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Terrorists staged another day of violence across Iraq, setting off nine explosions in volatile Fallujah, another blast in the southern city of Basra, and ambushes and assassinations near Mosul in the north. The attacks killed at least nine people, one of them a soldier from the occupying coalition forces and another a newspaper editor who had criticized Muslim radicals in print. But they appeared aimed primarily at Iraqis who cooperate with the coalition. Late reports said unknown gunmen also murdered a deputy mayor of Baghdad Sunday as he returned from the Iraqi donors conference in Spain.

With his term as interim prime minister of the Palestinian Authority about to expire, Ahmed Qureia was asked by Yasser Arafat to stay on and propose candidates for a new cabinet. Qureia told journalists Tuesday he'd yet to receive the request formally but would accept it, a development that analysts said could give a small boost to the US- and European-sponsored road map to peace. His first attempt to form a cabinet failed because he and Arafat couldn't agree on who should be interior minister, the post with responsibility for the various Palestinian security units.

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An attempt by allies of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to retaliate for the opposition campaign to recall him was rejected by the nation's elections commission. Chávez backers had threatened to launch recall efforts of their own against opposition governors, mayors, and city councillors and were planning a petition drive next month to gather the necessary signatures. But the commission ruled such a campaign would be an unnecessary expense for the state, especially since regional and local elections are scheduled for early next year.

Dissidents in the opposition Conservative Party in Britain forced a vote of confidence in their embattled leader that it was not clear he can win. If Iain Duncan Smith fails to take a majority of the secret ballots Wednesday, the party will hold a follow-up election for a new leader, in which he'll be ineligible to be a candidate. He was vowing late Tuesday to fight for his job, but many Tories in Parliament are angry that the party under him hasn't gained in public opinion polls despite a continuing slump in Prime Minister Tony Blair's approval ratings.


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