Top Asian News 3:30 a.m. GMT

JINAN, China (AP) — Cui Haoxin is too young to remember the days of his people's oppression under Mao Zedong. The 39-year-old poet was born after the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, when the Hui — China's second-largest Muslim ethnic group — were among the masses tormented by the Red Guard. In the years since, the Hui (pronounced HWAY) generally have been supportive of the government and mostly spared the kind of persecution endured by China's largest Muslim group, the Uighur. There are signs, though, that that is changing. Cui fears both that history may be repeating itself and for his own safety as he tries to hold the ruling Communist Party accountable.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Despite the unwanted publicity of a criminal trial for one of their main suppliers, business is booming at Pyongyang's 'Singapore shops,' which sell everything from Ukrainian vodka to brand-name knock-offs from China. The stores stock many of the very things United Nations' sanctions banning trade in luxury goods are intended to block and provide a nagging reminder that not all potential trade partners are lining up behind the U.N.'s pronouncements or the Trump administration's policy of maximum pressure on the North. Especially when there's a buck — or a few million bucks — to be made.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk is asking a California judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by a British diver the tech entrepreneur called a pedophile on Twitter, arguing that it was nothing more than a "schoolyard spat on social media" that no reasonable reader took seriously. Musk's motion to dismiss, filed in court on Wednesday, argues that "the public knew from the outset that Musk's insults were not intended to be statements of fact." Musk called diver Vernon Unsworth a "pedo" in a tweet to 22.5 million followers after Unsworth criticized Musk on CNN in July, saying his efforts to help rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand amounted to "a PR stunt." Musk and engineers from his rocket company, SpaceX, built a small submarine and shipped it to Thailand to help with the rescue.

GEOJEDO, South Korea (AP) — In South Korea's largest shipyard, thousands of workers in yellow hard hats move ceaselessly between towering cranes lifting hulks of steel. They look like a hive of bees scurrying over a massive circuit board as they weld together the latest additions to the rapidly growing fleet of tankers carrying super-chilled liquefied natural gas across the world's oceans. The boom in fossil-fuel production in the United States has been matched by a rush on the other side of the Pacific to build the infrastructure needed to respond to the seemingly unquenchable thirst for energy among Asia's top economies.

CARITA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia raised the danger level for an island volcano that triggered a tsunami on the weekend, killing at least 430 people in Sumatra and Java, and widened its no-go zone. The country's volcanology agency on Thursday increased the Anak Krakatau volcano's alert status to the second-highest and more than doubled the exclusion zoneto a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius. The eruption on Saturday evening caused part of the island in the Sunda Strait to collapse into the sea, apparently generating tsunami waves of more than 2 meters (6 1/2 feet). Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes. The government has warned communities in the strait to stay a kilometer (less than a mile) away from the coastline because of the risk of another tsunami triggered by Anak Krakatau's eruptions.

Indian brides sit together for a group photograph during a mass wedding in Surat. In other images from the Asia-Pacific region this week, a photojournalist is silhouetted by the sunset at an Indonesian resort that was devastated by a tsunami that killed at least 430 people. People in New Delhi take an early morning walk amid heavy smog that brought air quality in the Indian capital to hazardous levels. The Manila zoo owner sits next to an orangutan named Pacquiao as part of a Christmas show. ___ This gallery was curated by Associated Press photo editor Masayo Yoshida in Tokyo. ___ Visit the AP Images blog: http://apimagesblog.com Visit AP Images online: http://www.apimages.com

BANGKOK (AP) — Investigators in Thailand acquitted the deputy prime minister of criminal charges of failing to declare assets a year after he was discovered to have several luxury watches that would have been out of reach of his government salary. The saga began last December when photographs were taken at the unveiling of a new Cabinet. The minister of defense, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, raised his hand to shield his eyes from the sun and reporters noticed his gleaming watch. A check of records of his disclosed assets showed he had never declared the expensive Richard Mille timepiece. His explanation that he had borrowed that watch and more than 20 others from a dead friend was met with public ridicule.

BEIJING (AP) — China's former deputy intelligence chief was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for corruption. Ma Jian has been found guilty of crimes including accepting bribes and insider trading, said a court in the northeastern port city of Dalian. Ma, who previously was the vice minister of the state security bureau, was also ordered to pay more than 50 million yuan ($7.26 million) in penalties. The court said in a statement online that Ma used his political power to aid the business operations of Guo Wengui, a real estate billionaire wanted by Chinese authorities. The New York-based Guo has published a slew of online videos in which he makes sensational allegations of corruption in the upper echelons of China's ruling Communist Party.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Thousands of Taiwanese, taking a page from France's yellow vest movement, protested Thursday for the third time in a week to demand lower taxes and the fair handling of tax disputes. Wearing yellow vests, they shouted slogans and blared air horns outside the Ministry of Finance in Taipei, the capital city, and waved banners calling Taiwan's tax collection policies illegal. Some wore clear plastic raincoats over their vests in a light rain. "This is about our futures," said Joanna Tai, a 23-year-old English-language graduate student who plans to teach after graduation next year. "We look at wages in Hong Kong and mainland China.

BANGKOK (AP) — Authorities in northern Thailand recovered on Thursday the second of two South Korean tourists who died after the golf cart they were riding fell into a river on Tuesday. Phitsanulok province Governor Pipat Ekpapan announced that the body of Jun Yong Sung, 68, was found Thursday morning after that of Jaseoong Ha, 76, was discovered the night before. He said the pair fell into the Nan river as they were preparing to cross when another cart hit theirs from behind, dumping them and the cart into the water. They were at a resort with a golf course that has a river running through it, which has to be crossed on a small, simple rope and pulley-operated ferry.