Forty ambassadors considered too moderate in their attitudes toward the West will be replaced by year's end, Iran's government announced. The decision is seen as another step in the confrontational approach that has come with the election of President Mahmoud Ahmad-inejad. It came on the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran, which he helped to lead. Ahmadinejad also nominated a Revolutionary Guard leader for the post of oil minister even though he has no background in that industry and the previous choice was rejected by parliament for the same reason.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the shooting death of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank and said it won't renew its informal truce with the Jewish state, now in its ninth month. Egypt, which brokered it, is expected to begin work soon on negotiating an extension. Hamas and other Palestinian militants maintain there is no inconsistency in saying they remain committed to the truce while responding to individual Israeli counterterrorism operations.

Twenty-three more people died and 150 others were hurt in Ethiopia's capital as antigovernment protests extended into a second day and became more violent. The trouble erupted when protesters against the outcome of last May's national election threw stones and security forces responded with tear gas and bullets. The election gave the ruling Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front an overwhelming majority in parliament, but opposition parties claim it was rigged.

President Jacques Chirac appealed for calm as rioting by angry poor immigrants in France's capital extended into a sixth night, spread to additional suburbs, and brought more arrests. Rioters set 69 cars and as many as 150 trash bins on fire and attacked one town hall annex with Molotov cocktails. The violence caused Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to postpone an official vist to Canada and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to cancel a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Political leaders cheered the decree by Bolivia's caretaker president that the national election will be held Dec. 18. Eduardo Rodriguez's announcement Tuesday was an effort to avert a looming political crisis caused when a court postponed the Dec. 4 vote indefinitely due to the failure of legislators to carve the nation into new electoral districts that reflect the last census. Two presidents have been ousted in as many years, and Rodriguez has vowed to leave office in January even if no successor has been chosen.

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