Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Russian media, celebrities protest against investigative journalist's drug bust
Three of Russia's leading newspapers took the unusual step on Monday of publishing identical front page headlines to protest over what they suspect is the framing of an investigative journalist on drug charges. Ivan Golunov, a 36-year-old journalist known for exposing corruption among Moscow city officials, was detained by police on Thursday and accused of serious drug offences which he denies.
Germany calls for de-escalation of 'explosive' Iran-U.S. tension
Confrontation between Washington and Tehran is now "explosive" and could lead to military escalation, Germany's foreign minister said on Monday, becoming the most senior Western official to visit Iran since a war of words erupted last month. Iran accused the United States of waging economic war by reimposing and extending sanctions. Nevertheless, it reassured Germany's Heiko Maas that it still wants to work with European powers to salvage a deal to curb its nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions, which Washington abandoned a year ago.
Turkey says U.S. has not taken step to create S-400 working group
The United States has not moved to create a joint working group to assess its concerns regarding Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, the head of the Turkish Defence Industries Directorate said on Monday. Speaking to reporters after an event in Ankara, Ismail Demir said Turkish officials were preparing a response to a letter by acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, which outlined how Turkey would be pulled out the F-35 fighter jet program if it pressed on with the S-400 deal.
Exclusive: American banker and Putin ally dealt in access and assets, emails reveal
A senior American banker once secretly awarded a shareholding in powerful Moscow investment bank Renaissance Capital to one of Vladimir Putin's closest friends and brokered meetings for the friend with top U.S. foreign policy officials a decade ago, emails show. The American banker, Robert Foresman, currently vice chairman at UBS investment bank in New York, held a series of prominent roles in Moscow's financial world. He headed Dresdner Bank's investment banking operations in Russia in the early 2000s, served as Renaissance Capital's vice chairman from 2006 to 2009, and then led Barclays Capital's Russia operation until 2016. Putin's friend, Matthias Warnig, sits on the boards of several Russian state-controlled firms.
Trump threatens more tariffs on Mexico over part of immigration deal
President Donald Trump on Monday hinted more details were to come about a migration pact the United States signed with Mexico last week, saying another portion of the deal with Mexico would need to be ratified by Mexican lawmakers. He did not provide details but threatened tariffs if Mexico's Congress did not approve the plan. Hong Kong pushes bill allowing extraditions to China despite biggest protest since handover
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vowed on Monday to push ahead with amendments to laws allowing suspects to be extradited to mainland China a day after the city's biggest protest since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Riot police ringed Hong Kong's legislature and fought back a hardcore group of several hundred protesters who stayed behind early on Monday after Sunday's peaceful march that organizers said drew more than a million people, or one in seven of the city's people.
With Moldova in crisis, two rival governments hold meetings
Two rival Moldovan governments held simultaneous cabinet meetings and accused each other of trying to usurp power on Monday, deepening a crisis brought on by an inconclusive parliamentary election in February. Over the weekend, the leaders of the pro-European Union ACUM bloc and the Russian-backed Socialist Party agreed to form a government aimed at fighting corruption and keeping a party run by tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc out of power.
Favorite Johnson pledges tax cut as race to succeed PM May officially starts
Boris Johnson promised tax cuts for higher earners if he becomes Britain's next prime minister as the crowded race to replace Theresa May officially begins on Monday in the shadow of Brexit turmoil. May stepped down as leader of the ruling Conservative Party on Friday having failed three times to get parliament to support her European Union divorce deal.
Nechirvan Barzani takes presidency of Iraq's Kurdish region, vacant since 2017
The prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Nechirvan Barzani, was sworn on Monday in as its president, filling the most powerful regional office, vacant since 2017 when his uncle quit after a failed independence bid. Barzani's uncle Masoud Barzani was the only other person to have held the office since it was created in 2005, two years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
Salvage crews aim to lift boat sunk in Danube with 28 dead
Hungarian salvage crews prepared on Monday to raise the wreck of a pleasure boat that capsized on the Danube river in Budapest, killing 26 South Korean tourists and two local crew. The Mermaid sank after a large Swiss-owned cruise liner struck it from behind on May 29 as both vessels passed under a 19th century bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain.
(With inputs from agencies.)