Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Exclusive: Ex-Russian arms tycoon quietly wields influence in British PM race
A former Russian arms tycoon who had connections at the highest levels of the Kremlin is a major donor to Britain's ruling Conservative Party and counts himself a friend of the man expected to be the country's next prime minister. Alexander Temerko, who forged close ties with the Russian defense ministry and security services in the 1990s, has gifted over £1 million to the Conservatives over the past eight years.
Britain says Iran seizes two oil tankers in Gulf, Iran says captured one
Britain said Iran seized two oil tankers in the Gulf on Friday and told Tehran to return the vessels or face consequences in the latest confrontation to ratchet up tension along a vital international oil shipping route. Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had captured the British-flagged Stena Impero, announcing the move two weeks after the British navy seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar.
Cuba says fuel shortage, blackouts are temporary, being fixed
Cuban authorities sought to reassure jittery citizens this week that recent power outages and a fuel shortage were due to temporary problems that were being fixed rather than a broader decline in the economy under heavier U.S. sanctions. The Communist-run island is battling a cash crunch brought on by a decline in aid from leftist ally Venezuela and lower exports, as well as a tightening of the decades-old U.S. trade embargo, including attempts to block Venezuelan oil shipments.
Russia's Putin says he 'sympathized' with Trump before U.S. election
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had "sympathized" with Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election that swept Trump to power because of his desire to restore normal relations with Russia. In an interview with U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone dated June 19 and published on the Kremlin web site on Friday, Putin also said that any alleged Russian hackers were still not able to influence the vote's outcome.
U.S. judge orders Peru ex-president Toledo held in jail as extradition sought
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, facing extradition from the United States as part of a corruption investigation, was deemed a flight risk by a U.S. judge on Friday and ordered held in jail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson ruled that Toledo, who was arrested earlier this week in California and appeared in a packed courtroom wearing a red prison jumpsuit, should be kept in custody during extradition proceedings, a process that could last a year.
Saudi king approves hosting U.S. troops to enhance regional security: SPA
Saudi Arabia's King Salman approved hosting U.S. forces in the country to boost regional security and stability, the state news agency (SPA) reported on Friday. The gesture comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf that have impacted global oil markets.
Suspected Japanese arsonist is ex-convict who believed studio stole his novel: media
A man suspected of torching an animation studio and killing 33 people in Japan's worst mass killing in two decades had been convicted of robbery and carried out the attack because he believed his novel had been plagiarized, media said on Friday. Public broadcaster NHK, which identified the 41-year-old man as Shinji Aoba, citing police, said he served time in prison for robbing a convenience store east of Tokyo in 2012 and, after his release, lived in facilities for former convicts. He had also received care for mental illness, NHK said.
EU plans to offer Boris Johnson no-deal Brexit extension: The Guardian
The European Union is preparing to offer Boris Johnson, the favorite to be Britain's next prime minister, a no-deal Brexit extension beyond Oct. 31, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday. "It will be described as a technical delay to save Boris from political embarrassment but then we will have time to find an agreement," a senior EU diplomat told the newspaper http://bit.ly/2xWScq9.
Iran says it seized British tanker, denies U.S. brought down drone
Iran said it had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday but denied Washington's assertion that the U.S. Navy had downed an Iranian drone nearby this week, as tensions in the Gulf region grew again. Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the strait at the mouth of the Gulf.
Ahead of U.S. deadline, Mexico minister has fulfilled migration enforcement pledge
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico has followed through on its commitment to the United States to reduce migration from Central America, as a deadline in a bilateral pact approaches. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Mexico City to discuss migration and trade with Ebrard on Sunday, a day before the end of a 45-day period in which the Mexican government pledged to significantly lower the number of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.