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Marine General Expected To Be Next Commander In Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce during a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Brussels Wednesday that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford will be nominated to succeed Gen. John Allen as the top commander in Afghanistan, according to a defense official familiar with the decision.

Dunford is now the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and the Senate would have to approve his nomination. Allen, also a Marine, is expected to become the next head of the U.S. European Command in early 2013, replacing the retiring Adm. James Stavridis.

Dunford earned the nickname "Fighting Joe" while leading a Marine regiment during the invasion of Iraq, though he has no experience in Afghanistan.

(Tom Bowman covers the Pentagon for NPR.)

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An Exuberantly Dark First Novel Explores The Chaos Of Central Africa

Fiston Mwanza Mujila's novel, Tram 83, is a freewheeling tale about life in an imaginary place inspired by the author's home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Critic John Powers has a review.

Louisiana Chef Paul Prudhomme, Who Popularized Cajun And Creole Food, Dies

The internationally renowned chef sparked a cooking craze and inspired other New Orleans restaurateurs. He was 75.

Best Twitter Reactions To McCarthy Withdrawing From Speaker Race

The political world was shocked when the GOP House leader took himself out of consideration for speaker. Rep. Charlie Rangel tweeted that unlike his smoothie, things weren't "smooth" for McCarthy.

How Skyscraper Construction Ties Into Tech Bubbles

There's a lot of talk in Silicon Valley about a tech bubble.Our Planet Money podcast team examines one possible indicator of a bubble: architecture. Very, very tall architecture.

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