One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

November 18th, 2018

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

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Thousands strike in UK over pensions

Thousands strike in UK over pensions

November 17th, 2018

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

As many as 1.5 million government workers, members of 11 unions, went on strike on Tuesday in protest of a government decision to reduce their retirement benefits, a change which would take effect in October.

The strike closed thousands of schools, libraries and leisure centres, disrupted commuters, and reduced some facilities to emergency only staffing.

UNISON claimed that more than a million workers had joined the strike, with General Secretary Dave Prentis saying “this overwhelming show of strength from Lands End to John O’Groats has obviously taken the Local Government Association and some local councils by surprise”.

The benefits change, would effect the “85 year rule,” of the Local Government Pension scheme, which allows government employees to retire at 60 as long as the sum of their age and their years of employment sum to 85 or greater. According to union representatives, the new retirement plan is targeted at lower paid employees, leaving higher paid employees to enjoy the same benefits as before.

Ahead of the strike, the Local Government Association claimed that the changes proposed by unions “would add at least 2% a year to every council taxpayer’s bill”.

The participating unions point out this is likely to be the largest strike in Britain since 1926.

Thousands strike in UK over pensions

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Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church website, Twitter account

Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church website, Twitter account

November 17th, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hackers claiming to be associated with the internet activist group Anonymous have attacked the website belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) and hacked into the Twitter account belonging to Shirley Phelps-Roper, the Church’s spokeswoman. The attacks are part of an operation dubbed ‘#OpWestBor’ on Twitter and is in response to the Church’s decision to picket funerals of victims of the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,” said Phelps in a post to her Twitter account on Saturday.

On Sunday, in a video posted on YouTube, Anonymous announced their intentions saying, “From the time you have received this message, our attack protocol has past been executed and your downfall is underway. Do not attempt to delude yourselves into thinking you can escape our reach, for we are everywhere, and all-seeing, in the same sense as God. … We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.” The Church’s website has been unreachable for most of the day. At the time of this report, the website was unreachable. As a result of the breach, Anonymous claims to have gained access to and leaked alleged personal information such as names, home addresses and telephone numbers belonging to Church members.

Also as part of the operation, early yesterday morning, a member of Anonymous called ‘CosmoTheGod’ hacked the Twitter account belonging to Phelps, posting a ‘tweet’ saying, “This account is now being ran by @CosmoTheGod #UGNazi #oops.” As of this report, Anonymous still has control of it.

This isn’t the first time hackers took control of the Church’s website. In 2011 the Church blamed Anonymous for circulating a letter claiming an attack on the Church’s website was imminent and blamed them for taking down their website in an earlier attack, something the group denied. Shortly after the incident, user “th3j3st3r” on Twitter claimed responsibility for circulating the letter and the initial attack. When Phelps and one of the group’s members were interviewed on live television shortly thereafter, she denied hackers could break into their website or take it offline. However; during the interview, Anonymous hacked into the Church’s website, defaced it and took it offline.

“I was just going to say in the time that Shirley was blabbing her religious preachings I actually did some business and I think if you check downloads.westborobaptistchurch right now you’ll see a nice message from Anonymous”, said Anonymous nine minutes into the interview.

On December 14, a gunman identified as 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy then went into Sandy Hook Elementary school carrying a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two other handguns, where he opened fire killing 26 people, 20 of them children between the ages of five and ten years old. Shortly after the incident, Lanza shot himself, committing suicide.

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A Quick Guide To Football Betting}

November 16th, 2018

Submitted by: Alexander Greene

A lot of football gamblers know very well how the markets and odds provided usually work. However, for those individuals new to the football betting might experience some problems while trying to pick the best odds in their chosen markets. Such gamblers should find it necessary to acquire free betting tips from individual sites which offer the services. It is crucial for new bettors to understand correctly various markets and how they work. Free betting tips will only be of benefit to gamblers if they know football betting basics. Football fans should comprehend the typical markets before staking their money on any fixtures.

There are numerous options available for punters to stake their money when it comes to football betting. The activity of betting on football games has become so popular that several sites usually offer betting tips for their visitors. Tipsters often offer free betting tips on markets which are easily predictable. Advice on complex markets is often sold to punters since their odds are high and consequently the returns if a bettor wins the bet. Popular markets are explained so that those new to football betting can easily understand where they are staking their money and the possibilities of them to lose or win the bet.

The most common type of market available for football betting is the match betting. In this type of market, the punter simply has to choose the outcome of the game. The options are usually displayed as 1X2. 1 represents the home team to win the match, X stands for the match to end in a draw while 2 stands for the away team winning the encounter. This market is often very easy to predict unless in a situation where competitive teams are facing each other. The team which is most likely to win the match is usually low compared with the odds for a draw and the other team to win. Tipsters are likely to give free tips where the outcome of the match is somehow obvious example in a case where a strong team is facing a weaker team. When teams of equal strengths and capabilities are facing each other, it is hard to pick winning odds. In this case, tipsters usually dont give free betting tips. They either sell the tips for the game or avoid predicting at all. A lot of new bettors prefer this market since it is easy to choose and not sophisticated at all.

Another common market in football betting is: Both teams to score. This market is often displayed as GG for both teams to score and NG for both teams not score. It is also a favorable market for most punters. The make was not available in many sites until Betfred introduced it. Other betting companies have since incorporated this market in their sites. A predictor can either choose that both teams will score or both teams not score depending on their analysis or feel about goal scoring abilities of the teams facing each other. Free betting tips are often given by tipsters on this market. Punters who are not sure which option to go for should seek services of tipsters who carry thorough analysis before deciding whether both teams will score or not.

Double chance is yet another form of a market available in football betting. In this type of market, bookmakers protect the punters who are against any team to emerge victorious in a match. Such punters can choose their favorite team to win or draw the game. The bet will be a winning bet if the team either win or draw the game. Even though odds of this market are small, several bettors prefer it since it somehow reduces the risk of losing the bet. Free betting tips are often given by tipsters concerning this market. It is the best market for those punters who want to back a team which they are sure it will not lose the game. Another form of the double chance market can be in such a way that the game will not end in a draw. Denoted as 1 or 2, this form of the double chance market means that either team A or Team B will win the match. It is the best market for those bettors who are sure that the game will not end in a draw.

Handicap betting is also a type of market provided for football bettors. This kind of market usually has good odds, and those who risk it successfully are always rewarded handsomely. It is best for punters who are sure that a particular team will win the match, but the odds are not satisfying. Such punters can, therefore, go for this market which entails giving the weaker team one or two goals and still lose the match. Punters choosing this market should be very careful and be confident that the underdog team will be beaten by a good margin surpassing the handicap goals given. If for example, an underdog is given a handicap of two goals and they score another goal, the superior team will have to net four or more goals for the punter to win the bet.

Another common type of market available for football bettors is the under/over betting. In this kind of market entails the punter choosing if the overall goals scored in a match will surpass a certain number. The mark is mostly placed at 2.5 goals while other bookmarkers can place it t 1.5 goals. Choosing over 2.5 goals, for example, means that the punter predicts that the total goals scored in the game will be three or more. The market is favorable to most bettors sand free betting tips are often offered on this market.

Other markets such as first goal scorer and anytime time goal scorer are often given by football betting companies. Such markets are rare, but common in only professional or rather well knowledgeable bettors. It is hard for new gamblers to decide on this market especially when one does not know the abilities of the players well.

Soccer punters should be careful when choosing which markets to bet. Those who are not so sure about their intended picks can seek services of tipsters who offer free betting tips.

About the Author: Alex Greene are Senior Editor at Sports Intensity, an online sportsbook review site dedicated to providing objective sports betting advice to the sports betting community. Visit their website at:


Permanent Link:}

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News briefs:June 30, 2006

News briefs:June 30, 2006

November 16th, 2018

The time is 20:00 (UTC) on June 30th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Interior Ministry, Fatah offices in Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes
    • 1.2 Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple gov’t
    • 1.3 Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns
    • 1.4 French Parliament adopts controversial copyright bill
    • 1.5 Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
    • 1.6 Amsterdam to open a “Chocolate Factory”
    • 1.7 Australian shot in Thailand
    • 1.8 Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
    • 1.9 Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France
  • 2 Closing statements


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Homeopathy proponents jailed for allowing daughter to die

Homeopathy proponents jailed for allowing daughter to die

November 16th, 2018

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Sydney, Australia, Thomas and Manju Sam were jailed after being convicted of manslaughter on Monday. The court found they had failed to take their ill daughter to medical appointments, and shunned the effective conventional medical treatments offered. Instead they chose homeopathic ‘alternative’ medical treatments which the medical profession generally considers to be pseudoscience. As a result, their then nine-month-old malnourished daughter Gloria died of the skin disorder eczema in 2002.

In the evidence, the Crown prosecutor, Mr Tedeschi, said that the Sams ignored repeated advice to send Gloria to a skin specialist for her eczema. The severity of her condition made her skin so thin that it was constantly breaking and becoming infected. Creams provided by medical doctors were not used; they preferred to employ homeopathic drops as a method to treat her illness. By the time they finally sought treatment, “her skin was weeping, her body malnourished and her corneas melting”, and she died from the complications and massive infection caused by the effectively untreated eczema.

Gloria suffered helplessly and unnecessarily … from a condition that was treatable.

In his ruling, Supreme Court Justice of New South Wales Peter Johnson stated that “Gloria suffered helplessly and unnecessarily … from a condition that was treatable.”

Thomas received a maximum sentence of eight years and is no longer allowed to practice homeopathy. Manju received a maximum sentence of five years and four months.

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine which uses substances that have gone through a process of serial dilution so extensive that in most cases, no molecules of the original are likely to remain. There is no convincing evidence that it has any effect greater than placebo. For it to work as homeopaths claim, basic well-tested scientific laws would have to be wrong.

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

November 15th, 2018

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

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The Benefits Of Time Spent In A Dog Park In Mt. Vernon

November 15th, 2018

byAlma Abell

Taking care of a pet comes with lots of responsibility. Aside from being fed and watered, dogs need attention, exercise, and socialization. Staying at home with an owner is great but many dogs can benefit from some time spent in a dog park in Mt. Vernon area.

A Dog Park is a great place for a dog to run around and enjoy some activity. Many dogs don’t get enough exercise on a regular basis and so a contained park offers a secure location that keeps the dog to a certain area. Owners can remove the leash and allow some free exploration and discovery. With a simple ball or Frisbee, a dog can enjoy running around without an owner worrying about him or her running away.

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Getting enough physical exercise often means less mischief at home. If a dog is chewing things up or misbehaving, it usually means that he or she needs a better way to get rid of energy. Instead of dumping the trash and going through it, a dog at the park is able to run, play, and use up some of that excess energy.

Aside from physical exercise, dogs enjoy socializing with other dogs. Most people don’t set up play dates for pets and so meeting other dogs at dog parks is the best way to be around other pets. While this isn’t always easy for some dogs at first, over time, they become accustomed to the presence of other pets. For pets that don’t usually do well around others, the Dog Park in Mt. Vernon provides a great opportunity.

Just like dogs, owners tend to enjoy occasional socialization too. It can be fun to meet other pet owners and talk about common experiences. It allows people to learn from one another and strike up a conversation in a safe place for everyone. Sometimes establishing a regular routine means meeting the same people at the same time in the park. This becomes beneficial for the pet as well as the owner.

Dog parks offer multiple benefits in Mt. Vernon for pets. With plenty of room to run, they get the necessary exercise. They have the ability to socialize with other dogs and everyone has a great time outside.

Click here for dog boarding services

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Anti-junta demonstrations grow in Bangkok

Anti-junta demonstrations grow in Bangkok

November 15th, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2007

Anti-junta demonstrations in Bangkok reached their largest point yet on Saturday night, when between 10,000 and 15,000 protesters marched from Sanam Luang to the Royal Thai Army headquarters to call for the resignation of Council for National Security chairman General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

Yesterday, Sonthi, the leader of last year’s coup d’état, rejected the protesters demands, saying he would remain as chairman of the military’s governing body in the best interests of Thailand, and that he wasn’t doing the job for personal gain.

“And I doubt the motives of these people who are organizing the rallies,” Sonthi was quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.

The demonstrations continued yesterday, albeit smaller, with crowds estimated at 3,000. The organizer is People’s Television (PTV), a satellite television station that supports ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Organizers have vowed to continue the demonstrations until the junta gives up power.

The protest movement has grown over the past two weeks, after the junta partially lifted the ban on political activities, and since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling that dissolved the former ruling Thai Rak Thai party, which was led by Thaksin, and banned 111 of the party’s officials from politics for five years.

The government has tolerated the protests, if only just barely. Text messages were sent out by the junta to mobile-phone subscribers, asking them to stay away from the protests. Police have surrounded the demonstration venue, Sanam Luang, an open field near the Royal Palace in Bangkok, an in effort to keep the demonstration contained.

But Saturday night, the 1,000-strong riot force, using only shields and no other weapons, was unable to keep the crowd, estimated at up to 15,000, in place. “We could not repel them and that has to be fixed,” Manit Wongsomboon, commander of Metropolitan Police district 1, was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.

Sonthi said he did not view the situation as serious or see a need to impose a state of emergency.

“There is nothing to worry about, they [protestors] can come, but everything will be within the rule of law,” he was quoted as saying by the Thai News Agency.

General Pongthep Thetprateep, spokesman for interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, said the premier agrees.

“The PM is following the situation closely. No one wants to impose a state of emergency. It is the last resort. If they do not listen and assault officials and destroy things then it may be necessary. There is a better way out right now,” Pongthep was quoted as saying by The Nation.

Surayud, the head of the military-installed government, yesterday appealed for acceptance of the Thai Rak Thai’s dissolution by the public. He said several major policies implemented by the populist government of Thaksin would continue, including a low-cost medical scheme.

“We must thank the Thai Rak Thai party for creating and implementing projects which benefit poor people, but at the same time we must accept the verdict of the Constitution Tribunal on dissolving this party because it had committed several political blunders,” Surayud said in an address on television and radio.

Surayud had harsh criticism for Thaksin.

“The rule of law came under fierce attack from the powerful, the rich and cronies. Corruption washed through our government,” Surayud said. “Even Thaksin accepted that this was the case when he told Time magazine’s readers around the world a few months ago that ‘corruption in Thailand won’t go away, it’s in the system’. What shameful words for any ex-prime minister of our country to say, especially one who had promised to wage a war against corruption.

“I would like to ask you this: Do we want to allow those people with ill intentions to steal our nation’s wealth day-by-day? I don’t think we do.”

At the Sanam Luang rally on Saturday night, former senator Kraisak Choonhaven was attacked by around 70 demonstrators.

“You are not on our side. Go away,” one of the demonstrators shouted at Kraisak, according to a report in today’s Bangkok Post, which also published photos of the attack, showing one demonstrator launching a flying kick at the senator as he was rushed away by aides. The senator, a critic of ousted premier Thaksin, received some bruises.

“This is the rudest demonstration I’ve ever seen,” Kraisak was quoted as saying at a press conference by the Post. “Crowd control police had to exercise extreme patience in dealing with such a misbehaved mob.”

A new constitution, which the Constitutional Drafting Assembly began debating today, is being drawn up. One of the provisions of the draft charter is that once it is enacted, the Council for National Security will be no more.

The drafting assembly, which has been fractious, must approve or reject the draft in 25 days. If the draft is approved, a national referendum, scheduled to be held in mid-August, will be held. If the draft is rejected, the Council for National Security could choose a an old constitution. Most likely, that would be an amended form of the 1997 “people’s constitution,” a military spokesman was quoted as saying on Radio Thailand by the Bangkok Post.

Among the controversial points in the draft charter, is a provision to make Buddhism the state religion, a move that critics say could further galvanize Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand.

The drafting body disagreed on motions about Buddhism and the creation of a national crisis council, and the motions were dropped.

As the constitutional assembly begins, a hunger strike is taking place by Buddhist monks outside Parliament House.

The Constitutional Drafting Assembly chairman, Noranit Sethabutr, told the Thai News Agency that the body “would have to find the best and most peaceful way to push through the draft.”

In the wake of the dissolution of the Thai Rak Thai, a new anti-junta party has formed, with around 60 former Thai Rak Thai lawmakers as leaders.

The movement has been referred to by various names, including Khon Rak Thaksin Mai Oaw Padejkarn (Supporters of Thaksin Against Dictatorship) or literally, “Love Thaksin, No Dictatorship,” or simply, Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship.

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Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

November 14th, 2018

Wednesday, December 24, 2014With the English-language Wikinews continuing to increase the amount of original content published, we take a look back at some of the eighty-plus original reports from our contributors during 2014.

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