Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 07, 2004

NATIONAL

Threat is real, Bush says

President Bush defended yesterday the decision to raise the terror alert levels in New York, New Jersey and Washington this week, while more details emerged of FBI warnings about a potential attack on U.S. lawmakers. "When we find out intelligence that is real, ... we have an obligation, as government, to share that with people," Bush said. [Page 1a]

Kerry details energy policy

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry rolled out new details yesterday of a $20 billion, 10-year plan to steer America toward energy independence. Kerry said his plan would spur job growth, aid the environment and help free the United States from dependence on the Middle East. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Prison whistle-blower testifies

Sgt. Joseph M. Darby, the young Army reservist who blew the whistle about detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, testified publicly for the first time yesterday, saying he deliberated for more than a month about whether to turn over to Army investigators the photos showing abuse. [Page 1a]

Shiite rebellion intensifies

Fighting continued in Iraq yesterday with U.S. forces battling a growing Shiite rebellion. Troops, backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, pushed deep into the holy city of Najaf and encircled the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City. U.S. commanders said hundreds of insurgents were killed, though the numbers couldn't be verified. [Page 7a]

MARYLAND

No death sentence sought

Anne Arundel County's top prosecutor has abandoned his third bid to obtain a death sentence for Darris A. Ware, a former National Security Agency cryptologist convicted of killing two women more than 10 years ago, after relatives of the victims pleaded for an end to the wrenching court proceedings. [Page 1a]

Scientist reports drop in crabs

New information compiled by a Virginia scientist shows an alarming drop in the number of adult female blue crabs in their spawning grounds at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The analysis finds the spawning stock in the last few years has not rebounded and appears to be declining further. [Page 1b]

Busch proposes slots bill

House Speaker Michael E. Busch presented a bill to legalize slot machines to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. that would put a proposed constitutional amendment on gambling to voters this fall. The plan would allow 13,500 slot machines at six locations across the state, with operator licenses awarded through competitive bids. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Diamondbacks' CEO is out

Jerry Colangelo, who brought Arizona a major league baseball franchise in 1998 and a World Series title three years later, is being forced out as chief executive officer of the Diamondbacks and will be replaced by Jeff Moorad, an agent for several top players. Colangelo said that after disagreements with the team owners, he was asked whether he would be willing to step down. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

July job growth is year's weakest

U.S. employers added just 32,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the smallest gain this year and another sign of sharply declining economic growth. Economists, who expected about 230,000 new jobs in July, are pondering whether this second month of weak growth is a trend or a short rough patch. [Page 1a]

Oil prices moderate

Oil prices retreated from record highs yesterday as concerns about Russian supplies dissipated somewhat and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it was prepared to raise daily output by more than 1 million barrels. [Page 10c]

Olympics to go online

The 100-meter dash and other cherished Olympic moments will for the first time be beamed to computers and mobile phones during the Athens Games. But while many Europeans will be able to see them live on the Internet, Americans will have to settle for tape delays. [Page 10c]

TODAY

Rick James dies at 56

Funk legend Rick James, best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak" as well as the drug use and violence that sent him to prison, died yesterday in California. James, 56, was found dead by a personal assistant at his Los Angeles home. [Page 1d]

Phish to broadcast farewell

Promoters of Phish's farewell festival in Coventry, Vt., are renting a local radio station to broadcast the music and provide traffic updates. The Aug. 14-15 shows are sold out. Fewer than 70,000 tickets were sold, but about 80,000 people are expected to show up. [Page 2d]

MARKETS

DOW

-147.70

9,815.33

NASDAQ

-44.74

1,776.89

S&P

-16.73

1,063.97

SUN INDEX

-3.75

252.67

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"They've been through so much. I can't look them in the eye and say, `Nah, you have to relive it again.' I can't do that."

Prosecutor Frank R. Weathersbee, on the victims' relatives who persuaded him not to seek the death penalty for a convicted killer (Article, Page 1A)

TODAY ONLINE

WELCOME HOME

The Orioles are host to a weekend series against the Texas Rangers. That means a homecoming for former Oriole pitcher Scott Erickson and Mount St. Joseph High School graduate Mark Teixeira. Follow this weekend's action, and find archived stories, photos and other Orioles features at www.baltimoresun.com/orioles

BUY A HOME

Looking to finance a new home? Get a list of updated mortgage rates from more than 50 area lenders at www.baltimoresun.com/mortgagerates

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