Today in the world: Japanese-American summit talks are held in Tokyo, and bomb blasts in Lyon

Trump arrives in Japan for a four-day state visit

On Saturday, US President Donald Trump has arrived in Japan for a four-day state-visit. NHK channel broadcasts live from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Trump is accompanied with the First Lady Melania.

During the visit, Trump will held a meeting with Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as attend a Sumo tournament and an American military base. In addition, the American leader will try various delicacies in the traditional Japanese restaurant “robatayaki”, where dishes are prepared on the coals in front of visitors.

Trump will become the first foreign head of state to meet Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako following the Emperor’s accession on May 1.

Lyon bomb blast – 13 injured

At least 13 people were injured in an explosion in the French city of Lyon after a man left a suspected parcel bomb on a shopping street, officials said.

The suspect was captured on security video leaving a bag in front of a bakery shortly before an explosion occurred, police sources said. It was a person on a bike that was wearing a balaclava. The Paris prosector’s office said that it had opened a terrorism investigation.

A nationwide manhunt is underway for the suspect, with the police issuing an appeal for witnesses of the suspect along with a photo caught on CCTV. The prosecutor’s office has taken charge of the investigation into “attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise and association with terrorist criminals”.

“The Paris prosecutor’s office has jurisdiction over all terror cases in France. The office received an appeal and began to investigate a criminal terrorist conspiracy. But we should wait for the results of the investigation, which is underway at the moment and entrusted to the judicial police. Based on the results, it will be possible to further qualify this investigation,” the country’s justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said. However, that it was too soon to say whether the blast could be termed a “terrorist act”, she added.

Tensions between US and Iran escalates

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he will send about 1,500 American troops to the Middle East, mostly as a protective measure, amid heightened tensions with Iran, Euronews reports.

The US military deployed a carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East earlier this month in response to what Washington said were troubling indications of possible preparations for an attack by Iran. In addition, US President, declaring a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, swept aside objections from Congress to complete the sale of over $8billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Meanwhile, thousands of people in different cities of Iraq held anti-war demonstrations on Friday, stating that their country should not become a battleground for the United States and Iran.

The world economy ends the week in a “cautious positive”

With a “cautious positive”, the world markets finished the business week. Investors considered the US President Donald Trump’s statement about the possible easing of the restrictions imposed on the activities of the Chinese company Huawei to be a positive signal.

The effects of the global ban imposed by the United States have had a strong impact on world markets. Now Trump does not exclude that Huawei may become part of a trade agreement with China – if such a document will ever be concluded.

Increased interest in the assets of energy and commodity companies. After a strong fall, the crude oil price rose again: on Friday, it added more than 1%.

The resignation of British Prime Minister Theresa May gave investors the hope of breaking the Brexit issue, so the pound sterling strengthened a little.

Over 200 migrants rescued in Mediterranean Sea by Maltese Forces

The Armed Forces of Malta rescued 216 migrants who were adrift and in distress onboard two rubber boats inside the Maltese Search and Rescue Region late on Friday, Times of Malta reports.

According to the report, at least one pregnant women and a number of minors were believed to be among those migrants on boats.

The newspaper refers to the representative of the Armed Forces of Malta, who noted that during the first operation, they managed to save one group of migrants. Heading back to shore, the rescue team received a second distress call and returned to conduct a second operation.

The migrants are being taken to Malta where they will be examined by doctors and given the chance to seek asylum.

Scientists find one billion year old fungi, Earth’s oldest

Scientists recently found one billion-year-old fungi in Canada, changing the way we view evolution and the timing of plants and animals here on Earth.

The fossilized specimen was collected in Canada’s Arctic by an international team and later identified to be the oldest fungi ever found, sitting somewhere between 900 million and 1 billion years old.

The fossilized fungi were analyzed and researchers found the presence of chitin, a unique substance that is found on the cell walls of fungi. The specimen was then age dated using precise measurements of radioactive isotope ratios within the sample. Hence, the importance of this find. If fungi existed one billion years ago, based on the similarities in the domain Eukaryota, it is likely that other plants and animals existed during that time as well.

With this recent finding, distant yet related plants and animals could have existed up to 1 billion years ago. This changes scientists vision of early life on Earth and makes an important point that modern life (plants, animals, fungi) have been around much longer than previously thought.

Nury AMANOV