World News

    Despite Protests, Thailand's PM Says She Won't Resign

    Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says she will not give into opposition demands she resign, despite two days of large anti-government protests in Bangkok.

    Mrs. Shinawatra told reporters Tuesday she has a constitutional duty to stay on as prime minister, and that only cooperation and dialogue can resolve the country's months-long political deadlock.



    "I've stressed many times I have a duty to act according to my responsibility after the dissolving of parliament. I have the responsibility of acting as caretaker. I'd like to say right now, I am not holding on (to my position), but I have to maintain political stability."



    She spoke as thousands of opposition protesters filled Bangkok streets for a second day, waving flags and blowing whistles outside several government buildings in an attempt to disrupt official business.

    Their leader, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, said he will keep up the protests, and even threatened to detain his rival if she does not step down soon.



    "In two to three days, we'll close all of the government offices. But if they remain steadfast, we'll detain the prime minister and other ministers."



    The protests initially aimed to "shut down" the capital. But life continued as usual in most parts of the city Tuesday, though traffic was lighter than usual and protesters blocked several key intersections.



    The protests did successfully shut down or prevent from opening several government buildings, though officials insisted work continued elsewhere at back-up sites.

    One of the demonstrators, Suwisa Rakpong, is confident the government feels the pressure.



    "We think this will help (to remove Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from government), though I don't know how stubborn she is. But she'll probably leave."



    The protests have been peaceful, with some describing a festival-like atmosphere. But a hardline group has threatened to take over the stock exchange if the prime minister does not step down within days.

    Prime Minister Yingluck has dissolved parliament, called for early elections on February 2, and proposed the formation of a national reform council as a way to resolve the months-long political crisis.

    On Wednesday, she will meet with protest and political leaders to discuss the election commission's request to postpone the polls until May.

    The opposition has said her concessions are not enough.

    Suthep has called for a non-elected "people's council" to replace the current government and implement reforms to end corruption and money politics before any new vote takes place.

    Analysts say the prime minister's ruling party is likely to win next month's snap election, which the main opposition party plans to boycott.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday said the U.S. is urging all sides to refrain from violence, and it applauds the restraint shown so far by government authorities.

    The opposition views Ms. Yingluck as a puppet of her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup, convicted of corruption and now lives in self-imposed exile.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora