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Germany

Afghan President Visits Berlin

Just six days before war-plagued Afghanistan holds its first-ever direct presidential election, Hamid Karzai left for a visit to the German capital. The Afghan leader headed to Berlin to receive a "United We Care" award as part of Sunday's German Unity Day celebrations. The award is presented for outstanding accomplishment in the areas of politics, economics, society and culture. Although announced ahead of time, the one-day trip abroad has raised eyebrows in Kabul and around the world as thousands of Afghan and international workers struggle to prepare the country for the Oct. 9 vote amid mounting security threats from the Taliban and al Qaeda.

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