BANGKOK, Thailand. Military Junta replaces director of Buddhism department with policeman officer on Saturday, after Abbot was suspected of ‘ Money Laundering ‘ causing a standoff ever since even though his aides dismiss the accusations as politically motivated. – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport -Feb.26: Thailand’s military junta removed the chief of the department responsible for overseeing Buddhist affairs and replaced him with a police officer on Saturday, amid a stand-off between officials and monks at the country’s largest Temple Reuters reported

Thai junta replaces director of Buddhism department with policeman as thousands of followers of the Dhammakaya Temple have defied orders to leave temple grounds for over a week, blocking attempts by #police to seek out their former abbot, who is accused of money laundering.

The standoff at the scandal-hit temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand’s junta since it took power in 2014.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha used what critics call “the dictator’s law” to replace Phanom Sornsilp, the lay head of the National Office of Buddhism, with an official from the Department of Special Investigations (DSI).

“The reforms must be implemented quickly and cannot follow normal procedure,” the statement in the Royal Gazette announcing the move said.

The DSI are currently in charge of ongoing operations to find and arrest Phra Dhammachayo at the Dhammakaya Temple. It has ordered 14 other senior monks belonging to the temple to give themselves up or face arrest.

The National Office of Buddhism is responsible for the administration of the religion followed by some 95 percent of Thais, but does not have the power to defrock monks.

The Dhammakaya Temple is unusual in defying the military government. Opposition from political parties and activists has largely been silenced since a coup in 2014.

The former abbot faces charges of conspiracy to launder money and receive stolen goods, as well as taking over land unlawfully to build meditation centres. His aides dismiss the accusations as politically motivated.

The Dhammakaya Temple’s brasher approach to winning adherents jars on conservatives, who say it exploits its followers and uses religion to make money. The temple says it is as committed to Buddhist values as anyone else.

(Reporting by Cod Satrusayang; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Ros Russell)

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LOS ANGELES — The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing swimmer near Bolsa Chica State Bea ch Saturday – USCG – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: Coast Guard searching for possible missing swimmer near Bolsa Chica State Beach SatWatchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received a call from a good Samaritan at 5:17 p.m., reporting that Shaun Linn, an 18-year-old male, entered the water and did not return to the surface approximately 50-100 yards from the beach.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Forward Operating Base Point Mugu and a 45-foot Response boat-Medium boatcrew from Station Los Angeles to search for the possible missing swimmer.

Members of Bolsa Chica State Park Lifeguards, Huntington Beach Harbor Patrol and a helicopter from Orange County Sheriff’s Department are also assisting in the search.

The Linn was reported to be last seen wearing red and white trunks.

If anyone has any information regarding Linn, please contact Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center at (310) 521-3801.

-USCG-Reports

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WOLVES/BLUES POLICE REPORT: #Police have criticised a small minority of fans after trouble broke out at the Wolves v Blues match on Friday 24 February – WMP – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: The Championship fixture was held at the Molineux Stadium on Friday evening where Wolverhampton Wanderers were defeated by rivals Birmingham City FC 1-2.

Following Birmingham City’s second goal, Wolves supporters are believed to have thrown bottles, seats, and coins from the Steve Bull and South Bank stands. And a disorder broke out, forcing #police to use force to quell the trouble, when Birmingham City fans clashed with Wolves supporters near to the train station after the match.

Investigation launched following trouble at Wolves v Blues match
During the evening, 13 arrests were made, eight men were believed to be Birmingham City supporters and five were believed to be Wolverhampton Wanderers fans.

Officers have now launched an investigation into the two incidents and are urging anyone who witnessed the disorder or who can identify those involved, to call with information.

Match commander Chief Inspector Nick Rowe, from the force’s Operations Department, said: “The vast majority of supporters were there to enjoy the game and behaved impeccably. “However, a small number of people behaved dreadfully, spoiling the enjoyment for others. A group of people, yet to be identified threw missiles inside the stadium. “After the final whistle, opposing fans clashed near to the train station, police officers issued several warnings but to no avail and were forced to quell the disorder and used appropriate and proportionate force. “We will look to identify those responsible for throwing missiles inside the stadium and those involved in trouble near to the station, and if necessary they will be prosecuted. “We pride ourselves on the excellent working relationships we have with football clubs and fan groups across our region. We will meet with these groups in the near future and review and de-brief the policing of this match. “My officers were faced with a very challenging, yet isolated incident, and officers had to take action to prevent further clashes and other fans getting hurt. If we receive any complaints then this will be reviewed by the West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department in consultation with the IPCC. “While rivals violently clashed, two of my officers were saving the life of an elderly Wolves supporter who had collapsed on a bus with a suspected heart attack.

“If anyone has any information or footage that could help our investigation they are urged to contact us.” Anyone with information is urged to call West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively people can leave information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers the independent charity on 0800 555 111.

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LONDON: #Daesh militants are planning “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians” in Britain on a scale similar to those staged by the Irish Republican Army 40 years ago, the head of the country’s new terrorism watchdog said – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph published on Sunday, Max Hill, the lawyer tasked with overseeing British laws on terrorism, said the militants were targeting cities and posed “an enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore”.

Islamic State planning attacks in Britain – anti-terrorism lawyer “In terms of the threat that’s represented, I think the intensity and the potential frequency of serious plot planning – with a view to indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians of whatever race or colour in metropolitan areas – represents an enormous ongoing risk that none of us can ignore,” he said.

“So I think that there is undoubtedly significant ongoing risk which is at least as great as the threat to London in the 70s when the IRA were active on the mainland.”

British security officials have repeatedly said that Islamic State militants, who are losing ground in Iraq and Syria, will target Britain.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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NEW ORLEANS: 04:56: 26/02/17: Mardi Gras Ramming Incident: A suspected drunk driver plowed a pickup truck into a ‘ Mardi Gras ‘ parade on Saturday leaving at least 30-people injured, including children, officials said – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: This is an update on our breaking news on #AceNewsDesk reports today #Breaking144Update – New Orleans Mardi Gras Ramming Incident Injuries Rise at least 30 – Reports – #AceNewsDesk reports – @AceBreakingNews
// #Breaking144 @Breaking144

“At this time it appears that it’s a subject who was highly intoxicated, who struck a number of vehicles and then veered off hitting a whole bunch of innocent people,” New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said.

Seven of those injured declined to go to the hospital, an official at the press conference said.

The age of the victims ranged from an approximately three- to four-year-old child who was in stable condition, to people in their 30s or 40s, he added.

28 injured as ‘drunk driver’ ploughs into parade in US According to Harrison the vehicle driver is under investigation for drunk driving “and of course hitting all the people who were injured.”

The driver ploughed into the crowd just before 7pm on Sunday as spectators watched the Krewe of Endymion parade, which is part of the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

New Orlean’s ‘Krewes’ are the private organisations that lead parades and throw balls during the city’s Carnival season.

“It’s very hard to protect against somebody that’s very intoxicated that runs through a crowd,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters, adding that barricades had been put in place.

People have to be responsible and they have to be thoughtful about what they do,” he added.

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CHICAGO: Police Raids: Friday and Saturday night net 81 ‘ Drug and Weapon ‘ related arrests in latest crackdown in CPD after recent damning report – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: The Chicago Police Department conducted a series of overnight raids from Thursday into Friday that resulted in 81 arrests, mostly for drug- and weapons-related offenses, Supt. Eddie Johnson said Friday ABC News reported ..
GTY-Chicago-Police-Headquarters-MEM-170112_33x16_992.jpgThe raids, focused on the city’s South and West Side neighbourhoods, were “focused on the underlying source of crime in these areas: the sale of narcotics,” Johnson said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Chicago police arrest 81 in overnight raids of the 81 people arrested, Johnson said 61 are previously convicted felons, 49 are documented gang members, 19 have previously been arrested on gun charges, 14 are currently on parole, and 65 have been previously identified by #police to be at a higher risk to be a victim or offender of gun violence.

“There are repeat gun offenders that one, don’t care they’re on parole, two, don’t care about the fact they’re already previously convicted felons,” Johnson said.

Police are still looking for 40 people targeted in the raids, and said another raid in the coming weeks will have federal assistance.

Twelve firearms were also seized by police during the raids, Johnson said.

Anthony Riccio, chief of organized crime, said, “One of the guns we took off the street … is actually a machine gun capable of firing 40 to 50 rounds in just a matter of seconds.”

Johnson added, “We are almost double in gun arrests than we were the same time last year — that’s a ridiculous number.”

Drugs were also seized in the raids, which had been planned for about three weeks.

“Narcotics and narcotic sales is the thing that allows the buying of guns,” Riccio said.

Johnson urged lawmakers at every level of government to help with stemming Chicago’s seemingly out of control gun violence.

“CPD can do better, our judicial system can do better, our state legislators can do better. It takes all of us,” he said. “If you’re OK every day sitting by watching these people die and that’s OK with you, then good luck on that. But if you care at all, you should be helping the city do something about this violence.”

Johnson said stricter punishment for repeat gun offenders would stem the violence, because possible offenders would know the severity of the consequences and act as a deterrent from picking up a gun in the first place.

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MANILLA, Philippines. Filipinos protest outside US embassy on 30-year revolution anniversary Anti-riot police blasted the protesters with water cannons on Saturday after the crowd managed to form a human barricade leading to the embassy gate – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Feb.26: Filipinos have rallied and clashed with #police outside the US Embassy in capital Manila as thousands more marched to mark the anniversary of a revolution that ousted a US-backed dictator over 30 years ago PressTV reported on Saturday …
Philippines police use water cannon to disperse protesters outside of US Embassy in Manila on February 25, 2017.Filipinos protest outside US embassy on revolution anniversary as Anti-riot police blasted the protesters with water cannons on Saturday after the crowd managed to form a human barricade leading to the embassy gate. Several people were reported to have been injured by the water cannons.
Activists march on the EDSA highway in Manila on February 25, 2017, during the 31st anniversary of the “People Power” revolution. (Photo by AFP)

The police did not do the right thing since we were just expressing our opinion about the oppression of foreign countries and their exploitation of our resources,” said Carlito Badion, spokesperson of the National Alliance of the Filipino Urban Poor, which organized the protest rally.

Hundreds of others joined another rally in Manila to protest President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug battle after the detention of one of his major critics.

The protesters staged the rally outside the national police headquarters where officers arrested Senator Leila De Lima on Friday, press reports said.

Philippine Senator Leila De Lima (C), a top critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is escorted by police officers after her arrest at the Senate in Manila on February 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A rival demonstration, an overnight vigil, to show public support for Duterte was scheduled in Manila later on Saturday, with organizers calling for a million-man march.

Anti-Duterte activists said street protest rallies were expected to continue later with more supporters of Senator De Lima who was arrested on charges of drug trafficking.

The protesters claimed that Duterte’s crackdown could lead to a repeat of the US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, which was ousted in a “People Power” uprising 31 years ago.

Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in a dawn rally in a “show of force” against alleged extrajudicial killings in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in Manila on February 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Since Duterte rose to power in July 2016, more than 6,500 suspected drug traffickers have reportedly been executed by law enforcement authorities as well as what opponents describe as “unknown assassins.”

The president has not ruled out using martial law to prevent what he refers to as his country’s slide into narco-state status.

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