WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. President Donald Trump took a public stance against the use of CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, saying it would not happen on his watch and possibly taking away a valuable tool of the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump spoke a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Kim’s slain half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was a source for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Kim Jong Nam was killed at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017.
"I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” Trump said.
His comments represented the latest in a series of instances in which he has appeared to be at odds with the U.S. intelligence community.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will avoid flying over Pakistan during an official trip to central Asia on Thursday, the foreign ministry said, even though Pakistan has granted overflight access.
Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to aerial bombing missions on each other’s soil and a fighter dogfight over Kashmir.
Commercial and cargo airlines using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly and time-consuming detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan.
But Pakistan had cleared Modi’s flight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit beginning on Thursday, Indian and Pakistan sources said.
The Indian foreign ministry said the government had considered the routes for Modi’s travel and decided he would take the longer passage to Central Asia instead of the direct route over Pakistan.
BERCELONA (AFP) -- The trial of Catalan separatists accused of trying to prise their region from Spain was scheduled to end on Wednesday after four months of intense hearings which impacted national politics.
In proceedings broadcast live on television, 12 defendants have been in the dock every week, their role in organizing an illegal referendum on secession and a short-lived declaration of independence in October 2017 under meticulous scrutiny.
For some, they are "political prisoners" repressed by the Spanish state -- and a protest by independence supporters was planned in Barcelona to mark the end of the trial.
For others, they broke the law and risked Spain's unity in the country's worst political crisis since its transition to democracy in the 1970s.
Nine are charged with rebellion, including Catalonia's former vice-president Oriol Junqueras who risks 25 years in jail, the heaviest sentence, and three face lesser charges of disobedience and misuse of public funds. All 12 were expected to take the stand one last time on Wednesday.
KHARTOUM (AFP) -- Shops began to reopen in Sudan's capital on Wednesday after demonstrators called off a nationwide civil disobedience campaign and agreed to new talks, though many residents remained indoors following last week's deadly crackdown.
The breakthrough in the standoff between the military rulers who toppled veteran leader Omar al-Bashir and protesters demanding civilian rule followed mediation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The United Nations Security Council called on the generals and protest leaders to resolve the crisis triggered by the June 3 crackdown on a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum that killed dozens.
The slow return to normality came after an Ethiopian envoy of Abiy announced that the protest leaders and the ruling military council had agreed to resume talks and that a three-day civil disobedience campaign was ending.
The negotiations collapsed last month because the two sides disagreed about whether a civilian or soldier should head a new governing body.
NUR-SULTAN (Reuters) -- Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev invited critics on Wednesday to join a new public council after days of protests over his election, while state prosecutors warned against further rallies and police were on high alert.
Hundreds-strong protests, otherwise rare in the oil-exporting nation, broke out during the election last Sunday in which career diplomat Tokayev, 66, won 71 percent of the vote and secured a five-year term.
Activists have called for fresh protests later on Wednesday.
Critics called the vote rigged as Tokayev, nominated for the post by his veteran predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, faced little meaningful competition and the integrity of ballot counting was questioned.
Nazarbayev, 78, who resigned in March after running the former Soviet republic of 18 million for almost three decades, retains sweeping powers as Yelbasy, or national leader, and critics accuse him of installing a puppet.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- Thousands of people have been stranded and at least five killed amid torrential rain throughout central and southern China, with authorities bracing themselves for at least another four days of downpours, state media reported on Tuesday.
The official China Daily said floods had wiped out 10,800 hectares of crops and destroyed hundreds of houses in the Jiangxi province by Monday, with a total of 1.4 million people affected and direct economic losses amounting to 2.65 billion yuan ($382.41 million).
In the region of Guangxi in the southwest, 20,000 households had their power cut and roads, bridges and other infrastructure were severely damaged, the China Daily said.
The administration said rainstorms were expected to spread to Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Taiwan by Thursday.