Sun News Digest


May 18, 2004


Iraq war straining U.S. military

In the clearest sign to date of the Iraq war's strain on the U.S. military, the Pentagon plans to move 3,600 troops from South Korea to Iraq. The fresh troops are part of the 37,000-strong U.S. force in South Korea that has guarded against an invasion from North Korea for decades. The move reflects, in part, the Army's difficulty in finding enough soldiers for the next rotation of forces into Iraq this year. [Page 1a]

Gays, lesbians marry in Mass.

Jubilant, in some cases incredulous, gays and lesbians across Massachusetts exchanged vows yesterday after receiving the first marriage licenses ever issued by a state to same-sex couples. Supporters cheered and sprayed champagne, and only a few protesters bothered to show up. [Page 1a]

High court backs suits by disabled

Disabled people can sue if states ignore a federal civil rights law protecting their rights, a divided Supreme Court ruled in the case of a paraplegic who crawled up the steps of a small-town courthouse because there was no elevator for his wheelchair. [Page 3a]


Iraqi civilian leader killed

The car-bomb assassination of Iraq's highest-ranking civilian leader in Baghdad appeared to make the prospect of a smooth transfer of political power from U.S. occupation authorities even more fragile and the risks of more violence even higher. But American officials insisted the June 30 handover would occur as scheduled. [Page 1a]

Prices crash on India's market

India's stock market took the biggest one-day plunge in its 129-year history before making a partial recovery, as confusion reigned over the course and composition of the new government to be led by Sonia Gandhi and her Congress Party. [Page 12a]


Clark dispute subject of probe

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark will authorize an independent investigation into an early Saturday morning domestic dispute he had with his fiancee. Clark rejected a call that he step aside, saying he has done nothing wrong. [Page 1b]

No money in blue-eyed cicadas

The growing swarms of 17-year cicadas around Baltimore have spawned another urban myth. Rumors to the contrary, the Johns Hopkins University is NOT paying for blue-eyed cicadas -- even if you're lucky enough to catch one of the oddballs with other-than-red bug eyes. [Page 1b]

Furlough guilty of murder

Ryan T. Furlough, the Ellicott City teen-ager who spent several months researching the best way to kill before spiking his best friend's soda with cyanide, was convicted of first-degree murder. Jurors apparently rejected a defense argument that Furlough was so depressed and medicated that he could not have been thinking rationally before killing Ben Vassiliev. [Page 1a]


Broadneck wins football appeal

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association overturned an Anne Arundel County Board of Arbitration ruling that forced the Bruins to forfeit their football victories, including their county and region titles. [Page 1c]

Bowe released from prison

Former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe was let out of Cumberland Federal Corrections Institute after serving 17 months for kidnapping his first wife and their five children in 1998. [Page 5c]


Gas prices climb over $2

As gas prices hit an all-time high of $2.02 a gallon, driven by record-high crude oil prices and concern that gasoline demand will continue to outstrip capacity, consumers are taking steps to deflect some of the increase: switching to mass transit, sharing rides, forgoing air conditioning, working overtime and downgrading from premium to regular gasoline. [Page 1a]

Wireless dog tag in works

Rockville-based InHand Electronics Inc. is working with the military to develop a wireless dog tag that can run for five or 10 years on a battery and withstand sweat, dirt, grim and the rugged outdoors. [Page 1d]

Stocks tumble on Wall Street

Wall Street, already beset by worries about the economy and world events, skidded even lower yesterday on news that the head of Iraq's governing council had been assassinated. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points. [Page 4d]


Reality TV moves to boxing

Fox and NBC are exchanging verbal jabs over plans for rival boxing reality shows. The first, NBC's The Contender, will offer a $1 million prize. Fox's The Next Great Champ, will offer a boxing career. Fox says imitation is the reality of the game. [Page 5e]



Find out what's driving rising gasoline prices. Read archived stories and view photographs from The Sun's coverage of the fuel situation.


Keep up with all the events in Iraq, from the prison abuse scandal, to attacks by insurgents, to the rebuilding of a nation.


"It's very rare, and there is no money in it for anybody."

Gaye Williams, state biologist, on the odds of finding a blue-eyed mutant among the normally red-eyed cicadas. (Article, Page 1B)














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