The Thai premier replaced his defense and agriculture ministers yesterday in a cabinet reshuffle sparked by growing crises over a separatist insurgency and bird flu. \nGeneral Chetta Thanajaro lost his job as defense minister less than seven months after being appointed as he took the blame for continuing violence in the Muslim-majority south that has left more than 315 people dead this year. \nAnother general, Sumpan Boonyanun, takes the job after reports that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra decided against doubling up and taking the post himself. \nSomsak Thepsuthin was shifted from agriculture minister to become one of the country's seven deputy premiers as Thailand struggles to get a grip on bird flu that has killed at least 11 people this year. \nDeputy Premier Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, a Muslim widely seen as carrying the can for the failure to stem separatist violence in the south when he lost his job as interior minister in another reshuffle in March, was moved to take the vacant agriculture job. \nThe deputy health minister was also moved on a week after Thaksin warned that heads could roll within his government because of failures in tackling bird flu. \nSuchai Charoenrattanakul, his replacement and a doctor specializing in respiratory ailments, will be given a key role in tackling the human outbreaks of bird flu. \n"These cabinet changes were aimed at tackling both bird flu and unrest in the south and I will personally supervise the security issue," Thaksin told reporters shortly after the new list was announced. \nHe did not rule out the possibility of another reshuffle ahead of next year's election. \n"I will not reshuffle if it's not necessary. It's not fun at all, but if I have to do it I must do it," he said. \nYesterday's wide-ranging reshuffle, Thaksin's 10th since coming to power in 2001, comes just a few months ahead of a general election tentatively scheduled for February next year. \nIt saw a total of three ministers dismissed, six moved and three new faces brought in, and affected 12 portfolios, according to an official announcement after Thailand's king backed the changes late Tuesday. \nThaksin is tipped to secure re-election in the next vote but has been buffetted by bird flu, unrest in the Muslim-majority south and corruption allegations levelled against his administration. \nThaksin announced a war on bird flu earlier this month after the country reported its first probable case of human-to-human transmission. \nThe incoming agriculture minister said he was confident he could successfully fulfil Thaksin's goal of making Thailand bird-flu free by the end of the month, although the World Health Organization and his predecessor have said it was unlikely to be achieved. \n"I am not worried at all. I will work to my utmost capacity to address the bird flu crisis," Wan Muhamad Noor Matha told reporters.
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India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
China is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized — and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data