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Obama Lauds Indonesia’s Democracy, Lands in Seoul for G20 Summit

Wrapping up his brief stop in the nation he once lived in as a boy, President Obama delivered a speech in which he held Indonesia up as a model for other nations.

President Obama told the crowd of 6,000 at the University of Indonesia that “[y]our achievements demonstrate that democracy and development reinforce one another.” Reiterating one of the themes of his major speech in Cairo last year, the president said, “I have made it clear that America is not, and never will be, at war with Islam,” adding that terrorist groups have no claim on the religion of Islam.

Leaders Convene in Seoul for G20 Summit

A range of challenging issues await world leaders arriving for the Group of 20 Summit in South Korea, including a mixed response from other member nations to the Federal Reserve’s decision to inject a $600 billion stimulus into the U.S. economy.

In a letter to other leaders, President Obama discouraged reliance on the spending habits of the United States, saying “no one country can achieve our joint objective of a strong, sustainable and balanced recovery on its own.” The leaders hope to diffuse tension over a potential currency war.

Cholera Spreads to Haiti’s Capital

Health officials confirmed Wednesday that a 3-year-old boy was the first confirmed case of Cholera in Port-au-Prince, fueling fears that the waterborne disease that has claimed almost 600 lives in the past month could ripple through the tent camps in the city. Many are still living in makeshift structures following a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti in January.

Ballots Reviewed in Close Alaska Senate Race

A week after the midterm elections, Alaskans are still awaiting the final results of the contest between incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and her Tea Party-backed opponent, Joe Miller. Murkowski lost the Republican primary but ran as a write-in candidate, paving the way for a long and contentious counting of votes. Miller has sued to ensure exact spelling is enforced in the counting of those ballots. The latest counts show Miller edging closer to Murkowski’s presumed lead.

For more politics news, read The Morning Line.

Change in French Retirement Age Becomes Law

Despite widespread and sometimes violent protests in France this summer, the retirement age has now been legally raised from 60 to 62. The law, passed by Parliament in October, took effect Thursday. The change was seen as a victory for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who staunchly defended the austerity measure.

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