SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday he hopes to extend his high-stakes nuclear summitry with President Donald Trump into 2019, but also warns Washington not to test North Koreans' patience with sanctions and pressure. During his televised New Year's speech, Kim said he's ready to meet with Trump at any time to produce an outcome "welcomed by the international community." However, he said the North will be forced to take a different path if the United States "continues to break its promises and misjudges the patience of our people by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure."
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's leader said Tuesday the people of the island want to maintain self-rule despite recent electoral gains by the Beijing-friendly opposition party. Taiwanese officials should not enter into any secret dialogue with China, President Tsai Ing-wen warned in a New Year's speech. The opposition Nationalist Party won 15 of 22 major seats in local elections last month, reversing the advantage held by Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party. She has resigned as party head. Beijing could woo China-friendly election victors ahead of the next presidential election in 2020. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has sought to isolate Tsai over her refusal to endorse the "one China" principle that designates Taiwan as a part of China.
TOKYO (AP) — A minivan slammed into pedestrians early Tuesday on a street where people had gathered for New Year's festivities in downtown Tokyo, injuring eight people, police said. Police took into custody a man in his 20s but did not further identify him. They say he is suspected of intentionally trying to kill people by driving the small vehicle through the street, which local media said had been closed to car traffic for holiday revelers. NHK TV footage showed a small van with the entire front end smashed and officers and ambulance workers rushing to the scene. Kyodo News service reported that a ninth person was injured and that the driver was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The day after winning a record fourth term in power, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina trumpeted her accomplishments and dismissed opposition claims that the vote was rigged. Hasina's ruling alliance won virtually every parliamentary seat in the general election, according to official results released Monday, giving her a third consecutive term despite opposition allegations of intimidation. Hasina earlier served a single term. The coalition led by Hasina's Awami League party won 288 out of 300 seats — 96 percent — in Sunday's polls, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said. The opposition alliance led by prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain won only seven seats.
Fireworks, concerts, spiritual services and political addresses abounded to mark the transition to 2019 as revelers around the globe bid farewell Monday to a year filled with challenges to many of the world's most basic institutions, including political, trade and religious ones. A look at how people around the world are ushering in 2019: RIO DE JANEIRO More than 2 million people celebrated the new year on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. A 14-minute fireworks display ushered Brazil into 2019 only hours before far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro will be sworn in as president. Many Brazilians were on the road to the capital of Brasilia on Monday night to watch the former army captain's inauguration Tuesday afternoon.
Sheets of fiery color sizzle in the sky over the Sydney Opera House. Showers of confetti offer a softer alternative to revelry in the Philippines, noted for its raucous, even violent, celebrations. Thais lie in coffins in a ritual symbolizing death and rebirth. A new mother, still wearing her hospital cap, cradles her infant. These are the faces of the new year , captured across the globe as we bid farewell to what many considered an unsettling 2018, a year filled with challenges to many of the world's most basic institutions, including in the realms of politics, trade, alliances and religion.
HONOLULU (AP) — A Panamanian car carrier heading from Japan to Hawaii caught fire in the Pacific Ocean, with some crew members abandoning the ship and the U.S. Coast Guard and other vessels heading to its rescue Monday. The Coast Guard said in a statement that crew members launched a life raft and four of the 21 mariners aboard left the Sincerity Ace wearing life jackets. The agency could not confirm if they reached the life raft. The remaining 17 crew members stayed on board to fight the fire. The Coast Guard said other commercial vessels were helping with the rescue 1,800 nautical miles (3,333 kilometers) northwest of Hawaii.
TOKYO (AP) — Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn will be detained at least through Jan. 11, the Tokyo District Court said Monday, as the once revered auto industry figure faces allegations that have marked a stunning downfall. Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades and helped save the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy, was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of falsifying financial reports. He also faces a breach of trust allegation, for which his detention had been approved previously through Jan. 1. The Tokyo District Court said in a statement that it had approved prosecutors' request for a 10-day extension.
COTABATO, Philippines (AP) — Suspected Muslim militants remotely detonated a bomb near the entrance of a mall in the southern Philippines on Monday as people did last-minute shopping ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations, killing at least two and wounding nearly 30, officials said. The bomb went off near a baggage counter at the entrance of the South Seas mall in Cotabato city, wounding shoppers, vendors and commuters. Authorities recovered another unexploded bomb nearby as government forces imposed a security lockdown in the city, military and police officials said. Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said by phone that an initial investigation showed the design of the bomb was similar to those used in the past by local Muslim militants who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
BEIJING (AP) — It's not uncommon for individuals who speak out against the government to disappear in China, but the scope of the "disappeared" has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Not only dissidents and activists, but also high-level officials, Marxists, foreigners and even a movie star — people who never publicly opposed the ruling Communist Party — have been whisked away by police to unknown destinations. The widening dragnet throws into stark relief the lengths to which Xi's administration is willing to go to maintain its control and authority. A look at some of the people who went missing in 2018 at the hands of the Chinese state: ___ FOREIGN PAWNS China threatened "grave consequences" if Canada did not release high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou, shortly after the Huawei chief financial officer was detained in Vancouver in December for possible extradition to the U.S.