KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Malaysia ramped up the pressure on Pyongyang on Friday, issuing a statement condemning the use of a banned toxic chemical weapon in the killing of the half brother of North Korea's leader. Malaysia has not directly accused North Korea of being behind the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam, but the statement from the Foreign Ministry comes hours after a North Korean envoy rejected a Malaysian autopsy finding that VX nerve agent killed Kim, saying the man probably died of a heart attack because he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesians are by turns shocked and bemused by Donald Trump's volatile presidency, but many in the world's most populous Muslim nation say his personality and actions — including his controversial travel ban — haven't changed their positive view of the United States. There is a reservoir of goodwill in Indonesia toward the U.S., which Indonesians often see as a beacon for values they hope will flourish in their own country. Perceptions were particularly positive during Barack Obama's administration because of Obama's personal links to Indonesia and his efforts to heal divisions with the Muslim world. The U.S.
BEIJING (AP) — Lawyer Cheng Hai has an itemized list of compensation demands from Beijing authorities over the city's smog: 65 yuan ($9) for having to buy face masks, 100 yuan ($15) for seeing a doctor for a sore throat and 9,999 yuan ($1,500) for emotional distress. Fed up with what they consider halfhearted efforts to fight air pollution, Cheng and like-minded lawyers are putting China's legal system to the test by suing the governments of the capital and its surrounding regions. "Some people might think that air pollution is inevitable with economic development, but they are wrong," said Cheng, 64.
BEIJING (AP) — Governing Chinese-style will go on display when the country's rubberstamp legislature, the National People's Congress, and its advisory body open their annual sessions in Beijing over the next few days. The largely ceremonial events come months ahead of an even more momentous gathering, the twice-a-decade national congress of the ruling Communist Party that will usher in changes to the top leadership as president and party chief Xi Jinping embarks on his second five-year term in office. The legislative session is the first since President Donald Trump took office, kicking off a new era of uncertainty in relations ties between the world's two largest economies, and comes against the background of sharply slowing economic growth.
BEIJING (AP) — China, which tightly censors the internet, called on Thursday for a new model for governing the web based on rules and order rather than the unfettered access seen in democratic societies. Speaking in Beijing, foreign ministry and cyberspace affairs officials made China's latest argument for being a global leader in managing the internet. Unveiling the country's first cyber policy paper, they also stated that China would beef up its cyberwarfare capacities to defend against hacking and other foreign threats. "Cyberattacks, cyber espionage, surveillance have become major issues confronting all countries," said the coordinator for the foreign ministry's cyber affairs division, Long Zhou.
A North Korean man, who had been held for questioning in the murder of exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader, has been released from police custody and handed over to the immigration officials to be deported. Ri Jong Chol, 46, was detained Feb 17, four days after the exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader was poisoned at Malaysia's main airport. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed Friday that Ri has been released, saying there was a lack of evidence to charge him. Ri will be deported as he does not have any valid travel documents. Immigration officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
BEIJING (AP) — Lawyers for a prominent detained Chinese human rights campaigner accused authorities of abusing their powers in publishing a purported interview with him Thursday in a state-run newspaper in which he allegedly confesses to pushing "fake news" to overseas media. The Global Times said Jiang Tianyong told them he had concocted a story of a lawyer, Xie Yang, having been tortured by police. Xie has been held since July 2015 following a sweeping crackdown on civil rights lawyers and activists. Jiang was detained in November after visiting Xie's wife and is accused of inciting subversion of state power. Jiang's wife, Jin Bianling, told The Associated Press she planned to sue the Global Times for defaming her husband.
BEIJING (AP) — A collision between a bus and a cement truck in southwest China has killed 10 people and injured another 38, local authorities said Friday. The bus carrying 47 people collided with a cement truck late Thursday night near a tunnel in Lincang city in Yunnan province, according to a statement from Lincang government's press office. The truck with two people on board left the road and the bus ended up at the side of the road. Nine people died at the scene, one person died after receiving medical treatment, and 38 others were injured, the statement said, adding that the cause was under investigation.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Health Ministry says the death toll from simultaneous suicide bombings in the capital has climbed to 22, with another 120 people, most of them civilians, wounded in the attacks. Spokesman Ismail Kawasi said Thursday that hospitals near the site of the twin explosions the day before have been overwhelmed with wounded people, many in serious condition. The Taliban claimed the noon-time assault on Kabul, which included an hour-long gunbattle with police. The attack appeared to take aim at the country's embattled security forces. Pakistan condemned the "horrific" attacks. The two countries have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to insurgents who operate in the porous border region.
BEIJING (AP) — Instead of dramatic new reforms, Chinese leaders are likely to emphasize reining in surging debt and financial risks to keep growth steady at this year's meeting of the ceremonial national legislature. The ruling Communist Party is trying to build an economy driven by consumer spending instead of trade and investment. But that could be complicated by trade tensions with U.S. President Donald Trump and slowing demand for export industries that support millions of jobs. The meeting of the 3,000-plus members of the National People's Congress does little lawmaking. Instead, communist leaders use it to showcase themes for the year's government work.