Derrick Bird, the Cumbria shootings gunman, was deported back to Britain after he was involved in a drunken row at a Middle Eastern airport, friends said.
The 52 year-old taxi driver become involved in the drunken rage with a friend at Doha airport in Qatar after being teased about money.
Security at the airport refused to allow him to board his connecting plane to the Thailand capital
Bangkok amid fears he was a flight risk .
He had been travelling to the east coast city of Pattaya with several friends for a pre-christmas holiday last year.
The group of divorced taxi drivers, aged in the late 40s and 50s who
travelled to the country several times a year, started drinking heavily during their short stopover in Doha.
One unnamed member then started teasing Bird about money who then lashed out at the departure gate and was then restrained by security.
Police then deemed him too drunk to board the flight and took him to a secure location to sober up before deporting him back to Britain.
A friend, who asked not to be named, reportedly said: It all kicked off though when Birdy mentioned
that he loved Thailand because it was cheap and someone made a joke about him being cheap. Birdy saw red. He went mad and went for him and officials had to step in. They'd never seen him flip before and it really shocked them. He must have had a lot of
stress just bottled up. He was taken off and the next thing they knew was he wasn't allowed on the flight and was flown back to England.
Thailand's premier on Saturday lifted a curfew imposed across about one third of the country, including Bangkok, in the wake of the anti-government protests, saying the situation was now under control.
But Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said
there was no plan yet to revoke emergency rule following the end of two months of mass rallies by the Red Shirts that left almost 90 people dead in a series of clashes with troops.
The soldiers were at full readiness, helmets on, Kevlar armour strapped in place, M16 rifles in hand. They might have been preparing to storm a stronghold of Red Shirt anti-government protesters or swoop on a cell of terrorist bomb-makers, but this was
the corridor of a five-star hotel in central Bangkok, and the object of their stern attention was me.
For 2½ hours yesterday I was detained in my room as their commander, who refused to identify himself, examined the photographs on my
pocket camera. By the current standards of Bangkok, where hundreds of people, including foreign reporters, have been killed or injured in the past eight days, it was a trivial incident. But it was a lesson in the enormous changes that the political
crisis has brought to this society.
Thais, who used to be among the freest people in South-East Asia, now live under legal strictures more often associated with a military dictatorship. Since a state of emergency was declared six weeks ago,
authorities can impose curfews, detain suspects without trial and overrule civilian officials, all without fear of prosecution
The Klong Toey MRT Station Kasikorn Soi Ngamduplee, Siam City Bank, Siam Centre Central World Siam Square/Siam Theatre Diamond Condominium (Behind CW) Platinum Fashion Mall Bangkok Bank, Tesco Rama IV TV Channel 3/Maleenont
Building Rama IV Thai Stock Exchange Tesco OnNut Century Park Hotel 7-Eleven shop, Din Daeng Manhattan Plaza (Plenchit BTS) Bkk Bank, Asoke Krueng Thai Bank, Asoke Bkk Bank, Phrakanog Bkk Bank, Victory Monument Metropolitan Electricity office Klong Toei
Govt Savings Bank in Dindaeng 20 Telephone booths in Din Daeng Office of Narcotics Control Board at Dindaeng Office Building Din Daeng ( 12 year old ) Chang Mai Construction Company BKK Bank, Chiang Mai Khon Kaen City Hall
Udorn Thani City Hall Ubon Ratchananee City Hall Nonthaburi City Hall Mukdaharn City Hall Nakhon Ratchasima City Hall IT Seer Rangsit Seacon Square Lad Prao Big C Center One Mall Victory Monument 7/11, Victory Monument
Kasikorn Bank, Victory Monument Government Saving Bank (Mitr-maitree Road) Bkk Bank, Hua Lumpong
The deadly standoff in Bangkok reached boiling point on Wednesday as security forces launched their largest offensive since anti-government protests began and buildings were set ablaze in the Thai capital.
At least four people were reported killed
as security forces seized control of the the protesters' Lumpini Park stronghold, prompting several Red Shirt leaders to call off their weeks-long occupation of the area.
Meanwhile black smoke could be seen rising over the Bangkok skyline amid
news agency reports that protesters had set fire to the Thai Stock Exchange, the Central World shopping complex and other buildings.
We Thai people never experienced this kind of situation before, said Sirinun Siripanich, the assistant
secretary to the Bangkok governor. This is like a mini-civil war.
Army Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd confirmed to CNN that soldiers were given the all-clear to fire if they faced a clear threat.
The Thai government has declared a curfew in Bangkok from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. as rioting and violence spread across the capital.
An announcement signed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and broadcast on television said nobody in the capital
is allowed out of their homes during those times unless they have permission from authorities.
The curfew was declared Wednesday after Bangkok became a raging battleground in the aftermath of an army crackdown on protesters.
A day of violence on the streets of the Thai capital left at least ten dead and 125 wounded after renewed fighting erupted in the city's commercial heart yesterday. Soldiers fired bullets and teargas into the fortified encampment held for weeks by
anti-government protesters, and street battles erupted in the city centre.
What began in early March as a defiant and proud rally intended to oust the Thai Government peacefully and fight for social justice had, by last night, largely unravelled
as the army strengthened its stranglehold around thousands of diehard protesters.
Hemmed into their fortified encampment by troops, the remaining protesters digested the grim information that several of their leaders had quit. As long as the
security forces remain loyal to the Government their options appear increasingly limited in the face of the army's firepower.
From dawn yesterday the protest site centred on Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok was surrounded by armed
troops and police officers in armoured vehicles. They fired live rounds and rubber bullets as well as teargas at members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. The group has spent weeks in the centre of one of Asia's most cosmopolitan
cities demanding the dissolution of the Thai parliament, followed by elections.
Known widely as the Red Shirts, the demonstrators responded with petrol bombs and fired home-made rockets into the streets surrounding the upmarket district that they
have occupied for nearly six weeks. Several thousand Red Shirts were still behind the high barricades of the site perimeter last night, protected by guards carrying thick bamboo staves.
From the stage in the centre of the demonstration some Red
Shirt leaders were still shouting their defiance at the unseen presence of the encircling troops. Sean Boonpracong, a Red Shirt spokesman, confirmed the movement's leadership had fissured. Four leaders have decided to leave, he told The Times. Veera Musikhapong has resigned from the chairmanship. But there were still 16 leaders meeting here this afternoon.
Libya and Thailand were among 14 countries elected as new members of the U.N.'s top human rights body in a vote that rights advocates criticized as uncompetitive and pre-cooked.
Angola, Mauritania, Uganda, the Maldives, Malaysia, Qatar,
Moldova, Poland, Ecuador, Guatemala, Spain and Switzerland were also elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms on the 47-nation Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva.
Both Libya and Thailand have been criticized by rights
groups for their human rights records.
The council elections have become a pre-cooked process that strips the meaning from the membership standards established by the General Assembly, said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.
States serious about the role the council can play in promoting human rights should push for competitive slates in all regions, and should be willing to compete for a seat themselves, she said.
naming any specific countries, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice made it clear she was not happy with some of Washington's new fellow council members: It's fair to say that this year, there is a small number of countries whose human
rights records is problematic that are likely to be elected and we regret that, she said.
Iran also had been running for a seat on the council, but it withdrew its candidacy last month in exchange for a seat on the U.N. Commission on the
Status of Women.
Offsite Comment: Human Rights Just a Joke At the U.N.
Once upon a time, the United Nations was about protecting human rights and Eleanor Roosevelt was the chairman of its premier human rights agency, the Human Rights Commission. This week, the U.N.ís top human rights body, renamed the
Human Rights Council, is poised to add Libya to its membership. Libya will be elected by the U.N. General Assembly through a secret ballot in a process that champions geographic and religious loyalties over anything remotely resembling the actual
protection of human rights.
The Obama administration is making no moves to call for the defeat of Libya or any of the other soon-to-be human rights specialists now running for a seat. And yet, the 2009 State Department Human Rights Report says
that in Libya there is routine torture and abuse of detainees, legally-sanctioned amputations and flogging, sentencing of political opposition members without trial, indefinite detention of women and girls suspected of violating moral codes, homosexuality is criminalized, and their president claims that
the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah are forgeries.
Thai health officials fear there will be heat stroke fatalities if the high temperatures continue for several more days.
The Public Health Ministry has warned the public to take precautions against heat exhaustion, which can also be fatal. It also
raised concern of other heat-related illnesses brought about by the hot spell.
It was unusual that the maximum daily temperatures in many provinces were higher now than in April, which is typically the country's hottest month, said Maytee
Mahayosananta, a meteorologist from the department's weather forecast bureau.
Department records showed the maximum temperature in Bangkok hit 39.7C on Monday, three degrees above the hottest day on April 27 when the temperature reached 36.7C.
Maytee said the prolonged hot weather partly resulted from the late arrival of cooling winds from the Indian Ocean. Warming sea temperatures had brought hot moisture to the land.
The extremely hot weather will stay for another few days, Maytee said:
The temperature is expected to cool down when there is more rainfall in the country later this month.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand reported a new peak load for electricity demand on Monday, when power consumption hit
this year's record high of 24,009.9 megawatts. The figure was almost 10% higher than last year's peak of 22,044.9 megawatt. This was possibly due to massive use of air-conditioners on the unexepectedly hot day, Egat's deputy governor Banpot Sangkeo said
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office have downgraded their advice to avoid travel to all of Thailand. However Bangkok is still noted as somewhere to avoid.
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with
amendments to the Summary and the Terrorism and Security section. The overall level of the advice has changed; we no longer advise against all but essential travel to the whole country.
We advise against all
travel to specific parts of Thailand. We advise against all but essential travel to other specific parts of Thailand, including Bangkok.
Thailand's red-shirt protesters say they are prepared to join the government's reconciliation process, but they have several conditions.
PM Abhisit Vejjajiva announced the plan, which includes an offer of polls on 14 November in a bid to end the
The red-shirts said they wanted a fixed date for the dissolution of parliament, and an assurance of sincerity .
They said they would continue their protest in Bangkok in the meantime.
A red-shirt leader,
Veera Musikapong, said the movement backed Abhisit's proposal: We have agreed to enter the reconciliation process unanimously. We don't want any more loss of lives .
But he said that the Election Commission, not the government, should set
out the timeframe for the election.
And another red-shirt leader, Jatuporn Prompan, said more clarity on the poll was needed: We want Abhisit to come back to us with a clear parliamentary dissolution date instead of an election date and we will
meet and consider it again .
Abhisit's reconciliation plan offers polls at least three months later than the red-shirts had wanted.
Thailand is on the brink of civil war after Abhisit Vejjajiva, its British-born prime minister, rejected a deal with angry Red Shirt protesters.
Eighteen months after becoming prime minister of Thailand, once a bulwark of Asian calm and
prosperity, Abhisit is still in office but is only just in power.
Anti-government protesters who support one of his ousted predecessors, Thaksin Shinawatra were preparing for new and ugly clashes with the Thai army after Abhisit rejected a
compromise designed to end weeks of increasing violence.
On Friday, alarmed by the pace of events, Red Shirt leaders offered to end their occupation of Bangkok's central shopping district, normally awash with foreign tourists, in return for
elections within the next three months.
But when Abhisit, who knows he would probably lose such a poll, was asked if he accepted the protesters' proposal, he replied bluntly: No, I don't.
His refusal to give ground spells an almost
certain escalation of trouble. If the army does not move in to confront the red-shirted crowds, rival bands of yellow-shirted supporters of the government have threatened to take matters into their own hands.
The barricades were on Saturday
drenched in petrol and ready to be set alight by black-clad security men when the army attacks. Banks of loudspeakers blared out fiery speeches as listless bar girls hung around nearby – their business has suffered during the protests.
And for the first time Thais are beginning to face up to the possibility that their prosperous nation stands on the brink of civil war.
The normally sober Bangkok Post ran an editorial warning that volatility could spark civil war , and
predicted many casualties if troops attempt to crush the Red Shirts.
The stockmarket edged downwards, protesters armed themselves and tourists fled. The mayhem is badly damaging Thailand's international reputation.
The United Front for
Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), as the Red Shirts like to be called, aim to force Abhisit from office – and they scent blood. Last night their leaders warned that they expect a new confrontation with the army within 48 hours after the
government rejected their compromise offer.
Thais are glancing nervously at the army, believed to be badly split behind a brittle fa?de of unity. Generals have launched 18 coups since 1932, but almost as great a fear now is that enlisted men could
join protesters and help turn the protests into a full-scale uprising.
Meanwhile the capital's streets are now too dangerous for Abhisit to venture out without powerful military protection, and he hasn't been anywhere near his parliament for
The Yellow Shirts – officially known as The People's Alliance for Democracy – have threatened their own action if the government does not get tough with the Red Shirts.
It was their protests that originally paved the way
for Abhisit's premiership. He had hoped to go down in history as the leader who healed Thailand's wounds. If his natural allies now fight with rival Red Shirts on Bangkok's streets, he may instead be remembered as the man in charge when Thailand
descended into civil war.
Britons have been warned by the UK government that they should avoid all but essential travel to Bangkok.
The Foreign Office gave its travel advice relating to Thailand's capital because of the risk that violence could break out without
It follows a series of blasts near a massive encampment of anti-government protesters in Bangkok's business district. A number of people are reported killed or injured in the blasts.
The Foreign Office said in a statement: This advice reflects our concern for the safety of British nationals planning to travel to Bangkok, given the risk that violence could break out without warning during the increasingly volatile political crisis.
The situation is changing on a daily basis, and we recommend that British nationals living in Thailand or travelling to the country check the travel advice on the Foreign Office website regularly for details of further developments.
Thai Army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said five M-79 grenades had been fired in the latest attack. Three fell through the roof of the Saladaeng Skytrain station, along Silom Road, the centre of Bangkok's business district, he said. A fourth exploded on the pavement near the five-star Dusit Thani Hotel and the fifth near a bank, he added.
The Thai army has made explicit its determination to use live ammunition against red-shirt anti-government protesters in certain circumstances.
An army spokesman told a regular news briefing that troops were ready to use their weapons decisively
The red-shirts later called off plans to march on the city's Silom business district, saying they wanted to avoid confrontation with the army.
Troops moved into Silom on Monday, in an increasingly militarised standoff.
BBC's Rachel Harvey says the army believes that some more militant members of the protest movement were preparing weapons such as sharpened bamboo sticks, acid and grenades.
We can no longer use the soft to hard steps, spokesman Col Sansern
Kaewkamnerd told reporters: We have to keep a distance between troops and demonstrators. If they try to break the line, we will start using tear gas, and if they do break the line, we need to use weapons to deal with them decisively.
military had earlier outlined seven steps to be taken by security forces before any shooting would take place. These included a show of force, the use of sound blasters and signal scramblers, followed by fire hoses and water cannon. They then allowed for
a possible shield charge, and a baton charge preceding any use of tear gas or pepper spray, culminating in the use of rubber bullets.
Col Sansern's latest comments compressed this process down to four steps, ending not in rubber bullets, but live
Pressure is mounting on Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the wake of Saturday's deadly clashes between troops and anti-government protesters.
Thailand's army chief has called for parliament to be dissolved, apparently echoing protesters'
calls for polls.
Speaking to journalists, Gen Anupong Paojinda said he was reluctant to use force to end the stand-off: It must be ended by political means, he said. The problem will be resolved with House dissolution, but when to
dissolve depends on the outcome of negotiations.
The Election Commission, meanwhile, has ruled that there is enough evidence to charge Abhisit's party over illegal donations.
The decision by the Election Commission must now be sent to
the attorney-general's office for referral to the Constitutional Court.
It is not yet clear when this might happen but correspondents say the timing of this decision is extremely bad for the embattled prime minister.
On Saturday clashes
between security forces and the red-shirt protesters left 21 people dead and nearly 900 injured. It was the worst political violence in Thailand since 1992.
Autopsies carried out on the bodies of nine protesters killed in clashes with Thai
security forces in Bangkok at the weekend have revealed they were struck by live rounds.
A month ago, Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva might have felt relatively secure, despite the opposition's anger at his government.
But then the anti-government protesters, the red-shirts, began their protests in the old heart of
Bangkok, to press for new elections, and Abhisit has spent the following weeks under military protection, unable to go home or to his office.
He had to beg generals to implement emergency laws intended to clear the demonstrations once and for all.
And when the troops finally did decide to move against the red-shirts on 10 April, it was a botched operation, leading to the deaths of some 20 people, both civilians and soldiers.
The red-shirts are still in control of some streets in the
capital. Huge trucks are blocking public access to the central shopping district and the original base camp at Phan Fah bridge is gathering new recruits during the day.
The high number of dead damages both sides, but analysts are wondering where
the government can go from here.
The last time there was this much bloodshed on the streets was in 1992, when pro-democracy protesters fought against the appointment of an unelected general, Suchinda Kraprayoon, as prime ministe.
Several protesters and soldiers have been injured in escalating clashes in Bangkok, the Thai capital.
Thai troops fired live rounds and tear gas directly at protesters, known as red shirts , at a bridge next to the regional UN headquarters, wounding at least one in the arm, a Reuters' photographer reported on Saturday.
have clashed with protesters and have fired tear gas at them. Shots have also been fired, Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said.
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok amid escalating anti-government protests.
In a televised address, Abhisit said the move - which gives sweeping new powers to the security forces to tackle
protesters - would help restore order.
Emergency law gives sweeping powers to the security forces and in theory bans public gatherings of more than five people, our correspondent says.
This is the fourth state of emergency in the capital
since 2008. It comes hours after thousands of red-shirt protesters marched on parliament - forcing MPs to flee the building.
Thousands of red-shirts had earlier gathered outside parliament and were faced with similar numbers of riot police.
The parliamentary session was abandoned shortly after it had begun and senior politicians, including Abhisit, were ushered out of the building by security guards. A group of protesters then barged their way into the grounds of parliament, but retreated
shortly afterwards and there were no reports of violence.
The protesters want Abhisit to resign and call elections.
The government had vowed not to use force against the red-shirts, and the protesters too had said their demonstrations would
not be violent. But Abhisit said in his televised address that the protesters could no longer be considered peaceful after their march on parliament.
Tens of thousands of anti government protesters remain in the commercial heart of Bangkok
and show no signs of moving voluntarily.