NEWS hound: Phuket to benefit from big airline sale

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: AirAsia is conducting another big sales promotion this month, offering more destinations, including Phuket, at even lower fares than their previous sale last August. Phuket is one of AirAsia’s nine regional hubs that connect to an extensive network of about 130 routes covering more than 70 destinations.

The sale is concentrated into a very narrow booking period – from yesterday until this Sunday, March 7, only – but provides for travel from September 25, 2010 through February 13, 2011, the latter three months of which include Phuket’s high season.

According to website Equity Bulls, the promotion is only available on the AirAsia websites at and

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Thai army still using discredited bomb detectors

Christian Science Monitor
The GT200, a widely discredited hand-held scanner that claims to detect bombs at a distance of 700 meters, continues to be used by the Thai military. A recent Thai government test demonstrated that the scanner failed to detect explosives hidden in four out of five containers. In response, Britain has warned foreign governments that similar detectors, including the GT200, are unreliable.

Tellingly, neither the British military nor any other NATO ally has bought the GT200 scanners. On Feb 22, two soldiers were injured when a 5-kilogram bomb was detonated by remote control in Pattani, in an area soldiers had earlier patrolled with GT200s and failed to detect the bomb.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has ordered cessation of purchases of the scanner but has not criticized the army. Political analysts say Abhisit is reluctant to challenge the military as he needs their support to contain street protests by opposition party supporters.

Cambodia struts its military – for Thailand?

The Jakarta Post
Cambodia’s military performed a public test of some 200 rocket launchers (BM21) at the airfield in Kampong Chhnang province on Thursday amid a lingering troop standoff over disputed territory with neighboring Thailand. The drill was carried out 180 kilometers from the Thai border.

“The drill is not a threat or a show of force against neigboring countries or foreign countries…. It is about the strengthening of the abilities of our forces in order to fulfill the duties of national defense against invaders,” a spokesman for the Cambodian government said.

Cambodia and Thailand have been locked in nationalist tensions at their disputed border since July 2008, when Cambodia’s 11th century Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Thailand out of Asian Cup finals

The Bangkok Post
Iran scored in the 89th minute on Wednesday night to defeat Thailand 1-0 and officially deny the team a place at next year’s Asian Cup finals. Javad Nekounam scored a superb 89th-minute header to put the Thais out of the tournament for the first time in 22 years.

Brian Robson, the former England and Manchester United captain, and the manager of the current Thai team, has had a miserable start to a four-year contract, and it is far from certain he will be around when Thailand starts preparing for the World Cup 2014 qualifiers. Thailand finished third and struggled to make headway against a full-strength Iranian side lifted by a sparse but enthusiastic crowd at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

— Gazette Editors

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