Body found in NZ search for missing British backpacker

New Zealand police searching for missing British backpacker Grace Millane say they have found a body. Man seen with British backpacker to be charged with her murder Millane, 22, was last seen at the Auckland city center the evening of December 1. Saturday, police said they believed Millane was dead and that a man seen … Continue reading “Body found in NZ search for missing British backpacker”

New Zealand police searching for missing British backpacker Grace Millane say they have found a body.

Man seen with British backpacker to be charged with her murder Millane, 22, was last seen at the Auckland city center the evening of December 1.

    Saturday, police said they believed Millane was dead and that a man seen with her in Auckland the night she disappeared will be charged in her death. Police said Sunday they were conducting a full scene examination of an area in the Waitakere Ranges, West Auckland. The location is bush-clad and contains one of the city’s reservoirs.Detective Inspector Scott Beard said Sunday afternoon that a body believed to be that of Millane had been found in the search area, but was yet to be formally identified.Police at the scene where a body was found.Read More”The formal identification process will now take place, however based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days, we expect that this is Grace. Obviously this brings the search for Grace to an end,” Beard said in a statement. “It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.”Beard said the investigation was continuing and issued an appeal for sightings of a 2016 red Toyota Corolla hatchback hired from a rental company.”The focus now is to piece together exactly what happened to a young girl, who came to this country on her (worldwide trip),” he said.For days, local police had searched for Millane but new evidence changed the course from a missing person investigation to a murder case.”The evidence we have located so far — our scene examination, CCTV footage and our investigation, has determined that Grace is no longer alive and this is a murder investigation,” Beard said at a news conference Saturday.Police said they detained a 26-year-old man seen with her on the night of her disappearance, and will charge him Monday with Millane’s murder. They said they believe he and Millane visited a number of locations that evening.Police had earlier said that the last known sighting of Millane was of her entering a hotel at about 9:40 p.m. local time on December 1. Police said they were conducting a scene examination of an apartment at the hotel.

    ‘Fun-loving, family-orientated’

    Millane’s father, David Millane issued a statement through police Friday appealing for information, describing his daughter as “a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter.”Grace Millane’s father, David Millane, addresses media.He said his daughter was on a yearlong worldwide trip.

      “Grace started this travel journey in Peru in South America and was really looking forward to the second leg in New Zealand. She arrived here on the 20th of November and has bombarded us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures,” he said. “We are all extremely upset and it is very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are all going through.”Millane asked that his family’s privacy continued to be respected.

China tells Canada to release Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou or face severe consequences

China has warned Canada it will face severe consequences unless it releases Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the U.S. after being arrested in the country last week.

Meng, 46, was taken into custody on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, on behalf of the U.S., while she was transferring flights in Vancouver, the tech company said. She’s accused of trying to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. She is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer worth $3.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

During her bail hearing on Friday, a prosecutor for the Canadian government said U.S. charges against her have to do with Huawei using an unofficial subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene U.S. sanctions. The prosecutor said she is accused of fraud.

If extradited to the U.S., she could face charges of “conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions,” which holds a “maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge,” Reuters reported.

HUAWEI CFO MENG WANZHOU’S ARREST MAY PROMPT CHINA TO RETALIATE, ‘TAKE HOSTAGES,’ EXPERT SAYS

Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned the Canadian ambassador in Beijing and “lodged a strong protest,” a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry stated. The ministry called Meng’s arrest “extremely nasty.”

Meng Wanzhou, right, attends a bail hearing at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP)

“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused,” a statement from Le stated.

It was not immediately clear what the consequences would entail.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said the consequences would probably have to do with trade.

HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CFO ARRESTED IN CANADA, ACCUSED OF VIOLATING IRAN SANCTIONS

“The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the icebox for a while. But we’re going to have to live with that,” Mulroney said, according to Reuters. “That’s the price of dealing with a country like China.”

Chinese officials blasted Meng’s arrest, and experts warned more forceful actions could be coming.

The chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies was arrested in Canada on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (AP)

James Lewis, the director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Axios the U.S. should be prepared for a backlash and warned American tech executives to steer clear of China for now.

"If I was an American tech executive, I wouldn't travel to China this week," warned Lewis, who labeled Huawei "one of the Chinese government's pet companies" and charged the communist country's leaders wouldn't be afraid to "take hostages."

Meng will spend the weekend in jail after a Canadian judge said Friday that he needs to weigh her proposed bail conditions. The bail hearing continues Monday.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her at @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

Australia wants soccer player out of detention in Bangkok

CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian government has called for an Australian-based refugee soccer player to be immediately released from detention in Thailand.

Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol warrant issued at the request of Bahrain.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Sunday she has raised the matter with her Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai, requesting that al-Araibi be allowed to fly back to Melbourne as soon as possible. He plays for a soccer team in the Victoria state league.

"Australia is concerned by the ongoing detention of Mr. Hakeem Ali al-Araibi and calls for his immediate return to Australia," Payne said. (He) was granted permanent residency by the Australian government in 2017 in recognition of his status as a refugee.

"Returning Mr. al-Araibi to Bahrain, from where he fled, would contravene his rights under international human rights law."

On Friday in Bangkok, al-Araibi was arrested ahead of a court ruling on whether he will be extradited to Bahrain, the homeland he fled four years ago.

Immigration Police chief Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn said al-Araibi, who was detained upon entry at Bangkok airport on Nov. 27, is being held legally following a request from Bahrain's government. He had traveled to Thailand on a holiday with his wife.

"The Australian consul got to visit him already," Surachate said. "We have provided nice halal meals for him three times a day. We are enforcing the law to international standards."

Al-Araibi has told the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, which is lobbying for his release, that he fears he will be tortured if sent back to Bahrain. The human rights organization Amnesty International says he is in serious danger of torture or other ill treatment.

Surachate said the issue will be dealt with by a Thai court. "For that, we need to wait for the court verdict. The law says he has the right to appeal the verdict. It's up to the court's consideration." He added that al-Araibi would be brought before a court next Tuesday.

Al-Araibi's detention has also drawn concern from FIFA.

He was sentenced in absentia in Bahrain in 2014 to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalizing a police station, a charge he denies. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, and has a reputation for harsh repression since its failed "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011.

Al-Araibi, 25, has said he was tortured in Bahrain after his 2012 arrest and fled in 2014 to Australia. He had played for Bahrain's national soccer team and now plays for Melbourne's Pascoe Vale Football Club. He has been publicly critical of the Bahrain royal family's alleged involvement in sports scandals.

Al-Araibi told BBC Thai, in English via telephone from the Suanplu immigration detention center, that from last Friday he planned to go on a hunger strike because he would not get to meet his wife, who was released already, and that he wants to return to Australia.

"I want to go back to Australia because Australia has human rights while Bahrain doesn't," he said.

He said his future is "doomed" if he is sent to Bahrain.

"I don't know what will happen to me. I know that I did be tortured and forced to confess in things I've never done."

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Diplomats: US postpones meeting on North Korea human rights

UNITED NATIONS – The United States postponed a Security Council meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss human rights in North Korea because it couldn't get enough support to hold it, U.N. diplomats said Friday.

The well-informed diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the U.S. didn't have support from nine of the 15 council nations, the minimum number needed to hold the meeting.

North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Kim Song sent letters last week to all council members except the United States accusing the Trump administration and some supporters of trying to "stoke confrontation" instead of promoting peace efforts by calling for the council meeting.

The Security Council has discussed human rights in North Korea for the past four years. Each meeting went ahead only after a procedural vote where the U.S. got at least nine "yes" votes. Diplomats said the U.S. had eight "yes" votes this year, but couldn't persuade Ivory Coast to support the meeting.

"If we are unable to hold this important discussion this month, we hope to revisit holding this meeting in the new year," a U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said Friday.

The official said "the U.S. remains deeply concerned with the human rights situation in North Korea" and continues to urge Kim Jong Un's regime to "begin to respect human rights, and adhere to international standards on humanitarian assistance."

In October, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in the isolated Asian nation said Kim's summits with the presidents of South Korea and the United States have not changed his country's abysmal human rights record.

Tomas Ojea Quintana pointed to reports of "systematic, widespread abuses" of human rights and a U.N. commission of inquiry's findings in 2014 that possible crimes against humanity have been committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country's official name.

Relations between the two Koreas and between the DPRK and the United States have improved since Kim reached out to South Korea and President Donald Trump early this year with a promise to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

U.S.-North Korea talks on the North's nuclear program haven't produced much progress since Kim and Trump held the countries' first summit in Singapore in June. A second summit is expected to take place next year.

Ambassador Kim's letter recalled that "until last year, the Korean peninsula was a region where possibility of an armed conflict and a nuclear war ran higher than any other region in the world."

But as a result of the DPRK's "peace-loving efforts," he said, "the atmosphere of peace and stability has recently settled down in the Korean peninsula."

"Nonetheless, to our deep surprise and regret, the Security Council is about to swim against the current trend by way of seeking to irritate a dialogue counterpart and stoke confrontation, instead of encouraging and promoting the ongoing positive developments," the DPRK ambassador said.

Ambassador Kim called the U.S. move to put the issue on the council agenda "a provocation" and demanded that human rights be discussed at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, not the Security Council.

Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking

TEHRAN, Iran – President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned Western countries that they will face a massive influx of drugs if Iran becomes weakened by U.S. sanctions.

Rouhani spoke in Tehran at a six-nation conference on fighting terrorism attended by parliament speakers of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Russia.

In remarks broadcast on state TV, Rouhani said a weakened Iran would be less able to fight drug trafficking.

"Weakening Iran by sanctions, many will not be safe," he said. "Those who do not believe us, it is good to look at the map."

Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe and the Persian Gulf states. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium with its Helmand Province being the biggest opium-producing region. Opium is the raw material for heroin and Afghan farmers harvest about 80 percent of the world's supply, according to U.N. reports.

Iran's economy is reeling after the U.S. re-imposed sanctions lifted under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal and began restoring sanctions. Rouhani called the U.S. sanctions as "economic terrorism".

Iran pays a heavy price to fight drug trafficking, with a number of border guards killed in fighting drug smugglers every year. Every year, the country burns about 100 tons of seized narcotics as a symbol of its determination.

Iran has also complained about accusations that it violates human rights by executing convicted drug smugglers, who make up 73 percent of executions in Iran.

In 2013 alone, Iran spent more than $26 million to dig canals, erect walls and embankments, create new outposts and set up barbed wire along its 2,000-kilometer (1240-mile) border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to government statistics.

Until 2016, Iran annually spent some $2.5 billion to fight drug trafficking, officials say.

Malaysian Muslims stage rally to uphold Malay privileges

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's alliance won a historic vote in May.

The rally, backed by the country's two largest opposition Malay parties, was initially aimed at protesting a government plan to ratify a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination that critics allege will end Malay privileges under a decades-old affirmative action policy. The plan was eventually abandoned, but organizers decided to proceed with what they called a "thanksgiving" rally.

Mahathir said the government allowed the rally as part of democracy, but warned against any chaos. The rally was held under tight police security, but ended peacefully after rain started to fall.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with multiple counts of corruption, was among opposition lawmakers at the rally.

Police said there were at least 55,000 people on the streets. Many wore white T-shirts and headbands with the words "Reject ICERD," referring to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Rally-goers gathered at three locations before marching to a nearby historic square, chanting "Long live the Malays" and "Crush ICERD."

"Yes, we did not ratify the ICERD, but we are still here to say that we are still against it," said shopkeeper Rosli Ikhsan. "Even if the government has said they won't endorse it, we are still protesting with all our might from all of Malaysia."

Mahathir's new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal involving Najib and his government, but many Malays still support Najib's party, the United Malays National Organization, and the Malaysian Islamic Party, which controls two of the country's 13 states.

Some analysts say Najib and his party were using the rally to shift attention away from corruption charges against Najib, his wife, his party's president and former government officials.

"For me, ICERD is bad," university student Nurul Qamariah said at the rally. "It's bad because it will erode the position of Malays. This is a country for Malays. We want Malays to be superiors, but why do these people want to make Malays the same level as Chinese and Indians?"

Racial clashes have been rare in multiracial Malaysia since deadly race riots in 1969. A year later, Malaysia instituted a preferential program that gives Malays privileges in jobs, education, contracts and housing to help narrow a wealth gap with the minority Chinese. Ethnic Malays account for nearly two-thirds of the country's 32 million people, with large Chinese and Indian minorities.

Saturday's rally came less than two weeks after more than 80 people were arrested in a riot at an Indian temple in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur. The government was quick to stress that the violence was due to a land dispute and was not a racial riot. Still, the government warned Saturday's rally-goers not to make any provocative statements that could fan racial tensions.

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Associated Press videojournalist Syawalludin Zain contributed to this report.

Chinese executive facing US extradition appears in court

A Canadian prosecutor urged a Vancouver court to deny bail to a Chinese executive at the heart of a case that is shaking up U.S.-China relations and worrying global financial markets.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of its founder, was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport last Saturday — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed over dinner to a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.

The U.S. alleges that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.

The surprise arrest, already denounced by Beijing, raises doubts about whether the trade truce will hold and whether the world's two biggest economies can resolve the complicated issues that divide them.

"I think it will have a distinctively negative effect on the U.S.-China talks," said Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser in President George W. Bush's White House. "There's the humiliating way this happened right before the dinner, with Xi unaware. Very hard to save face on this one. And we may see (Chinese retaliation), which will embitter relations."

Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said in a court hearing Friday that a warrant had been issued for Meng's arrest in New York Aug. 22. He said Meng, arrested en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, was aware of the investigation and had been avoiding the United States for months, even though her teenage son goes to school in Boston.

Gibb-Carsley alleged that Huawei had done business in Iran through a Hong Kong company called Skycom. Meng, he said, had misled U.S. banks into thinking that Huawei and Skycom were separate when, in fact, "Skycom was Huawei." Meng has contended that Huawei sold Skycom in 2009.

In urging the court to reject Meng's bail request, Gibb-Carsley said the Huawei executive had vast resources and a strong incentive to bolt: She's facing fraud charges in the United States that could put her in prison for 30 years.

Meng's lawyer, David Martin, argued that it would be unfair to deny her bail just because she "has worked hard and has extraordinary resources."

He told the court that her personal integrity and respect for her father, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, would prevent her violating a court order. Meng, who owns two homes in Vancouver, was willing to wear an ankle bracelet and put the houses up as collateral, he said.

There was no bail decision by the judge on Friday so Meng will spend the weekend in jail and the hearing will resume Monday. Justice William Ehrcke said he would think about proposed bail conditions over the weekend.

Huawei is the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and long has been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services.

"What's getting lost in the initial frenzy here is that Huawei has been in the crosshairs of U.S. regulators for some time," said Gregory Jaeger, special counsel at the Stroock law firm and a former Justice Department trial attorney. "This is the culmination of what is likely to be a fairly lengthy investigation."

Meng's arrest came as a jarring surprise after the Trump-Xi trade cease-fire in Argentina. Exact details of the agreement are elusive. But the White House said Trump suspended for 90 days an import tax hike on $200 billion in Chinese goods that was set to take effect Jan. 1; in return, the White House said, the Chinese agreed to buy a "very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial" and other products from the United States.

The delay was meant to buy time for the two countries to resolve a trade conflict that has been raging for months.

The U.S. charges that China is using predatory tactics in its drive to overtake America's dominance in technology and global economic leadership. These allegedly include forcing American and other foreign companies to hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market and engaging in cyber theft.

Washington also regards Beijing's ambitious long-term development plan, "Made in China 2025," as a scheme to dominate such fields as robotics and electric vehicles by unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies and discriminating against foreign competitors.

The United States has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to pressure Beijing to change its ways. Trump has threatened to expand the tariffs to include just about everything China ships to the United States. Beijing has lashed back with tariffs on about $110 billion in American exports.

Fears the Huawei case might spark renewed U.S.-China trade hostilities have rattled global financial markets. On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 560 points.

But in a sign the case might not derail the Trump-Xi truce, Beijing protested Meng's arrest but said talks with the Trump administration would go ahead. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said China is confident it can reach a deal during the 90-day timeout.

Still, Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad warned that "this incident highlights the huge gap in trust between the two sides, casting a pall over the tough negotiations that still lie ahead. It will clearly take more than one convivial dinner between the leaders of the two countries to start bridging that gap."

Duterte seeks martial law extension in southern Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in the country's south by another year amid continuing concerns over possible militant attacks, although democracy advocates fear it could worsen human rights conditions.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Friday that ending martial law could undermine progress by government forces in quelling insurgents "and may even strengthen the rebellion and propel it to other parts of the country."

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he, along the military and police, backed the extension of martial law in the country's southern third, because Muslim extremists, including five to 10 foreign fighters, continue to plot bombings and other attacks.

Duterte placed the southern Mindanao region under martial law after hundreds of Islamic State group-linked militants besieged the Islamic city of Marawi on May 23, 2017, in the worst security crisis he has faced.

After five months, Philippine troops quelled the siege, which left more than 1,100 combatants and civilians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The government has successfully asked Congress twice to allow an extension of martial rule in the south, the homeland of minority Muslims and site of decades-old Muslim separatist insurrections.

"With martial law in place, we have achieved substantial progress in addressing the rebellion in Mindanao," Panelo said. "A halt may only frustrate the progress we are witnessing in Mindanao and may even strengthen the rebellion and propel it to other parts of the country."

Opponents argue that extending martial law is unconstitutional because it's an "extreme measure" that can only be imposed when an actual rebellion against the government exists. They expressed concern that the move could be a prelude for Duterte to declare martial law throughout the Philippines.

The left-wing Karapatan group said a martial law extension would be a human rights "nightmare," citing claims of dozens of questionable killings of civilians by troops, displacement of villagers by military bombings and illegal arrests under martial law in the south. The military has denied such claims.

Filipinos remain hypersensitive to threats to democracy and civil liberties after they ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a 1986 "people power" revolt that became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide. Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines in 1972 in a period marked by massive human rights abuses.

Concerns over Duterte's martial law have been sparked in part by his perceived authoritarian bent and the killings of thousands of suspects in a crackdown on illegal drugs that he launched after taking office in 2016 which has alarmed Western governments and human rights groups.

Young Afghan Messi fan threatened by criminals, Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan – A young Afghan soccer fan who shot to fame after he was photographed in a Messi shirt made from a plastic bag has been forced to flee with his family to the capital after criminal gangs and the Taliban threatened to kill or kidnap him, his mother said Friday.

Since becoming an internet sensation, Shafiqa Ahmedi said her now 7-year-old son Murtaza — a fan of Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi — has not been able to attend school and now they are living in an unheated room in Kabul.

She said the cold and the damp are making Murtaza sick.

"He is always cold," she said. Temperatures in Kabul hover around 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.

The picture of Murtaza in his plastic plastic Messi shirt playing soccer went viral on social media two years ago. He met his hero in December last year.

But his popularity has turned into a nightmare for Murtaza and his family.

"I wish Murtaza had never become so famous," she told The Associated Press. "It has created a big problem for us and for him. For the last two years we have not been able to send him to school. I wish none of this had ever happened."

Criminals threatened to kidnap Murtaza after demanding money, assuming the boy's brush with fame somehow resulted in a windfall of money. Taliban insurgents stopped local school buses asking if anyone knew of Murtaza. They, too, had seen pictures of young Murtaza meeting Messi in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar, where he received a T-shirt from his hero.

Last November, when Taliban fighters launched attacks in their home district of Joguri in violent Ghazni province, the family fled to the relative safety of Bamiyan province in Central Afghanistan.

But the threats continued.

The move to the Afghan capital three weeks ago has been painful. Murtaza is the youngest of five children and the family is paying the equivalent of about $90 a month for a room in the Afshar neighborhood in northwest Kabul.

Murtaza's uncle Asif Ahmedi said the family received at least 10 letters and several phone calls from a variety of criminal gangs threatening to kill Murtaza or kidnap him if they didn't give them money.

"Everyone thinks that because he became famous that we now have lots of money, but we are poor people," he said. "The gunmen in our area were saying, 'You got lots of money from Messi and you should give us the money otherwise your son will be kidnapped.'"

Criminal gangs roam freely in most of Afghanistan, which has been at war for 17 years. Most of the country's 38 million people are dirt poor and the country's police and army have been besieged by Taliban insurgents in near daily attacks.

Corruption is rampant in Afghanistan and many local police are in cahoots with criminal gangs.

CNN takes home five awards at the annual Asian Academy Creative Awards

CNN and Turner Broadcasting won eight honors at the Asian Academy Creative Awards, the region’s version of the International Emmy Awards at a gala ceremony in Singapore Thursday.

CNN won five awards for its reporting in the region, most notably for “Best Documentary Programme,” “Best Single News Story” and “Best News or Current Affairs Presenter.”CNN International Correspondent Will Ripley won for “Best Documentary Programme” for “Secret State: Inside North Korea,” a half-hour special based on 15 days of reporting inside the reclusive country.

    Ripley also won the “Best Single News Story” for his reporting on Pyongyang’s attempts to demonstrate its commitment to peace talks by destroying its only nuclear site. North Korea invited a number of journalists inside the country in May to witness a series of explosions that purportedly destroyed tunnels leading to the site.News Stream anchor Kristie Lu Stout took the award for “Best News or Current Affairs Presenter” and the program itself also earned top honors in the category of “Best News Programme.”Read MoreCNN Vision’s Business Traveller won for the “Best Lifestyle Programme” for its episode on Thailand, exploring the country’s evolving tourism industry.Turner Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network took home three awards. Lamput won “Best 2D Animated Programme or Series,” and Bill and Tony won “Best 3D Animated Programme or Series” and “Best Children’s Animated Programme or Series.”The Asian Academy Creative Awards are part of the Singapore Media Festival and held in conjunction with Asia Television Forum. The second night of the award ceremony is being held on Friday.Best Documentary Programme (one-off/special)Secret State Inside North Korea Best News or Current Affairs Presenter/AnchorKristie Lu Stout Best Single News Story/ReportPunggye-ri Nuclear Site Destruction Best News ProgrammeNews Stream Best Lifestyle ProgrammeBusiness Traveller Best 2D Animated Programme or SeriesLamput By Cartoon Network Best 3D Animated Programme or SeriesBill and Tony By Cartoon Network

      Best Children’s Animated Programme or SeriesBill and Tony By Cartoon Network