The White House plans a Middle East peace conference this fall to include Israel and some of its Arab neighors, President Bush was set to announce Monday (after Monitor deadlines), the Associated Press reported. A main objective of the conference would be to help restart peace talks in the region.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles apologized Sunday to more than 500 plaintiffs who will receive a share of a $660 million settlement from the nation's largest archdiocese in the clergy sex- abuse scandal. The cardinal said some buildings will be sold and money borrowed to pay the archdiocese's $250 million share of the total, with insurance carriers covering most of the rest.

A new Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened Monday to traffic in Washington State a day after about 50,000 people celebrated the completion of the longest suspension bridge built in the US since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened in New York in 1964. The new Tacoma-to-Kitsap Peninsula span runs next to the old one, built in 1950.

Eastern Michigan University fired president John Fallon Sunday in a dismissal presumably linked to the school's effort to rule out foul play in the December rape/murder of a female student. A student suspect goes on trial in the case Oct. 15.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who began their baseball existence as the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883, became the first professional sports team to lose 10,000 games when St. Louis defeated them Sunday, 10-2.

Led by Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democratic presidential candidates outraised their Republican counterparts $80 million to $50 million from April to June, according to the latest campaign figures. Spending by the candidates of each party was the same: nearly $50 million.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards called poverty "a huge moral issue facing America" Sunday in kicking off an eight-state tour meant to place the issue at the heart of his campaign and to serve as a challenge to his top rivals.

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