Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
United States 'very actively' asking North Korea to return to talks - South Korea
The United States is "very actively" trying to persuade North Korea to come back to negotiations, South Korea's national security adviser said on Sunday, as a year-end North Korean deadline for U.S. flexibility approaches. South Korea was taking North Korea's deadline "very seriously", the adviser, Chung Eui-yong, told reporters, at a time when efforts to improve inter-Korean relations have stalled.
Violence spills across Hong Kong New Territories on 24th weekend of unrest
Hong Kong police fired tear gas to break up rallies as black-clad activists blocked roads and trashed shopping malls across the New Territories on Sunday on the 24th straight weekend of anti-government protests. Pro-democracy protesters vandalized a train station in the central new town of Sha Tin and smashed up a restaurant perceived as being pro-Beijing, overturning banqueting tables and smashing glass panels, two weeks before district council elections in the Chinese-ruled city.
Bolivian President Morales calls for new elections after OAS audit
Bolivian president Evo Morales said on Sunday he would call for new elections after the Organization of American States (OAS) released a report saying that a disputed Oct. 20 vote should be annulled due to irregularities. The long-standing leader of the South American nation also said he would replace the members of the electoral board, which has come under fire after the election, which had been won by Morales, was mired in widespread allegations of electoral fraud.
UK Conservatives warn of economic crisis under Labour, citing disputed dossier
British finance minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday the opposition Labour Party's "reckless" spending plans would trigger an economic crisis within months if it won the Dec. 12 election, citing a contested dossier published by his Conservative Party. Labour strongly dismissed the report, which said it would increase spending by 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) over the next five years, calling it fake news.
Mexico massacre unites Mormon sects, even their exiles
WhatsApp messages flooded Amber Bostwick’s phone last Tuesday as relatives sent harrowing accounts of the slaughter of nine women and children by drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico. The 35-year-old Seattle homemaker had spent much of her life trying to keep away from her parents' self-described fundamentalist branch of the Mormon faith and Colonia LeBaron - her polygamist father's Mexico community where some of the massacre victims were from.
French IS suspects want to go home, and 'go on with my life'
Three French women who escaped from a camp for suspected jihadists in northern Syria say they want to go home and face whatever legal action France requires over their alleged links to the Islamic State (IS) militant group. The three, interviewed in Syria's Suluk town, controlled by Syrian rebels backed by Turkey, said they had fled during the chaos of Turkey's incursion into Syria last month and turned themselves over to Turkish forces in hopes of returning home.
Vote-weary Spain holds election, hoping to break political stalemate
Spain held its second parliamentary election in just over six months on Sunday, with voters likely to deliver an even more fragmented parliament with no clear winner and a sizeable showing by the far-right. Opinion polls show the Socialists in the lead but likely to win slightly fewer seats than in April's vote, while the conservative People's Party (PP) could gain strength and the far-right Vox could become the country's third-largest party, just months after winning its first parliamentary seats.
Sinking suburban 'home' drifts down Thames in watery climate protest
A floating mock-up of a typical British suburban home was seen slowly sinking into the Thames in central London on Sunday in a protest organized by Extinction Rebellion to demand politicians fighting a Dec. 12 general election act on climate change. A white microwave oven bobbed in the water next to the large model house, complete with drainpipes and chimney stack, which wallowed half-submerged in the river's brownish waters not far from Tower Bridge.
Iran says former FBI agent still missing, denies report of criminal case
Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the whereabouts of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, missing since visiting Iran's Kish Island in 2007, remain unknown, and it denied a report that Tehran had opened a criminal case against him. Levinson disappeared while on a trip to the island in the Persian Gulf. Iranian officials have repeatedly denied knowledge of his disappearance or of his whereabouts.
Israeli farmers lament the end of Jordan land deal
It has been a bitter harvest for some Israeli farmers on the border with Jordan. On Sunday, a 25-year-old deal between the two countries that has allowed them to cultivate land there formally expires. Under the deal, part of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, two territories straddling the border were recognized as under Jordanian sovereignty but with special provisions allowing Israeli farmers to work the land and visitors to tour the Isle of Peace park in the area.