By unanimous vote, Iraq's Governing Council approved the text of an interim constitution that recognizes Islam as the official state religion but not the primary source of law or legislation. A signing ceremony is set for Wednesday in Baghdad. The charter also calls for a national election early next year, if not sooner. Among other details, it recommends that 25 percent of the seats in the first postwar legislature go to women and defers the status of Kurdish areas of northern Iraq until a permanent charter is written.

Cheering crowds greeted the first convoy of rebels arriving in Haiti's capital after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled Sunday. Their leaders were promising to put down their weapons, with hundreds of US marines and French troops mustering at Port-au-Prince's airport and preparing to guard vital facilities in the city. Aristide was reported in the Central African Republic. But officials there said it was not clear whether he'd stay or seek asylum elsewhere.

Millions of dollars worth of penalties on US exports took effect after the European Union said it had tired of waiting for Congress to bring "its legislation into line with World Trade Organization rules." At issue is a system known as the Foreign Sales Corporation, which allows large US shippers to benefit from reduced export taxes. The penalties are to take effect gradually and the EU has pledged to end them once Congress repeals the system. Otherwise, the retaliation could cost almost $1 billion by the end of next year, analysts estimated.

The "trial of the century" opened in a Belgian courtroom, eight years after its chief defendant was arrested for killing four of six young girls he has admitted kidnaping and keeping locked in his cellar. Marc Dutroux, who has a history of convictions for rape, insists he was only part of a pedophile network - a claim prosecutors have been unable to verify. His ex-wife and two other men also are defendants in the case.

A truck packed with 1,000 pounds of explosives was intercepted by police in Spain early Sunday before reaching its apparent target, a Madrid district that is home to major companies and influential news outlets. Suspicion fell on the Basque separatist movement, ETA. It is thought to be reeling from the arrests of key leaders, seizures of weapons caches, and the drying up of some sources of funds but also is believed to want to demonstrate its capacity for terror with a national election two weeks away.

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