Briefs, January 18, 2013

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 January, 2013, 4:36am


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130 Rohingya migrants land on Thai island

BANGKOK - More than 130 Rohingya migrants have landed on Thai soil in less than 24 hours, a local official said, as the kingdom grapples with a flurry of arrivals from Myanmar's minority group. Some of the Rohingya came ashore at Phra Thong island in the south in full view of television cameras, Kuraburi district chief Manit Pienthong said. He said the refugees were sent to immigration officials in the provincial capital of Phangnga to start the process of returning them to Myanmar. AFP


Birth control law takes effect in Philippines

MANILA - A controversial birth control law came into effect in the Philippines after more than a decade of opposition from the Catholic Church, in an historic move. It requires government health centres to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, and orders that sex education be taught in schools. AFP


Psy scores award at Korean Grammys

KUALA LUMPUR - Rapper Psy's worldwide smash Gangnam Style has been crowned song of the year by South Korea's music industry association. The viral sensation that became an international chart-topper last year won the Digital Daesang honour at the 2013 Golden Disk Awards, considered the Korean Grammys. AP


Red Cross may soon inspect Myanmar's jails

YANGON - Red Cross inspectors may be allowed into Myanmar's prisons next week to assess conditions, said Peter Maurer, head of the group. Myanmar's new government has overseen a plethora of reforms since 2011, but scores of dissidents jailed under the ruthless former junta are believed to be languishing in the prisons. AFP