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Barak clinches comeback

Ehud Barak became head of Israel’s Labor Party.The former Israeli prime minister secured his political comeback Tuesday when he beat ex-admiral Ami Ayalon in a runoff for the Labor leadership. A final election tally Wednesday found that Barak had taken 51.3 percent of votes to 47.7 for Ayalon.Barak, 65, is widely expected to assume the defense portfolio from former Labor chief Amir Peretz. That would lend much-needed military polish to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s coalition government, which lost much of its support over the failures of last year’s Lebanon war.”I will dedicate all my energy and knowledge to bolstering the defense establishment and the armed forces, as well as restoring Israel’s deterrence,” Barak told supporters.