Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Italy and France agree migrants must be distributed around the EU
The European Union must introduce a new, automatic system of taking in migrants saved from the Mediterranean, the leaders of Italy and France said on Wednesday, as they sought to patch up bruised bilateral relations. Italy has long complained that it has been left alone to deal with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed the sea in recent years looking for a better life in Europe.
U.S. senators urge Trump administration to end nuclear talks with Saudis
Two Democratic U.S. senators on Wednesday urged Trump administration officials to halt talks with Saudi Arabia on building nuclear reactors after weekend attacks that halved the country's oil output and increased instability in the Middle East. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters on Tuesday at a nuclear power conference in Vienna the United States would only provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear power technology if it signed an agreement with a U.N. watchdog allowing for intrusive snap inspections.
Hong Kong horse races, fireworks called off amid protest threat
Hong Kong's Jockey Club canceled all races planned for Wednesday after pro-democracy protesters said they would target the Happy Valley racecourse where a horse part-owned by a pro-China lawmaker was due to run. The government also said fireworks to mark Chinese National Day on Oct. 1 had been called off.
Israeli voters deliver deadlock, Netanyahu's tenure in doubt
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to win a ruling majority in an election that produced a virtual tie between his right-wing bloc and a center-left grouping that would be led by former military chief Benny Gantz. The outcome, according to almost complete results published on Wednesday, dealt a new blow to Israel's longest-serving leader, who was already weakened by the inability to put together an administration after an inconclusive election in April.
U.S. reassessing aid to Solomon Islands after Taiwan ties cut
The United States is reassessing its assistance to the Solomon Islands after the Pacific nation cut ties with Taiwan in favor of China this week, a senior official in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said on Wednesday. The Solomon Islands was the sixth country to switch allegiance to China since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in Taiwan in 2016. The move leaves Taipei with formal relations with only 16 countries, many of them small, less-developed nations in Central America and the Pacific.
UK parliament suspension not a matter for judges, PM Johnson's lawyer tells Supreme Court
Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament is not a matter for judges and was not done for improper reasons, a lawyer for the prime minister said on Wednesday as he sought to persuade the British Supreme Court the five-week shutdown was lawful. Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth to prorogue, or suspend, parliament from Sept. 10 until Oct. 14, prompting accusations from opponents that he wanted to silence the legislature in the run-up to Britain's exit from the European Union on Oct. 31.
U.S. Congress to advance 'Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy' bill
U.S. congressional committees are due to start voting next week on legislation supporting human rights in Hong Kong, with measures under consideration including annual reviews of the Chinese territory's special economic status and the imposition of sanctions on those who undermine its autonomy. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference on Wednesday with House members - Republicans and her fellow Democrats - as well as Joshua Wong, Denise Ho and other Hong Kong democracy activists to back the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019."
Saudi Arabia promises 'material evidence' linking Iran to oil attack
Saudi Arabia said it would show evidence on Wednesday linking regional rival Tehran to an unprecedented attack on its oil industry that Washington believes originated from Iran in a dangerous escalation of Middle East frictions. Tehran has denied involvement in the Sept. 14 attacks on oil plants, including the world's biggest crude processing facility, that initially knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's production.
U.N. Security Council to vote on rival calls for truce in Syria's Idlib
The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Thursday on rival draft resolutions that call for a truce in northwest Syria after Russia and China put forward their own text in response to a proposal by Kuwait, Germany and Belgium. Syria's northwest corner, including the Idlib region, is the last major chunk of territory still in rebel hands after more than eight years of war. In that time Russia has vetoed a dozen draft Security Council resolutions to protect its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Lebanon court acquits one Australia bomb plot suspect: NNA
Lebanon's military court acquitted one of four brothers accused of planning to blow up a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi nearly two years ago, state news agency NNA said on Thursday. It said Amer Khayat would leave Lebanon's Roumieh prison, where he has spent two years and two months, on Thursday night.