Top Asian News 3:43 a.m. GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their team shirts didn't say "Afghanistan" and their name badges were handwritten, not typed, suggesting the last-minute nature of their entry into the United States. But the Afghan girls competing Monday in an international robotics competition in Washington were clearly excited to be representing their nation. The team of six teenage girls was twice rejected for U.S. visas before President Donald Trump intervened at the last minute. They arrived in Washington from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, early Saturday, and their ball-sorting robot competed in its first round Monday morning. "We were so interested, because we find a big chance to show the talent and ability of Afghans, show that Afghan women can make robots, too," said Rodaba Noori, one of the team members.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Relatives and neighbors of an Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police over the weekend demanded answers Monday about the mysterious shooting in which the meditation teacher was reportedly killed by an officer who fired from the passenger seat of a squad car as the woman stood outside the driver's door. Authorities released no details about what led to the shooting of Justine Damond, whose fiance said she had called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault in an alley near her home. Police said officers were responding to a call about a possible assault late Saturday when she was killed.

A Minnesota county medical examiner's office says a woman who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police over the weekend died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner classified the death of 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk of Minneapolis as a homicide. Authorities initially didn't release the woman's name, but the Star Tribune identified her as Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia. The newspaper reported that she was engaged to be married in August and was using her fiance's last name. Police said officers were responding to a call about a possible assault late Saturday when she was killed. Authorities have released no details about what led to the shooting.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Japan says it is committing $1 billion by 2018 to help meet U.N. goals for 2030, promoting education and health care for children and young people as well as gender equality and reducing risk from natural disasters. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida made the announcement Monday at a high-level meeting assessing progress toward meeting the 17 goals adopted by world leaders that also aim to combat poverty, promote good government and preserve the environment. He said Japan's vision for the U.N. goals "is to create a diverse and inclusive society in which no one is left behind." Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a progress report on implementing the goals saying "the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030."

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A dilapidated, three-story building in a poorer neighborhood of Pakistan's sprawling port city of Karachi has collapsed as the residents slept, killing at least two people and injuring another eight. Rescue workers are still trying to free at least two survivors trapped when the building collapsed about 3 a.m. Tuesday. Karachi's Deputy Commissioner Farid Uddin said the death toll could climb as rescue workers carefully sifted through the rubble. Uddin said the cause of the collapse wasn't immediately known. Initial reports indicate the age of the building and poor construction could have caused the collapse. Safety codes are often ignored in Pakistan and in some of the poorer areas construction is haphazard and bribes are paid to inspectors to approve substandard construction.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Less than two weeks after North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile test, South Korea's new president has offered to hold talks at the tense border separating the two Koreas in what would be the rivals' first face-to-face meeting since late 2015. President Moon Jae-in's overture Monday clearly showed again that he prefers diplomacy over pressure or economic sanctions to try to improve ties between the two Koreas and persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons program. Moon's government proposed two sets of talks to discuss how to dial down tensions and resume reunions of aging Koreans separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Japan called Monday for increased pressure on North Korea, saying this is not a time for dialogue. Government spokesman Norio Maruyama said North Korea reached "a new level" with its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4. The test marked a significant step toward the goal of North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un to develop a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States. The ICBM reportedly landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, where previous North Korean ballistic missile launches have also landed.

LOUTOLIM, India (AP) — Age sits lightly on the sprawling, 4-centuries-old Figueiredo Mansion. The home is a lived-in repository of memories tracing to the days when the west-coast Indian state of Goa was a Portuguese colony. The Figueiredo family of Portuguese diplomats, lawyers and parliamentarians began building the mansion in 1590 as they made their home in quaint Loutolim, surrounded by paddy fields and a few neighbors. The family added a second section with similar design to the home 200 years later. Today, about an hour's drive from Goa's airport, a rundown, roadside sign reads "Casa Museu V.J. De Figueiredo Loutolim" to let visitors know they've reached their destination.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's anti-graft agency has named the speaker of Parliament a suspect in a corruption scandal in which officials allegedly pocketed more than $170 million in government money. The chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission, Agus Rahardjo, said on Monday there is sufficient evidence to name Speaker Setya Novanto a suspect in the case. Anti-corruption police allege that a network of about 80 people, mostly legislators, and several companies used the introduction of a $440 million electronic identity card system in 2011 and 2012 to steal more than a third of the allotted funds. Novanto, of the Golkar Party, is the fifth suspect announced in the case, which could turn into a test of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's willingness to take a hard line against corruption since many of the suspects are from parties in the ruling coalition, including Golkar.

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese politician once considered a potential future leader has been removed as the head of the central mega-city of Chongqing amid reports he is facing a graft investigation. The move, just ahead of a crucial Communist Party congress later this year, is a sign of the intensifying political tussling behind the scenes to shape the lineup of top party personnel before the congress convenes, analysts say. Citing unidentified sources, the South China Morning Post reported Monday that Sun Zhengcai is being investigated by the party's anti-graft arm. The Central Commission of Discipline Inspection has not formally announced any probe of Sun.

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