KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's health minister said Sunday autopsy results suggested a nerve agent caused "very serious paralysis" that killed the exiled half brother of North Korea's leader, as police completed a sweep of the budget terminal where he was poisoned and declared it safe of any toxin. The investigation has unleashed a serious diplomatic fight between Malaysia and North Korea, a prime suspect in the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport. Friday's revelation by Malaysian police that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim raised the stakes significantly in a case that has broad geopolitical implications.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Two women _ a Vietnamese and an Indonesian _ have been arrested for allegedly coating their hands with the immensely toxic chemical agent VX and wiping them on the face of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport. He died within hours. The women told officials from their embassies in Malaysia that they believed the entire operation was a harmless prank for a reality show. Malaysian police say the attackers knew what they were doing and had been trained to go immediately to the bathroom and clean their hands.
SYDNEY (AP) — Indonesian and Australian leaders on Sunday committed to free trade and closer naval cooperation as they urged countries in the Asia-Pacific region with competing territorial claims to obey international law. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo arrived in Sydney on Saturday on his first visit to Australia as his nation's leader. He and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said they had agreed to finalize a free trade agreement this year. Jokowi said the first issue for Indonesia was the removal of all Australian barriers to the import of Indonesian palm oil and paper. But before the deal is finalized, Turnbull announced that Indonesia has agreed to reduce tariffs on Australian sugar and ease restrictions on Australian cattle imports.
SYDNEY (AP) — Benjamin Netanyahu has described his visit to Australia, a first for a serving Israeli prime minister, as "wonderful." Netanyahu and his wife Sara concluded their five-day trip to Sydney on Sunday by meeting with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. "This has been a wonderful visit here. You people are amazing," Netanyahu told Bishop before talks behind closed doors. Netanyahu joked with Bishop, who had recently arrived home from a trip to the United States and Britain, that the pair had "shared more or less the same route." Netanyahu and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week agreed to deepen business and travel links between the two countries.
TOKYO (AP) — China's announcement that it has suspended North Korean coal imports may have been its first test of whether the Trump administration is ready to do something about a major, and mutual, security problem: North Korea's nukes. While China is Pyongyang's biggest enabler, it is also the biggest outside agent of regime-challenging change — just not in the way Washington has wanted. Judging from Trump's limited comments so far, and the gaping chasm between Washington's long-held focus on sanctions and punishment and Beijing's equally deep commitment to diplomatic talks that don't require the North to first give up its arsenal, a deal between the two won't come easily.
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man accused of shooting two Indian immigrants and a third man at a bar, in what some believe was a hate crime, was always a drinker but became a "drunken mess" after his father died about 18 months ago, a longtime neighbor said Saturday. Andy Berthelsen said his neighbor Adam Purinton, who is charged with murder and attempted murder in Wednesday night's attack, was very close to his father, who died of pancreatic cancer. He said in the past year, Purinton bounced from one menial job to the next and was sometimes drunk by mid-morning.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea may have found a new use for its large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, which are meant to attack South Korean and U.S. troops in case of another war. Malaysian police said Friday that a chemical weapon — the toxic VX nerve agent — was used to kill the estranged half brother of Pyongyang's absolute leader at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13. If North Korea's involvement is confirmed, this would be an unusual and extremely high-profile use of its chemicals in an assassination. Much like its secretive nuclear program, outsiders struggle to nail down exact details about the North's chemical and biological weapons programs.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Thousands of pro-democracy activists marked the anniversary of the 1986 revolt that ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a warning against what they say are the incumbent president's dictatorial tendencies. The activists gathered Saturday at the "people power" revolt shrine along the main highway in metropolitan Manila, where millions of Filipinos converged 31 years ago in a largely peaceful uprising to oust Marcos. A much larger rally in support of President Rodrigo Duterte and his crackdown on illegal drugs was held at Manila's Rizal Park, where police estimated the crowd to have surpassed more than 200,000. Many of the demonstrators arrived in buses and jeeps with local officials.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — At least 10 police officers and the wife of a police commander were killed in an ambush by Islamic States group militants in northern Zawzjan province, a provincial official said. Mohammad Reza Ghafori, spokesman for the Zawzjan provincial governor, said Saturday that the police officers were ambushed Friday as they were coming out of a mosque. The wife of the police commander heard about her husband being shot and rushed to the scene, where she was also killed. IS-linked militants have been active in Afghanistan's eastern regions, but have recently begun operating in the north of the country as well.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs said she won't be intimidated by a leader she called a "serial killer" after police arrested her on drug charges. Leila de Lima said the accusations against her were part of an attempt by Duterte to muzzle critics of the clampdown that has left more than 7,000 suspected dealers and small-time users dead. She questioned why the court suddenly issued the arrest order when it was scheduled Friday to hear her petition to throw out the charges of receiving bribes from detained drug lords.