SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye was being questioned Thursday by a court that will decide if she should be arrested over corruption allegations that have already toppled her from power. Live TV footage earlier showed a stern looking Park entering the Seoul Central District Court building amid a barrage of camera flashes. She did not comment to reporters. The court is expected to decide by Friday morning whether to approve her arrest. If the court approves the arrest warrant requested by prosecutors, Park will be immediately sent to a detention facility as prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before laying formal charges.
TOKYO (AP) — Let's say you're North Korea and you have this nuclear device you really want to test. And let's say you'd rather some of the more sensitive details remain private. Physicists, geologists, imagery analysts, some of the best militaries in the world, monitoring posts set up by non-proliferation organizations — beating the technology arrayed against you will be no mean feat. As soon as you detonate your device, seismographs all over the world are going to pick it up. If it has a decent yield, it will look like a moderate earthquake, but not to the experts — who will quickly identify it as a man-made explosion.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — From a botched rescue job to severely wrong death counts, South Korea's government has been blamed for a series of egregious errors in its handling of the 2014 sinking of the Sewol ferry, which killed 304 people in one of the country's worst disasters. Mistakes have continued three years later, even as workers pulled off a Herculean effort to lift the corroding 6,800-ton ship from the sea and place it on a heavy lift transport vessel that will carry it to port. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries made a startling announcement on Tuesday, saying salvage crews had found bones near the ship's wreckage that were likely from some of the nine passengers still missing.
GUNUNG GEDE PANGRANGO, Indonesia (AP) — Shrouded in mist and cloud, the twin volcanoes of the lushly forested Gunung Gede Pangrango national park are the brooding guardians of nature's last stand on teeming Java island. Indonesia's overflowing, polluted capital is a couple of hours north, and with Trump-branded properties being built next to this protected area, Jakarta may soon feel even closer. Over the next four years, a sprawling "Trump Community" will be built in this pocket of Indonesia's most densely populated island, with a new road leading to it. It's part of broader plans, including a massive theme park, that have alarmed conservationists who fear development will overwhelm a refuge for some of the archipelago's most threatened species.
BEIJING (AP) — China promised Wednesday to stick to its climate commitments after President Donald Trump eased U.S. curbs on coal and oil use, opening the way for Beijing to assert itself as a leader in environmental policy. China is the No. 1 emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases but also the top investor in solar, wind and other renewable energy. It has promised to cap coal use and rein in growth of carbon dioxide emissions. "As a responsible developing country, China's plan, determination and policy to tackle climate change is resolute," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said. Beijing's collaboration on climate with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had been seen as a bright spot in a bilateral relationship with numerous strains.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani court has temporarily barred the extradition of a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin accused of planning a terror attack in New York with help from the Islamic State group, a defense lawyer said Wednesday. No information has emerged so far about the plot involving Talha Haroon, who was detained in Pakistan last September, or about the assistance he allegedly got from the country's Islamic State affiliate. The request for Haroon's extradition was made sometime after his arrest and approved by a district magistrate in January. Haroon's father meanwhile sought a stay order, which was granted on Monday by the Islamabad High Court.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's embattled Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking a key step in its struggles to stop the flow of massive red ink. Toshiba said in a statement that it filed the Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York. The move had been largely expected. Toshiba has said it's expecting a loss of 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) for April-December of last year, including a 712.5 billion yen ($6.2 billion) hit from its embattled nuclear business. It said Wednesday that it was working out revised numbers, and warned that the loss for the fiscal year may grow to 1 trillion yen ($9 billion).
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has approved the North Korean women's ice hockey team to compete in an international event next month at Gangneung, a venue for the 2018 Olympics. Seoul's Unification Ministry on Wednesday said the North Korean team would be permitted to stay from April 1-9 to participate in the group rounds of the Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. North Korean athletes haven't competed in South Korea since the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon. Relations between the rival Koreas have significantly worsened over the past year after a series of rocket launches by North Korea. The women's world championship is one of the many sports events South Korea plans to host at its Olympic facilities to prepare for next the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A 25-year-old Indonesian man has been swallowed whole by a python on the island of Sulawesi, villagers and news reports said. A six-minute video on the website of the Tribun Timur publication shows villagers slicing open the python's carcass to reveal the legs and torso of the dead victim, named Akbar. Junaedi, the secretary of Salubiro village in West Sulawesi province, told The Associated Press that villagers began searching for Akbar on Monday night after realizing he hadn't returned from working on his palm oil crops the previous day. Junaedi said Wednesday that the search party found scattered palm oil fruit, a picking tool and a boot, and then spotted the engorged 7-meter (23-foot) -long reticulated python.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Pakistani-born doctor announced Wednesday that he is joining the 2018 race for lieutenant governor on a platform of saving Obamacare, providing free community college education and fighting what he termed "Donald Trump's hate." "I am a proud Muslim and I love America," Dr. Asif Mahmood said at a news conference in front of the downtown federal building that houses a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office. "President Trump continues to attack people like me: immigrants, people of color and Muslims," Mahmood said. "I say President Trump has it all wrong. It's time to get tough on hate.