BEIJING (AP) — Xi Jinping was reappointed Saturday as China's president with no limit on the number of terms he can serve. The National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp legislature, also appointed close Xi ally Wang Qishan to the formerly ceremonial post of vice president. At the Great Hall of the People, Xi, Wang and other officials took turns stepping to the lectern to place their left hands on the constitution and raise their right fists as they delivered an oath swearing loyalty to the constitution, the motherland and the people. Xi, 64, is considered the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong and last Sunday was given the right to continue in office indefinitely after the legislature scrapped term limits for the president and vice president.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in has always wanted to lead the diplomacy aimed at ending the North Korean nuclear crisis, even as he was overshadowed in his first year in office by a belligerent standoff between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Moon now has his wish granted as he prepares for a meeting in late April with Kim and basks in the international glow of having engineered another upcoming summit — previously thought wildly unlikely — between the American and North Korean leaders. It doesn't mean the decades-long effort to thwart the North's nuclear ambition is settled, but it's clear that Moon is having a diplomatic moment.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's normally bustling Bali has shut down social media, turned away flights and shuttered all shops for a Day of Silence that marks New Year on the predominantly Hindu island. "Nyepi" began at 6 a.m. on Saturday, emptying streets and beaches for 24 hours except for special patrols to ensure silence is observed. This year for the first time, phone companies have agreed to turn off the mobile internet on the island that's home to more than 4 million people. Aside from no Facebook, Instagram or instant messaging apps, television and radio broadcasts cease and Balinese stay indoors, covering the windows and not even turning on a light, for the day of reflection that is the most sacred in Balinese Hinduism.
MY LAI, Vietnam (AP) — Talk of peace dominated the 50th anniversary commemoration of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, but among the hundreds in the audience were survivors and a former U.S. Army photographer whose gruesome images galvanized anti-war opinion. Their disturbing tales were a sharp rejoinder to the ceremony's peaceful sentiments. Friday's memorial events were held at the site of the 1968 massacre by American troops of 504 unarmed Vietnamese villagers, mostly women, children and elderly men. A provincial official addressing the crowd mentioned the killings but scrupulously avoided naming the United States as the two nations steadily improve their relations.
SYDNEY (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders will sign an agreement on regional cooperation against violent extremism as the risk to the region grows due to militants fleeing Islamic State group losses in the Middle East, an official said on Saturday. The memorandum of understanding on cooperation to counter international terrorism will be signed by the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said. It includes a package of joint initiatives and programs that will enhance regional security and contribute to building counterterrorism capability throughout Southeast Asia, he said. "We must recognize that national security cannot be achieved in isolation from regional security," Dutton told a counterterrorism conference that coincides with a special ASEAN leaders' summit in Sydney.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's foreign minister held what she called "good and constructive" talks with her North Korean counterpart on Friday amid growing speculation about a possible meeting in the Scandinavian country between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom refused to say as she left the Stockholm villa where the meeting took place whether she and North Korea's Ri Yong Ho discussed a Trump-Kim meeting. The villa is close to the embassies of South Korea and the United States. "We'll see what happens next," Wallstrom said. Wallstrom earlier said Sweden hopes "we can use our role and also our contacts" to facilitate U.S.-North Korea interactions, but stressed it was up to the countries concerned to decide "which way we are going." "We value this opportunity to arrange a meeting," she said without specifying to what she was referring.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who are both planning to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un this spring, pledged Friday to maintain "maximum pressure" on his authoritarian regime and seek action on giving up his nukes, the White House said. In a phone call with Moon, Trump reiterated his intention to meet Kim by the end of May. According to a White House statement, the allied leaders "agreed that concrete actions, not words, will be the key to achieving permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." They also agreed that a "brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the right path," the White House stated.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The children of Kabul love the blue bus — they rush toward it every time it pulls into their street, eager to come onboard, their young eyes brimming with excitement. But it's no ordinary bus. Its name is Charmaghz, the Dari word for Walnut, and it's a library on wheels — the first such enterprise in Afghanistan's war-battered capital. Inside the bus are rows of neatly stacked books for children, hundreds of them in both Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan. And small tables and stools for the kids to sit on as they discover the joys of reading.
MY LAI, Vietnam (AP) — With talk of peace and cooperation rather than hatred, more than a thousand people marked the 50th anniversary Friday of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the most notorious episode in modern U.S. military history. On March 16, 1968, the American soldiers of Charlie Company were sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies, but met no resistance and over three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and elderly men in My Lai and a neighboring community. Provincial official Dang Ngoc Dung said at the commemoration the My Lai massacre was a typical case of "cruel crimes committed by aggressive and hostile forces" during the war.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Friday removed the suspended Guam archbishop from office and ordered him not to return to the Pacific island after convicting him of some charges in a sex abuse trial. The Vatican didn't say what exactly Archbishop Anthony Apuron had been convicted of, and the sentence was far lighter than those given high-profile elderly prelates found guilty of molesting minors. It amounts to an early retirement anywhere in the world but Guam, a remote U.S. Pacific territory where nearly everyone is Roman Catholic. Apuron is 72, while the Vatican retirement age is 75. The Vatican spokesman declined to comment.