Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
U.S. withdraws from Soviet-era nuclear missile accord with Russia
The United States formally withdrew from a landmark 1987 nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied. Washington signaled it would pull out of the arms control treaty six months ago unless Moscow stuck to the accord. Russia called the move a ploy to exit a pact that the United States wanted to leave anyway in order to develop new missiles.
Congo races to contain Ebola after gold miner contaminates several in Goma
Congolese authorities were racing to contain an Ebola epidemic on Thursday, after a gold miner with a large family contaminated several people in the east's main city of Goma before dying of the hemorrhagic fever, officials said. The government's Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe said an estimated half of cases of Ebola - which has killed at least 1,800 since the outbreak started a year ago - were going unidentified.
Russian opposition plans new election protest despite crackdown
Thousands of Russian opposition protesters were expected to try and rally again in Moscow on Saturday to demand free elections despite a sweeping police crackdown and ban on the event. At a similar protest a week earlier, police detained more than 1,000 people, sometimes violently, in one of the biggest security operations of recent years that brought widespread international condemnation.
Maduro says he 'repudiates' Trump statement on possible Venezuela blockade
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday said he rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's statement about a possible blockade of the South American country, adding that its seas would remain "free and independent." Maduro said he had asked Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, to denounce the "illegal" threat to the U.N. Security Council.
Refinitiv removes Reuters story on Hong Kong protests from screens in China
Under pressure from Chinese regulators, financial information provider Refinitiv has removed from its Eikon terminals in China a Reuters story detailing how an official with Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong had urged residents of a rural area to drive away anti-government protesters days before a violent clash nearby, according to Eikon users and a person with knowledge of Refinitiv's action. The story, which was published late last week, was not visible on the Eikon terminal's scrolling news feed in China on Friday. Eikon users outside China said they could still see the story. Reuters was unable to determine precisely when the story had been removed from Eikon’s scrolling news feed for clients in China or whether other stories had been blocked.
China's new U.N. envoy says Beijing ready to fight U.S. on trade
China's new U.N. ambassador warned on Friday that if the United States wanted to fight China on trade "then we will fight," and signaled that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to slap a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports from next month, sharply escalating a trade dispute between the world's biggest economies.
Lawmakers urge U.S. to block sales of crowd-control gear to Hong Kong
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Friday urged the Trump Administration to suspend future sales of munitions and crowd-control equipment to Hong Kong police which has been accused of using excessive force against anti-government protesters. A Hong Kong democracy activist, Joshua Wong, this week tweeted pictures of teargas shells and rubber bullets he said were used by police against protesters.
EU governments seek name for IMF head among four, with no UK candidate
European Union finance ministers are set on Friday to choose the bloc's candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund from a list of four names, a spokeswoman for the French government said. The list includes Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch former head of euro zone finance ministers; Nadia Calvino, the Spanish economy minister; Olli Rehn, the Finnish central bank governor; and Bulgaria's World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva.
Thousands of Hong Kong civil servants defy government to join protests
Thousands of civil servants joined in the anti-government protests in Hong Kong on Friday for the first time since they started two months ago, defying a warning from the authorities to remain politically neutral. Protests against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China have grown increasingly violent, with police accused of excessive use of force and failing to protect protesters from suspected gang attacks.
North Korea's Kim Jong Un inspected new rocket system again: KCNA
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un again on Friday inspected the test firing of a "newly-developed large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system", North Korean state media reported early on Saturday. The test firing came days after the North's first test firing of the new rocket system on Wednesday.