Priests' Misconduct Highlighted in Files

BOSTON -- Priests sexually abused teenage girls, used cocaine and other drugs, and one had an affair with a female parishioner, according to allegations contained in personnel files maintained by the Boston Archdiocese.

The 3,000 pages of files on eight priests were released yesterday by lawyers representing people who claim they were sexually abused by clergy. The attorneys are seeking to show that Cardinal Bernard Law routinely transferred priests to other parishes even after accusations of child abuse or other wrongdoing.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said she could not comment on the specific allegations contained in the personnel files. But she said, "Some of the information contained in those documents is truly horrible. We're committed to helping any and all survivors."

Returning Astronauts

Keep a Weather Eye

CAPE CANAVERAL -- After six months of indoor exercise, bagged meals and tepid drinks aboard the international space station, astronaut Peggy Whitson is looking forward to walking off shuttle Endeavour and dining on Caesar salad and steak.

She plans to top it off with a cold soft drink, but her homecoming may have to wait.

NASA hoped to beat approaching storms and bring Endeavour back to Earth this afternoon. But Mission Control told the crew of seven it might have to remain in orbit until at least Friday, because Thursday's forecast was grim, too.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- The Sierra Club is threatening to disband its 175-member southern Utah chapter for speaking out against the Bush administration's push toward war with Iraq. The San Francisco-based, 700,000-member environmental organization said the Glen Canyon chapter violated Sierra Club policy in publicly taking its own stand on the issue.

* NEW ORLEANS -- An attorney for David Duke says he is trying to negotiate a deal with federal prosecutors to settle allegations of fraud and income tax violations against the former Ku Klux Klan leader. Duke, a former Louisiana state lawmaker who ran for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and governor in 1991, has been overseas the past two years.

-- From News Services