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Thailand Live Wednesday 16 Mar 2011

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Meltdown Likely Under Way At Japan Nuclear Reactor

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DSI Chief Petitions Court to Revoke Bail for 7 Red-shirt Leaders

The Department of Special Investigation has filed a petition seeking the revocation of bail for seven red-shirt leaders, who have allegedly breached bail conditions.

Department of Special Investigation Director-General Tharit Pengdit has filed a petition to revoke bail for seven leaders of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship recently released on March 12.

He alleged that all of the suspects have violated bail conditions by making provocative speeches and inciting red-shirt protesters to participate in illegal activities during their mass rally last Saturday.

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-- Tan Network 2011-03-16

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Opposition Leads Government in Popularity After First Day of Censure Debate

According to an ABAC poll on public satisfaction, the first day of the censure debate showed the Opposition leading against the government by a few points.

The ABAC poll has revealed that respondents from 17 provinces have given the government a 5.69 score out of ten, and the opposition a 5.89 rating.

The survey showed that 78.1 percent felt the debate was interesting and said they would continue following the debate, while 21.9 percent felt it was not interesting.

As for the House Speaker, 56.4 percent reported that they are very satisfied with his performance, 26.6 percent felt quite satisfied, and 17 percent are not satisfied.

The popularity score for the prime minister showed that 41.5 percent feels his popularity has not declined, 40.4 percent felt it has declined, while 18.1 percent gave no comment.

Regarding the popularity of the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties after being grilled by the Opposition, 50.4 percent feels their popularity has not declined, while 51.1 percent feels it has.

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-- Tan Network 2011-03-16

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Kasikorn Bank Expects Japanese Firms to Relocate Production to Thailand to Avoid Disaster Risks

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Thai webmaster jailed for 13 years

BANGKOK, March 16, 2011 (AFP) - Thailand's criminal court has jailed a webmaster for 13 years on charges of insulting the kingdom's revered monarchy and violating computer laws, an official said Wednesday.

Thantawut Thaweevarodomkul, 38, was arrested last year during anti-government "Red Shirt" protests after the website he ran -- linked to the opposition movement -- allegedly published comments insulting the monarchy.

Thailand has drawn flak from rights groups for suppressing freedom of speech using the Computer Crimes Act and lese majeste legislation, which bans criticism of the royal family.

"The court found that he was guilty under criminal code article 112 and sentenced him to 10 years in jail," a court official told AFP, referring to the lese majeste charge in relation to the website www.norporchorusa.com.

Nor Por Chor stands for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) in Thai -- the official name of the Red Shirts.

He was also sentenced on Wednesday to three years for violating the computer crimes law that relates to allowing content deemed likely to affect national security onto a computer system and covers web providers and moderators.

Amnesty International has called on authorities to drop charges against another Thai, website editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who faces decades behind bars over reader comments about the monarchy posted on her site.

The rights group said the case shows "how far the Thai government is willing to go toward silencing unpopular or dissident views".

Authorities have also been criticised for using emergency powers to arrest hundreds of suspects and shut down anti-government TV channels, newspapers, radio stations and websites after its crackdown on protests last year.

Two months of mass anti-government rallies by the "Red Shirts", who were seeking immediate elections, sparked clashes with security forces that left more than 90 people dead, mostly civilians, in April and May 2010.

The monarchy is a very sensitive topic in politically turbulent Thailand. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch and revered as a demi-god by many Thais, has been hospitalised since September 2009.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-03-16

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German WWI submarine found in Dutch waters is believed to contain 41 bodies but will not be retrieved - Defense Ministry /RT @mpoppel

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Health Ministry to distribute iodine pills at Suvarnabhumi,Phuket airports to Thais going to Japan,to counter radiation from quake-hit nuclear power plants /MCOT

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Couple arrested and charged with selling class 1 drugs in North Pattaya

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Iranian caught with stolen credit card at Central Festival Pattaya: Beach

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Unemployed man steals motorbike-for-rent on Pattaya Beach

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Criminal Court rejects DSI bid to revoke bail for seven UDD core leaders, saying Attorney General has jurisdiction for such request /MCOT

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US help needed to contain nuclear disaster, Tokyo says

Tokyo - Japan said Wednesday that further assistance from the United States was needed to help keep the nuclear cores at a power plant from overheating, after last week's quake and tsunami knocked out the cooling systems.

Tokyo might also request the help of some of the US military stationed in Japan, government spokesman Yukio Edano said.

On Tuesday, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it has sent two experts to Japan, and had been asked to send cooling equipment. The commission's chairman Gregory Jaczko said there were plans to send another team soon.

The commission said that Japan's evacuation of a 20-kilometre radius around the Fukushima plant, 250 kilometres north of Tokyo, was "parallel" with US emergency measures in a similar situation.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the agency said that radiation levels in Japan were "well below" the levels that would trigger emergency evacuations in the US

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-- The Nation 2011-03-16

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