Despite more late criticism by Iraq's most influential Shiite Muslim cleric, members of the Governing Council finally signed the interim constitution in ceremonies in Baghdad. US administrator Paul Bremer told council members: "We are witnessing the birth of a democracy, and birth is painful.... Not everyone got everything they wanted; that's the way of democracy." The charter is a pillar of the US plan to cede to Iraqis responsibility for their own affairs. But Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani clouded the occasion with a statement complaining, among other things, that the signing makes drafting a permanent charter more difficult.

The clash of wills appeared to deepen between the leadership of Iran and the UN over the former's nuclear program. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaredei rejected Sunday's call for an end to its 13-month probe of the program, saying the watchdog isn't finished yet and that he's "seriously concerned" Iran hasn't fully met its agreed-upon obligations.

A rare public protest for political and social reform in Syria lasted only minutes before police broke it up, arresting at least six people, among them journalists attempting to cover it. The protest, outside parliament in Damascus, was timed for the anniversary of the Baath Party's rise to power. The protesters sought the rescinding of 41 years of emergency rule. Organizers also are circulating a petition calling for the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles, to present to authorities next week.

Ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti insisted again that US representatives kidnaped him and called on supporters to "peacefully resist" its "occupation" by American and French peacekeepers. In his first news conference from exile in the Central African Republic, Aristide said he still considers himself Haiti's leader. Meanwhile, hospitals in the Haitian capital struggled to treat dozens of people injured Sunday when a confrontation between Aristide supporters and opponents turned violent. Six others died.

Another leftist government was voted out of power in Europe, with Greeks giving an unexpectedly easy victory to the conservative New Democracy Party in Sunday's election. Its leader, Costas Karamanlis, still in his 40s, becomes the nation's youngest prime minister. The Socialists had ruled Greece for 11 straight years and 20 of the past 23. Karamanlis pledged "the best efforts" to put preparations for this summer's Olympic Games in Athens back on schedule and to bring new foreign investment to Greece.

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