Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

July 30, 2004

NATIONAL

Kerry, `reporting for duty'

Sen. John Kerry forcefully challenged President Bush over the war in Iraq in the climactic speech of the Democratic National Convention last night and pledged to be a commander in chief "who will never mislead us into war." In a speech that launched the general election phase of his quest for the White House, Kerry's all-purpose refrain was "America can do better. And help is on the way." [Page 1a]

Iraq money hard to track

U.S. civilian authorities in Baghdad failed to keep good track of nearly $1 billion spent in Iraq for reconstruction projects and can't produce records to show whether they got some services and products they paid for, an audit concluded. [Page 3a]

New pesticide rules take effect

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be free to approve pesticides without consulting wildlife agencies to determine whether the chemicals might harm plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act, according to new Bush administration rules. [Page 4a]

WORLD

Bombings suspect arrested

Pakistan announced it has arrested a Tanzanian al-Qaida suspect wanted in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Authorities said Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is on the FBI's list of 22 most wanted militants, was providing "very valuable" information. [Page 11a]

Key Iraqi conference delayed

A key national Iraqi conference, seen as the first major step toward a permanent democracy, was postponed for two weeks amid threats of boycotts and violence. Meanwhile, Iraq's interim prime minister said he has urged Muslim nations to send security forces to Iraq. [Page 12a]

Seoul gives asylum to defectors

North Korea denounced the South Korean government for granting asylum this week to nearly 460 North Korean defectors, characterizing Seoul's actions as "abduction and terrorism." [Page 13a]

MARYLAND

Chapman case goes to jury

Nathan A. Chapman Jr.'s defense lawyer urged jurors to clear the Baltimore investment banker of fraud charges, while prosecutors insisted they had produced ample evidence to convict him as both sides made their closing arguments in U.S. District Court. Jury deliberations are to begin Monday. [Page 1b]

Ghana Airways grounded

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after U.S. officials grounded Ghana's state-run airline during an investigation into alleged safety and licensing violations at the debt-ridden airline. [Page 1b]

Staff cleared in inmate's death

An Allegany County grand jury decided that the prison staff was not criminally responsible for the homicide of Nigerian inmate Ifeanyi A. Iko three months ago at Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland. The grand jury began reviewing Ikos death on Wednesday. [Page 1b]

Dolphin death at aquarium probed

Marine specialists at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University veterinary pathologists are looking into the death of the aquarium's youngest dolphin. Bridgit - a 4-month-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin - was the target of aggressive behavior by two older male dolphins. [Page 1b]

BUSINESS

Grounded instruments may fly

Two costly astronomical instruments grounded by NASA's cancellation of further upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope could someday hitch a ride into space as part of a new observatory proposed by astronomer Colin Normanat the Johns Hopkins University. [Page 1c]

Rouse earnings fall short

Though income from malls and land development spiked, hard-to-predict taxes kept the Rouse Co. from meeting analysts' expectations in the second quarter. But shares of the real estate investment trust are becoming popular with investors again. [Page 1c]

Rocky Gap hopes to stem losses

Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Western Maryland has lost $25.5 million since 1999, but state officials are optimistic that improvements under way will stop the bleeding. [Page 1c]

SPORTS

O's pound Yankees, 9-1

Sidney Ponson (6-12) gets his fourth complete-game win of the season as the Orioles route the Yankees, 9-1. It was only the O's second victory against New York this season. [Page 1d]

R. Williams failed drug test

Retired Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams said he failed a third drug test for marijuana use. Williams said that marijuana played a larger role in his retirement than he previously indicated. [Page 1d]

TODAY

For Brandy, a $1 million ring

For singer Brandy, it was all rose petals and carats - 11 1/2 of the latter - as NBA star Quentin Richardson popped the question, People magazine reports. Richardson, 24, surprised Brandy, 25, with a $1 million diamond ring Tuesday at Los Angeles' Century Club. [Page 2e]

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Full reports from the closing night of the Democratic National Convention, plus complete coverage of Campaign 2004, including article and photo archives. www.baltimoresun.com/election

FIND SOMETHING FUN TO DO

Want to paint the town red? Find something to do this weekend, ranging from themed happy hours and street fairs to gallery openings and gala affairs. www.baltimoresun.com/features

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The Democrats have done a better job of acting like the Republicans than the Republicans."

Eli Beckerman, a 27-year-old Boston protester. (Article, Page 1E)

MARKETS - UP

DOW

+12.17

10,129.24

NASDAQ

+22.80

1,881.06

S&P

+5.01

1,100.43

SUN INDEX

+3.10

259.91

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