Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 19, 2004

NATIONAL

NSC faulted on Iraq intelligence

A former Bush administration official who led the fruitless postwar effort to find unconventional weapons in Iraq told Congress that the National Security Council, led by Condoleezza Rice, had failed to protect President Bush from faulty prewar intelligence. [Page 3a]

Kerry assails redeployment plan

Appealing to fellow war veterans who could be crucial in his push for the White House, John Kerry said that President Bush's plan to withdraw 70,000 troops from Europe and Asia would undermine national security and weaken efforts to fight terrorism abroad. [Page 3a]

Foreign policy top national issue

For the first time since the Vietnam era, voters consider terrorism, war and foreign policy the most pressing issues facing the country, a new poll shows. It's a development with strong implications for the presidential election. [Page 9a]

WORLD

Al-Sadr accepts peace terms

Rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accepted peace terms offered by a delegation from Iraq's national conference and agreed to withdraw his militia from Najaf, offering the best hope yet of an end to his two-week-old confrontation with U.S. forces. [Page 1a]

New pressure on Sharon, Arafat

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat found themselves facing the same problem yesterday: how to maintain their leadership roles amid growing challenges from erstwhile supporters. [Page 1a]

Iraq decision-making complex

The fighting in the Shiite holy city of Najaf has highlighted the sometimes confusing and often frustrating leadership system in Iraq, where key military decisions are made along a complex chain of command involving Iraqi and American officials. [Page 12a]

MARYLAND

Group home operators targeted

State Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini said he is urging authorities to take criminal and civil action against a pair of group home operators found to have provided substandard care to severely disabled people. [Page 1a]

Growth taxes Md. water supply

Maryland will have to find another 233 million gallons of water a day to serve a population expected to swell by at least 1 million people over the next 25 years, according to a new study. [Page 2b]

SPORTS

P. Hamm swings back, wins gold

Gymnast Paul Hamm rallied from 12th place after four of six apparatuses to win the Americans' first all-around Olympic gold medal, and he did it by the smallest margin in the 104-year history of the event. [Page 1c]

Durazo's 3 HRs lift A's over O's

Erubiel Durazo's third home run of the game, a bases-empty shot off B.J. Ryan in the eighth inning, broke a tie and enabled the visiting Athletics to rally from four runs down and finish a three-game sweep of the Orioles, 5-4. Durazo drove in all five Oakland runs. [Page 1c]

Clock ticks on Sanders decision

If Deion Sanders is going to play for the Ravens, the flashy All-Pro cornerback likely needs to report within 11 days, an NFL source said. Ravens officials rebutted reports that they would wait for him to join the team as late as November. [Page 1c]

TODAY

`Idol' tryout attracts thousands

A tryout for the television show American Idol draws thousands to the Washington Convention Center for a chance to sing their way to stardom. Most were quickly sent home, undeterred, to wait for the next audition. [Page 1d]

Moore readying two books

Michael Moore hopes to release two new books before Election Day. The Official `Fahrenheit 9/11' Reader is a companion to the DVD of Moore's controversial documentary. The second book, Will They Ever Trust Us Again?, features letters to Moore from U.S. troops in Iraq. [Page 2d]

BUSINESS

Van Halen sues Orioles

The rock band Van Halen is suing the Baltimore Orioles for $2 million, contending that the team invited it to perform at Camden Yards next month, then backed off on the $1.5 million deal. The band says it rearranged its schedule and turned away other opportunities to perform in Baltimore. [Page 1a]

Google expectations lowered

Google Inc. is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq soon, perhaps as early as today. But the number of shares to be offered to the public has been substantially reduced and the expected size of the payoff for the company's founders and early investors will be significantly smaller than first forecast. [Page 1e]

Mutual fund reform OK'd

In the first significant changes in mutual fund regulation since the 1940s, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted 5-0 to prohibit mutual-fund firms from directing business to brokers as a reward for selling fund shares to investors. [Page 1e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I'm not going to tolerate the abuse of vulnerable people."

State Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini, who is pushing for civil and criminal investigations of two Baltimore group home operators (Article, Page 1A)

MARKETS

DOW -- UP

+110.32

10,083.15

NASDAQ -- UP

36.12

1,831.37

S&P -- UP

+13.46

1,095.17

SUNINDEX -- UP

+2.60

257.02

TODAY ONLINE

PHELPS WATCH

Today, Michael Phelps goes for gold in the 200-meter individual medley, and swims in the qualifying rounds for the 100-meter butterfly. Find out how he does and keep up with all the breaking news from Athens at www.baltimoresun.com/olympics

WORD WARS

Word Wars is the Discovery Times cable channel's documentary on Baltimore's Marlon Hill and other professional Scrabble players. See a video of TV critic David Zurawik reviewing the program at www.baltimoresun.com/zurawik

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