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NEED TO KNOW:
For the second time in a year, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's own party tried to oust him. The difference this time is that it succeeded. In a vote on Monday, the Liberal Party (which, confusingly, is Australia's conservative party) elected cabinet member Malcolm Turnbull as its new leader.
In the wacky world of parliamentary politics, this means that Tony Abbott is no longer the prime minister of Australia. Turnbull will now assume that role. Unlike Abbott, Turnbull supports gay marriage and not only believes in climate change but hopes to act on it.
Abbott has taken fire from all sides since taking office. The international community has criticized the now former prime minister for his policies on immigration and the environment. And domestically, he has taken hits on the economy and security. His own party has been frustrated by Abbott's inability to pass several key conservative policies, which had to be abandoned because they were too unpopular with the public.
The former prime minister was also globally ridiculed for being out of touch when he brought back the custom of honorifics (bestowing the title of "knight" or "dame") last year. Then he was domestically derided for recommending Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, for knighthood. Many Australians actually want to ditch Britain altogether and elect a president.
So today we say goodbye Tony Abbott. Goodbye, Tony Abbott.
WANT TO KNOW:
Refugees continue to flee to Europe like never before. Well over 5,000 refugees crossed into Hungary on Sunday. And by noon local time today, already another 5,000 had arrived. These are record-breaking numbers.
Syrians, mostly, are making the journey out of their dangerous country to Turkey, Greece, up through the Balkans to Hungary, which is a sort of gateway to western Europe. But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is building a border fence and has promised that come Tuesday, that's tomorrow, no more refugees will be able to pass through his country. So today could be the last day. And the Syrians (and other refugees) know that.
Hungary isn't the only country re-introducing strict border controls. Austria says it will too. The Czech Republic and Slovakia already have. And Germany, which says it will re-settle 1 million refugees this year, had to halt train traffic and introduce what it said were “temporary” border controls. More than 20,000 refugees arrived by train in Munich over the weekend.
Meanwhile, leaders of European countries are holding a rather dystopian meeting in Brussels today. The aim is to come to some agreement about how to handle the influx of refugees. And much of the talk is about the Schengen agreement, which allows for free movement between European Union countries. That agreement is under some serious strain at this point.
STRANGE BUT TRUE:
Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has a new hairstyle. She debuted it during her first public appearance in two months. She has bangs now. This has been much talked about. The last time the princess had bangs was three years ago. Here is a picture.