Saturday, December 16, 2017

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
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida Gov. and House speaker reach deal over lottery

Florida Gov. and House speaker reach deal over lottery

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The administration of Gov. Rick Scott has reached a deal that should end a legal battle over the Florida Lottery.The state's lottery department agreed last week to change a massive new contract that had been challenged by Ho...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Evansville downs Austin Peay 78-74 in OT behind Riley's 22

K.J. Riley scored 22 points _ 14 from the free throw line _ and Evansville needed overtime to beat Austin Peay 78-74
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Ronaldo goal gives Real Madrid its 3rd Club World Cup title

Ronaldo goal gives Real Madrid its 3rd Club World Cup title

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free-kick to help Real Madrid claim its third Club World Cup title after beating Brazilian team Gremio 1-0
Updated: 14 minutes ago
McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

As if containing Julio Jones and the Falcons offense weren't challenging enough, the Bucs will try to so Monday night without perhaps their top two defensive players in DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David.Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on Saturday ruled bo...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Residents flee as flames approach wealthy California enclave

Residents flee as flames approach wealthy California enclave

Residents pile into cars and flee as surging winds drove one of the biggest fires in California's history toward the wealthy coastal enclave of Montecito northwest of Los Angeles
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Scott drills last second 3, Niagara beats Norfolk St. 85-82

Matt Scott nailed a 3-pointer from just outside the arc as time expired to give Niagara an 85-82 come-from-behind win over Norfolk State
Updated: 18 minutes ago

9 burros beloved by visitors burned in Custer park wildfire

Nine Custer State Park burros that were reported missing in a South Dakota wildfire have been found, but they all suffered burns
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Wigginton, Iowa State storm past UNI 76-65

Wigginton, Iowa State storm past UNI 76-65

Freshman Lindell Wigginton scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and Iowa State blew past Northern Iowa 76-65 on Saturday for its eighth straight win
Updated: 21 minutes ago

South Alabama defense frustrates Eastern Illinois, 63-52

Herb McGee scored 15 points and South Alabama snapped a two-game losing streak by keeping Eastern Illinois winless on the road, beating the Panthers 63-52
Updated: 22 minutes ago