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WORLD IN BRIEF: Freed leader energizes Egypt protests

Freed leader energizes Egypt protests

CAIRO — A young leader of Egypt’s anti-government protesters, newly released from detention, joined a massive crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for the first time Tuesday and was greeted with cheers, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: ‘‘We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime.’’

Many in the crowd said they were inspired by Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25 to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Straight from his release from 12 days of detention, Ghonim gave an emotionally charged television interview Monday night where he sobbed over those who have been killed in two weeks of clashes and insisted, ‘‘We love Egypt ... and we have rights.’’

Ghonim arrived in the square to a crowd comparable in size to the biggest demonstration so far that drew a quarter-million people.

US ups tension with Pakistan over detained American

WASHINGTON — In a sign of new and serious tensions between the United States and a key counterterror ally, the Obama administration has suspended some high-level contacts with Pakistan and may downgrade the status of an upcoming meeting to boost pressure on the government to release a U.S. Embassy employee who killed two Pakistanis, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The dispute over the arrest of the man has become a crisis in U.S.-Pakistan relations and officials said they feared it could threaten future cooperation in a critical theater of the war against extremists and al-Qaida unless it is resolved quickly.

Violence continues in Iraq against US

BAGHDAD — The White House said the U.S. combat mission in Iraq is over, but Army Lt. Daniel McCord and his fellow American soldiers feel anything but safe.

Their base has been shelled 28 times since Sept. 1, the day after President Barack Obama officially ended Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With daily shootings and bombings, it’s clear there’s still a simmering fight in Iraq as the U.S. military prepares to leave after nearly eight years, more than 4,400 U.S. troops killed and at least $750 billion spent.