Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
U.S.-based experts suspect Russia blast involved nuclear-powered missile
U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year. The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died.
Libya government accepts U.N. ceasefire proposal, implementation unclear
Libya's internationally recognized government, which is facing a campaign by eastern troops to take the capital, has accepted a United Nations proposal for a ceasefire during the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, a statement said on Friday. It was not clear whether fighting over the capital would actually cease after four months of battle that has displaced more than 105,000 people, according to the United Nations.
After Trump rebuke, France says it speaks for itself on Iran
France does not need the permission of other states to try to defuse tensions with Iran, its foreign minister said on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump accused President Emmanuel Macron of sending "mixed signals" to Tehran. "France speaks for itself on Iran as a sovereign power," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement.
Thousands protest in Indian Kashmir over new status despite clampdown
Indian police used tear gas and pellets to fight back at least 10,000 people protesting Delhi's withdrawal of special rights for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state in its main city of Srinagar on Friday, a police official and two witnesses said. The demonstration soon after Friday prayers was the largest since authorities locked down the revolt-torn region five days ago, cutting off telephone and internet services and detaining more than 500 political and separatist leaders.
Chinese reports on U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong 'have gone from irresponsible to dangerous': State Department
Official Chinese media reports about a U.S. diplomat who met with student leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement "have gone from irresponsible to dangerous" and must stop, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Friday. "Chinese authorities know full well, our accredited consular personnel are just doing their jobs, just like diplomats from every other country," Ortagus added in a tweet, without elaborating.
Italy's League seeks to trigger elections, files censure motion
Italy's League filed a no-confidence motion to bring down its own governing coalition on Friday, a move that the party's populist chief, Matteo Salvini, hopes will trigger snap elections and install him as the nation's new leader. With parliament in summer recess, Salvini has summoned all League lawmakers back to Rome on Monday and he is pushing for a vote on the motion as early as next week, while opposition parties would prefer to wait until Aug. 19-20.
North Korea fires two projectiles into sea off eastern coast: South Korea
North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Saturday, South Korea's military said. The latest launch comes shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had received a "very beautiful letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Downturn to hit Hong Kong like a 'tsunami', as China slaps warning on Cathay
Hong Kong's protests are hitting its economy, the city's leader Carrie Lam said on Friday, echoing warnings from business leaders including powerful local property developers, as about 1,000 mostly young activists occupied the airport arrivals hall. China, whose rule over the city is being challenged by the protests, meanwhile demanded Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways suspend staff involved in the demonstrations. One of its pilots was arrested last week.
No-deal Brexit preparation is top priority, UK's Johnson tells officials
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to all government employees on Friday to tell them that preparing for a no-deal exit from the European Union is his and their top priority, according to a copy of the email seen by Reuters. Johnson has promised voters Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 with or without an exit deal, demanding that Brussels drop parts of the existing proposed deal relating to the Irish border and negotiate a fresh exit arrangement.
Mexico detains migrant children in cramped holding center despite court ruling
Overcrowding, prison-like conditions, bed bugs and illness are among the complaints of migrants in a Mexico City detention center that holds dozens of minors two months after a court ruled it was unconstitutional. Under the threat of economic sanctions from U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexico has stepped up migrant detentions this year to stem a surge in asylum-seekers from Central America.