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Birthday Parachute Jump

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

Eighty skydivers carried out a parachute jump to celebrate the Thailand King Bhumipol Adulyadej's 80th birthday on Saturday.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. Bhumibol Adulyadej, assumed the throne in June 1946 and is the world's longest-reigning monarch. The royal family is revered by many Thais.

The military, led by the army commander-in-chief, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, seized power in a bloodless coup while Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister, was attending the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2006.

The interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont will govern until elections promised for October 2007.

The coup was condemned abroad but the new leadership was endorsed by the king. It was Thailand's first coup in 15 years but its 18th since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

The coup leaders, who call themselves the Council for National Security, said they seized power to unite the nation after months of political turmoil and promised to return the country to civilian rule.


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