Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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As we reported last night, pop icon Madonna took a nasty tumble while performing onstage at the Brit Awards, and as we again reported earlier, the 56-year-old could well have been left muttering, “That’s gonna hurt come winter” after her fall.

As to what caused her fall, it seems that the cape Madonna was wearing became entangled in the horns that one of her dancers was wearing, and as she sang “I let down my guard”, a line from her hit Living for Love, she was dragged backwards and landed heavily at the foot of the steps.

Oh irony, you are a one…

However, though Madonna later took to Instagram to insist that she was fine, and to thank her fans for their messages of support, insiders reckon that the singer was “livid” over the drama.

And having explained that Madonna had had a whole team working on the Armani cape nonstop for days, an unnamed source told the Daily Mirrorthat Madonna “stormed out immediately after her performance”.

The insider added, “Her team were left to pack up and ship out sharpish…

“When she fell, the room fell silent. The atmosphere wasn’t as if someone had died, it was as if someone had been massacred.”

As mentioned above, Madonna wrote online, “Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight!

“But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes!

“I’m fine! #livingforlove.”

Meanwhile, the Twittersphere positively exploded with amused tweets about the incident, and comedian Alan Carr wrote, “That Minotaur that dragged Madonna down the stairs is SO unemployed right now.”

However, there was one post – from Aaron Davison on Twitter – that we’ve been tittering at for hours now…

“Following her fall at The Brits, Madonna has unwittingly invented a new genre of music. Hip-Op.”

Another wrote, “Literally watched madonna’s lil indecent 6 times and it gets funnier every time omg i’m going to hell.”

Well, you and me both then Twitter user, but at least it’s warm and there’ll be people I know there.

However, another Twitter user came over all grassy-knoll about it, tweeting, “THEY TRIED TO KILL HER?!? # BRITAwards # Madonna.”

Yes, that’s exactly what happened. Assassination via the medium of a cloak is the new anthrax after all…

But without further ado, here’s a look at the moment poor old Madonna went ar*e over t*t at the Brits…

Thammasat lecturers rage over Somsak’s dismissal

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Thammasat lecturers have accused the university’s administrators of unfairly dismissing noted Thammasat historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul earlier this week, amidst a denial by its rector, Somkid Lertpaitoon, that the move was politically motivated.

Somsak, a leading critic of lese-majeste law, failed to return to Thailand to resume his teaching after fleeing the country in the aftermath of last year’s coup, when he was summoned by the National Council for Peace and Order and also faced arrest under the lese-majeste law.

“The decision [to dismiss Somsak] was unjust,” Thammasat economist Assoc Prof Pichit Likitkijsomboon said yesterday, adding that Somsak had fled the Kingdom because of the coup and a threat to his life, as even before the putsch, his house had been attacked by an unknown gunman.

The university administrators should not, therefore, regard this as an intention not to work, he argued.

“The administrators have the duty to protect freedom of expression. University is not elementary or high school … It’s apparent that university administrators are ready to use legal means to threaten those who have differing political opinions,” said Pichit.

‘Politically motivated’

Thammasat political scientist Pongkwan Sawasdipakdi also believes the decision to fire Somsak was politically motivated.

“One can look at it as an attempt to set an example for other [academics] who come out to make a [pro-democracy] move. It’s likely about his political stance,” she said.

Vipar Daomanee, a former lecturer at Thammasat and a supporter of Somsak, said she could not believe that the administrators had resorted to such a tactic, adding that she viewed the matter as politically motivated.

Somkid insisted yesterday that he had signed an order firing Somsak on Monday not because of Somsak’s political stance, or because he was targeted under the lese-majeste law, but because he had failed to report to work for more than 15 consecutive days.

The rector added that two disciplinary committees had been set up before the decision was taken that the historian had abandoned his post.

He said Somsak could, however, appeal the decision within 30 days of the order to dismiss him having been issued.

Posting on his Facebook account in exile in France on Tuesday, Somsak said he had tried to seek sabbatical leave and later asked to resign his position, but these requests had been denied.

He added that fleeing Thailand was a matter of principle, as he could not accept the legitimacy of the military junta, which staged the coup last May, summoned him and subsequently issued an arrest warrant against him for allegedly violating lese-majeste law.

“I have the necessity and legitimate right to protect my life and liberty by not consenting to the military junta, which seized power like those committing high treason, to arrest and harm me,” Somsak argued in the posting.

CDC agrees to indirect Senate pick

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The next Senate will be indirectly elected from pools of candidates nominated by ex-politicians, the National People’s Assembly and other groups, under a section of the charter draft finalised Wednesday by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

CDC spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich said there will be 200 senators serving six-year terms, which they will not be allowed to serve back-to-back.

Senators will be selected from among five categories of people: former prime ministers, former Supreme Court presidents and former parliament presidents; former high-ranking state officials such as military leaders and permanent secreta­ries; heads of legally registered professional organisations; people’s organisations such as labour unions, agricultural co-operatives and academics; and other groups such as lawyers, environmental activists, poverty networks and healthcare experts.

Senators from the first four groups will be selected from among themselves, while those from the fifth will be nominated by a screening committee and selected by the National People’s Assembly and executives and members of local administrative bodies.

CDC deputy chairman Manich Suksomchitra said media professional groups are not included in the Senate selection process. They are required by their profession to maintain independence and impartiality.

Gen Lertrat said the CDC has also approved the mixed member proportional (MMP) representation system with the “open list”. The number of MPs is set at 450-470. Of these, 250 will come from the constituency system and the 200 others from the party-list system.

Because the party-list system is divided into six regions, political parties and groups will be able to propose between 33-35 party-list candidates per region, he said.

Voters can also elect one more specific candidate from the list, apart from their party-list voting.

Pheu Thai member Samart Kaewmeechai warned that MMP will weaken the main political parties and lead to smaller parties which are prone to switch political allegiance and destabilise coalition governments.

He expressed concerns that if a government lacks stability, it is difficult to win confidence from investors. The MMP system, he said, is not deemed good for national development.

The CDC has also endorsed a proposal that the House of Representatives be dissolved if the opposition wins a no-confidence debate against the entire cabinet.

CDC spokesman Kamnoon Sidhisamarn said the proposal was out of concern for the stability of a future government. With the introduction of the MMP system, a future government is likely to be formed by small parties, which could undermine its stability.

In the 2007 charter, the opposition is required to nominate a prime minister candidate when it seeks to convene a no-confidence debate.

“A censure debate can’t do anything to the government under the 2007 charter. The government is very strong. But the new electoral system is likely to bring us a coalition government, so we have to find a mechanism to make sure government stability will not be easily challenged,” he said.

According to Mr Kamnoon, the opposition will have to come up with solid information when it seeks a censure debate against the government; otherwise it can opt for other channels, such as a censure debate against an individual cabinet minister.

The CDC has also agreed to include in the charter a clause banning politicians found guilty of electoral fraud or impeached by parliament from politics for life.

This is in line with Section 35 (4) of the interim charter, which calls for the new charter to include efficient mechanisms to prevent people found by legal order, such as by the Election Commission, guilty of corruption or election violations from holding future political positions.

Mr Kamnoon said the ban on those found guilty of cheating in elections is unlikely to affect the former executives of the dissolved political parties, such as the Thai Rak Thai and People Power parties.

CDC chairman Borwornsak Uwanno also said a lifetime ban against politicians found guilty of election fraud is unlikely to apply to the former executives of the dissolved parties.

These former executives were automatically banned as a result of their parties being disbanded by the Constitutional Court.

The lifetime ban drew wide debate among CDC members, some of whom were concerned it would spark fresh confrontation and unrest led by supporters of politicians already banned by Constitutional Court rulings.

New Zealand military trainers to join anti-IS effort

Posted by pakin On February - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WELLINGTON – New Zealand will send troops to Iraq on a non-combat mission helping to boost the local military’s capacity to fight the Islamic State (IS) organisation, Prime Minister John Key said on Tuesday.

Key said about 140 troops would begin a “behind the wire” mission in May after a request from the Iraqi government for international help in increasing its military capability to battle the jihadists.

“We cannot, and should not, fight Iraq’s battles for them -– and actually Iraq doesn’t want us to,” he told parliament.

“Our military can, however, play a part in building the capability and capacity of the Iraqi forces so they can fight ISIL themselves.”

Key said New Zealand was part of a 62-nation coalition against IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS, which has captured swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria.

He described the group — infamous for beheading, stoning and burning alive its victims — as “barbaric”, saying New Zealand would “stand up for what’s right”.

“Sending our forces to Iraq is not an easy decision but it is the right decision,” he said.

He added that New Zealand troops would most likely work alongside their Australian counterparts at a military base in Taji, north of Baghdad.

Key said the initial deployment was for nine months and the mission would not extend beyond two years.