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A new Iraqi report will be sent to the UN Security Council by today, "clarifying" points raised by chief weapons inspectors earlier this week, the Baghdad government said. But it challenged President Bush to prove that it is tied to Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, in the clearest Arab endorsement yet of the US position on Iraq, neighboring Kuwait's defense minister said Bush was right to say the Iraqi regime cannot be trusted and hinted for the first time that even if the UN doesn't authorize military force there, his country might allow itself to be used as a launching pad for such attacks.

The political left in Israel was in tatters after Tuesday's election not only returned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to power but also gave his Likud Party almost twice the seats in parliament as it had before. But he faced another struggle to convince religious and ultranationalist parties to join Likud in a coalition government. Likud won 37 seats, to just 19 for the Labor Party, its main opposition.

Momentum in the two-month-old strike in Venezuela was swinging back to President Hugo Chávez after private banks agreed to resume normal operations next week. Chávez had threatened to withdraw government accounts from them if they didn't. Opposition leaders also offered to exempt schools and food production from the strike "as a gesture of goodwill" but said ending the strike "is not being proposed now."

The four-day-old peace deal between Ivory Coast's government and dissident Army troops was near collapse after being declared "null and void" by a top aide to President Laurent Gbagbo. The accord, which gives the dissidents control of the defense and interior ministries in a power-sharing government, also was rejected by Army chiefs. Gbagbo was expected to address the nation on the matter Wednesday night. France, which brokered the deal, said it was ready to evacuate its nationals from the troubled country "at any moment."

There were no immediate reports of casualties in Cambodia's capital, where angry mobs were attacking symbols of Thailand. Police were firing into, or over the heads of, the protesters. The trouble began over reports that a Thai TV star had said Cambodia stole the famous Angkor Watt temple, its national symbol, from her country.

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