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Barzani to step down as Kurdish leader in Iraq

ARBIL, IRAQ: Massud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, told a closed-door session of parliament Sunday he was stepping down amid the fallout from a controversial independence referendum. "After November 1, I will no longer exercise my functions, and I reject any extension of my mandate," the 71-year-old said in a letter read out to parliament in the Kurdish capital Arbil. "Changing the law on the presidency of Kurdistan or prolonging the presidential term is not acceptable," said the…