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Stories related to the internal politics of states and various domestic issues. 

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MPs again fail to elect next president of Lebanon

MPs again fail to elect next president of Lebanon

MPs in Lebanon failed again to elect a new president on Thursday for an eighth time, despite the deepening impact of the political deadlock on the country’s economic woes. Lebanon has been without a head of state for a month after president Michel Aoun left office at the end of October with no successor. Parliament is split between supporters of the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority. Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 37 lawmakers Thursday — well short of the required majority — while 52 spoilt ballots were cast, mainly by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers. Only 111 of parliament’s 128 lawmakers showed up for the vote. By convention, Lebanon’s presidency goes to a Maronite Christian, the premiership is reserved for a Sunni Muslim and the post of parliament speaker goes to a Shiite Muslim. Parliament is expected to convene for a new attempt to elect a president on December 8.

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MPs again fail to elect next president of Lebanon

MPs again fail to elect next president of Lebanon

MPs in Lebanon failed again to elect a new president on Thursday for an eighth time, despite the deepening impact of the political deadlock on the country’s economic woes. Lebanon has been without a head of state for a month after president Michel Aoun left office at the end of October with no successor. Parliament is split between supporters of the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority. Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 37 lawmakers Thursday — well short of the required majority — while 52 spoilt ballots were cast, mainly by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers. Only 111 of parliament’s 128 lawmakers showed up for the vote. By convention, Lebanon’s presidency goes to a Maronite Christian, the premiership is reserved for a Sunni Muslim and the post of parliament speaker goes to a Shiite Muslim. Parliament is expected to convene for a new attempt to elect a president on December 8.
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UAE marks its national day with a mission to the moon

UAE marks its national day with a mission to the moon

On the eve of its National Day being marked on Friday (2 December), the United Arab Emirates will today become the first Arab country to send a mission to the moon. The UAE Rashid Rover, the first Emirati mission to the Moon surface, on Tuesday was integrated into a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for its historic launch on Wednesday. The four-wheel rover has undergone its final integration process with the launch vehicle - the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander – which will launch from a spaceport at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 12:39 pm UAE time. The primary goal of the mission is to study the Moon’s plasma and to provide answers about Moon dust, the lunar surface, mobility on the Moon’s surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles. The Rashid rover - built by Emirati engineers from the UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) - is to be sent to regions of the Moon unexplored by humans.With this mission the UAE becomes only the fourth country to send a mission to the moon. This scientific achievement is being launched as the country prepares to mark the anniversary of its foundation on 2 December 1971.
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Criminal networks in the Western Balkans have become key actors in both regional and European Union drug markets

Criminal networks in the Western Balkans have become key actors in both regional and European Union drug markets

Criminal networks in the Western Balkans have become key actors in both regional and European Union drug markets, a report by the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said on Monday. The report says that the strategic geographical position of countries such as Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, combined with high demand for drugs, particularly in the European Union and Turkey, have accelerated criminal groups’ operations. “Some EU countries are located on trafficking routes that pass through the Western Balkans before re-entering the EU. This means that trafficking flows can be complex,” the agency said in the report which is part of a bigger regional study conducted between 2019 and 2022. Sizeable diasporas from the region in the EU also provide a pool of individuals who can be exploited or recruited into these networks, the report said. The EMCDDA report discusses Western Balkan groups’ operational presence in Belgium and the Netherlands, with the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam being important for drug distribution and import into the EU.
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Lebanon is still without a president

Lebanon is still without a president

Lebanese MPs failed for a sixth time on Thursday to elect a president to fill the vacancy left by Michel Aoun whose term expired last month. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced that a seventh vote would be held next Thursday. A total of 112 MPs cast ballots on Thursday, from a total of 128. Independent MP Michel Mouawad received 43  votes and academic Issam Khalifeh received seven. One vote was cast for former MP and presidential candidate Sleiman Frangieh.  Ziad Baroud, a former minister, received three. MP Michel Daher, a non-Maronite who did not submit his candidacy, received one vote, and two ballots were canceled. However, 46 blank votes were cast by Hezbollah. Parliament is split between supporters of Hezbollah and its opponents. 
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Terrorism strikes at the heart of Turkey

Terrorism strikes at the heart of Turkey

Terrorism struck at the heart of Turkey on Sunday afternoon (13 November) At least six people were killed and 81 others injured, two seriously, when an explosion hit Istanbul’s iconic pedestrian street, Istiklal Cadesi, just off the city's Taksim Square. At all times of the day and night crowds congregate in the street. to shop, eat and drink, and often just to watch other people. The street attracts both local people as well as visitors from other parts of Turkey and from across the world, and for many Istiqlal Caddesi represents Istanbul and Turkey's vibrant diversity. An attack on Istiqlal Caddesi is indeed an attack on the heart of Turkey. Turkey has blamed the outlawed Kurdish organisation PKK for the attack.  Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said early Monday that the suspect who had carried out the attack had been captured He said 21 others linked to the bomber were also detained, adding the existing findings showed it was an attack perpetrated by the PKK/YPG terrorist group, referring to a branch of the PKK group in Syria's north. "We have evaluated that the instruction for the attack came from Kobani," Soylu told reporters, adding that the bomber had "passed through Afrin in northern Syria." Turkey has imposed a ban on reporting of the incident, but various sources say that the bomber was a woman.
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Rishi Sunak sworn in as new UK Prime Minister, after period of political turmoil

Rishi Sunak sworn in as new UK Prime Minister, after period of political turmoil

42-year-old Rishi Sunak was sworn in as the youngest UK Prime Minister in modern times on Tuesday (25 October), succeeding his party colleague Liz Truss as prime minister. He was mandated by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace to form a new government after Truss resigned today. In his first address as prime minister Sunak said that he wanted to unite the country and try to shore up the economy. "I will unite our country not with words, but with action. I will work day in, and day out to deliver for you. This government will have integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level. Trust is earned and I will earn yours." Sunak said.