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 Tuesday, March 11, 2003

  The War in Iraq - The Countdown to the Vote

Members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed to hold another public session on the Iraq crisis on Tuesday local time. The public session, to be held at the level of ambassadors to the United Nations, was formally requested by the non-aligned group of nations at the UN.

U.N. arms inspectors, in a revised report of a 173-page document on Friday, said they discovered an undeclared Iraqi drone with a wingspan of 24 feet 5 inches, suggesting an illegal range that could threaten Iraq's neighbors with chemical and biological weapons.

Support for U.S. military action remains high, though less than half believe the U.S. should move ahead if France, Russia or China uses its veto power to block a U.S.-sponsored resolution in the Security Council.

The United States had hoped to present the resolution to the council on Tuesday, setting a March 17 deadline for Iraqi disarmament or war. But the vote was put on hold when it became evident that America and its allies had not yet won the nine votes they needed for a majority

Former Australian Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Woolcott, says America has undermined the legitimacy of this week's Security Council vote on Iraq

President Jacques Chirac said Monday that France was prepared to veto the U.S.-backed resolution on Iraq if necessary, joining Russia in saying it would vote against giving Hussein a March 17 deadline to disarm.

The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that the legitimacy of a war on Iraq without UN support would be "seriously impaired".

An Iraqi defector has told Sky News that Saddam Hussein will use chemical weapons if the country is invaded

A ghost has been haunting the United States. It is the specter of the Ottoman Empire

Pakistan has decided to abstain in any Security Council vote that would pave the way for war in Iraq, a senior official of the ruling party said on Monday.

Russia has said it will vote against a draft resolution proposed by the US and UK that gives Iraq a 17 March deadline

The Conservatives today suffered their first resignation over Iraq with the surprise announcement from John Randall that he was quitting as he did not consider a case had been made for war.

Worried United Nations nuclear inspectors have concluded that Iran has built "hundreds" of gas centrifuges ready to produce weapons-grade uranium

Analysis: Africa's Iraq swing votes

The audience for "Democracy Now!" is small but growing, and the show is influential among antiwar activists.

U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice took an unabashed swing at Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien's stand on Iraq yesterday in what appeared to be another example of prickly relations between Washington and Ottawa

Vajpayee assured opposition lawmakers that India wouldn't extend facilities to the United States if it went ahead with unilateral military action against Iraq.

Angola says it will not be pressured into making a decision on whether to support a U.S.-backed proposal giving Iraq a deadline of March 17 to disarm.

A leading member of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government has threatened to resign if Britain joins a U.S.-led war against Iraq without U.N. backing, party colleagues have warned.

The White House is expected to present information in a U.N. weapons inspector's report -- including details about an Iraqi drone aircraft -- to bolster its case against Baghdad

Blair sets out final terms to avoid war

Australia is the only country to have acted on a confidential Bush Administration request for the expulsion of 300 Iraqi diplomats worldwide on suspicion of spying

Turkey's most popular politician, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was elected to Parliament on Sunday, leaving the road clear for him to become prime minister and allow a possible second vote to let United States troops into the country.

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