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Powell standing by Obama in 2012 presidential race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a longtime Republican, is sticking with President Barack Obama in this year’s election.

He told CBS’ “This Morning” he respects fellow Republican Mitt Romney but thinks he’s been vague on many issues.

Powell said the president got the United States out of Iraq, has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan “and didn’t get us into any new wars.”

He praised Obama’s economic performance, saying, while difficult choices are ahead on taxes, spending and budgetary policies, “steadily, I think we’ve begun to come out of the dive and we’re gaining altitude.”

Obama later called Powell to thank him.

Powell, a retired general, was also a White House national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Powell says he’s still a Republican.



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N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

UPDATED: 10:03 p.m.

North Korea said Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site ahead of a new round of negotiations with South Korea and the United States. There was no clear indication in the North’s announcement if it would be willing to deal away its arsenal.