Pope Travels to Germany

* Making his first foreign trip as pope, Benedict XVI arrived in his native Germany yesterday.

The pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church, is attending World Youth Day, a week-long event now in its 20th year.

The pope plans to visit a Jewish synagogue and meet with Muslim leaders during his four-day stay. As many as 1 million people are expected to attend when Benedict says Mass on Sunday in the city of Cologne.

See You, Alligator

* Residents of South Carolina's Isle of Palms are used to living among alligators. Their golf courses, for example, have signs by the lakes warning that toothy reptiles could be lurking nearby.

Even so, folks there were surprised to see a six-foot gator floating in the Atlantic surf recently.

Prince William schoolteacher Scott Christian, who was vacationing at the beach, was "one of those fools" who got within 10 feet of the gator. But Christian said this week that the animal "was probably pretty stressed being in saltwater" and thus seemed less threatening.

Dozens of people watched as the gator floated along the shoreline and unsuccessfully tried to get out of the surf. Some worried that the animal would die if it didn't get help. Finally, state wildlife officials caught the gator and took it inland.

As for Christian, he will have a great show-and-tell story for his first-graders when school starts.

The Write Stuff

* District kids in need of school supplies are getting a hand from TV's Kwame Jackson. The D.C. native hopes his Stuff the Bus program will collect enough backpacks and supplies for every kid in the city to "begin the new [school] year right."

Donations are being accepted through Aug. 27 at the city's 13 Boys & Girls Clubs. Call 301-562-2003 for club locations.

A gator lurks near the shore at Isle of Palms, South Carolina.World Youth Day participants with a poster of Pope Benedict XVI.