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World in brief: December 1, 2023

CHINA: The Taliban’s first ambassador to a foreign country arrived in Beijing today.

Bilal Karimi will represent the jihadist regime in China as it seeks investment and legitimacy. 

China does not officially recognise the Taliban administration, but alongside some other countries has maintained an embassy in Kabul. The Taliban is battling to get control of Afghanistan’s foreign embassies.

IRAN: Rapper Toomaj Salehi is back in jail after less than a fortnight free, Iranian media say.

Mr Salehi was released after an appeal against a six-year sentence for publicly backing the mass protests over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, arrested for allegedly failing to wear her hijab properly. But he alleged torture while in custody, and has been detained again for “spreading lies.”

PARAGUAY: A ministry official has been replaced after signing an accord with a fictional country.

Arnaldo Chamorro of the Agriculture Ministry met representatives of the “United States of Kailasa” who promised help with irrigation systems and agreed to fight to establish diplomatic relations.

The made-up country has no location and is the brainchild of Nithyananda, a self-styled Hindu guru who is wanted in India for sexual assault. It has previously attempted twinning arrangements with US cities and representation on UN bodies.

GUINEA-BISSAU: Gunfights continued between two elite military units today, with the Presidential Palace Battalion and the National Guard trading gunfire from Thursday night.

The latter had illegally freed two officials under arrest for corruption. The ongoing fighting could suggest a coup attempt like those which have succeeded in a number of other west African countries in recent years.

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