Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists

Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province, government officials and Taliban said on Saturday. The reporters, working for radio and TV news companies that broadcast news in the Pashto and Dari languages, were abducted while traveling together from neighboring Paktika province to Paktia to attend a media workshop on Friday.

Iran further breaches nuclear deal, says it can exceed 20% enrichment

Iran said on Saturday it was now capable of raising uranium enrichment past the 20% level and had launched advanced centrifuge machines in further breaches of commitments to limit its nuclear activity under a 2015 deal with world powers. "We have started lifting limitations on our Research and Development imposed by the deal ... It will include development of more rapid and advanced centrifuges," Iranian nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told a televised news conference.

Guatemalan Congress approves controversial state of siege declaration

Guatemala's Congress voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to approve a temporary state of siege in six northeastern provinces, a measure designed to tighten security after several soldiers were killed by suspected drug traffickers. The initiative passed by a vote of 88 lawmakers in favor and nine opposed in the Central American country's unicameral legislature.

Trump says he canceled peace talks with Taliban over Kabul attack

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he canceled peace talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people. "If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don't have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway," Trump said on Twitter, saying he had been planning to meet with Taliban leaders on Sunday.

Hong Kong police fire tear gas after fending off airport protest

Hong Kong police prevented anti-government protesters from blocking access to the airport on Saturday, but fired tear gas for a second night running in the Chinese-ruled city's densely populated district of Mong Kok in the 14th week of unrest. Police checked for tickets and passports to allow only airline passengers through to the airport to avoid the chaos of last weekend, when activists blocked approach roads, threw debris on to train tracks and trashed the MTR subway station in the nearby new town of Tung Chung.

UK Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd quits government in Brexit protest

Britain's Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd resigned from the government and the ruling Conservative Party on Saturday in a protest over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handling of the country's departure from the European Union. Johnson says he wants to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal with the bloc. But he lost his parliamentary majority this week and expelled 21 lawmakers from his Conservative Party's group in parliament after they supported an opposition plan to try to block a no-deal exit.

Sudan's Bashir kept key to room with millions of euros, court hears

Sudan's toppled former leader Omar al-Bashir was the only person with a key to a room at the presidential palace holding millions of euros, his last office manager testified on Saturday. Speaking at Bashir's trial on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption, Yasser Basheer said the former president gave him more than 10 million euros' ($11 million) cash in his final months of rule for delivery to different parties.

Turkey's Erdogan says will discuss Syria with Trump at U.N.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he expects to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the United Nations later this month to discuss military operations in northeast Syria, where Turkey plans to resettle one million Syrian refugees. Turkey and the United States are due to start joint military patrols in the area on Sunday, as part of an agreement for what Turkey says will become a "safe zone" along the border inside Syria.

Russia, Ukraine swap prisoners in first sign of thawing relations

Russia and Ukraine swapped dozens of prisoners on Saturday in a carefully-negotiated rapprochement that brought Western praise and could thaw a freeze in relations since Moscow's annexation of the Crimea region in 2014. While the exchange of 35 prisoners on each side could help rebuild confidence between Moscow and Kiev and allow them to start talking seriously over other issues including a conflict in east Ukraine, full normalization is a long way off.

In Mugabe's village, relatives say he was very bitter before death

In the dusty village where Zimbabwe's founding father Robert Mugabe grew up, family members speak of the deep bitterness Mugabe felt from his ousting as head of state two years ago until his death in Singapore on Friday. Mugabe, who died aged 95, was a totemic figure for his role in the struggle against white minority rule, leading Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 until he was toppled by his own army in November 2017.