Sun News Digest


August 25, 2004


Couple videotaped Bay Bridge

Federal investigators say that footage of the Bay Bridge shot Friday by the wife of a one-time fund-raiser for the militant group Hamas was reconnaissance and surveillance for a possible terrorist attack. Police stopped Ismail Selim Elbarasse and his family near the bridge after three off-duty Baltimore County officers saw his wife videotaping from their car. [Page 1a]

Troops, leaders faulted in abuse

Detainee abuses photographed at the Abu Ghraib prison were the unauthorized extracurricular activity of soldiers working the nightshift at the Iraqi facility, but leadership failures up the chain of command contributed to the scandal, an independent panel reported. [Page 1a]

Kerry seeks to shift debate

John Kerry tried to push the agenda away from Vietnam and back toward his criticism of President Bush's tenure. He urged voters in New York to look beyond "fear and smear" tactics and not to be swayed by the image the Republicans try to present in their convention next week. [Page 3a]

Cheney draws fire on gay unions

Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is a lesbian, drew criticism from proponents and foes of gay marriage after he distanced himself from President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. [Page 3a]


Intelligence officers eyed in abuse

Prosecutors at hearings in Germany for American soldiers accused of abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said military officials are considering filing criminal charges against senior intelligence officers who were in charge of the prison. [Page 1a]

Two Russian planes feared down

One passenger plane crashed and another disappeared from radar screens south of Moscow late yesterday in what authorities feared might be Russia's worst militant attack since the seizure of a Moscow theater in October 2002. There were no reports of survivors in either incident.[Page 1a]

Bin Laden's chauffeur charged

Osama bin Ladens chauffeur was formally charged at the first U.S. military tribunal to convene since World War II. The defendant's lawyer questioned the proceedings' fairness. [Page 8a]

Najaf militants may be weakening

A Shiite insurgency appeared to be weakening as Iraqi forces in Najaf moved to within 200 yards of the revered Imam Ali Shrine and Iraq's defense minister once again demanded fighters loyal to a radical cleric surrender or face a violent raid. [Page 12a]


Grasses abound in upper bay

At a time when research shows that grasses throughout Chesapeake Bay have reached a 20-year low, the upper bay is experiencing diverse grass growth at a pace not seen in decades. [Page 1a]

Judge's conduct criticized

A state judicial disciplinary panel has accused Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance of inappropriate conduct, three years after he was reprimanded for similar actions. Nance is alleged to have made an unwelcome gesture to a city prosecutor and is charged with criticizing the way a prospective juror was wearing his yarmulke. Nance has denied any wrongdoing. [Page 1b]


Nuclear industry ready for revival

Despite the fierce national debate over nuclear waste storage and fears that nuclear power plants could become terrorist targets, the long-ailing nuclear industry appears to be poised for revival. [Page 1c]

HDTV coverage irks viewers

Owners of high definition televisions are complaining that NBC's HDTV coverage of the Olympics offers a limited menu, with many events shown 24 hours or more later than on NBC's conventional feeds. [Page 1c]

Home resales decline in July

Sales of previously owned homes fell 2.9 percent in July from a record in June after mortgage rates rose, according to the National Association of Realtors. Resales declined, but the median sales price climbed 8.7 percent from July of last year, to $191,300. [Page 1c]


New life for `Details' magazine

In four years, Dan Peres, editor-in-chief at Details, has worked to turn a floundering pseudo-laddie magazine into the last word on what's in vogue. Details' resurgence suggests a vote of confidence by readers. [Page 1d]

R. Kelly to tour despite charges

Despite facing 14 counts of child pornography in Chicago (he pleaded not guilty), R&B's R. Kelly will join rapper Jay-Z on the "Best of Both Worlds" tour, stopping Nov. 16 at 1st Mariner Arena and Nov. 17 at Washington's MCI Center. Kelly's new album was released yesterday. [Page 2d]


Carter in finals of 400 hurdles

Mervo High alumnus James Carter won his semifinal of the men's 400-meter hurdles at the Olympics in Athens. Meanwhile, Carver High alum Bernard Williams made his way through the first two rounds of the 200-meter dash. [Page 1e]

A's hand O's 8th loss in row, 6-2

The Athletics scored four runs in the first inning off Sidney Ponson and defeated the visiting Orioles, 6-2, dealing them their eighth consecutive defeat. Oakland's Mark Mulder became the major leagues first 17-game winner. [Page 1e]



Sun sports editor Randy Harvey shares his insights from the Summer Games in his daily Web log.


An independent panel of civilian defense experts presented its findings on the mistreatment of Iraq detainees. Read the report at


"The weaknesses were well known, and corrective actions could have been taken and should have been taken."

James R. Schlesinger, chairman of a four-person review panel, on detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. (Article, Page 1A)








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