Venezuela

Court aims to add powers

Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled it can take over the powers of congress in what opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro as well as foreign governments denounced as the latest step toward installing a dictatorship. In a decision late Wednesday, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can step in and assume congressional duties itself. The head of the Organization of American States called for an emergency meeting to deal with what he called a “self-inflicted coup d’etat” by Maduro against the congress.

South Korea

Ex-president is jailed

South Korea’s disgraced former President Park Geun-hye was arrested and jailed Friday over corruption allegations that ended her tumultuous four-year rule and prompted an election to find a successor. A convoy of vehicles, including a black sedan carrying Park, entered a detention facility near Seoul before dawn after the Seoul Central District Court granted a prosecutors’ request to arrest her. Prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before formally charging her.

CHINA

Trump, Xi Jinping to meet

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time on April 6-7 at Trump’s Florida resort, China’s Foreign Ministry announced Thursday, amid a range of pressing issues including trade, North Korea and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Trump predicted “a very difficult” meeting in a tweet just hours after both governments announced the summit. He wrote in part: “We can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses. American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives.”

Malaysia

Deal releases man’s body

Nine Malaysians held in North Korea returned to Malaysia’s capital early Friday after the government released the body of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader, to the North. The exchange ended a bitter diplomatic battle more than a month after Kim’s murder at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Following negotiations that he described as “very sensitive,” Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia agreed to release the body in exchange for the return of the nine Malaysians held in Pyongyang.

Compiled from wire reports