Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Bahamas struggles to cope with decomposing bodies, emotional trauma after Dorian

The smell of death hung over parts of Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas on Friday, as relief workers sifted through the debris of shattered homes and buildings in a search expected to dramatically drive up the death toll from Hurricane Dorian. Dorian, the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Bahamas, swept through the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island earlier this week, leveling entire neighborhoods and knocking out key infrastructure, including airport landing strips and a hospital.

Apple says Uighurs targeted in iPhone attack but disputes Google findings

Apple Inc on Friday confirmed that China's Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority group considered a security threat by Beijing, had been the target of attacks due to iPhone security flaws, but disputed rival Alphabet Inc's description of the effort to track users of the smartphone in real time. Google Project Zero researchers said last week that five security flaws led to a "sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years."

Robert Mugabe: death of a liberation 'icon' who crushed his foes as Zimbabwe unraveled

Robert Mugabe, the bush war guerrilla who led Zimbabwe to independence and crushed his foes during nearly four decades of rule as his country descended into poverty, hyperinflation and unrest, died on Friday. He was 95. Declared a national hero within hours of his death by the long-serving aide who succeeded him as president, Mugabe was one of the most polarizing figures in his continent's history - a giant of African liberation whose regime finally ended in ignominy when he was overthrown by his own army.

Opposition to block British PM Johnson's early election bid

British opposition parties said on Friday that they would block Prime Minister Boris Johnson's second bid to call an early general election in mid-October, setting up a showdown with the government over delaying Brexit. Brexit remains up in the air more than three years after Britons voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. Options range from a turbulent no-deal exit to abandoning the whole endeavour.

Iran 'inching' toward place where talks could be held: Pentagon chief

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that it appeared Iran was inching toward a place where talks could be held, days after U.S. President Donald Trump left the door open to a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Friction between the two countries has deepened since Trump last year withdrew from a 2015 international accord under which Iran had agreed to rein in its atomic program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

From Catalina to Alexis: Chilean teen first to legally change gender

In 2016, Chilean 14-year old girl Catalina began to identify with friends and family as Alexis, a boy. It took Chile's conservative, Roman Catholic legal system far longer to come around. Alexis, who was born an identical twin with his sister Maria Ignacia, two weeks ago changed his name and sex in the civil registry, as well as on his birth certificate. The changes paved the way for him to this week request his first government-issued ID.

India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

India lost contact with a spacecraft it was attempting to land on the moon on Saturday, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, in a setback to the nation's ambitious plans to become the first country to probe the unexplored lunar south pole. The lander of India's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission was attempting a "soft," or controlled, landing near the south pole of the moon where scientists believe there could be water ice. ISRO lost communication with it just as it was about to land on the moon.

Amazon countries sign forest pact, promising to coordinate disaster response

Seven Amazonian countries on Friday signed a pact to protect the world's largest tropical forest via disaster response coordination and satellite monitoring, amid recent fires that torched thousands of square miles of the jungle. The presidents of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, the vice-president of Suriname and the natural resource minister of Guyana attended the one-day summit in the jungle city of Leticia in southern Colombia.

U.S. will aim to persuade others to 'call out' China over Uighurs at U.N.: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States would use the United Nations General Assembly this month to persuade countries to help "call out" China over treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority. Asked after a speech at Kansas State University how Washington had been promoting an end to the oppression of Uighurs in China, Pompeo told an audience there: "Insufficiently, because it's still going on."

Hong Kong braces for weekend protests as leader fails to appease activists

Hong Kong is bracing for more demonstrations this weekend, with protesters threatening to disrupt transport links to the airport as embattled leader Carrie Lam's withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill fails to appease some activists. Protesters plan to block traffic to the city's international airport on Saturday, a week after thousands of demonstrators disrupted transport links, which saw some of the worst violence since the unrest escalated three months ago.