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WASHINGTON - French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was chosen Tuesday to lead the International Monetary Organization and will immediately confront a European debt crisis that threatens the global economy.

Lagarde will be the first female managing director of the 66-year-old global lending organization and the 11th European. Next week, she will begin a five-year term.

Among her challenges, she will have to prod fellow Europeans to take painful steps to prevent a default by Greece. She'll face pressure from developing nations that want a greater voice at the IMF. And she'll be looked upon to restore the IMF's reputation, which...

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