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Tens of thousands of red-shirted protesters threatened to force soldiers from the historic heart of Thailand’s capital Saturday, raising tensions in what so far has been a nonviolent bid to bring down the government.
Riding on motorcycles and in pickup trucks, the protesters traveled in a noisy parade to eight locations including the Bangkok zoo and Buddhist temples being used by soldiers as temporary camps.
“We will storm the places where soldiers camp out. We’ll shake the fence. We’ll cut the barbed wire. We’ll march through the barricades. We’ll march for democracy!” a leader of the “Red Shirt” protesters, Nattawut Saikua, shouted to the crowd. “This is where we’ll end military suppression. This is where we’ll create democracy.”
Soldiers at several locations packed their belongings and left to avoid clashes, drawing raucous cheers from the protesters, who declared victory and by late afternoon retreated to the main protest site in Bangkok’s historic district. Authorities said the soldiers would regroup elsewhere.
Saturday’s protest took a more confrontational stance than previous rallies over the past two weeks. It prompted the deputy prime minister to make a televised statement assuring that the situation was under control.
“I have ordered the soldiers to handle the situation as softly as possible,” Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said. “There will be no confrontation with the demonstrators, and we will try not to obstruct their movement.”
President Barack Obama’s second nominee for transportation security chief withdrew from consideration Friday because of questions over his background as a defense contractor.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding took himself out of the running as head of the Transportation Security Administration, another setback for Obama after his first choice withdrew in January because he faced a tough confirmation struggle in Congress.
A central Pennsylvania man has been charged with public drunkenness after witnesses spotted him by the side of the road attempting to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dead possum.
Donald Wolfe, 55, was also waving his hands around as though conducting a seance. He was “extremely intoxicated” and “did have his mouth in the area of the animal’s mouth, I guess,” said a state trooper.
AT&T Inc. will book $1 billion in first-quarter costs related to the health-care law signed this week by President Barack Obama, the most of any U.S. company so far.
A change in the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies triggered the non-cash expense, and the company will consider changes to the benefits it offers current and retired workers, Dallas-based AT&T said today in a regulatory filing.
Chinese doctors claim to have discovered the biggest case of man boobs in the world after a dairy farmer turned up at a specialist chest clinic in Beijing. Doctor Zhang Lilan at the Jinan Chest Hospital said: “The man is in every way male except for his enormous breasts.”
“He is a farmer and says they are extremely uncomfortable as he has to do a lot of manual work and they get in the way of everything. He said it has also attracted a lot of attention in the village where he comes from with people turning up to point and laugh at him.”
After eight seasons, Fox’s “24” is coming to an end. The groundbreaking action drama will air its final real-time episode in May, the victim of a confluence of circumstances: a swelling budget, declining ratings and creative fatigue.
Yet for fans of Jack Bauer, there remains hope. Studio 20th TV is developing a theatrical film that takes Bauer to Europe, and showrunner and executive producer Howard Gordon says other possibilities are being explored as well.
Personal income in 42 states fell in 2009, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Nevada’s 4.8% plunge was the steepest, as construction and tourism industries took a beating. Also hit hard: Wyoming, where incomes fell 3.9%.
Incomes stayed flat in two states and rose in six and the District of Columbia. West Virginia had the best showing with a 2.1% increase.
Police in Michigan have released a copy of a 911 call where a suspected drunken driver chats with an emergency dispatcher for about 20 minutes before she is pulled over and arrested. In the first moments of the March 13 call, the dispatcher asks: “Are you intoxicated?” and the woman replies: “Absolutely.”
The dispatcher pleads with the woman to pull over and she tells him she “shouldn’t be driving.” The dispatcher helped officers find the driver in East Lansing. Police say the 27-year-old Charlotte resident placed the call at 5:40 a.m.
A federal appeals court on Friday handed another victory to conservative opponents of campaign-finance restrictions, striking down limits on individual contributions to advocacy groups that want to use the money for or against candidates in federal elections.
But in a unanimous decision, the nine-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also ruled that a conservative group called SpeechNow.org must disclose its donors and other details of its finances to the Federal Election Commission.
Desima James would seem to be the unluckiest man in America. In 2005 and 2006 alone, he suffered through three devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes, a tornado in Indiana and flooding in New Hampshire.
Or so he told the Federal Emergency Management Agency, authorities say. James is charged with cheating the government out of more than $30,000 by filing over 30 fraudulent emergency-relief claims with FEMA – all while living in Atlanta.
Visitors to a Surrey theme park have been given the chance to enjoy a relaxing massage – from a royal python. They were offered the snake massages to help them relax before going on a new ride, called Kobra, at Chessington World of Adventures.
“Snake massages are said to produce a feeling of relaxation as the muscles in their bodies stimulate blood flow and massage tense joints,” said a spokeswoman. The unusual offer was made to people attending the VIP launch of Chessington’s latest land, Wild Asia.
President Obama’s healthcare reform law is coming under attack by those who claim it violates the separation of church and state. At least two lawsuits have been filed challenging the new healthcare mandate on religious grounds.
One was filed by a Michigan-based group, the Thomas More Law Center. The other was filed on behalf of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., which was founded by the late Jerry Falwell.