SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Military officers from the two Koreas and the U.S.-led U.N. Command met again at the Koreas' border village Monday to examine an ongoing effort to disarm the area. Demetallizing the Panmunjom village inside the Koreas' heavily fortified border was among many agreements the Koreas struck in September to lower military tensions between the rivals. Under the deals, troops from the Koreas began clearing mines from Panmunjom earlier this month before withdrawing weapons and guard posts there. They eventually plan to have 35 unarmed personnel from each side guard the village. Monday's trilateral talks are the second in kind in about a week.
SYDNEY (AP) — Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a formal apology on Monday to Australia's victims of child sex abuse, saying the nation must acknowledge their long, painful journey and say sorry. His emotional speech delivered in Parliament before hundreds of survivors followed the conclusions of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the nations' highest level of inquiry. "Today as a nation we confront our failure to listen, to believe, and to provide justice," he said, adding: "We say sorry." The four-year inquest that delivered its final report in December revealed shocking evidence from more than 17,000 survivors and heard allegations against government, church and private institutions, as well as prominent individuals.
DONGSHAN TOWNSHIP, Taiwan (AP) — Rescuers searched through wreckage Monday after one of Taiwan's fastest passenger trains derailed on a curve along a popular weekend route, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 180 others. The Puyuma express ran off the tracks late Sunday afternoon as it went around a bend, throwing train cars into a zig-zag pattern with five left lying on their sides. There was no immediate word on the cause. Survivors interviewed by Taiwan's official Central News Agency said the driver had applied emergency brakes multiple times before the train derailed. Most of the deaths were in the first car, and it was unclear whether other people were trapped in the train, according to a government spokesman, who spoke on the customary condition of anonymity.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's second day of parliamentary elections marred by violence and delays caused by technical issues came to a close as a roadside bomb on Sunday brought the death toll over the past two days to over 50, including several children. Independent Elections Commission Chairman Abdul Badi Sayat congratulated voters for turning out, saying that around 4 million people out of the 8.8 million registered voters cast their ballots over the past two days at 4576 polling centers across the country. He added that the commission still hasn't received the final turnout reports from all 32 provinces. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also thanked citizens for their participating during a speech carried on state TV.
YULONGXUESHAN, China (AP) — The loud crack rang out from the fog above the Baishui No. 1 Glacier as a stone shard careened down the ice, flying past Chen Yanjun as he operated a GPS device. More projectiles were tumbling down the hulk of ice that scientists say is one of the world's fastest melting glaciers. "We should go," said the 30-year-old geologist. "The first rule is safety." Chen hiked away and onto a barren landscape once buried beneath the glacier. Now there is exposed rock littered with oxygen tanks discarded by tourists visiting the 15,000-foot (4,570-meter) -high blanket of ice in southern China.
SYDNEY (AP) — Geoffrey Rush's lawyer told a court on Monday the Australian actor was "a national living treasure" who had no scandal attached to his name before a Sydney newspaper last year published allegations of inappropriate behavior toward a female co-star. The Oscar-winning actor faced a large media pack as he entered Sydney's Federal Court, where a judge is hearing his defamation trial against the Daily Telegraph and its journalist Jonathon Moran. Lawyer Bruce McClintock said Rush had a stellar reputation before the newspaper's 2017 articles. Court documents say actress Eryn Jean Norvill complained to the Sydney Theatre Company that Rush had touched her inappropriately during a production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.
MALE, Maldives (AP) — The Maldives' top court on Sunday dismissed the outgoing president's petition seeking an annulment of last month's presidential election result. The five-member Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the election was conducted within the law. No other details were immediately known. The Election Commission had declared opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih the winner of the Sept. 23 election against President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Yameen's party challenged the result, alleging vote rigging, fraud and corruption in the election process. Four of the five members of the Election Commission fled after the election, citing intimidation by Yameen's supporters. President-elect Solih's spokeswoman, Mariya Didi, said "the case was based on conjecture and conspiracy theory." "We are pleased that the court ruled unanimously to uphold the will of the people.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Three local rebels were killed in a gunbattle with Indian government forces in disputed Kashmir on Sunday, and six civilians were killed in an explosion at the site after the fighting was over, officials and residents said. Meanwhile, three Indian army soldiers and two suspected militants were killed in a gunbattle along the highly militarized line of control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The fighting erupted after troops cordoned off a village in the southern Kulgam area on a tip that rebels were hiding there, India's military said. The exchange lasted for several hours, and three militants were killed and two soldiers injured, the military said.
BERLIN (AP) — A U.N.-backed fund has approved more than $1 billion for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change, officials said Sunday. During a four-day meeting in Bahrain that ended late Saturday, officials overseeing the Green Climate Fund also agreed to start seeking fresh money next year as its initial capital of about $6.6 billion will soon be used up. The South Korea-based fund, considered a key vehicle for climate-related development programs, was originally meant to receive over $10 billion from rich countries by 2018. But U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withhold $2 billion of the $3 billion pledged by his predecessor, Barack Obama, has contributed to a shortfall in its projected assets.
BACOLOD, Philippines (AP) — Gunmen killed nine members of a farmers' group who occupied part of a privately owned sugarcane plantation in an apparent land conflict in the central Philippines, police said Sunday. The victims were resting in a tent Saturday night when about 10 gunmen opened fire, police said. At least four farmers survived the attack at the plantation field in Sagay city in Negros Occidental province, which has a history of bloody land feuds. "There are groups fighting over that land," Sagay police Chief Inspector Roberto Mansueto said. At least two of the victims may have fired back at the attackers because spent pistol and shotgun casings were found in the area, Mansueto said.