Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 29, 2004

NATIONAL

Justices question Bush authority

Several Supreme Court justices questioned whether President Bush has authority he has claimed to detain two U.S. citizens indefinitely as "enemy combatants" in the war on terrorism. The two Americans have been in a Navy brig for more than two years. [Page 1a]

Maryland reservists accused

Some of the six Army reservists facing courts-martial on charges of abusing Iraqi prisoners are assigned to the 372nd Military Police Company based in Cumberland, officials said. [Page 1a]

Problems seen in bioweapons plan

Arms controls advocates say research proposed by the Department of Homeland Security at Fort Detrick may violate the Biological Weapons Convention and pose a danger that a pathogen could escape the lab or be used by a worker for an attack. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Urban warfare looms in Iraq city

The Marines who seem set to re-enter Fallujah could face the most difficult type of ground combat: urban warfare. Pentagon officials estimate that 2,000 to 5,000 foreign fighters have spent the past two weeks of a cease-fire shoring up defensive fortifications. [Page 12a]

Fighting intensifies in Fallujah

Intense fighting continued in Fallujah for a second day as U.S. Marines called in AC-130 gunships and other attack aircraft to batter insurgent positions. Elsewhere in Iraq, three coalition soldiers were killed and several were wounded in attacks. [Page 13a]

MARYLAND

Two get life terms, not death

Two West Baltimore men received life sentences for a string of homicides carried out when they were members of a loose-knit drug organization. A federal jury rejected giving them the death penalty. [Page 1a]

Seaport Taxis given safety orders

The Coast Guard ordered the owner of Seaport Taxis to cuts maximum passenger loads by about 25 percent and to modify two pontoon boats to improve stability. The changes come after the fatal water taxi accident March 6 near Fort McHenry. [Page 1b]

Md., Pa. anti-gambling meeting

Anti-gambling leaders from Maryland met with Pennsylvania counterparts in hopes of establishing a defensive perimeter against the expansion of casino-style gambling in the Mid-Atlantic region. [Page 1b]

MEDICAL/SCIENCE

Predator fish caught in Wheaton

A fisherman in Wheaton's Pine Lake hooked some bad news this week when he brought up a northern snakehead, a vicious, invasive predator from Asia that can reproduce rapidly and kill off other species. [Page 1a]

TODAY

Center Stage casts its season

Baltimore's Center Stage announces its lineup of plays for the 2004-2005 season, six productions ranging from the American premiere of the British drama Elmina's Kitchen to Arthur Miller's The Price. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Constellation energized

Constellation Energy Group is making waves, vaulting from No. 352 to No. 203 on the Fortune 500 this year. And its first-quarter earnings, once special items are factored out, rose 83 percent, the company reported. [Page 1d]

Comcast drops bid for Disney

Comcast Corp. is dropping its takeover bid for the Walt Disney Co., saying Disney management has made it clear it has no interest in putting the companies together. [Page 1d]

Court action likely in PSC firings

Three members of the state Public Service Commission said they were deadlocked after a lengthy meeting with the chairman on his abrupt decision to fire five key employees two weeks ago, a signal that the case will likely be resolved in court. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Gibbons' single defeats Seattle

Jay Gibbons' two-run single off Mariners closer Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the eighth inning gave the Orioles a 3-1 victory over Seattle. John Parrish turned in three innings of hitless relief, and closer Jorge Julio earned his third save, as the Orioles snapped a three-game losing streak. [Page 1e]

OK expected on NCAA reform

The NCAA Division I board of directors is expected to approve an academic reform plan that will better monitor progress of athletes and take punitive action against schools that fail to meet new guidelines. [Page 2e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Maryland is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall and a disintegrating horse racing industry. If that's what they're here to sell, we don't want any."

Thomas M. Kauffman of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association, on visit of anti-gambling Marylanders (Article, Page 1B)

MARKETS

DOW -- DOWN

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10,342.60

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1,989.54

S&P -- DOWN

- 15.70

1,122.41

SUNINDEX -- DOWN

- 3.88

271.73

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