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Top Asian News 4:56 a.m. GMT

November 25, 2022 GMT

Hong Kong court convicts Cardinal Zen, 5 others over fund

HONG KONG (AP) — A 90-year-old Catholic cardinal and five others in Hong Kong were fined after being found guilty Friday of failing to register a now-defunct fund that aimed to help people arrested in the widespread protests three years ago. Cardinal Joseph Zen, a retired bishop and a vocal democracy advocate of the city, arrived at court in a black outfit and used a walking stick. He was first arrested in May on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces under a Beijing-imposed National Security Law. His arrest sent shockwaves through the Catholic community, although the Vatican only stated it was monitoring the development of the situation closely.

New Malaysian PM Anwar vows to heal divided nation, economy

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Long-time reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister Thursday and vowed to heal a racially divided nation, fight corruption and revive an economy struggling with the rising cost of living. His rise to the top a was a victory for political reformers who were locked in a battle with Malay nationalists for days after a divisive general election on Saturday produced a hung Parliament. Anwar took his oath of office in a simple ceremony at the national palace that was broadcast on national television. Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, named Anwar as the nation’s 10th leader after saying he was satisfied that Anwar is the candidate who is likely to have majority support.


From prisoner to PM, Malaysia’s Anwar had long ride to top

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — More than two decades after his dramatic ouster from government and imprisonment, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim finally has his day. Anwar was named Malaysia’s 10th prime minister by the nation’s king and sworn in Thursday, trumping a Malay nationalist leader to clinch the top job after divisive general elections led to a hung Parliament. Becoming prime minister caps Anwar’s roller-coaster political journey, from a former deputy prime minister whose sacking and imprisonment in the 1990s led to massive street protests and a reform movement that rose into a major political force. It is a second victory for his reformist bloc, which won 2018 polls but lost power after 22 months due to a power struggle that has led to continuous political turmoil.

Australia to make posts public to avoid repeat of power grab

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An inquiry into a former Australian prime minister secretly appointing himself to multiple ministries recommended Friday that all such appointments be made public in the future to preserve trust in government. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he would recommend his Cabinet accept all of the retired judge ’s recommendations at a meeting next week. Albanese ordered the inquiry in August after revelations that his predecessor Prime Minister Scott Morrison had taken the unprecedented steps of appointing himself to five ministerial roles between March 2020 and May 2021, usually without the knowledge of the existing minister. The extraordinary power grab came to light after Morrison’s conservative coalition was voted out of office in May after nine years in power.


Pakistan appoints ex-spy master Gen. Munir as new army chief

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has named the country’s former spy chief as head of the military, the information minister said Thursday, ending months of speculation about the new appointment. The army has historically wielded huge influence in Pakistan, ruling it for half of its 75-year history, and also oversees its nuclear program. Like neighboring China and India, Pakistan has nuclear arsenals and a missile system, mainly aimed at archrival India. Asim Munir, who was promoted to four-star general and whose planned retirement was postponed, replaces Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, whose extended six-year term ends on Nov. 29.


AP PHOTOS: Beijing life on hold for lockdowns, COVID testing

BEIJING (AP) — As cases of COVID-19 hit record daily highs, China is reimposing a range of strict measures under its “zero-COVID” policy, including lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines for anyone suspected of having come into contact with the virus. The restrictions cover cities and towns from the southern manufacturing center of Guangzhou to Beijing in the north. While measures imposed in the Chinese capital have been less draconian than in other areas, normal life in the city has been severely disrupted, with no word yet on when restrictions will be lifted. Along with the closure of hundreds of shops, restaurants, malls and office buildings, residential compounds have been sealed off to different degrees of severity.


AP Week in Pictures: Asia

Nov. 19-25, 2022 This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in Asia and Pacific. The gallery was curated by AP photo editor Wally Santana in Tokyo. Follow AP visual journalism: Instagram: AP Images on Twitter: AP Images blog:

Hong Kong emigres seek milk tea in craving for taste of home

HONG KONG (AP) — In London, Wong Wai-yi misses the taste of home. A year ago, the 31-year-old musician was in Hong Kong, earning a good living composing for TV and movies and teaching piano. Today, she makes about half as much in London working part-time as a server alongside her musical pursuits. She chose the job in part because staff meals allow her to save money on food. It’s a difficult adjustment. And Wong, who left Hong Kong with her boyfriend in January, has turned to a beloved hometown staple to keep her grounded: milk tea. She brings the beverage to parties with Hong Kong friends and gives bottles to co-workers as gifts.


Indonesian rescuers focus on landslide as quake toll rises

CIANJUR, Indonesia (AP) — On the fourth day of an increasingly urgent search, Indonesian rescuers narrowed their focus Thursday to a landslide where dozens of people were believed trapped after an earthquake killed at least 272, more than a third of them children. Many of the more than 1,000 rescuers were using backhoes, sniffer dogs and life detectors — as well as their bare hands — to search the worst-hit area of Cijendil village in mountainous Cianjur district where a landslide set off by Monday’s quake left tons of mud, rocks and broken trees. Suharyanto, chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said the rescuers are planning to use more heavy equipment to search the landslide after using maximum human power.

10 killed in apartment fire in northwest China’s Xinjiang

BEIJING (AP) — A fire in an apartment building in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region has killed 10 people and injured nine, authorities said Friday. The fire broke out Thursday night in the regional capital of Urumqi, where temperatures have dropped to below freezing after dark. The blaze took around three hours to extinguish. The injured were all expected to survive and the cause of the fire is under investigation, the local government said. The tragedy comes days after 38 people died in a fire at an industrial trading company in central China caused by welding sparks that ignited cotton cloth. Four people have been detained over the fire in the city of Anyang and local authorities ordered sweeping safety inspections.