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(Greg Wayland, NECN) - Senator Barack Obama is about to embark on a trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe. His republican rival Senator John McCain has been critical of Obama's proposals for the war in Iraq. Much of that criticism has to do with Obama's talk about timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. There also is the fact that the according to The Washington Post, major television networks are reportedly sending their main anchors to Iraq for coverage of the trip. So in a way, the spotlight is falling on the media and Obama. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says the German leader will welcome U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama to her office in Berlin next Thursday. Obama's stop in Berlin is part of a tour of the Middle East and Europe aimed at burnishing the Democratic candidate's foreign policy credentials. Material from the Associated Press is included in this report.