TOKYO (AP) — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there's only one per district. They get to vote "yes" or "no." Virtually all pick "yes."
MANDRA, Pakistan (AP) — Amna Bhatti has spent half a century shaping mud into bricks in a huge kiln south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. She started by paying off her parents' debt and now she's on to her late husband's. She'll probably spend the rest of her life here. Bhatti was 10 when she started working at the kiln to pay off her parents' debt. Now, at 60, she is paying off the 250,000 rupees (approximately $2,500) in debt her husband left behind when he died 12 years ago.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Dozens of Muslim students from the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir were expelled from their university and briefly threatened with sedition charges because they cheered for the Pakistani cricket team during a televised match against archrival India, police said Thursday, while the Indian state's elected leader called for leniency. Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of northern Uttar Pradesh state, said he told state officials that such a serious charge as sedition, which carries a possible life sentence, should be not be used because the students probably didn't understand the gravity of their actions.
BANGKOK (AP) — Two passers-by were wounded by gunshots fired from a park Friday that is occupied by anti-government protesters in the heart of the country's capital, police said. A 31-year-old woman was shot while walking on the street and a taxi driver was wounded in the leg while driving near the protest venue of Lumpini Park, said police Col. Chaiya Kongsub.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia has banned an Ultraman comic book because it uses the word "Allah" to describe the Japanese action hero. The Home Ministry said in a statement Friday that the Malay-edition of "Ultraman, The Ultra Power" contained elements that can undermine public security and societal morals.
TOKYO (AP) — The man once lauded as "Japan's Beethoven" bowed repeatedly and apologized Friday at his first media appearance since it was revealed last month that his famed musical compositions were ghostwritten and he wasn't completely deaf. Mamoru Samuragochi appeared clean-shaven and minus his trademark sunglasses and long hair, in what could be seen as a sign of remorse. He apologized for the troubles he had caused his fans, producers behind his works and others.
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand doctors say a 7-year-old Japanese girl was bitten about 100 times during a dog mauling that has horrified many in the South Pacific nation. Zac Moaveni, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital, told reporters Friday that the girl, Sakurako Uehara, would likely need repeated surgeries until she was a grown woman.
BANGKOK (AP) — A leading international rights group called on Thai authorities Friday to investigate the navy's alleged role in the trafficking of desperate migrants from Myanmar instead of charging journalists for reporting on the subject. Thailand's navy filed criminal defamation charges late last year against the English-language Phuketwan website for publishing stories alleging military involvement in the trafficking of Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya.
BEIJING (AP) — Karl Lagerfeld and a Macau casino operator announced plans Friday for the Chanel designer to create his first hotel. The 270-room Karl Lagerfeld Hotel will open in 2017 in a 20-story tower in the gambling enclave in southern China, according to Lagerfeld and the Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.
BEIJING (AP) — An explosion Friday at a chemicals plant in northern China has left 12 people missing, state media reported. Thirteen people were on a floor that produced emulsion explosives at the plant run by Kailuan Group in the city of Tangshan when the morning blast occurred, the official Xinhua News Agency said. One person was rescued, but authorities were searching for the 12 others.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With lawmakers listening raptly, the Dalai Lama on Thursday opened the U.S. Senate session with a prayer of peace as congressional leaders set aside partisan differences to receive the Tibetan spiritual leader together. Two weeks after President Barack Obama angered China by inviting the Nobel laureate to the White House, the Dalai Lama was warmly welcomed on Capitol Hill, where he paid tribute to America as a "champion of democracy and freedom."
PINGSHAN COUNTY, China (AP) — Huge chunks of concrete and broken machinery are all that is left of a cement plant that once spewed clouds of pollution over China's most polluted province, Hebei. Demolished in December, the factory was one of 35 closed or torn down in Pingshan county as part of the government's drive to clear up China's notoriously smoggy skies. Combatting pollution has shot up the agenda of the ruling Communist Party, which for years pushed for rapid economic development with little concern about the environmental impact. Under public pressure to reduce the air pollution that blankets Beijing and cities across China, the country's leaders are rebalancing their priorities.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A lawyer says a Malaysian couple have been sentenced to death by hanging for murdering their 26-year-old Indonesian maid three years ago. Defense lawyer Thong Seng Kong said Friday that the High Court had ruled a day earlier that Fong Kong Meng, 58, and his wife Teoh Ching Yen, 56, were guilty of killing Isti Komariyah by failing to provide food and medical treatment.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A southern Philippine town vice mayor who was reportedly abducted outside a shopping mall earlier this week has been released, police said Friday. An anti-kidnapping task force informed authorities in the southern port city of Zamboanga where Arsina Nanoh was last seen Tuesday that she was freed a day later in another southern city, said local police spokesman Alex Mabalot.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Humaira Bachal knows firsthand how lack of education hurts her community. She had a cousin that died because his mother couldn't read the expiration date on a bottle of medicine. She knows women in her neighborhood who died giving birth at home because their families didn't know to send them to the hospital. "These things are breaking my heart and every time I am raising the question 'Why are people doing this?'" said the 26-year-old Bachal. "Maybe when my people are educated these problems would be reduced."
- Society & Culture
- Politics & Government
- Karl Lagerfeld