World briefs

SAUDI ARABIA, hoping to dazzle U.S. President Donald Trump on the first stop of his first overseas visit as chief executive, is hosting a line-up of summits and events this weekend, including a concert by American country singer Toby Keith. Trump is traveling to the Middle Eastern country shortly after a former FBI director was appointed to oversee the inquiry into Russian influence on his election.

SOUTH CHINA SEA Four Indonesian soldiers were killed when a Chinese-made anti-aircraft cannon malfunctioned during an exercise in the Natuna island chain in the South China Sea, the Indonesian military said yesterday.

JAPAN reports that its economy grew at a faster-than-expected 2.2 percent annual pace in January-March. Economists had forecast a strong expansion in the first quarter for the world’s third-largest economy, but most estimates had not topped 2 percent.

AUSTRALIA A senior Australian tax bureaucrat and two of his children are among 10 people charged in connection with a sophisticated tax fraud that police say netted 165 million Australian dollars (USD123 million) in less than a year.

INDIA-PAKISTAN The International Court of Justice yesterday ordered Pakistan not to execute an Indian naval officer convicted of espionage and terrorism, a case that has further strained relations between the Asian neighbors.

TURKEY’s leader told Donald Trump that his country will keep on fighting Syrian Kurdish militants even though they are a key U.S. ally against the Islamic State group.

MOLDOVA Two medalists from the European weightlifting championships have been suspended after failing testing positive for turinabol, a drug developed in the former East Germany to aid muscle growth.

BRAZIL President Michel Temer has denied a report that he endorsed bribing a now jailed former congressman to keep him quiet, an allegation that could have widespread impact in a nation swamped by graft scandals and a populace furious about it.

US A car traveling through Times Square in New York City has driven into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring several people and killing one, according to several media reports. Police authorities say that they are investigating the case.

US Rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52. Police say his death is being investigated as a possible suicide.

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