walking Street nightspots as part of a pre-New Year's immigration crackdown.
equaltimes.org According to one report, there are 189 Thai vessels trawling the Pacific's Arafura Sea, to the north of Australia, with an estimated 5000 workers, mostly Burmese, stranded and trapped in slavery.
bangkokpost.com Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul will travel to Songkhla on Wednesday then Yala as part of his inquiry into the death-threats claim by the former chief investigator in the Rohingya human trafficking case.
examiner.co.uk Tributes have been paid to a ''beautiful, devoted and loving'' daughter killed in a horror moped smash on Phuket. Rebecca Leanne Shaw, 32, known as Becky, was a pillion passenger on a bike hit by a pick-up truck. The bike was being ridden by Julie Robinson, 55, who escaped with minor injuries. An inquest was due to be opened on Tuesday by coroner Martin Fleming at Bradford Coroner's Court.
neurope.eu You might want to read our 10 safety tips before you leave to beautiful Thailand. Which in May 2014 saw democracy overturned by a military coup.
afp The world's airlines are expected to post a collective record $60 billion in profits this year, according to preliminary figures released by the the UN aviation agency.
bangkokpost.com The central government has ordered provinces to stop supplying water to second-cropping rice farmers in the Chao Phraya Basin - effective immediately.
afp Two Myanmar migrant workers could face the death penalty if convicted this week of murdering a pair of British backpackers on a Thai island, in a grim case that stained Thailand's reputation as a tourist haven. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun have pleaded not guilty to killing David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the diving paradise of Koh Tao, with the defendants insisting they are scapegoats for a bungled inquiry.
reason.com Environmentalists like to wax lyrical about the beauties of the wilderness, but there is something to be said for a thriving tourist industry and hiking Norwegians, and electricity and x-ray machines on tiny islands in the middle of the Andaman Sea.
washingtonpost.com it is unclear whether China's tourist name-and-shame campaign has had a positive effect - just a few weeks ago, a Chinese passenger on a flight from Shanghai to New York had to be removed from the plane after he repeatedly tried to sneak into first class to claim a free seat.
reuters Saudi air defense systems shot down a ballistic missile fired from Yemen, state media reported, which the Yemeni army said it had aimed at oil installations in the south of the kingdom.
traveldailynews.asia Eurowings, a Lufthansa Group company, recently made its debut flight to Phuket, the popular beach destination in Thailand on an Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline is now operating twice weekly flights between Phuket and Cologne/Bonn, connecting travellers to these beautiful cities.
Phuket Update Leading boutique hospitality company, Manathai Hotels & Resorts, has raised the bar in hotel design with the opening of its new resort in hip Surin Beach in the southern Thai tropical island of Phuket. In an industry where it seems that it has all been done before, Manathai Surin has found inspiration through a deep dive into the art and culture of Phuket to bring a new relevance and interpretation to the guest experience in the destination.
wsj.com Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of France's Sanofi SA, said it secured approval to market its vaccine for dengue fever from the Philippines, the first country in Asia to do so and the second in the world after Mexico. Mosquito-borne dengue fever is a major health issue in Asia, which bears 70 percent of the global disease burden.
smh.com.au Michael Schumacher's manager has been forced to deny a sensational magazine claim the Formula 1 star has made a dramatic recovery and is able to walk again. The German driver suffered a traumatic brain injury after he fell and hit his head on a rock while skiing with his 14-year-old son in December 2013.
theage.com.au The Shane Warne Foundation is embroiled in a fresh controversy amid allegations its chief executive officer is resigning over concerns that the promised shake-up of the charity could be misleading donors and sponsors. Shane Warne and board member Eddie McGuire announced that the foundation was about to be overhauled following revelations about the charity's past poor donation levels after overspending on star-studded fundraising events.
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 2004 Tsunami memorial ceremonies
December 26-January 5 Red Cross Fair, Saphan Hin, Phuket City
January 7-10 Phuket International Boat Show