Attacks On Erawan Shrine, Sathorn P...

Thailand Police General Somyot Pumpunmuang said the same bombers who planted the Erawan bomb are the same people who threw their bomb in Sathorn Pier....

UK Preacher Anjem Choudary Charged ...

Anjem Choudary, a radical UK preacher is one of two men charged with terrorism for supporting the Islamic State militants. According to Scotland Yard,...

Teens Giving Birth In 2014 Was At T...

Only 25,977 under 20 had babies in 2014. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), this is the fewest number the UK has reached since 1946...

Fracking Hurts House Prices, Enviro...

According to a Department For Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), underground fracking could reduce nearby house prices to 7%. It could also...

Attacks On Erawan Shrine, Sathorn Pier The Work Of Same Bombers

Thailand Police General Somyot Pumpunmuang said the same bombers who planted the Erawan bomb are the same people who threw their bomb in Sathorn Pier. He said police intelligence speculate the group to be made of foreigners and Thai who do not have the hearts of Thai.

Police investigation uncover the bombs to be improvised pipe explosives. TNT material stuffed into a metal pipe will disintegrate the pipe’s material, sending shards of metal during the explosion. Somyot said more than one person was behind the bombings.

The Erawan bomb had killed 20 individuals with majority foreigners. About 120 more people were fatally wounded.

“I can tell you now that there are not only foreigners involved in the incidents but some Thais must have taken part,” the police chief said. Foreigners, he said “could not have … walked their way onto the (Taksin] bridge. There must be Thai people involved whose hearts are not Thai.”

Recent CCTV footage shows a foreign national leaving his backpack near the approximate ground zero of the first pipe bomb that exploded in Erawan Shrine. Somyot confirmed authorities have ordered a manhunt for the young male.

The Erawan Shrine is a popular tourist attraction in Bangkok. It is a representation of Thai Hindu beliefs. The Sathorn pier is a major terminal that links Chao Phraya River commuting boats to the nearby Skytrain station. It is also a major tourist stop for tour groups.

UK Preacher Anjem Choudary Charged For Terrorism

Anjem Choudary, a radical UK preacher is one of two men charged with terrorism for supporting the Islamic State militants. According to Scotland Yard, Choudary and Mohammed MIzanur Rahman have been charged with offence under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The offences have taken place between June 29, 2014 and March 6, 2015.

The two will face trial at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Choudary is a 48-year-old-man who lives in Ilford in East London. Mohammed Rahman is a resident of 32 Whitechapel in East London. Both were arrested on September 25 the previous year suspected of being members of the Islamic State. The IS is declared a proscribed organisation and proscription means membership of the militant group and the organisation is rendered unlawful or illegal in the United Kingdom.

CPS’ Sue Hemming said:

“It is alleged that Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman invited support for Isis [also known as IS] in individual lectures which were subsequently published online.”

Choudary is an active Islamist speaker that invokes radicalism among his listener. He was the former UK head of Islamist Group Muhajiroun or Islam4UK, which was banned in 2010 due to its radicalism. Choudary had planned an Islam4Uk march through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire to honour the Muslims killed during the Afghanistan conflict.

Teens Giving Birth In 2014 Was At The Lowest Level Since 1946   

Only 25,977 under 20 had babies in 2014. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), this is the fewest number the UK has reached since 1946. About a total of 695,233 births were recorded in 2014 with half mostly to unmarried mothers.

The number of deaths in the same period was 501,424.

The ONS celebrates it as a huge improvement in developed countries. However, the later pregnancy years could decrease the fertility in most women. Today, women aged 40 have lower fertility rates than women in their 30s. Women aged about 30 to 34 years old have the highest fertility of any age group.

Midwifery Director Louise Silverton of the Royal College of Midwives said “births are becoming more complex as the average age of mothers increases. As obesity levels contribute to the risk and complexity, many more women will need support and care.”

“This places additional and significant pressures on maternity services.

“Midwives want to give these and all women the best levels of care.”

Middlesbrough had the highest mortality level for 2014. The ratio in the town was 137, a total of 37 points above the national level.


Fracking Hurts House Prices, Environment

According to a Department For Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), underground fracking could reduce nearby house prices to 7%. It could also create a risk of environmental damage.

The Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report released on Wednesday by power of freedom of information showed their official assessment of the impact of fracking. It warned of leakage of waste fluids that could contaminate water sources designed for human consumption and for growing agrcultural products.

Several parts of the report were omitted last year. Caroline Lucas, Green MP, accused the government of censorship and hiding the negative impacts of fracking.

Through an ICO ruling, the document was released without any redactions and censorship.

These omitted sections showed that:

House prices near fracking wells were likely to fall, and there was a potential reduction of up to 7% in property values within a mile of wells.

  • Properties within a one- to five-mile radius of fracking sites may incur additional insurance costs.
  • Leakage of waste fluids from fracking processes has resulted in environmental damage in the US.
  • Even if contaminated surface water did not directly impact on drinking-water supplies, fracking could affect human health indirectly through consumption of contaminated wildlife, livestock or agricultural products. It concluded that the UK regulatory regime was “likely to be more robust” but the impact on water-resource availability, aquatic habitats and ecosystems, and water quality was “uncertain”.

According to Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the report was misleading. She emphasized more on its draft nature.


Syria-Bound Families Fear For Safety Of Children

Three British sisters who have travelled to Syria with their nine children to join ISIS made the headlines and stirred public concern. Thirty-years old, Khadija Dawood, 34-year old Sugra Dawood and 33-year old Zohra Dawood who had children aged between three and 15 went missing after an Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

They came from Bradford, West Yorkshire. Authorities believe their children to be with their mothers as they travelled from Medina in Saudi Arabia to Istanbul, Turkey, a common route heading to Syria.

The radicalisation of 17-year-old Talha Asmal had pushed community leaders to push efforts to reduce the radicalisation of Islamic youth in the United Kingdom.

The three sisters’ mobile phones have been turned off and their social messengers and accounts have not been updated ever since. It is understood the three sisters might have a relative fighting for the IS or another Syrian extremist group in Syria.

UK police are unable to do anything as the situation is out of their jurisdiction. Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster said they prioritise only the safe return of the family and the welfare of the young children.

ISIS recruits most of their members online using a sophisticated social media campaign showing a romantic, utopian world they are establishing in Iraq.

 Chinese Ferry The Latest Sea Tragedy With 458 Passengers On-Board

The Chinese authorities have recorded 20 individuals rescued from a drowning vessel of 458 passengers in China’s Yangtze River.

The People’s Daily Newspaper has reported that seven individuals have managed to swim to shore. A total of 27 have been rescued so far. A major rescue effort has been promised.

About 406 tourists aged from 50-80 were on board the Eastern Star.

The vessel was travelling a route organised by a Shanghai tour group with 47 crew members on board.

The captain and the engineer of the ship both managed to be rescued. They both said the vessel was caught in a storm as waves had rolled and capsized the sea vessel.

Dozens of boats are now looking for survivors. Poor weather has hampered rescue efforts.

International concern revolves around Chinese individuals not learning to swim. According to local media, it is not something they learn as children.

Experts estimate the ship had sunk around 9:28 PM local time in the Jianli section of the river.

The Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corporation may be due to pay for damages and compensation for possible victims as they have owned the Eastern Star.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had called for hasty rescue efforts and that no effort be spared.


‘Life After Death’ and God Plays Lesser Roles In British Deathbeds

Britons now consider religion and spiritual needs as the least important factor as they reach the end of their lives.

Religious faith is declining rapidly in the western world as many turn away from the idea of a superior being and turning to God before they die.

About 33 per cent of Britons said their deaths are hopefully pain-free. Some 17 per cent said they would want to have their friends and family along with them. Some have singled out that retaining their dignity before their death is their goal. About 60 per cent said that religion or having a priest alongside their death is important to them upon their death.

About one in eight older people said they wished to live forever.

The survey by “Dying Matters”, a coalition of 16,000 hospices, charities, care homes and others working with people about to end their life, indicate that most Britons think death is still a taboo.

However, they also indicate the a vast amount of people have their willingness to face death in spite of many individuals not talking about it.

Local churches, including the Church of England are launching drives to encourage worshippers and those who visit churches to discuss death and dying.

Australia Mourns Deaths of Dolphins And Seals Saying Conduct For Their Deaths Unacceptable.

According to Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, the ship that slaughtered eight dolphins and four seals exhibited outrageous and unacceptable behavior. He condemned the killing of the sea animals by a factory fishing trawler.

Environmental Groups and Australian MPs wanted the trawler Geelong Star to be banned from fishing in Australian waters. It had returned to its home port after it caught four dolphins and two seals during its second local outing.

Hunt said in a statement that he is “absolutely appalled” by the news.

The trawler has factory freezer capabilities. However, it is not considered a super-trawler that measures about 130 meteres as the Geelong Star is only 90 meters

Green Party Senator peter Whish-Wilson said that the government should consider cancelling the trawler’s fishing permit and management plan effectively because the regulators have failed twice to protect Australian marine life.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority said they would install stricter controls on the ship after it caught and killed four dolphins and two seals during its first trip.


ECB Bond Buying Program Looking Up

To save its economy by stimulating it through a bond-buying program for 18 months, European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi is proud to say that the new measure is showing positive signs.

Because of the low oil prices in the market, the bloc only needed improved government policies and the stimulus program.

The program, which started a month ago, has gone well. Meanwhile, ECB President Draghi’s news conference didn’t go smoothly as a young woman had scattered papers and confetti in the newsroom and shouted “end ECB dictatorship before security had subdued her.

According to the bank, the woman had masqueraded as a journalist before she was able to enter the bank’s newsroom.

Meanwhile, economists advise the ECB to start planning on minimising its purchases.

German Insurer Allianz had called on the ECB to establish benchmarks on bond-buying to avoid negative side effects.

However, Draghi said that it was too early for the ECB to think about having an “escape plan” should anything happen during the bond buying.

He stressed that the ECB was only a month into the program and described it as running a marathon and asking one’s self to quit or continue after finishing one kilometre.

The bond-buying had eased government borrowing growth. Along with low oil prices, the stimulus had taken full effect.

However, Draghi stresses that Greece’s economic situation would be the downfall of the Euro zone’s recovery plan.

Palestine Officially Joins International Criminal Court

Palestinians have officially become a member of the International Criminal Court.

On January 2, Palestine had moved to join the court. The process was finalised on Wednesday, allowing Palestine to indict Israeli officials for possible war crimes.

“Palestine has and will continue to use all legitimate tools within its means in order to defend itself against Israeli colonisation and other violations of international law,” said senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat.

Meanwhile, Palestine may have to wait until the ICC begins investigating Israelis accused of war crimes to obtain justice.

According to Erakat, the case is widely politicised, making it difficult for the court to indict Israeli officials quickly.

Former ICC Official Diana Chehade said preliminary examinations can be finished by year end, but the courts do not investigate cases with a judicial institution already looking into the matter.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki participated in a receiving ceremony wherein a copy of the the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, would be given to him.

The ICC membership would prove integral to Palestine’s case during the summer war between Israel and Gaza fighters that left 2,200 Palestinians dead while only bringing 73 dead in Israel.

Palestine rejects the argument that the ICC cannot try Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the ICC is absurd in ignoring international law and agreements because Palestine does not have a state and could only get negotiations if they directly talk to Israel.