GENEVA (AP) — China on Tuesday once again rejected criticism of its treatment of ethnic Muslims, telling the United Nations that accusations of rights abuses from some countries were "politically driven." At a U.N. review of the country's human rights record, China characterized the far west region of Xinjiang as a former hotbed of extremism that has been stabilized through "training centers" which help people gain employable skills. Former detainees of such centers, on the other hand, have described the facilities as political indoctrination camps where ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities are forced to renounce their faith and swear loyalty to the ruling Communist Party.
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is admitting that it didn't do enough to prevent its services from being used to incite violence and spread hate in Myanmar. The company "can and should do more" to protect human rights and ensure it isn't used to foment division and spread offline violence in the country, Alex Warofka, a product policy manager, said in a blog post. Facebook commissioned the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility to study the company's role in Myanmar and released the group's 62-page report late Monday. It has come under heavy criticism for permitting itself to be used to inflame ethnic and religious conflict in the country, particularly against minority Rohingya Muslims.
ROME (AP) — Italy said Tuesday that it is working to help relocate the family of a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy, amid warnings from her husband that the family's life is in danger in Pakistan. The Foreign Ministry said it was coordinating with other countries to ensure safety for Asia Bibi and her family. In a statement, the ministry said it was ready to act on whatever the Italian government might decide — an indication that an offer of asylum might be in the offing. Also Tuesday, a lawmaker in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party called for Germany to grant Bibi refuge, after her husband Ashiq Masih appealed for help from the West to relocate the family.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the Taliban have killed eight police and wounded three others in new attacks on security posts in western Farah province. An insurgent attack on an Afghan border base in Pusht Koh in Farah on Monday killed 20 troops while 20 others were abducted. A member of the provincial council, Dadullah Qani, says the latest attack on Tuesday night triggered an hourslong battle in which the Taliban were beaten back. A resurgent Taliban now hold nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces, inflicting heavy casualties. The Taliban view the U.S.-backed government in Kabul as a dysfunctional Western puppet and have refused repeated offers to negotiate with it.
SYDNEY (AP) — A man has used his surfboard to fend off a shark that bit him on his calf off an Australian beach two days after a fatal attack on the Great Barrier Reef. The 43-year-old surfer was bitten Wednesday morning at Shelly Beach off Ballina in New South Wales state. Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright said the surfer described the shark as about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long. Wright told Sydney's 2GB radio the man came onshore, wrapped his leg and went to the hospital for treatment of a 20-centimeter (8-inch) wound. Beaches in the area are expected to be closed for at least 24 hours.
SHANGHAI (AP) — The Chinese government granted 18 trademarks to companies linked to President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump over the last two months, Chinese public records show, raising concerns about conflicts of interest in the White House. In October, China's Trademark Office granted provisional approval for 16 trademarks to Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, bringing to 34 the total number of marks China has greenlighted this year, according to the office's online database. The new approvals cover Ivanka-branded fashion gear including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and jewelry, as well as beauty services and voting machines. The approvals came three months after Ivanka Trump announced she was dissolving her namesake brand to focus on government work.
ZHUHAI, China (AP) — A Chinese state-owned company says it is developing a stealth combat drone in the latest sign of the country's growing aerospace prowess. The CH-7 unmanned aerial vehicle also underscores China's growing competitiveness in the expanding global market for drones. The drone's chief designer Shi Wen says it can "fly long hours, scout and strike the target when necessary." A model of the aircraft is being displayed at this week's Zhuhai air show in southern China, a biannual event that showcases China's latest advancements in military and civilian aviation. With a wingspan of 22 meters (72 feet) and a length of 10 meters (33 feet), the swept-wing CH-7 is the size of a combat aircraft and its single engine can propel it at roughly the speed of a commercial jet airliner.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have begun deploying a new surveillance tool: "gait recognition" software that uses people's body shapes and how they walk to identify them, even when their faces are hidden from cameras. Already used by police on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, "gait recognition" is part of a push across China to develop artificial-intelligence and data-driven surveillance that is raising concern about how far the technology will go. Huang Yongzhen, the CEO of Watrix, said that its system can identify people from up to 50 meters (165 feet) away, even with their back turned or face covered.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A deputy minister resigned Tuesday from Sri Lanka's government after the appointment of a former strongman as prime minister plunged the country into a political crisis. Sri Lanka has been engulfed in turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month and replaced him with ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. The resignation of Deputy Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara came a day after Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he will continue to recognize Wickremesinghe as prime minister until Rajapaksa can demonstrate he controls a parliamentary majority. In a letter to Sirisena, Nanayakkara said he agrees with the speaker's stance.
KARAWANG, Indonesia (AP) — Relatives of Lion Air crash victims prayed and threw flowers into the Java Sea where the jet plunged into the water more than a week ago, killing all 189 people on board. Two Indonesian navy vessels took hundreds of relatives to the crash location on Tuesday where a massive search effort is still underway. Many wept when they saw search personnel working. Officials from the navy and search and rescue agency and Lion Air employees threw wreaths into the sea. Investigators on Monday said the brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane had a malfunctioning airspeed indicator on its last four flights including its fatal Oct.