Five leaders of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement reported to police Monday to acknowledge charges that they defamed the king, the most serious of many offenses of which they stand accused. The five are part of the student-led movement that for several months has been campaigning for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the monarchy be reformed to make it more accountable. The protest movement has nevertheless emphasized reform of the monarchy as a key demand, and made it the theme of several of its protest rallies, which have attracted thousands of people.
Switzerland is emerging as a model for how the coronavirus can be contained without a national lockdown, after daily new infections halved since the start of November despite pubs, restaurants, gyms and sports remaining open in much of the country. The figures were hailed as a triumph for the “Swiss special way” by Swiss government doctors last week, and will be seen as evidence that regional tiers can work in the UK. Rather than ordering a general lockdown, Switzerland allowed regions to decide their own measures and only the worst-hit imposed tough restrictions. But critics have charged that the success came at too high a price, after the country experienced some of the highest death rates in Europe. Switzerland has been described as the “new Sweden” after it refused to follow the UK and other countries into a second lockdown this month. The Swiss government imposed only minimal restrictions at a national level, including a limit of ten on private gatherings, an 11pm curfew for restaurants and the compulsory use of facemasks in crowded areas.
A top Iranian security official on Monday accused Israel of using “electronic devices” to remotely kill a scientist who founded the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program in the 2000s.
In the morning, Katherine Kealoha, a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor is expected to hear how many years she'll spend in prison. Katherine Kealoha should go to prison for 14 years and her husband should be locked up for about half that time because they abused their positions of trust to commit corrupt acts at the highest levels of law enforcement, U.S. prosecutors said in sentencing recommendations. The corruption included stealing from vulnerable victims — Katherine Kealoha’s own grandmother and uncle — framing the uncle for a crime he didn’t commit, and using members of a secret police unit.
Ousted cybersecurity official speaks out for first time since firing, saying president’s fraud claims are without basis
New Zealand's workplace regulator has filed charges against 13 parties following an investigation into a volcanic eruption on White Island in 2019 which killed 22 people. A surprise eruption on the White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, on Dec 9 last year, killed 22 people and injured dozens. Majority of them were tourists from countries like Australia, the United States and Malaysia who were part of a cruise ship that was travelling around New Zealand.
If you live in a snowy region and you own a lawn tractor or zero-turn-radius riding mower, you may have thought about attaching a plow or snow blower to your mower—especially when the snow falls ...
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised Monday that justice will be done in the case of a French restaurant owner who was found murdered over the the weekend. López Obrador compared the case to last year’s killings of nine U.S. dual-nationals in northern Mexico, claiming “practically all” of whose alleged killers in that attack have been arrested. Authorities said evidence indicates dual French-Mexican citizen Baptiste Jacques Daniel Lormand set out late last week to sell bottles of high-end wine or liquor, accompanied by a Mexican partner.
A senior Syrian official denied asylum in France due to concerns of possible involvement in war crimes was spirited out of the country with help from the Israeli secret service Mossad to Austria, where he was helped to start a new life, a top judicial source has told The Telegraph. Brigadier General Khaled al-Halabi, who was chief of Syrian intelligence in Raqqa from 2009 until 2013, is also the target of a legal complaint for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, a Telegraph investigation can reveal. During his time in charge of the Raqqa facility, prisoners were allegedly murdered, tortured and sexually assaulted, according to the complaint filed in a Western country and which has been sent to the Paris prosecutor. Mr Halabi vehemently denies any wrongdoing. In spite of human rights concerns about his unit, France’s spy agency, Direction Générale de la Ssécurité Extérieure, (DGSE), helped the general secretly leave Syria and travel to France in 2014 at a time when Syria’s war against rebel forces was in the balance, it is alleged. He was, however, then denied asylum in France due to concerns that his senior position in the Syrian regime meant he could have been involved in criminal acts, The Telegraph has learned. That prompted the French War Crimes Unit to launch a preliminary investigation in 2017. In spite of this, he was then mysteriously exfiltrated from France by Israeli intelligence agents to Austria, where he was successfully granted asylum, according to the judicial source and French and Austrian media. The agencies involved allegedly believed Mr Halabi could play an important role in the future of Syria. “It's clear he is a big fish,” said one senior French judicial source. “We wanted to quiz him about all the testimonies we have gathered. It is very frustrating as he was a top target." How Mr Halabi obtained asylum when France turned him down and whether he should have been prosecuted has sparked a national uproar in Austria in recent weeks, with the media revealing an apparent power struggle between the country’s domestic intelligence agency, which allegedly helped the general, and its justice ministry which sought to investigate him. In 2013, when Mr Halabi defected, it was not clear that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would prevail over the rebels who had been fighting to overthrow him since 2011. Russia, which would provide decisive help to the embattled president, would not enter the war for another two years. That October, as Raqqa became the first provincial capital to fall to the rebels, Mr Halabi slipped out of the city among a stream of refugees headed to Turkey. By early 2014 he had made it to France with the help of French agents who may have believed the senior official could be a useful asset in the event of President Assad’s downfall, the senior French judicial source told The Telegraph. “This was also just a few months before the 2015 terror attacks in Paris and the DGSE was desperate to get their hands on any leads about the Islamic State, which they knew was actively planning strikes,” said the source, who asked their name be withheld. “If they brought him here it was no doubt because they considered him a usable source,” said one senior French military intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. However, Mr Halabi’s request for asylum in France was declined in 2015, with the French Office for Refugees, OFPRA, citing a specific provision of the Geneva Convention, 1F. This denies an individual refugee status when there are serious reasons to consider he may have committed a “crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, or a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge”. He could not be deported however as Syria was a country at war. At this point, the Israeli and Austrian intelligence services are alleged to have intervened on Mr Halabi’s behalf.
President interrupts his allegations of a ‘rigged election’ to offer a message of support for Joe Biden