May 16, 2007

As of Sunday, visitors officially were welcomed back to Southern California's Catalina Island, after a forest fire that erupted Thursday burned 4,700 acres, destroying one home and six businesses and forcing many local residents and visitors to evacuate. Though the fire still rages in certain "hot spots," according to the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, it was 81 percent contained by Monday morning; full containment was expected by last evening. When asked about possible damage to hotels, a spokesperson for the chamber insisted there was "none whatsoever."

Additional air marshals have been deployed on flights between the U.S. and Germany, according to news networks. The beefed-up security was ordered as U.S. authorities said a terror plot in an advanced stage of planning had been uncovered. An unnamed federal official told media outlets that the plot involved bombs and small arms to be used against U.S. facilities, possibly including military or diplomatic facilities. The U.S. Embassy in Germany issued a warden message citing "a heightened threat situation" in mid-April but made no mention of any specifics. Islamic extremist groups on numerous occasions have threatened attacks in Germany unless German military personnel are withdrawn from Afghanistan.