Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

China warns U.S. over Hong Kong law as thousands stage 'Thanksgiving' rally

China warned the United States on Thursday that it would take "firm counter measures" in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, and said attempts to interfere in the Chinese-ruled city were doomed to fail. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law congressional legislation which supported the protesters, despite angry objections from Beijing, with which he is seeking a deal to end a damaging trade war.

Uruguay opposition claims victory in presidential vote, official candidate concedes

Uruguay's conservative opposition party claimed victory and the governing party's candidate conceded defeat on Thursday after the count of Sunday's runoff election concluded, marking a rightward shift on a continent torn by social unrest. First, there was a tweet from the opposition National Party saying its candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had won. "Uruguay now has a new president," it said.

Exclusive: Daphne murder accused details plot to kill for 150,000 euros

One day in the summer of 2017, Vince Muscat dropped his friend Alfred Degiorgio at the Busy Bee, a harbor-front café near Malta's capital renowned for its pastries stuffed with ricotta cheese. Degiorgio didn't stay long. A few minutes later, he jumped back into the car to report to Muscat that they had a contract: To kill the island's top journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Brazil frees volunteer firefighters accused of setting Amazon blazes

A Brazilian judge on Thursday ruled to free four volunteer firefighters jailed this week on accusations they had set fires in the Amazon rainforest to drum up donations, according to court documents. Michell Durans, a lawyer representing the four men, confirmed to Reuters that they had already walked free on Thursday after the judge's order.

Sudan repeals public order act used to regulate women's behavior: minister

Sudan on Thursday repealed a law used under former President Omar al-Bashir to regulate women's dress and behavior and punish those found to contravene it with flogging, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdelbari said. The law as deployed to impose conservative Islamic social codes, restricting women's freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study. It had been widely criticized by local and international human rights groups.

Trump makes surprise Afghanistan trip, voices hope for ceasefire

President Donald Trump made a surprise Thanksgiving visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thursday and said he believed Taliban insurgents would agree to a ceasefire in America's longest war. Trump's visit was his first to Afghanistan since becoming president and came a week after a prisoner swap between Washington and Kabul that has raised hopes for a long elusive peace deal.

Spain's Socialists, Catalan separatists to continue talks on new government

Spain's Socialists and Catalan separatist party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) said on Thursday they would again meet on Dec. 3 after initial talks in which they agreed the need for dialogue to break a deadlock on forming a new government. The ERC said its position on the formation of a new government between the Socialists and the left-wing Podemos party remained negative. But it said it agreed on "the need for a political approach to a conflict which is of its nature political".

Small plane crashes in Kingston, Ontario, killing seven: local police

A small plane crashed in a wooded area on the outskirts of Kingston, Ontario on Wednesday evening, killing seven people, local police said. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it would send a team to investigate the crash.

U.S. accuses Russia of helping Syria cover up chemical weapons use

The United States on Thursday accused Russia of helping Syria conceal the use of banned toxic munitions in the civil war by undermining the work of the global chemical weapons agency trying to identify those responsible. The comments by the U.S. representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Kenneth Ward, drew a rapid denial from Moscow and came as Western powers and Russia clashed at the agency's annual conference in The Hague.

Iraqi forces kill 45 protesters after Iranian consulate torched

Iraqi security forces shot dead at least 45 protesters on Thursday after demonstrators stormed and torched an Iranian consulate overnight, in what could mark a turning point in the uprising against the Tehran-backed authorities. At least 29 people died in the southern city of Nassiriya when troops opened fire on demonstrators who blocked a bridge before dawn on Thursday and later gathered outside a police station. Police and medical sources said dozens of others were wounded.