11 Apr 2019

Today's world news: What you need to know

8:06 pm on 11 April 2019

The international stories making headlines around the world today.

Barr claims possible "spying" on Trump campaign in 2016

Attorney-General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Attorney-General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee. Photo: AP

US Attorney-General William Barr says "spying" on President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign occurred, and confirmed again that a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference would be released soon.

During questioning by senators on Wednesday, Mr Barr said "spying" on Mr Trump's campaign was carried out by US intelligence agencies, but he later recharacterised his concerns as focused on "unauthorised surveillance".

Initially using language echoing Mr Trump's attempts to discredit Mr Mueller's probe, Mr Barr pulled back under questioning by senators.


India election underway

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rally in Chennai

Incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: AFP

A general election for a new lower house of parliament in India are being held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP is battling the Congress party of Rahul Gandhi and powerful regional parties.

With 900 million eligible voters, this will be the largest election the world has ever seen.

The parliament has 543 elected seats and any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a government.


Read more:

  • India vote 2019: World's biggest ever election explained
  • UK gets "Brextention" from the EU

    European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May look on during a European Council meeting on Brexit at The Europa Building at The European Parliament in Brussels on April 10, 2019.

    European Council President Donald Tusk and and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in Brussels on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

    European Union leaders and the British Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to an extension to Brexit that will allow Britain to delay its EU departure date until October 31st.

    The last-minute deal was reached just one day before the existing deadline expired

    The late-night deal means Britain will not crash out of the bloc this weekend, and gives Mrs May more than the three months she had asked for to build a parliamentary majority behind the deal she negotiated with the EU last year.

    That deal has already been rejected by the House of Commons on three occasions, and Mrs May says MP's now have time to find a workable solution.

    - BBC

    Read more:

  • EU offers UK Prime Minister Theresa May a Brexit delay until October
  • Australia Election date announced

    Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Photo: AFP

    Australians will go to the polls in a general election on May 18 after Prime Minister Scott Morrison fired the starting gun on Thursday on a campaign set to be fought over taxation, climate change and inequality.

    Morrison and his main opponent, Labor party leader Bill Shorten, both used the Australian phrase "a fair go" to frame their campaigns around a national sense of equality and opportunity, albeit from very different angles.

    Opinion polls have had center-left Labor well ahead for years and show that the coalition of Morrison's Liberals and the rural-focused Nationals party is headed for a resounding defeat..

    - Reuters

    Read more:

  • Australia election: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces 18 May date
  • Sudan President steps down - reports

    KHARTOUM, SUDAN - APRIL 10: Sudanese protesters, demanding the resignation of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, stage a demonstration against high cost of living, fuel and cash shortage in front of army headquarters building in Khartoum, Sudan.

    Photo: AFP / Stringer / Anadolu Agency

    Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down, and consultations are under way to set up a transitional council, a Provincial Minister has told local media.

    Protests against Mr al-Bashir, who has governed Sudan for 30 years since 1989, have been under way since December.

    Tens of thousands of people have been maintaining a protest vigil outside military headquarters since Saturday, demanding the removal of the president.

    On two successive nights they were attacked by intelligence and militia forces loyal to him - and on both occasions the army stepped in to protect them, an early sign of fracturing in a previously steadfast security establishment.

    - Reuters

    Read more:

  • Sudan President Omar al-Bashir steps down - reports