Germany preparing to Bush visit

Security around Stralsund was tight, with fighter jets patrolling the skies and utility workers sealing off 2,200 manhole covers to ensure that nothing disrupts the president's visit to Chancellor Angela Merkel's constituency.

Under the watchful eye of thousands of police, anti-Bush demonstrations have been planned well away from the areas that Bush will tour. On Wednesday, the environmental group Greenpeace hung a banner reading "No War, No Nukes, No Bush" from the Marienkirche church.

Residents were being forced to move all cars out of Stralsund's historic center, and everything from bicycles to flower pots was ordered brought inside. Citizens will be prohibited from opening their windows during Thursday's visit, while shops are required to remain shut.

Bush was arriving Wednesday night in Rostock on the 36-hour visit at Merkel's invitation en route to the G-8 meeting in Russia, the AP reports.

A coastal resort hotel in nearby Heiligendamm, where Bush was scheduled to spend Wednesday and Thursday nights, was surrounded by razor-sharp rolls of concertina wire. A 1.5 kilometer (one-mile) stretch of beachfront was cordoned off.

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