Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

July 20, 2004

NATIONAL

Democrats look to 9/11 report

The final report of the Sept. 11 commission may trigger new criticism of President Bush by Democrats who say he is weak on terrorism and homeland security, and will likely pressure him to embrace some of the changes the panel is expected to recommend. [Page 3a]

Coalition opposes teen executions

A coalition of Nobel Peace Prize winners and former U.S. diplomats, allied countries and some of the nation's most influential medical and religious groups pushed the Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty for teenage killers. [Page 3a]

Berger focus of criminal probe

President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, is the focus of a criminal investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings. [Page 5a]

WORLD

Truck blast kills 9 in Iraq

A tanker truck loaded with explosives blew up near a police station in Baghdad, killing at least nine people and injuring 60. Officials also disclosed that militants had fatally shot an Iraqi deputy defense minister over the weekend. The suicide bombing was the fifth in the last week. [Page 1a]

Court orders Bhopal payments

Twenty years after a catastrophic gas leak in Bhopal that killed at least 5,000 people, India's Supreme Court ruled that $330 million in compensation should be distributed directly to the victims and no longer held by the Indian government. The leak at a plant run by Union Carbide Corp. was one of the worst industrial accidents in history, immediately killing 3,000 people and injuring 105,000. [Page 8a]

Arafat moves to quell unrest

Yasser Arafat struggled to resolve a political crisis and extinguish street unrest in the Gaza Strip as he faced perhaps the strongest internal challenge to his authority since establishing the Palestinian government a decade ago. [Page 8a]

MARYLAND

EPA seeks bay discharge limits

States in the Chesapeake Bay watershed would be forced to limit sewage treatment plants' discharges of pollutants that turn vast swaths of the bay into biological "dead zones" each summer under a proposal announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA plan is aimed at reducing discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can deprive water of oxygen needed by marine life. [Page 1a]

DiBiagio e-mails arise at trial

In the first fallout since U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio was rebuked for e-mails urging more convictions of public officials, prosecutors in the federal fraud trial of investment banker Nathan A. Chapman moved to block any mention of their boss' statements to discredit their case. The move would bar any defense arguments questioning the governments motives for bringing its case.[Page 1a]

State seeks wider Route 32

Citing highway accident data, state transportation officials are pushing for an exemption from the state's Smart Growth law to widen a two-lane stretch of Route 32 in western Howard County that links Carroll County with Annapolis. Environmentalists and community activists counter that safety improvements have eliminated the need for the project. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Ponson beats K.C., ends slide

Sidney Ponson, who had lost nine straight starts, matching the third-longest streak in Orioles history, defeated the Royals, 7-4, in Kansas City, for his first win since May 16. Ponson allowed two runs in six innings. [Page 1c]

O's deal DeJean for K. Garcia

The Orioles traded struggling reliever Mike DeJean to the New York Mets for journeyman outfielder Karim Garcia. DeJean was 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 37 games for the Orioles. Garcia, a former Oriole, hit .234 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

24 suits filed in capsizing

Twenty-four of the 25 people aboard the Inner Harbor water taxi that capsized in March, or family members, had filed lawsuits against the taxi operator by yesterday, the court-imposed deadline. Only the captain had not joined the suits against Seaport Taxis. The accident claimed five lives. [Page 1d]

Black & Decker purchase set

Black & Decker Corp. announced its biggest acquisition in more than a decade, a $775 million cash purchase of Pentair Inc.'s Tools Group. The Towson-based company also reported record net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter. [Page 1d]

Legg Mason stock falls

Shares of Legg Mason Inc. spiraled down nearly 9 percent after the Baltimore money manager missed Wall Street expectations on earnings growth. Legg's stock was hammered despite the second-best quarter in the company's history. [Page 1d]

TODAY

New Handel Choir leader named

Melinda O'Neal, a music professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, will become the Handel Choir of Baltimore's 12th leader this fall. Challenges include fund-raising and building on the choir's traditions as it opens its 70th season. [Page 1e]

Ban on Fox News slogan sought

The political advocacy groups MoveOn.org and Common Cause asked the Federal Trade Commission to halt Fox News' use of the slogan "Fair and Balanced," calling it deceptive advertising "to promote ... an extreme right-wing viewpoint." Fox News called the move "a transparent publicity stunt." [Page 5e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"There's nothing in here that forces anybody to do anything." Theresa Pierno, Chesapeake Bay Foundation vice president, reacting to proposed Chesapeake Bay discharge limits. (Article, Page 1A)

WAR ON TERROR

Updated War on Terror coverage, including archived information on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and interactive features. www.baltimoresun.com/terror

LOCAL OLYMPIANS

Read about U.S. Gymnastics team coach Kelli Hill in today's sports section and go online to follow her and all of Maryland's Olympic hopefuls. www.baltimoresun.com/olympics

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SUNINDEX

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