Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

As chance of Trump, Rouhani meeting at U.N. fades, talk turns to Security Council

The chances of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while they are both in New York next week for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations have dwindled since an attack on Saudi oil facilities. As the world waits to see what happens next and Washington and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested the U.N. Security Council has a role to play following Saturday's attacks, some attention has turned to when and how it could.

U.S. and Gulf allies discuss response to Saudi oil attack

The United States was discussing with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies possible responses to an attack on Saudi oil facilities they blame on Iran and which U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as an act of war on the kingdom. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday struck a cautious note, saying there were many options short of war with Iran, which denies involvement in the Sept. 14 strikes that initially halved Saudi oil output. He ordered increased sanctions on Tehran.

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan

A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday. The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.

Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government with him

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday there was no chance he could form a right-wing government after Israel's deadlocked election and called on his main rival, centrist Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, unity coalition. There was no immediate response from a spokeswoman for Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party.

Letter detailing civilian presence failed to prevent deadly Afghan drone strike

Twelve days ahead of the pine-nut harvest season, the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province received a letter from village elders in the Wazir Tangi area about their plans to recruit 200 laborers and children to pluck the dry fruit. The letter, seen by Reuters and dated Sept. 7, was sent in an effort to help protect laborers from getting caught in clashes between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and Islamic State fighters in the mountainous terrain largely controlled by the jihadists.

Trudeau vows to continue campaign amid blackface scandal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to continue his re-election campaign and asked for forgiveness on Thursday after pictures of him in blackface emerged less than five weeks before the national vote. The Liberal Party leader's campaign has been upended since Time magazine on Wednesday published an image of the prime minister, who is known to be strong advocate for multiculturalism, with his face blackened at a 2001 "Arabian Nights" party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at a Vancouver private school.

EU wary of Brexit crash landing at high-stakes October summit

Britain finally put some documents on the table on Thursday to break an impasse in its Brexit talks with the EU, but the bloc is worried that London is banking too much on a meeting of the 28 national leaders next month to get a deal across the line. Sidestepping technical hurdles that take time to clear and pinning hope on top-level talks is a risky strategy that failed two former British prime ministers, both of whom were forced to quit over their country's thorny divorce from the bloc.

Saudi-led coalition launches military operation north of Hodeidah in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition on Friday launched a military operation north of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah against what it described as "legitimate military targets", an incident that could aggravate regional tensions after a weekend attack on Saudi oil installations. The coalition said it had destroyed four sites used in assembling remote-controlled boats and sea mines to help protect the freedom of maritime navigation.

U.S. expels two of Cuba's U.N. diplomats, citing 'influence operations'

The Trump administration on Thursday ordered the expulsion from the United States of two members of Cuba's delegation to the United Nations and restricted travel of the remaining mission members to Manhattan, drawing strong condemnation from Havana. In an announcement just days before world leaders gather for the annual U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. State Department accused the two Cuban diplomats of trying to "conduct influence operations" harmful to U.S. national security but did not elaborate on the accusations or release their names.

Former El Salvador president given two-year jail term for bribery

A court handed down a two-year prison sentence for bribery to former Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca, the attorney general's office said on Thursday. Saca, who is already serving a 10-year prison sentence for misuse of public funds and money laundering, was found guilty of having bribed a court employee to obtain information about a case against him, the attorney general's office said.