Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 14, 2004

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Maybe we should say, `Hola amiga!' to customers now." Anthony Ramage, cashier at the McDonald's where the faltering English of another worker annoyed state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer. (Article, Page 1B)

NATIONAL

Voters haven't abandoned Bush

President Bush's Iraq policy has endured one setback after another. Yet while a growing number of voters are holding the president accountable for what they view as failures in Iraq, they seem far from ready to abandon him in his bid for re-election. [Page 3a]

Letters foreshadow prison trouble

At least two U.S. senators received letters and other contacts nearly a year ago from relatives of four Army reservists accused of abusing detainees at Camp Bucca, detailing dangerous conditions and low morale at the Iraqi prison. Troubles at Camp Bucca foreshadowed what was to happen last fall at Abu Ghraib. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Troops mixed over prison scandal

Soldiers interviewed this week on duty in Iraq expressed frustration and indifference over the ill-treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, a scandal they say is affecting them all to a degree. [Page 1a]

Restraint of U.S. military sought

The Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal has sparked an international effort to curb American military actions in Iraq after the transfer of power to a caretaker government on June 30. [Page 15a]

Syrian president debates future

With newly imposed U.S. sanctions placed on Syria and a war raging in neighboring Iraq, President Bashar Assad, 39, contemplates his country's future: Will he become the reformer who brings Syria into a modern world of democracy and freedom or will he hold to the past, yet another regional tyrant? [Page 13a]

MARYLAND

College rescinds honorary degree

Mount St. Mary's College in Frederick County has withdrawn an offer of an honorary degree to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales after a campus protest over his support for the death penalty. But the college president said the offer was revoked because he failed to seek proper approval from a Board of Trustees panel before offering the degree. Gonzales is still scheduled to speak at graduation. [Page 1b]

Nature camp for middle schoolers

A Baltimore-based foundation is building a $30 million camp for middle school pupils on a 97-acre site along the Elk Neck peninsula in Cecil County. NorthBay, with room for 310 children, will use the natural setting to teach about wetlands ecosystems to the best inner-tubing techniques. Groundbreaking is today. [Page 1b]

Warnings posted on snakeheads

Concerned about new appearances by the Asian snakehead fish, state officials are posting warning signs along the Potomac River after a fisherman caught one this week. The 12-inch snakehead was caught on the Maryland side of the Potomac in Charles County. The Department of Natural Resources hopes the signs will persuade fishermen who catch other so-called "Frankenfish" to kill them and report the findings to authorities. [Page 2b]

SPORTS

Doubleheader a win-loss for O's

Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera, two days after being called up from Double-A Bowie, allowed just two hits in six shutout innings to win his major league debut, 1-0, over the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader yesterday. Chicago salvaged a split by winning the second game, 6-5. [Page 1e]

Funny Cide to sit out race today

Funny Cide, winner of last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, won't run today in the Pimlico Special. Barclay Tagg, his trainer, made the decision late yesterday afternoon. Funny Cide has a respiratory condition that worsens in hot, humid weather, Tagg said. [Page 1e]

At buzzer, Lakers beat Spurs

Derek Fisher made an off-balance jump shot as time expired to give visiting Los Angeles Lakers a 74-73 victory over San Antonio Spurs and a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Western Conference semifinal series. [Page 1e]

BUSINESS

Language not factor for business

Despite Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer's comment that fast-food workers in America should speak English, and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s message that multiculturalism is bunk, corporate leaders view customers and employees who speak little or no English as an increasingly valued segment of the population. [Page 1a]

Employers' health costs up 5.5%

Health insurance costs for small employers in Maryland rose 5.5 percent last year, the smallest increase since 1997, a state report released yesterday shows. Experts said the deceleration reflects moderating hospital and pharmacy costs, as well as more competitive pricing by insurers. [Page 1a]

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