Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Hong Kong pro-democracy candidates ride record turnout to early lead

Pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong took a significant early lead in district council elections after residents turned out in record numbers on Sunday to vote following six months of anti-government protests. The elections are seen as a test of support for the city's pro-Beijing chief executive, Carrie Lam, who has faced intense pressure during months of unrest in the Chinese-ruled city.

Australia probes allegations China tried to plant spy in parliament

Australia is investigating allegations that China tried to install an agent in a parliamentary seat in Canberra, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization said in a rare statement, adding it was taking the matter seriously. The spy agency issued the statement late on Sunday after allegations were aired on Australian television that a suspected Chinese espionage ring offered A$1 million ($679,000) to pay for a Melbourne luxury car dealer, Bo "Nick" Zhao, to run for a seat in Australia's federal parliament.

UK's Johnson offers up new Brexit promise for Christmas

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Sunday "to get Brexit done", with his Conservative Party making an election pledge to bring his deal to leave the European Union back to parliament before Christmas. With Britain heading to the polls on Dec. 12, the governing Conservatives rolled out an election manifesto that promised more public sector spending and no further extensions to the protracted departure from the EU.

Spanish police intercept suspected drug sub off Galicia: official

Spanish police intercepted a submarine that appeared to be transporting drugs in waters off the northwestern region of Galicia on Sunday, a source with the central government's delegation to the region told Reuters. "Early this morning an international operation was able to locate a small submarine of around 20 meters near the beach of Hio in the province of Pontevedra," the source said, confirming earlier media reports.

Italy grants access to Spanish migrant rescue ship

Italian authorities have agreed to grant the Open Arms ship access to a port to disembark 62 African migrants it has been carrying since Wednesday, the founder of the Spanish rescue mission said on Sunday. Oscar Camps said the vessel is set to dock at the southern Italian port of Taranto on Tuesday afternoon, although the eventual destination may change.

'She leaves him. He kills her.' Thousands in Belgium march to demand end to violence against women

Thousands of people protested in Brussels on Sunday against violence targeting women, placing pairs of women's shoes painted red outside a court to symbolize victims of femicide. Singing and chanting, protesters carried banners reading "She leaves him, he kills her", "A dress is not a 'Yes'" and "My body, my choice, my consent", a day after thousands also marched in France against domestic violence.

Topless protesters crash pro-Franco demonstration in Madrid

Topless female activists on Sunday interrupted a demonstration in Madrid commemorating the legacy of Spain's former dictator Francisco Franco, 44 years after his death. Chanting "for fascism no honor and no glory," half a dozen women from feminist group Femen, with the same slogan emblazoned across their chests, burst into the crowd when it reached Madrid's Plaza de Oriente. They were quickly removed by police.

Death toll from Kenya landslides rises to 56 as heavy rains lash country's north west

The death toll from landslides in northwestern Kenya triggered on Saturday by unusually heavy rains has risen to at least 56 people, a local official said. The downpour began on Friday in West Pokot County, which borders Uganda, and worsened overnight, causing flooding and mudslides that swept away four bridges and left villages inaccessible by road.

Netanyahu's Likud to hold party leadership vote: challenger

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party will hold a leadership vote, a Likud challenger said on Sunday, as pressure mounted on the veteran leader to step aside after his indictment on corruption charges. Israeli media reported the Likud primary would be held in six weeks. A party spokesman was not reachable to confirm the timeline.

Romania's Iohannis hopes for new presidential term to boost rule of law

Romanians went to the polls on Sunday for a presidential election runoff expected to re-elect centrist president Klaus Iohannis, who has pledged to restart a judicial reform slowed down by successive Social Democrat (PSD) governments. While there have been no recent opinion polls, local bookmakers make Iohannis the short-odds favourite to beat former PSD prime minister Viorica Dancila comfortably in Sunday's runoff.