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Thai Army's Show of Force Seen as Warning to Supporters of Former PM

Political tensions are again on the rise in Thailand as the date for a court verdict concerning former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra nears.  Rumors of a military coup continue to sweep the country, despite denials by senior commanders. Several gatherings of military leaders in recent days have added to political tensions in Thailand. Political analysts here say the army appears concerned about possible violence ahead of a court verdict involving former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Over recent days, Bangkok news media have been flooded with speculation of a possible coup.

Guinea's Military Leader Wants Army to Support Transitional Government

Guinea's acting military leader is calling on soldiers to support the country's new transitional government which is meant to organize elections in June. After more than one year of military rule in Guinea, General Sekouba Konate says it is time the army return to its proper function and support civilians working toward new elections. General Konate says the army's mission is to defend the territorial integrity of the nation, to safeguard democracy, and to protect the people. General Konate took power in December when military leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was shot by the former

Yanukovich Seen as Front-Runner in Ukraine Presidential Election

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich faces current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a presidential runoff February 7.  Mr. Yanukovich, who lost the last presidential elections in 2004, but is now seen as the front-runner. He is the leader of the powerful "Party of Regions" in the Ukrainian parliament. University of Toronto Ukrainian expert Frank Sysyn says the party is composed of various business interests in the south and east of Ukraine.

Burmese Rebel Group Denies Responsibility for Tuesday Blasts

A prominent ethnic rebel group in Burma has rejected the government's accusation that its members are responsible for two bomb explosions in a central town Tuesday. The Karen National Union issued a statement Tuesday "categorically" denying any involvement in the blasts in the town of Kyaukkyi.  The group accuses Burma's military authorities of instigating violence in order to win the 2010 election.   Burma's state-run media reported Wednesday that authorities had arrested 11 people for allegedly planning terrorist attacks in the Rangoon area.  A report in The New Light of Myanmar

Iran Executes Dissidents for Plotting Overthrow of Islamic Establishment

Iranian media report that two men have been executed, one of whom was put on trial following post-election unrest last year.  But human-rights groups and the man's lawyer say he was in prison before the protests began.  State media announced the executions of the two men early Thursday. The two are identified as Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour.  The semi-official ISNA news service and pro-government sources linked the men with nine others sentenced to death in connection with the unrest that followed the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year.

British Court Rules Freezing Terror Suspects' Assets 'Unlawful'

Britain's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government orders freezing the assets of terror suspects are unlawful.

Honduran Congress Grants Zelaya, Coup Plotters Amnesty

The Honduran Congress has approved amnesty for deposed President Manuel Zelaya and all those responsible for the coup that removed him from power. The vote past the legislature late Tuesday, just hours after a Honduran Supreme Court judge cleared senior military leaders of criminal charges for their roles in the coup that ousted Mr.

Malaysian Churches Face Violence

Christian churches in Malaysia are trying to cope with recent violence in the officially-Muslim, but religiously tolerant country. The violence followed a court ruling that overturned a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.  A Roman Catholic publication led the fight to overturn the ban. Christians had used the word “Allah” for “God” for hundreds of years.  But some Muslims worried that the practice could encourage Muslim conversions to Christianity, something that is illegal in Malaysia.  Eleven Christian churches, a Sikh temple and a mosque have been attacked

Burma Expected to Hand Down Verdict in Trial of Burmese-American Activist

Burmese authorities are expected to hand down the verdict in the trial of a Burmese-American rights activist Wednesday.   Kyaw Zaw Lwin, also known as Nyi Nyi Aung, was one of the organizers of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.  He fled Burma for neighboring Thailand following a military crackdown on activists. He later became a U.S.