Top Asian News 4:06 a.m. GMT

Crowd angered by lockdowns calls for China's Xi to step down

SHANGHAI (AP) — Protesters angered by strict anti-virus measures called for China’s powerful leader to resign, an unprecedented rebuke as authorities in at least eight cities struggled to suppress demonstrations Sunday that represent a rare direct challenge to the ruling Communist Party. Police using pepper spray drove away demonstrators in Shanghai who called for Xi Jinping to step down and an end to one-party rule, but hours later people rallied again in the same spot. Police again broke up the demonstration, and a reporter saw protesters under arrest being driven away in a bus. The protests — which began Friday and have spread to cities including the capital, Beijing, and dozens of university campuses — are the most widespread show of opposition to the ruling party in decades.