Ahad, 19 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

28 hurt in attack at Bangkok anti-government rally

Posted: 19 Jan 2014 04:10 AM PST

Bangkok (AFP) - Explosions and gunshots injured 28 people at a rally in central Bangkok Sunday, raising tensions as demonstrators prepared to launch a second week of "shutdown" protests aimed at toppling the Thai government.

The injured were taken to several city hospitals after the attack, the latest in a series by unknown assailants on the demonstrators.

"Seven of them are seriously injured... it's likely to be from shrapnel. Most of them are undergoing operations," Suphan Srithamma, the head of the Department of Medical Services, told AFP.

The capital's Erawan emergency centre confirmed the toll from two blasts followed by gunshots at Victory Monument, a major intersection held by the protesters since Monday.

Protesters said the injuries were caused by blasts minutes apart.

"People were speaking on stage when there was a loud explosion," said Theerayuth Utakaintanond, 52.

"Everybody hit the floor. Almost two minutes later, I think, I heard another explosion and everyone started to run in panic."

An AFP reporter saw blood-splattered clothes and a small crater at the scene of one of the blasts.

Thailand has been rocked by bouts of bloody unrest since just before a 2006 military coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He now lives in self-exile overseas to avoid a jail term for corruption.

His younger sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has clung on to power through more than two months of street rallies aimed at forcing her elected government from office and installing an unelected "people's council".

She has called elections for February 2, despite a vow by the main opposition party to boycott them and threats from protesters to disrupt the polls.

The demonstrators have staged a self-styled "shutdown" of the city since last Monday, erecting roadblocks and rally stages at several intersections including those in its commercial heart.

The action has brought inconvenience to the city of 12 million, but authorities say the numbers on the streets appear to be dwindling -- although tens of thousands join nightly rallies.

The demonstrators are urging the military and independent institutions to bolster their attempt to block the election, which Yingluck is again expected to win.

On Friday one protester died and dozens were injured in a blast at an anti-government march in the city led by firebrand protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

Tensions in Bangkok soared following that blast, but demonstrators have vowed to continue their rallies.

"Suthep is not tired, he is not afraid," his stepson and rally spokesman Akanat Promphan said before Sunday's incident.

"I think now the protesters have two choices -- to go back home with nothing or to continue."

Police on Sunday said they were hunting two suspects shown in television footage leaving the scene of Friday's attack.

The current wave of protesters is made up of a coalition of Thaksin's foes among the Bangkok middle class, southerners and the pro-royalist elite. - AFP

But the ousted leader has strong support in the north and northeast, which has helped him or his allies win every election in Thailand this century.

20 million people fall victim to S. Korea data leak

Posted: 19 Jan 2014 04:08 AM PST

Seoul (AFP) - The personal data of at least 20 million bank and credit card users in South Korea has been leaked, state regulators said Sunday, one of the country's biggest ever breaches.

Many major firms in the South have seen customers' data leaked in recent years, either by hacking attacks or their own employees.

In the latest case, an employee from personal credit ratings firm Korea Credit Bureau (KCB) has been arrested and accused of stealing the data from customers of three credit card firms while working for them as a temporary consultant.

Seoul's financial regulators on Sunday confirmed the total number of affected users as at least 20 million, in a country of 50 million.

The stolen data includes the customers' names, social security numbers, phone numbers, credit card numbers and expiration dates, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said in a statement.

The employee later sold the data to phone marketing companies, whose managers were also arrested earlier this month, prosecutors and the FSS said.

The information was taken from the internal servers of KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card and NH Nonghyup Card.

Regulators have launched investigations into security measures at the affected firms, the FSS said.

"The credit card firms will cover any financial losses caused to their customers due to the latest accident," it said.

An employee of Citibank Korea was arrested last month for stealing the personal data of 34,000 customers.

In 2012, two South Korean hackers were arrested for data from 8.7 million customers at the nation's second-biggest mobile operator.

In November 2011, Seoul's top games developer Nexon also saw the personal information of 13 million users of its popular online game MapleStory stolen by hackers.

In July the same year, personal data from 35 million users of Cyworld -- the South's social networking site -- was also stolen by hackers.  - AFP

10,000 displaced by deadly floods in Indonesian capital

Posted: 19 Jan 2014 03:21 AM PST

Jakarta (AFP) - More than 10,000 Indonesians have fled their homes in the capital due to flooding that has left five dead, an official said Sunday, with people using rubber dinghies and wading through waist-deep water to reach safer ground.

Many parts of Jakarta were under murky, brown water, while on the vast archipelago's northern Sulawesi island the death toll from flash floods and landslides rose to 19.

Buildings in some parts of sprawling capital, which has a population of 10 million and is regularly afflicted by floods during the six-month rainy season, were half submerged, with roads unpassable in many areas.

"So far 10,530 people in Jakarta have been displaced by floods caused by heavy rains," disaster agency official Tri Budiarto told AFP.

Five people have so far been killed in the past week due to flooding, officials have said previously.

Budiarto confirmed the toll and said those killed had either died by drowning or being electrocuted.

However the floods were yet to reach the same level as last year when the central business district was left under water.

On Sulawesi, around 40,000 people were still displaced following flash floods and landslides earlier in the week, local disaster agency chief Christian Laotongan told AFP.

"The floods have subsided but houses were wrecked, and furniture and belongings were damaged, so people have not been able to return," he added.

Rescuers on Saturday recovered the body of a woman from a landslide in Tomohon city, Laotongan said, bringing the death toll in the area to 19.

Indonesia is regularly affected by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season. Environmentalists blame logging and a failure to reforest denuded land for exacerbating the floods.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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