PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — An Australian filmmaker arrested after flying a drone to photograph a Cambodian opposition party rally last year was convicted of spying and sentenced to six years in prison Friday. James Ricketson had faced up to 10 years in prison. Almost two dozen jailed critics or opponents of Prime Minister Hun Sen's government had been freed in recent weeks following a sweeping ruling party election victory, which had raised hopes of leniency in Ricketson's case. Ricketson has been detained without bail since his arrest in June last year. Prosecutors have indicated he was suspected of working with the opposition party or had worked directly for a foreign power, though that country was never specified in court.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president will send a special delegation to North Korea next week for talks on a nuclear standoff and to set up a summit planned for next month, his office said Friday. The planned trip on Wednesday comes amid growing worry over the slow pace of getting North Korea to end its nuclear program following President Donald Trump's Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June. Trump declared that summit a success and suggested the nuclear issue would be solved, but there has since been widespread doubt over Kim's willingness to relinquish his nukes.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull resigned from Parliament on Friday, triggering a by-election that could bring down the unpopular conservative government. Disgruntled lawmakers in Turnbull's conservative Liberal Party replaced him as prime minister with his treasurer, Scott Morrison, in a party ballot last Friday. The government has trailed the center-left opposition Labor Party in most opinion polls since the last election in 2016. Turnbull became the fourth prime minister ousted by his or her own party since 2010. He warned that he would quit Parliament and cause a by-election that could cost the government its single-seat majority.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is gearing up for the first visit of a Philippine president to the country, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, welcoming Rodrigo Duterte, who in the past compared his bloody anti-drug crackdown to Hitler and the Holocaust. Duterte is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and attend an event of the Filipino community in Israel during his three-day visit that begins Sunday. "We assign great importance to this visit, which symbolizes the strong, warm ties between our two peoples as well as the enormous potential for developing and strengthening the relations.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Catholic Church in Australia on Friday rejected a recommendation by a government inquiry that priests be required to report evidence of child sex abuse disclosed in the confessional. The recommendation that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional was a key finding in December of Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Australia's longest-running royal commission — which is the country's highest form of inquiry — had been investigating since 2012 how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Thousands of Pakistan's hard-line Islamists dispersed peacefully after ending their protest march near Islamabad on Friday following the cancellation of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest sponsored by an anti-Muslim Dutch lawmaker. The development came hours after far-right politician Geert Wilders said Thursday he had canceled the cartoon contest following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk. The decision prompted Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand Pakistani cleric who heads Tehreek-i-Labaik party, to end his march, which began Wednesday from the eastern city of Lahore. Rizvi had planned to stage a sit-in to force Pakistan to sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands over the contest.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Six people were honored Friday as this year's winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, known as Asia's version of the Nobel Prize, including a Cambodian genocide survivor who helped document the Khmer Rouge atrocities and an Indian psychiatrist who led the rescue of thousands of mentally ill street paupers. The others who received the prize at a ceremony in Manila were a Filipino who led peace talks with communist insurgents, a polio-stricken Vietnamese who fought discrimination against the disabled, an East Timorese who built care centers for the poor amid civil strife and an Indian who tutored village students to help them pass exams.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A Polish man detained in Indonesia's troubled Papua region on suspicion of links to separatists will be tried there instead of being deported, police said Friday. Jakub Fabian Skrzypski, 39, described by police as a journalist, was arrested several days ago in Wamena, the capital of the mountainous district of Jayawijaya, following the arrests of five Papuans who had a quantity of ammunition. Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said Skrzypski would be charged with involvement in a treasonous plot, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. "He committed his crime here, therefore he will face the legal process here," Kamal told The Associated Press.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand authorities said on Friday that convicted secrets leaker Chelsea Manning can enter the country for a speaking tour, a day after tour organizers said she couldn't enter Australia. Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking U.S. government secrets and would not normally qualify for entry into New Zealand under its good-character provisions. But Immigration New Zealand General Manager Steve Stuart said Manning had been granted a "special direction," allowing her to apply for a working visa for planned speaking events in Auckland and Wellington next month. Stuart said the agency noted that Manning's sentence had been commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017, that she had not reoffended since being released, and that the chances of her offending while in New Zealand were low.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese activists including seven parents of LGBT children submitted a petition with more than 25,000 signatures to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party on Friday, demanding that a lawmaker apologize for saying that sexual minorities are unproductive and don't deserve public support. A lawmaker belonging to Abe's ruling party, Mio Sugita, said in a right-wing magazine in July that the government shouldn't use tax money for LGBT rights because same-sex couples don't produce children and have "no productivity." The comment triggered outrage from sexual minorities as well as others, including the elderly and disabled. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party was slow to respond, criticizing her only after tens of thousands of people staged angry protests outside the party headquarters.