USA

President Bush stood by Israel in its decision to reoccupy Palestinian areas of the West Bank in response to suicide bombings in Jerusalem. Bush's announcement of a peace plan was delayed by the bombings, but he still plans to propose the creation of a Palestinian state, aides said. They said he would wait for a period of relative calm in the region to unveil the plan, and may couple it with a decision to send Secretary of State Powell on another mission to ease tensions. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said even a limited Palestinian state is premature. Arabs leaders were skeptical that the proposal would go far enough.

In the first steps toward making Bush's Homeland Security Department proposal a reality, the House authorized a nine-member committee to shepherd the legislation through Congress and head off squabbling. The White House accelerated the process by sending its detailed blueprint to the Hill earlier than expected. Congressional leaders say they are aiming for passage by fall. Above, homeland security director Tom Ridge speaks during a Capitol Hill ceremony to present the bill.

A grand jury in Westchester County, N.Y., delivered a stinging denunciation of the Roman Catholic Church, saying its treatment of sex-abuse claims amounted to "an orchestrated effort to protect abusing clergy members from investigation, arrest, and prosecution." The report also called for laws making it a felony for church officials to fail to report allegations of abuse. Meanwhile, Boston newspapers reported that Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly has convened a grand jury to weigh evidence in the sex-abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese.

The federal government is accelerating efforts to overhaul airline security, sending teams to 23 airports Sunday and to another 90 by the first week of July. Boston's Logan International Airport and Newark International Airport, takeoff points for three of the four hijacked planes Sept. 11, will be among the next to receive full federal security forces. Officials face a Nov. 19 deadline for replacing private screeners with federal employees and a Dec. 31 deadline for inspecting all checked bags for explosives.

Jack Buck, who died in St. Louis, was one of the most recognizable broadcast voices in sports. He spent five decades behind the microphone, calling events from pro bowling, to NFL Super Bowls, to baseball's World Series. But he will be best remembered for his distinctive play-by-play coverage of St. Louis Cardinals games.

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