MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s air force shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the boundary between the two nuclear-armed rivals in the disputed territory of Kashmir on Wednesday and captured one Indian pilot, a military spokesman said. The dramatic escalation came hours after Pakistan said mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier dividing the two sectors of Kashmir killed six civilians and wounded several others. Pakistan’s army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said Pakistani troops on ground captured the Indian pilot. One of the downed planes crashed in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir while the other went down in Indian-controlled section of the Himalayan region, he said.
Pakistan’s army spokesman says the country’s air force shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the boundary between the two nuclear-armed rivals in the disputed territory of Kashmir, and that one Indian pilot was captured. Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor says Pakistani troops on ground captured the Indian pilot. He says one of the planes crashed in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir. He says that “one Indian pilot was arrested by troops on ground while two are in the area” on Wednesday. Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi said he has no information on Pakistan’s statement.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse will face his first night in prison Wednesday while he waits two weeks to learn his sentence for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago. Victorian state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd revoked Cardinal George Pell’s bail at the end of a sentencing hearing. Kidd said he would deliver his sentence on March 13. The 77-year-old Pell, who could face five decades in prison, showed no expression as he walked from the dock with a cane escorted by three court security officers and a prison guard.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump hoped for “great things” from his second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as he paid a courtesy call Wednesday on his Vietnamese hosts. Kim remained in his locked-down hotel for a large part of the day but was expected to take in some sights before the leaders open their nuclear summit with private talks and a social dinner. Anticipation for what could come out of the summit ran high in Hanoi. But the carnival-like atmosphere in the Vietnamese capital, with street artists painting likenesses of the leaders and vendors hawking T-shirts emblazoned with their faces, stood in contrast to the serious items on the agenda: North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump’s message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been simple and clear: give up your nuclear weapons and a flood of wealth will soon be yours for the taking. But here’s a nagging question: Is that really what Kim wants? With Trump and Kim descending on Hanoi for their second summit , there has been a persistent suggestion that Kim will look around at the relative prosperity of his Vietnamese hosts — who are certainly no strangers to U.S. hostility — and think that he, too, should open up his country to more foreign investment and trade.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An unlicensed gold mine in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province buried dozens of people, a disaster official said Wednesday, as emergency personnel dug with bare hands and farm tools as they desperately sought to unearth victims calling for help from beneath the rubble. Local disaster official Abdul Muin Paputungan said one person was confirmed dead and 14 people with injuries ranging from light to serious had been rescued. As many as 60 people were buried, he said. “Unstable soil conditions make us extra careful lifting rocks because it can lead to new landslides,” Paputungan told The Associated Press.
BEIJING (AP) — China has unveiled draft regulations on gene editing and other potentially risky biomedical technologies after a Chinese scientist’s claim of helping to create gene-edited babies roiled the global science community. Under the proposed measures released Tuesday, technology involving gene editing, gene transfer and gene regulation would be categorized as “high-risk” and managed by the health department of the State Council, China’s Cabinet. The measures follow assertions in November from scientist He Jiankui that he altered the DNA of twin girls born that month using a powerful new tool. The technology, called CRISPR-cas9, makes it possible to operate on DNA to supply a needed gene or disable one that’s causing problems.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities said Wednesday they’ve seized chemicals which could have been used to make 1 ton of methamphetamine and arrested four men in a joint operation with China. Australian Federal Police said they seized 1.4 tons of the drug precursor ephedrine, which could have been used to make meth with a street value of nearly 700 million Australian dollars ($500 million). Investigators said they were tipped off by Chinese authorities about a syndicate suspected of importing commercial quantities of drugs into Melbourne. Border authorities intercepted a container arriving from China labelled as ceramic tiles and glue, but which police said contained 260 bags of ephedrine.
BANGKOK (AP) — A rich list by wealth compiler Hurun Report shows the market meltdowns in 2018 obliterated $1 trillion in wealth, with more than 212 of China’s richest individuals losing their dollar billionaire status. The report, China’s version of the Forbes rich list, showed Chinese billionaires still outnumbered those from any other country as of Jan. 31, at 658. Several newly minted ones amassed wealth through big share offerings. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos led the world’s wealthiest for the second year running, estimated by the Hurun Global rich list at $147 billion. Overall, it says there are 2,470 billionaires in the world by its reckoning, down 224 from last year.
COTABATO, Philippines (AP) — Former Muslim guerrillas are now governing a poverty- and conflict-wracked Muslim autonomous region under a peace deal partly aimed at combating Islamic State group-aligned militants in the southern Philippines. Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel chairman Murad Ebrahim assumed leadership Tuesday in a ceremony in Cotabato city of an 80-member transition authority dominated by his guerrilla group to govern a five-province region called Bangsamoro. The first large group of about 12,000 combatants is expected to be demobilized starting this year under the deal. The Philippine and Western governments and the guerrillas see effective Muslim autonomy as an antidote to nearly half a century of Muslim secessionist violence, which the Islamic State group could exploit to gain a foothold in the region.