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Iraqi president's absence leaves political hole

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BAGHDAD (AP) — President Jalal Talabani's unexpected exit from Iraqi politics couldn't have come at a worse time for his nation, threatened by mounting antagonism among Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites. The 79-year-old Talabani, who suffered a stroke six weeks ago, had assumed the role of father figure, the only leader seemingly capable of transcending Iraq's sectarian politics, including his own...