Workers dig at a mine in Chudja, near Bunia, north eastern Congo. The conflict in the Congo, a nation rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, tin, and cobalt, has often been linked to a struggle for control over its minerals resources. Lionel Healing /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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North Korean residents line up to receive food rations at a Red Cross distribution center in Tongsin, North Korea, in 1997. Discussions over U.S. food aid to the reclusive country were to take place Monday. "You could, in a very real sense, see the needs for food assistance," said an official with Mercy Corps, after a September 2011 visit to the country. Lasse Norgaard/AP hide caption

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Iraqi President Jalal Talabani speaks at the opening of the huge U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Jan. 5, 2009. It is the largest U.S. Embassy in the world. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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South Sudanese security forces stand outside the control room of the Petrodar oil facility in Paloich, South Sudan. Sudan was once sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest oil producer, but much of that oil came from what is now South Sudan. Pete Muller/AP hide caption

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Kenyan soldiers climb into a truck as they prepare to advance near Liboi in Somalia on Oct. 18. Kenya now has a few thousand troops in the lawless country, trying to pursue a militant Islamist group called al-Shabab. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Egyptians are seen working in a bakery in Cairo. The U.S. has been working on ways to help revive the economies of nations in transition, like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, while having limited resources available during tough economic times. Mahmud Hams /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, in a 2006 photo. The Obama administration has sent 100 troops to advise militaries in Uganda and neighboring countries that are battling Kony's forces.

STR/AP hide caption

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) hands a formal letter for Palestine to be admitted as a state to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon during the 66th General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 23. Palestinians now are pursuing full membership in other U.N. agencies.

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Vitaly Churkin, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, vetoed a Security Council resolution Wednesday condemning Syria for its brutal crackdown on pro-reform protesters. The vote set off a public rebuke from Washington.

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Protesters shout slogans against the Syrian government in front of the White House in July. A new report from Amnesty International documents more than 30 cases of Syrian activists living overseas whose activities have been monitored and whose families in Syria have been threatened.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr during a joint press conference in Washington on Wednesday. Amr sought to assure the U.S. that Egypt is moving toward democracy. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Russia's leading political party, United Russia, called for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and and President Dmitry Medvedev to effectively switch jobs when Russia holds elections next year. Putin previously served as president from 1999-2008. Yekaterina Shtukina/AP hide caption

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President Obama shakes hands with the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in New York last week. Obama offered U.S. support for what will be a major development program in the new nation. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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