S. Korea's Park says 'sorry' as she undergoes questioning

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 8:32 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 8:31 PM


            S. Korea's Park says 'sorry' as she undergoes questioning

South Korea's just-ousted president said Tuesday she was "sorry" to the people as she underwent questioning by prosecutors over a corruption scandal that led to her removal from office.

The questioning of Park Geun-hye came 11 days after the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously to dismiss her as president over allegations she colluded with a confidante to extort money from businesses and committed other wrongdoings. Her power had been suspended since she was impeached by parliament in December.

It was a dramatic fall for Park, a daughter of slain dictator Park Chung-hee, who was elected as the country's first female president in late 2012 amid a wave of support from conservatives who remembered her father as a hero who pulled the country up from poverty despite his suppression of civil rights.

"I am sorry to the people. I will sincerely undergo an investigation," Park said when arrived at a Seoul prosecutors' office.

She did not elaborate and went inside the building amid a barrage of camera flashes. Prosecutors later said they began questioning Park with her lawyer present.

It was not clear if Park's brief statement meant she acknowledged the corruption allegations, as she has repeatedly denied any legal wrongdoing. South Korean politicians embroiled in scandals often offer public apologies for causing trouble though they deny their involvement.

The questioning of Park was expected to last until late in the evening, and South Korean media reported prosecutors won't likely summon her again after Tuesday's questioning.

Dozens of high-profile figures including some top Park government officials and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong have already been arrested or indicted in connection with the scandal.

Park could face extortion, bribery and other criminal charges, but it is not known if prosecutors will seek to arrest her anytime soon, especially ahead of an election in May to choose her successor.

Some experts say there would be a strong backlash from conservatives if Park were to appear on TV dressed in prison garb and handcuffed. Currently, Moon Jae-in, a liberal opposition leader who lost the 2012 election to Park, now has a commanding lead in opinion surveys.

The scandal has roiled and divided South Korea for months, with millions of people taking to the streets and calling for park's ouster in the largest public demonstrations in decades. In recent weeks, pro-Park supporters, mostly elderly conservatives, have staged their own rallies. Three people died in clashes between Park's supporters and the police after the court ruled against her.

Earlier Tuesday, hundreds of Park supporters waited for hours near her Seoul home, holding national flags and chanting her name as thick lines of police officers separated them from a group of reporters. Stepping out of her home's black metal gate, Park did not address to her supporters before getting into a black sedan, which followed a motorcade of police motorcycles to the prosecution office.

Park had immunity while in office and had refused to meet with prosecutors or allow officials to search her presidential compound. She has since expressed defiance toward the allegations, saying "I believe the truth will certainly come out."

The March 10 ruling has made Park South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced out of office since democracy replaced dictatorship in the late 1980s.

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Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this story.

London terror attack: What we know

Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 12:55 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:33 PM

Five people died and at least 40 others were injured Wednesday after a man rammed into several pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before attacking a police officer stationed outside the British Parliament, police said.

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Mark Rowley, national head of counter-terrorism and policing for London metropolitan police and acting deputy commissioner, said the attacker and a police officer who he stabbed were among those killed.

The Islamic State group claimed through its Aamaq news agency on Thursday that the attacker, who  was identified by police as British-born man Khalid Masood, was “an Islamic State soldier,” according to multiple reports.

Police were called at 2:40 p.m. GMT to respond to reports of a “firearms incident” at the bridge, just down the street from Parliament’s home at the Palace of Westminster, London metropolitan police said.

Here’s what we know so far:

Former Egyptian president Mubarak set free

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 6:34 AM

Former Egyptian president Mubarak set free

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed from his detention, the BBC reported.

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Mubarak,88, left a military hospital in southern Cairo and went to his home in the northern suburb of Heliopolis, his lawyer said. Mubarak was released after Egypt's top appeals court earlier this month cleared him over the deaths of protesters in the 2011 uprising.

Mubarak became president in 1981 after Anwar Sadat's assassination.

Cities worldwide show solidarity with London after terror attack

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 1:13 PM

People across the globe showed solidarity with the victims of Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in London.

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Police said four people, including the suspected attacker, were killed and more than 40 people were injured Wednesday afternoon in the attack outside the British Parliament building.

Among those killed was the suspected assailant, identified by police as 53-year-old Briton Khalid Masood. Authorities said Masood slammed a vehicle into people on Westminster Bridge before attacking Keith Palmer, a police officer who was guarding Parliament.

American Keith W. Cochran, who was visiting London to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary, and English teacher Aysha Frade, 43, were also killed.

The flag above Scotland Yard, the headquarters for London's Metropolitan Police Service, was flown at half-mast in remembrance of the victims.

EpiPens recalled abroad due to potential failure to activate

Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

The company behind the EpiPen, a life-saving drug delivery device for severe allergic reactions, recalled some sets of the auto-injector abroad on Monday, although none were recalled in the U.S.

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Pharmaceutical company Mylan said in a recall notice that one batch of EpiPens might not work properly. The batch went to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan. The company voluntarily recalled those.

Mylan said that it got two reports worldwide of EpiPens to activate out of a batch of 80,000 devices. The issue came from a defective part, the company said.

Mylan came under fire recently for raising the price of the EpiPen to $600. The cost amounts to a 400 percent increase in price between 2007, when Mylan acquired the devices, and 2016.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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