Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Seeking favors, Trump asked Ukraine president to investigate Biden
President Donald Trump pressed Ukraine's president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in coordination with the U.S. attorney general and Trump's personal lawyer, according to a summary of a telephone call released by the Trump administration on Wednesday. The official account of the half-hour July call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy laid bare an astonishing exchange of requests, pledges and ingratiation, including some unrelated to Biden.
The best paid European lawmakers? The Brexit Party
The 28 lawmakers from Britain's Brexit Party have collectively declared outside earnings of between 2 million and 4.5 million euros per year, making them the highest earners in the European Parliament, Transparency International said on Thursday. The party, founded by anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage, won the most British seats in European elections this year. It says Britain should not still be in the EU, and its lawmakers turned their backs when the bloc's Beethoven anthem was played at the opening session.
Busts of leaders a hit in China's porcelain capital ahead of key anniversary
Chinese ceramic artist Feng Chengren works alongside the country's top leaders in his shop in eastern China. Their smooth faces, lightly tanned by the soil of nearby riverbanks, smile benignly at lines of customers. Feng's workshop is one of the few in Jingdezhen - China's porcelain capital - that does not specialize in the signature blue-and-white patterned pieces that the city is known for.
Saudi Arabia consults allies on oil attack, awaits result of investigation: official
Saudi Arabia is in consultation "with friends and allies about the next steps to take" after a Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, but is waiting for the findings of an investigation, Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told reporters on Wednesday. The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attack on Iran, instead of the Yemeni Iran-aligned Houthi group that claimed responsibility. Iran distanced itself from the attacks, but said it was ready for "full-fledged" war.
U.S. expects about $30 million in Ukraine military aid may be delayed: sources
The Trump administration expects that perhaps only $30 million of this year's $250 million in military aid to Ukraine will not be put in the spending pipeline by a Monday deadline, when the government's fiscal year ends, two U.S. officials told Reuters. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, could not say whether the delay was caused by President Donald Trump's move to temporarily freeze nearly $400 million in American aid to Ukraine.
Netanyahu tapped by Israel's president to form new government
Israel's president tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday with assembling a new government after power-sharing talks with his strongest rival, Benny Gantz, failed following an inconclusive election. But right-wing Likud party chief Netanyahu, facing a looming indictment on corruption allegations he denies, still has no clear path to a fifth term after emerging from the Sept. 17 ballot, the second this year, short of a parliamentary majority.
Iran's Rouhani to call for 'coalition of hope' in Gulf as tension spikes
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will give a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday that will likely determine whether Tehran will re-engage with the United States to ease the heightened tension between the longtime enemies. The confrontation between Tehran and Washington has ratcheted up since last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled that country's economy.
Honduras to accept more asylum seekers under latest U.S. immigration deal
Honduras signed a deal with the U.S. government on Wednesday that could push migrants who cross the country on the way to the United States back to seek asylum, in the latest bilateral deal with Central American countries aimed at curbing migration. Wednesday's "safe third country"-type deal is similar to agreements signed by El Salvador on Sept. 20 and Guatemala on July 26. The countries have released few details about how the agreements would be implemented.
PM Johnson goads opponents to call election as tempers flare over Brexit
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson taunted his rivals on his return to parliament on Wednesday, goading them to either bring down the government or get out of the way to allow him to deliver Brexit. Waving his arms and yelling "come on, come on", Johnson implored his opponents in a raucous House of Commons session to bring a vote of no-confidence in the government and trigger an election to finally break the Brexit impasse.
Mexico's Oaxaca state legalizes abortion in historic move for Catholic nation
The Mexican state of Oaxaca on Wednesday approved a bill to legalize abortion, making it only the second region of the predominantly Roman Catholic country after Mexico City to permit the procedure. Amid raucous shouts of protest from opponents, the local Congress voted by 24 lawmakers in favor to 10 against to allow abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in Oaxaca, a southern state that has long been among Mexico's poorest.