Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Kurdish-led forces say they have pulled out of Syria border town

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Sunday they had withdrawn from the border town of Ras al Ain under a U.S.-brokered ceasefire deal, but a spokesman for Turkish-backed Syrian rebels said the withdrawal was not yet complete. Ras al Ain is one of two towns on the Turkish-Syrian border that have been the main targets of Turkey's offensive to push back Kurdish fighters and create a more than 30 km (about 20 miles) deep "safe zone" inside Syria.

Lebanon's Hariri agrees to reforms amid nationwide protests over economic crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri agreed on Sunday a package of reforms with government partners to ease an economic crisis that has sparked protests aimed at ousting a ruling elite seen as riddled with corruption and cronyism. Officials told Reuters the agreement was reached as hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets for a fourth day in the biggest show of dissent against the establishment in decades.

Egypt to press for outside mediator in Ethiopia dam dispute

Egypt will push Ethiopia this week to agree to an external mediator to help resolve a deepening dispute over a giant hydropower dam being built on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, officials said on Sunday.‮‮ ‬‬ Egypt sees the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as an existential risk, fearing it will threaten scarce water supplies in Egypt and power generation at its own dam in Aswan. ‮‮ ‬‬

Battered Trudeau team sees sign of Canadian election hope after scandals

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hit by scandals and locked in a near dead-heat ahead of Monday's election, has put away his teleprompter and taken his campaign on the offensive. A day ahead of a federal election that looked as though it could spell the end for one of the world's last remaining progressive leaders, the Trudeau team is seeing signs of hope.

UK PM sends unsigned letter to EU asking for Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a delay to Brexit but he also sent another message in which he stated he did not want the extension, a government source said. Johnson was compelled by a law, passed by opponents last month, to ask the bloc for an extension to the current Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 until Jan. 31 after lawmakers thwarted his attempt to pass his EU divorce deal earlier on Saturday.

South Sudan's Machar says unlikely to be part of unity government by Nov. 12

South Sudan's main opposition leader told a visiting United Nations Security Council delegation on Sunday that he will not be part of a unity government next month, dashing the prospects of progress in a stalled peace process. Former rebel leader Riek Machar said the parties have failed to agree on ways to integrate the army, a key condition of a peace accord signed last year, and could not see how they could form a government without it.

Pro-separatists stage new Barcelona rallies, government says violence fading

Hundreds of pro-independence protesters took to the streets of Barcelona for a seventh successive night on Sunday, with anger over the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders showing little sign of abating. One large crowd blocked a road close to the Spanish government headquarters in Catalonia, throwing dozens of sacks of rubbish in front of stationary police vans. A smaller group shut off a major avenue to the east of the city.

Resurgent Hong Kong protesters stage huge rally, violence erupts again

Police and pro-democracy protesters battled on the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday as thousands of people rallied in several districts in defiance of attempts by the authorities to crack down on demonstrators. After two weeks of relative calm in the five-month-long crisis, the rally drew broad-based support from regular citizens including young families and the elderly.

Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war. Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.

Bolivia votes on extending Evo's rule as rival hints he could dispute result

Bolivians went to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to extend the rule of President Evo Morales to nearly two decades or oust the great survivor of South America's "pink tide" of leftist leaders, in a tight election his chief rival suggested he may dispute if results show he lost. In the capital La Paz, Bolivians walked to polls on streets that were nearly empty due to restrictions on driving during elections, with many chatting with neighbors and eating sandwiches sold from food stands outside voting stations.