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Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Lebanon's Safadi withdraws candidacy for PM, urges Hariri for post: statement

Former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Safadi withdrew his candidacy to be the next prime minister on Saturday, saying that he saw that it would have been difficult to form a "harmonious" cabinet supported by all parties. Safadi, 75, emerged as a candidate on Thursday when political sources and Lebanese media said three major parties had agreed to support him for the position.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff hopeful Gulf crisis will end soon

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said on Saturday he was hopeful a bitter dispute between Gulf Arab states could soon end and urged them to unify military capabilities as tensions with Iran simmer. Washington sees an ongoing political rift that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-Gulf state Egypt have with Qatar as a threat to efforts to contain Iran and has pushed for a united front.

UK PM Johnson's Conservatives have highest support since 2017: polls

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party have the highest level of support since 2017, according to opinion polls published on Saturday. The Dec. 12 election was called to end three years of disagreement over Brexit that has sapped investors' faith in the stability of the world's fifth largest economy and damaged Britain's standing since it voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

Last remains of Ethiopian plane crash victims buried, families say little notice given

The last remains of 157 people killed aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane in March were interred at the crash site this week, farmers and families told Reuters, but some relatives were upset they had been unable to take part in the ceremony. Nadia Milleron, whose daughter Samya Stumo was killed, said an email was sent to some families -- but not all -- notifying them of the burial just two days before it happened.

Flood-hit Venice to face another exceptional high tide on Sunday

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Venice will face another exceptional high tide on Sunday, after its worst flooding in 50 years on Tuesday caused more than $1 billion worth of damage and submerged St Mark's Square under a meter of water. The tide could reach 160 cm (5.25 feet) just after midday on Sunday, according to Venice's center for forecast on tides.

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Paris police use tear gas, water cannon on 'yellow vest' protests anniversary

Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon in Paris on Saturday as rallies to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" demonstrations erupted into violence. A total of 28,000 people demonstrated across France on Saturday including 4,700 in Paris, the interior ministry said.

U.S. imposes travel ban on Cuba's interior minister over rights violations in Venezuela

The U.S. State Department on Saturday said it was imposing a travel ban on Cuban Interior Minister Julio Cesar Gandarilla Bermejo and his children, citing the minister's involvement in what it called "gross violations of human rights in Venezuela." In addition to human rights violations carried out under his command in Venezuela, the Cuban minister was also responsible for "arbitrarily arresting and detaining thousands of Cuban citizens and unlawfully incarcerating more than 100 political prisoners in Cuba," the State Department said.

Britain's Prince Andrew 'categorically' denies sex claims

Britain's Prince Andrew said he could not have had sex with a teenage girl at a socialite's London home because he returned to his house after a children's party on the night in question and has no recollection of ever meeting her. The rare interview was an attempt to draw a line under a scandal after months of headlines about Andrew's ties to the U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August while being held on federal sex-trafficking charges.

Protesters retake part of bridge in central Baghdad

Iraqi protesters occupied part of a main bridge in Baghdad on Saturday that security forces had pushed them away from a week before, a Reuters photographer said. Demonstrators also occupied a tall building overlooking the bridge, taking new ground in the center of the Iraqi capital after protests had appeared to lose momentum.

Hong Kong protesters unleash stash of petrol bombs; Chinese soldiers clear roads

Fires blazed on the doorstep of a Hong Kong university into the early hours of Sunday as protesters hurled petrol bombs and police fired volleys of tear gas in some of the most dramatic scenes in more than five months of escalating violence. Hours earlier, squads of Chinese soldiers dressed in shorts and T-shirts, some carrying red plastic buckets or brooms, emerged from their barracks to help clear debris that has blocked some key roads in the city for days.

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