Ex-leader arrives for hearing
South Korea’s former president has arrived at a court for hearing on a prosecutors’ request for her arrest for corruption. Live TV footage showed Park Geun-hye entering the Seoul Central District Court building on Thursday. She did not comment to reporters. After she is questioned, the court is expected to decide by Friday morning whether to approve her arrest. If the court approves the arrest warrant, Park will be immediately sent to a detention facility as prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before laying formal charges. Prosecutors accuse Park of colluding with a confidante to extort money from businesses and commit other wrongdoings. The Constitutional Court ruled to dismiss Park over the allegations earlier in March, three months after parliament impeached her.
President condemns shelling
Ukraine’s president on Wednesday condemned the overnight shelling of the Polish Consulate in a western city and vowed to track down those responsible. Petro Poroshenko also ordered extra protection for consulates and embassies in Ukraine following the incident in Lutsk, his spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko said on Facebook. No one was injured in the early morning attack, which involved a shell fired from a grenade launcher.
Arab leaders offer peace plan
Arab leaders on Wednesday relaunched a peace plan that offers Israel full ties in exchange for Palestinian statehood, signaling to President Donald Trump that they are ready to engage if he tries to broker a broader Mideast peace. Host Jordan said the one-day Arab summit held on the shores of the Dead Sea sent a “message of peace” — though one that could put new pressure on Israel to withdraw from lands it occupied in the 1967 Mideast war. The gathering came ahead of White House meetings in coming weeks between Trump and three Arab leaders — Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The trio met on the sidelines of the summit to consolidate positions ahead of the White House meetings, officials said.
Nation to reduce UN payment
Israel announced Wednesday it is reducing its required payment to the United Nations by $2 million following recent “anti-Israel” votes. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the decision to reduce the annual payment was taken following votes critical of Israel at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
Python swallows man whole
A 25-year-old man has been swallowed whole by a 23-foot-long python on the island of Sulawesi, villagers and news reports said. A six-minute video on the website of the Tribun Timur publication shows villagers slicing open the python’s carcass to reveal the legs and torso of the dead victim, named Akbar. Junaedi, the secretary of Salubiro village in West Sulawesi province, told the Associated Press that villagers began searching for Akbar on Monday night after realizing he hadn’t returned from working on his palm oil crops. Reports of humans being killed by pythons are extremely rare.
Compiled from wire reports