Friday, June 22, 2018

Thailand's junta bans protests against coup (with video)

BANGKOK — More than 1,000 Thai troops and police sealed off one of Bangkok's busiest intersections Thursday to prevent a planned protest, as authorities said they would no longer allow any demonstrations against last week's military coup.

Truckloads of soldiers blocked all incoming roads to the capital's Victory Monument in a massive show of force at the height of evening rush hour in an area that serves as one of the city's commuter bus hubs.

More than a dozen police prisoner trucks were parked along the emptied roundabout, but there was little sign of protesters, who have come out almost daily to defy a ban on political gatherings.

A Belgian man was detained for displaying a T-shirt saying "PEACE PLEASE," and two Thai women were taken away in a police truck after they showed signs with anticoup messages.

The demonstrations have been generally small and mostly leaderless but protesters had planned to gather Thursday and called for a mass rally on Sunday.

Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung, the deputy national police chief, said the small protests would no longer be allowed. He said nine companies of soldiers and police — about 1,350 — were deployed in Thursday's operation.

"We know their rally is mainly for symbolic reasons, but it's against the law," he said. "We have to keep the law sacred."

Somyot warned that if protesters change their tactics, "we are ready to tackle that."

Earlier, in another part of the city, about 100 students held an anticoup protest on the campus of prestigious Thammasat University, which ended peacefully.

The large army deployment came a day after hundreds of protesters gathered at Victory Monument and outnumbered soldiers. Scuffles broke out in which water bottles and other objects were hurled at soldiers, and a green army Humvee was vandalized with large white letters reading, "NO COUP. GET OUT."

The mounting tension comes a week after the army seized power, overthrowing a government that won a landslide election victory three years earlier. The army says it had to act to restore order after seven months of increasingly violent political turbulence.

Earlier Thursday, the army told foreign media that it eventually plans to hold elections, but offered no time frame or roadmap for guiding the country back to democratic rule.

Comments
At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico — In Honduras, their lives were surrounded by death.Lourdes Cruz had just started a new job when the maras, the deadly gangs plaguing Central America, demanded half of her paycheck. She quit her job, but they found her number a...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Trump tells GOP to ‘stop wasting their time’ on immigration

Trump tells GOP to ‘stop wasting their time’ on immigration

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday told his fellow Republicans in Congress to "stop wasting their time" on immigration legislation until after November, dismissing his party’s struggle to surmount internal divisions. Trump’s tweets come ju...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump tweets full endorsement of Ron DeSantis

Trump tweets full endorsement of Ron DeSantis

In case there was any remaining doubt of where the president stood in the race for Florida's next governor, he cleared things up Friday morning with a tweet:Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Govern...
Updated: 1 hour ago

OPEC countries agree to oil output level that effectively increases production by almost 1 million barrels a day

OPEC countries agree to oil output level that effectively increases production by almost 1 million barrels a day
Updated: 1 hour ago

UN: Basic human rights being 'chiseled away' in Venezuela

A U.N. report says the rule of law in Venezuela is quickly eroding as officials allow government security forces to kill citizens without any apparent consequences
Updated: 1 hour ago

Girl pushed by Texas officer at pool party settles for $150K

A bikini-clad black teenager who was shoved to the ground by a white Texas police officer has settled a federal lawsuit against him and the city of McKinney for almost $150,000
Updated: 1 hour ago

Trump's Mideast team meets Israeli premier over peace plan

President Donald Trump's Mideast team has met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel as part of a visit with regional leaders to discuss its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 9:34 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 9:34 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

It's been 2 years since the shoppers and traders of Romford Market voted by a wide margin to leave the European Union _ and they still want to go
Updated: 1 hour ago
UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

It's been 2 years since the shoppers and traders of Romford Market voted by a wide margin to leave the European Union _ and they still want to go
Updated: 1 hour ago