Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Iran stages pro-government rallies after days of violent unrest
Thousands of supporters of Iran's clerical establishment rallied in Tehran on Monday, accusing the United States and Israel of instigating the most violent anti-government protests in at least a decade in Iran. Amnesty International said on Monday it had recorded at least 143 protesters killed in anti-government demonstrations, which began on Nov. 15 after the announcement of gasoline price hikes. The protests have been the worst anti-government unrest in Iran at least since the authorities put down the "Green Revolution" of demonstrations against election fraud in 2009.
'Poison' of anti-Semitism has taken root in UK's Labour: Chief Rabbi
The poison of anti-Semitism "sanctioned from the top" has taken root in Britain's opposition Labour Party, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in an article published on Monday, warning the "soul of our nation is at stake" in next month's election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, has been dogged by criticism from members, lawmakers and Jewish leaders that he has failed to tackle anti-Semitism in the party despite a promise to do so.
Britain is a dangerous mess, former PM Blair says
Former prime minister Tony Blair said on Monday that Britain was in a dangerous mess and that neither his own Labour Party nor Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives deserved to win a Dec. 12 election. Britain is holding an election three years ahead of schedule because parliament was deadlocked over Brexit, unable to agree on how or even whether to leave the European Union.
Fresh headache for China after Hong Kong democrats rout pro-Beijing candidates
After months of sometimes-violent unrest in Hong Kong, an election with record turnout handed a big victory to pro-democracy local district council candidates, posing a new conundrum for Beijing and adding pressure on the city's leader. In the run-up to the citywide elections on Sunday, extreme clashes had broken out between riot police and anti-government protesters who had barricaded themselves in several universities.
Peru's top court orders release of jailed opposition leader Keiko Fujimori
Peru's Constitutional Tribunal on Monday ordered the release of opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, jailed last year for alleged money laundering and receiving illegal contributions from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The members of Peru's top court decided to release Fujimori by a narrow margin of four votes in favor versus three against, the body's president Ernesto Blume said at a press conference.
Two priests in Argentina sentenced to more than 40 years in sex abuse case
An Argentine court on Monday convicted two Roman Catholic priests and the former gardener of a church-run school for deaf students in the province of Mendoza on 28 counts of sexual abuse and corruption of minors. Priests Nicola Corradi and Horacio Corbacho were sentenced to 42 and 45 years in prison, respectively, while the school employee, Armando Gomez, got 18 years. The sentencings by Judges Carlos Diaz, Mauricio Juan and Anibal Crivelli of the Collegiate Criminal Court No. 2 were live streamed in Argentina.
French man abducted in Mexico released: Foreign ministry
A French man who was abducted in Mexico on Sunday has been released, the French Foreign ministry said on Monday. According to Mexican media reports, the Frenchman was abducted with a Mexican while on a trip to the Nevado national park in Toluca.
Clashes, gunfire in Lebanon in second night of violence: state news agency
Clashes between supporters of Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, and Shi'ite groups Hezbollah and Amal erupted into gunfire in Beirut late on Monday, state news agency NNA reported. The clashes marked the second consecutive night of violence linked to Lebanon's political crisis, threatening to tip largely peaceful demonstrations directed at the country's ruling elite in a more bloody direction.
Netherlands to join French-led Strait of Hormuz naval mission: ANP
The Netherlands will contribute a ship to a French-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz for a six-month period starting in January, Dutch news agency ANP said on Monday, citing government sources. France has pushed for a European security alternative in the Strait of Hormuz after ruling out joining a U.S.-led coalition protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from threats they say Iran poses to shipping in the strategic waterway.
Special Report:‘Time to take out our swords': Inside Iran’s plot to attack Saudi Arabia
Four months before a swarm of drones and missiles crippled the world’s biggest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, Iranian security officials gathered at a heavily fortified compound in Tehran. The group included the top echelons of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite branch of the Iranian military whose portfolio includes missile development and covert operations.