Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Iran calls on Britain to release seized oil tanker immediately
Iran called on Britain on Friday to immediately release an oil tanker that British Royal Marines seized last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman told state news agency IRNA. "This is a dangerous game and has consequences ... the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid ... the release of the tanker is in all countries' interest," the spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said.
Gibraltar police release all crew members of detained Iranian tanker
Gibraltar police said on Friday that all four crew members of the Iranian Grace 1 tanker have been released on bail without charge after it was detained last week on suspicion of breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria. Gibraltar police said earlier on Friday that they had arrested the two second mates from the tanker, a day after the vessel's captain and chief officer were arrested.
UK's Johnson says his comments about U.S. envoy were a factor in his resignation
Boris Johnson, frontrunner to be Britain's next prime minister, denied he was responsible for the resignation of the ambassador to Washington but admitted his comments had been a factor in the shock departure of one of the country's most senior diplomats. The former London mayor has been heavily criticized by lawmakers in his own party and the opposition for failing to defend Kim Darroch after Donald Trump attacked the envoy for leaked remarks describing the U.S. administration as inept.
Turkey begins receiving Russian missiles in challenge to U.S. and NATO
Turkey began taking delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system on Friday, a move expected to trigger U.S. sanctions against a NATO ally and drive a wedge into the heart of the Western military alliance. The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military air base northwest of Ankara, the Turkish Defence Ministry said, sealing Turkey's deal with Russia which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.
Undocumented migrants storm Pantheon monument in Paris
Hundreds of undocumented migrants calling themselves "black vests" stormed the Pantheon monument in central Paris on Friday demanding the right to remain in France. Police on the scene told Reuters an estimated 200 to 300 protesters, mostly from West Africa, managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum where national heroes including Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried.
China to impose sanctions on U.S. firms that sell arms to Taiwan
China said on Friday it would impose sanctions on U.S. firms involved in a deal to sell $2.2 billion worth of tanks, missiles and related equipment to Taiwan, saying it harmed China's sovereignty and national security. The Pentagon said on Monday the U.S. State Department had approved the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, which are manufactured by Raytheon.
South African minister aims to revoke extradition of ex-Mozambique finance minister: document
South Africa's new justice minister will apply to have his predecessor's decision to extradite former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang to his home country set aside, according to a document seen by Reuters. Chang has been in custody in South Africa since December when he was arrested at the request of the United States for his alleged involvement in $2 billion of borrowing that U.S. authorities say was fraudulent. He denies wrongdoing.
Exclusive: Panama to withdraw flags from more vessels that violate sanctions
Panama will withdraw its flag from more vessels that violate sanctions and international legislation, the country's maritime authority told Reuters, following the removal of about 60 ships linked to Iran and Syria from the Panamanian registry in recent months. After the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran by Washington in 2018, Panama's former president Juan Carlos Varela gave the green light to remove a fleet of 59 tankers from the country's registry, according to two sources close to the decision.
China says Xi urged Trump to ease North Korea sanctions 'in due course'
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged U.S. President Donald Trump last month to show flexibility in dealings with North Korea and ease sanctions on the country "in due course," China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday. A senior U.S. official said U.S. policy continued to be to maintain sanctions on North Korea until it gives up its nuclear weapons and the State Department reiterated that it expected countries around the world to fully implement and enforce them.
Hezbollah leader says U.S. seeking to talk
The leader of Hezbollah said on Friday that Washington was seeking to open channels of communication despite ramping up sanctions against the Iran-backed movement's officials. U.S. President Donald "Trump's administration is seeking to open channels of communication to Hezbollah in Lebanon through mediators. ... These are the American pragmatists," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with Hezbollah's al-Manar TV without elaborating.