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Iraqi Parliament Fails to Pass 2008 Budget, Adopts New Flag


A dispute between Iraqi lawmakers has stalled what was expected to be easy passage of Iraq's 2008 budget.

The $48-billion budget deal fell apart late Monday after a dispute between Shi'ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish lawmakers over how some of the money would be spent.

Lawmakers disagreed over the plan to allot 17 percent of the budget to the oil-rich and largely autonomous northern region of Kurdistan.

Iraq's parliament did vote Tuesday to adopt a temporary, new flag - no longer displaying what has been described as Saddam Hussein's handwritten phrase, "Allahu Akbar." Instead, the words will be printed.

The new flag will also omit the distinctive three stars. However, it will keep its red, white and black stripes.

Iraqis argued the old flag was a reminder of Saddam's brutal rule.

There was more violence in Iraq Tuesday.

In Diyala province, Iraqi security forces found the bodies of at least six family members who had been shot execution-style.

In Baquba, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a school entrance, killing one person and wounding 21 others, most of them students and teachers.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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