In other news Tuesday, demonstrations calling for leaders' resignations continued in Bahrain and Yemen. In New Zealand, the hunt for survivors began after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated Christchurch, the country's second-largest city, and killed at least 65 people.

As Germany slowly recovers from the economic crisis, the country's voters are still concerned about jobs and financial stability heading into Sunday's election, which will decide whether Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party stays in power.

Dec 17

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Wednesday that British troops will withdraw from Iraq by the end of July 2009, ending a mission that that provided the second-largest military presence in the country after the U.S.

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