A Shiite Muslim will be the first president of Iraq's new Governing Council, although he'll turn the post over to a succession of others after only one month in office, the group announced. Ibrahim Jaafrari, a physician by training, was chosen after weeks of discussion, although a spokesman said that fact did not indicate the 25-man council was divided. In another move, the council lashed out at the Arab League, which has refused to recognize its authority, and said it would not send a representative to Cairo, the league's headquarters.

From Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Palestinians reacted to the meeting between President Bush and Israeli leader Ariel Sharon with disappointment and anger. On Tuesday at the White House, Bush appeared to back off from his criticism of Israel's security fence and forcefully backed Israel's demand that the Palestinian Authority "confront" and "dismantle" terrorist organizations. Abbas called the fence "racist." Islamic Jihad threatened to "reassess" the unilateral three-month truce that the militants declared in late June.

The mutiny by disgruntled Philippines Army soldiers last weekend was because of a "deep restiveness in the officer corps" that's far from over, intelligence chief Victor Corpus said in submitting his resignation. It was accepted by President Gloria Arroyo. The government denied that the resignation was due to the revolt, although that was a key demand of the mutineers. They accused him and Arroyo's defense secretary of being behind recent terrorist bombings on the volatile island of Mindanao and then blaming them on Muslim rebels in order to win new military aid from the US. Both men deny the allegation.

Calls for his resignation won't be honored because "the people voted me to be the prime minister," reelected Cambodian leader Hun Sun said. He vowed to remain in power even if his People's Party (CPP) can't form a governing coalition with its rivals, who have rejected the still-unofficial results of last Sunday's balloting. The voting - deemed by foreign monitors as freer than in previous elections but still below international standards - appeared likely to leave the CPP nine seats short of a majority in parliament.

Foday Sankoh, who died in a Sierra Leone hospital Tuesday night, led a 10-year 10-year insurgency against the government that killed an estimated 50,000 people. The wedding photographer-turned-rebel chief had been in UN custody since his capture in early 2000 and was being tried on 17 counts of crimes against humanity.

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