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Other Palestinians reacted with anger, but Yasser Arafat shrugged off the US veto of a new resolution in the UN Security Council that demanded Israel neither harm or expel him. He told a gathering at his West Bank compound: "We are bigger than all decisions." The US move came, Ambassador John Negroponte said, because the resolution was "lopsided" and did not condemn terrorist groups attacking Israel. Britain, Germany, and Bulgaria abstained from the vote. Eleven other council members voted in favor.

A new audiotape, purportedly carrying the voice of Saddam Hussein, declared the ouster of US forces from Iraq "inevitable." The speaker, whom experienced listeners said they believed to be the ousted leader, made lengthy pauses and sounded weary, but he claimed to have made the recording in recent days. Addressing Iraqis, he said, in part: "I give you pleasant news. The [almost daily casualties] have begun to eat away at the enemy. You must tighten the noose." The 14-minute tape was broadcast on Arab TV stations.

Giving new momentum to the antigovernment movement in Iran, the nation's leading dissident cleric demanded publicly that the hard-line ruling establishment allow young people to choose their own future. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Monta-zeri, once in line to become Iran's supreme leader, told a packed assembly hall: "The majority of our population is dissatisfied.... The matter should be put to popular vote." He also slammed the government's crackdown on writers and university professors as "a disgrace." The speech was his first since 1997, after five years under house arrest and a recent illness.

Homosexual marriage moved a step closer to becoming legal across Canada after Parliament's lower house defeated a resolution that would have upheld the definition of unions as being only between men and women. Tuesday's 137-to-132 vote, however, reflected the deep division over the issue. The nonbinding measure, sponsored by the opposition Alliance, was the first test of the ruling Liberal Party's intent to put Canada in the vanguard of countries legalizing same-sex unions. Only the Netherlands and Belgium currently allow them. Courts in Ontario and British Columbia recently declared the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional, and homosexuals have since flocked there to be married.

With a heavy military guard posted outside his home, the deposed president of Guinea-Bissau signed an agreement in the presence of senior west African diplomats formally resigning. Kumba Yalla, who was toppled in a nonviolent coup Sunday, called for an all-civilian government to succeed him. Gen. Verissimo Correia Seabra, the army chief, named himself interim president but has said he doesn't want to keep the title.

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