With continuing violence as a backdrop, Iraq's ethnic and religious factions are trying to hammer out the draft of a new constitution by today's deadline.
The initial August 15th deadline was extended after weeks of intensive talks failed to produce an agreement. But Iraqi officials insist they will present a final document later today to the Shiites and Kurd-dominated National Assembly. Sunni Arabs say they still have a number of objections. Issues include federalism, distribution of Iraq's oil wealth, power sharing questions and the role of the Shiite clerical hierarchy.
Parliament must either approve the draft, set a new deadline or dissolve. The latest violence has killed several Iraqi policeman, a police captain and his wife.