World

The shaken leaders of Turkey's government expressed confidence that their friendship with the US would survive Saturday's vote by parliament to deny American troops the use of bases there for war with Iraq. They indicated the proposal, laden with billions of dollars of US aid for Turkey's struggling economy, might be resubmitted as soon as Tuesday. But political analysts said such a move would be unlikely if a second rejection appeared imminent.

Six more banned missiles were being crushed by Iraqi bulldozers Sunday, bringing to 10 the number destroyed over the weekend. And the Baghdad regime was to hold talks with UN inspectors on ways to provide proof that stocks of forbidden nerve gas and anthrax had been disposed of as required. Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix called the missile-crushing "a significant piece of real disarmament," but a Bush administration spokeswoman dismissed the moves as "part of their game of deception." Blix is to report to the Security Council on Iraqi disarmament again Friday.

In related developments:

• Western intelligence agencies were trying to corroborate a report that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the murder of a senior missile engineer to keep him from passing vital information to UN inspectors, London's Sunday Telegraph reported.

• France's foreign minister repeated his government's vow to oppose a new UN resolution that would find Iraq in material breach of its obligation to disarm. But he did not say that opposition would mean vetoing it.

• A dozen of the British peace activists who traveled to Iraq to serve as human shields in the event of war will return home, partly for fears about their safety and partly because their actions did not lead to a hoped-for "mass migration [of] 5,000 to 10,000" followers, their spokesman said.

A key session of Palestinian legislators was scheduled for next weekend to establish the post of prime minister, with whom Yasser Arafat would share his power. That will require amending laws covering the Palestinian Authority, and permits were being sought from Israel that would allow more than 200 members of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Council to travel to the meetings. An aide said Arafat accepts the concept of nominating a prime minister. But it was not clear whether he'd resist doing so when the time comes, perhaps by postponing the process.

Would-be reformers of the political and social systems in Iran were dealt their first defeat at the polls in six years. Conservative supporters of the status quo staged a major comeback, winning all but one seat on the City Council in Tehran, the capital. Vote-counting after Friday's election was not complete in other cities as the Monitor went to press. Analysts said the turnout at the polls - only 10 percent in Tehran - reflected disillusionment among young Iranians at the ability of reformers to produce change.

Human error was blamed for the derailing of a train carrying tourists to a popular mountain resort in Taiwan. The accident Saturday killed at least 17 people and injured 173 others, many of them seriously. Reports said a device coupling the locomotive to the brakes for four passenger cars had not been switched on, causing the train to speed out of control down a steep incline.

For the first time, yachting's top prize, the America's Cup, was won by a European country: landlocked Switzerland. The Swiss boat, Alinghi, funded and navigated by biotech billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, swept the final round of competition, defeating two-time defending champion New Zealand five races to none.

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