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  • President Barack Obama (L) and Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (C) stand together after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, December 12, 2011

    With Iranian influence and Syria’s instability looming over Iraq as U.S. troops pack up to go, President Barack Obama assured Baghdad on Monday the United States would remain a strong partner beyond the withdrawal.

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    12 Dec 11
  • Billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov speaks at a news conference during the ''Right Cause'' party conference in Moscow September 15, 2011.

    Russia’s former finance chief and one of its richest tycoons put themselves forward as candidates to unite liberal and middle-class voters who vented frustration with Vladimir Putin’s political dominance by taking to the streets in protest.

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    12 Dec 11
  • Croat’s Christmas now comes with a million lights

    Zlatko Salaj has come a long way from the bleak Christmases of his youth.

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    12 Dec 11
  • Albanian makes world’s largest coffee bean mosaic

    (Reuters) – A mosaic made with a million coffee beans by Albanian artist Saimir Strati, depicting five musicians, entered the Guinness World Records Monday as the world’s largest coffee bean mosaic.

    Strati used 140 kg (309 pounds) of coffee beans, some roasted black, some averagely and some not roasted at all, to portray a Brazilian dancer, a Japanese drummer, a U.S. country music singer, a European accordionist and an African drummer.

    “I wanted to give the message that sharing love over a cup of coffee brings us closer, a cup of coffee brings us more love than a G20 meeting,” Strati told Reuters.

    Guinness judge Seyda Subasi Gemici said Strati had been required to work in public and the mosaic, composed of coffee beans alone, had to measure 25 square meters (269 square feet).

    “I can say all guidelines were met… And my final measure is 25.1 square meters,” she said.

    The mosaic earned Strati his sixth entry in the Guinness World Records after he began using his technique of applying little objects like pixels in a camera to create images.

    He has made a portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci with nails, a galloping horse with toothpicks, the Mediterranean with wine bottle corks, singer Michael Jackson with paint brushes and the Greek poet Homer with industrial screws.

    Strati said he wanted his latest mosaic, sponsored by Lori Kafe, one of Albania’s main coffee companies, to spread the message of “One world, one family, over a cup of coffee.”

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    12 Dec 11
  • se-boys

    Junior Matt Schroepfer misses a free throw at the end of regulation during Sleepy Eye’s 49 to 46 OT win over Nicollet. Sleepy Eye senior, Tyler Hadley led the Indians in scoring with 26 points, …

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    12 Dec 11
  • se-girls

    Sleepy Eye’s senior Carissa Hillmer hit a late free throw during the Indians 55 to 52 win over Nicollet. Hillmer finished with 21 points. Senior Jessica Busch added 17 points. Sleepy Eye improves to 3 …

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    12 Dec 11
  • Despite the central bank dabbling, Italian 5-year bond yields shot up above 7 percent, widely seen as a danger level while 10-year yields spiked above 6.8 percent and Spanish 10-year yields topped 6 percent.

    A European summit deal to strengthen budget discipline in the euro zone failed to restore financial market confidence on Monday, forcing the European Central Bank to step in again gingerly.

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    12 Dec 11
  • An FDA study estimated that 10 in 10,000 women taking the drospirenone-containing drugs would get a blood clot per year, compared with about six in 10,000 women taking older contraceptives

    A ruling last week on the morning-after pill, as well as government recommendations on new forms of birth control, could have long-lasting effects on women’s perceptions of its safety, health experts say.

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    12 Dec 11