World News in Brief: April 13

Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Daniel Hagari on Saturday warned Iran that it "will bear the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further."
Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out the "revolutionary" new Men5CV vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out the "revolutionary" new Men5CV vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

* The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF managing director for a second five-year term starting on Oct. 1, 2024.

* China's top legislator Zhao Leji met the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Saturday, expressing Beijing's willingness to work with its counterparts to deepen trust and boost cooperation, Chinese state media said.

* A cooperation agreement by the Philippines, the United States and Japan will change the dynamic in the South China Sea/East Sea and the region, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday, while seeking to assure China it was not a target.

* New U.S. sanctions against Russia sent a signal to Ukraine not to engage in negotiations, said Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov.

* Mexico on Friday denounced Ecuador's police raid on its embassy in Quito in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

* MIKTA, a five-country consultative group, expressed their solidarity with Mexico in the aftermath of Ecuador's police raid on its embassy in Quito, Mexico's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

* Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov reaffirmed their commitment on Friday to further strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

* U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said he expected Iran to attack Israel "sooner, rather than later" and warned Tehran not to proceed.

* Canada has warned citizens to avoid all travel to Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, upgrading its risk assessment of the region due to the increased threat of attacks on Israeli territory.

* Dutch foreign minister Hanke Bruins Slot told her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a phone call that Iran should not attack Israel and should take actions to "de-escalate", she said on social media platform X.

* The Navy of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Saturday seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship near the Strait of Hormuz, the official news agency IRNA reported.

* Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani has left Baghdad for an official visit to Washington to discuss the issues of ending the U.S.-led international coalition's mission in Iraq, according to a statement by al-Sudani's media office on Saturday.

* More than 80,000 security cameras earlier installed in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul have been working effectively to help fight crime, local TV TOLOnews has reported.

* Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip has killed at least 33,686 Palestinians and wounded 76,309 since Oct. 7, the Palestinian enclave's health ministry said on Saturday.

* Tanzania will host a week-long field training exercise for 670 senior police officers from the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), a regional police body whose membership consists of chiefs of police from 14 African countries.

* An attacker who fatally knifed six people in a Sydney mall was shot dead by police in the beachside suburb of Bondi on Saturday, police said, as hundreds fled the scene.

* China remained the top merchandise exporter in 2023 for the seventh straight year with its share in world exports at 14.2 percent, almost the same as the level in 2022, the Ministry of Commerce said.

* As of Saturday, the China-Laos Railway has handled over 180,000 cross-border passenger trips since its international passenger service opened a year ago, according to the Mohan checkpoint on China's border with Laos in southwest China's Yunnan.

* India's federal government has decided to use gas-based power plants in efforts to meet the high electricity demand in this summer forecast to be hotter than normal, officials said Saturday.

* Russian energy giant Gazprom GAZP.MM said it would send 42.4 million cubic metres (mcm) of natural gas to Europe via Ukraine on Saturday, a volume in line with recent days.

* The Canadian federal government on Friday announced its vision and plan to solve the national housing crisis.

* Pakistan's central bank has repaid $1 billion in Eurobonds, it said on Saturday, a scheduled payment ahead of the South Asian nation seeking a long-term bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

* Sri Lankan rupee has emerged as a top-performing currency among emerging markets in the first quarter of 2024, boasting a remarkable spot return of over 7 percent, the President's Media Division (PMD) said on Saturday citing Bloomberg market data.

* Strong winds and heavy dust storms are hitting parts of Mongolia, causing poor visibility on roads, the country's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Saturday.