Turnbull handed election trigger
SYDNEY • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was yesterday handed a trigger to call elections after the upper house Senate rejected for a second time legislation to re-establish a construction industry watchdog. The government is set to deliver its Budget on May 3, and Mr Turnbull appears likely to call for a July 2 poll, which polls suggest will be a neck-and-neck contest with the Labour opposition.
Hundreds feared dead in new migrant tragedy
ROME • Several hundred people appear to have died in a new migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said yesterday. Unconfirmed media reports said there were up to 400 victims from boats which capsized near the Egyptian coast as they attempted to sail to Europe.
Belgian PM backs minister's claims
BRUSSELS • Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has backed his outspoken interior minister over claims that a significant number of Muslims had cheered the Brussels bombings. Mr Jan Jambon faced criticism from fellow ministers and opposition, some demanding evidence, others that he apologise immediately.