Friday, October 23, 2020

Lese-majeste: How Thailand Forbids Insult Of Royals

(Staff articles from the BBC NEWS in October 2017.)

Lese-majeste explained: How Thailand forbids insult of its royalty. Thailand's lese-majeste law, which forbids the insult of the monarchy, is among the strictest in the world. It has been increasingly enforced ever since the Thai military took power in 2014 in a coup, and many people have been punished with harsh jail sentences.

Critics say the military-backed government uses the law to clamp down on free speech, and the United Nations has repeatedly called on Thailand to amend it. But the government says the law is necessary to protect the monarchy, which is widely revered in Thailand.

What exactly is this law? Article 112 of Thailand's criminal code says anyone who "defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent" will be punished with a jail term between three and 15 years. This law has remained virtually unchanged since the creation of the country's first criminal code in 1908, although the penalty was toughened in 1976.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Anti-Monarchy Protests In Bangkok, Thailand

(Staff article from the ABC NEWS Australia on 16 October 2020.)

Bangkok anti-government protests see riot police use water cannon and shields: Electric blue water with tear gas shot from a water cannon flies over demonstrators during a Bangkok protest. The UN has voiced concern over Thai authorities' harsh response to pro-democracy protests.

Thai police used water cannons and pushed forward with riot shields and batons in an attempt to disperse thousands of protesters who defied a ban on demonstrations for a second day. The protesters had gathered in monsoonal rains to push their core demands, including that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha leave office, the constitution be amended and the nation's monarchy undergo reform.

Protesters pushed back, some using umbrellas, while a few threw plastic bottles at police in full riot gear. "The dictatorial government is using violence to disperse the people's movement," said Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, one of the protest leaders.

Smoking-gun Email Reveals Biden Family Corruption

(Emma-Jo Morris's article from The NEW YORK POST on 14 October 2020.)

Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad: Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads. An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.