Poipet (Cambodia) (AFP) - The number of Cambodians fleeing Thailand over fears of a clampdown on illegal migrant workers rose to nearly 180,000 Tuesday, as the two countries were expected to hold crisis talks in Bangkok The mass exodus of labourers -- who help keep major Thai industries such as agriculture afloat -- comes after a warning from Thailand's new military regime that illegal foreign workers face arrest and deportation. "The number of Cambodians returning from Thailand into Poipet (the main Thai-Cambodian border crossing) in just over a week reached 157,000 by this morning," said Kor Sam Saroeut, governor of northwestern Banteay Meanchey province where the checkpoint is based. Around 20,000 others have crossed the border at O'Smach, a checkpoint some 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast from Poipet, according to the governor and a senior Cambodian police official.
The US Supreme Court rejected Argentina's appeals against paying at least $1.3 billion to hedge fund investors in its defaulted bonds, piling pressure on the country's finances. The justices on Monday effectively upheld an August 2013 New York appeals court ruling that ordered Argentina to pay NML Capital and other hedge funds that had refused to participate in a restructuring deal for debt on which Buenos Aires defaulted in 2001. That opened the way for NML and others to seek immediate payment on 100 percent of the face value of the bonds they hold, even though most of the country's creditors took a huge writedown of their bonds to help the government rebuild its finances. Monday's ruling "is really the end of the road" for Argentina to avoid payment, said Richard Samp, chief counsel at the Washington Legal Foundation, which supported the legal case of the hedge funds.
Families of asylum-seekers killed in a shipwreck off Australia's Christmas Island in 2010 are suing the government, arguing it breached its duty of care in a move Canberra Tuesday blasted as "shameful". Fifty people died when a rickety fishing boat crowded with nearly 100 Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian asylum-seekers was dashed against jagged rocks in dangerous seas at the remote Indian Ocean outpost. Human rights lawyer George Newhouse has launched legal action in the New South Wales state Supreme Court on behalf of eight families, claiming the government failed to maintain a proper lookout. At the time authorities said they were not aware the boat was approaching Christmas Island due to the predawn darkness and "extreme" weather conditions.