In brief: Thai police shift strategy, remove barriers
BANGKOK – Anti-government protesters crossed heavily fortified barriers and reached the gates of the Thai prime minister’s office and the city police headquarters without resistance from police today.
Police used cranes to remove concrete slabs and barbed wire barricades on a road leading to the police headquarters after agreeing to let the protesters into the building. After bitterly resisting them with tear gas and rubber bullets since Saturday, police also stood by as protesters removed the barriers to the prime minister’s office and walked through today.
The unexpected reversal of strategy by the government suggests it no longer wants to confront the protesters after three days of clashes that have left three people dead and more than 230 injured.
After breaching the barriers on the road, the protesters milled outside the gates of the prime minister’s office, known as Government House, and made no attempt to go through the gates.
Building collapses in Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO – A five-story building under construction collapsed Monday night in the Sao Paulo suburb of Guarulhos, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.
The collapse happened after most workers had left for the day, but it wasn’t known if anyone was still on the site when the accident occurred.
Police shooting a first in Iceland
For the first time in Iceland’s modern history, police carried out a fatal shooting early Monday during an exchange of gunfire with a man reported to be firing at cars from his apartment window.
Two police officers were wounded in the shootout that followed a 5 a.m. emergency call from neighbors, Euronews quoted an Icelandic news agency as reporting. The 59-year-old victim from eastern Reykjavik, who wasn’t immediately identified, was taken to an area hospital where he died of his wounds.
An investigation has been ordered of the rare use of firearms by police, reported to be the first fatality in the more than 200 years since the former Viking stronghold began its drive for independence from Denmark.
HONG KONG – Hong Kong has reported its first case of the H7N9 bird flu strain, in a possible sign the virus is spreading beyond mainland China since it first emerged there earlier this year.
A 36-year-old Indonesian maid has been hospitalized in critical condition, the southern Chinese financial hub’s Health Secretary Ko Wing-man said late Monday. The maid had a history of traveling across the border to the mainland city of Shenzhen to buy, slaughter and eat chickens, Ko said.