PM to stop cooking show
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said yesterday he would temporarily stop appearing on two cooking shows after complaints that his culinary moonlighting was unlawful. Food-loving Samak regularly appears on two local cooking shows, whipping up tasty Thai delights in the kitchen or heading to restaurants and local markets to advise viewers on how to choose quality goods. But on his weekly TV address to the nation, called Talking Samak Style, the colorful prime minister said two unnamed opponents had complained to the Election Commission that he should not be employed by a private company.
■ NEW ZEALAND
Deadly fall predicted
An ominous Tarot reading predicted the fate of Isaeli tourist Liat Okin, 35, whose body was found seven weeks after she disappeared while hiking in the rugged South Island, news reports said yesterday. Okin’s body was discovered on Friday, a 6.5-hour walk from a hut on the 35km Routeburn Track, in Fiordland, where she was last seen on March 26. The alarm was raised after she failed to return from a scheduled three-day hike on the track near the lakeside resort Queenstown. A New Zealand friend, Stephanye Bluwal, 25, told the Herald yesterday that the night before leaving Okin read Tarot cards and asked what would happen on her hike.
No ICJ for Borneo dispute
Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia will settle a thorny dispute about an oil and gas-rich area of Borneo themselves, rather than refer it to the International Court of Justice, a report said yesterday. Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said the two sides had formed a joint working group to study the border conflict over the Ambalat block and find a solution upon which both parties could agree, the Star daily reported. “We have agreed to settle the matter amicably. We will seek the views of experts on the laws of the seas and territories for a solution,” the newspaper quoted Rais as saying.
Wartime bomb defused
More than 16,000 Tokyo residents were evacuated yesterday as experts disposed of an unexploded 1 tonne bomb believed to have been dropped by the US military during World War II, an official said. The rusty bomb was defused by Self-Defense Force personnel in Chofu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, said Shigeru Ishikawa, a Tokyo Fire Department official. “Residents stayed at nearby public schools for evacuation,” Ishikawa said, adding that about 16,490 people had to leave their homes. The bomb, believed to have been dropped by a B-29 bomber, was found by construction workers in March. Ishikawa said the evacuation order was lifted after two hours.
Textbook risks dispute
Tokyo risks reigniting a territorial row with South Korea by claiming disputed islands as its territory in the school curriculum, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. The education ministry will describe the islets — known as Takeshima by Japanese and Dokdo by Koreans — as “Japanese territory” in its revised curriculum handbook, the daily said. The school curriculum is revised about every 10 years and the latest revision of teachers handbooks will be completed by July for use from April 2012, the newspaper said. The move came after conservative lawmakers in Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s ruling party stepped up pressure on the ministry to describe the islets as Japanese.