1. Fractured France: “There will be a civil war” - BBC News
Yellow vest protestors have caused havoc on the streets of France for the past 15 weeks, driven by anger over fuel taxes, the cost of living, and a political system they detest. Now, President Macron has promised to listen to people’s frustrations and make changes.
But does he have what it takes to see off the protesters, or is France heading for a civil war? The Nine’s Europe Correspondent Jean Mackenzie has taken a road trip across the country to find out.
2. Indian jets BOMB targets in Pakistan - Pakistani airforce SCRAMBLES in response
INDIAN warplanes have bombed suspected militant camps inside Pakistan, following a suicide attack which killed at least 40 paramilitary soldiers last week, according to the country’s military.
The Pakistani airforce scrabbled its own jets in response.
The attack took place over the line of control, which separates the Indian and Pakistani controlled sections of Kashmir.
On Twitter Indian Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat commented: “Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps and completely destroyed it.”
There are no reports thus far of any casualties.
Pakistan's military said Indian military aircraft had crossed into its territory in the disputed Kashmir region and “released a payload.”
Twelve Mirage 2000 warplanes dropped 1,000kg bombs on militant training camps according to sources speaking to The Times of India.
VIDEO: India Air Force Strike on Pakistan: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter jets strike JeM camps in PoK Balakot
Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jets strike Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camps across LoC with 1000 Kg bombs to avenge Pulwama: Taking to Twitter, Major General Asif Ghafoor alleged the IAF jet entered into Pakistani territory from Muzaffarabad sector and the Indian aircraft was driven out of Pakistan airspace after a Pakistan Air Force jet was scrambled to intercept the enemy aircraft.
Background on current attack: Kashmir car bomb: India warns Pakistan of “jaw-breaking reply” after suicide bomber leaves 41 police officers dead
3. Pakistan and India suspend domestic and international flights as war tensions erupt
PAKISTAN has stopped domestic and international flights to and from major cities including capital Islamabad, hours after India did likewise as the nuclear-armed countries moved to the brink of all-out war following the shooting down of two Indian jets which crossed into Pakistan airspace in the disputed Kashmir region.
Coming days after a Indian air strike on a militant camp which Delhi claimed had killed 300 people, it illustrated the spiralling tensions between the neighbouring countries, with reports that a Pakistani jet had also been downed. India based journalist Aditya Raj Kaul tweeted: “Pakistan immediately stops its domestic and international flight operations to/from Lahore, Multan, Faislabad, Sialkot and Islamabad Airports.” The Indian air force has ordered Kashmir's main airport in Srinagar along with at least three others in neighboring states to be closed because of the two incidents, an official said.
Related: India prepares for war: 14,000 bunkers are built along Pakistan border as the nations prepare their military and Islamabad warns its rival nuclear power “better sense” is needed to avoid conflict
4. St Michan's, Dublin: Vandals decapitate 800-year-old crusader
An 800-year-old "crusader" from a crypt in a Dublin church has been decapitated by vandals.
Archdeacon David Pierpoint said the crusader's head had been "severed from his body and taken away".
The discovery was made as a tour guide was preparing to open the church for visitors on Monday afternoon.
Archdeacon Pierpoint said he was upset and disappointed that the church had been targeted again by vandals. [...]
Crusaders fought in a series of religious wars known as the Crusades which were sanctioned by the Church in the medieval period.
The most commonly known of the crusades were campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
5. Omar Khadr asks court to rule war crimes sentence expired
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is asking an Alberta judge to declare his war crimes sentence expired. Khadr's eight-year sentence was imposed in 2010 by a military commission in the U.S. and would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody.
6. U.S. announces new sanctions against 4 Venezuela governors helping to block aid
The U.S. has announced new sanctions against Venezuela as critical humanitarian aid is blocked from getting into the country.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions are targeting four Venezuelan governors. The officials are assisting the Maduro regime with the blockade, which is causing the people of Venezuela to suffer. Mnuchin claimed the governors are involved in “endemic corruption,” and said their actions are shameful.
Earlier this month, the U.S. sanctioned a top oil executive and several Venezuelan intelligence officials for alleged human rights violations. Mnuchin said the officials are responsible for corruption as well as suppressing Venezuela’s democracy.
7. Venezuela's "colectivos" continue arbitrary armed robberies, journalist says
Rowdy Maduro supporters interrupt freedom of press talks at National Assembly
CARACAS, Venezuela - While embattled President Nicolas Maduro's administration claimed at the United Nations that colectivos, the government's armed paramilitary allies, are not the ones fomenting violence in Venezuela, a 37-year-old Swedish journalist testified to a different reality Wednesday at the National Assembly in Caracas.
Annika H. Rothstein was forced to hide under the podium at the opposition's National Assembly after a group of Maduro supporters got through security and interrupted the meeting at the Venezuelan legislative palace. Rothstein was eventually able to stand up again to speak.
Related: Venezuelan motorist captures video of Maduro’s “colectivos” (armed vigilantes) patrolling the streets to intimidate revolutionaries.
Flashback to 2012: Venezuela bans private gun ownership
8. Austria proposes preventative detention for asylum seekers deemed a threat
The right-wing Austrian government has introduced restrictions on asylum seekers looking to enter the country.
9. Migrants “don’t fear” deportation due to “low risk” of return, says crime chief
A National Crime Agency (NCA) chief has said that Iranian boat migrants are keen to be picked up by UK authorities after crossing the English Channel because they know there is a low chance of them being deported.
Director General of Operations Steve Rodhouse outlined to MPs at the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that some 500 migrant arrivals by boat from coastal Europe to Kent in the last year represents a “very different model compared to organised immigration crime.”
[...] “The business model is for the migrants to reach the point where they can engage with UK authorities whether it be on land or at sea and claim asylum at that point… that’s a different business model,” Mr Rodhouse said, noting that the “overwhelming majority claim Iranian citizenship and asylum in the UK.”
10. “It was like Apocalypse Now”: SAS troops find severed heads of 50 Yazidi sex slaves as they close in on last of barbaric ISIS “tunnel rats”
Elite SAS troops found the severed heads of 50 sex slaves murdered by merciless Islamic State fighters as they led the assault on the terror group's last stronghold, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The barbaric jihadis had beheaded dozens of Yazidi women before dumping their heads in dustbins.
British Special Forces made the grisly discovery when they entered Baghuz, the besieged town on the banks of the Euphrates in eastern Syria where IS is making its last desperate stand.
It followed a fierce close-quarter battle earlier this month during which SAS soldiers fired 600 mortar bombs and tens of thousands of machine-gun rounds, forcing the enemy into a network of tunnels beneath the rubble-strewn town.