President Bush welcomed a staunch counterterrorism ally, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to the White House, saying the two nations remain "determined to fight that threat until it's defeated." In addition to their talks, Bush was hosting state dinner for Arroyo, a rare honor in his administration. Arroyo, one of two Southeast Asian leaders to support the war in Iraq, heads a government that's battling both Islamic and communist rebels, some with alleged links to Al Qaeda. She was expected to press for additional aid, military equipment, and training in meetings with Bush and with Secretary of State Powell.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer announced his resignation, saying, "It's time to go." His departure, effective in July, comes as Bush gears up for what could be a grueling schedule of campaigning for reelection in 2004. Fleischer, who married six months ago, expressed interest in public speaking and writing. Deputy press secretary Scott McLellan is considered his probable successor.
The US Supreme Court gave a qualified OK to a plan by Maine to force drug companies to lower prescription costs for people without benefits, ruling that the industry had failed to show why it shouldn't take effect. Pharmaceutical firms contend the program violates federal law, while more than two dozen other states had rallied on its behalf. In other cases, the justices agreed to consider whether states that offer scholarships and other aid to private, secular schools should be obligated to do the same for religious schools. They also rejected a challenge to the US detention of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda supporters at the Guantanamo Navy base on Cuban territory.
The Senate needs to act "immediately" to raise the national debt limit, Treasury Secretary Snow said Monday in a letter to congressional leaders. Federal spending is nearing the $6.4 trillion limit, he warned, and the government will be unable to meet obligations - including income-tax refunds and Social Security payments - as of May 28. The House approved an increase, but it has become bogged down in the Senate amid debate over Bush's proposed income-tax cuts.
Late filings in 65 cases of alleged police misconduct allowed 96 officers to escape possible prosecution in the past two years, the Los Angeles Times reported. The cases were sent to the district attorney's office after the statute of limitations had passed and reportedly involved alleged assaults, public intoxication, and lying to investigators.