World

Operation Desert Scorpion, a series of sweeps through Iraq "to defeat the remaining pockets of resistance," was under way before dawn Sunday, a US Army spokesman said. Its major focus appeared to be the restive city of Fallujah and other sections of the so-called "Sunni triangle" north and west of Baghdad, where many people remain loyal to the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein. The sweeps began as an amnesty for turning in prohibited weapons expired.

The first death was reported in almost a week of clashes between students and supporters of Iran's unelected hard-line Islamic regime. A protester was said to have been stabbed in Shiraz, a city 550 miles south of Tehran, the capital. But although disturbances in Tehran appeared to have subsided Sunday, others were seen in at least three other cities, and a Foreign Ministry statement angrily accused the US of "flagrant interference" in Iranian affairs and overstating the "protests of a few individuals [as] the voice of the people."

Following through on their vow, Jewish settlers in the West Bank set up five new outposts to replace those torn down last week by the Israeli government. Still, security officials were discussing a possible new deal with senior Palestinians that would lead to a pullback of Israeli troops from areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for tougher policing of militants. Prime Minister Sharon said he'd welcome such a truce, but would not stop preemptive targeting of Palestinian militants suspected of planning terrorist bombings.

A cease-fire is scheduled to be signed Monday by rebels and the government of Liberian President Charles Taylor, despite a dispute that it means he will have 10 days to quit his post. A government spokesman called that expectation by the rebels "a total absurdity." Taylor has said he'd leave office in January, when his term expires, if doing so would bring peace to a shattered country that has had 14 years of almost nonstop war. Dozens of previous truces have been signed and then broken.

Fireworks lighted the night sky over Prague in celebration Saturday as final returns from a Czech Republic referendum on joining the European Union showed an overwhelming "yes" vote. Despite objections that it was too soon to surrender sovereignty - 14 years after Soviet control ended in 1989 and 10 years since splitting from Slovakia - 77 percent of voters approved EU membership.

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