Tens of thousands of Italians protest bush visit
Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters have taken to the streets in Rome as US President George W Bush visits the Italian capital. Crowds of demonstrators shouting "No Bush, no war" marched through the city.
The protest came hours after Pope John Paul II reiterated his condemnation of the US-led war in Iraq in a meeting with Mr Bush at the Vatican.
Riot police fired some tear gas in the tense but mostly peaceful rallies, in which flares and fireworks were thrown.
Organisers say 150,000 people have turned out for the protest, while police put the figure at 25,000.
Your visit to Rome takes place at a moment of great concern for the continuing situation of grave unrest in the Middle East, both in Iraq and in the Holy Land
Pope John Paul II
Transcript: Pope's address
'Pilgrim Pope' battles on
In his meeting at the Vatican, Mr Bush presented the Pope with the American Medal of Freedom, calling him a "son of Poland who became the Bishop of Rome and a hero of our time".
The Pope, who has Parkinson's Disease, struggled to speak clearly as he addressed the US president.
He reiterated the Vatican's opposition to the war in Iraq and said everyone wanted the situation to be normalised as quickly as possible "with the active participation of the international community and in particular the United Nations".
He added: "In the past few weeks other deplorable events have come to light which have troubled the civic and religious conscience of all, and made more difficult a serene and resolute commitment to shared human values: in the absence of such a commitment neither war nor terrorism will ever be overcome."
The Pope did, however, praised Mr Bush's "commitment to the promotion of moral values in American society, particularly with regard to respect for LIFE and the family".
****(not much life or family left after bush's genocide in Irag...the pope's condition, whatever that may be, seems to be worsening by the day)!!!!