1. THOUSANDS JOIN THAI ANTI-GOVERNMENT RUN
BANGKOK: Thousands of Thais joined a run in Bangkok earlier today in what appeared to be the biggest show of dissent against the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
More than 12,745 runners and supporters gathered before sunrise at a park in Bangkok, wearing athletic outfits and colorful shoes, to participate in the “Run Against Dictatorship” event.
The run also witnessed the bibs bearing numbers significant in Thai politics, such as a bib numbered 0044, in reference to the former ruling junta’s Article 44 that gave Prayuth absolute executive power, being ripped in two on stage.
According to a government spokeswoman, the event was held in line with people’s rights and no laws were broken.
2. US EXPELS SAUDI MILITARY TRAINEES AFTER DEADLY FLORIDA SHOOTING
WASHINGTON: More than a dozen Saudi servicemen who are training at US military bases will be expelled from the United States in the aftermath of a Pentagon review prompted by the deadly Dec 6 shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer at an American naval base in Florida.
Based on CNN report, the Saudi personnel being expelled are not accused of aiding the Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors at the Pensacola installation.
The Pentagon referred questions to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
3. ISRAEL FOREIGN MINISTER POSTPONES DUBAI VISIT OVER SECURITY CONCERN
JERUSALEM: Israel’s foreign minister has postponed a visit to Dubai this month due to security concerns, linking the decision to Iran-U.S. tensions.
Israel Katz, who doubles as intelligence minister, had been scheduled to attend mid-month meetings in the Gulf emirate ahead of its Expo 2020 Dubai but he defers the visit “on the instruction of security officials”, without giving a new date.
Meanwhile, another diplomat said Israel was taking precautions lest its arch-foe Iran try to target Katz as part of retaliation against its U.S. ally.