Some of the major developments last week:
* By a 15 to 0 vote, the U.N. Security Council endorsed a resumption of Iraqi control over the nation's political and economic affairs for the first time since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The U.S.-dominated military occupation of Iraq will end formally on June 30, although 160,000 foreign troops will remain to battle insurgents. Iraq is set to gain the authority to order them out, but new Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has said he will not do so.
After months of insisting on control, the Bush administration calculated that Iraqi leaders backed by a more united international community could turn back the militant opposition that has beset the occupation. In a spirit far different from that of 18 months ago, leaders from Russia, Britain and Germany followed with hopeful words after reaching final compromises on a resolution designed to strengthen the interim government and show skeptical Iraqis that the United States will no longer dominate Iraqi politics.
It took five versions and a battery of U.S. concessions delivering more assurances of Iraqi authority over Iraqi affairs and more details about the end of the U.S.-controlled occupation to make the vote unanimous.
* President Bush said that he does not expect NATO to provide troops for Iraq, abandoning hope for such help after partners in the alliance raised objections.
In a news conference Thursday ending the three-day Group of Eight meeting of world leaders, which Bush hosted on Sea Island, Ga., the president said his only hope for the military alliance would be to help in training Iraqi troops if the new interim government requests such help.
"I don't expect more troops from NATO to be offered up," he said. "That's an unrealistic expectation. Nobody is suggesting that." Bush had said on Wednesday that "NATO ought to be involved" in Iraq -- a contention quickly rebutted by French President Jacques Chirac and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
* U.S.-led forces on Tuesday freed three Italian security contractors and a Polish businessman held captive at a hideout south of Baghdad. It was the first known military operation aimed at rescuing civilian hostages since insurgents began targeting foreigners for kidnapping in mid-April.
* The new Iraqi government and U.S. occupation authorities declared all militias illegal and outlined a $200 million program to redirect their estimated 100,000 fighters into official security forces, retirement or civilian professions.
According to senior occupation officials, the most immediate effect of the order, issued in the name of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, was to formally outlaw the Mahdi Army of Moqtada Sadr, the defiant Shiite Muslim cleric who has confronted U.S. occupation forces in bloody clashes for the past two months.
The order also stipulated that Sadr and his lieutenants, as members of a now illegal armed group, are barred from holding public office for three years. Sadr's group rejected the ban, saying Allawi's government has no authority to hand down such a law. The ban was designed in part to dramatize the intention of Allawi's government to increase security measures in a country shaken by car bombings and hostage-takings directed against foreigners and by robberies and kidnappings directed against ordinary Iraqis by criminals seeking to profit from the disorder.