Reuters World News Summary
The false positives took place between 2002 and 2008, during the term of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as guerrilla fighters killed in combat to receive benefits. Mexico holds referendum on whether to probe ex-presidents Mexicans on Sunday began to vote on whether to investigate five of the country's former leaders in a referendum championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, amid criticism that the move is a political stunt and turnout could be low.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Rescuers pull 394 migrants from dangerously overcrowded boat off Tunisia
Two humanitarian rescue ships pulled 394 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean overnight on Sunday in an operation lasting about six hours, a Reuters witness said. The German and French NGO ships Sea-Watch 3 and Ocean Viking rescued the migrants in Tunisian waters 68 km (42 miles) from the North African coast, near oil facilities and other ships.
Colombia ex-army chief will be charged over extrajudicial killings
Colombia's attorney general's office will charge former army commander General Mario Montoya for responsibility of 104 extrajudicial executions, as part of the "false positives" scandal, it said on Sunday. The false positives took place between 2002 and 2008, during the term of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as guerrilla fighters killed in combat to receive benefits.
Mexico holds referendum on whether to probe ex-presidents
Mexicans on Sunday began to vote on whether to investigate five of the country's former leaders in a referendum championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, amid criticism that the move is a political stunt and turnout could be low. Lopez Obrador has cast past administrations as deeply corrupt and made combating graft his top priority. But critics say he hopes to use the consultation to energize his base and that it is unlikely to muster enough votes to be valid.
Death toll in Turkey wildfires rises to eight, coastal resorts affected
The death toll from wildfires on Turkey's southern coast rose to eight on Sunday as firefighters battled for a fifth day to contain blazes still raging in coastal resort towns. Two more people died on Sunday due to wildfires in the southern town of Manavgat, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, adding that 10 others were receiving treatment in hospital in the area.
Bolsonaro backers push for change to Brazil's voting system
Government supporters rallied in several Brazilian cities on Sunday to call for changes in the country's electronic voting system, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro says is not trustworthy. Bolsonaro has increasingly insisted on the adoption of printed ballots that can be audited, a mixed system in which electronic urns would also print out receipts that can be counted if any result are challenged.
Tunisia's powerful parliament speaker Ghannouchi leaves hospital
Tunisia's parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party that has had an influential national role for a decade, left the hospital hours after he was admitted on Sunday, two advisers said, in the midst of a major political crisis.
Myanmar army ruler takes prime minister role, again pledges elections
Myanmar's military ruler Min Aung Hlaing has taken on the role of prime minister in a newly formed caretaker government, state media reported on Sunday, six months after the army seized power from a civilian government. In a speech on Sunday, Min Aung Hlaing repeated a pledge to hold elections by 2023 and said his administration was ready to work with a future regional envoy on Myanmar.
Fifteen soldiers killed in Niger ambush, ministry says
Fifteen soldiers were killed as a result of an ambush in southwestern Niger on Saturday, the country's defence ministry said, blaming the attack on "armed terrorist groups." The assailants ambushed a supply mission at 1100 local time in Torodi commune after which soldiers evacuating the wounded hit an improvised explosive, the ministry said late on Sunday.
The United States and Britain said on Sunday they believed Iran carried out an attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker off the coast of Oman on Thursday that killed a Briton and a Romanian, both pledging to work with partners to respond. Iran earlier on Sunday denied it was involved in the incident, after it was blamed by Israel.
Syrian army steps up offensive in restive southern city
Syrian troops stepped up shelling of an opposition enclave in the southern city of Deraa in a bid to assert control over an area that has defied state authority since it was retaken three years ago, witnesses, the army and residents said.
An army assault on the old quarter of Deraa suffered a blow on Thursday when rebels mounted a counter-offensive across the province, capturing dozens of troops.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)