World briefs

SOUTH CHINA SEA China needs to build defensive structures on islands in the South China Sea to display its claim to sovereignty over virtually the entire crucial waterway, a leading Chinese general said yesterday. 

US The Florida House has passed a school safety bill that includes new restrictions on rifle sales and a program to arm some teachers, sending the measure to the governor for his signature.

JAPAN reports its economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in October-December, much stronger than the initial estimate, thanks to strong domestic demand and private investment.

SINGAPORE One of the 23 crewmembers evacuated from a Singapore-flagged cargo ship that caught fire in the Arabian Sea has died of severe burns, a shipping line official said yesterday.

TURKEY-IRAQ Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey and Iraq could conduct a joint military operation against Kurdish rebels in Iraq.

ISRAEL may face early elections due to a coalition crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned during a visit to the U.S.

POLAND’s president made an emotional plea for forgiveness yesterday to the 13,000 Poles of Jewish origin who were expelled from Poland 50 years ago, and decried the loss the country suffered with their departure.

BRITAIN Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II — and criticized by protesters against the war in Yemen — as he began a three-day visit to Britain.

GERMANY Prosecutors say they have issued a formal arrest warrant for a 17-year-old Iraqi citizen who was allegedly planning to commit an extremist attack in either Germany or Britain.

VENEZUELA As the economic crisis worsens, rising numbers are fleeing in a burgeoning refugee crisis that is drawing alarm across Latin America. Independent groups estimate that as many as 3 million to 4 million Venezuelans have abandoned their homeland in recent years.

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