AUSTRALIA plans to tighten its citizenship rules to require higher English language skills, longer residency and evidence of integration such as a job, officials said. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the new citizenship test would reflect Australian values instead of the current multiple-choice format.
CHINA After the Interpol arrest notice, Guo Wengui, an elusive billionaire who threatened to expose high-level corruption in China’s ruling Communist Party, appeared live on a U.S. broadcaster, which abruptly cut off the interview just as he hinted at his allegations.
NORTH KOREA is developing quite a taste for Coke — even though the red-and-white labels, the distinctive red caps and the sweet soda taste are not exactly the Real Thing.
INDONESIA Prosecutors recommended two years of probation for the minority Christian governor of Jakarta during his trial for blaspheming the Quran. The relatively light sentencing demand was made a day after Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was swept out of office by a landslide election victory for a Muslim rival backed by conservative clerics.
THAILAND More than a dozen grenade and bomb attacks in southern Thailand killed two suspected insurgents whose explosives detonated unexpectedly, officials said. Eight other civilians and officials were wounded in the Wednesday night violence. No group has claimed responsibility for the 13 attacks, which targeted police stations and checkpoints in 12 separate districts in Muslim-majority provinces in the country’s deep south.
FRANCE As the unpredictable French presidential race heads into a first-round vote Sunday, it remains anyone’s guess which two candidates will advance to the winner-takes-all runoff. The four top candidates are centrist Emmanuel Macron, far-right Marine le Pen, conservative Francois Fillon and far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon. The two top vote-getters will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff.
VATICAN Pope Francis has confirmed he will use his upcoming visit to the Portuguese shrine at Fatima to canonize two Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago. Francis convened his cardinals yesterday to formally set the May 13 date for the saint-making Mass. Last month, Francis signed off on the miracle needed to make siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints.
LAS VEGAS Police say they’ve arrested the man suspected in the seemingly random knife attacks that killed one man and badly injured another in Las Vegas. Authorities say 32-year-old Richi Briones was taken into custody at a bus stop yesterday [Macau time]. Police said in a news release that Briones’ car was found abandoned about 20 miles away.