If Sunni Muslim "reservations" can be overcome, Iraq's proposed new constitution can be finished by the end of the month, President Jalal Talabani predicted Tuesday. But that task appeared to become more difficult when terrorist gunmen killed a Sunni member of the drafting committee as he and two companions were driving in Baghdad. Two other Sunnis on the commitee already have quit because of terrorist threats.

At least 20 ultranationalists were arrested as they fought with security forces in the biggest demonstration to date against Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip. An estimated 6,000 - and perhaps as many as 20,000 people - massed at a southern farming town intent on marching to Gaza settlements, ignoring police offers of bus rides back to their homes. Observers said the confrontation could be a preview of further clashes as next month's withdrawal approaches.

Negotiations aimed at coaxing communist North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program will resume Tuesday in Beijing, rival South Korea announced. The talks, also involving the US, China, Russia, and Japan, have been suspended for 13 months because of a North Korea boycott. Three previous rounds have produced no breakthroughs, and in a commentary, the official North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun hinted at a similar outcome again, saying: "One side should not be allowed to use the talks for achieving the sinister purpose of disarming the other party."

Emergency rule was imposed on three provinces of southern Thailand wracked by violence in an Islamist rebel campaign to return the region to an independent sultanate. But critics said the move would be meaningless to residents there, many of whom consider the central government corrupt. More than 800 people have been killed since the violence erupted 19 months ago, two of them in the past two days.

A "truth commission" to look into allegations of fraud and corruption against her was announced by Philippines President Gloria Arroyo, but her political opponents appeared unimpressed. They said they'd file up to 10 criminal charges against her - among them vote-rigging in last year's national election - and began recruiting ex-cabinet members and aides to testify at hearings leading to her impeachment. Arroyo conceded that public mistrust in her government is rampant but repeated a vow not to resign.

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