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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says that if Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't back down in Crimea, he will face penalties from the West that will hurt the Russian economy and diminish Moscow's influence in the world.
By Mirwais Harooni and Katharine Houreld KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's former defense minister became on Sunday the second candidate to drop out of a presidential election race, with his departure possibly helping consolidate support for a candidate favored by outgoing President Hamid Karzai. Rahim Wardak was not considered a front runner in the April 5 election and he did not throw his support behind any other candidate. "We can confirm that Rahim Wardak resigned from elections as a presidential candidate and will not run," his spokesman, Sayed Baqer Kazimi, told Reuters. The election is seen as a crucial step in building stability in Afghanistan in the same year that most foreign troops are due to leave after 13 years of inconclusive war against a stubborn Taliban insurgency.