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Superexecutive Vladimir Putin has strongly suggested that he plans to become president of Russia once again after his term as prime minister expires in 2012. That prospect and the current power-sharing deal between Putin and now-President Dmitry Medvedev has some talking about a "democratic deficit" in Moscow.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed what she called "great skepticism" at the ability of central banks to resolve the economic crisis, hinting that reliance on the institutions in Europe, the U.S. and the U.K. might backfire.

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