Thai authorities say boat death toll at 17

A woman sits at a pier as Thai fishermen move their boats at Ban Nam Khem, one of Thailand's worst-affected villages by the tsunami which struck the country's western Andaman Coast on December 26, 2004. (File Photo: AFP/Christophe ARCHAMBAULT)
Updated 06 July 2018
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Thai authorities say boat death toll at 17

  • The boat was carrying 90 passengers when it capsized
  • Around 20 people are missing after a diving boat capsized in rough seas off the Thai tourist island of Phuket

BANGKOK: Thai authorities say the death toll in a boat accident off the coast of Phuket has climbed to 17.
The chief of the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said Friday afternoon that another 38 people were missing.
At least 10 of the dead where Chinese tourists.
Navy divers are scouring the wreckage of a boat that was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, 11 crew and one tour guide when it toppled in 5-meter (16-foot) -high seas Thursday.
The boat was carrying 90 passengers when it capsized "half of them were rescued, the operation is still ongoing," an official at the department, which is based in Bangkok told AFP, requesting not to be named.
The boat was returning to Phuket from Koh Racha.
Footage shared on Facebook showed officials at a pier gathering information as the rescue operation unfolded in darkness behind them.
It was not immediately clear if the passengers were tourists, but the area is a magnet for overseas visitors.
In a separate incident in the same area Thursday evening a yacht called the Senerita carrying 39 people also capsized, the official added.
An initial report said all of the passengers were pulled from the sea alive but the official who spoke to AFP could not provide any further information.
Thailand is already in the global spotlight for a dramatic rescue mission in the north of the country, after 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in a cave complex.


UK court rejects case brought by mother of Daesh 'Beatle'

Updated 3 min 42 sec ago
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UK court rejects case brought by mother of Daesh 'Beatle'

  • El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are being held by Kurdish militia after being captured in Syria last year
  • United States wants to extradite them and Britain has said it will not stand in the way

LONDON: The mother of one of the British Daesh militants suspected of murdering western hostages, lost a legal challenge on Friday that it was wrong for Britain to assist a US investigation which could lead to them facing the death penalty.
Britons El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey — two of a notorious group of British fighters nicknamed “The Beatles” — are being held by Kurdish militia after being captured in Syria last year.
The United States wants to extradite them and Britain has said it will not stand in the way of any future US prosecution that would seek the death penalty, waiving a long-standing objection to executions.
Elsheikh’s mother, Maha El Gizouli, had sought a judicial review, saying it was unlawful for Britain’s interior minister to provide mutual legal assistance in a case which could lead to prosecutions for offenses which carried the death penalty.
Her lawyers said the minister’s actions were flawed, inconsistent with Britain’s unequivocal opposition to the death penalty and violated her son’s human rights. However, London’s High Court disagreed and dismissed her claim.
“My priority has always been to ensure we deliver justice for the victims’ families and that the individuals suspected of these sickening crimes face prosecution as quickly as possible,” Home Secretary Sajid Javid said.
“Our long-standing opposition to the death penalty has not changed. Any evidence shared with the US in this case must be for the express purpose of progressing a federal prosecution.”
The most notorious of the four of the so-called Beatles was Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John,” who is believed to have been killed in a US-British missile strike in 2015.
He became a public face of Daesh and appeared in videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and other hostages.
“This group of terrorists is associated with some of the most barbaric crimes committed during the conflict in Syria,” Graeme Biggar, Director of National Security at Britain’s interior ministry, said in a written statement to the court.
Britain has said it does not want the men repatriated to the United Kingdom and their British citizenship has been withdrawn.
British prosecutors concluded they did not have the evidence to launch their own case against the men but US officials then expressed frustration with the British stance of seeking an assurance that US prosecutors would not call for the death penalty, court documents showed.
However, last June, British ministers and senior officials decided the best way of ensuring a prosecution and to protect US relations was to seek no such assurance in this case.
That decision provoked criticism from opposition lawmakers and from some in the government’s own party who accused ministers of secretly abandoning Britain’s opposition to the death penalty.