Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 07, 2004

NATIONAL

Bush apologizes for prison abuses

President Bush apologized yesterday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers and said he had scolded Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for his handling of the scandal. But the president rejected calls to oust Rumsfeld. [Page 1A]

Some Methodists favor schism

United Methodist evangelicals said yesterday that their church should split after three decades of discord over homosexuality, signaling a deep rift in the nation's third-largest denomination. Their proposal, at the Methodist national policy meeting, reflected widespread frustration that years of debate over gay issues have diverted the 8.3 million-member church from its broader mission. [Page 3A]

Access to pill still restricted

The government rejected over-the-counter sales of morning-after birth control yesterday because of concern about young teen-agers' use of the pills. But regulators left open the possibility they will reconsider. [Page 7A]

WORLD

Bush offers Mideast pledge

President Bush, meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday and seeking to ease Arab anger with the United States, pledged to Palestinians to put in writing his commitment to a just and durable Middle East settlement. [Page 12A]

U.S. lawyer held in train bombings

FBI agents arrested a lawyer from Portland, Ore., yesterday as part of the investigation into the March 11 train bombings in Madrid, Spain. Brandon Mayfield, a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody on a material witness warrant. [Page 12A]

Troops seize Najaf office

U.S. forces seized the governor's office in Najaf from militiamen loyal to an anti-American cleric in battles that left as many as 40 insurgents dead yesterday. Meanwhile, a suicide car bombing in Baghdad killed five Iraqis and one U.S. soldier. [Page 16A]

MARYLAND

Ehrlich skeptical of Busch

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said yesterday that while he favors a special General Assembly session on slots, he is leery of House Speaker Michael E. Busch's apparent willingness to consider such a session. Ehrlich wants an Assembly vote taken on slots, not on a referendum for gambling, in the session. [Page 1B]

Marylander joins astronaut corps

Bowie native Richard "Ricky" Arnold II was named yesterday to the 2004 NASA astronaut class, fulfilling a childhood dream of the 40-year-old science teacher. But uncertainty at NASA leaves it unclear whether he or his classmates will ever get to go into space. [Page 1B]

SPORTS

Parade picks three local girls

Zoey Bouchelle of Notre Dame Prep, Ashley Myers of John Carroll and Hayley Siegel of Centennial are among 35 high school girls soccer All-Americans selected by Parade magazine. [Page 1C]

D.C. stadium plan wins praise

Washington Mayor Anthony Williams received good reviews for his new plan for a 100 percent taxpayer-funded stadium if the Montreal Expos move to the nation's capital. [Page 8C]

BUSINESS

Oil prices limit economic recovery

As the price of crude oil approaches record highs, the impact is slicing through the economy, cutting into corporate profits, raising the cost of food, airline tickets, delivery services and countless other products and dampening the current economic recovery. [Page 1A]

Medicare promotes drug cards

The Bush administration touted price comparisons yesterday showing Medicare prescription drug discount cards producing larger-than-expected savings, but the federal study failed to satisfy critics who questioned the findings and insisted that the program would disappoint seniors. [Page 1D]

With fanfare, visitor center opens

In a glitzy celebration attended by hundreds and punctuated with pyrotechnics, Baltimore christened its long-awaited Inner Harbor visitor center last night. The 8,000-square-foot center is expected to attract 250,000 visitors during its first year. [Page 1D]

TODAY

Latin Grammy Awards head west

The Latin Grammys are going home to Los Angeles, where the music awards had their premiere in 2000. The move from Miami will ease production of the Sept. 1 CBS telecast and related activities, said Marya Meyer, spokeswoman for the Miami-based Latin Recording Academy. [Page 2E]

Fox to counter ABC's tribute

Fox News hopes to counter ABC's Nightline, which devoted a segment last Friday to reading the names of American troops killed in Iraq, with a segment on Fox News Sunday that will describe the Bush administration's accomplishments there. [Page 3E]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"All I got was jacked around for a year. ... I got jacked around, and it is not going to happen again. Believe me."

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. on WBAL radio talking about his frustration over failed slots legislation. (Article, Page 1B)

MARKETS

DOW -- DOWN

-69.69

10,241.26

NASDAQ -- DOWN

-19.52

1,937.74

S&P -- DOWN

-7.57

1,113.96

SUNINDEX -- DOWN

-1.87

268.49

TODAY ONLINE

HEAR SCHAEFER SPEAK

Hear Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer speak about his trip to a local fast-food restaurant. Follow the address below and click on the audio icon on the right. www.baltimoresun.com/english

PRISON SCANDAL Q&A

Submit questions to The Sun's Pentagon reporter, Tom Bowman, about the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. Answers will be posted Tuesday on the Web site. www.baltimoresun.com/iraq

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