Saying, "Even our Sunni brothers insist on finishing it on time," the chairman of the committee drafting Iraq's proposed new constitution sought to reassure the US that an extension of the Aug. 15 deadline would not be needed after all. The committee reportedly was to have requested 30 additional days to complete the task, but Humam Hammoudi said only one chapter remains to be written. Skeptics doubted that the draft will address issues such as regional autonomy that have been especially contentious among Iraq's Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish communities.

Disgruntled settlers were denied a permit by Israel's government to stage a final, massive protest Tuesday against the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. But they conceded that as many as 2,000 opponents may have managed to infiltrate settlements scheduled for the evacuation that's to begin Aug. 17. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority said it has rented hundreds of vehicles for tours of the settlements once they're empty.

Few, if any, changes to the policies on oil production and foreign relations should be expected under Saudi Arabia's new monarch, senior diplomats said, following the death of King Fahd. He was succeeded immediately by Crown Prince Abdullah, who had served as de facto ruler during Fahd's lengthy illness. Saudi officials said the government would stand by its ongoing commitment to pump enough crude to satisfy world markets.

Weary police in London were being relieved by reinforcements as the largest domestic security operation in British history sought to discourage further terrorist attacks on subway trains. The Mail on Sunday newspaper said the police had the freedom to use stop-and-search powers liberally and that they'd be aimed specifically at young men of South Asian appearance.

Rioting erupted in Sudan's capital and other cities by followers of Vice President John Garang after the government confirmed his death in a helicopter crash. At least 12 people were reported killed in the violence. Garang had served in the post less than a month under the peace deal between his People's Liberation Movement and the government that ended 21 years of civil war. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said he was confident that the peace would hold.

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