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Top Asian News 5:04 a.m. GMT



NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) – Instead of destroying jobs and leaving legions of people without work, the digital revolution opens doors to opportunities and industries, but only if everyone has access to the internet and the ability to use it Melinda Gates said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has joined a global initiative working to ensure frontier technologies. The effort to build so-called "digital ecosystems" by the Gates Foundation-supported Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development was showcased at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank last week in Bali, Indonesia.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A high-level meeting on security plans for Afghanistan's parliamentary elections. Afghan guard turned on the delegation Thursday, killing the powerful commander in the country, Gen. Scott Miller. At least one other senior Afghan official killed in the assassination strike that he had killed in Afghanistan. A Taliban spokesman said Miller was the intended target.

SINGAPORE (AP) – U.S. Pat. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday the killing of a powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan just two days before national elections is unlikely to fundamentally weaken the security situation. Mattis commented on the attack in Kandahar during a break in meetings at Asian Security Conference in Singapore. Mattis called the death of Abdul Raziq a "tragic loss of a patriot." But he said he believes the Taliban without him. "We remain absolutely committed to Afghan-led Afghan reconciliation," he said. "Right now, we're going to vote and we want to continue to defend the Afghan people."

BEIJING (AP) – China's economic growth slowed down further in the latest quarter, adding to its Communist leaders' struggle with Washington. The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.5 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, government data showed Friday. That was down 6.7 percent for the quarter ending in July and 6.8 percent for the year's first three months. Forecasters expected China's economy to cool after Beijing tightened credit.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysia's former prime minister has been charged with abuse of power, corruption and money laundering oused in shock election results earlier this year. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi now leads the opposition after his party was ousted in May's general elections. He was brought to court Friday, a day after he was detained by the anti-graft agency. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of abusing his power, ten counts of criminal breach of trust and 27 counts of money laundering. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife were then charged with graft after the elections.

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis indicated on a visit to South Korea during a private audience Thursday with Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to to Vatican and South Korean officials. Moon "Korean North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's Desire for a Papal Visit to North Korea," the South Korean Presidential Office said in a statement. A formal invitation directly from North Korea was expected to follow. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, of the likelihood of Francis accepting such an invite: "I would say the availability to go is there." North Korea would need a "serious preparation and consideration," Parolin said.

BEIJING (AP) – An outspoken former detainee in China's internment camps for Muslims said Thursday his application for a visa to visit the United States. Kazakh national Omir Bekali was invited to Washington in September by the Congressional Executive Committee on China. He said his application was rejected by the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 after he was questioned about his employment status. Bekali was one of the first people to speak out in China's Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1 million Muslims, mostly from the Uighur and Kazakh ethnicities, are being detained.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Helicopters are dropping disinfectant on neighborhoods in the earthquake and tsunami-stricken city of Palu to reduce the threat of being buried in obliterated communities, Indonesia's disaster agency said Thursday. The agency said 430 hectares (1.7 square miles) of land and nearly 3,500 homes succumbed to liquefaction in central Sulawesi when the Sept. 28 earthquake turned soft soil to mud. Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a Statement the Disappearance is Essential for Three Devastated Neighborhoods because of the search and rescue effort that ended on Oct.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysian police said Langkawi for allegedly stabbing her husband to death. Langkawi police chief Supt. Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim said a 12 inch long kitchen knife stained with blood in the couple's home where John William Jones, 62, was found dead Thursday. Samantha Jones, 51, asked her neighbor to call an ambulance but her husband was pronounced dead by medical officers.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean progressive accused of caving to xenophobic sentiment by rejecting a plea for refugee status by hundreds of asylum seekers from war-ravaged Yemen who arrive on a resort island earlier this year. Justice Party spokesman Choi Seok said South Korea was neglecting its responsibility as a member of the United Nations. "The Yemeni refugees have risked every danger to come to our country, just so they could survive," Choi said Thursday. "It's not different from the people of our own country that helped a century ago, when they migrated to foreign countries as refugees through the war and division.


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