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John Kerry tells AP he backs UAE oil chief overseeing COP28

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry backs the United Arab Emirates' decision to appoint the CEO of a state-run oil company to preside over the upcoming U.N. climate negotiations in Dubai, citing his work on renewable energy projects.

In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, the former U.S. secretary of state acknowledged that the Emirates and other countries relying on fossil fuels to fund their state coffers face finding "some balance" ahead.

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Rounding off Africa tour, China's top diplomat visits Egypt

China's chief diplomat has been in Cairo for talks with Egyptian and Arab League officials, marking his last stop in a multi-leg trip to Africa that aims to consolidate Beijing's footprint across the resource-rich continent.

Foreign Minister Qin Gang met separately with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit. He also met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

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South Korea president, in UAE, backs return to nuclear power

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Monday that his nation's efforts to be carbon neutral by 2050 would rely in part on returning to nuclear power, even though his predecessor had tried to move away from atomic power.

Yoon's comments at a summit in the United Arab Emirates, made in front of the country's leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, served to underline Seoul's commitment to nuclear power as it works to finish the Arabian Peninsula's first atomic power plant. That could see South Korea in line for lucrative maintenance contracts and future projects in the UAE, which Seoul has grown closer to over recent years.

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Scandal-hit EU political group starts damage limitation work

The major center-left political group embroiled in a corruption scandal at the European Parliament will seek this week to insulate itself from more fallout in the cash-for-influence affair linked to Qatar and Morocco as Belgian justice authorities target its members.

At the parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, France, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) – the second-biggest party group in the 705-seat assembly – is set to eject two lawmakers after prosecutors demanded that the men's protective parliamentary immunity be lifted.

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Tens of thousands of Israelis rally against Netanyahu government

Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government to overhaul the legal system and weaken the Supreme Court -- a step that critics say will destroy Israel's "democratic" system of checks and balances.

The protest presented an early challenge to Netanyahu and his ultranationalist national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has ordered police to take tough action if protesters block roads or display Palestinian flags.

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Crowd attacks Syrian rebel figure over reconciliation push

Angry protesters in Syria's rebel-held enclave have rallied against reconciliation attempts between Turkey and Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and scuffled with a local Syrian opposition figure involved in those attempts.

The crowd of several dozen demonstrators in the rebel-held town of Azaz first chanted slogans against the political efforts, then shouted abuse at Salem Meslet, head of the Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition, who showed up at the gathering.

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Israel's outgoing army chief rebukes far-right government

Israel's outgoing army chief on Friday warned against plans by Benjamin Netanyahu's new coalition to grant more control to pro-settler lawmakers and make other changes to the Israeli security establishment, joining a loud chorus of criticism against the most right-wing government in the country's history.

In several interviews with Israeli news outlets just days before he steps down, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi took unusually sharp aim at Netanyahu's coalition agreements with hard-line Jewish settler activists who seek to entrench Israeli rule in the occupied West Bank, restructure the Defense Ministry and control a special paramilitary police unit.

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President of Israel's Supreme Court attacks judicial changes

The chief justice of Israel's Supreme Court attacked the sweeping changes to the country's justice system planned by the new conservative government on Thursday, lending her voice to a growing outcry against the proposed overhaul.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut fired off unusually sharp rhetoric at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new justice minister, Yariv Levin, saying his proposed changes would amount to an "unbridled attack on the justice system."

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Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians during West Bank raids

The Israeli military shot and killed three Palestinians during arrest raids in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said, the latest bloodshed in months of rising violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The military, which has been carrying out near-nightly raids in the territory since early last year, said soldiers who entered the Qalandia refugee camp before dawn were bombarded by rocks and cement blocks. In response, the military said troops opened fire at Palestinians throwing objects from rooftops. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man killed as Samir Aslan, 41.

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Nighttime Israeli arrests haunt Palestinian kids, families

Yousef Mesheh was sleeping in his bunk bed when Israeli forces stormed into his home at 3 a.m.

Within moments, the 15-year-old Palestinian said he was lying on the floor as troops punched him, shouting insults. A soldier struck his mother's chest with his rifle butt and locked her in the bedroom, where she screamed for her sons.

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