Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ousted Canada's former attorney-general and another ex-minister from the Liberal party caucus today amid a scandal that has rocked his Government in an election year. Trudeau cited repeated questioning of his leadership as well as the fact that former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould publicised a secretly recorded conversation she had with Michael Wernick, Canada's top civil servant. Trudeau called that "unconscionable". Trudeau also ousted Jane Philpott, a former Cabinet minister who stepped down from her role after she said she lost confidence in how the Government has handled the affair. Both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott had remained as members of Trudeau's party in Parliament after resigning from Cabinet but kept making remarks that damaged the Prime Minister and the party. The two were two high-profile women ministers in Trudeau's Cabinet, half of which are women. Wilson-Raybould was Canada's first indigenous justice minister.

Europe: The prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia broke the ice and engaged in selfie diplomacy during the first ever official visit by a Greek leader to the neighbouring country following decades of strained relations over a name dispute. North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev held up a cellphone while standing beside Greek counterpart Alexis Tspiras, snapping the historic selfies outside the main government building in the capital, Skopje. The former Yugoslav republic officially changed its name earlier this year from Macedonia to North Macedonia, settling a dispute over its name with Greece that lasted nearly three decades.

United States: Several Democratic presidential candidates have released fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2019, offering an early measure of how they're faring on the campaign circuit. Senator Bernie Sanders says his campaign has raised US$18.2 million in the 41 days since he launched his Democratic presidential bid — without holding any conventional fundraising events. He has US$28 million cash on hand. His campaign says he has about 525,000 individual donors who chipped in 900,000 contributions. Senator Kamala Harris' campaign says it collected US$12 million from more than 218,000 individual contributions. Mayor Pete Buttigieg made US$7 million despite being considered a longshot.

Peru: A British religious activist who faced expulsion from Peru a decade ago for his work on behalf of indigenous communities has been found dead at a youth hostel he ran in the Amazon rainforest. Paul McAuley, 71, had long worked to embolden Peru's historically discriminated tribes in the battle against powerful oil and mining interests. In 2010, the Government tried unsuccessful to strip him of his residency for allegedly inciting unrest after he fought attempts to open up the Amazon to drilling. The La Salle Christian Brothers said that the lay activist had been burned to death. Authorities are questioning six indigenous youth who lived in the hostel he managed in a poor section of the city of Iquitos.


United States: Volunteers cleaning up New Jersey beaches last year found everything but the kitchen sink. Oh wait, they found one of those, too. Unsurprisingly, nearly 82 per cent of the rubbish removed during Clean Ocean Action's beach sweeps was plastic. More than 10,000 volunteers plucked 454,365 pieces of debris from the ocean coast, bay shores and the banks of rivers, lakes and streams as part of the annual survey.

Germany: A 24-hour transport strike in Berlin has proved a golden opportunity for the German capital's graffiti scene. The publicly owned BVG transport company says about 140 subway carriages were spray-painted during yesterday's strike — about 10 per cent of its underground rolling stock — despite "all security measures". The company said the graffiti covered a surface of about 2000 sq m.

Iran: Tehran's foreign minister says sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration last year have hampered rescue efforts in flood-stricken areas of the country, where nearly 60 people have died since mid-March, while the US blamed the disaster on the Iranian Government's own "mismanagement". Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that America's "maximum pressure" policy on Iran "is impeding aid efforts by #IranianRedCrescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods." He said the sanctions have prevented Iran from acquiring badly needed equipment, including relief helicopters. "This isn't just economic warfare; it's economic TERRORISM," he tweeted. Iran has seen major flooding for the past two weeks in hundreds of villages, towns and cities in the western half of the country, where in some places an emergency situation has been declared.

- AP