Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
North Korea says U.S. terrorism report shows 'hostile policy' that makes talks difficult: KCNA
North Korea hit back at a U.S. State Department report released last week, saying the report's description of North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism is an example of a "hostile policy" by the United States that is preventing denuclearization talks from progressing, state news agency KCNA said on Tuesday. North Korean and U.S. officials held talks in October for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed in June to reopen denuclearization negotiations, but they broke down, with North Korea's envoy saying the United States failed to show flexibility.
Brazil's Bolsonaro pushes new reforms in skeptical Congress
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will try to build momentum for his government's market-friendly reforms on Tuesday, proposing new measures to tackle a budget deficit that are likely to be met with skepticism among lawmakers. With a landmark pension reform approved, Bolsonaro plans to accompany Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on a visit to Congress, hoping to defy the backlash against belt-tightening policies in Latin America and a crisis in his own party.
'Order!' - UK parliament elects new Speaker for Brexit hot seat
British lawmakers elected Labour's Lindsay Hoyle as Speaker on Monday to take on the role of refereeing the next parliamentary installment of the protracted struggle over Brexit. In the three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Speaker has played an increasingly influential role in the process of parliamentarians debating the rights and wrongs of Brexit and passing the laws needed to implement it.
Sudan discussing cash transfers to poor as part of food subsidies plan: prime minister
Sudan is discussing several scenarios such as cash transfers for poor people to accompany planned subsidies for food and other basic goods, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Monday. Shortages of bread, fuel and medicine coupled with hefty price rises brought people out in protest and led to the toppling of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.
Spain's election candidates clash over Catalonia in TV debate
The main candidates to become Spain's next prime minister clashed on Monday over how to handle Catalonia's independence drive, ahead of a repeat election that opinion polls show could be as inconclusive as the one in April. Opinion polls suggest a third of voters are still unsure who they will vote for on Sunday, meaning Monday's televised debate could be decisive. At this stage, polls point to a stalemate, with no party or bloc of parties having a majority.
Brazilian state creates task force to protect Amazon tribe from loggers
The government of the Brazilian state of Maranhao set up a police task force on Monday to protect the Guajajara tribe from illegal loggers that killed one of its warriors in a clash over deforestation on their Amazon reservation. Illegal loggers ambushed an indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot dead one of its leaders and wounded another on Friday, the tribe said. It said a logger also died in the shootout.
UK parliament elects Labour lawmaker Hoyle as Speaker
Opposition Labour lawmaker Lindsay Hoyle was elected speaker of Britain's House of Commons on Monday and will take on the role of refereeing the next parliamentary installment of the country's exit from the European Union. Hoyle, who had been deputy speaker since 2010, was elected by lawmakers after four rounds of voting via secret ballot.
'It's not abuse, it's rape': protesters denounce Spanish assault ruling
Hundreds of people protested in Spain's capital on Monday against a court ruling last week that cleared five men of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl and instead found them guilty of the lesser charge of sexual abuse. Barcelona's High Court sentenced the five on Thursday to 10 to 12 years in prison, saying the 2016 assault was not rape because the victim, who was drunk and unconscious, could neither "agree to (nor) oppose the sexual relations".
Former Air New Zealand chief joins opposition ahead of 2020 elections
The former Chief Executive of Air New Zealand and one of the nation's most prominent businessman, Christopher Luxon, will join the opposition National Party as a candidate in next year's general election. Luxon's entry into the opposition camp puts pressure on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Labour-led coalition government whose re-election campaign has faced political and economic challenges.
Trump administration notifies U.N. of planned Paris climate accord exit
The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that it will withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Monday. The United States, the world's largest historic greenhouse gas emitter, would become the only country outside the accord, a decision President Donald Trump promised to boost U.S. oil, gas and coal industries.