World News in Brief: April 23

Tuesday, 2019-04-23 10:37:55
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The Sri Lankan government declared a state of emergency from midnight Monday (April 22) after a string of explosions killed 290 people and wounded over 500 across the island country, the presidential office said.

* The UN Security Council on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" the series of terrorist attacks across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (April 21).

* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss infrastructure development, trade and investment and deepening cooperation with China during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing this week, a senior Philippine diplomat said on Monday.

* Russia and Japan have agreed to put together a working group on implementing joint projects on disputed Pacific islands, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

*Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe embarked Monday on a tour of Europe, the United States and Canada in preparation for the summit of the Group of 20 (G20) to be held in Osaka, Japan in June. The eight-day tour will see Abe visit France, Italy, Slovakia, Belgium, the United States and Canada, where he will hold meetings with leaders there.

* The Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will soon pay a visit to Russia, Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday. During the visit, which is at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kim will have talks with the Russian president, said the report.

* Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday warned against any "adverse consequences" of ending the US sanctions waivers on oil imports from Iran. On Monday, the White House announced that US President Donald Trump has decided not to re-issue the sanctions waivers allowing major importers to continue buying Iran's oil when they expire in early May.

* At least six people were killed after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippine main Luzon island on Monday afternoon, local media reported.

* Members of international election observation missions said Monday that the recent presidential election in Ukraine has been competitive and properly organized.

* Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels said they shot down two spy drones over the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Monday. The coalition has yet to comment on the rebels' claim.

* The Syrian army on Monday conducted shelling on rebels' fortifications in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, according to the state news agency SANA.

* UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces on Monday appealed to all parties to find balance between the needs of human beings and the resources that the planet provides.

* The death toll from the collapse of two residential buildings in western Rio de Janeiro has increased to 24, local authorities said on Monday.