Tag Archive | Government

On this day May 8, 1963

In Huế, South Vietnam, soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam opened fire into a crowd of Buddhists protesting against a government ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesākha, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.

Buddhism Flag

The incident spurred a protest movement by Buddhists against the religious discrimination perpetrated by the Roman Catholic-dominated Diệm regime, known as the Buddhist crisis, and widespread large-scale civil disobedience among the South Vietnamese.

On November 1, 1963, after six months of tension and growing opposition to the regime, generals from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam conducted a coup, which saw the removal and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm. Read More…

On this day July 26, 1953

Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle orders an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek, Arizona, which becomes known as the Short Creek Raid.

Schoolhouse of 1953 Short Creek Raid

Schoolhouse of 1953 Short Creek Raid

The Short Creek raid was the largest mass arrest of polygamists in American history. At the time, it was described as “the largest mass arrest of men and women in modern American history.”

Just before dawn on July 26, 1953, 102 Arizona state police officers and soldiers from the Arizona National Guard entered Short Creek. The community—which was composed of approximately 400 Mormon fundamentalists—had been tipped off about the planned raid and were found singing hymns in the schoolhouse while the children played outside. Read More…

Horst Köhler resigns as President of Germany

Today Köhler announced his resignation as President of Germany. This came after German politicians criticized comments made by Köhler in relation to overseas military deployments.

“In my estimation, we are in general on our way, indeed in our society as a whole, to understand that a country of our size, with that orientation and therefore dependency on export, needs to know, that in case of doubt or emergency a military deployment is necessary, to preserve our interests, for example free trade routes, for example preventing regional instability, which will assuredly affect negatively our chances to safeguard jobs and income through exports.”

Horst Köhler, Interview with Deutschland radio, on 22 May 2010.

He issued a statement saying, “I declare my resignation from the Office of President, with immediate effect.” The resignation was considered a “surprise,” and both pundits and opposition politicians labelled it “an overreaction.”

As stipulated by the Grundgesetz, the powers of the vacant office are executed by the President of the Bundesrat Jens Böhrnsen.

Israel rejects call to join anti-nuclear treaty

On Friday, the 189 Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed to a final resolution calling for steps toward the banning of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East.

Benjamin Netanyahu

The resolution directs United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to organize a conference of all the Middle East states.

The resolution singles out Israel, calling on “all states in the Middle East that have not yet done so to accede to the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states so as to achieve its universality at an early date.” In an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel said the resolution, “is deeply flawed and hypocritical.

It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.” Read More…

Hong Kong police confiscate Tiananmen statue

Two sculptures have been confiscated and thirteen pro-democracy activists arrested in Hong Kong, in what critics have described as “politically motivated” censorship.

Goddess of Democracy

The sculptures, a new replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” and a carving called the “Tiananmen Massacre Relief”, had been placed in the piazza of Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall in remembrance of the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident.

Although the Causeway Bay piazza is designated as a public space, its day to day operations are run by the shopping mall’s management. They made a complaint that the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, or the “Alliance” for short, had failed to ask permission for their activities.

When police and officials from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department attempted to remove the sculptures on the grounds for obstructing public access, they were prevented from doing so by activists for two hours. The police made 13 arrests, including that of a legislator for preventing the police from carrying out their duties. The statue was removed and is currently in the custody of the Customs and Excise department (C&ED). The 13 persons arrested were released on bail the same day. Read More…

Dozens dead in Jamaica fighting

Authorities in Jamaica say that gunfights in the capital Kingston have left at least 30 people dead, as hundreds of troops and police search for an alleged drug kingpin wanted by the US. At least 25 people were injured as well.

The violence has been triggered by the Jamaican government’s efforts to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged leader of the “Shower Posse” group. Armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum of western Kingston on Monday in an effort to locate Coke, who has not been found. Last week, Coke’s supporters barricaded the area in an attempt to thwart his arrest. Read More…

Dubai World agrees debt deal with key banks

Today Dubai World said that it had reached an agreement “in principle” with most of its bank lenders to restructure debt worth $23.5bn (£16.4bn). It would be left with debts of $14.4bn after the restructuring.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

But the deal must still be approved by other banks that were not involved in the negotiations. The terms of the restructuring, include converting $8.9bn of government debt into equity.

The government of Dubai and Dubai World had tabled this offer to bank lenders in March 2010 after three months of negotiations.

Dubai World (Arabic: دبي العالمية‎) is an investment company that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai government across a wide range of industry segments and projects that promote Dubai as a hub for commerce and trading.

It is the emirate’s flag bearer in global investments and has a central role in the direction of Dubai’s economy. Assets include DP World which caused a storm when trying to take over six US ports, and Nakheel, its property arm, which built The Palm Islands and The World developments, and Istithmar World, its investment company. It is chaired by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

Escalating Thai violence

Authorities in Thailand have put around a third of the country, including the capital of Bangkok, under a curfew after leaders of the street protesters known as Red Shirts surrendered.

The curfew is the first in Bangkok in fifteen years, and is to run from 20:00 to 06:00 local time. As part of the curfew, only government-sanctioned media is to be allowed on television stations. The crackdown by the Thai government comes after army troops entered an area held by protesters and arrested six prominent rebel leaders.

At least six people are confirmed dead after Wednesday’s violence, and military operations are expected to continue for at least another night. The government has also authorized security forces to shoot protesters. Around 40 people in total have been killed since the beginning of military operations against protesters last week. Read More…