Protests Put Relay in Doubt

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Olympic torch arrived for its only North American stop amid heavy security Tuesday, a day after its visit to Paris descended into chaos and activists there scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to protest China's human rights record.

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the committee would consider ending the international leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay because of the protests.

The torch's global journey was supposed to highlight China's growing economic and political power. But activists opposing China's human rights policies and a recent crackdown on Tibet have been protesting along the torch's 136,788-kilometer route since the start of the flame's odyssey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing.

Rogge said he was "deeply saddened" by protests in London and Paris and concerned about the relay in San Francisco.

The flame arrived in San Francisco early Tuesday and was immediately put in a vehicle to be whisked away to a secret location, San Francisco Olympic Torch Relay Committee spokesman David Perry said. Security was heightened because several protests were planned before the torch's 10-kilometer relay Wednesday.

Three people climbed the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday and tied the Tibetan flag and two pro-Tibet banners to its cables.