Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Trump administration lifts hold on Lebanon security aid: source

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has lifted a "hold" on security aid for Lebanon, a congressional aide said on Monday, more than a month after it began withholding the money. As first reported by Reuters, the U.S. State Department told Congress on Oct. 31 that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold $105 million in foreign military assistance, without providing any explanation of why it was blocked.

Hong Kong office workers begin week of lunchtime protests

Hundreds of office workers in Hong Kong's business district gathered on Monday for the first in a week of lunchtime protests backing the pro-democracy movement after its resounding victory in district polls last month in the Chinese-ruled city. A day earlier police again fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters as they marched past the city's Kowloon waterfront, after first going to the U.S. consulate on Hong Kong island to show gratitude for Washington's support.

Canadian provincial leaders seek more money for healthcare and struggling oil patch

The leaders of Canada's provincial and territorial governments showed a united front on Monday in demanding more money from the federal government for healthcare and for provinces facing economic hard times. The 13 premiers - who have diverse party affiliations

Woman at center of Prince Andrew sex scandal calls for Britons to back her

An American woman who says she was forced to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew has appealed to Britons to take her side, saying that only she was telling the truth about a scandal that has engulfed the royal family. Virginia Giuffre says she was trafficked by the disgraced late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the British prince when she was 17 years old. Andrew categorically denies the allegations.

U.S. President trump arrives in London for NATO summit

U.S. President Donald Trump landed in London on Monday for a NATO summit. Queen Elizabeth will host the NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

U.S. urges probe of 'excessive' use of force in Iraq

The United States on Monday called recent violence in Nassiriya, Iraq in which at least 29 people died "shocking and abhorrent," calling on the Iraqi government to investigate and punish those responsible for the "excessive" use of force. Iraqi security forces opened fire on demonstrators who had blocked a bridge and later gathered outside a police station in the southern city, killing at least 29 people. Police and medical sources said dozens more were wounded.

Exclusive: U.S. troop drawdowns in Afghanistan 'not necessarily' tied to Taliban deal - Esper

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that any future troop drawdowns in Afghanistan were "not necessarily" linked to a deal with Taliban insurgents, suggesting some lowering of force levels may happen irrespective of the ongoing peace push. The remarks by Esper in an interview with Reuters came on the heels of a Thanksgiving trip last week to Afghanistan by President Donald Trump, who spoke of potential troop reductions and said he believed the Taliban insurgency would agree to a ceasefire in the 18-year-old war.

Iran still selling oil despite U.S. sanctions: TV

Iran is still selling its oil despite U.S. sanctions on Tehran's exports, the country's Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted on Monday as saying by state TV, adding that Washington's "maximum pressure" on Tehran had failed. "Despite America's pressure ... and its imposed sanctions on our oil exports, we still continue to sell our oil by using other means ... when even friendly countries have stopped purchasing our crude fearing America's penalties," Jahangiri said.

UK's Corbyn asks Trump to ensure health service not for sale in trade talks

British opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday to ask him to revise U.S. negotiating objectives for a post-Brexit trade deal to ensure Britain's public health service is not included. Corbyn, whose party is trailing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives in the polls ahead of a Dec. 12 election, has sought to make Britain's much-loved National Health Service (NHS) a key battleground in the vote.

FBI says Russian FaceApp is 'potential counterintelligence threat'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers any mobile app developed in Russia to be a "potential counterintelligence threat," it said on Monday, responding to a U.S. lawmaker's query about face-editing photo app FaceApp. The viral smartphone app saw a surge in popularity this year due to a filter that ages photos of users' faces.