Mediterranean Migrant Rescue

By Rowan Williams

Nearly 3,700 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, in operations carried out on Saturday and early on Sunday. After being picked up from wooden and inflatable boats by French and Italian ships, migrants are now being transported to Italy. Rescue operations are ongoing. Over 1,750 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2015 so far, compared with just 96 in the same period of 2014. In April, EU representatives held an emergency meeting to address the crisis of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, and agreed to triple the funding for rescue operations run by EU border agency Frontex.

Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that raising public sector pay would be prioritised over an EU in-out referendum in any coalition talks. Clegg said today that his party’s own ‘red lines’ would take priority in negotiations. With the general election to be held this Thursday, polls have still shown no clear winner; the Conservative Party has polled at 34 percent and Labour at 33 percent. Polls suggest a hung parliament will be likely. The Lib Dems have set out their red lines as £8 billion in funding for the National Health Service, and increasing public sector pay in line with inflation for two years beginning in 2016.

The Chairman of Taiwan’s nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party will sit for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, in a sign of increasingly strong cross-strait ties. The KMT’s Chairman, Eric Chu, spoke at an opening ceremony in Shanghai on Sunday ahead of the talks. In his speech, Chu said that cross-strait cooperation must be addressed with a positive attitude. On the agenda for Chu will be membership of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – Taiwan’s application to join the bank as a founding member was rejected in April, though the country is expected to be allowed to join under a different name.

Chelsea have been crowned champions of the Premier League after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Papers

Photographs of the newborn daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dominate front pages today. The Sunday Times leads with the headline “The new people’s princess”, a title previously used for Princess Diana. The Sunday Telegraph leads with the headline “A sister for George!”, referring to the child’s older brother, Prince George. The Observer leads with news that Britain is set to face “weeks of political paralysis” after the general election this Thursday, with a hung parliament the likely outcome. The Independent on Sunday leads with the headline “Their final pitch to you”, featuring pictures of the leaders of Britain’s main three political parties. A ‘pitch’ from each leader to voters appears beneath their pictures.

British Media on China

On official meetings at tourist spots: The BBC reports that China’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, has released images of tourist spots where officials may no longer hold meetings. The BBC writes that the warning is “part of a drive to crack down on corruption and official extravagance”. The Great Wall of China, the beach resort of Sanya, and Guilin are all on the list, the BBC writes. Bureaucrats will now “have to pay for trips themselves and travel in their own time”.

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