BANGKOK

Thailand’s military seizes control in bloodless coup

Without firing a shot, Thailand’s powerful military seized control of this volatile Southeast Asian nation Thursday, suspending the constitution and detaining Cabinet ministers in a risky bid to end half a year of political upheaval that many fear will only deepen the nation’s crisis.

The coup, the second in eight years, accomplished in a few minutes what anti-government protesters backed by the nation’s traditional elite and staunch royalists had failed to achieve on the street: the overthrow of a democratically elected government they had accused of corruption.

The new junta leader, army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced he was taking power almost immediately after talks between the nation’s political rivals ended in deadlock and the government refused to resign.

BLAHODATNE, Ukraine

Pro-Russian insurgents stage attack on checkpoint

In the deadliest raid yet on Ukrainian troops, pro-Russia insurgents attacked a military checkpoint Thursday, killing 16 soldiers, and the interim prime minister accused Moscow of trying to disrupt the upcoming election for a new president to lead the divided country.

A rebel commander said one of his fighters also died in the raid in eastern Ukraine, which left charred military vehicles and scorched bodies near the town of Volnovakha, 20 miles south of the city of Donetsk.

KINGSTON, Jamaica

British Virgin Islands ban commercial shark fishing

The British Virgin Islands declared its territorial waters a sanctuary for all shark species Thursday to help protect the marine predators whose global numbers have been dramatically dwindling.

Kedrick Pickering, deputy premier and minister for natural resources, said the loss of sharks disrupts the predator-prey balance, compromising the health of oceans and reefs and the survival of other marine creatures.

The Cabinet of the British Caribbean archipelago of roughly 60 small islands, cays and islets banned commercial fishing of all shark species in the 30,933 square miles of its exclusive economic zone. 

– From news service reports