Top Asian News 3:56 a.m. GMT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Tens of millions of Indonesians were voting in presidential and legislative elections Wednesday after a campaign that pitted the moderate incumbent against an ultranationalist former general whose fear-based rhetoric warned the country would fall apart without his strongman leadership. The first votes were cast in easternmost provinces after polling booths opened at 7 a.m. followed an hour later by central regions such as Bali and then the capital Jakarta and western provinces. Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands and hundreds of ethnic groups, has three time zones. About 193 million people are eligible to vote in polls that will decide who leads the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation and third-largest democracy after India and the U.S.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's presidential election Wednesday pits incumbent Joko Widodo against former special forces Gen. Prabowo Subianto in a repeat of the 2014 contest. Widodo, a furniture exporter and heavy metal fan who had a meteoric rise in Indonesian politics, chose a conservative Muslim cleric as his vice presidential candidate. Subianto's running mate is a self-made tycoon. A look at the presidential and vice presidential candidates: ___ JOKO WIDODO Usually known as Jokowi, Widodo began his political career in the central Javanese city of Solo and hit the big time when he became governor of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, in 2012.

President candidate Prabowo Subianto has voted in Indonesia's presidential and legislative elections and says he confident of winning despite polls showing that he trails President Joko Widodo by up to 20 percentage points. After voting, Subianto, a former special forces general, echoed his campaign themes of a weak Indonesia at risk of disintegration. Speaking in English, he said "I promised that we will work for the good of the country. If it's chaos or not it's not coming from us, but I guarantee that we don't want to be cheated anymore, that Indonesian people don't want to be cheated anymore."

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's Election Supervision Agency said Tuesday about 320,000 overseas voters in neighboring Malaysia's biggest city should vote again in presidential and legislative elections after finding evidence that postal ballots had been tampered with. Election officials rushed to Malaysia last week to investigate claims of vote fraud after videos circulated online showed thousands of ballots for Wednesday's elections scattered throughout a shophouse. Opposition party representatives said the ballots for Indonesians living in Kuala Lumpur were marked in favor of President Joko Widodo, who is campaigning for re-election, and a legislative candidate who is the son of Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The head of Foxconn Technology Group is planning to step away from day-to-day operations at the world's largest electronics provider and said Tuesday that he is mulling a run for president of Taiwan. Terry Gou said he would make a decision "in a day or two" on a possible presidential bid, according to Taiwan's official Central News Agency. He said that if he decided to run, he would take part in the opposition Nationalist Party primary rather than mount an independent bid. The Nationalists favor closer ties with Beijing, a policy that accords with Gou's massive business interests in China.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Testimony in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home has shined a light on officers' actions at the scene and raised questions about whether they were trying to protect one of their own. The incident commander turned her body camera off when talking to Mohamed Noor in the moments after the July 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, while other officers told him not to say a word, according to prosecutors and court testimony. Many responding officers turned their body cameras on and off at will; one had his camera recording while headed to the scene and shut it off upon arrival.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's government did not approve an aid agency's decision to release the name of a New Zealand nurse held captive by the Islamic State group in Syria, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Winston Peters said an International Committee of the Red Cross official's claim to have acted with New Zealand's agreement was "balderdash." He said New Zealand opposed any steps that might endanger 62-year-old midwife and nurse Louisa Akavi or impede her location and release. "That's a very polite way of describing how one person has, in my view, dropped the ball so to speak," Peters said.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister said Tuesday that hurdles remain to repatriating three orphaned Australian children of a convicted terrorist from a Syrian refugee camp and that national security interests must come first. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was working with the Red Cross to repatriate three children and two grandchildren of slain Islamic State group fighter Khaled Sharrouf from the al-Hawl camp in northeastern Syria. "Australia's national security interests always come first," Morrison told Radio FiveAA. "There are a lot of hurdles to clear on this and Australians can be absolutely satisfied that we will follow those processes extremely closely." Morrison is campaigning for his conservative coalition to be re-elected for a third three-year term on May 18.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin spokesman says it is not clear yet when and where the Russian president and the North Korea leader will meet for a rare summit. Dmitry Peskov said Monday details are still being worked out on the rare talks between Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Peskov has confirmed reports that the preparations for the meeting are underway. Kim's previous major negotiations, with U.S. President Donald Trump in February, collapsed after the two sides failed to bridge their differences over U.S. sanctions and the North Korean nuclear program. Putin has publicly supported the talks between Trump and Kim but said that North Korea needs to be given solid security guarantees if it were to give up its nuclear arsenal.

BANGKOK (AP) — A dog found swimming more than 220 kilometers (135 miles) from shore by workers on an oil rig crew in the Gulf of Thailand has been returned safely to land. A worker on the rig belonging to Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Vitisak Payalaw, said on his Facebook page that they saw the dog swimming toward the platform last Friday. He said they were lucky to spot it because if there had been waves it probably would not have been visible. The dog made it to the platform, clinging to the support structure below deck without barking or whimpering, Vitisak wrote.