NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Roman Catholic cleric convicted of covering up child sex abuse was ordered by an Australian court Tuesday to serve his 1-year sentence in home detention rather than jail. Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone on Tuesday ordered former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson to be detained at his sister's house for at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole. He will be under strict supervision including having to wear a tracking device that would alert authorities if he left the house. Wilson, 67, has denied the accusations and had refused to resign pending an appeal.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Hundreds of people have fled four days of fierce fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban over the key provincial capital of Ghazni that has killed about 120 security forces and civilians, the defense minister and witnesses said Monday. Nearly 200 insurgents, many of them foreigners, have been killed, the government said. Between the civilians have left the city and those too fearful to venture from their homes into the streets, "Ghazni has become a ghost town," said Ghulam Mustafa, who made it to neighboring Maidan Wardak province with 14 of his relatives. "The city became so dangerous," the 60-year-old Mustafa told The Associated Press while stopped briefly at a checkpoint where police searched for wounded Taliban fighters.
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia is looking to cancel multibillion-dollar Chinese-backed infrastructure projects signed by the previous scandal-tainted government as it digs itself out of debt, Malaysia's prime minister said Monday during an extensive interview in which he also blasted Myanmar's treatment of Rohingya Muslims as "grossly unjust." Mahathir Mohamad, at 93 the world's oldest prime minister, spoke with The Associated Press days before he heads to Beijing for his first visit since returning to power in a stunning electoral upset three months ago. Mahathir said he wants to maintain good relations with China and welcomes its investment, so long as the projects benefit Malaysia.
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad commented on lopsided China-backed projects, treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, the South China Sea furor, a water treaty with Singapore and the country's financial mess in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. Here are excerpts: ___ AX CHINA-BACKED PROJECTS Days before heading to Beijing for his first visit since his stunning electoral victory three months ago, Mahathir said Malaysia doesn't need a Chinese-backed $20 billion East Coast Rail Link and two energy pipelines worth $2.3 billion. The projects have been suspended pending renegotiation. "We don't think they are viable. So if we can, we would like to just drop the projects," Mahathir said.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia is deploying 100,000 police and soldiers to provide security for the Asian Games, the biggest event ever held in its terror attack prone capital Jakarta, parts of which have been dramatically spruced up as the city readies to welcome tens of thousands of athletes and visitors. The 18th Asian Games, which run until Sept. 2, are being held in Jakarta, Palembang on the island of Sumatra, and in West Java. About 12,000 athletes, support staff and officials and 5,000 journalists are expected. It's the second time Indonesia has hosted the games. The first in 1962 was under the country's founding president Sukarno, who wanted to showcase Indonesia and himself as a leader of nations who'd thrown off colonial Western rule.
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister said Monday he is seeking to hike the price of water sold to neighboring Singapore by more than 10 times as his country searches for ways to pay off massive debts. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who shot back to power in an electoral upset in May, told The Associated Press that a decades-old treaty governing the water agreement needs to be revised to reflect increases in the cost of living. The water deal has long been a point of contention between the two countries. Mahathir said in June he wants to renegotiate the deal.
BERLIN (AP) — China insisted on Monday that "arbitrary detention" or "re-education centers" do not exist in its far western Xinjiang region, rejecting concerns raised by a U.N. human rights committee that millions of ethnic Uighurs may be being held in camps. Beijing was responding to questions raised by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva. A committee member last week cited estimates that over 1 million people in China from the country's Uighur and other Muslim minorities are being held in "counter-extremism centers" and another 2 million have been forced into "re-education camps." In Xinjiang, following sporadic violent attacks by Muslim separatists, hundreds of thousands of members of the Uighur and Kazakh Muslim minorities have been arbitrarily detained in indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the party.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September, while their envoys also discussed Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament efforts and international sanctions. The push for what would be the leaders' third summit since April comes amid renewed worries surrounding a nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang. The announcement released after nearly two hours of talks led by the rivals' chiefs for inter-Korean affairs was remarkably thin on details. In a three-sentence joint statement, the two sides did not mention an exact date for the summit and provided no details on how to implement past agreements.
BEIJING (AP) — As China's leaders gather for their annual Yellow Sea retreat, the country's political waters are looking choppy. Chinese President and ruling Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is beset by economic, foreign policy and domestic political challenges just months after clearing his way to rule for as long as he wants as China's most dominant leader since Mao Zedong. Mounting criticism of the Xi administration's policies has exposed the risks he faces from amassing so much power: He's made himself a natural target for blame. "Having concentrated power, Xi is responsible for all policy setbacks and policy failures," said Joseph Cheng, a retired City University of Hong Kong professor and long-time observer of Chinese politics.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The death toll from the earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok a week ago has passed 430 and the government is estimating economic losses will exceed several hundred million dollars. The national disaster agency said Monday the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people, most of whom died in collapsing buildings. It said damage to homes, infrastructure and other property is at least 5 trillion rupiah ($342 million), calling that a temporary figure that will rise as more assessments are made. The agency said rebuilding will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The magnitude 7.0 quake flattened thousands of homes and according to the disaster agency's latest estimate has displaced about 350,000 people.