Sun News Digest


July 14, 2004


Panel urges reprieve for Hubble

NASA should not rule out a space shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, a National Academy of Sciences panel said yesterday. NASA canceled the shuttle's final service call on Hubble because of safety concerns in the wake of the Columbia disaster, which killed seven astronauts in 2003. But scientific, political and popular objections forced the agency to reconsider. [Page 3A]

Nuns' abuse spotlighted

A victims' advocacy group says it has identified about 100 people in the United States who said they had been assaulted by Catholic nuns, sisters and other female religious workers. Spotlighting the role of female clergy in sexual abuse for the first time, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called for other victims to come forward so they could share their stories and receive help. [Page 9A]


Pension trustee testifies

Former Gov. Parris N. Glendening personally lobbied state retirement fund trustees in 2001 in an effort to funnel more money to the troubled fund's money manager, a former pension trustee testified in federal court. The former manager, Nathan A. Chapman Jr., is on trial in U.S. District Court, charged with defrauding the pension system. [Page 1A]

Grand jury sought in Iko's death

The Allegany County State's Attorney's Office plans to convene a grand jury to investigate the death of inmate Ifeanyi A. Iko at Western Correctional Institution to determine if criminal charges should be brought, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Iko, a Nigerian immigrant, died April 30 shortly after a violent confrontation with officers at WCI. [Page 1A]

Piecing old evidence together

An unsmoked Newport cigarette found more than a decade ago a few feet from the body of a 14-year-old murder victim enabled police to link three homicides and charge a man already serving a life prison sentence with the killings. DNA testing and persistent detectives paved the way for Anne Arundel County police to charge Alexander Wayne Watson Jr. with three counts of first-degree murder. [Page 1B]


Phelps earns 6th berth

Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge finished second in the 100-meter butterfly on his last day of the U.S. Olympic trials and is qualified to compete in six individual events in Athens, where Olympic swimming begins one month from today. Ian Crocker won yesterday's event in a world-record 50.76 seconds. [Page 1A, 1E]

USADA promises swift decisions

Terry Madden, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, assured senators that accusations of steroid use by Olympic hopefuls will be resolved - one way or another - before America sends its team to the Summer Games next month. [Page 1E]

Selig: Expos delay was needed

Commissioner Bud Selig said the nearly three-year search for a new home for the Montreal Expos has been difficult but will prove worth it. "I know the delay has been tough." Selig said before last night's All-Star Game. "But I do think the delay has been helpful to all the interested parties in getting financing done, in siting stadiums." [Page 5E]


Employers' tax may fall

A drop in jobless-benefit claims means employers will likely pay a lower tax surcharge next year to bolster Maryland's unemployment insurance trust fund, state officials said yesterday. Thanks to the pickup in the economy, the state is now projecting a 0.8 percent surcharge for 2005, significantly below the 1.2 percent Maryland had expected for next year. [Page 1C]

CareFirst contracts for glasses

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland's largest health insurer, is contracting with a New York company to fill many of the eyeglass orders for its 1 million-plus members with vision benefits. The change, which takes effect in the fall, will improve service and cut costs, the insurer said. But independent opticians say they"ll be hurt by the change, especially since the large eyeglass chains will be allowed to continue making eyeglasses covered by CareFirst. [Page 1C]


Burns campaigns to clear boxer

Filmmaker Ken Burns is seeking a presidential pardon for black heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, convicted in 1913 of the interstate transport of a woman for immoral purposes. Burns says racism was behind the conviction, which punished Johnson for a relationship with a white woman, later his wife. [Page 8D]

Lucky Fab Four find

A $36 suitcase at an Australian flea market held what's thought to be a trove of Beatles photos and unreleased recordings, The Times of London reported yesterday. "It's like finding the end of the rainbow in Australia." said new owner Fraser Claughton of Tinkerton, England. [Page 2D]








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"I want to do something no one else has ever done before."

Michael Phelps, on his quest to win more medals than any other Olympic swimmer in a single Games (Article, Page 1A)

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