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A special meeting of Iraq's parliament was scheduled for Monday night to give legislators their first look at the proposed new constitution. Although the drafters were still at work Sunday on its final points, even a Sunni member of the committee said he expected the charter to be ready in time - a sentiment echoed by US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Meanwhile, in his weekly radio address, President Bush reiterated that American forces will not be withdrawn from Iraq until that nation is ready to defend itself.

More than 7,000 Palestinian police were deploying near Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip as human shields to protect residents from being shot at by mililtants as they evacuate this week. By agreement with Israel, the police also are charged with preventing other Palestinians from charging into empty settlements to try to seize property. But thousands of Gaza settlers, reinforced by sympathizers from Israel proper, were vowing to resist eviction by locking the gates to their communities.

A state of emergency was in effect, and 12 ethnic Tamils were under arrest in Sri Lanka as the government reacted to the assassination Friday of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. But the detainees were not suspected of being the snipers who killed Kadirgamar, and a manhunt for them was on in Colombo, the capital. In another sign that the nation may be near a return to civil war, attackers threw hand grenades into a Tamil political office Sunday, damaging the building but causing no injuries.

Saying, "I urge you, please, not to lose faith," Brazil's president apologized to the nation for the corruption scandal that has dogged his government for months. But Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied publicly that he knew of attempts by his Workers Party to buy the votes of members of Congress. The speech came as calls for Lula's impeachment grew and a new opinion poll showed his approval rating at an all-time low.

All 121 people aboard a passenger jet bound from Cyprus to Athens and then Prague in the Czech Republic died when it crashed in a mountainous area of Greece. Early indications pointed to a decompression problem in the cabin and a loss of oxygen as the probable cause. Greek Air Force pilots sent to intercept the plane shortly before the crash reported no signs of activity in the cockpit.

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