Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Syrian state media: Israeli missiles target army in Quneitra province
Israeli aircraft fired several missiles targeting Syrian army positions in Quneitra province and air defenses thwarted the attack, Syrian state media said. The attack near Hader at the frontier of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights caused only material damages, state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying.
After Trump’s spending demands, NATO summit turns to Afghanistan
NATO leaders will try on Thursday to move beyond Donald Trump’s demands for higher defense spending, and focus on ending the long war in Afghanistan, in the second day of a summit in Brussels underscored by transatlantic tensions. On a trip that will also take the U.S. president to Britain and to Helsinki to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Trump spent the first day of the NATO summit lambasting allies for failing to spend the targeted 2 percent of GDP on defense and accused Germany of being a prisoner to Russian energy.
For Putin, Helsinki talks with Trump a win before he even sits down
For U.S. President Donald Trump, a summit with Vladimir Putin risks a political backlash at home and abroad. For the Russian president, however, the fact the summit is even happening is already a big geopolitical win. Despite Russia’s semi-pariah status among some Americans and U.S. allies, the Kremlin has long been trying to arrange a summit, betting that Putin and Trump will get on well and stop a sharp downwards spiral in bilateral ties.
Trade and tea with queen for Trump in a Britain in ‘turmoil’
U.S. President Donald Trump flies into Britain on Thursday for talks with the leader of the United States’ closest ally in Europe, and tea with Queen Elizabeth, set against a backdrop of protests and what he described as the country’s turmoil over Brexit. Fresh from a NATO summit where Trump chided Germany and other European nations for failing to contribute enough to defense spending, British Prime Minister Theresa May is hoping his trip will boost the close ties between their two nations and help forge a future free trade deal.
Nobel winner Malala slams Trump’s child separation policy
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai described as “cruel” a policy launched by U.S. President Donald Trump to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families, during her first visit to South America to promote girls’ education. More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after the Trump administration began a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigrants in early May, seeking to prosecute all adults who cross the border illegally from Mexico into the United States. Trump stopped separating families last month following public outrage and court challenges.
Israeli sirens sound over Golan frontier with Syria, Jordan: Israeli military
Israeli air defense sirens sounded on Wednesday on the Golan Heights frontier with Syria and the nearby Jordanian border, the Israeli military said. The military, which has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces advance against rebels near the Golan and Jordan, did not say what triggered the sirens.
How could Iran disrupt Gulf oil flows?
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said last week that Tehran would block all exports through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if countries heed U.S. calls to stop buying Iranian oil from November. A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait from Middle East crude producers to major markets.
Setting out vision for future ties, Britain’s May presses Brexit plans
British Prime Minister Theresa May will set out a blueprint on Thursday for what her government calls “a principled and practical Brexit”, putting at its core a plan for a free trade area for goods that has angered many in her party. May is pressing on with her Brexit plan, shrugging off the resignations of two senior ministers and the anger of euroskeptic lawmakers in her Conservative Party who have accused her of betraying her pledge of a clean break with the EU.
End of presidential immunity among plans of Mexico’s new leader
Mexico’s president-elect, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on Wednesday sketched out his legislative priorities for the next government, including measures to end presidential immunity and curb compensation for high-earning public sector officials. Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, also reaffirmed that his own presidential salary would be slashed and that privileges and perks for top officials would be scaled back.
El Salvador government rejects court ruling as political attack
El Salvador’s government said on Wednesday a Supreme Court ruling that seeks to compel testimony from the president over the disappearance of a diplomat nearly 30 years ago in the run-up to the country’s bloody civil war was a political attack. The court said on Tuesday that President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a 74-year-old former guerrilla leader, must testify over the kidnapping of a South African diplomat in 1979. — Reuters