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Roundup of Thailand news with AJW

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BANGKOK BRIEF: Army says Cambodia “propaganda trick” only pretends pullout at temple. New committee will try to clear khlongs and reduce flood fears.

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BANGKOK BRIEF: Army says Cambodia “propaganda trick” only pretends pullout at temple. New committee will try to clear khlongs and reduce flood fears.

WORLD SUMMARY: Annan claims useful talks with Syria leader. Egypt parliament defies army. Malaysia in huge party drug bust. Hillary: Mongolia is “model” for Asia democracy.

RESHUFFLE: PM Yingluck denies she will concurrently take defense post, saying that cabinet reshuffle is not yet on the cards.

RED SHIRTS: Nine Red Shirts were released from the Lak Si temporary prison on Monday morning after a request for their release on bail was approved by the Supreme Court.

MALAYSIA: Malaysian customs officers have made the country’s biggest drug bust so far this year, seizing nearly 3 million party drug pills worth $18.4 million, an official said. Five people have been arrested.

OLYMPICS: The country’s Olympics broadcast rights holder insists all viewers will be able to watch the games this month, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said yesterday.

TODAY: Weather 34C; Hot, Showers; Euro:US 1.2305; Euro:Baht 39.04; SET Index: 1187


ROGER FEDERER: Probably the greatest tennis player of all time. A record 17 Grand Slam Titles, 4 ahead of anyone else. A record 8 times Wimbledon finals. A record 32 Grand Slam semi-finals. A record 33 consecutive Grand Slam quarter finals. A record 7 Wimbledon titles, tying the record with William Renshaw and Pete Sampras. A record 238 weeks as World No.1 (this week tying that record with Pete Sampras, and next week he will break that record.)

He still holds the astonishing record of 237 consecutive weeks as World No.1 from February 2004 to August 2008. The only male tennis player ever to have reached at least 5 championship matches at each of the Grand Slams (Australia, Paris, Wimbledon, and USA). One of 7 male players to have achieved the career Grand Slam (winning at all 4 Grand Slam tournaments), and one of 3 players to win on three different surfaces: grass, clay, and hard.

Jimmy Connors said: “You’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.”

MARKETS: Asian stocks rose, rebounding from the biggest drop in a month, after Alcoa Inc. reported results that beat estimates and before European Union finance ministers meet in Brussels. Oil declined.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) added 0.3 percent as of 9:34 am in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.5 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent. Oil fell 0.9 percent. The euro traded near from its lowest level in 2 years before reports forecast to show manufacturing in France and Italy is weakening.

THAI FLOOD PREVENTION: The Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC) has set up a new committee to oversee implementation of city planning laws in flood management to limit possible damage from heavy flooding.

The newly-appointed committee is chaired by Petipong Pungbun na Ayudhya, former permanent secretary for agriculture, and comprises 10 other members from related agencies.

A massive flood management program costing 300 billion baht has been earmarked by the government.

Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, the WFMC Chairman, said the committee has 4 months to complete 7 missions.

They are identifying flood-risk areas; allocating green areas for use as floodways; defining kaem ling (monkey cheeks) water retention areas; drawing up measures to limit city expansion in low-lying areas; revising land use management to reduce flood risk; drafting regulations to control construction of public facilities to make sure that they won’t obstruct water flow; and regulating land use along river banks and canals.

Earlier yesterday, interested domestic and foreign companies were at Government House to receive the terms of reference (TOR) for details of the government’s 300 billion baht flood management program.

They included Ch.Karnchang, Progress Technology Consultants Co., Survey Engineer Intertech Co. and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

TOM CRUISE: Katie Holmes’ lawyer has confirmed her highly-publicized divorce with Tom Cruise has been settled, as reports emerge she will have ”sole custody” of their 6-year-old daughter Suri.

FOOTBALL: Manchester City killed off Russian interest in Roberto Mancini by making him the highest-paid manager in Britain after agreeing a 37.5million pounds 5-year deal.

PATA: Last week, the Senior Director for Marketing and Membership Services, Stu Lloyd, left after what one staff member said was a “huge row” between him and Pata CEO Martin Craigs. His departure means that 2 key appointments made in 2011 to carry out a new “Building the Business” strategy did not even last a year.

HERITAGE – METROPOLE HOTEL HANOI: When Vietnam’s neo-classical Metropole first opened in August 1901, full board rates ranged from US$7 to US$125 per month.

In 1916, co-founder André Ducamp was granted permission to screen Hanoi’s first ever musical-accompanied movie at the hotel’s theater-cinema. In 1936, Charlie Chaplin spent part of his honeymoon at the Metropole with his leading lady Paulette Goddard.

The hotel has lived through a succession of French, Japanese, and Chinese occupations. A further indication of its tumultuous past is the air raid shelter built in the 1960s under the Bamboo Bar, only excavated last year, and opened to the public this year.

Famous guests of the Metropole include: Catherine Deneuve, Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, Stephen Hawking, Oliver Stone, Mike Jagger, and Roger Moore.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.