15 killed in Bangkok protests

April 10, 2010 — Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) — Fifteen people were killed Saturday in clashes between anti-government protesters and Thai police and military forces, according to emergency officials.

Erawan Emergency Center said 11 were civilians and four were military. At least 486 people were injured, the center said.

A Japanese cameraman with Thomson Reuters was among those killed, the news agency said. It identified him as Hiro Muramoto and said that he had been shot and killed.

Military and police forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to contain the protesters, who were trying to break into military barracks, state media reported. Video showed the protesters throwing objects at the security forces, who protected themselves with shields.

iReport: Watch an eyewitness video of protests

The forces later left and the streets quieted.

The protesters, known as the “Red Shirts,” displayed bodies of two people, who they said were killed by live rounds fired by the troops.

“The government is so bad,” said Samran Wangngam, who said he was the father of one of the protesters killed. “Why are they so cruel? How can they do this to my son?”

Col. Sansern Kawekamnerd, spokesman for the Royal Thai Army, said at a news conference that the security forces fired real bullets only into the air to scare away protesters.

However, he said the demonstrators fired real bullets at the security forces and that many security officers were injured.

iReport: Pictures of Bangkok protests

The protesters have been rallying for weeks to demand new elections. They are seeking to oust Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who they say was not democratically elected.

The opposition television channel, People Channel Television, was dark Saturday night after being back up briefly on Friday, according to state-run Thai News Agency. PTV is the primary communication channel between the Red Shirt leaders and the group’s supporters in the provinces, the news agency said.

On Friday, the protesters stormed the compound of a satellite center that distributes a signal for PTV, which was shut down by the government. Abhisit said the station was shut down “to restore peace and order and to stop the spread of false information to the Thai public.”

TNA reported that the protesters “successfully forced the reconnection of PTV” after thousands of activists stormed into the ground station compound.

Police and Thaicom satellite ground station executives negotiated with the protesters and agreed to their demands to reconnect the station, TNA reported. It was not immediately clear when the station was disconnected again.

The Red Shirt protesters and the military declared a temporary truce Saturday because of the bloodshed, leaders said. It was not immediately clear how long the truce would last.

Authorities on wednesday issued a state of emergency, allowing the military to break up large gatherings. The state of emergency also permits authorities to take certain actions, including arresting and searching people, without court orders.

Thai stocks have plunged more than 24 points, or about 3 percent, since Wednesday.

The anti-government group, United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, is composed of supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006. He fled the country in 2008 while facing trial on corruption charges that he says were politically motivated. He remains hugely popular.



犠牲となられた日本人ジャーナリストはロイター通信の日本支局に勤めるカメラマン 村本博之さんで、ロイターによると村本さんは射殺されたということです。




Yamazaki installs station module

The Japan Times から気になるNEWSを原文でお届けするコーナーです。


Friday, April 9, 2010


Yamazaki installs station module

Husband and daughter select tune from ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ to wake astronaut


HOUSTON (Kyodo) Naoko Yamazaki, one of the seven crew members of the space shuttle Discovery, completed her key mission Wednesday, using a robotic arm to connect the Leonardo cargo module to the International Space Station.

Yamazaki, 39, started her fourth day in space listening to a wakeup melody, “The Pigeon and a Boy,” together with the other Discovery crew members.

The song, written by Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, is from the soundtrack to “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” an animated film directed by Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. NASA said it was “played for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki.”

Her husband, Taichi, and their 7-year-old daughter, Yuki, requested the song as a wakeup melody for Yamazaki.

In a conversation with her husband and daughter, Yamazaki thanked them in English for picking the “pretty tune.”

Yamazaki also spoke in Japanese of her gratitude to her family members and many other people for their support. She vowed to do her best in performing her duties.

Developed by the Italian Space Agency, the Leonardo multipurpose logistics module is a large, pressurized container used on space shuttle missions to transfer cargo to and from the ISS.

The cylindrical module, named after Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, measures 6.4 meters in length and 4.6 meters in diameter.

NASA said Leonardo has delivered nearly 8 tons of cargo, one of the heaviest totals among modules used in space flight, including four experiment racks and the last crew quarters to arrive at the space station.

The module will remain with the space station as an extra room.

Yamazaki joined forces with crew mate Stephanie Wilson, 43, to manipulate the station’s robotic arm to pick up Leonardo and lift it out of the Discovery’s payload bay.

Other astronauts will prepare Leonardo’s hatch for opening to move the cargo into the space station.

Yamazaki will stay aboard the space station until April 16. The Discovery is scheduled to touch down on Earth on April 18.

Tiger, Couples shine, but Augusta will bite back



April 9, 2010
Posted: 1301 GMT

As we head into the weekend The Masters has already lived up to its pre-tourament billing.

It’s my first time at Augusta and it feels like I am walking around a Hollywood movie set. The script that has been unfolding since Tiger’s press conference belongs on the big screen.

On Thursday all eyes were on Tiger’s much anticipated tee-off. The day ended with the world’s number one shooting his lowest round on the opening day of The Masters. It was also the first time he nailed two eagles in a round at Augusta’s famous course.

But even though the world’s media were trained on Tiger’s every move, this was far from a one-man show on what was a remarkable first day. Thirty-one players finished under par, four players aged over 50 remain in red figures and the unlikely figure of Fred Couples leads the way.

If you’re wondering why Couples, who has won once here, jumped the field at the tender age of 50 you need to look at his performance on the Champions Tour, the tour for the over fifties.

He had three straight wins on his way to Augusta and he has been putting as if his life depended on it, and if you’re putting well at Augusta then you’re in the frame no matter how old you are.

What about Tiger? It has been vintage stuff. He was ragged in some areas but still managed to pull off minor miracles. His birdie on the 9th, after he hooked his second shot around the corner just to get to the green, left us awe struck.

He has his game face on again. It might be a new, contrite Tiger outside the ropes, but inside he’s still the hungry competitor. I predicted in my previous blog he would win the Masters, and nothing I’ve seen has changed my mind. Had his putter been working Thursday he might even have shot a 64.

But today is another day. This roller coaster ride is bound to take more sharp turns. The tournament committee moved the tee boxes forward and made the pin positions a lot easier on day one due to expected severe weather.

It didn’t come and the course was left to the mercy of the players. Friday will see Augusta bite back, and bite back hard.

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