German authorities braced for huge protests as President Bush arrives today in Berlin for a six-day European tour. Tens of thousands of demonstrators critical of US policy on the Middle East, Iraq, the environment, and other issues were expected to take to the streets. During stops in France and Italy, Bush also is likely to hear from European Union leaders angered by his moves to bolster the US steel and agriculture industries. The high point of the trip may come Friday in Russia, where Bush is due to sign a treaty with President Vladimir Putin to cut their nations' respective nuclear weapons stockpiles by two-thirds over 10 years.
The White House downplayed significance of just when an FBI field agent's warning of a possible Al Qaeda plot came to Bush's attention. Press secretary Ari Fleischer said the president has "heard of it now." The New York Times reported that days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were alerted to the so-called Phoenix memo, but didn't brief Bush on it until recently. Mueller warned Monday that it may be impossible to prevent further terrorist acts, among them suicide-bomb attacks in American cities.
A Palestinian-American doctor returned to California after 15 days in Israeli custody that he termed, "a nightmare." Dr. Riad Abdelkarim, above, was greeted by family and supporters at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana Monday night. He was detained May 5 after visiting the Jenin refugee camp, on suspicion of ties to a terrorist group. Abdelkarim is a member of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, whose US assets were frozen for allegedly funding Hamas, a Palestinian group responsible for numerous suicide attacks.
A racketeering lawsuit filed against Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles accuses the leader of the US's largest archdiocese of conspiring to protect an alleged pedophile priest. The suit was filed Monday in California state court by four men who claim they were abused by the Rev. Michael Baker. In a recent interview, Baker said he told Mahony of his sexual misconduct in 1986, but was allowed to continue working with children until his retirement in 2000.
Stephen Jay Gould, who died Sunday in New York, was a noted evolutionary theorist, paleontologist, teacher at Harvard University, and a prolific writer known for making complex concepts understandable to everyday readers. In 1972, Gould and colleague Niles Eldredge proposed a still-debated theory known as "punctuated equilibrium," in which rapid evolution takes place in brief bursts between long periods with little change.