THE MIDDLE EAST

Palestinians Turn Over Police List

JERUSALEM--The Palestinians gave Israel a list of names of their 30,000 police officers yesterday, fulfilling a long-delayed provision of peace agreements.

Israel wanted the list to ensure that officers armed by the Palestinian Authority are not involved in anti-Israeli acts. Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office said it would check the names against its own databases.

Israeli Police Question Netanyahu, Wife

BAT YAM, Israel--Police fraud investigators questioned former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in connection with allegations that a contractor carried out private work for him and billed the government.

Netanyahu, who was defeated for reelection in May by Ehud Barak, denied any wrongdoing and called for the state comptroller to look into the allegations.

Witnesses said Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, entered a police station at Bat Yam, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv, by a back entrance to meet with investigators.

AFRICA South Africa Approves Arms Purchases

JOHANNESBURG--The South African government gave final approval for new arms purchases worth $3.5 billion over the next eight years.

The deal--which involves purchases of submarines, aircraft and ships from England, Sweden, Italy and Germany--is the nation's first major acquisition of weapons since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Americans' Sentence Rankles Zimbabwe HARARE, Zimbabwe--Zimbabwe's attorney general said he will appeal the six-month jail terms given to three Americans convicted of illegal arms possession and of attempting to load dangerous weapons on an aircraft.

Attorney General Patrick Chinamasa said in a statement published by the state-owned Herald newspaper that he will ask the Supreme Court for a review of the High Court sentence, which he said trivialized a serious offense.

EUROPE

EU Parliament Okays Commission

STRASBOURG, France--The European Union closed a dark chapter of fraud and financial wrongdoing among top EU officials by approving a new executive commission. The incoming team promised a new era of openness.

Commission President Romano Prodi said he will strive over the next five years to bring his administration closer to the Union's citizens and to cooperate fully with the European Parliament, which voted the new commission into office.

Israeli Agent Charged With Espionage

BERN, Switzerland--An Israeli arrested in connection with a bungled spying operation has been charged with espionage and illegal acts for a foreign government, the Swiss federal prosecutor's office said.

The man was one of five people seized while allegedly trying to install bugging equipment in an apartment building near the Swiss capital, Bern, in February 1998. Swiss authorities have refused to disclose his identity.

French Court Convicts 21 in Bombings

PARIS--France's special anti-terrorism court convicted 21 Muslim men of planning and providing support for deadly bomb attacks in 1995.

One defendant, Mustafa Aouabed, was acquitted. Five of the 21 were sentenced to 10 years in prison. The others were given terms ranging from six months to eight years.

THE AMERICAS

Medical Group Responds to Threats

BOGOTA, Colombia--The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said it has evacuated 11 foreign doctors and nurses from Colombia and suspended several health projects after receiving threatening phone calls.

Spokesman Enrique Grau said the callers to the group's office in the Caribbean port of Cartagena, 400 miles north of Bogota, did not identify themselves or make clear their complaint with the organization. He did not give further details on the calls.

Inquiry Blames Pilots in Argentine Crash

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina--An investigatory board has blamed crew error for Argentina's deadliest airplane accident, in which a passenger jet caught fire during a failed take-off.

The ruling by the Argentine air force board said the crew could have acted to prevent the Aug. 31 crash in Buenos Aires, in which 72 people, including the pilot and copilot, died.

Coast Guard Repatriates 24 Cubans

HAVANA, Cuba--The U.S. Coast Guard has repatriated another 24 Cuban boat people intercepted at sea while trying to flee their Caribbean island illegally, the government announced.

ASIA

Sri Lankan Air Force Accused in Deaths

VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka--A clandestine Tamil guerrilla radio broadcast said that a Sri Lankan air force bombing attack on Tamil rebel positions killed 18 civilians and injured 30.

Voice of Tiger radio said that Sri Lankan Kfir jets bombed the Pudikudiruppu area, near the eastern Mullaithivu coast. Mullaithivu is 170 miles east of the capital, Colombo. Ten civilian houses were damaged, and there were children among the dead, the broadcast said.

China Arrests 100,000 Before Holiday

BEIJING--China has arrested 100,000 people in advance of massive celebrations being planned for the 50th anniversary of Communist rule, the official Xinhua news agency said.

It said the nationwide crackdown, which began July 1, was undertaken to ensure "social stability and safety" during the celebrations, due to be held on October 1.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Leave your crying babies here; the militias will eat them."

-- An Indonesian soldier speaking to a woman fleeing East Timor, Page A17