Thursday, October 30, 2008
Explosion at PAD
Nine people were wounded, one seriously, when someone threw an explosive among anti-government protesters at Makkhawan Bridge near the Government House.
The bomb was lobbed at around 3:30am from outside the gathering of members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who have been staging anti-government protests since May 25 around the Makkahawan Rangsan Bridge, site of the explosion.
The target appeared to be a "forward post" used by internal security guards of the PAD movement, which has established its current headquarters inside nearby Government House.
PAD core leader Chamlong Srimuang blamed the attack on the government.
He said that the attack would not stop the PAD from marching on the British Embassy in Bangkok on Thursday to demand the extradition of Thai former premier Thaksin Shinwatara.
Khanit Sapitak, commander of the First Army region in and around Bangkok, described the explosive as a bomb, and denied any connection with the army.
Lt-Gen Khanit said he has contacted the police to investigate.
Army specialist Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, an outspoken anti-PAD activist, also denied any involvement in the bombing.
He said, however that it is now time for the PAD supporters to leave Government House. He added that he believes the PAD faces "a group of enemies" who are adopting guerrilla techniques.
He also said that PAD guards will die every day if the group does not withdraw from the Government House.
Maj-Gen Khattiya said there are many groups that are unhappy with the PAD seizure and occupation of Government House, and its response against high-ranking officials who have came out to warn the group for the occupation.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Khawaja guilty on some but not all terror charges
An Ottawa software developer whom prosecutors accused of promoting a unique brand of ideological hatred has been found guilty of some terror-related charges against him, but not all.
Momin Khawaja, the first person charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, faced seven charges in connection with a foiled U.K. bomb plot.
An Ottawa judge found him guilty on five counts of financing and facilitating terrorism and two Criminal Code offences related to building a remote-controlled detonator with the intent of causing an explosion.
However, the judge said the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Khawaja, 29, was aware his U.K. associates planned to bomb domestic targets using the so-called Hi-Fi Digimonster detonator he built. As a result, the charges related to the detonator weren't counted as terrorism-related charges, said CTV's Rosemary Thompson, outside the courtroom.
"So he faces a very stiff sentence down the road but the one caveat in this is his lawyer did convince the judge that his client wasn't aware of plans to bomb a night club and shopping centre as this cell was planning to do," Thompson told CTV Newsnet.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 18.
Scuffles broke out and a woman was punched in the face when five pro-government supporters were grabbed and held by People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) guards who claimed they were armed and ready to incite violence.
The incident has turned up the heat between the rival camps as tensions mount ahead of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship's (UDD) next big rally on Saturday.
Political emotions have grown increasingly hostile since the PAD shut the door on proposals by academics for peace talks with the UDD.
Observers believe the Kwam Jing Wan Nee (Truth Today) mobile political talk show in Bangkok on Saturday will attract a huge crowd of UDD supporters as former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to address the rally by phone from London.
Concerns are mounting the talk show could stir up emotions and create a volatile atmosphere among UDD supporters.
In what many fear could be a taste of things to come, a group of UDD supporters in red shirts were intercepted on Tuesday by the PAD guards outside the alliance's protest venue at Government House.
Four women and one man wearing red shirts with the words "Choose Samak, Love Thaksin", were caught early in the afternoon in a pick-up stuck in traffic.
The PAD guards claimed a few young men in the back of the truck fired slingshots at them. The guards were manning a protest checkpoint near Nakhon Sawan Road. They alleged one UDD member tried to hit them with an axe, but missed.
The young men escaped and the PAD guards grabbed five people in the front seat. They paraded them on the PAD stage in Government House and said the five were UDD supporters.
PAD demonstrators reacted with fury and tried to grab the five before the guards hustled them out of the grounds.
During the chaos, a male guard reportedly punched one of the women, Sombat Khayanchoomnoom, 53, in the face. She fell to the ground with her face bleeding.
Some of the PAD guards alleged Mrs Sombat and the others were carrying petrol, a knife and an axe and intended to attack PAD protesters. The UDD members denied the claim.
The guards said they found a red flag with the words "The Truth Today Show" and a cap saying "Saturday People Against Dictatorship" in the truck.
The five UDD supporters were handed over to police for questioning.
Tuesday's incident was the second involving UDD and PAD supporters. On Sept 2, they clashed near Makkawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen avenue resulting in the death of a UDD supporter.
In the scuffle, the PAD guards were accused of taking the five and beating them near the protest security check point called the "PAD Station".
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Skinheads In Obama Assassination Plot
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Iran busts 'spy pigeons' near nuclear site
One of the pigeons was caught near a rose water production plant in the city of Kashan in Isfahan province, the report cited an unnamed informed source as saying, adding that some metal rings and invisible strings were attached to the bird.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Mr Somchai also told the nationwide TV audience that he had called the now-controversial special cabinet meeting on the night of Oct 6, as PAD protesters began to surround the Parliament to prevent the government from delivering its policy statement. Mr Somchai reiterated that the government debated and decided that night it would not use force to disperse the protesters.
Border stays tense, but armies back off
Thailand and Cambodia yesterday agreed to joint patrols and left the more serious issue of troop reductions to the next round of talks aimed at easing tensions at their disputed border.
The decision was reached in five hours of negotiations under the Regional Border Committee between Second Army commander Lt-Gen Wiboonsak Neeparn and Cambodian Fourth Army chif Gen Chea Mon at the tourist service centre on Pha Mor E Daeng in Si Sa Ket.
Both sides will resume talks in Siem Reap next Tuesday, said Supreme Commander Gen Songkitti Chakkabatr.
At this stage, both sides will keep their troops in the area and have joint patrols, Gen Songkitti added. But he cautioned that Thai soldiers were ready to protect the country if it was invaded.
Lt-Gen Wiboonsak said joint patrols would be introduced to "prevent this kind of incident from happening again".
"We did not make much progress. Troops on both sides will stay where they are," he said.
The fighting between the two countries on Wednesday at Phu Ma Khua and Pha Mor E Daeng came after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday gave Thailand an ultimatum to withdraw its soldiers from the disputed area. Thailand insists it is part of Thai territory.
Seven Thai troops were injured and two Cambodian soldiers died in the clashes.
Army deputy spokesman Col Werachon Sukondhapatipak said no Thai soldiers were captured as claimed by Cambodia. The soldiers in the pictures were stationed at Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda near the Preah Vihear temple.
Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh called the outcome "a good result". "We understood each other," he said. "We cannot patrol individually because it could lead to a misunderstanding."
The clashes caused concern at the United Nations and among the international community
In a statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the two countries to "exercise utmost restraint and expedite bilateral talks so that their differences can be resolved peacefully."
There are 1,000 Thais in Phnom Penh and about 500 in Siem Reap.
Thai ambassador to Cambodia Viraphand Vacharathit said about 600 Thais had returned to Thailand after the Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that Thais who did not need to stay in Cambodia should return to the kingdom.
Cambodian riot police were deployed in front of the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, which was set on fire by anti-Thai rioters in 2003.
Cambodian Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said undercover police were monitoring Thai businesses to ensure their safety.
"We're protecting all Thai businessmen and citizens in Cambodia in case our people get furious and do something wrong that would not benefit either side," Khieu Sopheak said.
The current stand-off first flared in July after Preah Vihear was awarded World Heritage status, angering some nationalist Thais who claim Thailand ownership of the site.
The situation quickly escalated into a military confrontation with up to 1,000 Cambodian and Thai troops facing off for six weeks, although both sides in August agreed to reduce troop numbers in the main disputed area.
Army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda yesterday confirmed Thai troops were ready to protect Thai soil. Air Force chief ACM Ithaporn Supawong said the air force would deploy aircraft to evacuate the remaining Thais in case of emergency.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Mr Virasakdi said during the talks with Mr Sompong, Hun Sen had demanded Thailand withdraw all troops from the 4.6-square-kilometre overlapping area. He threatened to take the case to the Security Council and the International Court of Justice on grounds that Thailand had invaded his country.
Hor Namhong said a scheduled meeting between the two countries on the border dispute would go ahead as planned today.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
If the Conservatives had been in power in 2003 Canada would have probably been in Iraq too. But imagine the pounding PM Harper would have taken with that. Fighting those Taliban scum has been bad enough. Will Harper get his Majority? Only time will tell.
Dion in Neon
Stephane Dion likes sunsets and walks on the beach. He would also like to be Prime Minister. Or at least Leader of the Loyal Opposition. Or do they use the word "Loyal" now. Or was it "Royal". They certainly won't use "Loyal". That's too Anglo. Damn Anglos. Always wanting more fairly distributed ridings.
Taliban Jack at Toronto's Gay Pride Day
He wants to talk to the Taliban, the furry little Taliban... Right after the big parade. Hmmm. I wonder if the Taliban would talk to him after they found out he has gay friends. Apparently, word on the street is, the Taliban don't like gays. Those crazy guys, haven't they ever watched any movies with hot lesbo action?
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Gilles Duceppe wants Quebec out of Canada. Canada wants Quebec out of Canada. So what's the problem. Go already and take Duceppe with you. Oh, but you know the 80% of your belle Province that is CROWN land. The stuff with all the minerals and resources? Yah, sorry we're keeping that.
Under me this will be your food, clothing and transportation
Elizabeth May would like everyone to settle down and sit in a circle around her feet. She's going to hand out heathly snacks and educational toys, then she's going to read us a tedious story from the boring books approved for children by people who forget what children are like association. Then she's going to make us live in huts and eat grass, because if living like cavemen for the collective isn't grabbing you, maybe living like cavemen for the planet will.
Cambodia claimed on Tuesday that Thai soldiers pulled back from a tense border region, but Thai officials denied making any retreat. Thailand, officials vowed, would not be the first to resort to force along the frontier.
Cambodian army Gen Chea Mon told the Reuters news agency: "They (Thailand) pulled out from our land" shortly before the so-called Phnom Penh ultimatum at noon. "The situation seems to have returned to normal. Our troops are occupying the area where the Thai troops have pulled out."
Sheer nonsense, said Thai officials. "We are still there," Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat said after a meeting with Army chief Gen Anupong Paochinda and foreign ministry officials.
Also: "We will not be the side to use force first," he told a press conference. "We will try to use negotiations."
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday shocked Thailand and foreign observers when he gave a deadline of noon on Tuesday to withdraw all its troops from an area adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border or face a "large-scale conflict."
Thai foreign ministry officials expressed surprise at Cambodia's claims that Thailand had already withdrawn its troops from the area, which has been the source of an increasingly volatile spat between the two countries since July.
"We were quite surprised by the withdrawal claim, because we think of this territory as being in Thailand, so why would we withdraw," said Thani Thongphakdi, a deputy spokesman for the foreign ministry.
In a statement issued earlier Tuesday, the foreign ministry also expressed "surprise" at Hun Sen's fighting words, noting that it went against the "sprit of neighbourliness" between fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
After his meeting with Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat in Phnom Penh on Monday, Hun Sen told reporters that he had warned the Thais to withdraw their troops from the disputed area around the Preah Vihear temple or face fighting.
"They must move tonight or tomorrow. If they don't ... there will be fighting," he said.
Cambodia has been pressing to have the border spat settled by a regional or international body, but Thailand has insisted it could be handled bilaterally.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The injured were being treated at BMA Medical College and the Vajira, Central, Chulalongkorn, King Mongkut, Siriraj, Ramathibodi, Rajavithi and Police hospitals. Ten were in serious condition with six having lost limbs.
The first death yesterday was a man whose dismembered body was found thrown from a white Jeep Cherokee that had exploded. The jeep had been parked in front of the Chart Thai party headquarters on Sukhothai road, Dusit police said.
Another policeman suffered broken legs after being hit by a car driven by a PAD supporter.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
"It's definitely that robot-girl" said one panicking imaginary investor. "Damn that thing is so creepy I had to sell everything I had at a loss."
In addition to the cabinet and more than 300 MPs and senators, the PAD also held an unknown number of government and parliament staff and media representatives hostage, and cut off lights and water to the compound without police resistance.
Back at the Parliament, most of the MPs and senators were still trapped inside the building as of Tuesday afternoon after the government delivered policy statement as PAD supporters blocked all the exits and entrances of the parliament.
Fire in the Night
During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up “a gentleman named William Ayers,” who “was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that.” Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.
In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car. (Today, of course, we’d call that a car bomb.) A neighbor heard the first two blasts and, with the remains of a snowman I had built a few days earlier, managed to douse the flames beneath the car. That was an act whose courage I fully appreciated only as an adult, an act that doubtless saved multiple lives that night.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Wasn't some spineless twit like this responsible for the first British routing in Afghanistan?
The blunt statement from Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith - "We're not going to win this war" - came just days after a leaked diplomatic cable hinted that the British ambassador in Kabul has a similarly dark forecast. The brigadier suggested that a negotiated settlement will be necessary.
Blunt? He's smoking a blunt?
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Brig. Carleton-Smith said a "decisive military victory" is not feasible and that NATO should lower its expectations about the outcome of the war. "If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this."
"That shouldn't make people uncomfortable," he said.
No, people should be comfortable talking to a bunch of murderous bandits who want to force their stupid beliefs on their fellow citizens. Right. Thanks for that advice. Twit.
That places Britain, with at least 3,500 troops standing alongside Canada's forces in southern Afghanistan, in direct conflict with U.S. leaders, who continue to argue strenuously that the war can only be won by substantially defeating the Taliban. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers have endorsed that view, although most other NATO nations have favored negotiations.
It places one General, not Britain in conflict. I would bet my hardly earned cash that 98% of the 3,500 British troops would like to prove General Negotiations wrong.
Brig. Carleton-Smith's words are the most explicit expression yet of a view that has become
dominant in many member nations of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
You know this how?
That view effectively isolates the United States, the biggest donor of money and troops to the war. Starting later this month, the U.S. Afghanistan strategy will be designed by General David Petreus, who devised the "surge" of extra troops in Iraq last year and who has become the head of U.S. Central Command in order to shift the country's priorities toward the Afghan war.
The British proved you can beat insurgencies in Malaysia.
Prime Minister Harper has previously sided with the Americans on such questions, refusing any suggestion of direct negotiations with the Taliban and ridiculing politicians who have suggested a political solution. Conservatives gave NDP Leader Jack Layton the nickname "Taliban Jack" for lobbying in favour of negotiations in recent years, and the moniker became popular among Canadian troops as a derisive shorthand for politicians who don't support the war.
During last week's election debate, however, Mr. Harper avoided discussing the possibility of a victory and suggested that Canada's goals now involve empowering Afghan forces rather than totally defeating the Taliban: "If we are to truly pacify that country and see its evolution, we have to train the Afghan army and police so that they are credibly able to take greater responsibility for their own security."
Well we all know who the staff at the Glob and Mule will vote for.
Negotiations should consist of the following.
a) Do you surrender?
b) No? Okay. Blam!
c) Clean up stain.
Ah... You'd think the Europeans would have learned about trying to control the free markets by the excellent job the Soviets did.
Germany takes hot seat as Europe falls into the abyss
The European Central Bank – which raised rates into the teeth of the crisis in July – has played a shockingly destructive role in this enveloping slump. Its growth predictions this year have been, and still are, delusional. Neglecting its global role, it has vastly complicated the fire-fighting efforts of Washington.
It could have offered “cover” to the US Federal Reserve this spring when Ben Bernanke was forced by events to slash rates to 2pc. It could at least have signalled an end to monetary tightening. That is how an ally ought to behave.
Instead, it stuck maniacally to its Gothic script, with equally unhappy consequences for both sides of the Atlantic, as well as for China, Japan, and India. The euro rocketed yet further, which it turn set off an oil shock as crude metamorphosed into an anti-dollar with leverage.
The ECB policy was self-defeating, even on its own terms. It merely drove headline inflation even higher, while deeper forces of underlying debt deflation pulled the real economies of Germany, Italy, France, and Spain into a recessionary vortex.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Phnom Penh (dpa) - Five former Khmer Rouge soldiers went on trial Friday in the Cambodian capital, charged in the 1996 murders of a British deminer and his Cambodian translator.
Briton Christopher Howes and his interpreter, Houn Hourth, were abducted along with a group of Cambodian co-workers in March 1996 by Khmer Rouge guerrillas while clearing mines near the Angkor Wat temple complex in northwestern Cambodia.
Howes, 37, a former soldier, was said to have behaved heroically during the ordeal, persuading the kidnappers to free all his colleagues except himself and Hourth.
Their fate remained a mystery for more than two years, but Scotland Yard confirmed in 1998 that they had been killed in the remote, northern former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng.
Among the defendants at Friday's trial was Khem Ngun, a former rebel commander who defected to the government soon after the killings. He is accused of ordering the killings.
The abduction was just one of a spate of kidnappings by the Khmer Rouge during the mid-1990s when the embattled group was attempting to shore up the movement financially with hijackings of cars and trains, abductions of foreigners and other brutal crimes.
The suspects have been charged with premeditated murder and illegal confinement and face life in prison.
The Cambodian government was accused at the time of being slow to make arrests in the killings because negotiations for Khmer Rouge leaders to defect were at a crucial stage. In November, police arrested two accused ringleaders, grabbing three more men in May.
Cambodian trials usually take one day, but judges often reserve verdicts for weeks.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The system tracks text messages sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay, the Web auctioneer that owns Skype, an online phone and text messaging service.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Ford's US sales drop 34 percent in September
Ford sales also were hurt as buyers continued to favor small fuel-efficient cars over trucks and sport utility vehicles. Truck sales were down 39 percent, while car sales dropped 19 percent.
Meat must be rationed to four portions a week, says report on climate change
People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.
Except for inner party members...
The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.
Ministry of Truth reports Choco rations up to 4% from 8%...
It urges people to return to habits their mothers or grandmothers would have been familiar with: buying locally in-season products, cooking in bulk and in pots with lids or pressure cookers, avoiding waste and walking to the shops - alongside more modern tips such as using the microwave and internet shopping.
Urge... because Mommy Dirt is COUNTING on YOU...
The report goes much further than any previous advice after mounting concern about the impact of the livestock industry on greenhouse gases and rising food prices. It follows a four-year study of the impact of food on climate change and is thought to be the most thorough study of its kind.
Who pays for these studies anyways?
Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."
Why not just declair it YEAR ZERO and move everyone on to collective rice farms? It worked so well for the Cambodians.