Fri, Mar 25, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Poll observers idea nixed

The government yesterday dismissed suggestions that foreign observers were needed to monitor the upcoming election, with the deputy prime minister saying he does “not respect” Westerners. It would be “inappropriate” to allow outside involvement in the poll, which is due in June or July and comes after deadly street protests last year, Suthep Thaugsuban said. “I don’t respect farangs. We do not have to surrender to them,” he said, using the Thai word for Westerners. Thailand has never officially allowed election monitors to operate during its polls, but anti-government “Red Shirts” have recently called for international observers to be present. “I am surprised that the Red Shirts do not respect our country’s sovereignty ... I don’t understand why they constantly call for foreign involvement, it is inappropriate,” Suthep told reporters.


Shooting probe concluded

Investigators say they have concluded “for now” that security forces did not shoot a Japanese journalist who was killed during protests in Bangkok last year. Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, 43, was shot on April 10 last year during a chaotic clash between anti-government protesters and soldiers. He was one of two journalists and about 90 other people killed during mass protests and street clashes that lasted 10 weeks. The head of Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation said yesterday that a joint investigation with police had ended with the conclusion “for now” that government forces did not kill Muramoto. Tharit said investigators would accept any new evidence and would continue searching for Muramoto’s killer, but they had no leads.


Anwar prosecution rests

Prosecutors have finished questioning all their witnesses in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial. Hearings have been delayed repeatedly since Anwar was first charged in August 2008 with having sex with a male former aide. Anwar insists the charge is part of a government conspiracy to crush his political career, but authorities deny plotting against him. The prosecution’s 27 witnesses included the 25-year-old man who claims Anwar coerced him into having sex. Both the prosecution and defense are scheduled to present a summary of their case so far on April 18.


Suicide bomber kills five

A suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into a police station yesterday, killing five and wounding more than two dozen people, police said. It was the second attack in as many days against police in Hangu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province that has been hit by militants many times over the past several years. The dead included one officer and four passers-by, said Rashid Khan, the top police official in Hangu. Most of the wounded in the attack in Doaba were also passers-by, he said. On Wednesday, a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in Hangu, wounding six officers.


Kim sends cash to Japan

Kim Jong-il has sent US$500,000 to ethnic Koreans in Japan to help them recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Korean Central News Agency reported yesterday, without elaborating. Kim’s money was apparently meant for pro-Pyongyang residents in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Koreans live in Japan, some supporting Pyongyang, while others back Seoul.

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