Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
UK PM's election campaign launch marred by gaffe, resignation, doctored video
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to fire up supporters with a Brexit rallying cry on Wednesday after the first day of his election campaign was marred by a ministerial resignation, a gaffe about a deadly tower blaze and a doctored video advert. Johnson called a snap Dec. 12 election in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock that he says has paralyzed Britain for more than three years and had started to undermine confidence in the world's fifth largest economy.
Two former Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia
Two former employees of Twitter and a third man from Saudi Arabia face U.S. charges of spying for the kingdom by digging up private user data and giving it to Saudi officials in exchange for payment, according to a complaint filed on Wednesday. Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo, who used to work for Twitter, and Ahmed Almutairi, who then worked for the Saudi royal family, face charges of working for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without registering as foreign agents, according to a complaint filed against them.
Iran fuels centrifuges, resumes uranium enrichment at Fordow
Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, the country's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) said on Thursday, further stepping away from its 2015 nuclear deal with major world powers. The agreement bans enrichment and nuclear material from Fordow. But with feedstock gas entering its centrifuges, the facility, built inside a mountain, will move from the permitted status of research plant to being an active nuclear site.
At least 37 killed in attack on Canadian miner Semafo convoy in Burkina Faso
Thirty-seven civilians were killed and more than 60 wounded when gunmen ambushed a convoy transporting workers of Canadian gold miner Semafo in eastern Burkina Faso, regional authorities said on Wednesday. The attack is the deadliest in recent years as the military struggles to contain Islamist violence that has overrun parts of Burkina Faso, located in west Africa. Semafo tightened security last year following armed incidents near two of its mines in the country.
Faith in Mexico shaken for 'true believer' Mormon communities
The massacre of nine women and children in northern Mexico could test breakaway Mormon families' attachment to communities that for decades have been a haven for a way of life shunned by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Monday's dirt road ambush of three families of Mormon origin was the deadliest attack on U.S. citizens in Mexico in recent memory and put the close-knit religious communities in the uncomfortable spotlight of the country's raging drug war.
U.S. senators press for sanctions on Turkey if it is violating Syria ceasefire
Republican and Democratic U.S. senators asked President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday to let them know - and to respond with touch sanctions - if reports are true that Turkey is violating a ceasefire agreement in Syria. "Given the stakes, time is of the essence," Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen, Richard Blumenthal and Jeanne Shaheen wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Boris Johnson to tell Scotland: vote Conservative to stop independence bid
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson heads to Scotland on Thursday to say a Dec. 12 election victory for his Conservative Party will halt Scottish National Party (SNP) plans to hold another independence vote to break up the United Kingdom. Scotland is set to be a key battleground in the general election, one where Johnson's Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, are overshadowed in popularity by the SNP.
Explainer: Chile's constitutional conundrum - To change or not to change?
The social revolt that exploded into violence in Chile 20 days ago has brought old social, economic and political demands back onto the table. One of those is to replace the current constitution, which dates from the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Family tells how 13-year-old boy hid siblings in Mexico massacre
After watching gunmen shoot dead his mother and two brothers, 13-year-old Devin Langford hid six surviving siblings in nearby bushes and walked for miles in a rugged expanse of northern Mexico to get help. The harrowing account was given by members of three Mexican-American Mormon families that suffered a brutal attack by suspected drug cartel hitmen on Monday which claimed the lives of three women and six children and sparked outrage and condemnation in the United States.
Exclusive: Brazil likely to vote with U.S. against Cuba at U.N. over embargo
Brazil is expected to vote for the first time against an annual U.N. resolution on Thursday condemning the U.S. economic embargo on communist-run Cuba, two people in the Brazilian government told Reuters. The policy shift represents the latest attempt by Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro to draw closer to U.S. President Donald Trump since taking office in January — but runs against the interest of some major Brazilian firms.