The world in brief: Climate activists stop traffic in Berlin

Climate activists block a road during a climate protest Friday in Berlin. (AP/Frank Jordans)

Climate activists stop traffic in Berlin

BERLIN -- Climate activists staged a 10th-straight day of protests in Berlin, blocking key roads during rush hour and bringing parts of the German capital to a standstill Friday before being removed by police.

Members of the Last Generation group glued themselves to the road, causing a traffic jam for commuters driving into the city. The group wants to draw attention to the threat of global warming and the need for governments to step up measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Berlin police said about 500 officers were deployed to deal with more than a dozen blockades Friday.

German government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann said the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, an event taking place Tuesday and Wednesday in Berlin, remains focused on achieving the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial times.

The group plans to meet with Germany's transportation minister next week to discuss its demands. They include the introduction of a universal speed limit on German highways, a move that experts say would be a quick and cheap measure to cut emissions.

Meanwhile, activists from the organization Extinction Rebellion staged a protest Friday outside the Danish parliament in Copenhagen.

The protest's goal was "to pressure the government to bow to our simple demands for more protected nature and less industrial agriculture in Denmark," the demonstrators said in a statement.

Chinese fly 38 warplanes near Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China's military flew 38 fighter jets and other warplanes near Taiwan, the Taiwanese defense ministry said Friday, in the biggest such flight display since the large military exercise in which it simulated sealing off the island earlier in April.

Later Friday, China's People's Liberation Army issued a protest over the flight of a United States Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft through the Taiwan Strait, which separates mainland China from the self-governing island democracy claimed by Beijing.

Calling Thursday's flight a provocation that the U.S. "openly hyped up," the PLA's Eastern Theater Command said it scrambled fighter jets to monitor the plane's flight.

Such acts "fully prove that the U.S. is a disruptor of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and a creator of security risks," the statement said.

The U.S. 7th Fleet said Thursday's flight was in accordance with international law and "demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

U.S. law requires Washington to treat all threats to the island as matters of "grave concern," though it remains ambiguous over whether American forces would be dispatched to help defend the island.

In addition to the latest Chinese warplane flights, Chinese navy vessels were spotted in the area from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, the island's Defense Ministry said.

Journalists slain amid violence in Haiti

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Two local journalists have been killed in Haiti over the past two weeks as rampant gang violence has gripped the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement Thursday that radio reporter Dumesky Kersaint was fatally shot in mid-April, while journalist Ricot Jean was found dead Tuesday.

"The security crisis in the country is putting journalists at a constant risk of extreme violence. It is the authorities' responsibility to make sure reporters can do their jobs without fear of violence," said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ's program director.

Kersaint was an online journalist for Radio Tele INUREP, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported that Jean was kidnapped Monday and his body found the next day. Jean worked for Radio-Tele Evolution Inter, it said.

Ill Turkish president cancels his visits

ISTANBUL -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled his election appearances for a third day Friday after falling ill with what officials described as an intestinal infection.

Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades as prime minister and then president, is seeking a third presidential term in Turkey's May 14 elections. He had been scheduled to appear at a bridge opening and a political rally in the southern city of Adana, but his schedule changed to show that he would attend the opening ceremony via video link.

Erdogan became ill Tuesday during a TV interview with what Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said was a "gastrointestinal infection." His election rallies planned for Wednesday and Thursday were canceled.

Other officials sought to dispel concerns over the 69-year-old leader's health ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections. Recent polls showed a slight lead for Erdogan's main challenger amid an economic downturn and a February earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people.

  photo  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurates Turkey’s first nuclear power plant via a video link, Thursday at the Presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey. (AP/Turkish Presidency)