BANGKOK (AP) — The two top parties began angling for the upper hand in forming a new government in Thailand on Monday after partial results showed no group won a majority of seats in the country's first national election since a 2014 military coup. One outcome: many accusations of cheating in Sunday's vote, in efforts to discredit the other side's claim to leadership and perhaps get some winners disqualified. The allegations highlight continuing deep divisions in Thailand, which has been wracked by political instability for nearly two decades. The junta-appointed Election Commission announced the results of 350 constituency races but said full vote counts, which are needed to allocate 150 other seats in the House of Representatives, won't be available until Friday after apparent counting problems.
PARIS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping received the full honors of a formal reception during a state visit to France on Monday that included attending the signing of a multi-billion dollar deal between European aircraft maker Airbus to China. French President Emmanuel Macron said Xi's official visit was an "excellent signal" of the strength and reliability of relations between China and France. Appearing with the Chinese leader at the presidential Elysee Palace, Macron said the two countries want to build a "strong Euro-Chinese partnership, based on clear, strict and ambitious rules." Xi, who plans to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Paris on Tuesday, said China "attaches great importance" to its relations with Europe.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister on Tuesday expressed concern over a media report that an influential minor political party had asked the U.S. gun lobby for donations to help undermine Australian gun laws. An Al Jazeera documentary showed One Nation party officials Steve Dickson and James Ashby flew to the United States for meetings with the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun interests in September last year weeks before the Australian Parliament banned foreign political donations. It is unclear whether they secured any money. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government had made laws to "criminalize taking foreign political donations so foreign lobbyists cannot seek to influence our politics." "Reports that senior One Nation officials courted foreign political donations from the US gun lobby to influence our elections & undermine our gun laws that keep us safe are deeply concerning," Morrison tweeted.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A devastating Taliban attack over the weekend on an Afghan army outpost in southern Helmand province killed 26 soldiers and seven policemen, a provincial official said Monday — casualties the country's defense ministry has refused to disclose. Separately, the United Nations said Monday that a NATO airstrike over the weekend in northern Kunduz province killed 13 civilians, including 10 children. NATO did not comment on the strike and it was not immediately clear if it was related to fighting Friday on the outskirts of the city of Kunduz, the provincial capital, in which two U.S. soldiers were killed.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand will hold a top-level inquiry into the massacre of 50 people at two Christchurch mosques that will examine what roles guns, social media and spy agencies played preceding the attacks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that it would hold a Royal Commission of Inquiry, the country's highest form of investigation. "While New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world are both grieving and showing compassion for one another, they are also quite rightly asking questions on how this terror attack was able to happen here," Ardern said. Her Cabinet had previously agreed on holding an inquiry, but had not decided what level of investigation.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian teen known around the world as "Egg Boy" conceded on Monday that egging a far-right senator was not the right thing to do, but said the gesture united a world reeling from a white supremacist's alleged massacre of 50 Muslims in New Zealand. Will Connolly, 17, gave his first television interview since becoming an online hero among many for cracking an egg on Sen. Fraser Anning's head as the maverick legislator spoke at a news conference after a gunman killed or wounded 100 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques on March 15. Anning has been widely criticized for blaming Muslim immigration for the racist attacks.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said some North Korean officials returned to an inter-Korean liaison office on Monday, three days after the North abruptly withdrew its entire staff citing unspecified instructions from "higher-level authorities." It wasn't immediately clear why North Korea sent some workers back to the office or whether it would restore a full staff. The North's decision to withdraw its staff on Friday came a week after its vice foreign minister threatened to pull out of nuclear negotiations with the United States following the collapse of a nuclear summit last month between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam.
NEW DELHI (AP) — The chairman of India's private Jet Airways has resigned amid mounting financial woes which have forced it to suspend 14 international routes and ground more than 80 planes. The airline said in a statement that its board on Monday accepted the resignations of Chairman Naresh Goyal, his wife and a nominee of Gulf carrier Etihad Airways from the board. It said Goyal will also step down as chairman. Goyal had been trying to obtain new funding from Etihad Airways, which holds a 24 percent stake in the airline, which was founded 27 years ago. The statement said the airline will receive 15 billion rupees ($217 million) in immediate funding under a recovery plan formulated by its creditors, led by government-owned State Bank of India.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Swedish diplomats are keeping a room ready for the U.S. to use if it ever decides to have an official presence in the North Korean capital. The unmarked, slightly musty room next to the Swedish ambassador's office in Pyongyang's diplomatic quarter has been kept in an odd state of limbo for years. On one shelf sits an issue of the Pyongyang Times from the days of detente between the late leader Kim Jong Il and President Bill Clinton. The top shelf is taken up by a newer edition — with a photo of the North's current leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump on its front page.
DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police said Monday they also found geckos and chameleons in the luggage of a Russian tourist who was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Bali. Andrei Zhestkov was detained late Friday at Bali's international airport after security officers found a 2-year-old endangered male orangutan sleeping in a rattan basket in his luggage. Police showed the suspect along with the lizards and other evidence at a news conference Monday. Zhestkov, wearing an orange detainee uniform, refused to comment. Local police chief Ruddi Setiawan said Zhestkov had confessed that he bought the orangutan for $3,000 from a street market on Indonesia's main island of Java.