The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times says the draft Cohabitation Bill includes provisions for gay relationships. The Bill was discussed by the PN parliamentary group yesterday. The newspaper also gives details of the pay supplements which will be given to the police.
The Malta Independent leads with details on the project for the widening of the Coast Road.
l-orizzont says drivers gave first aid to a woman whose car overturned on the Coast Road yesterday.
In-Nazzjon leads with a PN statement saying that the way Joseph Muscat was defending Alex Sceberras Trigona was shameful and insensitive.
The overseas press
Libya Herald says that a day after it assumed power, Libya's interim assembly elected former opposition activis, Mohammed Magarie, as its president – effectively appointing him Libya’s acting head of state, although the true extent of his powers remained undetermined. Considered a moderate Islamist, the head of the National Front Party will lead the assembly in its task of appointing a prime minister and running the country until a constitution is drafted next year.
The fight for Syria’s largest city Aleppo rages on as the government’s key ally, Iran, hosted talks on how to end the conflict. Abrar reports Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met with representatives from some 30 nations, including Russia, China and Iraq. The Tehran conference supported Iran's proposal that rebels negotiate reform. The United States and several other countries did not attend the talks.
The BBC quotes diplomatic sources at the UN saying veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi was expected to replace Kofi Annan as the new UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria. Annan resigned last week saying he could no longer carry out the role after his six-point peace plan failed to come into effect, and violence escalated.
According to al bawaba, at least 78 people were reported to have been killed yesterday, bringing the total in the last three days to more than 250. Rebel fighters have been pushed back out of the Salaheddin district of Aleppo as regime forces advance further into the city. Fierce fighting has also been reported in Damascus.
Greece says its unemployment rate in May surged to 23 per cent – an all-time high in the debt-ridden country. Kathemerini says the newest figure, from just under 17 per cent a year ago, reflected the worsening economic conditions in Greece. Young workers were especially hard hit by the weak economy – now in its fifth year of decline. About 55 per cent of young Greek people are unemployed.
China’s most politically-explosive trial in recent memory ended in a matter of hours yesterday when Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, did not object to murder charges against her. Asia Times says court officials in the eastern city of Hefei gave no indication of when a verdict would be announced but said Go Kailai did not deny she was responsible for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by poisoning him.
The New York Times reports the UN has called on the US government to suspend its production of bio-fuel ethanol. The Food and Agricultural Organisation says the continuing drought and heat wave across the United States was destroying much of the country’s corn crop. Under US law, 40 per cent of the harvest must be used to make bio-fuel but the UN says meeting that quota could contribute to a global food crisis.
The Wall Street Journal says Google has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle allegations that it broke its privacy pledge to customers using Apple's Safari web browser. The fine, announced by the US Federal Trade Commission, is the biggest imposed against a company for violating a previous agreement with the Commission.
Mexico’s El Universal reports that the police has found the bodies of 14 people in an abandoned van outside the northern city of San Luis Potosi. The authorities say the victims, who were all male, had been kidnapped in neighbouring Coahuila state. Police say they were probably killed by one of Mexico's violent drug-trafficking gangs operating in the area.
Il Tempo says airport officials in Rome have been forced to defend security procedures after a drunk Norwegian tourist fell asleep on a baggage belt and travelled 160 feet before being identified by an X-ray scanner. The 36-year-old tourist appeared to have fallen asleep on the belt and travelled for 15 minutes before officials spotted his body curled up in a foetal position on their monitors. Police officers, who were concerned about his exposure to X-rays, took him to hospital before reporting him to prosecutors for causing alarm. Their inquiries are continuing.
ABC quotes Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt saying he had lost all respect for Carl Lewis after the United States sprint legend restated his concerns over the toughness of Jamaica's drug-testing policy. Speaking after winning the 200 metres at the London Olympics to seal a remarkable second consecutive sprint double, Bolt said Lewis was merely attention-seeking. Lewis won nine gold medals between 1984 and 1996. Bolt has five with a prospect of a sixth in the men's 4x100m relay. Lewis has consistently questioned the performances of Jamaica's sprinters, refusing to join in the universal applause for Bolt after he raced to his first Olympic double in 2008.