Below is a summary of the current world news briefing.
Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan fears arrest, will appear in court
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was due to appear in court on Saturday after he expressed fear of being arrested in a standoff with the government that led to violent clashes with his supporters. Police entered Khan’s home in the city of Lahore after he traveled to the capital, Islamabad, to appear in court.
Ukraine war: International court issues arrest warrant for Putin
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, accusing Moscow of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children as a war crime, sparking outrage from the Kremlin. Instead of hiding a plan to bring thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, Russia has described it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphaned and abandoned children in conflict zones.
Ahead of Xi’s visit, Russia says it held naval drills with China, Iran in Arabian Sea
Russia, China and Iran have completed a trilateral naval exercise in the Arabian Sea that included shelling sea and air targets, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. The drills, held near Iran’s Chabahar port, come as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow for a three-day state visit.
Kosovo, Serbia leaders arrive at EU-backed talks to normalize ties
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić arrived in North Macedonia on Saturday for a new round of talks with European Union officials on implementing an agreement to normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The two leaders will hold separate talks with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, followed by a tripartite meeting and a news conference expected later in the day.
Germany Buys Airbus Civilian Helicopters And Refits For Combat – Business Insider
The German Ministry of Defense wants to buy 82 Airbus H-145M civilian helicopters and convert some of them into combat helicopters to replace its Tiger combat fleet, Business Insider reported, citing internal military documents. Last year, Germany changed its defense policy after Russia invaded Ukraine, pledging 100 billion euros ($107 billion) to modernize its armed forces, the Bundeswehr.
North Korea claims nearly 800,000 people signed up for war against US
North Korea claims about 800,000 citizens have voluntarily enlisted or re-enlisted to fight the United States, North Korea’s state-run newspaper reported on Saturday. On Friday alone, some 800,000 students and workers across the country expressed their desire to enlist or re-enlist to fight against the United States, Rodong Sinmun reported.
Analysis: Touting friendship and peace, China’s Xi performs ‘diplomatic dance’ on isolated Russia
Xi Jinping walked a diplomatic tightrope en route to Moscow, seeking to portray China as a global peacemaker while strengthening ties with his closest ally, President Vladimir Putin, who faces criminal charges for starting the war in Ukraine. Xi, who will depart on Monday for his first foreign trip as president in his third term, will seek to bolster Beijing’s diplomatic clout after brokering a surprise detente between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week, even as he cemented a “peaceful relationship” with Iran. “Unrestricted” partnerships increasingly isolated Putin.
Iranian court sentences two to death for deadly holy site attack
An Iranian court has sentenced two men to death for attacking a Shiite shrine in Iran in October that killed 15 people and was claimed by the militant group Islamic State, state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday. Fars provincial prosecutor Kazem Mousavi said the two men had been found guilty of “spreading corruption across the planet” and endangering national security, IRNA reported, adding that Said the verdict could be appealed.
Scottish National Party chief resigns after party numbers dispute
Peter Murrell, chief executive of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), said on Saturday he would resign with immediate effect after admitting responsibility for a misleading statement about the SNP’s membership numbers. “The SNP’s responsibility for responding to media inquiries about our membership numbers rests with me as chief executive. While there was no intent to mislead, I accept this is the outcome,” Murrell said in a statement issued by the SNP.
French protests resume amid anger over Macron’s pension age reform
French oil refinery strikes continued on Saturday and more demonstrations took place across the country amid anger over the government’s push to raise the state pension age without a vote in parliament. Mounting unrest, combined with rubbish piling up on Paris streets after rejected workers joined the action, has President Emmanuel Macron’s authority facing its worst crisis since December’s so-called “Gilets Jaunes” (yellow vest) protests. Serious challenge 2018.
(According to agency opinion.)