Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
South Korea detains North Korean man crossing the DMZ
The South Korean military detained a North Korean man who crossed the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC) said on Thursday. The unidentified man was detected moving south near the Imjin River late on Wednesday and South Korean troops took him into custody just before midnight, the JCS said in a statement.
U.S. will extend sanctions waivers for Iranian nuclear programs: Bolton
The United States will renew sanctions waivers for Iran nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European nations to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Tehran, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday. "I think the idea here is we are watching those nuclear activities very, very closely," Bolton said in an interview on Fox Business Network. "So this is a short 90-day extension," he said.
Iran says it's prepared for dialogue if Saudi Arabia also ready
Iran is prepared for dialogue if Saudi Arabia is also ready, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Tensions have spiked between Iran and Saudi Arabia, arch-rivals for predominance in the Middle East, since Riyadh accused the Islamic Republic of carrying out attacks that damaged six oil tankers in the Gulf. Tehran has denied the allegation.
Kremlin critic to Putin: Allow free election or face weekly protests
A hunger-striking opposition politician and close ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has warned Russian authorities to allow a free and fair election in Moscow later this year or face weekly street protests and rising discontent. Lyubov Sobol, 31, is one of 16 opposition-minded candidates the authorities have barred from running in September's election for Moscow's city legislature, a vote seen as a dry run for a national parliamentary election in 2021.
UK PM Johnson faces first electoral test in vote for Welsh parliamentary seat
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could see his working majority in parliament reduced to just one when voters in a rural Welsh parliamentary seat go to the polls on Thursday in his first electoral test as leader. The pro-European Union Liberal Democrats are the bookmakers' favorites to win the vote in Brecon and Radnorshire, triggered when Conservative lawmaker Chris Davies was ousted by a petition of constituents after being convicted of falsifying expenses.
Guatemala's shortcomings raise doubts about U.S. migration deal
Guatemala's refugee agency meets only sporadically and operates on a bare-bones basis, adding to doubts about how the crime-wracked, impoverished Central American country will cope with a surge in asylum-seekers under a deal signed with Washington. Under Friday's accord, Guatemala becomes a so-called "safe third country," turning it into a buffer zone for migrants trying to reach the United States, and potentially lifting applications for asylum in Guatemala from a few hundred a year to tens of thousands.
Peru's Vizcarra proposes early elections in April 2020
The government of Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra wants legislative and presidential elections to be held next April 19, part of his proposal to hold a vote a year earlier to end a stalemate with the current opposition-run Congress. In a speech before Congress on Sunday, Vizcarra criticized lawmakers for not fully backing his anti-graft policies and proposed ending the legislative and presidential terms of office a year earlier, in July 2020 instead of July 2021.
U.S. puts sanctions on Iranian foreign minister Zarif, who says they won't affect him
The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, targeting the country's top spokesman and potentially hurting chances of diplomatic talks amid rising tensions between the two countries. Zarif, a critical figure in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, dismissed the action and said it would not affect him.
North Korea's test firing verified combat effectiveness of new rocket system: KCNA
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday oversaw the first test firing of a "new-type large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system", North Korean state media reported on Thursday. The test verified the combat effectiveness of the overall system, and Kim predicted "it would be an inescapable distress to the forces becoming a fat target of the weapon", state news agency KCNA said.
U.S. believes Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is dead: official
The United States believes that Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, is dead, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, provided no further details, including when Hamza died or where.