Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Iran says it arrests CIA spies, Gulf tensions simmer

Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West. Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes near West Bank barrier

Israeli forces began demolishing Palestinian homes near a military barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday, in the face of protests and international criticism. Bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers moved into Sur Baher, a Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem in an area that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East War.

At least 17 killed in bomb attack in Somalia capital

At least 17 people were killed and 28 others wounded when a bomb went off outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday, medical officials said. The Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia's weak U.N.-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.

With coalition deal close, Spain's Sanchez seeks parliament's backing as PM

Spain's acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez laid out his main priorities for government to parliament on Monday, as lawmakers in his party and its likely coalition ally said the time had come to confirm him in the job. Almost three months after an inconclusive national election left Sanchez's Socialists as the biggest party but short of a majority, he kicked off a week of debates and voting that will determine whether he can secure the legislature's backing to form an administration.

Under 'dark cloud' of Brexit, UK minister quits before Johnson becomes PM

A British minister and longstanding critic of Boris Johnson quit on Monday, the latest resignation before the presumed new prime minister takes office with a "do or die" pledge to leave the European Union with or without a deal. The resignation of Alan Duncan, a junior foreign office minister, underlines the strength of feeling in the governing Conservative Party and parliament against a no-deal Brexit which many businesses say would be catastrophic for the economy.

Ukraine president on course for unprecedented majority after election win

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy looked set on Monday to become Ukraine's first leader since the fall of communism to command a single party majority in parliament, in what would be an unprecedented mandate to deliver promised reforms. His party's victory in Sunday's snap parliamentary election caps a meteoric rise for the former TV comedian who has tapped into widespread anger over entrenched corruption and low living standards in one of Europe's poorest countries.

Triad gangster attack in Hong Kong after night of violent protests: lawmaker

Hong Kong's opposition Democratic Party is investigating attacks by suspected triad gangsters on train passengers on Sunday, after a night of violence opened new fronts in the political crisis now deepening across city. Screams rang out when men, clad in white t-shirts and some armed with poles, flooded into the rural Yuen Long station and stormed a train, attacking passengers, according to footage taken by commuters and Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Pope's envoy tells Syrian leader of concern for Idlib civilians

Pope Francis has expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in northwestern Syria and urged a negotiated end to years of fighting, in a letter delivered on Monday to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Vatican said the letter was handed over by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, who heads the Vatican department for promoting human development.

China says U.S. criticism over South China Sea is slander

Remarks by U.S. officials on China's role in the South China Sea are slanderous, its foreign ministry said on Monday, after the United States voiced concern over reports of Chinese interference with oil and gas activities in the disputed waters. China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in shipborne trade passes each year, are contested, all or in part, by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Turkey will retaliate if U.S. imposes sanctions over S-400s: minister

Turkey would retaliate against what it called an unacceptable threat of U.S. sanctions over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses, its foreign minister said on Monday, adding he thinks President Donald Trump wants to avoid such measures. Turkey began receiving deliveries of the surface-to-air S-400 systems earlier this month, prompting the United States to begin removing the NATO ally from its F-35 stealth fighter program over security concerns.