Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Thousands of Colombians march to protest activist killings
Thousands marched in cities around Colombia on Friday in protest of the murder of hundreds of human rights activists, a spat of deadly violence which the country has been unable to quell in spite of a 2016 peace deal with Marxist rebels. The killings, attributed to a variety of armed groups, have drawn increasing criticism from the international community even though President Ivan Duque insists the number of murders has been reduced since he took office nearly a year ago.
Protesters flock to Hong Kong's airport as political crisis simmers on
Thousands of protesters calling for democracy and some chanting "free Hong Kong" converged on the Chinese-ruled city's airport on Friday as Singapore advised its travelers to avoid protest areas in the territory. Hong Kong airport authorities said operations at one of Asia's biggest civil aviation hubs would not be affected, but advised passengers to arrive early given the risk of disruption.
'Very unhelpful': Ireland scolds British PM Johnson over Brexit
Ireland said on Friday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's approach to Brexit was "very unhelpful" and that the new British leader appeared set on a collision course with the European Union that would preclude an orderly exit with a deal. Such biting criticism from Ireland, just two days since Johnson took office with a pledge to strike a new divorce deal with the EU, indicates the perils of the Brexit gambit chosen by Britain's new government.
Erdogan says Turkey to turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it the F-35 jets, adding that a U.S. decision to cut Ankara from the program would not deter it from meeting its needs. The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 program, as long threatened, after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defenses that Washington sees as a threat.
Brazil's courtship of U.S. need not worry China: foreign minister
Brazil's efforts to build better ties with the United States need not worry China, the South American country's top trade partner, because it had never had a problem with China, the Brazilian foreign minister said on Friday. At issue in the past has been how previous Brazilian administrations handled relations with China, Ernesto Araujo said.
Guatemala avoids Trump threat of sanctions with new migration deal
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he agreed to drop the threat of economic sanctions against Guatemala after the country said it would implement new asylum measures for migrants fleeing Honduras and El Salvador. The Trump administration has grappled with a surge of mainly Central American migrants claiming asylum at the United States' southern border with Mexico, an influx that has made it difficult for Trump to restrict immigration as he promised when he was elected.
Saudi-led forces, Israel among states rapped by U.N. for killing children
A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children during 2018, accounting for nearly half the total child casualties, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the Security Council on Friday that blacklisted the coalition for a third year. Guterres also reported that the highest number of Palestinian children had been killed or injured last year since 2014, mainly by Israeli forces, though no parties were blacklisted in the annex to the annual Children in Armed Conflict report, seen by Reuters.
Israeli troops kill Palestinian at Gaza border protest: medics
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian on Friday afternoon during weekly protests along the border with Israel, Gaza health officials said. Thousands of Palestinian gathered along the frontier, and the Israeli army said some in the crowd hurled explosive devices and grenades toward the border fence separating Gaza from Israel in the southern Gaza Strip.
Fire and fury: With missile launch, North Korea shows ire at neighbor
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's blistering criticism of South Korea as he oversaw his latest missile launch this week sparked new questions over the South's role in mediating a nuclear deal between the North and the United States, analysts said. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been one of the most vocal proponents of engagement with the North, using last year's Winter Olympics to host its delegations and then meeting Kim at summits filled with feel-good imagery, smiles, and hand-holding.
Flaws seen in Trump's calm response to North Korean missile launches
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday played down North Korea's latest launch of short-range ballistic missiles, calling them "very standard," a response some analysts said exposed flaws in his approach to Pyongyang and ignored the threat posed to allies Japan and South Korea as well as the U.S. troops they host. North Korea said Thursday's launches were a warning to South Korean "warmongers" to stop importing weapons and conducting joint military drills, a message that analysts said was also aimed at the United States.