Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Top U.S. general arrives in Iraq amid protests, questions over Iran's influence

The top U.S. general, Mark Milley, arrived in Iraq on Tuesday amid a spate of anti-government protests in the Middle East and questions about how they could impact Iranian influence in the region. Anti-government protests in Iraq erupted in early October and have grown into the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Exclusive: China sets up Hong Kong crisis center in mainland, considers replacing chief liaison

Tightening control over efforts to manage the upheaval in Hong Kong, the Chinese leadership has set up a crisis command center on the mainland side of the border and is considering replacing its official liaison to the restive semi-autonomous city, people familiar with the matter said. As violent protests roil Hong Kong, top Chinese leaders in recent months have been managing their response from a villa on the outskirts of Shenzhen, bypassing the formal bureaucracy through which Beijing has supervised the financial hub for two decades.

Thousands rally in support of Israel's Netanyahu after graft indictment

Several thousand Israelis rallied on Tuesday in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he faces the gravest threat to his political survival after corruption charges and two failed elections. Held under the banner "Stop the Coup", the protest failed to draw the huge crowds its organizers - members of Netanyahu's Likud party - had hoped to attract and only a handful of the faction's senior lawmakers and cabinet ministers attended.

Founder of U.S. private jet firm tied to Venezuelan VP pleads guilty to sanctions evasion

A man whose U.S. private jet firm allegedly provided travel services to Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, whom Washington accuses of drug trafficking, pled guilty to sanctions violations on Tuesday, prosecutors said. Victor Mones Coro, founder of Florida-based American Charter Services (ACS), had been charged in March by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, along with El Aissami, for violating Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act sanctions imposed by the United States in 2017.

No money, no hope: South Korea's 'Dirt Spoons' turn against Moon

Hwang Hyeon-dong lives in a 6.6-square-metre (71-square-foot) cubicle near his university campus in Seoul, which comes with a shared bathroom and kitchen plus all the rice he can eat, that he rents for 350,000 won ($302) a month. The sparse rooms, in premises called goshi-won, were previously mostly used by less well-off students to temporarily cut off from the outside world while they studied for civil service job tests.

Exclusive: Hungary makes EU bid to soften nuclear licensing rules to ease Paks expansion

Hungary has submitted draft legislation to the European Commission to amend the country's nuclear safety protocols to custom-fit a 12 billion euro Russian-led nuclear plant expansion project that it wants to speed up, eight sources told Reuters. The draft legislation was detailed to Reuters by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Agency (HAEA), and corroborated by several sources with knowledge of the matter who wanted to remain unidentified.

Trump says U.S. will designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorists

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorists over their role in drug and human trafficking. "They will be designated ... I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process," Trump said in an interview with conservative media personality Bill O'Reilly that aired on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Turkey holds up NATO military plans over Syria dispute - sources

Turkey is refusing to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland until the alliance offers Ankara more political support for its fight against Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria, four senior alliance sources said. Ankara has told its NATO envoy not to sign off on the plan and is taking a tough line in meetings and in private conversations, demanding the alliance recognize the YPG as terrorists in the formal wording, the sources said.

Former Erdogan ally says Turkey 'in dark tunnel', plans new party by year-end

Former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan warned on Tuesday of the dangers of "one man rule" and said he hoped to have formed a new political party by the end of the year to challenge President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party Babacan resigned from the AK Party (AKP) in July, citing "deep differences". A founding member of the Islamist-rooted AKP, which has ruled Turkey since 2002, he served as economy and then foreign minister before becoming deputy prime minister, a role he held from 2009 to 2015.

Pompeo: Turkey's test of Russian weapons system 'concerning'

Turkey carrying out tests with the Russian defense system it purchased was "concerning," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, but added that talks between Washington and Ankara to resolve the issue were still underway. Speaking at a news conference, Pompeo said the United States has made it clear to Turkey that Washington wants to see Ankara move away from full operation of the S400 air defense system.