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A website devoted to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand was urging supporters to turn out and welcome him home from exile Thursday. Appearing to confirm that likelihood, Army chief Anupong Paochinda said security would be provided for the arrival, although he warned that "a third hand might take the opportunity to cause trouble." The Army seized power 17 months ago while Thaksin was out of the country, accusing him of corruption and abuse of power, and he still is under indictment.Skip to next paragraph
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Two hundred members of Brazil's elite National Security Force arrived in a remote Amazon town to reinforce soldiers and police trying to enforce the biggest crackdown so far against illegal logging. The combined force will remain there "for an undetermined period of time," officials said after angry loggers and sawmill workers forced environmental inspectors to flee and blocked roads in protest at the prospective loss of their jobs. Above, a policeman stands guard as illegally cut logs are seized.
In a flurry of moves, the military government of Fiji charged ex-Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase with abuse of office and deported to Australia the publisher of a newspaper it said had printed reports "destabilizing to national security." Qarase could be imprisoned for up to 10 years if convicted. The moves come less than a week after military ruler Frank Bainimarama, who ousted Qarase in a 2006 coup, tightened his grip on power by appointing himself as head of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs.
Bundled into an insulated parka, environmentalist and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai officially opened the so-called "doomsday" seed vault Tuesday by placing a box of rice samples from Kenya into storage. The vault, hollowed out of a mountain on the Arctic Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, has the capacity to protect 2.25 billion crop seeds from around the world for hundreds of years. It will be a backup to other seed banks, some of which have been destroyed by war, flooding, and other phenomena.