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  1. Commuters Trapped In BTS Rush Hour Breakdown By Khaosod English Passengers trapped inside a skytrain carriage Thursday evening BANGKOK — A system failure left hundreds of skytrain passengers stranded on platforms and carriages for an hour. The trains broke down at about 6.24pm, according to a statement tweeted by BTS management. It said there would be “10 minutes delay” in train rides. However, the system wasn’t back on track until 7.39pm. Full Story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/transpo/2017/11/23/commuters-trapped-bts-rush-hour-breakdown/ -- © Copyright Khaosod English 2017-11-23
  2. Doctor accused of sexual misbehaviour seeks more time to meet police By Prasit Tangprasert The Nation A doctor, who has been accused of sexual harassment by 11 factory workers sent to him for their annual medical check-up, holds an executive position in a private hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima province, a police source revealed on Thursday. The doctor, whose name is being withheld pending the investigation, sent his lawyer on Thursday to arrange an appointment for him to meet police on Sunday, as he was still preoccupied with other errands at the moment, said the source at the Sung Noen Police Station. The summons were issued on Wednesday for the doctor to hear a criminal charge following a complaint filed on Tuesday evening by 11 women who work at Siam Fukoku. The women alleged that he had needlessly touched their breasts during routine check-ups on November 17. They said they had gone alone in turn into the examination room and the doctor unzipped their uniform tops and felt their breasts. The check-up is not supposed to include an examination for signs of breast cancer. The factory employees said they asked among co-workers and learned that the doctor had only touched the breasts of “good-looking” women. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30332351 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  3. Prosecutors lodge appeal in ‘zero-dollar-tour’ case dismissal By Kesinee Tangkhieo The Nation File photo Public prosecutors on Thursday appealed against the Criminal Court’s decision to drop a legal case against 13 suspects in the so-called “zero-dollar-tour” gang. “We disagree with the decision,” Office of the Attorney-General spokesman Wanchart Santikunchorn said yesterday, as the protest was lodged with the Court of Appeals. On August 25, the Criminal Court dropped charges against 13 defendants in the high-profile case on grounds of weak evidence. “There has been no evidence solid enough to convict the defendants on the charges levelled against them,” the court said. The 13 defendants included several members of the Rojrungrangsee family and various firms such as Fuan Travel, OA Transport, Royal Paradise, Bangkok Handicrafts, Royal Gems and Thai Herb. Public prosecutors had charged them with racketeering, money laundering and violating tourism and tour guide laws. The case came up at the time authorities launched a crackdown on tour operators that reportedly offered Chinese visitors free or very low-cost hotel and flight packages to Thailand but then lured them into buying overpriced souvenirs during the trips. According to the allegation, the defendants had taken Bt98million from tourists through the sales of overpriced products. Tour companies received a huge share of benefits – between 30 and 40 per cent – while tour guides pocketed a share of between three and five per cent. Public prosecutors have said that such operations have damaged the reputation of Thailand and hurt its tourism. All defendants denied any wrongdoing, arguing that they are not tour operators and thus do not need to seek a license under tourism laws. They have said they just provide services related to tourism, such as bus rental and shops. The Criminal Court accepted their claims and dismissed the case against them. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30332354 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  4. Five arrested in Chantaburi for overstaying visas By The Nation Police in the eastern province of Chanthaburi on Thursday rounded up four Indian nationals and a Vietnamese national for allegedly overstaying their visas. The alleged illegal immigrants were arrested during separate raids at resorts and a hotel in Muang district. The alleged illegal immigrants were arrested during separate raids at resorts and a hotel in Muang district. The raids were in response to the government’s order to crack down on illegal immigrants as their presence is considered a national security threat. The crackdown is also aimed at stopping human trafficking as well as illegal workers in the fisheries industry. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30332391 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  5. Tesco Lotus fires rude cashier who calls customer ‘sh*tty’ in viral video By Coconuts Bangkok Tesco Lotus fired an employee yesterday following a heated argument with a male customer, during which she used vulgar language and sneered at him for driving a bicycle. We’re guessing it was a pretty easy call for the retail giant as the argument was captured on video for the whole world to see. According to the customer, who has requested to remain anonymous, he had gone to a Tesco Lotus store in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang area on Tuesday to buy seven bags of sugar and two cases of fish sauce. Full Story: https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/tesco-lotus-fires-rude-cashier-calls-customer-shtty-viral-video/ -- © Copyright Coconuts Bangkok 2017-11-17
  6. Prayuth Reshuffling Deck In Hope Of Popularity Trump Card: Pundits By Pravit Rojanaphruk, Senior Staff Writer Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives Oct. 31 to Khon Kaen province with members of his cabinet to inspect flood damage. BANGKOK — Although the details of who’s in and out in the cabinet reshuffle have yet to be announced, politicians and critics are seeing it as a pivot by the military regime toward elections next year. Among them is former senior Democrat MP Kraisak Choonhavan, who said Thursday that junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s revamping of his cabinet is a sign that his military government is preparing to compete for votes, and even more, a desperate bid to shore up its flagging popularity. Full Story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/2017/11/23/prayuth-reshuffling-deck-hope-popularity-trump-card-pundits/ -- © Copyright Khaosod English 2017-11-23
  7. Two Don Muang policemen win praise for using CPR to save a life By The Nation Two traffic policemen of the Don Muang Police Station in Bangkok have won plaudits from Facebook users after their clip providing CPR to a man on a flyover on Wednesday went viral. The clip of the two traffic policemen saving the life of a man on the pedestrian bridge on Kamphaeng Phet 6 Road in front of the BAFS oil depot was posted on the Facebook page of the Don Muang Police station at 11pm on Wednesday. By 1pm on Thursday, the post was “liked” more than 30,000 times and shared over 14,000 times. It received over 9,800 comments of praise. The clip showed a traffic policeman performing a CPR on an unconscious man in a military uniform until he regained consciousness and was later taken away in an ambulance. Another traffic policeman stood by to provide help. Pol Major Krirk Kaewsaento, traffic inspector of Don Muang Police station, said on Thursday that the incident happened at 6pm when three traffic policemen were directing traffic at the spot. Krirk said the three were informed that a man was found unconscious on the flyover so Pol Senior Sgt-Major Thanatip Prasert and Pol Senior Sgt-Major Boonma Tasaeng ran up the bridge to check. Krirk said Thanatip checked and found the man had stopped breathing so he performed the CPR while Boonma called for an ambulance. The man returned to consciousness but again stopped breathing five minutes later. So Thanathip performed another CPR and revived him again. Soon an ambulance arrived and took him to the Bhumibol Hospital. Krirk said he was informed the man was in safe condition now. He said the two officers would later receive a reward from the Royal Thai Police. Krirk said his police station has taught the use of CPR to traffic police hence Thanathip knew how to correctly do it. He quoted Thanathip as saying it was the first time he had used the CPR in a real situation and he was happy to have been able to save a life. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30332358 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  8. Army Officer Road Rage Video Goes Viral by CityNews CityNews – A heated road-rage argument between a man dressed in military uniform and a woman driving a car has gone viral online after the driver filmed the man making threats and being rude to her. The video was shared on an account named Folfai Chalita Damrong on November 7th but has now been removed. According to the post, Chalita was driving along the Superhighway from San Dek intersection towards Maejo intersection. The traffic was bad and due to construction work the road narrowed. The male driver dressed as an army officer allegedly tried to cut the queue and forcefully pushed in front of her. However, she closed to gap not allowing space for him to enter. Full Story: http://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/news/army-officer-road-rage-video-goes-viral/ -- © Copyright Chiang City News 2017-11-8
  9. Students Rally Against Bar Bouncers Who Killed Their Friend in a Bar Fight by CityNews CityNews – Maejo University students have rallied against a pub in San Sai after a student died from injuries sustained from the bouncer at the bar after a fight. The incident occurred around midnight on November 17th at Ocean, a pub across from Maejo Police Station. A group of about ten students reportedly at the pub when the bouncers came over to talk to one of the students and then started to beat him. The attack led to a brawl between the students and the bouncers. A member of staff was hit by a bullet after one of the bouncers draw a gun on the fight. The brawl ended when the police arrived shortly afterwards. Seven students were injured and one died from injuries sustained several hours afterwards. On November 20th, Maejo University students rallied together in protest at San Sai District Administration Office to file a case to the governor of Chiang Mai questioning the violence of the pub bouncers which they claim happens often. The students claim that there have been many fights at the pub but police rarely get involved despite being next door, and ignore complaints about the establishment. Full Story: http://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/news/students-rally-bar-bouncers-killed-friend-bar-fight/ -- © Copyright Chiang City News 2017-11-22
  10. 12 out of 50 whitening cosmetics found to have mercury From random checks on 50 samples of cosmetics for face-whitening, the Medical Science Department has found 12 of them to contain mercury, a substance which can be harmful to kidney, the nervous and respiratory systems and skin. Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the department director-general, said the mercury content found in the 12 samples of cosmetics ranges between 0.035 – 3.959% of total weights. Mercury is a banned substance in cosmetics according to a Public Health Ministry announcement. The substance is harmful to kidney, the nervous and respiratory system and skin. After a long use, mercury can accumulate in the skin and can be absorbed into the blood system, leading to liver and kidney troubles, anemia, urinary tract infection, and damaging the colours of skin and nails. Full Story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/12-50-whitening-cosmetics-found-mercury/ -- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-11-20
  11. Escape from North Korea: video shows defector under fire By Haejin Choi and Josh Smith SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean border guard briefly crossed the border with the South in the chase for a defector last week - a violation of the ceasefire accord between North and South, a video released on Wednesday by the U.N. Command (UNC) in Seoul showed. The North Koreans were only steps behind the young man when they shot him at least four times as he made his escape on Nov. 13. The video, filmed as the defector drove an army truck through the demilitarized zone and then abandoned the vehicle, gives a dramatic insight into his escape. The defector, identified by a surgeon as a 24-year-old with the family name Oh, was flown by a U.S. military helicopter to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. Doctors said he had regained consciousness, having had two operations to extract the bullets, and his breathing was stable and unassisted. "He is fine," lead surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said at a news conference in Suwon. "He is not going to die." A UNC official said North Korea had been informed on Wednesday that it had violated the 1953 armistice agreement, which marked the cessation of hostilities in the Korean War. The UNC official told a news conference that a soldier from the North Korean People's Army (KPA) had crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), the border between the two Koreas, for a few seconds as others fired shots at the defecting soldier. "The key findings of the special investigation team are that the KPA violated the armistice agreement by one, firing weapons across the MDL, and two, by actually crossing the MDL temporarily," Chad Carroll, Director of Public Affairs for the UNC, told reporters. The incident comes at a time of heightened tensions between North Korea and the international community over its nuclear weapons programme, but Pyongyang has not publicly responded to the defection. The video, released by the UNC, was produced from surveillance cameras on the southern side of the the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarized zone. When tree cover is too dense to see the wounded defector crawling across the border, it switches to infra-red. DESPERATE ESCAPE The film begins with a lone dark green army jeep speeding along empty, tree-lined roads towards the border. At one checkpoint, a North Korean guard marches impassively towards the approaching vehicle. It races by. He runs in pursuit. After passing a memorial to North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, where tourists often gather, the jeep runs into a ditch just metres from the border, which is not clearly marked. For several minutes the driver tries to free the vehicle, but the wheels spin uselessly in fallen leaves. The driver abandons the vehicle and sprints away, pushing tree branches out of his way and sending leaves flying. He scrambles up a slope to cross just seconds before more guards appear, shooting as they run. One slides into a pile of dead leaves to open fire before running forward and appearing to briefly cross the dividing line between the two countries. He quickly turns on his heel. The video does not show the moment the defector is hit, but he is seen lying in a pile of brush next to a concrete wall in a later edited clip. The UNC's Carroll said the position was still exposed to North Korean checkpoints across the border. Allied troops operating the cameras had by then notified their commanders and a quick reaction force had assembled on the South Korean side, according to Carroll. The video does not show this force. Infrared imagery shows two South Korean soldiers crawling through undergrowth to drag the wounded North Korean to safety, while the deputy commander of the border security unit oversees the rescue from a few metres away. LONG RECOVERY Doctors have conducted a series of surgeries to remove four bullets from the critically wounded soldier, who arrived at the hospital having lost a large amount of blood. "From a medical point of view he was almost dead when he was first brought here," said the surgeon, Lee. Hospital officials said the man remains in intensive care. The soldier showed signs of depression and possible trauma, in addition to a serious case of parasites that has complicated his treatment, the hospital said in a statement. Lee said last week one of the flesh-coloured parasites he removed from the soldier's digestive tract was 27 cm (10.6 in) long. Continuing stress made the soldier hesitant to talk, but he had been cooperative, doctors said. The patient first recovered consciousness on Sunday, and asked where he was in South Korea, Lee said. He was in "agony" when he came to, the surgeon added. Since then doctors have played South Korean pop music for him, and American action movies including "The Transporter" from 2002. On average more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to the South every year, but most travel via China and numbers have fallen since Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011. It is unusual for a North Korean to cross the land border dividing the two Koreas. They have been in a technical state of war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The last time a North Korean soldier had defected across the JSA was in 2007. (Reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Christine Kim, and James Pearson; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Sara Ledwith) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-22
  12. “No poor people in jail” campaign reaches the justice reform committee By The Nation Prof. Prinya. Thammasat University law professor Prinya Thaewanarumitkul and his alliance on Wednesday submitted 30,000 signatures to the justice reform committee in support of the “No poor people in jail” campaign. Prof Prinya said every charter guarantees the rights of defendants until their case is final. For that reason, defendants – especially the poor – should be free until the verdict is delivered. At present, the freedom of defendants is guaranteed by bail placement, but many poor people don’t have the money to post bail and as such are jailed while their cases proceed. As many as 66,000 people are in jail because they cannot post bail, Prof Prinya noted. Prof Prinya said the bail system could increase injustice. Also, the posting of bail does not guarantee that those defendants would stay in the country to fight their cases. Campaigners propose that a proper assessment of a defendant’s flight risk be carried out instead of the current system. Pol Lt-General Amnuay Nim-mano, of the reform committee, said the proposal was in line with the committee’s direction on the issue of bail lodgement. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30332265 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-22
  13. Road deaths rocket by 3,000 as Thailand set to be named world number one in carnage, say academics Thailand is facing the likelihood of being named the most dangerous place in the world to drive. Figures revealed at a meeting of road safety experts showed that the death toll on the nation's roads jumped dramatically last year. The country was previously named as number two in the world for road deaths - now it looks like being number one as road safety campaigns have failed to have any effect on the carnage. Experts have pointed the finger at "tens of millions" of lawbreakers on the roads painting a bleak picture of the future as law enforcement and budgets fail to cope with the dangerous behavior of the Thai public. TNA reported from a meeting in Bangkok on Monday that the death toll in 2016 was 22,356 - that was 2,877 up from the figure for 2015 which was 19,479. Figures for 2017 were not yet announced but officials were not holding out any hopes of improvement. The statistics show that the most dangerous place to drive in Thailand is in the east of the country with Rayong the worst province. Far more men die than women and the group most likely to perish on the roads are aged 15-29. Statistically the safest place to drive is Bangkok where you would have a quarter of the chance of death compared to Chonburi. Three out of four deaths are male. For each 100,000 people the six most dangerous provinces are as follows: Rayong 72 deaths per 100,000 per year, Sa Kaew 69, Chonburi 58, Chantaburi 57, Nakorn Nayok 56 and Prachinburi 55. The six provinces with the least deaths per 100,000 are: Bangkok, 14.3, Yala 17.2, Mae Hong Son 18.2, Satun 18.3, Amnat Charoen 18.4 and Pattani 20. Some 45% of deaths involve motorcycles, 5% are pedestrians and 1% cyclists. Provinces where accidents increased the most from 2014 were: Sa Kaew, Lopburi, Nakorn Nayok, Ang Thong and Singburi. Less accidents happened in Tak, Chumphon, Prachinburi and Nakhon Sawan. Dr Withaya Chartdanchachai, an expert on road safety from Khon Kaen hospital, said that the statistics showed a damning and sharp rise depite road safety efforts. Dr Withaya said that 22,000 was terrible for a country of just over 60 million people and the death figures were only one part of the issue. Some 1 million people suffer injuries or are handicapped by road accidents. And damages per year are put at a staggering 500 billion baht. He said that when the figures are crunched by international agencies it will be no surprise if Thailand is now named as the most dangerous place in the world to drive. He said that safety campaigns were not working. Law breaking and lack of law enforcement is routine on Thailand's roads. Tens of millions openly flout the law and when proposals are made to solve problems on the roads they are met with stubborn resistance from the public. Not enough is spent, there are insufficient funds available and there is not enough technology employed to help with the situation, said TNA. Source: http://www.tnamcot.com/view/5a092853e3f8e40ae18e55e1 -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-11-13
  14. Prawit: military student’s death ‘not from beating’ By Jitraporn Senwong The Nation Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon on Wednesday insisted that the recent death of a military student was related to his own health problems, not any brutal beating. “He was ill. No one beat him up,” said Prawit, who is also the deputy prime minister overseeing security affairs. He said he believed the Armed Forces Academy Preparatory School (AFAPS) explanation in the case of Phakhapong “Moei” Tanyakan. Phakhapong, a first-year student at the AFAPS, died on October 17 under what his family believes is suspicious circumstances. According to the family, he almost died two months earlier due to punishment he received at the school. The official autopsy by the military-owned Phramongkutklao Hospital shows Phakhapong died of acute heart failure. Asked about the punishment related to discipline issue, Prawit said all AFAPS students had to deal with that. “When I was a student there, I also received punishment and lost consciousness because of that. Anyway, I’ve survived,” he said. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30332266 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-22
  15. Digital currencies will not replace physical money soon: Bank of Japan official Reuters Staff Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins placed on Dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration picture, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration TOKYO (Reuters) - Financial technology is fast revolutionizing the banking industry but digital currencies will not replace physical money any time soon, a senior Bank of Japan (BOJ) official said on Wednesday. “It’s too far off,” Hiromi Yamaoka, head of the BOJ’s payment and settlement systems department, said on the sidelines of a forum on financial innovation hosted by Thomson Reuters. “It would change the banking system too drastically.” Japan has become a front runner in the financial technology (fintech) industry, with the government this year having recognized bitcoin as legal tender and approved several companies as operators of cryptocurrency exchanges. The BOJ last year set up a section in charge of fintech to offer guidance to banks seeking new business opportunities, and joined up with the European Central Bank to study distributed ledger technology (DLT) like blockchain. But the BOJ and ECB said in September they had judged that blockchain – which is best known as the system underpinning bitcoin - was not mature enough to power the world’s biggest payment systems. “From a practical perspective, I think this is still ‘under construction’,” Yamaoka told the forum, referring to blockchain and DLT technology. He said the hype surrounding initial coin offerings was “quite tremendous”. Blockchain is a public online ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Financial firms hope the nascent technology can reduce the cost and complexity of burdensome processes such as international payments and securities settlement. Banks are also using fintech in other ways to make their financial services more efficient, including smartphone apps and artificial intelligence for advisory services. -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-23
  16. Ex-Bosnian Serb commander Mladic convicted of genocide, gets life in prison By Toby Sterling, Stephanie van den Berg and Anthony Deutsch THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A U.N. tribunal on Wednesday convicted former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity for orchestrating massacres and ethnic cleansing during Bosnia's war and sentenced him to life in prison. Mladic, 74, was hustled out of the court minutes before the verdict for screaming "this is all lies, you are all liars" after returning from what his son described as a blood pressure test which delayed the reading-out of the judgement. The U.N. Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Mladic guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 11,000 civilians were killed by shelling and sniper fire over 43 months. The killings in Srebrenica of men and boys after they were separated from women and taken away in buses or marched off to be shot amounted to Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two. "The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind, and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity," Presiding Judge Alphons Orie said in reading out a summary of the judgement. "Many of these men and boys were cursed, insulted, threatened, forced to sing Serb songs and beaten while awaiting their execution," he said. Mladic, the most notorious of the ICTY's cases along with ex-Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, had pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to appeal against his conviction. In its summary, the tribunal found Mladic "significantly contributed" to genocide committed in Srebrenica with the goal of destroying its Muslim population, "personally directed" the long bombardment of Sarajevo and was part of a "joint criminal enterprise" intending to purge Muslims and Croats from Bosnia. In Geneva, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called Mladic the "epitome of evil" and said his conviction after 16 years as an indicted fugitive and over four years of trial was a "momentous victory for justice". "The prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about," Zeid said in a statement. "Today’s verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take." "RESPECT THE VICTIMS, LOOK TO THE FUTURE" - SERBIA Aleksandar Vucic, president of Serbia whose late nationalist strongman Milosevic was Mladic's patron but died in a tribunal prison before the end of his trial, said Serbia "respects the victims" and called for a focus on the future. "I would like to call on everyone (in the region) to start looking into the future and not to drown in tears of the past... We need to look to the future...so we finally have a stable country," Vucic told reporters when asked about the verdict. Serbia, once the most powerful Yugoslav republic, is now democratic and seeking ties to the European Union. Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said he hoped that "those who still call for new divisions and conflicts will carefully read the verdict rendered today ...in case that they are still no ready to face their past". He was alluding to enduring separatism in post-war federal Bosnia's autonomous Serb region. Srebrenica, near Bosnia's eastern border with Serbia, had been designated a "safe area" by the United Nations and was defended by lightly armed U.N. peacekeepers. But they quickly surrendered when Mladic's forces stormed it on July 11, 1995. SREBRENICA SLAUGHTER The Dutch peacekeepers looked on helplessly as Serb forces separated men and boys from women, then sent them out of sight on buses or marched them away to be shot. A bronzed and burly Mladic was filmed visiting a refugee camp in Srebrenica on July 12. "He was giving away chocolate and sweets to the children while the cameras were rolling, telling us nothing will happen and that we have no reason to be afraid," recalled Munira Subasic of the Mothers of Srebrenica group. "After the cameras left he gave an order to kill whoever could be killed, rape whoever could be raped and finally he ordered us all to be banished and chased out of Srebrenica, so he could make an 'ethnically clean' city," she told Reuters. The remains of Subasic's son Nermin and husband Hilmo were both found in mass graves by International Commission of Missing Persons (ICMP) workers. The ICMP have identified some 6,900 remains of Srebrenica victims through DNA analysis. Mladic's lawyers argued that his responsibility for murder and ethnic cleansing of civilians by Serb forces and allied paramilitaries was never established beyond reasonable doubt and he should get no more than 15 years if convicted. The "Butcher of Bosnia" to his enemies, Mladic is still seen as a national hero by some Serbs for presiding over the swift capture of 70 percent of Bosnia after its Serbs rose up against a Muslim-Croat declaration of independence from Yugoslavia. "GREATER SERBIA" Prosecutors said the ultimate plan pursued by Mladic, Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and Milosevic was to purge Bosnia of non-Serbs - a strategy that became known as "ethnic cleansing" - and carve out a "Greater Serbia" in the ashes of federal Yugoslavia's disintegration. Mladic was indicted along with Karadzic in 1995, shortly after the Srebrenica killings, but evaded capture until 2011. His trial in The Hague took more than four years in part because of delays due to his poor health and will be the last case - barring appeals - to be heard by the ICTY. Mladic has suffered several strokes, though ICTY judges rejected a flurry of last-minute attempts by defence lawyers to put off the verdict on medical grounds. His lawyers faced an uphill battle, given a mountain of evidence of Serb atrocities produced in previous trials. Four of Mladic's subordinates received life sentences. Karadzic was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 40 years, and is appealing. Mladic's lawyers argued that Sarajevo was a legitimate military target as it was the main bastion of Muslim-led Bosnian government forces. They also asserted that Mladic left Srebrenica shortly before Serb fighters began executing Muslim detainees and was later shocked to find out they had occurred. Prosecutors countered that under war crimes law, even if Mladic did not directly order the killings, he should have known what his subordinates were doing, and would be liable for failing to punish those who committed atrocities. The ICTY indicted 161 people in all from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. It has convicted 83, more than 60 of them ethnic Serbs. (Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade, Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo and Tom Miles in Geneva; editing by Mark Heinrich) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-22
  17. Illegal Africans in Thailand: "The more we get rid of them the more they come," say police Channel 7 ran a video feature on the continuing problem of illegal immigrants coming into Thailand from Africa. They entitled their feature as "The problem of people of color breaking the law in Thailand". They said that 200,000 illegals were on overstay in Thailand. But as quickly as the Thai authorities were rounding them up the more were coming. The video showed a raid on an apartment block. It was the seventh time the "Black Eagle" response unit of the tourist police had been there in recent months. Out of the 200,000 at least 80,000 were on overstay from Nigeria and Somalia. Many had no passports. Some had only a UNCR signature on a piece of paper to show who they were. Many were involved in illegal activity or drugs. Others were in Thailand in transit to other countries for resettlement - but in many cases this took 3 years and with no way to support themselves many turned to crime. Special Branch 191 chief Surachet Hakpan spoke of a continuing problem for his men. While Channel 7 said it was a security issue of grave importance and a threat to tourism. Source: http://news.ch7.com/detail/254745 -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-11-2
  18. Indian navy the odd man out in Asia's 'Quad' alliance By Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Trump administration is pushing security ties between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, but the revival of the Asian "Quad" must overcome lingering mistrust in New Delhi towards its allies that hampers genuine military cooperation. Joint naval drills have been at the heart of a relationship that analysts widely see as a move to counterbalance China's rising power by binding the region's leading democracies more closely together. But while the navies of the United States, Japan and Australia can easily operate together - based on common U.S.-designed combat systems and data links - India is the outlier. Not only are most of its ships and warplanes Russian-made, its government and military remain deeply reluctant to share data and open up sensitive military communications systems. The United States has carried out more naval exercises with India than any other nation. But naval sources and experts say these are more about "cultural familiarisation" than drills for joint combat. Because India will not sign an agreement on sharing data, naval exercises are conducted through voice and text commands with rudimentary SMS-style data exchange, Indian and Japanese military sources said. "Think of it as directing your friend to your house in the 1980s. Your left may be his right, neither of you have situational awareness," said Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, a senior fellow at New Delhi's Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies who has tracked the military exercises. "What the Americans want is 2017 - drop a pin on Google maps and hit share. You know where your friend is and he knows where your house is and how to get to it." The Indian defence ministry did not respond to a request for a comment. ANNUAL DRILLS The so-called Quad to discuss and cooperate on security emerged briefly as an initiative a decade ago - much to the annoyance of China - and was revived recently, with an officials-level meeting this month on the sidelines of a regional gathering in Manila. The Trump administration has talked up cooperation with India as part of efforts for a "free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific". Describing the Indian and Pacific Oceans as a "single strategic arena", U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described India and the United States as regional "bookends". "In concrete terms, it will lead to great co-ordination between the Indian, Japanese and American militaries including maritime domain awareness, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious warfare, and humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue," he said. To be sure, India and the United States have steadily been bringing more powerful ships into their annual "Malabar" drills that have been expanded to include Japan in recent years. This year the USS Nimitz carrier group was deployed for the manoeuvres off India's eastern coast, along with an aircraft carrier from India and a helicopter carrier from Japan. But a Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces official said when Japan conducts drills with the Indian navy, communication is done mostly through voice transmission. There is no satellite link that would allow the two navies to access information and share monitor displays in on-board command centres. Communication is usually the most difficult aspect of any joint drill, he said. BUILDING BLOCKS The exercises are meant to lay the ground for joint patrols that the U.S. eventually wants to conduct with India and its allies across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said better interoperability was a goal of the exercises and noted that India's enhanced role as a major U.S. defence partner would help boost the relationship. "The designation of India as a major defence partner is significant and is intended to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of our closest allies and partners," he said. "As this relationship matures so will the level of interoperability." Last year, India signed a military logistics pact with the United States after a decade of wrangling, but two other agreements are stuck. The United States says the Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) would allow it to supply India with encrypted communications equipment and systems. The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement is the other pact that would set a framework through which the United States could share sensitive data to aid targeting and navigation with India. India is concerned that agreeing to the CISMOA would open up its military communications to the United States, and even allow it to listen in on operations where Indian and U.S. interests may not coincide - such as against arch-rival Pakistan, military officials in New Delhi say. RADARS TURNED OFF Captain Gurpreet Khurana, executive director at the government-funded National Maritime Foundation, said India's underlying concern was having its autonomy constrained by binding its military into U.S. codes and operating procedures. Once, the Americans proposed a portable "suitcase" communications system called the CENTRIXS which could transmit full situational awareness data to Indian ships while the two navies practised together. India refused to allow it to be plugged in for the duration of the exercise, citing operational security, according to an Indian source briefed on the planning of the exercises. Even the joint air exercises that the two countries are conducting as a follow-on to Malabar are severely restricted, the source said. India sends its Russian-acquired Sukhoi jets to the drills, but their radars and jammers are turned off. David Shear, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia under President Barack Obama, said U.S. forces, particularly the Navy, were well aware of the interoperability constraints to interacting with India. "They understand what the obstacles are and that this is going to be a long-term project," he said. (Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom and Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON and Tim Kelly in TOKYO; Editing by Alex Richardson) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-22
  19. Myanmar, Bangladesh ink Rohingya return deal amid concern over army's role By Thu Thu Aung and Yimou Lee NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an accord on Thursday over terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, a government official said, amid concern that Myanmar's powerful army could prove obstructive. Rights groups have accused the military in mostly Buddhist Myanmar of carrying out mass rape and other atrocities during a counter-insurgency operation launched in late August in retaliation for attacks by Rohingya militants in Rakhine State. On Wednesday, the United States said the military operation that drove 620,000 Rohingya to seek sanctuary in neighbouring, largely Muslim Bangladesh, amounted to "ethnic cleansing", echoing an accusation first levelled by top U.N. officials in the early days of the humanitarian crisis. Myanmar is seeking to ease international pressure by striking an initial agreement on returns, while Dhaka wants to ensure overstretched refugee camps that have mushroomed in the Cox's Bazar region don't become permanent. "We are ready to take them back as soon as possible after Bangladesh sends the forms back to us," Myint Kyaing, a permanent secretary at Myanmar's ministry of labour, immigration and population, told Reuters, referring to forms the Rohingya must complete with personal details before repatriation. The signing took place after a meeting between Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali in Naypyitaw. Myint Kyaing said that the memorandum of understanding was based on the 1992-1993 repatriation agreement between the two countries which had been inked following a previous spasm of violence in Myanmar. The forms that the refugees will have to fill include names of family members, their previous address in Myanmar, date of birth and a disclaimer that they are returning voluntarily, said Myint Kyaing. He said that based on the 1992-1993 agreement, Myanmar would accept those who could present identification documents issued to the Rohingya by Myanmar governments in the past. Those include the currently distributed national verification cards, as well as now-withdrawn "white cards", as well a s receipts the Rohingya received when returning their "white cards", he said. Diplomats and aid workers have said the key elements of the deal will be the criteria of return and the participation of the international community, such as the United Nations refugee agency, in the process. Other important points include safeguards for the Rohingya against further violence, a path to resolving their legal status and whether they would be allowed to return to their own homes and farms. Myint Kyaing declined to elaborate on those points. Speaking at a military event in Dhaka, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she was calling on Myanmar "to start taking back soon their nationals from Bangladesh.” 'HORRENDOUS ATROCITIES' Suu Kyi, whose reputation as a Nobel peace prize winner has suffered during the crisis, has said repatriation of the largely stateless Muslim minority would be based on residency and that it will be "safe and voluntary". But her less than two-year-old civilian administration has to share power with the military who ruled the country for decades, and Myanmar's generals have appeared less enthusiastic about the prospect of Rohingya returning. In a warning to Myanmar's military, the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raised the threat of targeted sanctions against those responsible for what he called "horrendous atrocities" in a statement on Wednesday. Russia's ambassador to Myanmar criticised the U.S. stance, saying that using the term "ethnic cleansing" was unhelpful and could aggravate the situation. Myanmar's commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was in Beijing on Wednesday, where a senior Chinese general told him that China wants stronger ties with Myanmar's military. Humanitarian workers told Reuters they were particularly concerned about a statement made by Min Aung Hlaing after his meeting with Tillerson last week. "The situation must be acceptable for both local Rakhine ethnic people and Bengalis, and emphasis must be placed on wish of local Rakhine ethnic people who are real Myanmar citizens," Min Aung Hlaing said. His use of the term Bengali for the Rohingya implies they are from Bangladesh, and Buddhists in Rakhine are largely opposed to their presence. Min Aung Hlaing, over whom Suu Kyi has no control, also said the returnees will be "scrutinized and re-accepted under the 1982 Citizenship Law and the 1992 Myanmar-Bangladesh bilateral agreement". The 1982 law, passed during the junta's long rule, ties Myanmar citizenship to membership of recognised ethnic groups, an official list that excludes the Rohingya. Senior U.N. officials based in Myanmar told Reuters that they feared that security personnel in key positions may not cooperate with the return of Rohingya. (Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Shoon Naing and Simon Lewis in YANGON and Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-23
  20. Thailand Live Thursday 23 Nov 2017

    Commuters Traooed In BTS Rush Hour Breakdown By Khaosod English Passengers trapped inside a skytrain carriage Thursday evening BANGKOK — A system failure left hundreds of skytrain passengers stranded on platforms and carriages for an hour. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1012766-commuters-traooed-in-bts-rush-hour-breakdown/
  21. Thailand Live Thursday 23 Nov 2017

    Five arrested in Chantaburi for overstaying visas By The Nation Police in the eastern province of Chanthaburi on Thursday rounded up four Indian nationals and a Vietnamese national for allegedly overstaying their visas. The alleged illegal immigrants were arrested during separate raids at resorts and a hotel in Muang district. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1012765-five-arrested-in-chantaburi-for-overstaying-visas/
  22. Deutsche Bank strategist tells investors to avoid bitcoin Reuters Staff The head quarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) has joined the ranks of those warning about the virtual currency bitcoin as an investment. “I would simply not recommend this to the everyday investor,” Ulrich Stephan, chief strategist at Germany’s largest lender, said on Wednesday. Stephan said that fluctuations are too great and regulation too scant. He noted that German investors were reluctant to invest in stocks, but were generating hype about bitcoin. Bitcoin smashed through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend and traded at $8,216 at 1523 GMT on Wednesday, with many experts saying $10,000 is possible. An eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency this year has led to multiple warnings of a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away. Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling in despite JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon earlier this year calling bitcoin a “fraud”. Although UBS (UBSG.S) Chairman Axel Weber urged caution on bitcoin last week, he also said there was potential for the technology underpinning it. “At this point, I‘m very cautious about bitcoin as an entity. I‘m much more optimistic about the underlying technology,” Weber added. Sweden’s central bank is one organization which is investigating the potential for digital currencies. “An e-krona would have the potential to counteract some of the problems that could arise on the payment market in the future when the use of cash is rapidly declining,” the Riksbank said in a report in September. -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-23
  23. Phetchaburi sees hundreds evacuated by flat-bottom boats By The Nation FLOODING in Phetchaburi province continued on Thuesday with a large stretch of Phetkasem Highway’s Bangkok-bound and southbound lanes, under deep water, forcing motorists to slow down as they moved to the two innermost lanes with shallower water. Schools in the heart of Muang district would close on Thuesday until Monday, the authorities said. After the Phetchaburi River burst its banks and flooded the downtown area late Wednesday night, the downtown roads were under 20 to 30 centimetres of water at 7am – with some patches up to 1.5 metres deep later in the afternoon. Some 500 homes in Tambon Ton Mamoung in Muang district were inundated with deep water, prompting soldiers and police – along with rescue workers – to dispatch flat-bottom boats to aid evacuation of many residents especially the elderly and children and hand out emergency relief bags. Water release at the Phetchaburi Dam has been lowered to 254.51 cubic metres per second. In Trang, provincial governor Siripat Patkul issued a warning for riverside and hillside residents to brace for heavy rains, possible floods and landslides on Thuesday until next Tuesday, while officials were told to monitor the situation and prepare equipment and manpower to quickly aid those affected. Nearly all of the 50 fishing trawlers in Songkhla have been kept tied up ashore following warnings from the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) about strong winds and up to 3-metre-high waves on Thuesday until next Monday. Only two trawlers were spotted delivering fish at the fish market. TMD on Thuesday issued a forecast warning of intervals of heavy downpours for much of Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat until next Monday. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30332356 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  24. Suspect said friend of jailed driver gave him compensation money By Tawee Apisakulchart The Nation A man suspected of having falsely claimed responsibility for a fatal road accident re-enacted his alleged crime at the Nakhon Phanom Provincial Court on Thursday. Sap Wapi told police he received Bt170,000 from teacher Suriya Nuancharoen to submit to the court as compensation promised to the family of the accident’s victim. Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol General Wirachai Songmetta on Thursday brought Sap to the court for re-enactment of the accident. Suriya is a close friend of Jomsap Saenmuangkhot, who was convicted of and jailed for causing the death of the victim in a hit-and-run accident back in 2005. Both Sap and Suriya are now facing charges of perjury. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30332345 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-11-23
  25. Thailand Live Thursday 23 Nov 2017

    Prayuth Reshuffling Deck In Hope Of Popularity Trump Card: Pundits By Pravit Rojanaphruk, Senior Staff Writer Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives Oct. 31 to Khon Kaen province with members of his cabinet to inspect flood damage. BANGKOK — Although the details of who’s in and out in the cabinet reshuffle have yet to be announced, politicians and critics are seeing it as a pivot by the military regime toward elections next year. Full Story: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1012757-prayuth-reshuffling-deck-in-hope-of-popularity-trump-card-pundits/
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