Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

July 13, 2004

NATIONAL

President Bush brushed aside a Senate report that said he drew on faulty intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, saying that Saddam Hussein was "a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them." [Page 1a]

Reservist appears in court

Pfc. Lynndie England, who gained worldwide notoriety after pictures showed her taunting naked Iraqi prisoners, made her first public appearance to face Army charges of abuse while serving at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. Dressed in camouflage and visibly pregnant, she answered, "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" when asked by a military judge if she understood the 13 charges against her. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Sharon aims to grow coalition

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asked Shimon Peres, leader of the moderate Labor Party, to join his coalition government, an alliance that could boost chances for Sharon's plan to withdraw Jewish soldiers and settlers from the Gaza Strip. Sharon told members of his Likud party that he would call early elections if they blocked Labor from joining the government. [Page 7a]

Iraq issues warning to rebels

Iraq's interim president warned guerrillas that the government would take strong action against them if they continued threatening the country's security. The government has also discussed offering a limited amnesty to fighters to put down the insurgency. [Page 7a]

MARYLAND

DNA links convict to 3 slayings

Police used DNA to link a man serving a life sentence in prison for a Prince George's County murder to the brutal slayings of three Anne Arundel women more than a decade ago. [Page 1a]

Storms bring flash flooding

Torrential storms that raged most of yesterday afternoon caused flash flooding in Northeastern Maryland that flooded basements, washed out roads and left several motorists stranded. The waterfront towns of Havre de Grace, North East and Port Deposit were particularly hard hit. [Page 1a]

Agency wants to widen Route 32

The State Department of Transportation is seeking an exception to Maryland's Smart Growth law to widen a nine-mile stretch of Route 32 in western Howard County from Interstate 70 to Route 108. State officials said that the need to improve highway safety and ease congestion trumps concerns about suburban sprawl. [Page 1b]

TODAY

London loves Bill Clinton

So many people gathered in Piccadilly Circus to see former President Bill Clinton that the book store where he was going to sign copies of My Life stopped letting people line up. [Page 1c]

Taking aim at Fox News

A new documentary says Fox News Channel is slanted toward Republicans. Fox executives deny the claims made in Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. [Page 1c]

Actors, theaters reach deal

Actors Equity and the League of American Theatres and Producers reach a tentative agreement, averting a strike that could have shut down Broadway and shows on the road. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

Area home prices soar

Baltimore-area home prices leaped more than 20 percent in June for the third month in a row, extending a real-estate boom unlike any seen before by local Realtors. The average buyer agreed to pay about $262,600 for a home last month, a 20.2 percent increase over June of last year, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. [Page 1a]

Bank settles discrimination case

Investment bank Morgan Stanley reached a $54 million settlement with federal officials yesterday to close a sex discrimination case just before it went to trial. It was the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's largest settlement ever with a Wall Street firm and its third-largest overall. [Page 1d]

WebMD buys Towson firm

ViPS Inc., a Towson health software firm, is being sold to WebMD Corp. for $160 million, the New Jersey firm announced yesterday. While WebMD said it could not discuss its plans in detail until the deal closes, the sale is expected to have minimal impact on privately held ViPS management and its nearly 400 employees. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Phelps suffers 1st loss at trials

Michael Phelps endured defeat for the first time at the U.S. Olympic trials in Long Beach, Calif., when Aaron Peirsol broke his own world record in the 200-meter backstroke. Phelps bounced back to win the 200 individual medley, making him the first American male to qualify for five individual swimming events at an Olympics. For good measure, he returned at the end of the night to advance to the 100 backstroke final. [Page 1e]

Details of alleged rape emerge

A 19-year-old woman allegedly raped by former Calvert Hall star Gary Neal and a La Salle University basketball teammate told police she was so drunk she was throwing up into a sink when Neal forced himself on her, according to a police investigation report. [Page 1e]

O's Tejada wins Home Run Derby

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