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In this issue

Internet politics
Regional governments are going online

Today, government MPs are forced to engage and debate their counterparts across the aisle in social media like Twitter and Facebook, allowing us to report on the opposition and avoid much censorship.

- A veteran reporter from Malaysia, a country with notoriously poor press freedom.

We cannot underestimate the potency or power of digital media. It is a very viral, contagious and infectious process that really creates and multiplies awareness throughout.”

- Herminio Coloma, who headed a project launched this week linking Filipino President Benigno Aquino’s website to social networking sites.

We need to find a way to release information to the public, and our website is a bridge to connect the public and answer questions.”

- Om Yentieng, the head of the Cambodian government’s Anti-corruption Unit, on plans to set up a website to publicise the asset declarations of government officials.

Cell phone numbers
$25 billion
The value of the mobile-phone company that would be formed with the proposed merger of Vimpelcom, who owns Beeline, and telcos owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

$200 million
The number of total subscribers this entity would have if the merger goes through.
$477 million
The number of smartphones that industry reports predict will be sold in Asia by the year 2015, when over half of the continent’s mobile-phone sales will be high-end devices providing faster access to email and internet browsing.

The number of months before the iPhone is officially introduced in China, the world’s largest mobile phone market.

The many dangers of moving produce

Four people in a car carrying a load of coconuts were injured after the vehicle tipped over following a collision with a motorbike in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district. Police said yesterday’s incident was caused by the driver of the motorbike, who was heavily drunk and driving erratically. The coconut-laden car was forced to swerve to avoid the motorbike at one point, which is when it struck the pavement and flipped over. RASMEY KAMPUCHEA

A soldier driving a motorbike on Wednesday suffered a severe head injury after he collided with a bicycle cart used to sell boiled corn. Witnesses said the soldier appeared to be drunk at the time of the accident and was not wearing a helmet. The victim apparently crashed into the boiled corn cart and then tumbled onto the road, unconscious. The soldier has been sent to hospital, and police are holding on to the motorbike.

Big Stories

Thaksin Shinawatra resigns as economic advisor to Cambodia after only nine months on the job, but Hun Sen still pledges his eternal friendship.

In elections held in Australia on Saturday, neither the labor party, led by Julia Gillard, or the liberal party, headed by Tony Abbot, received a majority of votes, leaving the government with a hung parliament.

After months of political gamesmanship and verbal dueling, Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he is ready to sit down for talks with Hun Sen regarding the ongoing border issues near Preah Vihear. This comes after Hun Sen requested international intervention.

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