HELSINKI – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country is “not favorable” toward Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating Turkey could use its membership in the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.
The Turkish leader explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries' alleged support for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists.
Erdogan did not say outright that he would block any accession attempts by the two Nordic nations. However, NATO makes all its decisions by consensus, meaning that each of the 30 member countries has a potential veto over who can join.
Fire kills at least 27 in New Delhi
A massive fire erupted Friday evening in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital of New Delhi, killing at least 27 people and leaving several others injured, the fire control room said.
Dozens of people have been rescued from the building, which contains mainly shops, the control room said. The building is located in the Mundka area in western New Delhi. The Press Trust of India news agency said 12 people suffered burns in the fire and 50 were evacuated from the building.
N. Korea reports 21 COVID deaths
North Korea today reported 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with fever symptoms as the country scrambles to slow the spread of COVID-19 across its unvaccinated population.
The deaths and cases, which were from Friday, increased total numbers to 27 deaths and 524,440 illnesses amid a rapid spread of fever since late April. North Korea said 243,630 people had recovered and 280,810 remained in quarantine. State media didn't specify how many of the fever cases and deaths were confirmed as COVID-19 infections.
In China, Shanghai will try again to reopen in a few days as the outbreak in the country's largest city subsides, an official said Friday.
In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 but said she still plans to travel to the U.S. later this month for a trade trip and to give the commencement speech at Harvard University.
Train passengers stop knife attack
An off-duty police officer and two other passengers on a regional train in Germany overpowered a Iraq-born man who wounded five people including the officer with a knife Friday, authorities said.
A top law enforcement official said the 31-year-old attacker had been investigated for possible Islamic extremism while living in a refugee hostel in 2017, but that the motive for the train attack hadn't been determined.
Four of the injured were treated in hospital for wounds to their hands or face and head, while one victim had been stabbed in the shoulder blade. The attacker was also injured and taken to a clinic.
Sri Lankans want ex-leader arrested
Protesters who were attacked earlier this week by supporters of Sri Lanka's government demanded Friday that the newly appointed prime minister arrest his predecessor for allegedly instigating the attack against them as they were calling for his resignation.
A group of protesters camped outside the official residence of new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was appointed Thursday evening by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a bid to hold onto power and quell the island nation's political and economic crisis.