With less than a week to go until the deadline for finishing Iraq's draft constitution, some unresolved issues may need to be pushed back an unspecified length of time, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said. Although he wasn't specific, a Sunni member of the drafting committee proposed that the matter of federalism be left to the members of parliament who are to be elected in December. Kurds want self-rule for their region so that their autonomy cannot be taken away by a future central government.

An emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency was under way, triggered by Iran's resuming the enrichment of uranium that could be used for nuclear weapons. It did not appear, however, that the IAEA would call immediately for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions because of the resumption. Even so, Iran's senior nuclear administrator said any such move would be ignored and his scientists would "carry on with our work." Iran also scorned the efforts of European governments to trade assistance with its civilian nuclear program for a continued moratorium on enrichment, calling them "an insult" for which the Europeans "must apologize."

A fatwa, or religious edict, was issued by the senior Palestinian Muslim cleric against any disruption of Israel's impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem also forbade looting of any items left behind by departing Jewish settlers, on grounds that everything in Gaza becomes Palestinian property at that point. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also called for the pullout to take place "in a civilized manner ... to show the world that we deserve independence and freedom." But Israel signaled that it is not prepared to trust the Palestinians to control Gaza, especially guarding the Rafah border crossing into Egypt..

Almost three months after voters went to the polls, the national elections board of Ethiopia declared President Meles Zenawi the winner in his bid for a new term. His People's Revolutionary Democratic Front also won a majority in parliament, the board said, based on its count of the latest batch of ballots. But the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy rejected the announcement and vowed to appeal it through the courts. The May 5 election was followed by claims of fraud, violent protests that resulted in at least 36 deaths and thousands of arrests, and weeks of investigations into alleged vote-rigging.

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