Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Canadian early voting rises, tight race prompts talk of need for partners

Canada's federal elections watchdog said on Tuesday more Canadians voted early this year compared with four years ago, while on the campaign trail party leaders increasingly discussed the possibility that no party will win a majority in parliament. In the four days ending on Monday, voters were allowed to cast an advance ballot. During the first two days, some 2 million people voted, an increase of 25% from 2015, Elections Canada said. Election day is Oct. 21.

Iran holding second French researcher: Le Figaro

A second French national is being detained in Iran and has been imprisoned since the summer, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Wednesday, which is likely to complicate France's efforts to defuse tensions between the United States and Tehran. Two sources aware of the matter confirmed to Reuters that Roland Marchal, a senior researcher from Science-Po university was being held in Iran, but declined to give further details given the sensitivity of the matter.

No longer the host, Brazil still aims for key role at U.N. climate talks

Brazil may have backed out of hosting this year's U.N. climate summit, but the country will still take a leading role in negotiating the mechanisms needed to implement the Paris Agreement, its top climate negotiator said on Tuesday. Shortly after right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro won election last year, he canceled Brazil's plans to host the COP25 climate change conference. The summit will now be held in Chile in December.

Brexit deal within reach in last-ditch talks, but doubts remain

Last-ditch talks between Britain and the European Union to get a Brexit deal ahead of a summit of the bloc's leaders this week went on past midnight to Wednesday, but it was still unclear if London could avoid postponing its departure due on Oct. 31. Officials and diplomats involved in negotiations over the acrimonious divorce between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc said that differences over the terms of the split had narrowed significantly.

UK border risks snarl up in no-deal Brexit: audit office

Story continues

The United Kingdom's border risks being snarled up in a no-deal Brexit because as few as 30 percent of traders are prepared, the European Union would introduce controls and organized crime groups would exploit weaknesses, the National Audit Office said. The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31 and while Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to strike a last-minute deal, he has said that if the EU refuses then he will lead the world's fifth-largest economy out without an agreement.

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Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, despite sanctions and calls to stop

Turkey pressed ahead with its offensive in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and growing calls for it to stop, while Syria's Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces. Reuters journalists accompanied Syrian government forces who entered the center of Manbij, a flashpoint where U.S. troops had previously conducted joint patrols with Turkey.

Prince Harry wells up at awards for seriously ill children

Britain's Prince Harry was overcome with emotion on Tuesday when he spoke at an event for seriously ill children, welling up as he explained how the event pulled at his heart strings now he was a father. Harry, joined by his wife Meghan, briefly broke down as he made a speech at the WellChild Awards, recalling his feelings the year before when Meghan was pregnant and they contemplated how they would feel if their child became ill.

U.S. House passes legislation taking hard line on China over Hong Kong, Huawei

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed four pieces of legislation taking a hard line on China, three related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and one commending Canada's government in a dispute over the extradition of an executive from Huawei Technologies. All four measures passed by unanimous voice vote, as members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans - said they wanted to take an aggressive stance on China and show support for Hong Kong following four months of unrest in the city.

Clashes erupt in Barcelona as Catalan separatists protest sentences for leaders

Protesters and police clashed late on Tuesday in Barcelona during rallies against the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders, with the unusually tense confrontations turning into a major challenge for Spanish and regional authorities. Protesters threw cans, stones and flares at riot police, and set garbage containers and cardboard on fire in the middle of several streets in Barcelona, including a thoroughfare housing designer stores and the stock exchange.

U.S. concerned about some Hong Kong protest tactics, heavier China hand: Pentagon

The senior U.S. defense official for Asia said on Tuesday that the United States has some concerns about some of the tactics used by demonstrators in Hong Kong but was also concerned about the heavier hand Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have used against protests in the territory. Randall Schriver, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said the United States was "100 percent" behind those in Hong Kong who were speaking out for respect for fundamental rights guaranteed in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

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