World Briefs: Aussie PM's popularity down, rules out election

Aussie PM's popularity down, rules out election

MELBOURNE • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday ruled out an early election, as his popularity ratings slumped following a sex scandal involving his deputy and a staffer. Mr Turnbull's coalition has trailed the opposition Labor Party in 28 straight Newspolls, published by The Australian newspaper, while his standing as preferred prime minister has dropped to its slimmest lead over Labor leader Bill Shorten.


Poll delivers blow to Le Pen ahead of relaunch

PARIS • Days before far-right leader Marine Le Pen unveils a shift in focus to immigration and a new name for her National Front party, an attempt to woo back voters, a poll showed three in four French people think she would make a bad president. Asked by Kantar-Sofres-Onepoint pollsters if Ms Le Pen would make a good national leader, 73 per cent of respondents said no. More than half said she was incapable of uniting her divided camp and that the National Front would never win power.


Jail for German far-right terrorists

DRESDEN (Germany) • Eight members of a German far-right group were jailed yesterday on terrorism and attempted murder charges for a series of explosives attacks targeting refugees and anti-fascist activists.

Based in Germany's ex-communist east, the so-called "Freital group" had sought to create "a climate of fear" at the height of Germany's refugee and migrant influx in 2015, the court was told. Its leaders Timo Schulz and Patrick Festing were sentenced to 10 and nine-and-a-half years in prison respectively. The other six received custodial terms.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe