Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Kurdish MPs, inmates end hunger strike in Turkey after militant leader call

Several Kurdish lawmakers and thousands of prison inmates in Turkey have ended their hunger strike after a call from jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, one of the MPs said on Sunday, 200 days after the protest was launched. Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Guven began a hunger strike in November in a bid to end Ocalan's years of isolation by securing him regular access to his family and lawyers.

Race to succeed UK PM May centers on 'no deal' Brexit battle

The prospect of a "no deal" Brexit was fast becoming the central battle of the race to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday, as environment minister Michael Gove became the latest candidate to declare. May said on Friday she was quitting over her failure to deliver Brexit, potentially opening the way for a new leader who could seek a more divisive split with the European Union and lead to confrontation with the bloc or a possible parliamentary election.

German state vote could threaten future of Merkel coalition

Voters in the northern state of Bremen look set to inflict a humiliating blow on Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) in an election on Sunday that could hasten the end of their loveless federal coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. Polls in Germany's smallest state, focused on the port city of the same name, are tight but indicate the SPD risks losing a stronghold it has ruled for 73 years. No other German state has been ruled by the same party for so long.

Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India's Modi to congratulate him on election win

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to Narendra Modi and congratulated the Indian leader on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both countries said on Sunday. "Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and congratulated him on his party's electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections in India," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Germany in push to resurrect Afghan talks with Taliban

Germany, a leading donor and member of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, has been talking with the Taliban and the Afghan government in an effort to restart peace talks to end 18 years of conflict, officials said. While the Taliban have been talking with U.S. officials since October about a withdrawal of international troops, they have so far refused formal talks with the Western-backed government, which they dismiss as a "puppet" regime.

Europeans vote, with EU future in balance

Europeans vote on Sunday in an election expected to further dent traditional pro-EU parties and bolster the nationalist fringe in the European Parliament, putting a potential brake on collective action in economic and foreign policy. Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) in the east of the bloc and will finally close at 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) in Italy. Seven states have already voted, with 21 joining in on Sunday in what is the world's biggest democratic exercise after India.

Trade beef aside, Trump and Abe bond over burgers, sumo and golf

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and presented a trophy to the winner of a sumo tournament, turning to personal diplomacy for the second day of a Japan visit shadowed by tough trade talk. Trump is unhappy with Japan's large trade surplus and is considering putting high tariffs on its auto exports if a bilateral trade agreement is not reached. The United States and China are also engaged in an expensive trade war that has pounded financial markets worldwide.

UK environment minister Gove joins race to replace May as prime minister: Sky

Environment minister and prominent pro-Brexit campaigner Michael Gove said on Sunday he would be running to replace Theresa May as British prime minister, Sky News reported. "I can confirm that I will be putting my name forward to be prime minister of this country," Sky News quoted Gove as telling reporters outside his house.

Libya's Haftar rules out Tripoli ceasefire, dismisses U.N.-led talks: newspaper

Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar has ruled out a ceasefire in the battle for Tripoli and accused the United Nations of seeking to partition Libya, according to an interview published by French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) began an offensive in early April to take Tripoli from fighters loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) which has the backing of the United Nations.

Iran will defend itself against any aggression, says foreign minister

Iranian will defend itself against any military or economic aggression, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday, calling on European states to do more to preserve a nuclear agreement his country signed. Speaking in a news conference in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim, Zarif said his country wanted to build balanced relations with its Gulf Arab neighbors and that it had proposed signing a non-aggression pact with them.