KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The trial of two women accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader enters its second week with the court moving temporarily Monday to a high-security laboratory to view evidence tainted with the toxic VX nerve agent. High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin declared that prosecutors and defense lawyers, along with the two suspects, will hold court at the laboratory for chemical weapons analysis to examine samples of the women's clothing before they are formally submitted as evidence. The decision came after government chemist Raja Subramaniam told the court that VX found on the clothing may still be active.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — As a young boy growing up on Bikini Atoll, Alson Kelen spent idyllic days playing on the beach and fishing. His grandfather built canoes and his father tended the land. With fewer than 150 people on the remote Pacific island it was a close community, he says, with few signs of the former U.S. nuclear testing program other than the concrete bunkers he was told to avoid and the sunken ships in the lagoon. But in 1978, when Kelen was 10, officials evacuated everybody. It turned out they'd been premature in declaring the Marshall Islands atoll safe again for humans.
TOKYO (AP) — Just days before Japan's national election campaign kicks off, all eyes are on Tokyo's populist governor, a political go-getter and a gambler. Will she jump into the race and try to unseat Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Yuriko Koike has repeatedly denied she will run, but she has surprised before. She remained coy about her national ambitions in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, saying her next step was in God's hands. Koike upstaged Abe last week as he was preparing a carefully scripted plan to call the Oct. 22 snap election, announcing ahead of his news conference that she would personally head a new party, the Party of Hope, which she had been backseat-driving.
BANGKOK (AP) — They couldn't award it to Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump. That much was certain. But the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons opened itself to a clear interpretation across Asia: When it comes to the nuclear-saturated war of words on the Korean Peninsula, attention must be paid and treaties must be signed. And it must be done in a preventative way, at top speed, before something happens that can't be undone. Looming in the background of the award announcement Friday was the sometimes scalding, sometimes tepid, never silent geopolitical scuffle this year between the young leader of the third-generation Pyongyang regime and the always voluble president of the United States.
OSLO, Norway (AP) — The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a forceful show of support for a grassroots effort that seeks to pressure the world's nuclear powers to give up the weapons that could destroy the planet. The choice of the little-known coalition of disarmament activists put the Nobel committee again at the forefront of geopolitics at a time when fears are rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile program and the invective it has drawn from U.S. President Donald Trump. The committee cited the tiny, Geneva-based ICAN for its work that led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was reached in July at the United Nations.
TURANGI, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealanders still don't know who will next lead their country after a final vote count from a general election held two weeks ago tightened the close race between liberals and incumbent conservatives. Election officials on Saturday released the final 17 percent of the vote tally, including votes cast by people who were outside of their district or overseas during the election. The conservative National Party ended with 44 percent of the vote, while the liberal bloc of the Labour Party and the Green Party ended with a combined 43 percent. Negotiations to form the next government will now begin in earnest.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Leaders of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have traveled to Rome to discuss "the restoration of trust" amid a sex abuse scandal involving Australian cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to the pope, the Vatican said Saturday. The Vatican announced the delegation's visit this week in a statement, saying key Australian church leaders met with top officials including the Vatican secretary of state and the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. That is the Vatican office that processes all cases of priests accused of sexually abusing minors. The extraordinary meetings in Rome come months after the Vatican released Pell to return to Australia to face charges in the decades-old case.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Filipino doctor accused of plotting terror attacks in the United States was arrested months ago in the Philippines for his alleged involvement in kidnappings and beheadings blamed on pro-Islamic State group militants, an official said Saturday. Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras told The Associated Press that a Manila court is weighing a U.S. government request that Russell Salic be extradited to face terrorism financing complaints. U.S. authorities said Friday that they disrupted a plot by Salic and two other Islamic State group sympathizers to carry out terrorist attacks at New York City locations, including concert venues, subway stations and Times Square in the summer of 2016.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Saturday that her government would continue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighboring Myanmar to escape violence. Hasina said the government was pursuing a plan to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island with the help of international aid agencies whom she praised for their support. She made the statement at Dhaka airport on her return from New York after attending the U.N. General Assembly session. The U.N. has described the violence in Myanmar as "ethnic cleansing." Hasina accused Myanmar of creating tensions at the border, but said she has asked the country's security forces to deal with the crisis "very carefully." "They pretended like they wanted a war," she said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is ready to block U.S. imports of seafood — as well as any other goods — produced by North Korean laborers who work in China. An Associated Press investigation tracked salmon, squid and cod processed by North Koreans working at Chinese factories and shipped to American stores, including Walmart and ALDI. The North Korean workers found in Chinese factories aren't allowed to leave, and receive only a fraction of their pay — most goes straight to the North Korean state. This means that American consumers buying seafood labeled "Caught in the USA, Processed in China" may inadvertently be subsidizing the government of Kim Jong Un as it builds nuclear weapons, and also supporting forced labor.