TEL AVIV - Backpedaling by the Palestinians disrupted chances several days ago to wrap up a deal over a West Bank troop withdrawal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. His comments came as a Palestinian negotiator confirmed that secret talks were still under way between the two sides.

South Africa

DURBAN - Heads of state began flying in from around the globe for the Nonaligned Movement summit on Wed-nes-day and Thursday to discuss issues ranging from economic crises to regional conflicts.


PHNOM PENH - Strongman Hun Sen's ruling party was officially named the winner of July 26 parliamentary elections, a day after Cambodia's highest appeals court dismissed opposition complaints of electoral fraud.


KIEV - One of the nation's largest synagogues has been damaged in a fierce fire, and the chief rabbi said investigators suspect arson.

Saudi Arabia

RIYADH - Scorching heat has caused severe water shortages in the western cities of Jiddah and Mecca, where water service has been limited to two hours a day.


BELGRADE - A man jumped into a car driven by the wife of the top U.S. diplomat in Yugoslavia, pointed a gun at her head and later stole the car, a Belgrade newspaper reported. The Dnevni Telegraf said Sharon Miles, wife of U.S. charge d'affaires Richard Miles, was stopped at a traffic light in downtown Belgrade when the young man got into her car.


SRINAGAR - Unidentified militants in troubled Kashmir valley killed five men thought to have belonged to a pro-government militia, police said.


KHARTOUM - Floods in the north and east may have affected up to 100,000 people in recent days, the head of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society said.


TEHRAN - Some 70,000 Iranian troops launched major exercises on Iran's border with Afghanistan as tension grew between the two countries, Iranian state radio reported.


BEIJING - Days before United Nations human rights chief Mary Robinson begins a long-awaited visit to China, Beijing said it welcomed a dialogue on human rights on the basis of mutual respect.


SYDNEY - Some residents received a clean bill of health on their tap water but others remained under orders to boil water.


EL JADIDA - A pickup truck carrying relatives to a village wedding collided with another truck, killing 17 of the guests and badly injuring 21 others, a newspaper reported.

South Korea

SEOUL - North Korea will return two sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers missing from the Korean War, the American-led U.N. Command said.


JAKARTA - Shouting separatist slogans, stone-throwing mobs attacked Chinese-owned shops for a second day in northern Indonesia. Riot officers shot and killed two people, residents said.


AMSTERDAM - Traces of toxic chemicals found in the bodies of whales indicate that manmade pollution is spilling deep into the Atlantic, a Dutch scientist said.