BANGKOK (AP) — An 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she was abused by her family and feared for her life if deported back home left Thailand on Friday night for Canada, which has granted her asylum, officials said. The fast-moving developments capped an eventful week for Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. She fled her family while visiting Kuwait and flew to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation and grabbed global attention by mounting a social media campaign for asylum. Her case highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia, where several women fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland has arrested a director at the Chinese tech giant Huawei and one of its own former cybersecurity experts and charged them with spying for China, authorities said Friday. The development comes as the U.S. is exerting pressure on its allies not to use Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns. The two men — one a Chinese citizen who was a former envoy in Poland before moving over to a senior position at Huawei and the other a Pole who held several top government cybersecurity positions — were arrested Tuesday, according to Poland's Internal Security Agency.
TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Chinese officials are not respecting the diplomatic immunity of one of the Canadians detained in China last month as he ramped up efforts to get them released. China arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations. The arrests came after a top Chinese executive was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of Washington, which wants Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. She is out on bail in Canada and awaiting a bail extradition proceeding next month.
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. Navy's top officer will visit China starting Sunday amid increasing frictions in the South China Sea and other tensions underscoring their rivalry for dominance in Asia. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will meet with his counterpart Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong and leaders of China's Central Military Commission during his visit to Beijing and the eastern city of Nanjing lasting through Wednesday, the Navy said. The goal of the visit, Richardson's second as head of operations, is to "continue a results-oriented, risk reduction focused dialogue" between the two militaries, the Navy said. "A routine exchange of views is essential, especially in times of friction, in order to reduce risk and avoid miscalculation," the release quoted Richardson as saying.
TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, who took a leave of absence a week ago, has resigned, the first high-profile departure at the Japanese automaker publicly acknowledged as related to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Munoz said in a statement on LinkedIn Saturday he made the decision after serious thinking because the company was "involved in matters that have and will continue to divert its focus," referring to Ghosn's case. Munoz is among several executives media speculated might succeed Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades. Nissan confirmed the resignation, effective immediately. There have been other recent departures from Nissan, but Nissan has denied they were related to Ghosn's case.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A court in Myanmar on Friday rejected the appeal of two Reuters journalists convicted of violating the country's Official Secrets Act during their reporting on the country's crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, and maintained the seven-year prison terms they were sentenced to last year. Judge Aung Naing said in his ruling that lawyers for the men failed to submit enough evidence to prove their innocence. The conviction of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo has drawn condemnation from rights groups, Western governments and global press associations and has raised questions about press freedom in Myanmar as it transitions from a decades of military rule.
PARIS (AP) — In the latest blow to the International Olympic Committee's efforts to rid itself of scandal, marketing head Tsunekazu Takeda is being investigated for corruption related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Takeda, who is also the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was placed under formal investigation for "active corruption" on Dec. 10, France's financial crimes office said Friday. French investigators are in the midst of a years-long and wide-ranging probe into sports corruption that is looking, among other things, at the bidding contests for the 2020 Olympics and other major sports events. Takeda's career in Olympic circles has ticked almost every box, starting with representing Japan in equestrian at the 1972 Munich Games and 1976 Montreal Games.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen appointed a close political ally as premier during a Cabinet reshuffle Friday following the ruling party's heavy election losses and growing pressure from rival China. Su Tseng-chang took charge of the Cabinet amid tense relations with Beijing, which threatens to use force to take control of the island it claims as its own. China responded to Tsai's 2016 victory by cutting all contacts with her government and has ratcheted up economic and diplomatic pressure on the self-governing democracy. The opposition Nationalist Party, which favors closer ties with Beijing, won 15 of 22 major seats in the Nov.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.N. rights investigator said Friday that negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization must also include its abysmal human rights situation. Tomas Ojea Quintana told reporters that he wants North Korea to accept his call for a dialogue on its rights conditions. He said North Korea has not allowed him to visit despite his requests over the past three years for cooperation. Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on North Korean human rights situation, said the issue was sidelined in diplomatic efforts last year on stripping North Korea of its nuclear weapons. "The fact is that with all the positive developments the world has witnessed in the past year, it is all the more regrettable that the reality for human rights on the ground remains unchanged, and continues to be extremely serious," he said.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Mungau Dain had never considered acting before he starred in the Oscar-nominated film "Tanna." He got the role because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. They would later describe him as their answer to Brad Pitt. Dain died Saturday in the capital Port Vila, after contracting a leg infection that wasn't quickly treated. He was in his mid-20s. Martin Butler, who co-directed "Tanna," said Dain wasn't a natural actor but was very enthusiastic, learned quickly, and ended up giving a fabulous performance. The 2015 movie won a number of awards, including two at the Venice Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film.