USA

There's been "good progress," but "this war will not be quick," President Bush said in providing an update on his administration's counterterrorism war. In a speech at Virginia Miliary Institute, Bush also called on Israel to continue its withdrawals from Palestinian areas, said Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority "must act" on its condemnation of the suicide bombers that prompted the military incursions, and urged Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to do more to confront terrorism. (Story, page 1.)

A new class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of Middle Eastern men detained after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks targets Attorney General Ashcroft and other federal officials. The suit, which civil rights lawyers planned to file in New York federal court as the Monitor went to press, alleges widespread abuse of the detainees, many of them held on immigration violations. Ashcroft has said the Justice Department is careful not to violate constitutional rights while it seeks to protect the public from terrorists.

Boston's Roman Catholic Archbishop, Bernard Law, said he won't resign despite offering to do so in talks with Pope John Paul II in Rome. In a statement released by the Vatican, Law said he was encouraged by the pontiff "to provide the strongest possible leadership in ensuring ... that no child is ever abused again by a priest of the archdiocese." Law is under pressure to step down over his handling of past cases of alleged sexual abuse in a scandal that prompted the pope to summon US cardinals to a summit next week.

Jury selection began in the corruption trial of Providence, R.I., Mayor Vincent Cianci Jr. (R), a process expected to take several days due to extensive publicity. Cianci (above, left) and five other men were charged last year with racketeering, bribery, and extortion in a 29-count federal indictment. Despite the charges, Cianci remains popular and is running for reelection in November.

Bertram (Bert) Johansson, who died earlier this month in Rockport, Mass., won numerous honors in 34 years with the Monitor. As Latin America editor in 1964, he was awarded Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Prize for documenting the emerging Soviet influence on Cuba's Castro regime and an Overseas Press Club citation four years later for best interpretation of foreign affairs in a daily newspaper. He later was the Monitor's UN correspondent, picking up a Society of Professional Journalists award for excellence in reporting. He also served as city editor and coeditor of the News in Brief before retiring in 1978.

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