BKK Vejr 34C
Sunny hot and morning haze possible showers later
Euro: US 1.3101
Euro: Baht 40.187
Hundreds of thousands of people thronged the Royal Plaza to help celebrate HM’s 85th birthday; the King is the world’s longest-reigning monarch. His Majesty ended his birthday speech delivered to all well-wishers before returning to Siriraj Hospital. The King stressed good morals in his people. Several thousands of well-wishers chanted “Long Live the King” as his royal motorcade reached the hospital.
Protesters besieged Egypt’s presidential palace; Morsi flees ahead of mob. Nato moves missiles to Turkey-Syria border.
– TUI: Organic growth boosted turnover by 2 percent at TUI Travel, but currency fluctuations turned this into a 2 percent decline for the year. However, price increases, and cost savings of £42m pounds helped to lift underlying profits by 4 percent to £490m pounds.
– DIVORCE BY SMS: An Indonesian official is facing calls for his resignation after it emerged he divorced a teenager by text message following four days of marriage. Aceng Fikri, 40, is married with 3 children and took the 17-year-old as his second wife in a Muslim ceremony.
– ROYAL THAI AUDIENCE: Thais across the country will experience a rare delight today – a grand public audience granted by their much-beloved King from a balcony – an event known as Seehabanchorn in Thai. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s longest-reigning monarch, but throughout his more than 6-decade reign, he has granted such a grand public audience only 5 times before.
– MACAU: Casino shares tumbled. Police in mainland China and Macau have detained people from at least 3 of the biggest junket operators. By acting as middlemen, junket operators help drive the VIP business that accounts for about two-thirds of casino revenue in the world’s largest gambling hub. Las Vegas Sands fell 2.8 percent to US$45.46. Wynn Resorts dropped 2.9 percent to US$110.12.
– OBAMA HOLDS GROUND ON INCOME TAXES: US President Obama’s administration rejected a Republican plan for tackling the fiscal cliff that omitted higher tax rates for top-earning Americans, leaving the issue unresolved with about four weeks left before more than US$600 billion in tax increases and federal spending cuts start taking effect. European stocks rose as finance ministers met to discuss moves to stem the debt crisis.
Obama said in a television interview that the Republican offer on resolving the fiscal cliff doesn’t go far enough and won’t raise the revenue needed to shrink the deficit by US$4 trillion over the next decade. Obama, in his first television interview since winning re-election, said, “We have the potential of getting a deal done.”
The President said he’s willing to make further cuts in entitlements and realizes he won’t get “100 percent” of what he wants. Still, he insisted that Republicans accept higher tax rates for top earners if the US is to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the start of 2013.
“We’re going to have to have higher rates for the wealthiest,” Obama said, “It’s just a matter of math.”
– NEW AIRLINE FOR THAILAND: One of Japan’s biggest travel agencies said Tuesday it would set up a charter airline based in the Thai capital Bangkok as demand for air travel in Asia soars.
Interest in Asian Airlines has risen, and companies like Thai AirAsia, Nok, and Bangkok Airways are all doing well; at this point we will see many new airlines, and the industry will consolidate by 2015.
H.I.S. said its Asia Pacific Airlines would begin operating flights in the summer, connecting Bangkok to locations across East Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea, a company official said.
The carrier would initially operate two 767 mid-sized planes before expanding its fleet to 10 aircraft within several years, it said.
“As demand for international flights is expected to jump in Asia, we want to secure our own aircraft so that we can offer services to both our current and new customers flexibly,” the official said.
The travel giant offered few other details about its new airline.
About 18 million people used H.I.S. last year, and it had 446 billion yen (HK$42 billion) in turnover, according to the company’s financial results.
Asia Pacific Airlines will be owned 49 percent by H.I.S., with 39 percent held by its Thai unit H.I.S. Tours Co., and the remaining 12 percent held by Thai hotel owner, Panlert Baiyoke, according to a statement.
– TRINITY HILLS WINE NEW ZEALAND: Homage a Hawkes Bay Syrah is only produced in those years where the vintage is deemed worthy. The previous vintages of this wine have become highly collectible, and Homage is already one of New Zealand’s most iconic and internationally-recognized labels. 2007 produced a wine that is more refined, elegant, and fragrant than the great 2006 and will mature into a beautiful wine, with elements of black fruits such as plum, blackberry, cherry, and cassis. The wine shows great elegance, with concentration and weight.
A rich game dish such as venison is required to stand up to this wine. The structure is tight and tense, which will allow the wine to age gracefully for up to 10 years in good conditions.