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A Thai court on Thursday dismissed murder charges against former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy over a bloody 2010 protest crackdown, months after a military coup tipped the balance of power in the politically divided nation. The charges were brought to court under a previous government led by Abhisit's rivals who have since been ousted from office. Scores of demonstrators died under Abhisit's establishment-backed leadership in street clashes between mostly unarmed "Red Shirt" supporters of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and security forces firing live rounds in Bangkok. A criminal court in the capital, which previously agreed to hear the charges, ruled that it did not have jurisdiction in the case against Abhisit and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban because they were holders of public office at the time and acting under an emergency decree.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A fiery Pakistani cleric who has been leading a mass rally outside parliament demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation says he has "shut the door" on further talks with the government.
South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Wednesday urged Dutch pension fund ABP, the world's third largest, to "strike a powerful, non-violent blow for peace in the Middle East" by divesting from three Israeli banks. An ABP spokeswoman said the management board would discuss Tutu's appeal at its monthly meeting on Thursday, alongside a letter from 'Christians for Israel', a Dutch lobby group which wants the fund to remain invested in the Israeli banks. ABP, which had 309 billion euros ($408 billion) invested worldwide at the end of 2013, has nearly three million members in the Netherlands and holdings totalling about 51 million euros in the three Israeli banks - Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.