Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president, speaks Wednesday during a press conference in Baghdad about the upcoming elections. Hashemi vetoed part of a key election law, throwing national polls slated for January and a planned U.S. troop drawdown into question. Karim Kadim/AP hide caption

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Baghdad Island (shown here in June 2009) is a 150-acre Tigris River amusement park complex. It was a popular site for weddings and other celebrations before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, but it was devastated by looting in the aftermath. Now, U.S. and Iraqi officials have begun renovating the park. Karim Kadim/AP hide caption

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Election workers in Afghanistan audit suspect ballots at the Independent Elections Commission warehouse in Kabul on Oct. 7. Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Nobel Committee recognized President Obama for his efforts to change the tenor abroad. Here, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, U.S. President Barack Obama, UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi and the extended members of the G8 world leaders pose for a "family photo" on the third day of the G8 summit on July 10, 2009. Oli Scarff/Getty Images hide caption

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