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World in brief: December 14, 2021

PHILIPPINES: President Rodrigo Duterte dropped his run for the Senate today.

Mr Duterte withdrew as a candidate on the same day his ally Senator Bong Go withdrew as a presidential candidate, citing family reasons.

Mr Duterte’s spokesman said not running would allow the president to focus on managing the coronavirus pandemic.

But pundits speculated that with his succession plans falling apart Mr Duterte may seek to withdraw from politics.

BELARUS: A court has jailed Sergei Tikhanovsky, husband to Lithuania-based opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, to 18 years in prison.

Mr Tikhanovsky planned to stand against President Alexander Lukashenko but was arrested on charges of inciting hatred and unrest soon afterwards.

His wife then ran instead, fleeing abroad after officially losing in the August 2020 poll. She claimed victory and has set up a “transitional” administration in exile.

PALESTINE: Hamas accused Fatah of responsibility today for killing three of its members in a refugee camp in Lebanon.

A Hamas-organised funeral in the Burj-Shahali refugee camp was attacked on Sunday.

Hamas official Ayman Shanaa said Fatah was behind the “heinous and cowardly attack.” Fatah had not responded when the Morning Star went to press.

UNITED STATES: Questions over the deaths of eight workers at a candle factory during last Friday’s devastating tornado are being raised after managers were accused of threatening staff who wanted to go home with the sack.

Five employees have reported that as word of the storm spread workers asked to be allowed to leave early and seek safety in their homes, but supervisors said anyone leaving their shift early would be fired.

Company officials of the Mayfield Consumer Products factory deny the allegations.

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