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Election in UK likely this year, here's what to know

The United Kingdom is poised to hold its first election in five years in a country battered by a cost-of-living crisis, fallout from the Israel-Hamas conflict and deep divisions over how to deal with migrants and asylum seekers crossing the English Channel from Europe on small inflatable boats.

Here is a look at the upcoming election and the biggest issues at stake.

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Yoon calls for Korean unification, on holiday marking uprising against Japan

South Korea's president lambasted North Korea on Friday over what he called its repressive rule and vowed to achieve a free, unified Korean Peninsula, weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rejected the idea of peaceful unification and threatened to occupy the South in the event of war.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol spoke on March 1 Independence Movement Day, a holiday marking a 1919 Korean uprising against Japanese colonial rule.

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Navalny's family lay him to rest after death in prison

Relatives and supporters of Alexei Navalny are bidding farewell to the opposition leader at a funeral Friday in southeastern Moscow, following a battle with authorities over the release of his body after his still-unexplained death in an Arctic penal colony.

His supporters say several churches in Moscow refused to hold the service before Navalny's team got permission from one in the capital's Maryino district, where he once lived before his 2020 poisoning, treatment in Germany and subsequent arrest on his return to Russia.

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Polling stations open in Iran for first legislative vote since 2022 protests

Iran began voting Friday in its first parliamentary elections since the mass 2022 protests over its mandatory hijab laws after the death of Mahsa Amini, with questions looming over just how many people will turn out for the poll.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 84, cast one of the first votes in an election that also will see new members elected to the country's Assembly of Experts. The panel of clerics, who serve an eight-year term, is mandated to select a new supreme leader if Khamenei steps down or dies, giving their role increased importance with Khamenei's age.

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Russia says thwarted attack on south Ukraine coast

Russia said Thursday it fought off an attempted landing by Ukrainian special forces on the Tendra Spit sandbar in the Black Sea held by Russian troops, killing "up to 25" Ukrainian personnel.

"Russian forces... destroyed a Ukrainian commando group... trying to land on speedboats," the defence ministry said in its daily update.

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Putin pays tribute to Russian national unity as fighting grinds on in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hailed Russian national unity, even as fighting raged on in Ukraine, in a state-of-the-nation address ahead of next month's election he's all but certain to win.

Speaking to an audience of lawmakers and top officials televised live nationwide, Putin said that Russia was "defending its sovereignty and security and protecting our compatriots" in Ukraine.

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Pope taken briefly to Rome hospital for tests after his weekly audience

Pope Francis, who recently had the flu, was brought to a hospital in Rome for diagnostic testing after the papal audience Wednesday, the Vatican said, without giving further details.

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Iran Parliament vote could see low turnout amid unrest and poor economy

Iran is holding parliamentary elections this Friday, yet the real question may not be who gets elected but how many people actually turn out to vote.

Widespread discontent over the cratering economy, years of mass protests rocking the country, and tensions with the West over Tehran's nuclear program and Iran's support for Russia in its war on Ukraine have many people quietly saying they won't vote in this election.

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Biden to urge Congress' top leaders to keep govt. open, send aid to Ukraine and Israel

President Joe Biden was meeting Tuesday with the top four leaders of Congress to press them to act quickly to avoid a looming government shutdown early next month and to pass emergency aid for Ukraine and Israel.

Biden was hosting House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Vice President Kamala Harris also was attending.

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Biden and Trump march toward nominations, Michigan could reveal significant perils

While Joe Biden and Donald Trump are marching toward their respective presidential nominations, Michigan's primary on Tuesday could reveal significant political perils for both of them.

Trump, despite his undoubted dominance of the Republican contests this year, is facing a bloc of stubbornly persistent GOP voters who favor his lone remaining rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and who are skeptical at best about the former president's prospects in a rematch against Biden.

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