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World in brief: February 12, 2024

FINLAND: Alexander Stubb narrowly won Sunday’s run-off election to become the next president, according to results announced today.

Former prime minister Mr Stubb of the right-wing National Coalition Party won 51.6 per cent of the votes, while independent candidate and former foreign minister Pekka Haavisto from the Green Left secured 48.4 per cent.

QATAR: Authorities have freed eight retired Indian naval officers who had been given death sentences for alleged spying that were commuted last year, India’s Foreign Ministry said today.

The eight men were accused of spying while working at Al Dahra, a consulting company that advises the Qatari government on submarine acquisitions. 

They were imprisoned in 2022 and handed death sentences in October that were later commuted to jail terms.

CYPRUS: The European Union should designate some parts of Syria as safe zones so refugees and migrants can return there, the president of Cyprus said today.

President Nikos Christodoulides said Cyprus is working with like-minded EU member nations to begin a discussion about that goal in order to help alleviate supposed pressure from refugees on Mediterranean countries.

GHANA: Ghana’s opposition presidential candidate John Mahama today opposed a proposal for the general elections to be brought forward to November from December this year.

The Electoral Commission said the proposal aimed to allow sufficient time for the commission to manage the vote.

But National Democratic Congress candidate Mr Mahama said his party did “not believe that this is being proposed in good faith.”

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