The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press.

The Sunday Times of Malta says there is concern as insurance claims for road incidents soar. It also reports on yesterday's referendum.

The Malta Independent on Sunday reports on the referendum turnout and also has a survey on performance by ministers. It also carries a clarification that Tancred Tabone had no link to funds with third parties in Swiss accounts.

MaltaToday says turnout yesterday was higher in hunters' districts.

It-Torca says the outcome of the referendum will be valid since close to 75% have voted.

Il-Mument reports how 75% voted in the spring hunting referendum and 68% for local councils.

Illum says 75% voted in the spring hunting referendum.

KullHadd carries a large picture of Joseph Muscat voting yesterday in the referendum. In other stories, it says the number of road fatalities has decreased.

The overseas press

The Washington Post reports President Obama’s face-to-face meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro yesterday in Panama has angered Republican candidates vying to succeed him, describing it as “another example of his misguided foreign policy”. But nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t agree as they support establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending the trade embargo and lifting travel restrictions. And a poll of Cuban citizens found that 97 percent believe that a better relationship with the United States would benefit Cuba.

La Prensa says President Obama and President Castro held their first formal meeting in more than half a century yesterday, clearing the way for a normalisation of relations. Obama said he wanted to “turn the page” on old divisions, although he acknowledged that significant differences between the governments would remain. Castro told the US president he was ready to discuss sensitive issues, including human rights and freedom of the press, maintaining that “everything can be on the table”.

Radio Panama reports President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina has called on President Obama to repeal the executive order that declared Venezuela a threat to US national security. Early in March, Obama signed the executive order declaring Venezuela a threat to the United States and sanctioning seven Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights abuses during mass demonstrations in 2014.

The Seventh Summit of the Americas will end today with a plenary session to be attended by 30 leaders of the region. Panamundo says Pope Francis yesterday addressed a message to all participants stressing that the poor could no longer live with the crumbs which fall from the table of the rich. In speeches at the opening ceremony, bith UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of the Organisation of American States Jose Miguel Insulza praised the climate of dialogue of the meeting and highlighted the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba.

In other news...

ABC News quotes President Obama saying Hillary Clinton would make an “excellent president”. At a news conference in Panama, the president said she has “some strong messages to deliver”. However, Obama has yet to formally endorse Clinton, who is expected to announce her presidential campaign on social media today.

Islamic State militants have launched suicide attacks against the Baiji oil refinery, Iraq’s largest. Al Ayyam says the jihadist group claimed it broke in but the Iraqi army said the site, which has been the scene of fierce battles since IS swept across the region last year, remained under its control. Military sources described the IS attack as “the fiercest” since the Iraqi army broke the siege a few months ago.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports NATO believes that Russia has supplied more troops and weapons to pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine. The accusations emerge as the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France are set to meet on Monday in Berlin to assess the implementation of the Minsk accords.

Avvenire says Pope Francis yesterday proclaimed an extraordinary Holy Year starting in December that he said would bring the Roman Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers back to basics, focusing them on the need to show mercy toward others. 

Saudi state news agency SPA quotes a Riyadh defence ministry statement saying at least 500 Houthi rebels had been killed in border clashes since the start of coalition air strikes against the Shiite insurgents in war-battered Yemen. There had been 1,200 coalition air strikes between March 26 and yesterday.

The Nation reports Kenya has given the United Nations three months to remove a camp housing more than half a million Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people by Somali gunmen at a Kenyan university. In the past, Kenyan authorities have accused Islamist militants of hiding out the camp.

LBC says a British barrister who avoided paying for his train ticket for more than two years may be the “biggest” fare-dodger ever prosecuted in the UK. A court has heard Peter Barnett travelled from his Oxford home to London Marylebone but pretended to have only travelled from Wembley, in northwest London. The 43-year-old’s scam between April 2012 and November last year is said to have caused Chiltern Railways to lose out on £23,000 in fares.


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