Truckload of trouble for Thai Rak Thai

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Truckload of trouble for Thai Rak Thai

By | October 17, 2018

Friday, July 7, 2006

Yesterday saw Thailand’s Attorney General file charges of election fraud with the country’s Constitutional court. According to Sondhi Limthongkul’s ThaiDay, the action seeking the dissolution of five parties was delivered by truck and consisted of over 120,000 pages of legal citations.

Both the Thai Rak Thai party making up the caretaker government and the main opposition Democrats are named. The allegations centre on claims that Thai Rak Thai paid minor parties to participate where seats would otherwise be unopposed, and that the Democrats may have bribed parties to claim that they had been paid by Thai Rak Thai.

Thailand’s prolonged political crisis originally stemmed from repeated corruption allegations against the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. An April 2nd snap election apparently intended to cement the ruling party’s position and dismiss critics as unrepresentative backfired when the three main opposition parties announced a boycott. This left many seats unopposed, particularly in the country’s troubled Muslim south. With Thai Rak Thai standing alone in strong Democrat territory, a grassroots abstention campaign left many seats empty when they failed to garner the constitutionally required 20% of eligible votes.

Amongst all the political posturing, and allegations that the Election Commission had unduly favoured the ruling party, claims that there had been irregularities surfaced. Thai Rak Thai was accused of having paid minor parties to circumvent the 20% rule by offering token opposition. The claims were brought before the Election Commission who eventually handed the case over to the Attorney General without offering any recommendation. The commission’s sub-committee that prepared the report had recommended the dissolution of Thai Rak Thai.

At present it is unclear if the political crisis will be resolved through the country’s legal system prior to the upcoming October election rerun. The volume of evidence may leave the Constitutional Court unable to agree on a ruling prior to the election.

Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.

Major snowstorm sweeps across Eastern US

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Major snowstorm sweeps across Eastern US

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

A major winter storm, which has been nicknamed by some as “Snowmageddon“, has pummeled parts of the U.S. Middle Atlantic region, dumping up to 19 inches (50 centimeters) of snow in some parts of the Washington area.

The National Weather Service is predicting as much as 24 to 30 inches (60 to 75 cm) of snow for the Washington, D.C. region by late Saturday. The storm brought high winds and low visibility, with winds gusting at 56 miles per hour (93 kilometers per hour) along the coast.

Life in the nation’s capital ground to a halt with the federal government and most businesses closing early on Friday and residents warned to stay off the snow-clogged roads. Hundreds of thousands of homes were without power as the wet snow weighed heavily on trees and power lines. Power lines in some areas have been brought down by the heavy snow.

The Weather Service issued blizzard and winter storm warnings for states reaching from Virginia and West Virginia up to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Forecasters say this could be the largest recorded snowfall in Washington, rivaling a storm, known as the Knickerbocker Storm, that hit the city nearly 90 years ago, in January 1922. The largest amount of snowfall recorded so far has been in Elkridge, Maryland, reporting 32 inches (81 cm). The 1922 storm was named the Knickerbocker Storm for a theater where 98 people were killed when the building’s roof collapsed due to heavy snow. Snowfall in that storm measured 28 inches (71 cm).

Airlines and airports across the region have canceled flights and train service has been disrupted. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport suspended flight operations for the day while nearby Washington Dulles International Airport reported only a few international flights would be departing. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reported most flights were canceled. Flights at Philadelphia International Airport are also canceled.

Amtrak announced that it was canceling a number of trains between Washington and New York City, along with service from Washington to cities in the south. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, known as the Metro locally, has suspended bus service and above ground train service. Underground subway service is running at 30 minute intervals.

As the storm approached, residents emptied supermarket shelves, stocking up on food and other supplies, especially due to Super Bowl XLIV which will be held on Sunday. Local area sports teams in Washington, D.C. will still play games as scheduled. People are urged to take the Metro to see the games and not use the roads. Impromptu snowball fights have also broken with some people going as far as to organize them over Facebook and Twitter.

The winter weather has already been blamed for hundreds of road accidents. So far two fatalities have been reported, a father and son who were rendering aid to a stranded motorist on Interstate 81 in Virginia, when an approaching tractor-trailer jackknifed and killed the pair.

This is the second major snowstorm to hit the region in less than two months.

British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters

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British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Five British sailors traveling in a yacht in the Persian Gulf were detained and released by Iranian authorities after they accidentally crossed into Iranian waters. The sailors were on their way to a race then they suffered propeller problems and drifted into Iranian waters.

Iranian authorities interrogated the sailors and released them after they found no evidence of “bad intentions.” They earlier warned that the sailors would face prosecution if they suspected any wrong doing.

“[There was] certainly no question of any malicious intent on the part of these five young people,” stated the Iranian Foreign Ministry to the IRNA. The Revolutionary Guard stated, “after carrying out an investigation and interrogation of the five British sailors, it became clear that their illegal entry was a mistake.”

Team Pindar composed of David Bloomer, Luke Porter, Oliver Smith, Oliver Young and Sam Usher, were travelling to the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, a 360-mile (580-kilometer) race when they were arrested on November 25. The race took place on November 26. The sailors were met by team representatives and are being escorted in their yacht out of Iranian waters.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary for the UK denies that the unconditional release was not a political move calling it a “human story” and that it had “nothing to do with politics. It’s got nothing to do with the nuclear enrichment program.”

A similar incident took place in July, but on land. Three American hikers, identified as Shaun Gabriel Maxwell, Shane Bower and Sara Short, were arrested on July 31 in the country after they crossed into Iranian territory. Reports say the hikers accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking between Halabja and Ahmad Awa in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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