Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. peace envoy in Kabul for revival of talks

U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Wednesday in a bid to breath new life into efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, discussing with President Ashraf Ghani steps that could lead to a ceasefire and a peace deal, Washington and Kabul said. After his visit to Kabul, Khalilzad will to fly to Qatar to meet Taliban negotiators, the State Department said.

Up to 57 dead after migrant boat sinks off Mauritanian coast: U.N. agency

Up to 57 people have died after a ship from Gambia carrying around 150 migrants sank off the coast of Mauritania on Wednesday, the U.N. migration agency said. The perilous sea passage from West Africa to Europe was once a major route for migrants seeking jobs and prosperity. This incident is one of the deadliest since attempts became scarcer when Spain stepped up patrols in the mid-2000s.

Johnson says Britain can soon stop talking about Brexit if he wins vote

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday night that the public can soon stop talking about Brexit if he wins next week's general election and that there is significant investment waiting once the political paralysis is over. Britons will vote on Dec. 12 after parliament agreed to an early election, seeking to end more than three years of deep disagreement over the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union that has sapped investors' faith in the stability of the world's fifth largest economy.

House debates Uighur bill demanding sanctions on senior Chinese officials

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday debated a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China's crackdown on its Muslim minority, demanding sanctions on senior Chinese officials and export bans. The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when it passed the Senate in September and calls on President Donald Trump to impose sanctions for the first time on a member of China's powerful politburo, even as he seeks a deal with Beijing to end a damaging trade war buffeting the global economy.

Long focused on Russia, NATO widens gaze toward China

Seventy years since its Cold War-era founding as a transatlantic alliance focused on Moscow, NATO is expanding its gaze toward the increasingly muscular challenge posed by China. But it is unclear, even to diplomats within the 29-member military alliance, whether NATO is up to the task - especially at a time of intense internal divisions and acrimony that were on full display heading into this week's summit.

After 20 years, Palestinian mother and son reunited in Egypt

Palestinian journalist Amjad Yaghi was just nine years old when his mother left the Gaza Strip on what should have been a short trip to Egypt for medical treatment. But until a joyful reunion this week, they did not see each other again for 20 years.

North Korea warns U.N. Security Council against discussing country's human rights

North Korea told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that it would consider any discussion of the country's human rights situation a "serious provocation" and Pyongyang would "respond strongly." North Korea's U.N. ambassador Kim Song delivered the warning in a letter, which was seen by Reuters. Diplomats said several members of the 15-member council planned to request a meeting this month on human rights abuses in North Korea.

'Cool it,' France and Germany to tell Trump at NATO talks

NATO leaders will tell U.S President Donald Trump on Wednesday they are spending billions more dollars on their militaries in the hope that he pares back his attacks on the Western alliance. In formal talks following a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday to celebrate 70 years of NATO, European leaders led by Germany and France aim to tell Trump they will not be treated as junior partners as they confront global conflicts.

U.S. State Department says it is working with Mexico on tools to fight drug cartel threat

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it was working with Mexico's government to identify the "appropriate tools" to help it tackle the threats that drug cartels pose, after President Donald Trump last week said he wanted to designate them as terrorist groups. Trump's announcement alarmed Mexico, which rejected it as "interventionism" and said it would respond in kind to such a move. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, for instance, that Mexico would not permit another operation like the U.S. government's ill-fated "Fast and Furious" gun-running sting.

U.S. warship in Gulf seizes missile parts of suspected Iran origin

A U.S. Navy warship seized advanced missile parts believed to be linked to Iran from a boat it had stopped in the Arabian Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, as Trump's administration pressures Tehran to curb its activities in the region. In a statement, the Pentagon confirmed that on Nov. 25 a U.S. warship found "advanced missile components" on a stateless vessel and an initial investigation indicated the parts were of Iranian origin.