In Thai election, any government you like – as long as it’s the junta

Since Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister in Thailand in 2001, every party aligned with the ousted leader has won every election held in the country.
However, in its determination to dominate next year’s general election, the junta-ruled government may be now luring high-profile members of the tycoon’s Pheu Thai party to its side while banning meetings of its political rivals. The defection of Pheu Thai MPs has the party facing some of its most difficult days yet.
The move is…

Why rain and Rohingya refugees are good business for this phone charging shop

Captain Min Min, a Buddhist from Myanmar, looks on as a stream of Muslim Rohingya labourers zigzag up narrow gangplanks hauling sacks of ginger from his boat onto Bangladeshi soil – one of many seizing the economic opportunities presented by a refugee crisis.
“I don’t worry about conflict … everything is just business,” the ethnic Rakhine skipper said, offering whiskey, cigarettes and big betel nut-stained smiles as he waits for his nine-tonne cargo to be unloaded…

‘Fat Leonard’ scandal widens, with indictment of three more retired US Navy officials

The worst corruption scandal in navy history escalated on Friday as federal prosecutors announced bribery and fraud charges against three retired sailors, including an officer who allegedly took part in a wild two-day party with prostitutes in Tokyo that cost US$75,000.
A grand jury in San Diego indicted retired Captain David Haas, 50, of Kailua, Hawaii, on charges that he took US$145,000 in bribes from Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based defence contractor known as “Fat Leonard…

Tech talk tops agenda as Malaysia’s Mahathir meets Jack Ma at Alibaba’s Hangzhou HQ

Artificial intelligence driven traffic controls, blockchain-based financial technology and the Internet of Things were at the top of the agenda on Saturday as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad kicked off his closely watched five-day visit to China with a tour of Alibaba Group’s Hangzhou headquarters.
The tech-savvy 93-year-old leader – elected in May on a platform promising widespread reform – told the Chinese conglomerate’s co-founder Jack Ma that his country…

Remedies for patent infringement

Businesses found to have infringed patent rights can face potentially substantial bills for compensation and a block on the manufacture, supply and sale of infringing products.

Chinese passenger plane carrying 165 people skids off runway in Manila, forcing evacuation

A Boeing passenger plane from China skidded off a runway while landing in a downpour at Manila’s airport and its 157 passengers and eight crew members were evacuated on an emergency slide, officials said.
All the passengers and crew of Xiamen Air flight MF8667 were safe and were taken to an airport terminal, where they were given blankets and food before being taken to a hotel, Philippine officials said.
“We have no reports yet of injuries but the passengers were all drenched,…

US will be ‘good ally’ to Philippines if Beijing invades South China Sea island, defence official promises

The United States will be “a good ally” to the Philippines in responding to territorial conflicts in the South China Sea, a US defence official said Thursday.
Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs, gave the assurance as tensions rise over China’s aggressive stance towards its claims to most of the strategic waterway.
China rejects Duterte’s call to rethink its conduct in South China Sea
Speaking to reporters at the US…

Costs in the Tax Tribunals

If you are involved in a dispute in the UK tax tribunals with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) you will probably incur costs such as legal fees and disbursements/expenses. The rules as to when you can recover your costs and when you may have to pay the costs of HMRC differ in the tax tribunals (the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal) from the rules which apply generally to other types of court or arbitration proceedings.

Facebook turns to artificial intelligence to fight hate speech as tensions run high in Myanmar

Facebook has unveiled new efforts to combat hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar, where the social media platform has fuelled ethnic violence against the Rohingya population.
Facebook said in a blog post that employees travelled to Myanmar over the summer to better understand the situation.
It has also hired more than 60 Myanmar language experts to review content and plans to increase that to 100 by the end of the year.
Lawmakers, human rights activists and the United Nations have…