Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Thousands of Romanians protest against illegal logging, attacks on forest workers

Thousands of Romanians marched in the capital Bucharest and other cities on Sunday in protest against widespread illegal logging, which is believed to be behind the deaths of two forest workers in the past two months. In downtown Bucharest, an estimated 4,000 people marched toward the water and forest ministry, according to local TV stations, banging drums and chanting "Our forest is not your commodity," and "Thieves."

Trump wades again into UK politics, tells Johnson, Farage to unite

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to come together to safeguard prospects for expanded U.S.-UK trade after Britain leaves the European Union. Trump told reporters at the White House that both men were friends of his, but Johnson was "the right man for the time."

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage will not run in UK election

Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain's upstart Brexit Party, said on Sunday he would not stand in next month's election, choosing instead to campaign countrywide against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's EU divorce deal. "I have thought very hard about this: How do I serve the cause of Brexit best?" he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

Iraq’s PM urges protesters to stop, says unrest is hurting the economy

Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi appealed on Sunday to protesters to help restore normal life across the country and said the unrest was costing the economy "billions of dollars". More than 250 people have been killed since the protests in Baghdad and the south of the country started in early October, driven by discontent over economic hardship and corruption.

Hong Kong mall clash ends in bloody knife attack and bitten off ear

Hong Kong anti-government protesters crowded a shopping mall in running clashes with police on Sunday during which a man with a knife slashed several people and apparently bit off part of a local politician's ear. A human chain in Cityplaza, in the eastern suburb of Taikoo Shing, turned into a face-to-face conflict with police, running up and down escalators where families with young children had been window shopping just minutes before and watching skating on the ice rink.

Norway's Ugland says nine crew abducted by pirates from vessel off Benin

A vessel owned by Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland was boarded by pirates while at anchor off the coast of Benin on Saturday, and nine crew members were kidnapped, the company said on Sunday. The remaining crew of the Norwegian-flagged MV Bonita notified local authorities, and the vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou later on Saturday, the company said in a statement. The dry bulker Bonita carried a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, Ugland said.

Ethiopia PM Abiy says death toll from recent protests rises to 86

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Sunday the death toll from protests last month had risen to 86 and urged citizens to resist forces threatening to impede the country's progress. "We have to stop those forces who are trying pull us two steps back while we are going one step forward," Abiy told a news conference with local news organizations broadcast by state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting.

Venezuela and El Salvador expel each others' diplomats

Venezuela's foreign ministry said on Sunday it was expelling El Salvador's diplomats from the country, in response to the Central American country's decision to kick out their counterparts representing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. In a statement, the ministry said it would give the diplomats 48 hours to leave. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele's government does not recognize Maduro as legitimate and said on Saturday it would receive a new diplomatic corps representing opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Lebanon's anti-government protesters return to streets after big pro-Aoun rally

Lebanese protesters demanding the overthrow of their country's elite poured back onto the streets on Sunday in the largest numbers since the government was toppled and hours after opposing supporters of President Michel Aoun staged a big rally. Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned on Tuesday following unprecedented nationwide protests, deepening a political crisis and complicating efforts to enact badly needed economic reforms in Lebanon.

Iran's Khamenei renews ban on talks with U.S.

Iran will not lift its ban on talks with the United States, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, describing the two countries as implacable foes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. "One way to block America's political infiltration is to ban any talks with America. It means Iran will not yield to America's pressure," Khamenei, who is Iran's top authority, was quoted by state TV as saying.