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Tina Fey, in character again as Sarah Palin for last weekend's "Saturday Night Live," made light of how the Republican vice presidential candidate was "literally" embraced by "a couple of them Pakistani guys" she met at the United Nations last week. Unfortunately for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, though, the prayer leader of Islamabad's Red Mosque isn't laughing about Zardari's encounter with Palin last Thursday.

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At least 40 people were killed and scores more injured Saturday when a truck bomb detonated near the entrance of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan -- a destination for Westerners and other visitors to the Pakistani capital city -- as heads of state dined at the prime minister's house nearby.

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Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assumed the presidency of Pakistan on Tuesday, concluding a transfer of power that began with the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks ago. Zardari's presidency is likely to be one of conflict, as an ongoing Taliban resurgence and a 26 percent approval rating already riddle his first days in office.

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After months of mounting pressure and speculation, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he is stepping down, but not before defending his legacy, challenging his detractors and admitting that he "may have committed follies."

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For several months, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's political fate has hung in the balance, as last year's state-of-emergency ordeal made all too clear. Now, the situation in Pakistan is becoming critical, with Musharraf's opponents calling for his impeachment.

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John McCain is showing his commitment to lessening America's dependence on foreign oil by offering a $300 million prize to anyone who can conjure up a superior automobile battery, energy-wise, than the current standard. But at the same time, he's supporting Bush's push to lift the ban on drilling in U.S. coastal waters.

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The Pakistani National Assembly on Wednesday elected Fehmida Mirza to be the country's first female speaker. The selection of Mirza, a leading member of the late Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party, marks the first significant transfer of power since opposition parties won a majority of seats in February's general elections.

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The death of Benazir Bhutto in December, tensions within the country and concerns over President Pervez Musharraf's leadership (and his regime's relationship with the U.S. government) registered in a loud and clear message from Pakistanis at the polling booths Monday: Musharraf is standing on shaky ground.

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Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council staff under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, has written a fascinating history of the United States' many interventions in Pakistan. It's the sordid story of "the world's longest running military despotism, and of America's most generous and tragic patronage."

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