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Thailand issues emergency decree to put an end to nationwide protests calling for Prime Minister’s resignation

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The government of Thailand has announced a ban on gatherings of more than five people under an emergency decree, and arrested several prominent protest leaders in a tight handed bid to stop pro-democracy protests that have gripped the country for more than three months.

The decree, which came into effect in the capital Bangkok at 4 a.m. local time Thursday October 15, was enforced after thousands of protesters marched from the city’s Democracy Monument and broke through a police barricade to camp outside Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s offices late Wednesday, calling for Prayut’s resignation and reform of the monarchy.

“As it has appeared that there have been several groups inviting, inciting and committing illegal assembly,” the decree read.

“There have been activities which affected the public’s peace and order.”

The government also revealed that another reason for the emergency decree was protesters obstructing a royal motorcade.

Footage from the scene showed police pushing back protesters who were shouting and making the defiant three-fingered salute from the “Hunger Games” movies as a car carrying Queen Suthida and King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s youngest son, Prince Dipangkorn, slowly drove past.

“Therefore, there are enough grounds to believe that violent acts have been committed. And this has affected the government’s stability, safety, property and staff. This is no longer a peaceful assembly as it should be warrant by the constitution,” the decree added.

The emergency decree also includes a nationwide ban on publishing and broadcasting news and information including online information that incites fear among the public.

The decree also permits officers  to implement new traffic rules and close certain premises to the public.

As much as 22 prominent activists including student leader Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, 21, was arrested on Wednesday according to Thai Police Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen.

Panusaya was searched by officers in plain clothes at a hotel near the protest site, then arrested in connection with a speech she made in August, according to Thai Lawyers For Human Rights.

Human rights lawyer and protest leader Arnon Nampa was arrested Thursday morning following a speech he made in the northern city of Chiang Mai on Wednesday.

On August 10, Panusaya, spokesperson for the student union group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration,
stood on a stage and publicly delivered a 10-point list of demands for reform to the monarchy.

Panusaya’s demands include revoking laws against defaming the monarchy, a new constitution, abolishing royal offices, ousting the military-led government and disbanding the King’s royal guards.

The Student-led protests have been ongoing across Thailand since July.
Thailand has some of the world’s strictest laws, and criticizing the King, Queen, or heir apparent can lead to a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

On Thursday morning, protest group ‘Free Youth’ said in a statement on Facebook that, “high school and university students, workers and general people have assembled peacefully and have not started any violence.”
“But it is clear now the government has intentionally used the monarchy as a tool to get rid of those who are calling out for their better future, the future with equality and no more disparity,” the group said.

Pro democracy and anti-police brutality protests have increased recently all over the world with the US, UK, Venezuela, Iran and most recently Nigeria, with people taking to the streets to make their demands known to the government .

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AROUND THE WORLD

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold to billionaire, Ron Burkle for $22 million

American billionaire Businessman, Ron Burkle has purchased late Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for $22 million.

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The famous Neverland Ranch owned by late popstar, Michael Jackson has been finally sold to popular American billionaire and onetime associate, Ron Burkle for $22 million.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the property was first listed for $100 million in 2015 and subsequently underwent severe price cuts, settling for $31 million last year.

Themoneymetrics gathered that Mr. Jackson made Neverland famous by installing eccentric features like a railroad and an amusement park, which included a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round. He also kept orangutans and an elephant there.

However, since the death of Jackson in 2009, the Neverland ranch has undergone various renovations, including the removal of its famous amusement park

What you should Know:

  • Mr Jackson originally paid about $19.5 million for the ranch in 1987.
  • Amid financial struggles and the inability of Mr Jackson to meet up with his loan obligations backed up by the ranch, a 2008 agreement was reached with Colony Capital- a real-estate investment trust to co-manage the property under a joint venture.
  • The famous ranch which spans about 2,700 acres has 22 buildings, including a 12,000-square-foot mansion. It also has several guesthouses, a swimming pool with a cabana, a basketball court, a tennis court and a 50-seat movie theatre.
  • Findings by Nairametrics reveal that the new buyer, Ron Burkle, an American billionaire is a co-founder and managing partner of Yucaipa Companies, LLC. According to Wikipedia, his net worth is currently estimated at $2 billion.
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US Election: China congratulates Joe Biden

China hopes the incoming administration would work with China in the same direction, going forward.

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The Chinese government finally joined the list of world leaders to congratulate the US President-elect, Joe Biden, and his vice, Kamala Harris, on his election victory last week.

This was disclosed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a Bloomberg report on Friday.

What you should know 
Themoneymetrics reported last week that Joe Biden had finally won the 2020 general elections in the United States of America.

Biden, who turns 78 at the end of the month, will become the oldest president of the United States, and its 46th president, ending the era of the republican party being at the helm of affairs.

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated  Joe Biden, saying that his election was a reminder that democracy was the best form of government.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said they had been following the events of the election, and that they respected the decision of the American people.

“We have been following the reaction on this U.S. presidential election from both within the United States and from the international community,”Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a newsmen in Beijing.

“We respect the American people’s choice and extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.

“We understand that the result of the U.S. presidential election will be determined following the U.S. laws and procedures.”
China’s congratulations comes days after most of the world congratulated the President Elect, though the incumbent President Trump still contests the results of the November election.

China’s Foreign Ministry added that they hoped the new administration would  work with China in the same direction, going forward.

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Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

Trump issued an executive order that bans American companies from investing in Chinese companies.

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U.S President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that bans American companies from investing in Chinese companies linked to or controlled by the Chinese military.

This was disclosed by Reuters on Friday and is expected to have an impact on tech companies majorly owned by the Chinese government including Telecom Corp Ltd, China Mobile Ltd and Hikvision.

The order, which goes into effect from the 11th of Janury 2021, prevents American investment funds, Pensions funds and many others from “buying shares of 31 Chinese companies that were designated by the Defense Department as backed by the Chinese military earlier this year.”

American companies will be permitted to make transactions to divest ownership from the banned companies until November 2021.

“China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses,” the White House said.

Trade Adviser to the White House, Peter Navarro, said the rule would prevent American money from arming China and estimates half a trillion dollars in market capitalization was represented by the Chinese companies and their subsidiaries.

“This is a sweeping order designed to choke off American capital to China’s militarization,” he said.

Some companies affected by the order reported low shares at the stock exchanges, as China Telecom reported that the order would have a negative impact on it share price and it would monitor developments closely. Its shares were down 7.8% in Hong Kong.

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