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Australian PM Turnbull brushes off calls to resign

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Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday rejected opposition calls for his resignation.Australia’s opposition Labor Party called Turnbull the “David Cameron of the southern hemisphere” after he failed to secure an emphatic election victory.

On Monday evening, opposition Labour Party Leader Bill Shorten called for Turnbull to quit as leader of the Liberal National Party coalition, claiming that the premier was “out of touch” and was unable to provide parliamentary “stability” which he promised to Australian voters throughout his campaign.

But on Tuesday, Turnbull said he would not be stepping down from the position and described the Labour leader’s attack as purely political.

“Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?” Turnbull said of Shorten, “I’m sure he would (like me to resign).”

“I don’t think we’ll be taking advice from the leader of the opposition, I think he couldn’t think of anything else better to say.”

The election’s vote count resumed early Tuesday with postal votes and pre-poll votes set to be tallied, two days after the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) said it could take weeks to get a decisive result from all seats.

Turnbull said he was confident of a forming a majority government despite numerous election analysts suggesting Labor had, by Tuesday, secured more seats than the coalition.

“The count is continuing and we remain confident that we will secure enough seats to have a majority in the parliament,” Turnbull told the press.

“All the votes have been cast and it’s now simply a matter to count them so we’re just awaiting that.”

Meanwhile the nation’s Attorney General George Brandis has played down concerns that the deadlocked election was bad news for Australia or the coalition; he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that there’s “no such thing as a failed election”.

He said there was nothing unusual about the deadlock, despite Trunbull facing a wall of conservative criticism, both from political commentators and from within the far-right factions of his party.

“An election always produces the parliament the people choose,” Brandis said.

“Sometimes that’s a large majority, sometimes a narrow one, and sometimes the party that forms government relies on other elements of the parliament to govern, but there’s nothing unusual here.”

Conservative factions of the coalition have already hinted at discontent within the party; the ABC reported that anonymous sources would have no issue ousting Turnbull at a partyroom meeting if he “sells out” the conservative principles of the party while brokering a deal with independent MPs.

A decisive result to determine the government still might not be known for days, while the final results from tightly-contested seats may be in limbo for weeks.

Australia

Austria’s Supreme Court allows same-sex marriage from 2019

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Same Sex Wedding

Same-sex couples will be allowed to get married in Austria from 2019, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. It said the current law violates the principle of non-discrimination.

The move brings Austria into line with many other European nations, including Germany, France, Britain, and Spain. Austria’s constitutional court examined a 2009 law which allows registered partnerships for same-sex couples, but prevents them from getting married, at the request of two women who were rejected by two lower authorities, Reuters said.

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Malaysia Airlines plane forced to return to Melbourne

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Malaysia Airline-wefornews-min

Melbourne, June 1, 2017: A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to return to the Melbourne airport after a man who claiming to have a bomb tried to enter the cockpit of the aircraft, police said on Thursday.

Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was forced to return after take-off at 11.11 p.m. on Wednesday night when a 25-year-old student from Sri Lanka tried to enter the cockpit, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The man, who has been living in Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east, was tackled by crew members and several passengers, who overpowered him and tied him up with belts.

Heavily-armed police wearing helmets and body armour and carrying rifles boarded the aircraft after it landed, and placed the man under arrest.

Victoria State Police later said the incident was not being treated as terrorism.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the man was carrying a “speaker-type device”, ABC reported.

“It looked to me like a slightly larger version of an iPhone…As one of these bluetooth-type speakers. It has cords that allow you to plug it into some sort of phone device to play music on,” he said.

Commissioner Ashton said the man was released from psychiatric care earlier on Wednesday.

Ashton said the man was likely to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.

IANS

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Australians warned against seafood after deadly algal bloom

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Authorities in Australia’a Tasmania state are urging people to stop consuming seafood due to the risk of potentially-fatal paralytic poisoning.

Mark Veitch, Tasmania’s acting director of public health, released a statement late Sunday night warning Tasmanians and tourists to heed the “very real” threat to health, which has come due to an algal bloom in the water, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Shellfish feed on the algae and (therefore) concentrate the toxin — this makes them dangerous to eat and may cause serious and even fatal illness,” the statement said.

“The large scale of this algal bloom and the high levels of toxin in tested shellfish mean the risk of shellfish poisoning from eating shellfish collected from the wild is very real.”

Tasmanian seafood is considered by many as the best in the world, with many Australians choosing to make the trip to the southernmost state for sport fishing, mussel and abalone diving, as well as oyster sampling.

The authorities have said it was unsafe to eat wild oysters, mussels, scallops and pipis from anywhere along the island’s east coast, while Tasmanians have also been warned that cooking the fish will not kill the deadly toxins.

Two types of toxin have been identified by the authorities, one of which causes mild diarrhea while the other causes paralysis which could lead to death.

The latest algal bloom follows a similar one which occurred in 2015 when two people were hospitalised after consuming toxic mussels in October.

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