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Palestinian lawyers hold rare protest against Abbas's 'rule by decree'

Hundreds of Palestinian lawyers held a rare street protest Monday against what they described as the Palestinian Authority's "rule by decree", condemning president Mahmud Abbas for governing without a parliament.

The Palestinian Legislative Council -- created under the Oslo Peace Accords with Israel -- has been inactive since 2007, meaning Abbas has led without a functioning parliament for nearly all of his tenure as president.

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Syria's Kurds repatriate nearly 150 IS-linked Tajiki women, children

Syria's semi-autonomous Kurdish administration handed Tajikistan 146 women and children related to Islamic State group jihadists, a Kurdish official said Monday, in the first such repatriation to the ex-Soviet state.

Thousands of foreign extremists joined IS as fighters, often bringing their wives and children to live in the "caliphate" declared by the group across swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

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Mideast nations wake up to damage from climate change

Temperatures in the Middle East have risen far faster than the world's average in the past three decades. Precipitation has been decreasing, and experts predict droughts will come with greater frequency and severity.

The Middle East is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the impact of climate change — and already the effects are being seen.

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Tunisians vote on constitution set to bolster one-man rule

Tunisians began voting Monday on a constitution seen as a referendum on President Kais Saied, whose charter would give his office nearly unchecked powers in a break with the country's post-2011 democratic trend.

Voting began at 6:00 am (0500 GMT) at some 11,000 polling stations across the North African country, and was set to close at 10:00 pm.

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Russia FM visits Egypt, part of Africa trip amid Ukraine war

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Cairo for talks Sunday with Egyptian officials as his country seeks to break diplomatic isolation and sanctions by the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

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Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians in West Bank gunbattle

Israeli troops and special forces on an arrest mission exchanged fire with Palestinians barricaded in a house in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, Israeli police said. The local rescue service said two Palestinians were killed.

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Saudi seizes 15 million captagon pills

Saudi Arabia announced Friday the seizure of nearly 15 million captagon pills, an amphetamine that is wreaking havoc in the kingdom as well as across the region.

The oil-rich Gulf state is estimated to be the largest market for the drug, where it is used for recreational purposes but also as a stimulant for workers.

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Iraq's Kurdistan caught in Turkish war with rebels

After artillery bombardment killed nine people in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Baghdad called for a withdrawal of Turkish forces and said Ankara should handle its "domestic problems" with PKK rebels far from Iraq's borders.

But with Turkey a regional economic, military and diplomatic power, can a weakened Iraq extricate itself from the decades-old war between Ankara and Kurdish rebels?

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3 civilians killed in militia clashes in Libya capital

At least three Libyan civilians were killed overnight in heavy clashes between militias in the capital Tripoli, the emergency services said on Friday.

A gunbattle erupted late Thursday in Ain Zara, a densely populated neighborhood of eastern Tripoli, between the Al-Radaa force and the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, media reports said.

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Tunisia to vote on constitution seen as threat to democracy

Tunisians will vote Monday on a constitution that would give President Kais Saied almost unchecked powers, a key moment in his plan to overhaul the political system in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

The referendum takes place a year to the day after Saied sacked the government and suspended parliament in a decisive blow against the country's often chaotic young democracy.

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