Australia’s new prime minister announces his Cabinet

Incoming Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is sworn in at Government House, Canberra, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2018
0

Australia’s new prime minister announces his Cabinet

  • Morrison won a ballot of government lawmakers for the leadership on Friday against rival Peter Dutton
  • The fractured conservative coalition government needs to present a united front to voters ahead of elections due by May

CANBERRA: Australia’s new prime minister announced a peace-making Cabinet on Sunday that does not punish his rivals in a bruising power struggle that ousted his predecessor days ago and divided a government that lags in opinion polls.
The fractured conservative coalition government needs to present a united front to voters ahead of elections due by May.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison won a ballot of government lawmakers for the leadership on Friday against rival Peter Dutton.
Morrison had been loyal to his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, whom Dutton had demanded prove he had the support of ruling Liberal Party lawmakers in a ballot. Turnbull resigned.
Morrison, who last week was the treasurer, returned Dutton to the home affairs ministry he had held under Turnbull.
Mathias Cormann, a party power broker who backed Dutton, retained his finance portfolio.
Australia’s first female foreign minister, Julie Bishop, announced earlier Sunday that she had quit the Cabinet.
The 62-year-old Bishop had had been deputy leader of the ruling party since 2007 and failed to become prime minister in Friday’s leadership ballot.
Opposition lawmaker Penny Wong paid tribute to Bishop for her trailblazing role in foreign affairs.
Bishop will be replaced as foreign minister by Marise Payne, Australia’s first female defense minister.


Italian hostage freed after 3 years in Syria returns home

Updated 5 min 27 sec ago
0

Italian hostage freed after 3 years in Syria returns home

  • The man who disappeared traveled to Turkey in October 2016
  • An official said the man was kidnapped by a criminal gang

MILAN: Italy’s defense minister says an Italian who had been held hostage in Syria for three years has been released and returned to Italy.

Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta late Wednesday confirmed Alessandro Sandrini’s arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport and thanked Italian intelligence services for their role in his liberation. Details were not disclosed.

Sandrini, who is in his early 30s, disappeared after traveling to Turkey in October 2016, and wasn’t heard from for over a year. In July 2018, a dramatic video showed Sandrini wearing an orange jumpsuit flanked by masked men brandishing automatic weapons, appealing to Italy to help free him as quickly as possible.

A local government in Syria affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Hayat Tahir-al Sham said he had been kidnapped by a criminal gang.