Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Get Adobe Flash player

Yongyuth: Govt will complete its term

Posted by arnon_k On June - 27 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit on Wednesday rejected Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamvongvej’s prediction that the government, being plagued with problems, might not last beyond the end of this year.

Mr Yongyuth, interior minister adn leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, said he believed the government and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would continue to be in office beyond the end of this year and probably go on to completed its four-year term.

“It is still not sure for myself and Khun Suchart. But the prime minister will certainly complete her term,” he said.
Mr Yongyuth said it was normal for a government to have problems and a feeling of instability whenever there was a cabinet reshuffle in the works.

There was nothing wrong with a cabinet reshuffle, which was up to the prime minister, he said.

He would not feel belittled if left out of the cabinet because there were many people suitable for the post of interior minister. Mr Yongyuth concurrently holds the posts of deputy prime minister and interior minister.

Mr Suchart yesterday also said he would not be sorry if he was dropped from the cabinet because he was already 60 years old and had an intention to retire from politics.

He said he believed the government would not last beyond the end of this year.

He cited many problems facing the government, including red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan’s facing the possibility of having his bail revoked, difficulties over the charter amendments, and unending divisions between people of different political colours.

US informed of U-tapao decision

Posted by arnon_k On June - 27 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The United States has been informed of the cabinet’s decision that parliament will debate its request for Nasa’s use of U-tapao naval airbase, Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said on Wednesday.

Mr Thani said Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul contacted US ambassador Kristie Kenny by telephone and informed her of the cabinet resolution before leaving for Dubai yesterday.

The ambassador said she understood well that the government had to follow constitutional procedures and respected its decision, he said.

Whether the plan to use U-tapao for climate studies would continue was a matter for Nasa to decide, Mr Thani quoted the ambassador as saying.

Los Angeles (CNN) — A cruise ship attendant claimed in a federal lawsuit that John Travolta sexually assaulted him during a Caribbean cruise in 2009, according to court documents filed last week.

Fabian Zanzi, who said he was assigned to be Travolta’s personal attendant, accused the actor of “harmful and offensive contact” by “removing his bath robe, grabbing plaintiff’s hand, and forcing his naked person and erect penis against plaintiff’s person,” the complaint said.

“This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims,” Travolta lawyer Martin Singer said. “It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame.”

Another lawsuit, filed by two male massage therapists in April, accused Travolta of sexual assault at hotels in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Those plaintiffs withdrew their suit after firing their lawyer and hiring Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred to handle their case. Allred said at the time she was considering refiling their complaints in another court.

Gloria Allred sued over Travolta accusers

Singer called those charges “ridiculous” and denied media reports the actor had considered paying to settle the lawsuit.
Zanzi’s suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the sexual assault happened on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship Enchantment of the Sea in June 2009.

The actor came on to the personal room attendant after he delivered food to his room, the suit said. Travolta complained of a pain in his neck and asked Zanzi to touch it. As Zanzi approached, Travolta dropped his bathrobe and “became completely naked,” the suit said.

“Travolta proceeded to forcefully embrace plaintiff,” it said, “causing plaintiff to continue to experience pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear.”

He then told Zanzi “that he was beautiful and asked plaintiff to ‘take me, I will take care of you, please,'” the complaint said.

When Zanzi asked to be released from the embrace, “Travolta maintained a hard and painful grasp on plaintiff’s hands,” the suit said.

The suit described the contact as “nonconsensual, inappropriate, extreme, and outrageous.”

Travolta offered Zanzi $12,000 for his “discretion and silence,” telling him to return to the suite later that night to collect the money, the suit said.

Instead, Zanzi — “in a state of pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear” — immediately reported the incident the the ship’s director, human resources manager and a staff captain, the suit said.

The human resources manager told him to fill out a report, but she “refused to allow plaintiff to write down any information regarding the nudity and/or sexual contact” with Travolta, the suit said.

She told him “unless he was bleeding and bruised, he did not suffer any injuries and thus could not obtain treatment or any other type of attention,” it said.

Instead of taking action against Travolta, the cruise line ordered Zanzi “restrained” in “a segregated room” for five days, until Travolta was off the ship, the suit said.

Zanzi claimed he was “persistent” in contacting the cruise line to file a claim against Travolta for the next two years, but he was repeatedly told it was being filed and to check back later. He has since filed an arbitration claim against the company, the suit said. A spokesman for the cruise company declined comment.

Zanzi is seeking unspecified monetary damages to be determined at a trial.

Travolta’s lawyer said the actor is confident he will “prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court.”

“The lawsuit’s ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy,” Singer said. “In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client’s neck. The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes.”

The fact that Zanzi continued to work for the cruise line for years after “his employer supposedly restrained him in a room on the cruise ship for five days” calls his credibility into question, Singer said.

“Now, after waiting three years, and after getting paid to tell his story to the media, Mr. Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit,” he said.

Zanzi told his story in tabloid reports published in May, soon after the suit was filed by the two massage therapists.

Google fights to save 3,054 dying languages

Posted by arnon_k On June - 27 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — Will you be any worse off the moment humans cease to speak in Aragonese? How about Navajo, or Ojibwa? Or Koro, a language only just discovered in a tiny corner of northeast India?

No, you probably wouldn’t, not in that moment. But humanity would be. Science, art and culture would be. If, as the phrase goes, another language equals another soul, then some 3,054 souls — 50% of the world’s total languages — are set to die out by 2100.
If there is hope, it lies in the world’s centers of information — such as Google. The search giant’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has launched the Endangered Language project, a website devoted to preserving those ancient tongues that are now only spoken by a few thousand of us.
The site, launched early Thursday, features videos and an interactive map. The curious can click on any one of the dots that hang over each country (including a suprising number in the U.S.), each representing a whole language.

You can hear the heartbreaking, beautiful sound of Koro being sung, or read 18th-century manuscripts written in a nearly-dead Native American tongue.

“Documenting the 3,000+ languages that are on the verge of extinction is an important step in preserving cultural diversity,” write project managers Clara Rivera Rodriguez and Jason Rissman.
The idea is to unite a lot of smaller preservation efforts under the Google.org banner.

“By bridging independent efforts from around the world we hope to make an important advancement in confronting language endangerment,” said Rodriguez and Rissman. “We hope you’ll join us.”