World

Yasser Arafat insisted "there is no crisis" in his Palestinian Authority, but worry grew that protests against his regime could turn into civil war. Arafat said Saturday he'd accept any changes proposed by Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, including the replacement of some hand-picked cabinet ministers. But in the Gaza Strip some Palestinians burned down a police station and seized another, demanding that he reinstate 11 security officers he'd fired. Meanwhile, prominent Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi called on him to end his "one-man show." She said reports of "high weapons sales in Gaza and even in the West Bank" worried her. Against that backdrop, Israeli rockets on Sunday destroyed the Gaza City home of a Hamas leader, apparently missing him but wounding four other people.

Three more foreign nationals disappeared in Iraq over the weekend and were suspected of being in the hands of terrorists. Two are Pakistanis; the third is an Egyptian diplomat. But India's foreign minister said he had indications that seven other hostages - all truck drivers and three of them his countrymen - had been seized for ransom rather than for political reasons and "could" be released soon. At least 22 countries have been affected by kidnappings in Iraq; two have capitulated to terrorists' demands to pull all their personnel out of the country.

American Lance Armstrong won a record sixth straight the Tour de France bicycle race. His overall time was six minutes and 19 seconds faster than runner-up Andreas Kloden of Germany. Disputing suggestions that this may be his last appearance in the tour, he said: "I suspect I'll be here [next year]. It's too big of a race."

Three crewmen of the express train that derailed last week in Turkey were charged with criminal negligence, but it was the government that came in for the harshest criticism. A probe of Thursday's accident showed the train was traveling at 73 m.p.h. in a zone rated for 50 m.p.h. when it left the tracks, killing 37 people and injuring 81 others. Critics blame the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for OK'ing the high-speed rail service despite warnings by experts that the nation's tracks weren't adequate.

Two-thirds of Bangladesh was underwater, and the number of dead from the worst monsoon rains in 15 years rose to at least 227. Meteorologists warned that conditions may worsen because of tides made higher by a full moon and rains increasing the flow of water into already swollen rivers. Neighboring India reported 396 deaths; Nepal 102.

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