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Thailand nightclub fire leaves at least 13 people killed and 35 injured

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BANGKOK – At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured when a fire broke out at a nightclub in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province early on Friday, a police official said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and all victims so far have been identified as Thai nationals, police said. A separate statement from the Chonburi emergency service described 14 of the injuries as severe.

The fire at the Mountain B nightclub, about 111 miles southeast of the capital Bangkok, started at about 1:00 a.m. local time, Wuttipong Somjai, a superintendent at a local police station, told Reuters by phone.

Firefighters work to contain a fire at the Mountain B nightclub in Sattahip district in Thailand's Chonburi province on Aug. 5, 2022.
Firefighters work to contain a fire at the Mountain B nightclub in Sattahip district in Thailand’s Chonburi province on Aug. 5, 2022.
Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue
This handout photo taken and released on August 5, 2022 by the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation shows rescue workers inside the Mountain B nightclub after a fire in Sattahip district in Thailand's Chonburi province
Rescue workers search inside the Mountain B nightclub after a fire occurred in the Sattahip district in Thailand’s Chonburi province.
Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue
Chalit Chotisupakarn, a survivor of the Mountain B nightclub fire, speaks to authorities outside the destroyed venue (in background) in Sattahip district in Thailand's Chonburi province on August 5, 2022.
Chalit Chotisupakarn, a survivor of the Mountain B nightclub fire, speaks to authorities outside the destroyed venue.
AFP via Getty Images

Local TV footage showed people fleeing the fire and emergency workers putting out flames and looking through the burnt-out premises, with shoes and bottles strewn across the ground.

A witness who went by the name Nana told local TV she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the venue.

“I saw flames above the stage, on the right side. I think it was about the same time at the singer on stage saw it too and he shouted ‘fire!’ and threw the mic at it,” she told broadcaster PPTV. “I saw a lot of the pub’s bouncers covered in fire inside.”

Major fire damage fills the interior at the Mountain B pub in the Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Bangkok, Thailand.
Major fire damage fills the interior at the Mountain B pub in the Sattahip district of Chonburi province.
AP
This handout photo taken and released on August 5, 2022 by the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation shows rescue workers inside the Mountain B nightclub after a fire in Sattahip district in Thailand's Chonburi province. - A fire tore through a Thai nightclub early August 5 killing at least 13 people and injuring 40, a rescue services official said
The fire has killed at least 13, according to Thai officials.
Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue

The incident comes 13 years after pyrotechnics started a blaze at a New Year’s party at the crowded Santika nightclub in Bangkok, killing 66 people. Investigations into that fire found several key breaches at the club, official corruption and revealed lax attitudes towards safety at entertainment venues at the time.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday assured victims’ families they would receive help from authorities and urged entertainment venues nationwide to ensure they have proper emergency exits and safety measures in place.

Forensic officers enter the Mountain B nightclub where at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured when a fire broke out early on Friday, in Chonburi province, Thailand, August 5, 2022
Forensic officers enter the Mountain B nightclub where at least 35 were injured.
REUTERS
The destroyed facade of the Mountain B nightclub is pictured after a deadly fire in Sattahip district in Thailand's Chonburi province on August 5, 2022
The nightclub’s facade was significantly charred following the deadly fire in Thailand’s Chonburi province.
AFP via Getty Images


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Opinion | One Year Under Taliban Rule

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A new generation is slowly coming to terms with the reality that they may not be able to pursue the life they expected. Girls and women who had started to feel like normal human beings are being forced to become prisoners in their homes again. Men and women, young and old, are all living in a state of fear and trauma, with poverty and unemployment soaring. Many of our people, including me, now believe only a miracle can save us.

Credit…Connor Willumsen

Fatima Gailani

Ms. Gailani is a political leader and women’s rights activist who previously served as president of the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

I was one of four women who participated in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan 2020 peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar. During those talks, I saw how hope for peace had faded and the power of the Taliban over the country. But even now I am not convinced that negotiations are hopeless.

People like to dismiss politics, but over the past 40 years I have seen that — without a political solution — we always lose. Watching the country collapse and fall under Taliban control was very difficult. It was a pure act of force.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed the communists take power. I have witnessed the mujahedeen take power. I have now witnessed the Taliban take power. All of these attempts at government have ultimately failed because they haven’t had the support of the people.

In order to form a true Afghan government, the Afghan people have to be involved. I envision a government where everyone has a real say, where the government is shaped by the people themselves. If the Taliban will not listen to the Afghan people, if they do not see reality, they will lose. The only way forward is through unity. Our country needs to be repaired. We need to come together.

Nahid Shahalimi is an Afghan activist, filmmaker and author and the editor of the forthcoming collection “We Are Still Here: Afghan Women on Courage, Freedom, and the Fight to Be Heard.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.




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3 New York Police Commanders Arrested In Corruption Probe : NPR

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Three New York Police Department commanders were arrested Monday as a result of an investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising.



AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A federal investigation in New York City is revealing a culture of back scratching and outright corruption and the highest levels of the NYPD. Federal prosecutors announced charges today against senior police officials and others, including a political contributor to the mayor.

Here to talk about this big ongoing investigation is WNYC reporter Robert Lewis. And Robert, to start, we know upwards of four police officials were charged today. What happened?

ROBERT LEWIS, BYLINE: Well, there was a sergeant in the gun licensing division of the NYPD who apparently accepted bribes in exchange for fast-tracking pistol licenses. There was a police officer in the same unit who already pleaded guilty to the alleged scheme, and the man who paid the bribes who runs a Orthodox Jewish security patrol – he’s also been charged in that scheme.

CORNISH: And the others?

LEWIS: Well, two of the highest-ranking officers in the department – a deputy chief and a deputy inspector – they allegedly got expensive gifts, trips, even prostitutes from a politically connected businessman who in return got favors from these cops. This is actually U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara talking about the case, announcing the charges.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PREET BHARARA: They got, in effect, a private police force for themselves and their friends. Effectively, they got cops on call.

CORNISH: Now, this is part of a larger investigation. How do these arrests tie into that?

LEWIS: Well, when news first broke in April, it sort of – there was this multi-tentacled probe, and these cases sort of start to fill in the blanks and show how they’re connected. There was a Ponzi scheme up in Harlem. There’s this gun licensing probe. Just earlier this month, the head of the jail guard union was arrested and charged with corruption. And many of these cases involve these same businessmen sort of using their money to get favors and influence with officials.

CORNISH: Now, how significant is this for the NYPD?

LEWIS: Well, it seems to be a pretty big deal. We’ve already seen close to a dozen high-ranking NYPD officials either put on modified duty or having left the department as part of this probe. And every 20 years, there really seems to be some sort of major corruption scandal in the NYPD, and we’re pretty much at that 20 year mark.

Worth noting – Commissioner William Bratton sort of downplayed the notion that there is something deeper, bigger going on. He said that this isn’t like those past probes, corruption investigations. This is just an issue with a few individuals.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WILLIAM BRATTON: Police officers, especially high-ranking members of the department, have to know better, need to know better and have to set the example for others and have to follow the law.

LEWIS: In the charging documents, there are allegations that even lower-level officers sort of knew about what was going on. They were, you know, maybe pulling over someone on a parking ticket and knew that, oh, wait; this is a friend of the deputy chief, so maybe we should let them off. So I think there are some serious questions about how deep this went.

CORNISH: Before I let you go, what can you tell us about any connection there can be to the mayor’s office?

LEWIS: The businessman who was paying these alleged bribes or giving gifts to these high-ranking police officials – one of them was Jeremy Reichberg. He’s a fundraiser to the mayor. Certainly there’s been a lot of chatter that these probes are looking at donors to the mayor. That being said, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was very clear in today’s press conference saying that this case does not connect directly to the mayor’s office.

CORNISH: That’s Robert Lewis from WNYC. Thank you for sharing your reporting.

LEWIS: You’re welcome.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.


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Opinion | The New York Times’s Interview With Yuh-Line Niou

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Patrick Healy: Do you think the Democratic elected officials are out of step with Democratic voters on immigration today, on L.G.B.T.Q. rights or on any other issue, as you talk to voters and listen to what party leaders and officials say?

Maybe not in my district. In District 10, it’s going to be — it’s probably one of the more progressive districts in the state. So maybe that’s maybe not what I’m hearing as much in the district. I think a lot of people are definitely very much thinking the same when it comes to protecting our bodily autonomy, making sure to restrict — make sure that we have tighter gun laws, making sure that we have L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. protections, rights, making sure that we have a better answer to how we are looking at public safety.

I think that my district cares the most about what The New York Times has to say. I think that it’s really about trying to make sure that we have a reason for also standing up for things that we do. And I think that that’s really what it is. I don’t think that Democrats are necessarily out of touch. But I think that what can be difficult for the rest of the state, maybe, and even the rest of America — I think that there are certain messaging pieces that are hitting home for my district, but maybe not necessarily for everyone else.

Patrick Healy: Is there just, real quickly, an example of that?

For example, I think that in my district, one of the things that we all care about is our bodily autonomy. I saw that almost all of my neighbors came out when Roe was overturned, right? We were all out there on the street. As I was walking through Washington Square Park, I kept on seeing neighbor after neighbor after neighbor. They’re like, ‘Hey, Line, what’s up? We knew you would be out here.’ It was like every single person that I knew was there.

But it just seemed, I don’t know, just kind of shocking to me, in some aspects, because I live down here, that there were people who felt differently, obviously, elsewhere in America. And I also hear it sometimes in the very Christian Chinese community. I hear it sometimes in parts of the district.

Like, we can talk to them, but it’s really about making sure that we actually answer people’s questions, give transparency and improve that messaging. But yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest things. I’m actually shocked when this has been law for so long.


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