Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 18, 2004

WORLD

8 charged in plot against U.S.

British authorities charged eight men with conspiracy to murder and plotting to use radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals or explosives after finding that the men had surveillance information on financial sites in Washington, New York and New Jersey - the same sites that were the focus of the U.S. terror alert earlier this month. [Page 1a]

Fighting ends near Afghan city

The U.S. ambassador helped broker a cease-fire to halt the latest bloody infighting in Afghanistan, persuading a warlord to pull away from a provincial capital as U.S. warplanes circled overhead. [Page 11a]

Al-Sadr rebuffs peace delegation

Iraqi delegates delivered a peace proposal to rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers, but al-Sadr refused to meet with the delegation as fighting continued in Najaf. [Page 12a]

NATIONAL

Rumsfeld wary on director's post

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld conceded that a new, powerful intelligence director could bring modest improvements in intelligence collection, but warned that any changes must not hurt the flow of information to military commanders. [Page 3a]

Americans split on Iraq war

Nine months after Saddam Hussein's capture, the American public is split on whether going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do, or whether it was a mistake. [Page 4a]

Pressure mounts on McGreevey

The political turmoil surrounding N.J. Gov. James E. McGreevey will make it difficult for him to focus on leading the state during his final two months in office, critics contend. Yesterday, his predecessor demanded that McGreevey leave now. The governor announced last week that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a man and said he would resign from office, effective Nov. 15. [Page 9a]

MARYLAND

Luna feared losing his job

Shortly before his body was found in a Pennsylvania field, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan P. Luna was worried about being fired and had asked a lawyer to represent him in job-related legal matters, sources said. Luna's apparent concern about his job contrasts with public statements made by Maryland U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio after Luna's death. [Page 1b]

House GOP seeks slots vote

Republicans in the House of Delegates called Democratic House Speaker Michael E. Busch an obstructionist on the slots issue and asked for an immediate special session of the General Assembly for a vote on a slots bill, as the governor wants. [Page 2b]

BUSINESS

Ill. ignores drug import ban

Ignoring a federal ban on prescription drug imports, the governor of Illinois said that the state would have an online clearinghouse running within a month to help residents buy drugs from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. [Page 1c]

Phelps remains hot property

Michael Phelps' run for seven or eight gold medals may have ended prematurely, but his role as company pitchman is expected to have staying power. Marketing executives appear largely in unanimity that the bet many advertisers made on the Towson swimmer prior to the 28th Summer Olympiad was a very sound one. [Page 1c]

Carefirst earnings slip

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield earnings slipped in the second quarter from historic highs last year, according to filings with the Maryland Insurance Administration. [Page 3c]

TODAY

Eunice Shriver leaves hospital

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, mother of Maria Shriver, sister of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late President John F. Kennedy, was released from a hospital after a week of treatment for hypothermia. Shriver was chilled while sailing Aug. 8. [Page 2d]

Early Emmy winners announced

Winners of early Emmy Awards - those in categories that are juried, not chosen by voters - include Dan Castellaneta, who will be honored for the third time for his voice-over work as Homer Simpson and other characters on Fox's The Simpsons. The rest of the Emmys will be handed out Sept. 12. [Page 2d]

SPORTS

Phelps strikes gold again

Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge increased his collection of swimming gold medals to three after finishing first in the 200-meter butterfly and competing on the winning 800-meter freestyle relay team in Athens. [Page 1a]

J. Lewis hit with new drug charge

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis, already facing drug conspiracy charges, was hit with an extra charge of attempting to possess cocaine. The charge was included in a superseding indictment released by the Department of Justice, a common move in complicated cases where the government refines its original accusations. [Page 1a]

Oakland pounds O's, 11-0

Tim Hudson pitched a five-hitter as the Oakland Athletics pounded the Orioles, 11-0, in a game at Camden Yards in which center fielder Jerry Hairston and second baseman Brian Roberts left early with injuries. [Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

EVERYTHING OLYMPICS

For breaking news, real-time results, photo galleries, multimedia and archived stories, go to www.baltimoresun.com/olympics

SLOTS DEBATE

Can Maryland's horse racing industry survive without slot machines? For current and archived coverage of the continuing debate, go to www.baltimoresun.com/slots

Quote of the day

"Being able to win two gold medals in one night, I don't know what to say. I'm speechless.

Michael Phelps, after winning his second and third swimming gold medals. (Article, Page 1A)

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