CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia announced on Sunday that the last child refugees held on the Pacific atoll of Nauru will soon be sent to the United States, ending the banishment of children under the government's harsh asylum-seeker policy. The psychiatric and physical suffering of children has been the major criticism of the government's policy since 2013 to send asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat to an immigration camp on Nauru or men-only facilities on Papua New Guinea. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the last four asylum-seeker children on Nauru would soon be resettled with their families in the United States under a deal struck in the final months of President Barack Obama's administration.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A man who falsely claimed to have a bomb and menaced a woman with a knife forced the evacuation of Brisbane International Airport for more than two hours in an emergency that police described on Sunday as elaborate and terrifying. Police ended the standoff late Saturday by shooting the 50-year-old man with non-lethal bean bag shotgun rounds and arresting him. There were no injuries reported, and police said the emergency was not related to terrorism. Australia's third busiest airport reported that the disruption had caused delays to arrivals and departures of up to three hours. The incident began in the terminal's food court when the man pulled a knife on a screaming woman and placed a fake bomb on a table.
PATNA, India (AP) — At least seven people were killed when seven coaches of a New Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday in eastern India, an official said. District Magistrate Rajeev Roshan said another 10 people were injured in the accident in Bihar state. The cause of the accident is being investigated. The Press Trust of India news agency said a rail fracture appeared to have caused the derailment about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Patna, the Bihar state capital. Rescue workers and members of India's disaster management force were working to pull out people trapped in the twisted metal and overturned coaches.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf gunmen in fierce jungle fighting that left five soldiers and three militants dead, as the military pushed forward with a fresh offensive following a deadly church bombing last weekend. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government forces to destroy the Abu Sayyaf after the bombing last Sunday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in the Sulu provincial capital of Jolo that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100. The attack has renewed terrorism fears across the Philippines, where the national police went on full alert and security has been strengthened in churches, shopping malls and other public areas.
KOLKATA, India (AP) — India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised a controversial citizenship bill pending in Parliament at a rally Saturday, kick-starting his Hindu nationalist party's campaign to retain power in general elections due by May. In a speech broadcast live from the rally in West Bengal state, Modi urged the opposition Trinamool Congress party-led government of West Bengal to support the bill, saying "my brothers and sisters here need it." The bill, which passed the lower house of Parliament earlier this month, would give citizenship to some Hindus, Jains, Parsi and several other non-Muslim religious groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
BEIJING (AP) — China called Saturday for Washington to negotiate with Russia instead of pulling out of a nuclear arms treaty the Trump administration sees as a restraint on its ability to compete with Beijing and Moscow. China's foreign ministry ruled out negotiating a new multilateral pact to replace the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The U.S. decision on Friday to pull out of the INF might trigger "adverse consequences," said a ministry statement, echoing warnings the move might lead to a new arms race. President Donald Trump accuses Moscow of violating the 1987 agreement but also sees it as an obstacle to confronting China's growing military capabilities.
HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong police bomb squad on Saturday destroyed a World War I-era hand grenade found at a food-processing facility in a shipment of potatoes from France, news reports said. Employees reported a suspicious object encased in mud at the facility in Tseung Kwan O district in the New Territories, according to the Sing Tao Daily newspaper and other outlets. A bomb squad concluded the 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) object was a hand grenade, possibly made in Germany. Officers moved cars and piled sandbags around the grenade, then detonated it, according to Sing Tao, the Observer and other outlets.
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's High Court refused to allow three transgender men to be recognized as males on their official identity cards because they have not undergone full sex-change operations. The ruling Friday was seen as a blow to the fledgling LGBT movement in the semiautonomous Chinese city of 7.4 million people, which is preparing to host the 2022 Gay Games. The three, identified as Henry Tse, Q and R, are shown on their ID cards as having been born female, but are undergoing hormone therapy. A full sex change would require the removal of female sexual organs, making them sterile.
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong customs officers have intercepted a record 8.3 tons of pangolin scales and hundreds of elephant tusks worth more than $8 million combined, underscoring the threat to endangered species from demand in Asia. Acting on a tip from mainland Chinese authorities, local officials found the haul in mid-January in a refrigerated container labeled as frozen meat from Nigeria, officials said Friday. They said the smugglers kept the temperature low to better disguise the smell of the illicit cargo. Police arrested two people in connection with the seizure. It was the largest-ever seizure of pangolin scales in Hong Kong, representing the product of some 14,000 animals, and one of the largest of ivory in a decade, the officials said.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — One North Korean defector in Seoul describes her family back home quietly singing Christian hymns every Sunday while someone stood watch for informers. A second cowered under a blanket or in the toilet when praying in the North. Yet another recalls seeing a fellow prison inmate who'd been severely beaten for refusing to repudiate her religion. These accounts from interviews with The Associated Press provide a small window into how underground Christians in North Korea struggle to maintain their faith amid persistent crackdowns. The North's treatment of Christians could become a bigger issue if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's expected second summit with President Donald Trump produces significant progress, and if Pope Francis follows through on his expressed willingness to take up Kim's invitation to visit North Korea.