Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Erdogan, Trump discuss Syria 'safe zone' in phone call; to meet next month: Ankara

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the planned "safe zone" east of the Euphrates River in Syria in a phone call on Sunday, the Turkish presidency said, adding the two men agreed to meet in Washington next month. The call came a day after Erdogan said a military incursion into northeastern Syria was imminent, after Ankara accused Washington of stalling efforts to establish a "safe zone" there together.

Iraqi police fire on protesters in new unrest, death toll passes 100

At least eight people were killed in new clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters on Sunday, the sixth day of unrest in which the death toll has now passed 100 and more than 6,000 have been wounded. The eight were killed in eastern Baghdad, police sources said, after police backed by the armed forces used live rounds. The demonstrators had taken to the streets hours after the government announced reforms to try to ease anger over corruption and unemployment.

Chinese soldiers in Hong Kong warn protesters as emergency rules fail to quell unrest

Chinese soldiers issued a warning to Hong Kong protesters on Sunday who shone lasers at their barracks in the city, in the first direct interaction with mainland military forces in four months of anti-government demonstrations. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Kowloon district warned a crowd of a few hundred protesters they could be arrested for targeting its troops and barracks walls with laser lights.

Ecuador arrests shopkeepers, man dies as protests rage

Ecuadorean authorities began arresting shopkeepers for raising food prices as indigenous groups clashed with security forces on Sunday in a fourth day of protests against President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures. One man died in central Azuay province when roadblocks blocked an ambulance from reaching him after he was hit by a car, authorities said. Local media identified him as a protester, but that could not be confirmed.

UK could be flexible on details of Northern Ireland veto, customs plan

Britain is open to some flexibility on the proposed mechanism that would allow lawmakers in post-Brexit Northern Ireland to decide whether the British province remains in regulatory alignment with the European Union, its Brexit minister said. The mechanism, set out in London's latest Brexit proposals, aims to resolve the biggest sticking point in negotiations: the currently seamless border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

North Korea doubts U.S. will have alternative plans inside two weeks

North Korea said on Sunday there was no way the United States would bring alternative plans for their stalled nuclear talks to a meeting proposed by Stockholm in two weeks after weekend negotiations in Sweden broke down. The working-level talks between U.S. and North Korean envoys were broken off on Saturday. The U.S. State Department said it had accepted Sweden's invitation to return for more discussions with Pyongyang in two weeks.

Thousands peacefully protest French IVF law, avoiding repeat of 2013 violence

An estimated 42,000 protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday, peacefully demonstrating against a draft law allowing lesbians and single women to conceive children with medical assistance, police said. The bioethics law, which has cleared its first reading in parliament, would lift the current restriction limiting in vitro fertilization (IVF) to heterosexual couples.

Portugal's ruling Socialists claim election victory, likely fall short of majority

Portugal's ruling Socialists scored "a great victory" in Sunday's parliamentary election and will seek to form a stable government, senior Socialist lawmaker Ana Catarina Mendes said as preliminary results pointed to a win without an outright majority. The main question now is who Prime Minister Antonio Costa will pick as allies to stay in power after ruling for the past four years with support from the two hard-left parties - the Left Bloc and the Communists.

Split vote complicates government formation after Tunisia election

Tunisia's parliament looks deeply fractured after an election on Sunday, with an exit poll showing the moderate Islamist Ennahda in first place with only 17.5% of votes, meaning the coming period of government formation will likely prove long and hard. Any government that does emerge will face the same challenges that have bedeviled its predecessors: high unemployment, inflation and public debt, a powerful union that resists change and foreign lenders who demand it.

Thousands rally in Kiev to protest autonomy plan for eastern Ukraine

Thousands of people gathered in Kiev's main square on Sunday to protest against President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's deal with Moscow to grant autonomy to Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel-held east as part of efforts to end a five-year conflict there. In the first breakthrough toward a possible peace deal in years, envoys from Moscow and Kiev agreed at talks on Tuesday on an election schedule for the Donbass region and on legislation giving it special status. Ukraine also agreed to call back its forces from the current contact line with separatist fighters.