Preview -- World News Tonight 05/31/01

Good Afternoon.

"The merry-go-round is turning again."

That's a quote from our legal affairs analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who is with us in the newsroom today, taking in the news from Denver and Terre Haute. It's a legal "merry-go-round" he's talking about, and it involves the Oklahoma City bombing case. The execution of Timothy McVeigh may be delayed — again.

Today McVeigh's lawyers have met their client and filed for a stay of execution. The appeal will be based on those FBI documents that were not turned over to McVeigh before his 1997 trial. His lawyers called that lapse a "fraud upon the court." The government argues that the documents raise no questions about McVeigh's guilt.

ABC News' Dean Reynolds reports from Terre Haute tonight, and Bill Redeker in Denver has a profile of District Court Judge Richard Matsch, who will decide what happens next. And if time permits we'll check in with Jeffrey Toobin, as well.

The debate about stem cell research has taken hold in several countries, typically pitting scientists who consider the research potentially life saving against those who find any work with human embryos reprehensible. Tonight we go to the country where the debate is inflamed by something else: history. So often in Germany, history intrudes. This week it has again. Jim Wooten reports tonight from Berlin.

In the other news, an accused FBI spy is arraigned, a giant dinosaur discovered, a spelling champion is crowned, and a much-revered man has died in the Middle East.

We take a Closer Look tonight at how one country is fighting back against a deadly contagion. Australia has for decades had the world's highest rates of melanoma or skin cancer. And now it is marshalling all sorts of resources to bring those rates down. It's a case study that's also a lesson for this country. Medical correspondent John McKenzie has that story for us tonight.

And finally, guess where they worship the ice, the puck, and the stars of the National Hockey League? In some of the least likely places. ABC News' Brian Rooney will have that.

We hope you'll join us.

Peter Jennings

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