Egypt's month-long parliamentary elections resumed on Saturday amid fears of more violent clashes and allegations of state interference in the polling process against the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. Large security contingents were deployed across the nine governorates where voting was taking place.
Iraqi and United States troops tightened their grip on the northern rebel stronghold of Tal Afar on Monday as insurgents wilted in the face of overwhelming firepower deployed by the 10 000-strong assault force, US commanders said. The 6 000 Iraqi and 4 000 US troops began an all-out offensive late last week.
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said on Tuesday that almost all issues dogging the draft Constitution are resolved, but Sunni Arabs warned it is divisive and will be rejected when put to the nation. ''We have made an important stride,'' the Shi'ite prime minister said.
A scathing United States report on religious freedoms, accusing Saudi Arabia of backing anti-Jewish and anti-Christian campaigns, met with stony silence last week from the government in Riyadh. But a member of the appointed Shura (consultative) Council lashed out at the State Department charges, insisting that freedom of belief is respected in the conservative Muslim kingdom.