Thai activist fled for indictment for insulting King

A student activist said in his writings on Facebook he fled from Thailand after finding out he had been charged with insulting the king for discussing a BBC article about the country's new king.

Lese majeste, or insulting the king, could be sentenced to three to 15 year imprisonment for each incident, and charges against Chanoknan Ruamsap seem to be the first filed this year. The cases of King's humiliation have increased considerably under the military rule that has been in power since 2014. Critics say the law is used to punish political opponents.

Another prominent student activist, Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, was sentenced to 2 years prison for discussing the same article that was published online by the BBC's Thai section of the language.

Chanoknan did not say where he lives now. [gp]

US House Speaker Meets Saudi King

US House Speaker Paul Ryan leads an American Congress delegation to the Middle East, and meets Saudi King Salman at his first regional stop.

A statement issued by Ryan's office said the talks in the Middle East will focus on regional stability, – businesses fight ISIS, terrorism and Iranian aggression. During his visit, he was accompanied by five members of Congress from Republicans and one from the Democratic Party.

Saudi government news agency reported Ryan met King Salman on Wednesday after being greeted at the airport in Riyadh by Chairman of the Board Shura Saudi Arabia, the ruling consultative body of the kingdom.

Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, faces an election this year if he decides to run again as a member of the House for the 11th time.

He is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates on Thursday (25/1). [ab/uh]

Jordan's King Concerned over the Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

The king told the vice president that his only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a two-state solution and that East Jerusalem should become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Jordan was the second stopover in the Middle East for 4 days vice president of the United States.

His first stop was Cairo where he promised that America would continue to support Egypt in its fight against terrorism.

Before flying to Israel, Pence would meet with American troops in the region.

in Knesset, the Israeli parliament and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu said Sunday (21/1) in his cabinet meeting that Pence was "a true and true friend of Israel." The prime minister added that he said the embarrassing act that the main Arab party in parliament was planning to boycott Pence's speech on Monday.

Pence, a conservative Christian, helped to drive the recognition of Jerusalem by the Americans as the capital of Israel, a decision welcomed by conservative Christians in United States.

Pence's visit to the Middle East is the highest-level visit by US officials to the region since President Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December. Pence is not expected to meet with Palestinian leaders. [gp]

US Citizens Commemorate Civil Rights Leader Day, Martin Luther King

Americans commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in honor of a hero who championed civil rights and believed that his success in the struggle depended on nonviolent principles.

Every year, on the third Monday of January, Americans pay homage to the civil rights leader, who in the 1950s and 1960s organized non-violent protests against racial separation politics in the South, and championed equality for blacks and the right to vote.

President Donald Trump has not done anything official and is in a private golf resort in Florida. He dedicated his weekly speech, which was broadcast on Monday (15/1), to Dr. King.

"Dr. King is our goal. It is an American ideal, "Trump said.

Two of Dr.'s children. King condemned Trump's speech on Monday, following alleged allegations that he described immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as immigrants from dirty and impoverished countries, using inappropriate words to describe the two countries. Trump reportedly also likes immigrants from countries such as Norway.

In Washington, Dr. King, Martin Luther King III, said, "If the president insists that our country needs residents of a white country like Norway, I think we do not have to waste time explaining what it means."

He added, "We need to find a way to reaching the heart of this man. "

King's daughter, Rev. Bernice King, in a service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, said," we can not allow the countries of the world to embrace words that come from our presidents and treat them as though – it is the true spirit of the United States. "

Since the alleged incident, Trump has been widely criticized as a racist. Trump rejected the allegations. [ps/jm]

King Salman Give New Allowance For Civil Servants After Raise Fuel Prices

King of Saudi Arabia, Salman ordered a new allowance of 1,000 riyals per month for civil servants (PNS) for a year. This is in compensation for the rising cost of living after the government raised fuel prices and imposed value added tax (VAT).

In the royal decree published by state media as reported by news agency Reuters, Saturday 6/1/2018), King Salman also ordered a grant of 5,000 riyals for military personnel serving on the frontline of the battle with Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Saudi government raised fuel prices by almost double on Monday (1 / 1) and as part of a broad reform initiative intended to enrich its economy. 5 percent VAT on a number of goods and services also came into force on the same day.

In the decree it was mentioned that the provision of this new allowance in recognition of "increased living costs for some societies following important steps which the state does to restructure the economy. "

King Salman also ordered the state to bear VAT in a number of situations, including health care and educational bodies. Benefits for students, pensioners and recipients of social security were also increased.

The decree made no mention of the total cost of the new allowance. But it seems that the numbers are still below the previous allowances that Saudi kings have ever given.

(ita / ita)