By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - The leader of a protest group trying to overthrow Thailand's government and scrap planned elections said on Friday the prime minister should either step down or be forced out, and his movement would then need around a year to push through reforms. Suthep Thaugsuban, a lawmaker who resigned from parliament to lead the protest, and his allies have spoken of a volunteer police force, decentralization of power and electoral reform - but apart from that have been noticeably short on specifics. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called an election for February 2 in an effort to end the street protests but Suthep, knowing that allies of Yingluck's brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, would probably win any election, wants an unelected "people's council" to take over. Thailand's eight-year political conflict centres on Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon popular among the rural poor because of policies pursued when he was in power and carried on by governments allied to him when he was ousted.
By Emmanuel Braun BANGUI (Reuters) - As the base for French forces in Central African Republic, Bangui airport is one of the safest places in town. It is now also home to around 30,000 civilians who have fled fighting between Christian and Muslim militia. Even here, though, fear is palpable and access to the displaced, who are sprawled out across a large field or sheltering among rusting carcasses of abandoned airplanes, is controlled by Christian militia men and boys, some of whom are armed with machetes. An assault on Bangui last week by these Christian militia, aided by gunmen loyal to ousted President Francois Bozize, sparked waves of killings and reprisals that killed over 500 people and displaced over 100,000 in the capital alone.
By Jack Kim and David Chance SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has executed the powerful uncle of young leader Kim Jong Un, state media said on Friday, the biggest upheaval in years as the ruling dynasty sought to distance itself from responsibility for the isolated states's dire living standards. Jang Song Thaek, considered the second most powerful man in the secretive North, was killed just days ahead of the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, the father of North Korea's current ruler. The execution coincided with Kim Jong Un - the third Kim to rule North Korea - suddenly being portrayed in state media as the image of his father rather than his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who is still revered as the founder of the nation. Kim Jong Il was blamed by some for the 1990s famine that killed a million people.