Highlights National News

Top Asian News 7:59 a.m. GMT

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has “strongly condemned” the attack on the Chinese Consulate in the country’s southern port city of Karachi, in which two police officers and all the three assailants were killed. Khan issued a statement, saying he has ordered a probe into Friday’s attack. He described the assault as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan and China’s economic and strategic cooperation. Pakistani separatists from the southwestern Baluchistan province claimed the consulate attack. Khan vowed in his statement that such incidents would never be able to undermine Pakistan’s relations with China, which are “mightier than the Himalayas and deeper than the Arabian Sea.” Khan lauded the Karachi police and the paramilitary ranger forces, saying they showed exceptional courage in defending the consulate and that the “nation salutes the martyrs.” 12: 10 p.m.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Three gunmen stormed the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday, triggering an intense, hour-long shootout during which two police officers and all the assailants were killed, officials said. All the Chinese diplomats and staff at the consulate were safe and were not harmed during the assault or the shootout, said senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh. The Baluch Liberation Army, a separatist group based in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, claimed responsibility for the attack and released photos of the three attackers. Karachi, the capital of neighboring Sindh province, has a militant presence, including Baluch separatists.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics apologized Friday for illnesses and deaths of some of its workers, saying it failed to create a safe working environment at its computer chip and display factories. The announcement by the South Korean technology giant came weeks after the company and a group representing ailing Samsung workers agreed to accept compensation terms suggested by a mediator and end a highly-publicized standoff that went on for more than a decade. The company’s apology was part of the settlement. Kinam Kim, president of Samsung’s device solutions division, said the company failed to “sufficiently manage health threats” at its semiconductor and liquid crystal display manufacturing lines.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean government must pay 80 million won ($70,700) to three men who were enslaved on salt farms in remote islands off the country’s southwest coast for several years, a court ruled Friday. The Seoul High Court said the government was responsible for their ordeals because local officials and police failed to properly monitor their living and working conditions. The court said the government should pay 30 million won ($26,500) each to two of the men and 20 million won ($17,700) to the third plaintiff. More than 60 slaves, most of them with intellectual disabilities, were rescued from the islands following an investigation led by mainland police in 2014.

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Ten years ago, chef Raghu Deora stood face-to-face with death. He was in the kitchen of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel’s private club, The Chambers, when four gunmen walked in with assault rifles and sprayed the guests and hotel staff with bullets. He tried to hide, but his efforts were for naught. “I was found out by the terrorists. They got me out. Me, along with two more guests, we were made to stand in line and we were shot point blank,” he says. On Nov. 26, 2008, India’s financial capital Mumbai was turned into a war zone by a group of Pakistani gunmen who launched coordinated attacks in the heart of the city.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Lawmakers opposed to disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa won control of a key committee setting Parliament’s agenda during a crucial vote on Friday that dealt a severe blow to his government. Sri Lanka has been in political crisis since Oct. 26 when the president abruptly fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa. Both claim to be the legitimate officeholder with Wickremesinghe saying he has majority support in Parliament and his firing was invalid. Last week, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced Sri Lanka had no prime minister or government after Parliament passed a no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A supporter of the Islamic State group who helped a teenager kill a police accountant in Sydney was sentenced to 38 years in prison on Friday, as Australia’s prime minister argued for greater government power to strip extremists of citizenship. Milad Atai had pleaded guilty to assisting and encouraging Iranian-born Farhad Jabar, 15, to shoot Curtis Cheng as he walked from the police building on Oct. 2, 2015. Atai also pleaded guilty to helping Jabar’s older sister Shadi Jabar Khalil Mohammed fly to Syria a day earlier. Jabar was shot dead by police, and a year later the sister died with her Sudanese husband in an airstrike in Syria.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China’s pressure campaign looms large as Taiwan holds local elections Saturday in what is seen partly as a referendum on the policies of independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen. Driven from power two years ago, the opposition Nationalists are hoping to regain territory by leaning on their pro-business image and a more accommodating line toward Beijing, which detests Tsai for her refusal to endorse its stance that the self-governing island democracy is a part of the Chinese nation. The China factor and the potential impact on the next presidential election are giving added weight to the polls, said Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Taiwan’s Tamkang University.

BEIJING (AP) — The suspect in a car crash that killed five children wanted to kill himself and deliberately targeted a crowd walking outside a primary school in northeastern China, officials said Friday, in what appeared to be the latest in a pattern of vehicle attacks. The 29-year-old driver is an introvert and wanted to kill himself because he was having a row with his wife, according to a Jianchang county statement that an official read over the phone to the AP. The suspect was identified only by his surname, Han. Security camera footage of Thursday’s attack showed a vehicle swerving into children who had almost finished crossing a street in front of their school before driving off.

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian security forces shot and killed six suspected insurgents in a fierce exchange of gunfire early Friday in the Indian portion of Kashmir, police said. The shooting took place when security forces attacked a suspected rebel hideout in the foothills of the Waghama Sutkipora area of south Kashmir, a police statement said. News of the deaths triggered protests by hundreds of civilians opposed to Indian rule. They took to the streets in at least four places in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and clashed with government forces while raising anti-India and pro-rebel slogans. Security forces fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who attacked them with rocks in the Khanabal area of Anantnag town, witnesses said.

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