The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times says there was ‘No wrongdoing’ in Olympics ticket sting. The Sunday Times of London claimed yesterday that officials in Malta as well as many other countries were involved in wrongfully selling tickets.
The Malta Independent says Lawrence Gonzi has criticised Joseph Muscat for promising permits in Outside Development Zones.
In-Nazzjon leads with comments by the prime minister that the PN is a guarantee for job-creation.
l-orizzont carries a feature on Il-Ginger, the quad bike driver who died on Saturday.
The overseas press
The Greek election dominates this morning’s media, with the news that Antonis Samaras is set to become the new prime minister. Kathimerini reports the 62-year-old’s New Democracy Party achieved the highest percentage of votes in yesterday’s general election in six weeks, beating the radical left Syriza party into second place. With 80 per cent of votes counted, interior ministry projections put New Democracy on 29.9 per cent of the vote (130 seats), Syriza on 26.7 per cent (71) and the socialist Pasok on 12.4 per cent (33). Samaras said the Greek people had expressed their will to remain an integral part of the eurozone and honour their country’s commitments and he wants to form a government as soon as possible.
According to Ethnos, Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras is reported to have phoned Samaras to admit defeat and then told his supporters the fight would continue in opposition, refusing any role in a new government. He said that in the last two elections, the people had rejected the austerity measures linked to the implementation of the EU-IMF bailout.
Euronews says reaction was swift and the result of the Greek election has been welcomed internationally. The head of the eurozone group of finance ministers, Jean Claude Junker, said he remained convinced that economic reforms were the best way for Greece to overcome its problems. Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Samaras to congratulate him on his “good result”. A statement from the White House said: “We believe that it is in all our interests for Greece to remain in the euro area while respecting its commitment to reform.”
In France, the Socialist Party of the new French President Françoise Hollande has won an absolute majority in parliament in the second round of elections. France 24 quotes Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault saying the goal now was to shift Europe towards growth and to protect the eurozone. The result means that the Socialists now control the Senate, most regional governments, the presidency and now the National Assembly. The outcome gives new President Hollande a strong hand to play as the eurozone continues to wrestle with the financial crisis.
Cairo Radio says counting is in full swing after a second and final day of elections for the Egypt’s first president since Hosni Mubarak was forced from office in 2011. Islamist Mohammed Mursi is up against former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a second-round run-off. In the first round held last May, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi polled 24.8 per cent while Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq took 23.7 per cent.
The Nigerian Tribune says a curfew has been imposed in the state of Keduna in northern Nigeria after bombings in churches killed 25 people and injured an unspecified number, when suicide bombers attacked three different churches in Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. The attacks prompted retaliatory violence against Muslims by angry Christian youths who barricaded roads and killed innocent people mostly Muslims that were travelling to Abuja. Witnesses described scenes where some Muslims were dragged from their cars and killed.
Tribune de Genève quotes the UN refugee agency saying global conflicts in 2011 forced a record 800,000 people to flee across borders. The UNHCR’s 2011 “Global Trends Report”, which tracks the extent of refugee and internal displacement worldwide, finds more people became refugees last year than at any time since the beginning of this century. The report is being released in advance of World Refugee Day on June 20. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says there were 42.5 million refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers, at the end of 2011.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Rodney King, the African-American at the centre of the Los Angeles riots 20 years ago, has been found dead. He was 47. His fiancée found his body at the bottom of a swimming pool, but there was no sign of foul play. King was a victim of police brutality in 1991, but the officers involved were acquitted the following year. The verdict triggered clashes between rioters and police which left more than 50 dead, thousands injured and thousands of properties destroyed.
Scientists in Britain say an increasing overweight world population is threatening global food security. Research published in the journal BMC Public Health shows that if the average human weight around the world followed the trend in North America, where almost 75 per cent of the population is overweight, it would be like adding an extra billion people to the population, now veering towards 7.4 billion.