March 31, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. A New York grand jury has indicted former US President Donald Trump, making him the first former president to face criminal charges. The charges remained under seal on Thursday, but the investigation centered on Trump’s alleged hush-money payments to a porn star who claims she had an affair with him. 2. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed the need to focus on “de-risking” relations with China, rather than decoupling from the Asian nation. In a speech in Brussels on Thursday, von der Leyen noted that China is strengthening its ties with Russia as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine.
3. Leaders in Finland and Sweden saw Russian troops roll into Ukraine and decided to end decades of neutrality. They promised the countries would join NATO together. Now, the Finns are set to join the alliance on their own. All 30 NATO nations have to approve any new members. However, leaders in Turkey raised objections. They argued both countries were soft on terrorism. They held months of talks, then cleared the way for Finland. On Thursday, Turkish lawmakers added their approval.