Sun News Digest


August 11, 2004


Goss tapped to head CIA

President Bush yesterday tapped Rep. Porter J. Goss of Florida, a Republican with CIA experience and a reputation for defending the agency, as its new director. But detractors question whether the congressman's highly partisan style would inject politics into gathering and analysis of intelligence. [Page 1a]

Deporting illegal immigrants

Citing concerns about terrorists entering the country, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to give border patrol agents powers to deport illegal immigrants who are not Mexican or Canadian citizens without allowing them to make their case to immigration judges. [Page 3a]

Peterson's ex-girlfriend testifies

Scott Peterson's former lover testified yesterday about the affair prosecutors say led him to murder his pregnant wife. Amber Frey said she did not know he was married and suggested that the relationship quickly turned serious after their first date - a blind date little more than a month before Laci Peterson vanished. [Page 10a]


Terror warnings, leak irk Britain

British officials say their anti-terror investigations were jeopardized when the United States raised terror levels and leaked the name of a suspected al-Qaida operative who had been cooperating with them. [Page 1a]

Battle for Najaf continues

U.S. forces battled insurgents in Najaf for a sixth day. U.S. troops used loudspeakers to warn militias to lay down their weapons and residents to stay away from the fighting. [Page 13a]

9/11 suspect retrial starts

A German court began the retrial of Mounir el Motassadeq, the only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted, and U.S. officials pledged to provide evidence from a key al-Qaida witness. [Page 14a]


Lawyer's conduct questioned

Lawyers for former Catholic school teacher John Joseph Merzbacher argued yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court that he was not adequately represented in his original trial. Merzbacher was sentenced in 1995 to life in prison for raping a 12-year-old child. The hearing questioned the credibility of his former lawyer, M. Cristina Gutierrez, who is now deceased. Merzbacher's current lawyers contend that Gutierrez failed to inform Merzbacher of a plea deal that would have offered him a 10-year prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. [Page 1b]

4 diagnosed with Norwalk virus

Four high school students have tested positive for the Norwalk virus after they and nearly 70 other children became sick Sunday while visiting the University of Maryland, College Park, authorities said yesterday. Officials are investigating the source of the virus, probably best known for causing widespread illnesses on cruise ships. All of the students have been treated and released from hospitals. [Page 1b]


O's rout Angels, win 8th in a row

The visiting Orioles had a season-high 20 hits to defeat the Angels, 11-3, and extend their winning streak to eight games - the team's longest since a 13-game run in 1999. The victory moved the Orioles to within three games of .500 for the first time in two months. [Page 1c]

Ravens, Ogden in contract talks

The Ravens are negotiating a contract with Jonathan Ogden that, according to both sides, would enable the Pro Bowl tackle to end his career in Baltimore while providing the team future salary cap room. [Page 1c]

Bryant accuser files civil suit

The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape filed a federal civil lawsuit against the NBA star, a move legal specialists said could severely harm the criminal case less than three weeks before the trial begins. Attorneys for the woman seek a jury trial plus damages. [Page 5c]


City banks on convention hotel

As Baltimore prepares to build a publicly owned convention headquarters hotel, project leaders envision a Hilton with 750 rooms that will be as much as half-filled by convention-goers. But, some experts question whether the planned hotel will be as much of a boost for the city's convention business as promised. [Page 1d]

Venture capitalists pull back

Venture capitalists in the region reduced the amount of money they invested in companies in the second quarter and saw fewer deal proposals, according to a survey released yesterday by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association. But they remain optimistic about the private equity market and opportunities to profit as companies exit their portfolios by going public or merging, the survey found. [Page 1d]


A `Banner' undertaking

Even before Jimi Hendrix's electric guitar rendition of the national anthem at Woodstock, performers were regularly reinterpreting the song. Now the Music Educators National Conference is undertaking a three-year effort to make sure the "Star-Spangled Banner" is sung the way it was written. [Page 1e]

Janet Jackson will grace sitcom

Janet Jackson will continue to put her breast-baring Super Bowl appearance behind her as she guest stars as herself on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. Jackson calls the episode set to air on Sept. 23 "hilarious." [Page 2e]



President George W. Bush nominated U.S. Rep. Porter J. Goss, a Florida Republican, to head the Central Intelligence Agency. For the full story, background information on Goss and the CIA, go to


The University of Maryland Terrapins' football team starts practice today for the fall season today. Keep up to date on the Terps and college gridiron action at


"You preach faith in God and yet I didn't have that faith to go and [get on an airplane]. That really tore me apart."

Thomas Bellis, minister in therapy for fear of flying. (Article, Page 1E)



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