Recently in International News Category

Last American troops leave Iraq as war officially ends

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The last of American troops left Iraq Sunday, ending a nine-year-long war that begain in March 2003, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"I just can't wait to call my wife and kids and let them know I am safe," Sgt. First Class Rodolfo Ruiz said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The last hundred vehicles out of Iraq began snaking out of the country around 2:30 a.m. to keep the trip secret, according to the New York Times.

"The Iraqis are going to wake up in the morning, and nobody will be there," said a soldier who identified himself only as Specialist Joseph, according to the New York Times.

Russians protest parliamentary elections

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Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ordered an investigation on Sunday into the country's recent parliamentary elections, according to CNN.

The announcement came after tens of thousands demanded the election be rerun, reported Reuters.

Reuters called the statement "a sign that the Russian leadership feels under pressure after the biggest opposition protests since Putin rose to power in 1999."

The election results, released Friday, placed United Russia in first place by 146 seats, according to CNN.

Iran says it shot down drone

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A news agency in Iran said the country shot down an unmanned U.S. spy drone Sunday, according to the Washington Post.

The drone was downed for violating Iranian airspace along the eastern border of the country, reported the New York Times.

"The spy drone, which has been downed with little damage, was seized by the armed forces," said Iran's al-Alam state television network, according to the Washington Post.

The network showed only stock footage of the drone, reported the Washington Post.

The drone was reportedly used for surveillance on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan when he was killed earlier this year, according to the New York Times.

Mario Monti to be Italy's prime minister

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Economist Mario Monti accepted a mandate on Sunday to serve as Italy's prime minister, according to CNN.

Monti will replace Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned Saturday amid Europe's debt crisis, according to CNN.

Monti is taked with creating a new government that can withstand the current debt crisis, according to the New York Times.

"We owe it to our children to give them a dignified and hopeful future," Monti said, according to the New York Times.

Berlusconi called his resignation "an act of generosity" in a video broadcast on television, reported the New York Times.

Iran has nuclear capability, says UN report

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Iran has mastered critical steps to producing nuclear weapons, according to details leaked from an imminent United Nations report, said the New York Times.

According to documents and other records, a Soviet weapons scientist and experts in Pakistan and North Korea helped Iran become nuclear capable, reported the Washington Post.

U.S. intelligence agencies believed Iran had halted nuclear experiments in 2003, but secret intelligence provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency indicate Iran continued the weapons research, according to the Washington Post.

The New York Times says the Obama administration is taking a backseat approach, giving the IAEA full decision-making power.

Suicide bomber kills 12

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A suicide bomber attacked an armored bus on Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing at least 12 Americans, reported the New York Times.

According to NATO officials, five troops and eight civilian contractors were killed in the attack, reported the L.A. Times.

The L.A. Times notes it is the "single deadliest attack on U.S. citizens in the Afghan capital since the war began a decade ago."

A Canadian soldier and four Afghans were also killed, reported the New York Times.

American officials view the attack as "the Taliban's attempt to shake confidence in the Afghan government," according to the New York Times.

Gaddafi's reign over

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Libya's new rulers called their nation free from Muammar Gaddafi's reign but failed to outline steps toward a more democratic government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Tens of thousands attended a celebration of Gaddafi's death, where Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, spoke of honor, patriotism and steadfastness, said the Wall Street Journal.

"All the martyrs, the civilians and the army had waited for this moment," Abdul-Jalil said, reported Reuters.

Gaddafi's body remained unburied and on display in Misrata, Libya, according to Reuters.

Iran takes U.S. plot very seriously

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Iran warned Sunday that it would react strongly to any "inappropriate measures" taken by the West, according to the Independent.

"Any inappropriate measure against Iran, whether political or security-related, will be strongly confronted by the Iranian nation," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Reuters.

U.S. officials announced the plot last Tuesday, in which a U.S. agent was paid to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir while undercover as a Mexican drug cartel hit man, according to Reuters.

The head of the FBI said the plot sounded like a Hollywood script, reported Reuters.

24 dead in Egypt protests

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At least 24 are dead after a clash between protesting Christians and police on Sunday in Egypt, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The protests were over the military's failed protection of churches and the now lengthened time of rule, reported the New York Times.

At least four people were run over by military vehicles, and over 150 people were injured, according to the New York Times.

The Egyptian cabinet called for an emergency meeting Monday to ensure the upcoming elections would not be derailed by violence, reported the Chicago Tribune.

"This is a dark day in the military's history. This is betrayal, a conspiracy, murder," said Magdy el-Serafy via Twitter, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Israel and Palestine tangled in talks

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Israel announced Sunday it backs the Middle East Quartet's call for direct talks with Palestinian leaders to resume this month, according to CNN.

But Israeli officials fear that Palestine will be less willing to negotiate issues after the borders are redrawn, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally requested the United Nations recognize Palestinian statehood because Palestinians are tired of waiting for the Israeli negotiations to complete, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Leon Panetta, U.S. secretary of defense, left for Israel Sunday to voice the U.S.'s objections.

U.S. and European leaders have disagreed with both sides's moves as obstacles to peace, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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