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World news briefs — compiled April 13

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MEXICO

At least 36 killed in bus-truck crash

A passenger bus slammed into a broken-down truck and burst into flames, killing at least 36 people Sunday in southern Mexico, the Veracruz state government reported. Officials said four people survived the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the southeastern state of Veracruz.

SWEDEN

Russian military spending increases

For the first time in 10 years, Russia last year spent a bigger share of its overall economy on arms investments than the United States as it seeks to bolster its military capability, a Swedish arms watchdog said Monday. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Russia increased its military spending in 2013 by 4.8 percent to $87.8 billion, representing 4.1 percent of its gross domestic product. Meanwhile, global military spending fell by 1.9 percent in 2013 to $1.7 trillion, as many Western countries cut arms investments following the financial crisis.

GERMANY

U.N.: Climate-action price modest

The cost of keeping global warming in check is “relatively modest,” but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.’s expert panel on climate change said Sunday. Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they launched the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s report on measures to fight global warming. “The longer we delay the higher would be the cost,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said after the panel’s weeklong session in Berlin.

LIBYA

Interim prime minister to step down

Libya’s government said Sunday that the interim prime minister had declined a parliamentary mandate to form a new government and will instead step down, in a move likely to compound the difficulties facing a government already divided and facing widespread unrest and militia violence. Interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani announced on the government’s website that he was leaving his post, but would stay on as head of the Cabinet until a replacement could be found.

SYRIA

No evidence of reported gas attack

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far “unsubstantiated,” adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response. Both sides in Syria’s civil war blamed each other for the alleged attack that reportedly injured scores of people Friday amid an ongoing international effort to rid the country of chemical weapons.

Compiled from wire reports.


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