SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police on Saturday braced for more violence between opponents and supporters of ousted President Park Geun-hye, who was stripped of her powers by the Constitutional Court over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into a political turmoil. Three people died and dozens were injured in clashes between police and Park's supporters after the ruling Friday, according to police, which detained seven protesters for questioning. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency was planning to deploy nearly 20,000 officers and hundreds of buses to separate the two crowds, whose passionate rallies have divided the streets near the presidential palace in the past several weekends as the scandal worsened.
TOKYO (AP) — Six years ago, more than 18,000 people died or went missing as a tsunami triggered by a massive quake engulfed coastal areas of northeastern Japan. Tens of thousands more people's lives were unraveled when they lost family members, friends, homes and livelihoods. The displacement widened as entire communities fled after meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Japan is marking the anniversary of the disaster Saturday with somber ceremonies in Tokyo and in cities and towns in the northeast. Most of the towns devastated in the March 11, 2011, disasters have only partially rebuilt, and local authorities are struggling to finance construction.
BEIJING (AP) — Encompassing the area of 24 soccer fields, the Great Hall of the People, where China's ceremonial legislature and its official advisory body hold their annual sessions, is a cavernous edifice that dwarfs the humans who work in it. Aside from the Great Auditorium said to seat 10,000 in all, the building features grand hallways, dozens of meeting rooms and spaces for state banquets where visiting foreign dignitaries and honored Chinese citizens are entertained. While it buzzes with activity during those occasions, especially the roughly two weeks of the legislative session, at other times the hall is strangely quiet, with voices echoing off its marble walls and sentinels standing silently in its forecourt that looks out onto the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square.
CHICAGO (AP) — A teenage blogger awaiting a Chicago immigration judge's ruling on his asylum request to stay in the United States said Friday that he's afraid of returning home to Singapore, where he was jailed after posting scathing blog posts about the government. Amos Yee, 18, has been detained in the U.S. since mid-December, when he was taken into custody at O'Hare International Airport. His closed-door immigration proceedings unfolded in a Chicago courtroom on Tuesday, with a judge saying he'll decide within weeks. "I'm most definitely fearful now that the Singapore government knows I am trying to escape to another country so I can continue to criticize them freely," Yee told The Associated Press by phone from a Wisconsin detention center.
NEW YORK (AP) — The brazen killing of a rhinoceros at a wildlife park near Paris by assailants who removed a horn valued at nearly triple the price of gold has put zookeepers on notice that poaching could be spreading beyond the killing fields of Africa and Asia. Demand for the horns is skyrocketing in Asia, where they are ground into a powder and used for medicinal purposes by some who believe it cures everything from cancer to hangovers. More than 90 zoos in the United States housing rhinoceros adhere to rigorous security requirements and comply with regular inspections for accreditation, said Dan Ashe, president and chief executive of the Maryland-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With South Korea's Constitutional Court stripping President Park Geun-hye of power, the country slips into a political whirlwind building up to a presidential election likely in early May. Here's a look at possible scenarios in the frantic weeks ahead and some of the potential presidential contenders vying for the presidential Blue House: ___ INTO THE FIRE With Park now formally unseated, the country, by law, must hold a presidential by-election within 60 days. This means the vote will likely take place on May 9. The winner of the election will be immediately sworn in as the country's leader, according to South Korea's National Election Commission.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The ouster of South Korean President Park Geun-hye by the country's Constitutional Court on Friday ends a power struggle that consumed the nation for months. Her removal from office over a corruption scandal has the potential to reshape a country whose politics have long been marred by fraud and ideological bickering. The changes may begin with a presidential by-election expected in early May. It's a stunning downfall for Park, a conservative who convincingly beat her liberal opponent in 2012. No longer immune from prosecution, she may soon find herself in a criminal court defending charges that she colluded with a confidante to extort money and favors from companies and allowed the friend to secretly manipulate state affairs.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's parliament is set to debate a bill next week that would legalize trials before military courts for another two years, a measure human rights activists say negates the basic principles of justice and denies those on trial the chance for a fair defense. The bill, designed to combat terrorism, was presented before the lower house of parliament Friday by law minister Zahid Hamid. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government was expected to fast-track the draft before lawmakers amid indications the National Assembly — the lower house of parliament — would unanimously back the constitutional amendment. All parties except for slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party agreed on the government proposed draft.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Formally removed from office by a historic Constitutional Court ruling Friday, Park Geun-hye has lost her presidential immunity from prosecution over a corruption scandal that has sent dozens of high-profile figures to face criminal trials. They include Park's friend of 40 years, Choi Soon-sil, Samsung's de-facto leader Lee Jae-yong, top presidential advisers, two former culture ministers and a music video director. Their charges include bribery, extortion, abuse of power and perjury. A look at the allegations facing Park, and the key criminal defendants caught up in a scandal that has roiled South Korea for months. ___ PARK GEUN-HYE Park has refused to undergo prosecutors' questioning, citing a law that provides a sitting leader with immunity from prosecution except for grave crimes like treason.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — This was not supposed to happen in South Korea. It was too divided, too corrupt, too much in thrall to the rich and powerful who'd always had their way. Four months ago, the idea that the country's leader, along with the cream of South Korean business and politics, would be knocked from command after sustained, massive, peaceful protests would have been ludicrous. Now Park Geun-hye, thanks to a court ruling Friday, is no longer president and may very well face criminal extortion and other charges. The head of the country's biggest company, Samsung, sits in jail, when he's not in a courtroom facing trial for bribery and embezzlement linked to the corruption scandal that felled Park.