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Amtrak train derails in Missouri

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Blackwell, Mo. An Amtrak train carrying 107 passengers derailed in eastern Missouri late Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear if there were any injuries, officials said.

Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said she had no details on what caused the crash. She said a few of the train’s cars had derailed upright.

The Texas Eagle train, which runs between Chicago and San Antonio, derailed near the town of Blackwell about 30 miles south of St. Louis.

Earlier Wednesday, a high-speed Amtrak Acela train plowed into a car at a crossing in Waterford, Conn., killing a woman and her 8-year-old grandson and causing major delays along the Boston-to-Washington corridor.

Turkish women blast U.S. Iraq policy

Istanbul, Turkey A group of Turkish female activists confronted Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes Wednesday with heated complaints about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turning a session designed to highlight the empowerment of women into a raw display of anger at U.S. policy in the region.

“This war is really, really bringing your positive efforts to the level of zero,” said Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal, an activist with the Capital City Women’s Forum. She said it was difficult to talk about cooperation between women in the United States and Turkey as long as Iraq was under occupation.

Hughes, a longtime confidant of President Bush with the job of burnishing the U.S. image overseas, has generally met with polite audiences – many of whom received U.S. funding or consisted of former exchange students – during a tour of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week.

In this case the U.S. Embassy asked Kader, an umbrella group that supports woman candidates, to assemble the guest list. None of the activists currently receive U.S. funds and the guests apparently had little desire to mince words. Six of the eight women who spoke at the session, held in Ankara, the capital, focused on the Iraq war.

Israel shuts down Hamas charities

Jerusalem Israel shut down charities with ties to Hamas across the West Bank on Wednesday as it widened a five-day offensive against Palestinian militants despite their pledges to stop firing rockets at Israel.

Moving to stop the violence from escalating, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Cairo to try to enlist the aid of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, while Palestinian officials said he would meet later this month with President Bush in Washington.

SEC upgrades Frist investigation

Washington The Securities and Exchange Commission, which is examining a stock sale by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, has upgraded its initial informal inquiry to a formal investigation.

The change means the agency can issue subpoenas for documents rather than just requesting them. Federal prosecutors also are investigating the Tennessee Republican’s recent sale of stock in HCA Inc. about two weeks before its price dropped. Frist’s family founded the big hospital operating company.

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