MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The lone suspect behind a deadly attack on a casino and shopping complex in Manila was a heavily indebted Filipino gambling addict, police said Sunday, bolstering their claim that the assault was not terrorism-related. The man's immediate family confirmed his identity as Jessie Carlos — a married father of three and former Finance Department employee who owed more than $80,000. The revelations confirm that "this is not an act of terrorism," Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told a news conference. "This incident is confined to the act of one man alone as we have always said." The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday's attack on Resorts World Manila, where 37 patrons and employees died, mostly from smoke inhalation as they tried to hide in one of the casino's VIP rooms on the second floor.
HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of Hong Kongers attended a candlelight vigil on Sunday to commemorate victims of the Chinese government's 1989 brutal military crackdown on protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, while Taiwan's president called on Beijing to "face up" to the history. Hundreds if not thousands of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3 and the early hours of June 4, 1989, after China's communist leaders ordered the military to retake Tiananmen Square from the student-led demonstrators. Commemoration of the events, whether public or private, remains taboo in mainland China. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in posts on Facebook and Twitter that 28 years ago, the actions of students and citizens who challenged the political system in China "inspired a generation." She appealed to Beijing to "face up to June 4 with an open mind" and said Taiwan was willing to share its experiences of transitioning to democracy in the late 1980s to ease the pains of such a transition in the mainland.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's opposition claimed a strong showing in local elections Sunday that could shake Prime Minister Hun Sen's longtime grip on power. Hun Sen has repeatedly warned of civil war if his Cambodian People's Party loses the majority in city and village councils to the main opposition party, which had made major gains in the general election four years ago, when it claimed it was cheated out of outright victory. Sunday's polls could have a major impact on Cambodia's political landscape ahead of the 2018 general election. Opposition party spokesman Yim Sovann said his Cambodia National Rescue Party won about 500 communes out of the country's 1,646.
TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. energy secretary reassured Japan on Monday that his country is committed to tackling environmental issues and to promoting clean energy even though the country is leaving the Paris climate accord. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, during their talks in Tokyo that the U.S. commitment to environment is unchanged, according to Kazushige Tanaka, a Japanese industry ministry official who was at the talks. Perry's comment comes days after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris accord, a decision that has triggered international disappointment and criticism. Perry said America, as it has led the effort in tackling carbon reduction and clean coal technology, will continue to be a leader in developing clean energy and its technology.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian soldiers killed four militants who attempted to storm a paramilitary camp in disputed Kashmir before dawn Monday, a paramilitary officer said. The four militants fired from their automatic rifles and hurled grenades as they approached but soldiers at the sentry post intercepted them and engaged the militants in a firefight before they could enter the camp, Bhavesh Chaudhary said. He said no soldier was injured in the attack in Sumbal, a northern town about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir. There was no independent confirmation of the incident and no rebel group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about the attack.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he will not negotiate with militants aligned with the Islamic State group who are holding hostages in a besieged southern city, and that he has ordered troops to kill the gunmen even if they slaughter the hostages. The tough-talking Duterte issued his strongest warning yet to the local and foreign militants, whose stunning siege of Marawi has dragged on for nearly two weeks. Troops have battled to regain control of most of the lakeside city, but the militants, who are believed to be holding a Catholic priest and many other hostages, continue to control pockets of territory.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials say at least six police officers have been killed after two fellow police opened fire on them in southern Kandahar province. Two provincial officials confirmed the Sunday attack, which they said also wounded the Kandahar City district police chief. Both spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to brief the media. Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement saying that both attackers were their men who joined the police rank just carry out such attack and both devoted their lives for their aim. Taliban insurgents have increased their attacks against Afghan security forces across the country.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police say the lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy was organized by other students from his own secular political group who viewed him as a rival and faculty members who resented his criticism of the university. The report from a police investigation into the April killing of 23-year-old Mashal Khan, obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday, will be filed in court later this week. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere accusation of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can spark deadly mob violence. Blasphemy allegations are often used to settle scores.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former Prime Minister John Key and former All Black rugby player Michael Jones received honorary knighthoods Monday for their services to New Zealand. Key and Jones were among dozens of New Zealanders to receive a range of honors from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. The honors hark to the days when New Zealand was a British colony. Key, 55, stepped down as prime minister in December after winning three consecutive elections. He was cited by the Queen for his leadership following the 2008 global financial crisis and the deadly Christchurch earthquake in 2011. Key was also credited with completing treaty settlements with indigenous Maori and forging a closer relationship with the United States.
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan says a two-day military operation has killed 12 militants in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran. The army said Sunday that the operation was conducted in the rugged Mastung district, where a suicide attack killed 25 people last month. The Islamic State group claimed the attack, which targeted a Pakistani lawmaker. The mineral-rich province is home to separatist groups as well as Islamic militants. Pakistan has been battling extremist groups for more than a decade.