World News

    Thai Protesters Call for Nationwide Occupation of Government Buildings

    The leader of Thailand's anti-government protests is calling on supporters to take over more government buildings across the country Wednesday in an escalation of efforts to oust the prime minister.

    Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister, told supporters late Tuesday that they should march on government buildings to keep them from being used by the current government.

    He made the announcement after police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the occupation of government buildings in Bangkok. However, authorities have not yet taken any action to detain him.

    Opposition-led protesters expanded their bid to occupy or shut down key state buildings in Bangkok Tuesday, with rallies targeting four more government ministries.

    Several thousand people surrounded the Interior Ministry and vowed to spend the night. Protesters had already seized parts of the Finance and Foreign Ministries a day earlier and have camped outside several other state buildings.

    They are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. They say her government is controlled by her brother, the ousted and exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    The protests are being led by the opposition Democrat Party, which has launched a no-confidence debate in parliament. Mrs. Yingluck, whose Pheu Thai party dominates parliament, told lawmakers Tuesday she will not step down.



    "The accusations are strong and unjust for me, the leader of this government for two years.''



    The street protests are the largest in Thailand since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a military crackdown on an opposition protest. Prime Minister Yingluck has insisted the military will not use violence to clear the protests.



    On Monday, the government expanded an emergency security law, giving police wide authority to deal with the protests. There has so far been no attempt to clear the protesters from the state buildings.

    But in a sign of the rising tension, police said they found an unexploded grenade outside a Democrat Party office in Bangkok.

    Police have issued an arrest warrant, approved by a Thai court Tuesday, for protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

    The mass protests were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin Shinawatra to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.

    That amnesty bill was rejected by the Senate, but opposition-led protests have continued. Meanwhile, pro-government protesters held their own rally at a Bangkok stadium and vowed not to leave until the opposition calls off its demonstration.

    The protests have prompted statements from several foreign governments, including the United States. The State Department said Monday it is "concerned about the rising political tension in Thailand."

    It urged "all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law" and said "violence and the seizure of public or private property are not acceptable means of resolving political differences."

    Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra came to power in 2011. Her brother, Thaksin, was toppled by street protests in 2006 and convicted of corruption. He has lived in exile to escape the charges, which he says were politically motivated.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora