Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. says Japan, South Korea 'soul searching' needed over damaging row

A senior U.S. official said on Wednesday Japan and Korea needed to do some "soul searching" about political decisions that have damaged relations between the two U.S. allies in recent months and called for calm words from their leaders. Marc Knapper, deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Japan and Korea, told a Washington think tank it was critical to ensure "productive and constructive relationships" between the allies in the face of shared challenges posed by North Korea, Russia and China.

Russia upholds bar on Kremlin critics despite protests

Russia's main election board on Wednesday upheld rulings barring several Kremlin critics from a Moscow election next month as the opposition said it would press ahead with nationwide protests this weekend. Police in Moscow have detained more than 2,000 people at recent rallies protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from a Sept. 8 election, prompting the biggest standoff between authorities and the opposition in years.

Canada police find two bodies believed to be teen fugitives

Canadian police said on Wednesday they found two bodies that they believe are of the fugitive teenage boys charged with killing a university lecturer and suspected in the murders of two tourists in British Columbia. Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both from Port Alberni, British Columbia, fled from British Columbia to Manitoba and were the target of an intense three-week manhunt.

Despite missile tests, Pompeo hopeful North Korea talks will resume in weeks

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he was hopeful denuclearization talks would resume between North Korea and the United States soon, in spite of repeated North Korean missile tests and the lengthening delay in restarting the talks. "We are hopeful that in the coming weeks we will get back to the negotiating table," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. "We are planning for negotiations in a couple of weeks and we anticipate the two teams getting back together."

U.S. supports direct dialogue between Pakistan, India on Kashmir

The United States on Wednesday said it supports direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on the disputed Kashmir region and called for calm and restraint as the dispute escalated. "We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern," a department spokeswoman said in a statement.

Three Congolese doctors arrested in connection with WHO official's death

Three Congolese doctors have been arrested for allegedly planning an attack on a hospital that killed a senior World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist involved in the Ebola response, a prosecutor said on Wednesday. Cameroonian doctor Richard Mouzoko was killed in an attack in April on a hospital in the city of Butembo, one of the epicenters of the year-long Ebola outbreak, which is the second deadliest in history.

Clashes erupt in Yemen's Aden, three dead

Southern separatists clashed on Wednesday with presidential guards in Aden, the seat of Yemen's government, and three people were killed and nine injured, local officials and residents told Reuters. The violence highlighted a rift within the Saudi-backed coalition battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in a more than four-year war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

With an eye on Russia and China, U.S. defense secretary visits Mongolia

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is set to meet senior Mongolian leaders on Thursday in a rare visit to the strategically important nation to deepen ties, as the Pentagon seeks to implement its strategy of focusing on countering China and Russia. On a map, Mongolia, locked between Russia and China, best represents the Pentagon's priorities over the coming decades.

Turkey says U.S. getting closer to its views in Syria safe zone talks: Anadolu

Turkish-U.S. talks on a planned "safe zone" in northeast Syria have been "positive and rather constructive" and the United States is getting closer to Turkey's views on the issue, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was reported as saying on Wednesday. State-owned Anadolu news agency cited Akar as saying its plans for the safe zone, including military deployment, are complete and Turkey has told the United States it would prefer to act together.

Hong Kong facing worst crisis since handover: senior China official

Hong Kong is facing its worst crisis since it returned to China from British rule in 1997, the head of China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office said on Wednesday amid more anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub. "Hong Kong's crisis ... has continued for 60 days, and is getting worse and worse," Zhang Xiaoming, one of the most senior Chinese officials overseeing Hong Kong affairs, said during a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.