Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Hong Kong leader says U.S. law will hurt business confidence
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday said U.S. legislation supporting protesters may damage business confidence in the financial hub, and announced a fourth round of relief measures to boost an economy battered by months of demonstrations. Lam told reporters the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump last week, was "wholly unnecessary". Hong Kong, which has been convulsed by nearly six months of pro-democracy protests, is now grappling with its first recession in a decade.
Bethlehem set for a Happy Christmas: more rooms, more inns and part of its manger back
As the Christmas decorations go up in Manger Square, Bethlehem is preparing for its best Christmas for two decades, the town's mayor and hoteliers say. Five new hotels are in the pipeline and existing ones are expanding. The town has even extended the opening hours of the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians worldwide as the place of Jesus' birth.
Trump says North Korea's Kim sure 'likes sending rockets up'
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he still had confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but noted that Kim "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?" "That's why I call him Rocket Man," Trump told reporters during a meeting with the head of NATO in London He said he hoped Kim would denuclearize, but added: "we'll find out."
Trump praises UK PM Johnson as 'very capable' ahead of election
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he thought Prime Minister Boris Johnson was very capable and would do a good job, moments after saying he did not want to get involved in the British election campaign. The Dec. 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world's fifth-largest economy: Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU on Jan. 31 while opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised another EU referendum.
Trump criticizes European allies before NATO anniversary meet
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at European allies before a NATO anniversary summit in London on Tuesday, singling out France's Emmanuel Macron for "very nasty" comments on the alliance and Germany for spending too little on defense. Underlining the breadth of strife in a transatlantic bloc hailed by its backers as the most successful military alliance in history, Trump demanded that Europe pay more for defense and also make concessions to U.S. interests on trade.
EU parliamentary mission head says Malta PM should stand aside now
The head of a European Parliament delegation, dispatched to Malta to review the rule of law on the island following a scandal over the murder of a journalist, said on Tuesday Prime Minister Joseph Muscat should step aside immediately. Muscat has defended his handling of the investigation into the 2017 killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and has said he will only step down as prime minister next month to give time to his Labour party to pick a new leader.
Hong Kong's Lam to visit China and meet Xi on December 16: Cable TV
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will visit Beijing on Dec. 16 and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV said on Tuesday, citing sources. The visit would come as relations between China and the United States have been strained by Washington's support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Argentine President-elect says cabinet 'already chosen'
Argentina's incoming cabinet has already been chosen and will be revealed on Friday, President-elect Alberto Fernandez said in a social media post on Tuesday, as the country and markets watch closely for the make-up of the Peronist's core leadership team. After weeks of speculation about key cabinet picks, especially for the vital economy role, the incoming center-left leader gave little detail away but downplayed the influence of his vice president-elect, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Iran proposes Rouhani's visit to Japan amid nuclear impasse: Kyodo
Iran has proposed President Hassan Rouhani visit Japan, a U.S. ally which also has close relations with Tehran, to try to resolve Iran's nuclear impasse with Washington, Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday. Citing a senior diplomatic source, Kyodo said Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs Abbas Araqchi had relayed the proposal to Japan during a two-day visit to Tokyo as a special envoy of Rouhani.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg nears Lisbon port: Reuters TV footage
Climate activist Greta Thunberg was approaching Lisbon aboard a catamaran on Tuesday after crossing the Atlantic from New York, Reuters Television footage showed, before her appearance at a summit in Madrid to demand urgent action on global warming. The boat, La Vagabonde, carried the Swedish campaigner, who refuses to travel by plane, across the ocean so she could attend the COP25 climate summit in Madrid. She will spend the day holding meetings with Portuguese climate activists and resting before her departure for Madrid.