Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Kerry meets with Gulf ministers on Iran, Yemen
Concerns over a final nuclear deal with Iran and civil war in Yemen will top the agenda of talks in Paris on Friday between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Gulf Arab states. After marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe at the Arc De Triomphe, Kerry met counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, as well as the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Two Ukrainian serviceman killed, 26 wounded in past 24 hours: Ukrainian military
Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 26 wounded in separatist eastern territories over the past 24 hours, Ukraine's military said on Friday, as attacks continued despite a ceasefire. In a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would stick to the Minsk peace agreements that the separatists accuse him of violating.
Pakistan helicopter crash kills Norwegian, Philippine ambassadors
A Pakistan military helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect development projects crashed on Friday killing seven people, including the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was traveling to the mountainous northern region of Gilgit on a separate aircraft to launch two projects when the accident happened. He returned to Islamabad, his office said.
Myanmar president meets ethnic rebel leader in peace push
Myanmar President Thein Sein held a surprise meeting with apowerful armed group representing the ethnic Wa minority on Friday as the government tries to convince an array of rebel groups to sign a ceasefire, a group spokesman said on Friday. The meeting between Thein Sein and a United Wa State Army (UWSA) leader, Bao Youyxi, took place in Keng Tong, in eastern Shan state near the Wa enclave on the border with China, UWSA spokesman Aung Myint told Reuters.
Saudi-led air strikes target Houthi bastion in Yemen's Saada province
Saudi-led warplanes on Friday bombed targets in Yemen's Saada province, a bastion of Iranian-allied Houthi rebels, and dropped leaflets asking civilians to leave one district a day after promising a harsh response to cross-border Houthi attacks. The air strikes occurred after Houthi mortar and rocket salvoes from Saada into the Saudi city of Najran near the border on Tuesday and Wednesday, which killed eight people, and shelling of a Saudi air defense site near Najran on Thursday.
United Kingdom votes in most unpredictable election in decades
British voters get to decide on Thursday who they want to rule the world's fifth-largest economy in a tight election that could yield weak government, propel the United Kingdom towards a vote on EU membership and stoke Scottish desire for secession. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition Labour Party have been neck and neck in opinion polls for months, indicating neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat parliament.
Nepal earthquake survivors turn to rebuilding homes and lives
Six years ago, Paru Shrestha's family tore down their old home in the Nepali town of Sankhu and replaced it with a modern, five-storey house. It probably saved their lives. On April 25, a devastating earthquake killed over 7,700 people and flattened towns and villages across central Nepal, including most of Sankhu's fine old buildings.
Greek PM forecasts 'happy end'; Eurogroup chief cites progress in talks
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras forecast a happy end soon to fraught negotiations with creditors on a cash-for-reform deal, and the chairman of euro zone finance ministers said talks were making progress, though not enough for a deal next Monday. However, with Greece fast running out money, sources close to the talks with the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank said there was still no breakthrough on crucial sticking points over pension and labor market reforms and budget targets.
Europe and U.S. keep watchful eye on Israel's legislative plans
Benjamin Netanyahu's formation of one of the most right-wing government in Israel's history has fueled concerns in Europe and the United States about further settlement building and dimming prospects for peace. But it also has diplomats on edge about wider policy proposals, particularly on social and judicial affairs, where the far-right Jewish Home party, an influential member of Netanyahu's coalition, is determined to leave its mark.
North Korea warns of 'targeted strikes' against South's navy
North Korea's military warned on Friday of "unannounced targeted strikes" against South Korea's navy, accusing the South of violating its territorial waters off the peninsula's west coast, the scene of deadly naval clashes in the past. Pyongyang's warning came during the annual crab fishing season, which runs until June in the waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula. Naval forces from the two Koreas clashed during the same month in 1999 and 2002, killing scores of sailors on both sides.