THAILAND

Boy's depiction of Hitler

in video causes uproar

The short propaganda film commissioned by Thailand's military rulers was supposed to promote the "12 core values" every Thai student must now learn. But there was one scene the junta has had trouble explaining: a grinning schoolboy painting an image of Adolf Hitler while his smiling classmate applauds.

The video, which has been screened before movies in major theaters since Saturday, has been met with ridicule on social media and condemned by the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok.

On Wednesday, a senior official in the prime minister's office, Panadda Diskul, called the uproar a "misunderstanding," but said the Nazi imagery in the cartoon scene would soon be replaced.

The 11-minute film tells the story of two children learning about life and loyalty, and Panadda explained that the boy shown merrily painting an image of Hitler saluting beside a swastika was trying to compare his mother to a dictator, in essence a rebellious jest. In the video, however, there is no such explanation.     - AP
PERU

Activists told to apologize

Peru will prevent a group of Greenpeace activists from leaving the country until they apologize for allegedly damaging a site near pre-Hispanic drawings in the Nazca desert, according to a government official. As many as 20 people entered the archaeological site without authorization Monday to place a banner next to one of the geoglyphs, which are 1,500 to 2,000 years old, Deputy Minister for Cultural Heritage Luis Jaime Castillo said by phone from Lima. They left footprints in the desert adjacent to a geoglyph that may be impossible to remove, Castillo said.

- Bloomberg

ZIMBABWE

A possible successor

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe named Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa his first vice president and deputy leader of the ruling party, strengthening his position as a possible successor to the 90-year-old leader. Former ambassador Phelekeza Mphoko was named second vice president. They will be sworn in Friday, Mugabe said Wednesday in the capital, Harare.

- Bloomberg