Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT

Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp isn't exactly a household name back home in the United States. But he's big in Japan. Very big. And soon he hopes to be living large — for a week, anyway — in North Korea. Shades of Dennis Rodman, anyone?

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A larger-than-life Australian mining magnate turned lawmaker, Clive Palmer, was widely accused Tuesday of threatening Australia's relationship with its biggest trading partner through an extraordinary tirade against China. The 60-year-old multi-millionaire called the Chinese "bastards" and "mongrels" and accused Beijing of trying to take over Australia during a nationally televised forum on Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday night.

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis says he wants dialogue with China and the only thing he asks in return is for the Catholic Church to be able to operate freely. The pope told reporters the church "only asks to have freedom to do its work. No other conditions."

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters armed with wire cutters and backed by cranes marched on Pakistan's parliament Tuesday, removing barriers blocking them from soldiers guarding the seat of the country's government. The protesters, wearing masks and carrying makeshift shields, hammered through barbed wire and locks connecting shipping containers together that authorities put on roads to block off Islamabad's so-called "Red Zone," which also holds the president and prime minister's ceremonial homes and many diplomatic posts.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's attorney general has barred a New York Times correspondent from leaving the country because of a story in which he reported that a group of officials were considering seizing power because of the impasse over who won the recent presidential election, a spokesman said Tuesday. Basir Azizi, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Matthew Rosenberg's Aug. 18 story was "against the law and national interests of Afghanistan." Azizi said Rosenberg was asked to come to the attorney general's office on Wednesday with his lawyer.

GOTEMBA, Japan (AP) — Japan's military showcased its ability to defend remote islands Tuesday, as its role expands at home and abroad under new defense policies instituted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that have divided the nation. The military began large-scale annual "Fire Power" exercises at the foot of Mount Fuji aimed at repelling a hypothetical invasion of far-off Japanese islands, defense officials said.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The remains of at least 15 Malaysians killed when a jetliner was shot down over Ukraine will be returned to their home country this week, the first Malaysian victims of the disaster to be flown home, the country's defense minister said Tuesday. All 298 people on board died when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17. The plane was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and was shot out of the sky over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists. The victims included 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals.

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman whose beaten body was found stuffed in a suitcase on the Indonesian resort island of Bali was repeatedly and violently abused by the daughter who has been arrested in her killing, according to police reports. A Chicago-based lawyer for the 19-year-old daughter, Heather Mack, meanwhile, says he is concerned for her well-being after she told him she has been sexually assaulted in custody. Indonesian police deny any mistreatment.

BANGKOK (AP) — When Thailand's military ruler appears in public, he usually is seen in full military regalia. On Monday, addressing the nation's junta-appointed legislature to propose the upcoming fiscal year's budget, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha showed up in markedly different attire — a business-like dark blue suit with a sky blue tie.

BEIJING (AP) — The actor-son of Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan has been detained in Beijing on drug-related charges, the latest high-profile celebrity to be ensnared in one of China's biggest anti-drug crackdowns in two decades. Jaycee Chan, 31, was detained last Thursday together with the 23-year-old Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko, Beijing police said late Monday on their official microblog, identifying them only by their surnames, ages and nationalities. It was unclear why the detentions were announced several days later.

BEIJING (AP) — A gas explosion Tuesday in a coal mine in eastern China trapped 27 workers underground, state media reported. Twelve other miners were lifted out of the privately owned mine in Huainan city in Anhui province after the blast, one of whom suffered burns, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

LONDON (AP) — Northern Ireland police said Tuesday they have arrested a man on suspicion of smuggling 35 Afghan immigrants into England in a container shipment, during which one man died. The 34-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in the Northern Ireland town of Limavady. Police say he is being interrogated on suspicion of manslaughter and aiding the illegal entry of the Afghans into the United Kingdom.

In this photo by Manish Swarup, a man checks his mobile phone as he walks on a crowded street in Old Delhi in the afternoon. Traffic on the streets in the ancient heart of India's metropolitan capital is often at a standstill. ___

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president said Tuesday he will not allow a U.N. panel investigating allegations of war crimes to enter the country. President Mahinda Rajapaksa told foreign journalists that he will not accept any investigation by the United Nations into allegations of abuses by his soldiers and the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in the final period of the country's civil war in 2009.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia and Indonesia have reached an agreement that will heal a bilateral rift sparked last November by accusations that Australia had tapped the cellphones of the Indonesian president, his wife and eight Indonesian ministers and officials in 2009, an official said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that she will fly to Jakarta soon to sign the code of conduct that Indonesia insisted upon before diplomatic relations are normalized.

View Comments (14)