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All signs appeared to point to an Iranian rejection of a new offer of incentives for the suspension of uranium enrichment. A senior member of parliament said the proposal would be reviewed but that abandoning enrichment is a "red line" that cannot be crossed. A newspaper considered the mouthpiece of Iran's clerical leaders described it as "blackmail" since it is accompanied by the threat of new UN sanctions if turned down.

Convoys of Iraqi tanks and troops were arriving in the southern city of Amara for the start of the government's latest crackdown against Shiite militias. The mission, expected to begin Thursday, will focus on hundreds of "outlaws, criminal gangs, and those who violate security," its commander told reporters. US troops would be available to provide support if needed, he said. The Defense Ministry also announced it will assume responsibility for its 10th province, Qadisiya, next month.

Despite the rejection by voters in Ireland of the latest proposed European Union charter, proponents vowed to press ahead with ratification efforts. EU foreign ministers are to gather Monday to discuss strategies for when Britain and the Czech Republic act on the new charter. Irish voters dealt the so-called Treaty of Lisbon a 53.4 percent-to-46.6 percent defeat. It is due to take effect on Jan. 1 but first must be ratified by all 27 EU members. Only 14 have done so to date.

Security was tight, but ceremonies were low key in Kosovo, whose new Constitution took effect Sunday, giving the Albanian majority full control over government. But to point up continued efforts to undermine independence, the highest-ranking Serb official in Kosovo boycotted the ceremony, visiting the divided city of Mitrovica instead. The UN has administered Kosovo for nine years but is due to turn over its "supervised independence" duties to the EU.


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