CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's prime minister declared Tuesday she would do everything in her power to deny the accused mosque gunman a platform for elevating his white supremacist views, after the man dismissed his lawyer and opted to represent himself at his trial in the killings of 50 people. "I agree that it is absolutely something that we need to acknowledge, and do what we can to prevent the notoriety that this individual seeks," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters. "He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack. Lifting his profile was one of them.
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — On March 15, New Zealand changed. Some are calling it a loss of innocence, a reminder that distance doesn't bring protection against violence. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change gun laws and investigate what went wrong. This is how 36 minutes of terror unfolded, according to witness accounts and livestream video. 1:32 p.m. Ardern and about 30 other people get a chilling email from Brenton Tarrant. He has attached a manifesto filled with racism and hatred as he tries to justify why he is about to carry out a massacre. Its 74 pages are riddled with contradictions.
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — She wonders now if that moment was a prophecy, if her brother somehow knew it was the last time they'd see each other. Or maybe he was just teasing her, like he always did. But whatever the whole thing meant, Aya Al-Umari likes to believe it was her brother's way of saying goodbye. It was Thursday, the evening before a white supremacist stormed into the mosque where Hussein Al-Umari was praying, killing the 35-year-old in New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting in modern history. Hussein had joined his sister Aya and their parents for dinner. And he was fixated on Aya's new shirt.
PHIMAI, Thailand (AP) — It's election season in Thailand and a campaign truck is rolling at the crack of dawn through the streets of the northeastern town of Phimai, blaring the slogan "Vote Thaksin, Get Thaksin." It's a bit disconcerting, since the Thaksin everyone in Thailand knows is former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted by a 2006 military coup and living in self-imposed exile since 2008 to avoid serving a prison term for a conviction on a conflict of interest charge. This small-town Thaksin, distributing campaign handbills as he walks ahead of the truck, is a 46-year-old schoolteacher. He happily explains that sharing his name with the 69-year-old former prime minister is no coincidence, and that he changed his former name — Veerawit Chuajunud — to Thaksin Chuajunud as a vote-getting tactic.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Commuting in Indonesia's gridlocked capital will for some involve less frustration, sweat and fumes when its first subway line opens later this month. The line is the latest of infrastructure improvements nationwide that officials hope will help the giant but laggard nation catch up with its neighbors. The 16-kilometer (10-mile) system running south from Jakarta's downtown is the first phase of a development that if fully realized will plant a cross-shaped network of stations on the teeming city of 30 million people. A $2.4 billion elevated rail network linking Jakarta and its satellite cities is also taking shape, with the first stage expected to begin operating in April.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency said Monday that its Hayabusa2 spacecraft will follow up last month's touchdown on a distant asteroid with another risky mission — dropping an explosive on the asteroid to make a crater and then collect underground samples for possible clues to the origin of the solar system. Hayabusa2 made history on Feb. 22 when it successfully touched down on the boulder-strewn asteroid and collected some surface fragments. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Hayabusa2 will drop an impactor the size of a baseball weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) on the asteroid on April 5 to collect samples from deeper underground that have not been exposed to the sun or space rays.
SIBOLANGIT, Indonesia (AP) — An endangered orangutan with a young baby on Indonesia's Sumatra island was blinded after being shot at least 74 times with an air gun, an official and veterinarian said Monday. An X-ray showed at least 74 air gun pellets in its body, including four in its left eyes and two in the right, said Yenny Saraswati, a veterinarian with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. She said the animal, named "Hope" by the team of rescuers, was blinded by the shooting and also had several open wounds believed to have been caused by sharp objects. She said Hope underwent surgery on Sunday to repair a broken collarbone and was recovering.
DHAKA,Bangladesh (AP) — Police say at least seven people were killed and 15 others wounded by gunmen who opened fire on two cars returning from a polling station with ballot boxes in southeastern Bangladesh. Local police official Manjurul Alam said early Tuesday that the attack took place on Monday evening when the polling and security officials were returning from the polling station at Baghaichhari in Rangamati district, an area once hit by tribal insurgency. He said military helicopters carried 11 critically injured people to a military hospital. Voting was held in Rangamati to elect local government officials, but some candidates boycotted, citing irregularities.
BEIJING (AP) — China has arrested nearly 13,000 people it describes as terrorists and has broken up hundreds of "terrorist gangs" in Xinjiang since 2014, the government said in a report Monday issued to counter criticism of internment camps and other oppressive security in the traditionally Islamic region. The lengthy report said the government's efforts have curbed religious extremism but gave little evidence of what crimes had occurred. The far northwestern region is closed to outsiders, but former residents and activists abroad say mere expressions of Muslim identity are punished. Criticism has grown over China's internment of an estimated 1 million Uighurs (WEE-gurs) and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.
JAYAPURA, Indonesia (AP) — The number of people killed after torrential downpours triggered flash floods and mudslides that tore through mountainside villages in Indonesia's easternmost province has climbed to 79, with dozens of others missing, officials said Monday. On Sunday, the disaster-prone country was hit by an earthquake, triggering a landslide that hit a popular waterfall on the tourist island of Lombok, killing at least three people and damaging hundreds of homes. The worst-hit area from the flooding was Sentani subdistrict, where tons of mud, rocks and trees from a landslide on a mountain early Sunday rolled down to a river that burst its banks, sweeping away residents, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference in the capital, Jakarta.