Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Anti-govt protesters in Bolivia lift road blockades ahead of talks with interim president
Anti-government demonstrators in Bolivia lifted road blockades ahead of talks with interim President Jeanine Anez on Saturday aimed at ending weeks of unrest, as Congress moved toward passing a bill to pave the way for new elections. The developments have brought Bolivia the closest it has come yet to a breakthrough during violent protests that have convulsed the landlocked South American country since its contested Oct. 20 election.
Colombian protests roll on for third day amid tear gas, injury
Groups of demonstrators were dispersed by tear gas on Saturday during a third day of protests in Colombia and videos on social media showed at least one gravely injured protester. The demonstrations followed an overnight curfew and isolated looting in the capital Bogota.
UK's Johnson pitches 'Christmas present' Brexit push in manifesto
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will promise to bring his Brexit deal back to parliament before Christmas when he launches his manifesto on Sunday, the cornerstone of his pitch to voters to "get Brexit done". Voters face a stark choice at the country's Dec. 12 election: opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn's socialist vision, including widespread nationalisation and free public services, or Johnson's drive to deliver Brexit within months and build a "dynamic market economy".
Ethiopia's Sidama vote overwhelmingly to form autonomous region
Ethiopia's Sidama people have voted overwhelmingly to form their own self-governing region as many of the country's ethnic groups demand greater autonomy under sweeping reforms led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The country's electoral board said on Saturday that provisional results showed 98.5% of voters had backed the change in Wednesday's ballot, with turnout reaching 99.7%.
Pope Francis brings anti-nuclear message to Japan's bombed cities
Pope Francis, a passionate anti-nuclear campaigner, brings his message that nuclear weapons should be abolished to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the two Japanese cities devastated by atomic bombings in World War Two and the only places in the world to so suffer. Francis, who arrived in Japan on Saturday night for a four-day visit, has called in the past for a total ban on nuclear weapons even for deterrence.
U.S. and France vie to bolster Gulf security after Saudi oil attack
The United States and France are boosting Saudi Arabia's radar systems following crippling drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure in September, which Washington blames on Iran. The chief of the U.S. Central Command and France's defense minister, whose countries have taken divergent approaches to Iran, also touted rival versions of maritime missions to protect Gulf waters at a Bahrain security forum on Saturday.
All King Bibi's men: Netanyahu's inner circle key to criminal cases
Secret recordings, powerful media moguls, illicit gifts of cigars and champagne, betrayals by trusted aides. The three corruption cases against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have all the makings of a political thriller. On Thursday, after more than three years of investigations, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Tens of thousands march in France to condemn domestic violence
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Saturday to protest against domestic violence, after more than 130 women are believed to have been killed by their partner or ex-partner in France this year. In Paris, the mostly female activists chanted "Abuser, you've had it, women are in the street" and held purple placards bearing the names of female victims and slogans such as "not another murder more". Purple is a symbolic color used by the women's rights movement.
Iran warns regional states of consequences if they stoked unrest
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Saturday warned regional countries of consequences if it is proven that they meddled to stoke recent unrest in Iran. "Some countries in the region should know that they will not have an easy life in the region if clues are found that show they intervened to create unrest in Iran," said Jahangiri, quoted by the semi-official news agency Fars.
University campus siege nears end as Hong Kong gears up for election
A Hong Kong university campus under siege for more than a week was a deserted wasteland on Saturday, with a handful of protesters holed up in hidden refuges across the trashed grounds, as the city's focus turned to local elections. The end of the siege at Polytechnic University on the Kowloon peninsula was approaching as some protesters desperately sought a way out and others vowed not to surrender, days after some of the worst violence since anti-government demonstrations escalated in June.