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President Barack Obama said he’s authorized the U.S. military to study a “full range of options” for a response to the violence in Libya.

Obama, speaking at a White House news conference, said he wants to continue working with international partners as the civil strife continues in the North African country, holder of the continent’s largest oil reserves.

There is a danger that the turmoil could end up in a “bloody” stalemate between Mummar Qaddafi and his opponents, Obama said. He said he wants the U.S. to be able “to act, potentially rapidly, if the situation deteriorated in such a way that you had a humanitarian crisis on our hands.”

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