Qld cricket club may have known of abuse

Allegations of child sexual abuse by Queensland cricket coach Bob Ross may have been made known to a club member as long as 30 years before charges were laid, an inquiry has been told.

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The club treasurer, known as BMX, told the abuse royal commission on Wednesday that he heard rumours last week that a member was possibly made aware of the claims against Ross in the 1980s.

Ross took his own life in November 2014 after being charged with 50 child sex offences, two months after he notified the club he was being investigated by police.

At the time the club canvassed former members to see if anyone had knowledge of the allegations, but no-one admitted knowing anything.

BMX told the commission that changed last week, though he had not asked who that individual was.

“The president told me that there was a rumour that a past member of the club had been made aware that there had been abuse committed by Bob,” he said.

BMX, who is also a former player for the club, said he was not aware of the allegations until Ross notified the club, and had only two days ago found out about allegations by more than the initial three survivors.

At the time neither he nor the club made attempts to find out more details about the allegations or to contact the survivors.

“We didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask questions about a live police investigation,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have thought they’d be forthcoming with any information.”

Now that the club is aware of the names of some of those people, BMX said he would like to talk to the rest of the management committee before agreeing to meet with any of them while they are in Sydney for this week’s hearings.

He indicated the club had also planned a response for any future allegations, through the implementation of a Cricket Australia Member Protection Policy.

BMX said he believed one had been in place in the mid-2000s but the most recent one was only implemented in March 2015, after the club became aware of the claims against Ross.

BMX admitted that while older club members were notified and asked about their knowledge of alleged abuse he could not be sure whether junior members, of which there are about 70, or their parents had been told.

Ross, who was a groundsman and club patron, still had involvement with young children until the club was made aware of the police investigation.

He said he believed Ross’s charges were brought up at a general meeting as a way of making club members aware, but this did not occur until after he died.

Queensland Cricket chairman James Holding is expected to give evidence later on Wednesday.

* For support and information about suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Council warns campers back on Perth island

There will be no softening of the stance by authorities clamping down on campers occupying Heirisson Island in central Perth, where tents have returned only hours after forceful evictions.

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Angry scenes erupted at the Swan River site on Tuesday, when more than 100 mostly indigenous people were forced to leave by police and council rangers.

At least one man was arrested and two move-on notices were issued, and tents and other possessions were seized.

A handful of newly-donated tents were again erected overnight, prompting the City of Perth to warn it would continue to monitor the island for breaches of local government law, and prosecutions could follow.

“Heirisson Island is local government property under Local Law and a valued recreational reserve,” the council said.

It said it had taken care while taking away the campers’ possessions and recorded the goods, which could be collected once the costs of removing, impounding and storing them had been paid.

But some of the campers say they’re homeless and have nowhere else to go.

“It was pretty awful yesterday – we’ve just got nowhere to go and no-one will help us. No-one from the government will help us,” one camper told 6PR radio.

The council said it continued to work with agencies such as The Salvation Army and Department of Housing to assist those who were truly homeless, adding three to four family groups had met the relevant agencies’ criteria and were being case managed.

It also claimed more than 80 per cent of tents removed from the island on Tuesday were vacant, while one stolen vehicle, several unregistered vehicles and one vehicle fitted with stolen number plates had been seized.

The island has been continuously occupied for about a year, initially as a protest against the planned closure of certain indigenous communities in remote parts of WA, but was also used in 2012 as the Nyoongar Tent Embassy.

The embassy says the island, known as Matagarup, is of great cultural significance and is registered with the WA Department of Indigenous Affairs as a meeting place, plant resource, camp and hunting place.

Westpac says public trust hit by scandals

SYDNEY, April 6 AAP – Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer acknowledges public trust has been damaged by allegations of misconduct, but has rejected suggestions there should be a royal commission into the banking sector.

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Mr Hartzer, whose bank this week became the second of Australia’s big four to be accused of interest rate manipulation, instead backed a call by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for banks to clean up their own acts.

“We don’t support the idea of a royal commission: there have a very large number of inquiries – including a major financial system inquiry in the last couple of years – that have looked at many issues,” Mr Hartzer said in Sydney on Wednesday.

“We acknowledge that some of the incidents that have been described in the press do not reflect well on the reputation of the industry and the industry needs to do better.”

The corporate watchdog issued Federal Court proceedings against Westpac on Tuesday, alleging illegal manipulation of the bank bill swap rate that dictates the terms on which banks lend each other money.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has also alleged ANZ Bank engaged in manipulation of the swap rate.

Mr Hartzer said Westpac had done nothing wrong and would defend itself in court.

The bank boss spoke outside a function, held to launch a $100 million Westpac scholarship fund, that was attended by the prime minister.

Mr Turnbull said bank leaders needed to prioritise customer service and public wellbeing.

“The singular pursuit of an extra dollar of profit at the expense of those values is not simply wrong but it places at risk the whole social licence, the good name and reputation upon which great institutions depend,” he said.

Mr Turnbull called on banks to acknowledge taxpayer support received during the global financial crisis by making their conduct irreproachable.

“Many Australians are asking today: `have our bankers done enough in return for this support?'” he said.

“These questions are legitimate. Dismissing them as bank bashing misses the point.”

ASIC has named Westpac trader Colin Roden in a statement filed to the Federal Court, alleging trading in a manner intended to create an artificial price for bank bills on 16 occasions between 2010 and 2012.

The statement included transcript excerpts from what are said to be phone conversations between Mr Roden and a Westpac colleague.

The quotes appear to show Mr Roden claiming to have bought $14 billion of bank bills to drive down the bank bill swap rate and make a $12 million profit.

“I knew it was completely wrong but f*** it, I might as well. I thought f*** it. We’ve got so much money on it, we just had to do it.”

Mr Hartzer said Mr Roden remained employed by Westpac and had done nothing wrong.

“There are a lot of perfectly valid reasons why different kinds of trading go on at different times,” Mr Hartzer said.

“We think ASIC’s got it wrong and we will be vigorously defending it.”

Westpac shares closed down 45 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $28.68.

Macron’s ‘bromance’ with Trudeau fires up internet

The Internet was abuzz Friday with Photographs of French President Emmanuel Macron and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau schmoozing at the G7 summit in Sicily have caused a sensation on the internet.

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Two leaders were pictured strolling through flowered walkways and chatting against the backdrop of a sparkling blue Mediterranean sea.

“Apparently Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron flew to Sicily for their wedding photoshoot,” netizen @sherlockify joked on Twitter.

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The reaction to the pair’s encounter in the picturesque, hillside town of Taormina, immortalised by Macron himself who tweeted a video of their meeting, provided some light relief from a summit otherwise devoted to thorny issues such as climate change and the threat of extremism.

“The Franco-Canadian friendship has a new face,” Macron tweeted after sitting down for talks with Trudeau and taking the now famous stroll.

“@JustinTrudeau, it’s up to us to take on the challenges of our generation!”

Sitting down with @EmmanuelMacron for the first time, talking jobs, security & climate – looking forward to more conversations, my friend. pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/8ih8iEZ4aw

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 26, 2017

“Sitting down with @EmmanuelMacron for the first time, talking jobs, security & climate – looking forward to more conversations, my friend,” Trudeau responded on Twitter, posting pictures of both smiling, shaking hands, and looking out over the Mediterranean, their dapper suit jackets billowing in the breeze.

Trudeau, 45, is popular with liberals worldwide for his commitment to fighting climate change and easing the refugee crisis – in stark contrast to the United States, Canada’s powerful neighbour.

Macron, 39, has only been in power for 12 days but enjoys similar kudos, particularly abroad where he has been compared to Trudeau.

L’amitié franco-canadienne a un nouveau visage. @JustinTrudeau, à nous de relever les défis de notre génération ! #G7Taormina pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/8EdQopviov

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 26, 2017

“This image of Trudeau and Macron in Sicily is right out of a liberal fantasy dream sequence,” tweeted Dhruva Jaishankar, an expert on foreign policy at the India section of the Brookings Institution think tank.3

Others were even more explicit.

“Le swoon, le sigh,” tweeted netizen MissMary, above a photo of both leaders in apparent earnest chat.

“Is there a budding bromance between Macron and Trudeau? Two hunks!” added @MaureenRamsden.

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Swans pushed themselves to limit: Longmire

Sydney coach John Longmire knows his side made key errors in a frantic finish to Friday night’s AFL match at the SCG.

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But Longmire was reluctant to criticise his players after a six-point loss to Hawthorn, given how taxing the contest was.

“You say it how it is,” a dejected Longmire said, when asked what his message to the team was.

“We probably didn’t play the sort of footy we wanted to in the first half but there were some huge efforts in the second half … unfortunately not enough to hold on.”

The hosts, coming off consecutive six-day breaks, were reduced to two fit men on the bench at halftime with Sam Reid and Jake Lloyd both ruled out because of concussion.

They somehow reeled in Hawthorn’s 21-point lead and hit the front early in the final term amid a run of five consecutive goals.

“Some blokes dug in and competed, they pushed themselves to their absolute limits,” Longmire said.

“There was some pretty courageous efforts by a lot of players.”

However, the Swans were both physically and mentally exhausted during the final five minutes of the game – and it showed.

They failed to man the mark correctly for Jarryd Roughead’s match-winner with a tick over a minute remaining. That chance had only come about because reigning Rising Star winner Callum Mills turned the ball over instead of having a shot to put the Swans in front.

“We did some things we’d probably do better if we had another opportunity to, in the last few minutes,” Longmire said.

“Whether they were fatigued and couldn’t think clearly, or couldn’t (physically) quite get the distance in the kick, it was probably a couple of those things together.”

The result snapped Sydney’s three-match winning streak.

The club now has the mid-season bye and, with a 3-7 record, a hell of a lot of work ahead if they’re to reach the finals.

Trump has been complete disaster: Boehner

US President Donald Trump’s time in office has been a “complete disaster” aside from foreign affairs, fellow Republican and former House Speaker John Boehner said at an energy conference.

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The former Ohio congressman said he has been friends with Trump for 15 years but never thought he would occupy the White House.

And while he praised Trump’s aggressive steps to challenge the Islamic State militant group and other moves in international affairs, he was highly critical of the president’s other early efforts.

“Everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” Boehner said at the energy conference in Houston on Wednesday, according to the energy publication Rigzone. “He’s still learning how to be president.”

A spokesman for Boehner confirmed the comments. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former House speaker, who resigned from Congress in 2015, was also highly critical of efforts by the administration and his former Republican colleagues in Congress to advance sweeping healthcare and tax reform plans.

He said Republicans should never have tried to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, even after the House narrowly passed an overhaul measure. The Senate is considering its own version of the package.

And he dismissed tax reform efforts, which form a cornerstone of the Republican policy agenda, as “just a bunch of happy talk.”

While Boehner’s successor, Speaker Paul Ryan, tries to include a border adjustment tax, a tax on imports, as a key piece of any tax code overhaul, Boehner declared it “deader than a doornail” amid opposition from fellow Republicans and the White House.

Boehner also supported efforts to “get to the bottom” of any potential interactions between Trump associates and the Russian government. However, he described any calls to impeach Trump as the purview of “the crazy left-wing Democratic colleagues of mine.”

Democratic Representative Al Green has formally introduced articles of impeachment for Trump, but such an effort has not been embraced by most Democratic lawmakers as the investigation continues.

US, Japan to extend North Korea sanctions

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to expand sanctions against North Korea for its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the White House says.

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Pyongyang has carried out repeated missile tests in the past year, prompting an array of countries to demand tougher economic sanctions to push the isolated country towards dismantling its weapons programmes.

Meeting before a G7 summit, Trump and Abe dedicated most of their discussions to the issue, aides said.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed their teams would cooperate to enhance sanctions on North Korea, including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs,” the White House said in a statement.

“They also agreed to further strengthen the alliance between the United States and Japan, to further each country’s capability to deter and defend against threats from North Korea.”

Trump has said he will prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

“It is very much on our minds … It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem and it will be solved. At some point it will be solved. You can bet on that,” Trump told reporters, sitting alongside Abe.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this month called on countries all over the world to implement existing UN sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, adding that the US administration would be willing to use secondary sanctions to target foreign companies that continue to do business with Pyongyang.

Most of North Korea’s trade is with its ally China, and so any hard-hitting secondary sanctions would likely target Chinese firms.

Speaking in Beijing, a senior US State Department official said on Friday that China realised it has limited time to rein in North Korea through negotiations and that it was open to further sanctions.

Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs told reporters the United States was looking at discussing with China a new UN Security Council resolution on measures to reduce delays in any response to further nuclear tests or other provocations from the North.

Johnson lashes ‘monstrous’ Corbyn speech

Boris Johnson has condemned a speech by Jeremy Corbyn which sought to link terror in the UK to the country’s military interventions as “absolutely monstrous”.

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The Foreign Secretary said it was “extraordinary” that “there should be any attempt to justify or to legitimate the actions of terrorists in this way” after the Labour leader drew a connection between the country’s involvement in the “war on terror” and attacks in Britain.

Mr Corbyn stressed that the link between foreign policy and terrorism “in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children”, but Mr Johnson said such comments were “inexplicable in this week of all weeks”.

Mr Johnson was speaking alongside US secretary of state Rex Tillerson at the Foreign Secretary’s official residence in London.

“This is a moment … when we should be coming together, uniting to defeat these people, and we can and we will, not just in Iraq and in Syria, but of course in the battle for the hearts and minds,” he said.

“They are wrong, their view of the world is a corruption and perversion of Islam and it can be completely confounded.

“But now is not the time to do anything to subtract from the fundamental responsibility of those individuals, that individual in particular, who committed this atrocity and I think it is absolutely monstrous that anybody should seek to do so.”

Mr Johnson and Mr Tillerson signed a condolence book for the victims of the Manchester attack after holding talks on issues including Syria, Iran and North Korea, as well as the “vital importance of the work that we do together across such a range of fields including, of course, intelligence sharing”.

The US secretary of state, who was making his first official visit to the UK, said the US took “full responsibility” for and “regrets” the leaking of information from the Manchester bombing.

A row erupted between the US and British authorities after a host of sensitive information, including photographs from the scene of the attack, was leaked to American news outlets in the wake of Monday’s attack.

“This special relationship that exists between our two countries will certainly withstand this particular unfortunate event,” Mr Tillerson said.

He paid tribute to the victims of the attack, saying that “hearts are broken” across America and that the British people would “not be broken by terrorists”.

“For those families there will be forever a void in this world that will never be filled.”

Ex-Eels boss called before integrity unit

Former Parramatta boss Scott Seward has reportedly been called before the NRL integrity unit as part of the growing investigation into the club’s salary cap dramas.

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According to Fairfax Media, the former Eels chief executive has agreed to be interviewed next week as the embattled club is threatened with the loss of competition points.

Seward has worn the blame for much of the club’s instability since his resignation midway through last season.

He oversaw the contract bungle that almost resulted in Kieran Foran slipping through the club’s net and led to a $525,000 fine for salary cap breaches.

It was reported that the Eels had waived Seward’s non-disclosure agreement but had asked that Eels officials be present at the meeting. However the NRL is unlikely to accept the club’s request.

“The club has agreed for Mr Seward to be interviewed by the NRL’s integrity unit and we welcome the investigation of all relevant material,” an Eels spokesperson said.

“Current club leadership remains firmly of the view that the investigation will in time reveal the truth of the matters currently subject to so much public speculation.

“Since Mr Seward’s tenure, the club has been overhauled and significantly improved the club’s governance. We have done this with the assistance of Price Waterhouse Coopers who made 117 recommendations for reforming the culture of the club.”

The Eels this year avoided being docked four competition points for 2014 salary cap breaches after agreeing to a corporate governance review.

But the NRL has launched a fresh probe into dubious third-party agreements which had allegedly been organised by the club. Under NRL rules, all players’ TPA sponsorships must be made at arm’s length from the club.

Shorten pledges Perth Metronet rail funds

WA Labor’s Metronet rail plan has been boosted by federal opposition leader Bill Shorten pledging federal funding and labelling it his number one infrastructure priority for Perth.

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Metronet was the centrepiece of the state opposition’s 2013 election campaign, when the party estimated it would cost $3.8 billion, although the Liberal state government’s then-Treasurer Troy Buswell claimed it would cost $6.4 billion.

Tim Marney, WA’s Under Treasurer at the time, estimated the project would cost about $500 million more than Labor claimed, but $2 billion less than the Liberal estimate.

Under the plan, rail links will be run right up to suburbs on the edge of the city’s urban sprawl in a bid to ease road congestion and give commuters a swifter alternative to buses.

Labor relaunched Metronet last year, saying it could not give a firm figure for the entire proposal, but the key planks would cost between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.

These elements include the Forrestfield-Airport rail link, which the Liberal state government has also undertaken and budgeted, and fixing dangerous level crossings.

The opposition says it is still working on the final aspects of Metronet and will release the final cost estimate closer to the election in March next year.

Before the last poll, the plan was matched by the WA Liberal’s MAX light rail plan – but that scheme was put on ice as the state government struggled with deficits and mounting debt.

Mr Shorten told reporters in Perth on Tuesday that he’d throw his support behind Metronet if Labor won the federal election, contributing Commonwealth grants.

The rest of it would be funded with debt, he said.

“We want to ease the congestion, we want to improve the productivity – people shouldn’t spend their whole days waiting in traffic to get to and from work,” Mr Shorten said.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan couldn’t say how much of the project’s multi-billion dollar price tag would be paid for with borrowings, but he was confident the party’s federal leadership would eventually provide firmer details about planned Commonwealth contributions.

“Over time, there will be more forthcoming figures,” Mr McGowan said.

“It will be built over a timeframe that we can afford.

“If Labor is elected at a federal level and if Labor is elected at a state level, you’ll see Metronet come on stream pretty quickly.”

Qld CCC to oversee death in custody probe

Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) will oversee an independent investigation into the death of a man in police custody on the Gold Coast.

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Officers were called to Victoria Park, Broadbeach, just before 11am on Tuesday following complaints of a disturbance.

Witnesses recalled seeing the man speaking with officers without incident before they attempted to place him into a police van.

Geoff Collins told ABC radio the vehicle didn’t get far before they had to stop.

“They drove down 30 metres, they pulled immediately down the side of the road and started doing CPR on him,” he said.

The Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed it was police officers who called paramedics, who arrived to find the man bleeding from cuts to his face and arms.

It remains unclear how he sustained those injuries.

Paramedics took over CPR but he was not able to be revived.

“Initial information suggests the man began having trouble breathing after being placed in the rear of a police van,” police said in a statement in the afternoon.

Some witnesses said the man was exposing himself before being arrested.

Police were not able to confirm reports he was a well-known homeless man who frequented the area.

“I don’t think (there was) anything wrong with what the police did,” witness Shaun Hyland told the Nine Network.

“I feel sorry for them now.”

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart was reluctant to comment on the incident, having only received an initial briefing.

“I probably shouldn’t comment any further other than to say that our normal process of Ethical Standards Command being involved and taking over the investigation has already commenced,” he said.

“Ethical Standards will provide the independent overview of the investigation that’s going on in relation to this death.”

Police said the coroner had been advised and a report would be prepared.

Countries open Panama Papers probes

Authorities across the globe have opened investigations into the activities of the world’s rich and powerful after a cache of leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm showed possible wrongdoing using offshore company structures.

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The “Panama Papers” have cast light on the financial arrangements of high profile politicians and public figures and the companies and financial institutions they use for such activities.

Among those named in the documents are friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin and relatives of the leaders of China, Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.

Leading figures and financial institutions responded to the massive leak of more than 11.5 million documents with denials of any wrongdoing as prosecutors and regulators began a review of the reports from the investigation by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media organisations.

Following the reports, China has moved to limit local access to coverage of the matter with state media denouncing Western reporting on the leak as biased against non-Western leaders.

France, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands are among nations that have commenced investigations, and some other countries including the US said they were looking into the matter.

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the leaks, has set up more than 240,000 offshore companies for clients around the globe and denies any wrongdoing. It calls itself the victim of a campaign against privacy and claims media reports misrepresent the nature of its business.

Credit Suisse and HSBC, two of the world’s largest wealth managers, on Tuesday dismissed suggestions they were actively using offshore structures to help clients cheat on their taxes.

Both were named among the banks that helped set up complex structures that make it hard for tax collectors and investigators to track the flow of money from one place to another, according to ICIJ.

Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam, who is aggressively targeting Asia’s wealthiest for growth, said his bank was only after lawful assets.

Separately, HSBC said the documents pre-dated a thorough reform of its business model.

Both banks have in recent years paid large fines to US authorities over their wealth management or banking operations.

The reports on leaks also pointed to the offshore companies linked to the families of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other powerful current and former Chinese leaders.

China’s government has yet to respond publicly to the allegations.

Searches for the word “Panama” on Chinese search engines bring up stories in Chinese media on the topic, but many of the links have been disabled or only open on to stories about allegations directed at sports stars.

China’s internet regulator did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, suggested in an editorial on Tuesday that Western media backed by Washington used such leaks to attack political targets in non-Western countries while minimising coverage of Western leaders.

Global investigations into ‘Panama Papers’ revelations

Governments worldwide are now investigating reports of international tax avoidance following the leak of more than 11 million files from a Panamanian law firm.

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Tens of thousands of rich and powerful people, including hundreds of Australians, have been mentioned in what is seen as an extensive investigation into offshore financial dealings.

Twelve current and former world leaders have had alleged hidden financial dealings exposed in the unprecedented leak of offshore financial records.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has made public more than four decades’ worth of documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm.

The leak has sparked international outrage.

Thousands of protesters in Iceland have taken to the streets, calling for Prime Minister Sigmindur Gunnlaugsson to resign.

Documents revealed have led to allegations he and his wife used an offshore firm to hide financial investments.

While there is no evidence Mr Gunnlaugsson or his wife have done anything illegal, protester Einar Bergmundur says the people of Iceland want the prime minister to step down.

“I’m just protesting the corruption of the government. The prime minister has been hiding his money in Tortola and lying about it.”

But Mr Gunnlaugsson insists his wife’s overseas investments were legal and he has no plans to resign.

“I certainly won’t, because what we’ve seen is the fact that, well, my wife has always paid her taxes. We’ve also seen that she has avoided any conflict of interest by investing in Icelandic companies at the same time I’m in politics. And, finally, we’ve seen that I have been willing to put the interests of the people of Iceland first, even when it’s at a disadvantage to my own family.”

The so-called Panama Papers have led to accusations Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko set up an offshore company during peak fighting between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists.

Failure to disclose offshore investments is not a criminal offence.

But Radical Party of Ukraine leader Oleh Lyashko says President Poroshenko’s alleged financial dealings are not acceptable.

(Translated) “We believe that revealed facts concerning creation of offshore companies, opening of secret accounts, secret companies, at the time when hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were dying at the front line, in Illovaysk entrapment, amounts to committing a crime by the president of Ukraine.”

But Mr Poroshenko has declared his innocence following calls for an investigation into the allegations.

Taking to twitter, Mr Poroshenko says he believes he might be the first top official in Ukraine who treats declaring of assets, paying taxes and conflict of interest issues seriously.

Argentine president Mauricio Macri is also named in the Panama Papers for his role as the director of an offshore company in the Bahamas.

But Mr Macri, too, insists his financial dealings are legal.

(Translated)”I think there is something good in the world we live in, that there is constantly more transparency, right? There is constantly more public awareness of information that was hard to come by before. In the particular case in which I am involved, it is a legal operation done by another person constituting an offshore company to invest in Brazil, an investment that, in the end, never happened and in which I was named the director.”

Associates of Russian president Vladimir Putin and British prime minister David Cameron are also mentioned in the reports.

Oxfam Mexico executive director Ricardo Fuentes says world leaders and their associates named in the Panama Papers must be investigated.

(Translated)”It’s simply that the law be applied, that there be an investigation and apply the law just like with any other citizen who does not pay taxes or who minimises the taxes they pay. It is very simple. Mexico and Latin America need to strengthen their rule of law so that there is no one above the law, including contractors from the government, including personal friends of whomever

In the United States, White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the US administration is not surprised at the extent of international tax avoidance the leak has uncovered.

“It’s not at all a surprise to anybody in the administration — I don’t think it’s a surprise to you — that there are people who are looking for illicit ways to get around US sanctions. And, to the extent that there is any evidence that they are doing that, I think it would only be common sense that we might learn from steps that they have taken to ensure that our sanctions can have the maximum impact.”