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Mystery surrounds ricin discovery in Las Vegas hotel

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Mystery surrounds ricin discovery in Las Vegas hotel

Saturday, March 1, 2008

On February 14, a man staying at the Valley View Extended Stay America hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada was hospitalized after experiencing respiratory distress. The man lapsed into unconsciousness and has been at the hospital ever since.

Since the bills at the hotel were going unpaid, Extended Stay America began to evict the man from the room. Another man, described as either a friend or relative, went to the hotel on Thursday to collect the personal belongings of the hospitalized man.

According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Kathy Suey, he found several vials of a white substance. He brought them to the attention of the hotel manager, who called police.

Initial tests, which further tests confirmed on Friday, the substance was the deadly toxin ricin, an extremely dangerous biological agent. Ricin is extracted from castor beans through the waste produced in the manufacture of castor oil. It is currently being used in cancer treatment research. There has been research for its use as a chemical/biological warfare agent. An amount smaller than the point of a pin will kill a human being. It is estimated to be several thousand times more toxic than cyanide and there is no known antidote.

Police cordoned off the area around Valley View between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue. Three employees and the man who made the discovery were taken to the hospital as a precaution. So were three police officers. They are all reported to show no signs of poisoning.

Nevada National Guard and other emergency services responded to secure the area. Residents at the Extended Stay America were allowed back into the building late Thursday. The hotel reopened fully on Friday after the room and other areas of the hotel were decontaminated.

The man whose room it was “is in critical condition and he is unable to speak with us right now. We have no indication why the ricin was in that room,” said Deputy Chief Suey.

“Usually, if [ricin victims] survive the first three to five days, they usually do fine,” Dr. Lawrence Sands told CNN. However, survivors often have long-term organ damage.

At least three pets were found in the room. “Two of those pets are fine. One of the pets is deceased or was put down,” Suey said. “The dog that was in there was without food and water for a week,” she added that there was no reason to supect it was exposed to ricin. Castor beans were also found in the room.

Officials have also recovered from the room a firearm, as well as an “anarchist” text containing an article on ricin.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Richard Kolko said the incident is being treated as a criminal matter and did not appear to be related to terrorism “based on the information gathered so far.”

Captain Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that ricin is not illegal to own unless it is intended for the poisoning of a person, adding that “We did have enough ricin to be of concern.”

In 2003, a man committed suicide in Las Vegas using ricin. There have also been a few incidents where ricin powder was found in the mail. Also in 2003, the United Kingdom had the Wood Green ricin plot which in the end found no ricin.

In 1978, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was famously assassinated in London with ricin injected with the tip of an umbrella.

Building Site Security In London Ideal And Effective}

Building site security in London ideal and effective

by

Brian Miller

Preventing untoward incidents in a construction site requires special acumen. In todays age, breaching security has become an art, and hence preventing any scope of security lapse must be done with the help of the professionals who are aware of the loopholes and how to plug them. Thefts and pilferage are common in construction sites. But, to prevent any such occurrence with the help of building site security in London is integral to the wellbeing of any realty developer. So, employ the service of reliable construction site security companies in London to curb such menace. After all, you cannot keep on replacing tools and materials time and again if the site is a victim of security lapse.

The most effective option for construction site security is to hire guards. It is an age-old option, but it never fails if you hire a team of guards from one of the reputed construction site security companies in London known for providing vigilant service. A band of thieves will not target a site that is well guarded because they will be aware of the risks involved. Hiring guards will safeguard your site from accidents too. This is because, since the guards patrol the site continuously to maintain building site security in London, common accidents like fire breakout due to electrical malfunction can be reported at the earliest.

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But, how do you define a good guard? A good guard must have both physical and mental fitness. He or she should be cautious, active and have the perception and ability to deduce hazards. A guard must be well acquainted with building site security in London and should be honest with the patrolling rounds. It is more affordable to hire guards from good construction site security companies in London than replacing resources lost to theft. Many construction sites today keep guards 24*7, who keep a record of all entry and exit made by workers, other people integral to the project and visitors.

The guards for building site security in London also patrol the site during the working hours to look out for any scope of malpractice practised by the workmen. During the hours of inaction at the site, it is advisable to chain the machines and use locks as additional measure of security. Thieves and burglars attempt breaking into the construction sites because the cost of the machines and materials are increasing manifold every year and the loot will earn them a good price. Thus, incidents of theft have increased, necessitating appointment of guards even more. Hire from the reputed construction site security companies in London that file security status report every day.

While selecting from the construction site security companies in London available at your place, stress on three key factors – a) the company must have an impeccable market reputation, b) the guards must be appointed after conducting an extensive background research and c) the company must furnish the detailed data of the guards appointed to maintain law and order at the construction site. Enquire whether there is provision to scale up building site security in London interim should the need be.

It is cost effective to hire guards for

building site security in London

. Stress on reputation of the company while selecting from among the

construction site security companies in London

.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

Two ill after eating burgers laced with multi-purpose cleaner in Bathurst, Australia

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Two ill after eating burgers laced with multi-purpose cleaner in Bathurst, Australia

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A prank by three young kitchen staff at Hungry Jack’s fast food restaurant in the Central-Western New South Wales city of Bathurst went wrong when two customers required medical treatment after eating burgers they had laced with multi-purpose cleaner.

According to staff at the Emergency Department of Bathurst Hospital, two Hungry Jack’s customers became ill Sunday night after eating burgers contaminated with a chemical believed to be multi-purpose cleaner. One of the patrons was in a serious condition upon arrival at Bathurst Hospital due to being allergic to an ingredient in the cleaning product. “He presented to the emergency department as he was having an allergic reaction after eating a burger from Hungry Jacks, he was in a really bad way when he arrived here and if he had waited much longer it could have been much worse,” said a Greater Western Area Health Service employee. “We called Hungry Jacks and they said that three of their employees had been goofing off and sprayed multi-purpose cleaner inside the burgers so we then treated the patients for poisoning.”

Both customers are expected to make a full recovery. During an investigation undertaken by Wikinews reporter Nathan Carter, it was learned that the chemical sprayed into the burgers was KAY multipurpose cleaner which is reported to cause nausea, diarrhoea and mucosal and gastric irritation. The Material Safety Data Sheet for KAY multipurpose cleaner lists Antonic Surfactants as its hazardous ingredient.

In New South Wales, it is a criminal offence to make food intended for sale unsafe punishable by 2 years imprisonment. Due to restrictions on the publication of the name of young people involved in crimes in New South Wales, the names of kitchen staff can not be published. Wikinews was told by Hungry Jack’s staff that the staff involved in the incident remained employed by Hungry Jack’s. Josh, a Hungry Jack’s manager at the Bathurst restaurant, told Wikinews that his boss Adam was aware of the food contamination issue and would be taking steps to address it.

Global markets plunge

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Global markets plunge

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stock markets across the world have fallen sharply with several seeing the biggest drop in their history.

Asian markets saw the biggest sell-off. The Nikkei dropped 9.62% to reach a 20 year low. Japan also saw a collapse of a mid-size insurance company, Yamato Life Insurance Company, which declared bankruptcy. The Hang Seng, which was one of the few markets that was positive yesterday, fell 7.19%. Australia dropped by 8.4% and South Korea saw a 9% fall.

In Europe, markets dropped at the open with the FTSE losing 11%. They have recovered only sightly with all European markets losing more than 5%. The European sell off was more about the Asian lows then any specific news. European banks and financial institutes saw the most selling. Also, oil related companies saw large drops as an result of an expected decrease in oil consumption.

The U.S. markets opened lower with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling below 8,000, before recovering slightly. President George W. Bush made an address on the economy and said markets were being “driven by uncertainty and fear.”

Oil has seen losses of more than US$6 in trading with the current price of a barrel of oil less than $80. This is a year low for oil. News also came out that OPEC will hold an emergency meeting on November 18 to discuss the falling price of oil.

Charities, such as Cats Protection, today said that they have lost much of their funds in collapsing banks. Cats Protection had a total of £11.2 million saved in the now-collapsed Kaupthing bank.

The British National Council for Voluntary Organisations said that 60 of its 6,500 have lost money due to the collapse of banks.

Contents

  • 1 Stock markets
    • 1.1 Dow Jones Industrial Average
    • 1.2 FTSE 100
    • 1.3 Nikkei 225
  • 2 International reaction
    • 2.1 George W. Bush
    • 2.2 Gordon Brown
    • 2.3 Jim Flaherty
  • 3 Market data
  • 4 Sources

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest level in five years at 8,579.19, falling 679 points in one day. This, at 7.3%, is the eleventh largest percentage fall in the history of the index. The growth then continued, with the index being up over 150 points on the start of the day at one point.

The index, did however, recover, and as of 19:30 UTC was up 17.68 points, or 0.21%, pushing the index up to almost 8600.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, commented on these massive falls. “What we’ve seen here was one big margin call that just kept feeding on itself, so the opposite could happen. But you need a catalyst,” he said. “I’m more convinced now than ever that this market has made a bottom. The capitulation came when we breached 8,000,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean we can’t go back and revisit that level.”

The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell dramatically to close below 4000, in the index’s worst week in history. This is despite the fact that just a few days ago the index was above 5000, and the index peaked above 5500 in September.The FTSE 100 index has fallen by 41% this year.

Barclays Wealth analyst Henk Potts commented on this massive fall. “We are drowning in a sea of red numbers,” he claimed. “Investors are concerned about the exacerbation of the credit crunch and the gloomy forecasts for economic growth. The reality is that most investors have been spooked by the sheer pressure that the credit crunch is putting on the global economy.”

The Japanese Nikkei 225 has recorded it’s third biggest drop in history with a massive sell-off in the exchange that has resulted in USD 250 billion being knocked of the index’s value.

Toyota, which is the second largest carmaker in the world, fell by the largest amount in 21 years, while Elpida Memory, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer memory, dropped in value to a record low.

Masafumi Oshiden, a fund manager in Toyota commented on the drop.”It’s capitulation,” he said. “There are lots of forced sellers. If you’re a fund that’s going bust you need to close out all your positions.”

George W. Bush commented on the financial situation earlier today. “Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market — much of it driven by uncertainty and fear,” he said. “This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being.”

Bush then continued by promoting the government’s plan’s to get through the crises. “Here’s what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal. We’re using these tools aggressively.”

Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, also spoke on the economy. “I think we quickly realised that we cannot solve the problems we have got as a result of the sub-prime market collapse simply by improving liquidity,” he said speaking in Birmingham to business leaders earlier today. “That would simply not be enough to deal with the bigger problem of rebuilding the banking system for the future and restoring trust is a fundamental element of that.”

Jim Flaherty, the Canadian minister for finance, also commented today on the recent incidents in the economy. “It is important to underline that Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound, well capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers,” he claimed. “Our mortgage system is sound. Canadian households have smaller mortgages relative both to the value of their homes and to their disposable incomes than in the U.S.”

“”However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the continuing disruption of global credit markets, which has been severe and protracted, is making it difficult for our financial institutions to raise long-term funding. This is beginning to affect the availability of mortgage loans and other types of credit in Canada,” he continued. “The Government has therefore decided to act to address the current scarcity of private sector lending to Canadian mortgage markets and lending markets overall. This is going to make loans and mortgages more available and more affordable for ordinary Canadians and businesses.”

20:15, 10 October, 2008 (UTC)
8.451,19 128,00 1,49%
1.649,51 4,39 0.27%
899,22 10,70 1,18%
9.264,57 335,61 3.50%
19.952,30 357,87 1,76%
1.215,990 71.340 5,54%
35.615,26 1,474.03 3,97%
3.932,06 381,74 8,85%
4.544,31 342,69 7,01%
3.176,49 266,21 7,73%
5.347,22 451,62 7,79%
258,05 23,92 8,48%
2.123,44 117,44 5,24%
15.438,00 1,081,00 6,54%
8.997,70 905,20 9,14%
3.939,50 351,80 8,20%
8.276,43 881,06 9,62%
14.796,90 1,146,37 7,19%
2.000,57 74,01 3,57%

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links

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Details About High Pressure Waterjet Cutting Systems}

Details About High Pressure Waterjet Cutting Systems

by

sang hertyWasserstrahlschneidanlage is a machine which uses high pressure water jet to cut materials. The pressure this tool puts is up to 6000 bar. The exit speed which is up to 1000 m/s which makes the cutting of materials possible. This tool consists of three main parts which are Reinwasserdse, abrasive mixing chamber and focusing tube. Abrasive is a cutting agent which is effective in increasing the cutting capability of water. For a considerable high precision in cutting micro water jet cutting process is performed.This tool is capable of cutting almost all the materials which may be very hard too and is commonly used for metal, stone, leather and plastic processing. It can cut both conducting and non-conducting materials. It proves its worthiness when it comes to cutting heterogeneous pieces. It is widely applied in the process of trimming laminated layers of plastic panels which are used in cars. Since they have minimum error, they are most suitable in mechatronics, aviation, medical, construction, energy and similar other industries. The use of this tool in the manufacturing process of any product shall in all certainty reduce the production cost and the time taken in manufacturing it. This reduction depends on the type and thickness of the material and the shape of the product.The manufacturers of this tool have skilled professionals and advanced machinery so that its efficiency and precision is of the best standards. This will enable their customers to make the production process more efficient. Since the employees are very experienced, they are aware of all the recent developments in this field. It is necessary that one takes adequate care and maintenance of this tool in order to achieve the maximum results. Therefore the employees are always willing for repair, maintenance and training tasks which keep their customers satisfied. They assure their customers of the high quality of this tool and also their services.Wasserstrahlschneidanlage is an inexpensive tool but is very effective which makes it very popular. The reasons which give this tool an edge over other similar tools is the installation service and training, least maintenance cost, impeccable repair service and high experience of the manufacturers. The customers can get the damaged parts replaced because of the easy availability of all the spare parts. The tool has undergone all the possible trials before it is offered for sale during which its performance is examined. The interested customers are free to contact the manufacturers and also get all their doubts cleared.Wasserstrahlschneidanlage is a machine which uses high pressure water jet to cut materials. The pressure this tool puts is up to 6000 bar. The exit speed which is up to 1000 m/s which makes the cutting of materials possible. This tool consists of three main parts which are Reinwasserdse, abrasive mixing chamber and focusing tube. Abrasive is a cutting agent which is effective in increasing the cutting capability of water. For a considerable high precision in cutting micro water jet cutting process is performed.This tool is capable of cutting almost all the materials which may be very hard too and is commonly used for metal, stone, leather and plastic processing. It can cut both conducting and non-conducting materials. It proves its worthiness when it comes to cutting heterogeneous pieces. It is widely applied in the process of trimming laminated layers of plastic panels which are used in cars. Since they have minimum error, they are most suitable in mechatronics, aviation, medical, construction, energy and similar other industries. The use of this tool in the manufacturing process of any product shall in all certainty reduce the production cost and the time taken in manufacturing it. This reduction depends on the type and thickness of the material and the shape of the product.The manufacturers of this tool have skilled professionals and advanced machinery so that its efficiency and precision is of the best standards. This will enable their customers to make the production process more efficient. Since the employees are very experienced, they are aware of all the recent developments in this field. It is necessary that one takes adequate care and maintenance of this tool in order to achieve the maximum results. Therefore the employees are always willing for repair, maintenance and training tasks which keep their customers satisfied. They assure their customers of the high quality of this tool and also their services.Wasserstrahlschneidanlage is an inexpensive tool but is very effective which makes it very popular. The reasons which give this tool an edge over other similar tools is the installation service and training, least maintenance cost, impeccable repair service and high experience of the manufacturers. The customers can get the damaged parts replaced because of the easy availability of all the spare parts. The tool has undergone all the possible trials before it is offered for sale during which its performance is examined. The interested customers are free to contact the manufacturers and also get all their doubts cleared.

Die durchweg zufriedene Kunden sind die hohe Przision der OMAX

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Wasserstrahlschneiden

Maschinen tglich, um zustzliche Ertrge zu generieren. Eingehende CAD-Daten direkt an die PC-Steuerung zugefhrt, ein paar Mausklicks spter. Die neuesten OMAX Steuerungs-Software wartet wieder eine groe berraschung. Unser Ziel ist es, unermdlich Forschung zur

wasserstrahlschneidmaschinen

zu verbessern.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

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US Nazi leader talks about Barack Obama, the economy and more

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US Nazi leader talks about Barack Obama, the economy and more

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The National Socialist Movement is, according to its website, the largest and most active Nazi party in the United States. Accordingly, it refers to itself as ‘America’s Nazi Party’ and aims to instigate major change in the US.

Wikinews was able to conduct an interview with the head of the party, Commander Jeff Schoep. Fresh back from a march in Missouri, Commander Schoep told Wikinews his views on Barack Obama, the economy and much more.

Read the full exclusive interview below:

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Bush’s Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

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Bush’s Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Recently emerging evidence seems to contradict a statement by United States President George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina. He stated in an interview with ABC on September 1st that, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees”.

One of the first items to emerge, a video obtained by the Associated Press, shows footage of Bush during a video-conference received at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on August 29, 2005, 19 hours before landfall of Hurricane Katrina. During the briefing, Director of the National Hurricane Center Max Mayfield warned, “I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether levees will be topped or not, but there is obviously a very, very great concern”.

In addition, Michael D. Brown, then director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reported that he had spoken with President Bush twice in the morning and that the president was asking about reports that the levees had been breached.

Brown would state later on CNN that, “There’s no question in my mind he probably had those reports (about breaches in the levees), because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach”.[1]

In July 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency completed an exercise called “Hurricane Pam”, which, dealt with the scenario of a direct hit on New Orleans by a hurricane with 120 mph winds (a Category 3). It resulted in “10 to 20 feet of water within the City of New Orleans,” according to January 24 congressional testimony by the president of the company that designed the Hurricane Pam exercise.[2]

A report FEMA sent to the White House Situation Room on August 29th, they cited death and destruction anticipated by the “Hurricane Pam” exercise and warned that Katrina was likely to be worse. “Exercise projection is exceeded by Hurricane Katrina real-life impacts,” they stated. Furthermore, “The potential for severe storm surge to overwhelm Lake Pontchartrain levees is the greatest concern for New Orleans. Any storm rated Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson (hurricane) scale will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching. This could leave the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months”.[3]

When the report was released, Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a Category 4 as of landfall (though after analysis, it’s power at landfall would be downgraded to a Category 3).[4]

White House officials previously clarified Bush’s earlier comment, saying that the president was referring to the hours after Katrina swept through and news reports as of August 30th suggested the city had “dodged a bullet”, which led to surprise when reports reached them of the levee breaches.[5][6] Contrasting this was the August 30th broadcast of NBC’s Today, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported at 7:05 a.m. ET, “There has been a huge development overnight … the historic French Quarter, dry last night and it is now filling with water. This is water from nearby Lake Pontchartrain; the levees failed overnight.”[7]

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Affordable Quality Residential Security Systems

byAlma Abell

Security is a hot topic these days. All home-owners want to ensure that their families and belongings are adequately protected. This is why the Residential Security industry has blossomed and is offering a variety of products and services. If you are contemplating adding security features to your home or upgrading your current system, you should consult with security professionals who can explain the products available to secure your home and property. Going to a “big-box” store and spending your money on a “one-size-fits-all” security system is not the optimal way to provide the safety that your family deserves.

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When you put your home security in the hands of experienced, trained professionals they will do a free comprehensive security analysis of your home and property in order to create a customized package of security options that can offer maximum protection and fit within your budget. Whether you decide to use door and window sensors in conjunction with a basic keypad system or utilize a custom-designed system of video surveillance, you will rest easier, knowing that even if you have to be away from home, it will be safe.

A key element when you are adding a Residential Security system to your home is the selection of the team you trust to provide you with quality products and professional installations. Look for a company that has worked hard over a period of time to build and maintain their reputation. A group that offers a comprehensive selection of security systems indicates that they will be able to find just the right combination of products to provide adequate safety and security for your needs. This should include heat and smoke sensors since intruders aren’t the only threat to a home’s safety. A company that handles top name brand security equipment like Honeywell or First Alert Professional products can be invaluable.

When you are ready to add security to your home, the professionals at B-Safe Securityand Alarms will be standing by to help you with a free quote following a complimentary security analysis of your property. They’ve been providing our community with quality, end to end security solutions since 1978 and can work with you install security options which include wireless home security systems like wireless burglar alarms, a variety of home security alarm systems, access control systems, and more. Let them show you what they can do to secure your home and property.

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Thai anti-government leaders escape capture

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Thai anti-government leaders escape capture

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In a new setback to the Thai government’s efforts to ease mounting political tensions, protest leaders escaped from their hotel Friday after security forces arrived to arrest them.

One, Arisman Pongruangrong, climbed down three floors using a rope, and was rushed away by supporters thronging the building. The police say Arisman led recent rallies at the national parliament, the election commission, and satellite transmission bases.

Officials earlier Friday said the government is preparing to arrest people linked to violent clashes with security forces last Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Thai security chief, announced the raid on the hotel as it was unfolding, saying that a Special Forces unit had closed in around a downtown Bangkok hotel.

“As I am speaking, the government’s special team is surrounding the SC Park Hotel, where we have learned that there are terrorists and some of their leaders hiding,” Suthep said.

A spokesman for the governing Democrat Party, Baranuj Smuthararaks, says arrest warrants have been issued for those suspected of being involved in the violence. Some of the suspects have been identified from photos taken during the clashes.

“Right now the government’s focusing on issuing warrants for acts of terrorism by the people who fortunately have been captured in action [in photos] by both the local and international media,” he said.

According to the New York Times, as many as five protest leaders had been staying at the same hotel as Pongruangrong. Those leaders later appeared together at a protest rally in Bangkok.

“I would like to thank all of the people who saved me,” Arisman said. “You have saved democracy.” The government says armed men infiltrated protester ranks Saturday and fired on troops trying to disperse a rally. Five soldiers and 19 protesters died during the clashes.

Thailand is facing its most severe political crisis in almost 20 years. The anti-government movement, led by the United Democratic Front against Dictatorship or UDD, demands that the government step down and call fresh elections.

UDD supporters, known as red shirts, have held protests in Bangkok for more than a month.

The UDD largely supports former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006 and remains overseas to avoid a jail sentence for corruption. Mr. Thaksin has strong support among the rural and urban poor, as well among some sections of the army and police.

Some parties in the governing coalition want to set a clear time frame for elections to ease tensions. But the government says it will only call elections once the political situation has cooled.

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