Rudd steps down as Prime Minister of Australia

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SYDNEY, Australia – Faced with a revolt from within his own governing party, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stepped down on Thursday morning. Party officials decided to replace him with his deputy, Julia Gillard, who is expected to become the first woman to serve as the nation’s prime minister.

Mr. Rudd, who faced rising opposition from within his own center-left Labor Party, ceded control of the party’s leadership to Ms. Gillard in the capital, Canberra. Mr. Gillard, who once enjoyed the highest approval ratings in Australian history, became the shortest serving prime minister in nearly 40 years and one of a handful to be thrown from office before completing one term.

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