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16-Jun-11 World View — Thailand Heads For A Major Election Crisis


This morning’s key headlines from

Thailand heads for a major election crisis

Yingluck Shinawatra (Spiegel)
Yingluck Shinawatra (Spiegel)

The fault line between the élite fair-skinned market dominant minority Thai-Chinese and the dark-skinned indigenous Thai-Thai majority laboring class may soon become violent again, after the July 3 election. ( “26-May-11 News — Thailand election portends more ethnic clashes”) The Thai-Thai hero, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was prime minister before the élites finally sent him into exile, is about to make a comeback. His sister Yingluck is leading in the polls, and a Yingluck victory would bring Thaksin back in triumph. However, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, made a veiled threat of an army coup if Yingluck wins. Spiegel and VOA

Senator Graham: Relations with Pakistan near breaking point

Washington politicians are furious that Pakistan has arrested several informants who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden, allowing America’s Navy Seals to fly into Pakistan – without permission — and get him. While the U.S. wants Pakistan to go after the support network which allowed bin Laden to hide in plain sight, Pakistan instead has arrested and interrogated 5 people suspected of helping the CIA pull off the raid. The Pakistanis have been pushing America away ever since they were humiliated by the raid, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says that relations with Pakistan are near the breaking point. CBS News

Small business hiring at a halt

A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business says that small business hiring prospects by small businesses are some of the worst in history. Small business employ half of the country’s private sector workers. NY Times (Access)

Gaza flotilla is set to sail, with or without Turkey’s participation

Turkey had planned to give full support to a new flotilla whose objective would be to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks were killed on a Gaza flotilla a year ago. However, Turkey may not participate in the new flotilla because of the crisis situation in Syria. Haaretz

Turkey promises to keep border with Syria open to refugees

Syrian refugees keep pouring into Turkey to escape the Syrian army massacres going on in the north of Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited two large refugee camps near Turkey’s border with Syria. In response to a question, he said, “For us, the Syrians are people who have a common future and destiny with us. Therefore, it is out of the question to close the door to our Syrian brothers after 10,000 [people]. However, when this turns into a big wave, it also has the potential to become a regional and an international matter.” Hurriyet

U.S. building a secret drone base in Persian Gulf region

Preparing for the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover of Yemen, the U.S. is building a secret CIA air base in an undisclosed location in the Persian Gulf region to target terrorists in Yemen. The base will be used to launch armed unmanned drones against terrorist targets, and will be completed by the end of the year. AP

Three people arrested for illegally feeding the homeless

Three members of Orlando’s Food not Bombs were arrested Wednesday for the crime of feeding homeless people. Orlando (Florida) Sentinel


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