- - Sunday, January 23, 2011

THAILAND

‘Red Shirts’ rally in Thai capital

BANGKOK | Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” gathered in Bangkok on Sunday, police said, to mark eight months since a deadly military crackdown on their mass anti-government protest last year.

Wearing their trademark color and singing the “Red in the Land” anthem, protesters waved banners reading “Liar State!” and held aloft pictures of their hero, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Police said around 27,000 people joined the peaceful demonstration by the Reds, whose April and May rally last year calling for snap elections ended in clashes between troops and protesters that left more than 90 people dead.

PAKISTAN

Girl ‘electrocuted’ in honor killing

ISLAMABAD | Relatives of a teenage Pakistani girl apparently have electrocuted her for falling in love with a man they did not approve of, police said Sunday.

Elders and the family of Saima Bibi, 17, decided after a meeting of a village council, or panchayat, that her punishment for shaming the family should be death, police said.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani took “serious notice” of the “the sad incident of the killing of a girl by electric current on the orders of the panchayat” and ordered police to immediately submit a report, his office said.

Bibi’s death appeared to be what is known as an honor killing. They are common in rural areas where, under centuries-old tribal customs, getting married without permission of male relatives or having sex outside marriage is deemed a serious slight to the honor of the family or the tribe.

MEXICO

10 suspected traffickers killed in shootout

MEXICO CITY | Mexican authorities said 10 suspected drug gang gunmen have been killed in a shootout with soldiers in a state near the U.S. border.

The Defense Department said a military patrol came upon a camp of armed men in the town of El Moquetito, Tamaulipas state, on Friday, and they began shooting. The soldiers returned fire and killed 10 suspects.

A Defense Department statement released Saturday said authorities seized weaponry including 24 rifles, two grenade launchers and 18 grenades, as well as an armored vehicle.

TUNISIA

Foot soldiers of revolution march on capital

TUNIS | Waving pictures of the fallen heroes of Tunisia’s uprising and shouting angry slogans against the new government, hundreds of foot soldiers of the revolution came to Tunis on Sunday.

They came from a poverty-stricken rural region in central Tunisia where the crackdown against a wave of social protests in the final days of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year regime was at its harshest.

In defiance of a curfew and state of emergency, they traveled through the night in a ragtag line of cars, trucks and motorcycles from towns across the rocky region far from Tunisia’s luxurious Mediterranean resorts.

They said their hero is Mohammed Bouazizi — a 26-year-old fruit vendor who inspired the popular uprising against Mr. Ben Ali by setting himself on fire in the town of Sidi Bouzid last month in a protest against police abuses.

AUSTRALIA

Southeast Australia set for more flooding

MELBOURNE | Rural Australian towns braced for another week of flooding Sunday as a vast lake continued to spread across the country’s southeast and a potential tropical storm threatened the northeast.

The flooding began more than a month ago in Australia’s northeast Queensland state, where 30 people have died, more than 30,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and at least $3 billion in crops and coal exports have been lost.

From wire dispatches and staff reports