World

Police with counterterrorism expertise arrived from Australia and Japan to help in a manhunt for the planners of Saturday's bombings of three restaurants on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali. The blasts killed at least 22 people and wounded 122 others. They are blamed on the Al Qaeda-linked Muslim radical organization Jemaah Islamiyah, although no one has claimed responsibility so far. Meanwhile, neighboring Thailand and Malaysia put all major attractions, embassies, and border posts on high alert since "These people are commuting and rotating around the region."

The leadership of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was under a stiff new challenge on security grounds. The Palestinian parliament voted 43-to-5 to give him two weeks to form a new government that would deal more effectively with lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The measure had begun as a motion of no confidence in his government. Against that backdrop, dozens of Palestinian police invaded an authority building in Gaza City, firing into the air to protest inadequate weaponry with which to confront Hamas. In a six-hour assault on a local police station Sunday, Hamas militants killed its commander and two others and wounded at least 50 more people. Israel also is pressuring Abbas to crack down on Hamas.

Drawing ever nearer the border with Syria, US forces carried an offensive against Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq into a third day, reporting that they've killed at least 36 people in the Euphra-tes River towns of Sadah, Karabila, and Rumana. There were no American casualties, military spokesmen said, and they denied Al Qaeda claims of having captured and executed two marines. Meanwhile, Iraq's oil minister escaped an assassination attempt in Baghdad, although at least two of his bodyguards died.

Conflicting reports suggested that European Union diplomats had reached a last-minute compromise that would allow negotiations to begin on admitting Turkey to membership. But Turkish government officials denied that they'd agreed to a compromise and were holding to their vow to boycott the scheduled opening ceremonies in Luxembourg if anything less than full membership was offered. Emergency talks among the EU's foreign ministers spilled over into Monday over Austria's insistence that Turkey be offered the option of a "privileged participation" because the bloc may be unable to absorb a mostly Muslim nation of 70 million people. Details on the reported compromise were not immediately available.

For their research attributing the main cause of stomach and intestinal ulcers to bacteria rather than stress, Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine Monday.

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