Xinhua world news summary at 0030 GMT, April 29

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BRUSSELS -- The applications by Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be processed quickly should the Scandinavian countries choose to do so, the military alliance's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday.

"If they decide to apply, Finland and Sweden will be welcomed with open arms to NATO. Finland and Sweden are our closest partners," Stoltenberg told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels. (NATO-Finland-Sweden)

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BELGRADE -- The Montenegrin parliament of 81 MPs on Thursday elected a new government led by Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, with 45 votes in favor and three against.

Almost three months after the cabinet of former prime minister Zdravko Krivokapic was removed with a no-confidence vote on Feb. 4, Abazovic, the leader of the United Reform Action movement, has formed a cabinet of 18 ministers. This includes two ministers without portfolio, and four Deputy PM posts. (Montenegro-Government)

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MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan -- At least nine civilians were killed and 13 others wounded in twin blasts on Thursday in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Afghanistan's northern Balkh province, provincial police spokesman confirmed.

"The blasts occurred in a span of short time roughly at 7:00 p.m. local time in Police District (PD) 3 and PD 10 of the city," spokesman Mohammad Asif Waziri told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Twin blasts)

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BRAZZAVILLE -- A total of 132 people have lost their lives due to contracting measles out of 6,259 cases recorded as of April 24 throughout the Republic of the Congo, Congolese Health Minister Gilbert Mokoki said Thursday.

According to the minister, the region of Pointe-Noire, the economic capital of the country, is the epicenter of the epidemic with 5,488 cases reported including 112 deaths since the beginning of 2022. (Congo-Measles)

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NEW DELHI -- A massive fire at a landfill in the Indian capital city Thursday continued for the third straight day, with firefighters struggling hard to douse it.

The fire at the colossal Bhalaswa landfill site that began on Tuesday evening was still raging.

Heavy pungent smoke emanating from the blazing landfill is hanging over the city and causing inconvenience to locals, especially those living close by. (India-Landfill-Fire) Enditem

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