Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State
A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago. The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them towards their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town's first evangelical church opened last year.
Jailed Reuters reporters, U.S. border photographers win Pulitzer Prizes
Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, one for revealing the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces, and another for photographs of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States. The awards marked the second year in a row that Reuters has won two Pulitzers, the most prestigious prize in American journalism. Reuters has won seven since 2008.
Brazil police carry out raids linked to probe into Vale's deadly dam collapse: source
Federal police are serving five search warrants in connection with a Brazilian investigation into a deadly tailings dam failure at a mining site operated by Vale SA, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. According to the source, all warrants were issued by the ninth federal court in Belo Horizonte, capital of the Minas Gerais state.
Russian court jails Norwegian for 14 years for espionage
A Russian court convicted a Norwegian man on Tuesday of gathering espionage about nuclear submarines and jailed him for 14 years, a verdict that could strain relations between Moscow and its NATO-member neighbor. Frode Berg, a 63-year-old retired former guard on the Norwegian-Russian border, was detained in Moscow in December 2017 and tried behind closed doors this month. He pleaded not guilty to charges of espionage on behalf of Norway.
Mutual friends and borrowed cars: how Ukraine's would-be leader is linked to tycoon
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, front runner to be the next Ukrainian president, has connections to one of the country's wealthiest tycoons that are undermining his image as an insurgent who will sweep aside the powerful moneyed elite. Presenting himself as an anti-establishment outsider backed by spontaneous grass-roots support, Zelenskiy won the first round of voting last month, and opinion polls make him strong favorite in the run-off on April 21 against the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko.
Thwarting fraud: thousands to 'crowd-source' Indonesian election results
More than 10,000 people have volunteered to crowd-source election results posted at polling stations across Indonesia on Wednesday in a real-time bid to thwart attempts at fraud during the biggest single-day election in the world. Nearly 193 million people are eligible to vote for the Southeast Asian country's president and thousands of legislative seats, a Herculean logistical feat many fear could be exploited by cheats.
Exploding ATMs: Brazil banks wrestle with dynamite heists
More than two dozen heavily-armed men stormed into the center of Guararema early on a recent morning, rousing the Brazilian town's residents with the sound of broken glass, explosions - and then gunshots. Brandishing high-powered rifles, wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying several kilos of dynamite, the gang pulled up in front of the town's main police station. It then set upon an adjoining branch of Banco do Brasil, shattering its windows and doors with crowbars.
Erdogan's AK Party to submit appeal for rerun of Istanbul elections
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party will "shortly" appeal for the annulment and rerun of Istanbul's municipal elections, the party's deputy chairman said in a tweet on Tuesday. Initial results showed the main opposition Republican People's Party narrowly won control of Turkey's biggest city in the mayoral elections, seemingly ending 25 years of control of a key power center by the AK Party and its Islamist predecessors.
Skyscraper housing Australia, UK embassies in Madrid evacuated after bomb threat
A skyscraper housing embassies in Madrid was evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat was received by telephone at the Australian embassy there, a police spokeswoman said. The 57-story, 235-meter (770-ft) high Torre Espacio, one of four towers located in the Spanish capital's financial district, also houses the embassies of Britain and Canada.
No sign of arson in Notre-Dame blaze as nation grieves for symbol
The fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident, French prosecutors said on Tuesday after firefighters doused the last flames in the ruins overnight and the nation grieved for the destruction of one of its symbols. More than 400 firemen were needed to tame the inferno that consumed the roof and collapsed the spire of the eight-centuries-old cathedral. They worked through the night to extinguish the fire some 14 hours after it began.