Saturday, August 29, 2015

Turkish Man Caught For Bangkok Bombing

Thai police on Saturday charged a foreign man over last week's deadly Bangkok bombing, the first arrest connected to an attack that has rattled the junta-run kingdom and damaged its tourist-haven reputation.

The man was arrested after a morning raid on an apartment in Nong Chok district on the eastern outskirts of the capital by security forces who allegedly found him with bomb-making equipment linked to the 17 August blast, which killed 20 people and wounded scores more.

A senior military official told AFP he believed the suspect was a "Turkish national" but Thai police have not yet confirmed his nationality. "We believe that the suspect was involved with the bombing" at the Erawan shrine, national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said on a live televised broadcast Saturday evening.

He added that the foreign man was also involved in a blast the day after that bombing near a popular tourist pier, which sent people scurrying but caused no injuries. The suspect, now in military custody, has been charged with the "illegal possession of bomb-making materials" and was found with multiple passports, Prawut said in the broadcast.

Friday, August 28, 2015

How Do Asset Bubbles Cause Recessions?

Asset bubbles shoulder blame for some of the most devastating recessions ever faced by the United States. The stock market bubble of the 1920s, the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the real estate bubble of the 2000s were asset bubbles followed by sharp economic downturns.

Asset bubbles are especially devastating for individuals and businesses who invest too late, meaning shortly before the bubble bursts. This unfortunate timing erodes net worth and causes businesses to fail, touching off a cascade effect of higher unemployment, lower productivity and financial panic.


An asset bubble occurs when the price of an asset, such as stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, rises at a rapid pace without underlying fundamentals, such as equally fast-rising demand, to justify the price spike.

Shwe Mann Surrenders To The Army (For Now)?

YANGON -- Military makes clear who is in charge in Myanmar. For those who had any doubt, the recent dismissal of the head of Myanmar's ruling party has made it clear that the military remains firmly in control of the country, even after four years on the path to democracy.

Shwe Mann, the former leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, had been trying to revise the constitution to curtail the army's political influence, a move that did not sit well with the USDP's main faction or the military. His abrupt dismal was announced Aug. 13.

The former party leader, who still retains his position as speaker of the lower house, appeared at the parliament building in Naypyitaw on Aug. 18 to address the local press. Looking as if he had made peace with what had transpired a week earlier, Shwe Mann stepped up to the podium and slowly read out a prepared statement.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and KFC All Reject Halal Meat

Fast food chains McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), and Pizza Hut have all REJECTED a demand from an Islamic Imam to have Islam-approved meat served in their chains.

In Hong Kong, Mufti Muhammad Arshad contacted these popular, global chains demanding they use “halal meat” to please Muslims. He said it would be a “shrewed business move,” too.

Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” Halal meat comes from an animal slaughtered according to Islamic law. That means Allah’s (God’s) name must be pronounced during slaughter, the instrument used must be very sharp (the animal must be slit at the throat), the animal must not be unconscious, and it must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

3 Americans Prevented Massacre On Paris-Bound Train

PARIS — A Shot, a Glimpse of an AK-47, and U.S. Servicemen Pounced on Gunman on Train to France. It was 5:45 p.m., a normal Friday afternoon on the sleek high-speed train that takes high-level European diplomats, businesspeople, tourists and ordinary citizens between Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.

Less than an hour away from Paris, a French passenger got up from his seat to use the toilets at the back of the carriage. Suddenly, in front of him rose a slightly built man. Across the man’s chest, in a sling, was an automatic rifle of the kind favored by jihadists the world over: an AK-47. The passenger threw himself on the man. The gun went off, once, twice, several times. Glass shattered. A bullet hit a passenger.

The man with the gun kept going down the carriage, holding his AK-47 and a Luger pistol. In a pocket was a sharp blade capable of inflicting grievous harm. He had at least nine cartridges of ammunition, enough for serious carnage.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ex-General Shwe Mann Is Fighting Back The Army!

YANGON (REUTERS) - Myanmar's ruling party on Saturday appealed for unity, saying its ousted party chief would stay 'faithful', after a parliamentary vote exposed a rift in the ruling bloc, amid the biggest political shake up since the end of military rule.

President Thein Sein last week sacked his ambitious rival Shwe Mann before party headquarters were sealed off with police trucks in the middle of the night, sparking worries about Myanmar's first free elections in 25 years set for Nov8.

The November election, seen as a crucial test of the country's reforms, is expected to be won by opposition leader Aung Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, but she is banned from becoming president under the military-drafted constitution.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing’s RFA Interview

In an interview on the 20 August with Nancy Shwe, director of RFA’s Myanmar Service, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, said former junta chief Than Shwe advises his former army colleagues on military affairs but exerts no influence on the country’s politics.

He also denied that the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s armed services]  played any role in the ouster last week of  ruling party chairman Shwe Mann.

Following is the RFA’s translated script of that Interview titled “Retiree Than Shwe Exerts 'No Influence Whatsoever' on Myanmar Politics.”

RFA:  Is former Myanmar junta chief Gen. Than Shwe still involved in Myanmar’s affairs?

MIN AUNG HLAING:  I would say this is impossible.  He’s living peacefully by himself in retirement. I sometimes go to see him to pay my respects on religious occasions, but I do this because he’s the father of the Tatmadaw.  He gives advice on the betterment of the Tatmadaw, but he won’t say “do this” or “do that.” He often stresses the need for us to maintain unity and to work for the country.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Donald Trump: Next President of United States?

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Shortly after Donald Trump's helicopter touched down in Des Moines on Saturday, a reporter asked him a question about his policies. Trump told her to watch Sunday's "Meet the Press," when he would present a "very comprehensive" plan for immigration. That would be followed in a few days by a policy on taxes ("Who knows the system better than me?") and then others, one after the next.

Good, the reporter said, because "a lot of voters are saying that they really want to see your policies now." For which Trump had a remarkable response. "Well, I think the press is more eager to see it than the voters, to be honest," he said. "I think the voters like me, they understand me, they know I'm going to do the job."

Trump added: "You know, when you put out policy, like a 14-point plan? A lot of times in the first hour of negotiation, that 14-point plan goes astray, but you may end up with a better deal. That's the way it works. That's the way really life works. When I do a deal, I don't say, 'Oh, here's 14 points.' I got out and do it. I don't sit down and talk about 14 points."

"But I know the press wants it," he continued. "I don't think the people care. I think they trust me. I think they know I'm going to make good deals for them." There's an enormous amount of insight in that statement, about both Trump and about politics.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Muslim Bomb In Bangkok Killed At Least 20 Tourists

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN): A bomb explosion that appeared to target a popular Hindu shrine in central Bangkok killed at least 20 people Monday and wounded 123 more, authorities said. Twelve victims died at the scene, and the others died later at area hospitals, officials said.

Maj. Gen. Witoon Nitiwarangkul, the surgeon general at Police General Hospital, said early Tuesday that at least 20 people had been killed; the death has mounted slowly over a few hours. Police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri also detailed the increased number of injured.

Foreigners are among the casualties, said Maj Gen. Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a Thai government spokesman. He had no specifics, but national police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said on state TV that Chinese tourists who had traveled to Thailand from the Philippines had been killed.

Mizzima Interview With Shwe Mann’s Son Toe Naing

Toe Naing Mann, the billionaire son of General Shwe Mann.
In an exclusive interview with Mizzima, Thura U Shwe Mann’s son, U Toe Naing Mann, walks us through the recent turmoil in the Union Solidarity and Development Party that saw his father kicked out of his senior position. The interview took place on August 14.

What is the security situation of Thura U Shwe Mann now? Where is he?

It is not true that he is under house-arrest. Now, he is in Nay Pyi Taw. He is at his home. Today he went to parliament.

Did Thura U Shwe Mann have a say in the decision to remove him from his role as party chairman?

The decision was made in his absence.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Army Removed Burma Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann

Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann's sudden removal by Army.
Myanmar's powerful ruling party chief Thura U Shwe Mann has been ousted from his post, according to party members, after losing a power struggle with president Thein Sein three months before a general election.

Security forces surrounded the headquarters of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the capital, Naypyitaw, late on Wednesday and prevented members there from leaving. Family members said Mr Shwe Mann was also detained by the army at his home in Naypyidaw when the soldiers took control of the USDP compound, where party members were hosting a meeting without him.

Mr Shwe Mann's ousting from the party follows rare discord within the establishment over the role of the military, which handed power to a semi-civilian government in 2011 but retains an effective veto over the political system.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Swan Arr Shin: Government Enforcers Or People Militia?

A solemn commemoration ceremony was taking place on the edge of a pond near Kyi village in Depayin Township, in northwest Burma’s Sagaing Division, on 30 May. Dozens of long-time supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) gathered at the site of a brutal attack on her campaign convoy exactly 12 years previously.

The popular opposition leader narrowly escaped, but four of her supporters were killed and dozens more injured. One supporter, Zaw Phone Myint, recalled witnessing hundreds of thugs attack the NLD convoy with bamboo sticks and knives. It later emerged they belonged to the former military regime’s political organisation, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), and the vigilante group called Swan Arr Shin.

“This will remain an unforgettable event in our lives,” Zaw Phone Myint said recently. “But we don’t think this is the proper time to call for justice in this case.” Indeed it might be too early to call the thugs to account.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826) - Part 1

(Chapter I of Narrative of The Burmese War by Major John Snodgrass, British Army, the Military Secretary to the Commander of the British expeditionary force and the Assistant Political Agent in Ava.)

British Empire's Conquest of Burma.
The unprovoked aggressions of the Burmese Governors of Arracan upon the south-east frontier of Bengal, and the contemptuous silence of the court of Ava to every remonstrance upon the subject, in the beginning of 1824, compelled the Indian government to resort to other measures for obtaining redress, and preventing the future encroachments of a warlike and ambitious neighbour, whose arrogant pretensions and restless character had so frequently interrupted the relations of peace subsisting between the two countries, keeping the frontier provinces in constant dread and danger of invasion.

Early in that year orders were given for the equipment of a force of from five to six thousand men at the presidencies of Fort William and Fort St. George: the two divisions were directed to assemble at Port Cornwallis, in the Great Andaman Island, from which the combined forces, under the command of Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell, were to proceed for the capture of Rangoon, the principal sea-port of the Burmhan empire.

Junction of the combined forces from Bengal and Madras at Port Cornwallis

Between the 12th and 17th of April, the Bengal division, consisting of his majesty’s thirteenth and thirty-eighth regiments and two companies of artillery, were embarked at Calcutta, and the transports immediately proceeded to the place of general rendezvous, which they reached about the end of the month, where a detention of some days took place in consequence of the troops from Madras not having arrived.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Suu Kyi’s NLD Shuns 4-Shit (8-8-88) Student Leaders

(Breaking news article direct from the REUTERS on 2 August 2015.)

ASSK Says No To Min Ko Naing's candidacy for elections.
YANGON: Suu Kyi’s party shuns pro-democracy activists from running under its banner in Myanmar election. The party of Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected bids by 17 members of Myanmar’s respected “88 generation” to join its ranks and contest November’s election, a controversial omission of a group that was expected to galvanise its bid to dominate the ballot.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party selected only one member of the popular crop of activists, who suffered years of persecution after leading nationwide student protests in 1988 that were brutally crushed by the ruling military. Their rebellion mushroomed into a pro-democracy uprising that thrust Suu Kyi, the daughter of late independence hero Aung San, into Myanmar’s political spotlight.

The most high-profile exclusion was the charismatic protest leader Ko Ko Gyi, who spent more than 17 years in and out of prison before his 2012 release. He declined to comment. Some experts said the decision risks dividing groups that have a shared vision of a more democratic Myanmar under which the military, which is guaranteed three ministerial positions and a quarter of legislative seats, has no political role.