Sun News Digest


August 24, 2004


Spy agency overhaul plan panned

The proposal by intelligence panel head Sen. Pat Roberts to break up the CIA and rearrange the Pentagon's spy agencies under a national intelligence director met broad resistance yesterday. The panel's ranking Democrat called the Kansas Republican's plan a severe mistake, and former CIA Director George J. Tenet said it showed a dangerous misunderstanding of the business of intelligence. [Page 3a]

Bush weighs in on ads

President Bush sought yesterday to distance himself from ads attacking Sen. John Kerry's war record. He suggested that voters "should be looking forward, not backward" and putting an end to ads by all outside groups, but didn't directly condemn the ads - and the controversy over Kerry's service in Vietnam showed no signs of abating. [Page 3a]


Iraq prison abuse memo

An attorney for a soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners has obtained an Army memo written last year saying "the gloves are coming off" regarding the treatment of Abu Ghraib detainees - apparently supporting soldiers' claims thate they were following directions from military intelligence officers. [Page 1a]

Najaf fight nears shrine

U.S. forces intensified their fight with insurgents in Najaf, moving tanks closer to the sacred Imam Ali shrine and bombing parts of the Old City. [Page 9a]


Alleged Hamas operative arrested

A man described in a federal indictment as a high-ranking Hamas figure was arrested Friday videotaping the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, authorities acknowledged last night. Ismael Selim Elbarasse of Annandale, Va., long suspected as having financial ties to the Palestinian terrorist group, was taken into custody as a material witness in a Chicago terrorism case; he made an initial appearance in federal court in Baltimore yesterday. [Page 1a]

Court: State labor pacts invalid

Maryland's highest court ruled unanimously that labor pacts with state employees negotiated during outgoing Gov. Parris N. Glendening's final days in office were not ratified under state law, a victory for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in his effort to overturn the agreements. The ruling means thousands of state employees are working without contracts, and that previous agreements are no longer valid. [Page 1a]

Isabel victims lobby for better aid

Representatives of the victims of Tropical Storm Isabel met yesterday with state officials to say that many still have not received adequate settlements. They called on the insurance commissioner and governor to push the National Flood Insurance Program to make sure that victims of recent storms don't share similar fates. [Page 2b]


Botox gives pianist a hand

It's been 40 years since the neurological disorder dystonia effectively robbed Baltimore concert pianist Leon Fleisher of the full use of his right hand. But today, thanks to infusions of an unexpected repair agent, Botox, Leon Fleisher: Two Hands, (the pianist's first two-hand solo recording since 1964, is being released. [Page 1c]

Films' PG-13 rating turns 20

The PG-13 rating for movies, originally meant to serve as a warning to parents, is 20 years old. It was but over the years, it has become the preferred rating of studios and filmmakers, who have found it liberating. [Page 2c]


Goodwill fashions new image

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, the nonprofit social services agency, recently launched an advertising campaign to fashion itself as a discount clothier of choice. Glossy advertisements, which began running in local publications this month, look like they might belong in Gentleman's Quarterly or Glamour. [Page 1a]

Wal-Mart cuts August forecast

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its August sales forecast because of Hurricane Charley and sluggish demand for back-to-school products. Slowing sales at Wal-Mart, which accounts for 5.5 percent of U.S. retail revenue, may indicate consumers are trimming spending in general, analysts said. [Page 1d]

Southwest to drop 88 flights

Southwest Airlines plans to cut 88 flights in October and shift planes to more profitable routes, mostly in and out of Philadelphia, company officials said. The low-cost carrier, which controls about half of the flights at BWI, said it hopes the changes will increase its revenue by $60 million. [Page 1d]


Olympic judging protests intensify

Spectators interrupted competition with 8 1/2 minutes of booing, whistling and stomping to protest judging at men's gymnastics, sparking concern that the Athens Olympics will be remembered most for protests and challenges. Objections have also affected swimming, equestrian and sailing competitions. [Page 1a]

O's fall, 4-3; slide hits 7 games

Two-out run-scoring singles by Jermaine Dye and Adam Melhuse during a three-run sixth-inning rally carried the Athletics to a 4-3 victory over the Orioles, extending their losing streak to seven games and spoiling Miguel Tejada's return to Oakland. [Page 1e]

Ravens' Flynn fractures clavicle

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