Monday, April 26, 2010

FP morning post 4/26

Thailand's protesters prepare for battle as talks break down

Top news: Thailand's opposition protesters are removing their signature red shirts in preparation for a crackdown by security forces after negotiations with the government broke down over the weekend. The protesters are fortifying their positions in Central Bangkok and have set up roadblocks in the provinces surrounding the capital to prevent more government forces from swarming the city.

Protests are mostly peaceful at the moment, but a grenade was thrown near the home of former Prime Minister Banharn Silapa-archa late on Sunday, injuring 11 people. Banharn is closely allied with Thailand's ruling coalition.

Thai Prime Minsiter Abhisit Vejjajiva has rejected an ultimatum from the protesters to dissolve parliament and hold new elections within 30 days, saying he will not be swayed by "violence and intimidation."

The red-shirts are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who voiced his support on Monday for what he called a "fight for democracy and justice." Thaksin is currently in Montenegro, one of just a handful of countries that have accepted the former leader, who is wanted in his home country on corruption charges.

At least 26 people have been killed and nearly 1,000 wounded since the latest round of red-shirt protests began in late March.

U.S. immigration fight: Immigration reform activists are calling on President Obama to help fight Arizona's harsh new immigration law. Obama criticized the bill -- which among other things, allows police to require those suspected of being illegal immigrants to produce documentation -- as irresponsible last Friday. The Arizona law may have revived the issue of immigration reform as a priority for the administration.

  • Three explosions hit Kandahar this morning, killing two civilians.
  • A presumed U.S. drone strike killed five in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.
  • Russia extradited Kyrgyzstan's former interior minister back to Bishkek.
Middle East
  • The conservative Fidesz party won a landslide victory in the second round of Hungary's general election.
  • Austrian President Heinz Fischer was reelected for a second term.
  • Greece's finance minister says negotiations over a $60 billion rescue package for his country could be complete in a few weeks.
-By Joshua Keating


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