Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Argentina brands Hezbollah terrorist organization, freezes assets

Argentinian authorities designated Hezbollah, which it blames for two attacks on its soil, a terrorist organization on Thursday and ordered the freezing of the Lebanese Islamist group's assets in the country. The announcement coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Argentina marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. Argentina blames Iran and Hezbollah for the attack. Both deny any responsibility.

'Appalling' arson attack on Japanese animation studio kills at least 33

A man shouted "die" as he doused an animation studio with fuel and set it ablaze in Japan on Thursday, public broadcaster NHK said, killing at least 33 people in the nation's worst mass murder in nearly two decades. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the attack in the city of Kyoto - the latest grisly killing in a nation widely known for its low crime rates - "too appalling for words" and offered condolences.

Trump says no decision yet on Turkey sanctions over its Russian purchase

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration has not ruled out imposing sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian air defense system. "It's a very, very difficult situation for a lot of reasons," he told reporters in the Oval office before a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. "So we're looking at it. We'll see what we do. We haven’t announced that yet."

Japan foreign minister to summon South Korea envoy over WW2 laborer row: NHK

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to summon South Korea's ambassador on Friday in a deepening political and economic row over compensation for Korean forced laborers in the World War Two era, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said. Kono will once again urge Seoul to take "appropriate steps" to rectify what it says was an improper ruling last year by South Korea’s Supreme Court, ordering two Japanese companies to compensate the wartime workers, NHK said. Japan says the decision violated international law because the issue of compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty.

Saudi Arabia defends letter backing China's Xinjiang policy

Saudi Arabia on Thursday defended signing a letter along with 36 other countries in support of China's policies in its western region of Xinjiang, where the United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained. China has been widely condemned for setting up detention complexes in remote Xinjiang. It describes them as "education training centers" helping to stamp out extremism and give people new skills.

New Zealand police report 'serious' incident in Christchurch, residents evacuated

New Zealand police said on Friday there had been a "serious" incident in the South Island city of Christchurch that left a house on fire after residents described hearing the sound of an explosion. Police said in a statement initial reports suggested a number of people had been injured in the incident at about 10.20 local time (2220 GMT) in the residential suburb of Northwood.

Three British ministers set to resign if Johnson becomes PM: The Times

Three British cabinet ministers are set to resign the day Boris Johnson, if as expected, becomes Britain's next prime minister, The Times newspaper reported on Thursday. British justice minister David Gauke is set to resign soon after Theresa May completes her last prime minister's questions on next Wednesday, the newspaper reported on its web site.

U.S. says Navy ship 'destroyed' Iranian drone in Gulf

The United States said on Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone. In the latest episode to stir tensions in the Gulf, U.S. President Donald Trump told an event at the White House that the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (meters) of the USS Boxer and had ignored "multiple calls to stand down."

Brazil's Bolsonaro plans to tap his son as envoy to U.S. even if it hurts his popularity

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated on Thursday that he intends to nominate his son Eduardo to be ambassador to the United States, even if it damages his popularity. "I do intend to nominate him, yes. And whoever said they would no longer vote for me, I'm sorry," Bolsonaro said on a live social media broadcast on Thursday.

Court rejects bid to suspend part of Canadian province's religious symbols ban

A court in the Canadian province of Quebec on Thursday rejected a bid to suspend parts of a new provincial law that bans public sector employees from wearing religious symbols to work. The law, adopted on June 16, prompted critics to accuse the province's right-leaning Coalition Avenir Québec government of discriminating against Muslims. Polls indicated broad support in Quebec for the move.