Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 07, 2004

NATIONAL

IRS says Cordish deal invalid

A tax-exempt bond deal Baltimore developer David S. Cordish arranged to finance two hotel-casino complexes for the Seminole Tribe of Florida is invalid, and the bonds are subject to federal taxes, according to a "preliminary adverse determination" by the Internal Revenue Service. [Page 1a]

Deal reached on intelligence bill

Congressional negotiators reached a deal yesterday with the chief House Republican opponent of legislation revamping the nation's intelligence agencies, clearing the way for a final vote. [Page 1a]

Bid to stop Graner trial rejected

A military judge ruled yesterday that statements by President Bush and top military leaders about alleged Abu Ghraib abuses do not appear specific enough to taint the jury pool for next month's trial of Spc. Charles Graner. [Page 3a]

WORLD

At least 8 killed in Saudi attack

The attackers who stormed the American consulate in the South Arabian city of Jeddah was proof that militants remain capable of lethal assaults on well-fortified Western targets despite a fierce, months-long crackdown by the Saudi royal family. At least eight people were killed in the incident, including three of the attackers. [Page 1a]

Troops may leave Iraq in 4 years

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he expected American troops to withdraw from Iraq within four years, but he cautioned that the schedule for their withdrawal depended on progress by Iraq's civilian government and security forces. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

Black city officers file lawsuit

Twenty-one current and former African-American city police officers filed a federal class-action lawsuit yesterday, alleging long-running and rampant discrimination within Baltimore Police Department. The lawsuit accuses the department of condoning a hostile workplace, blocking black officers from promotion, levying uneven discipline and retaliating against officers who spoke out against discrimination. [Page 1a]

No `victim impact' in sentencing

An Anne Arundel County judge has angered prosecutors by opting not to hear from the victims' relatives before deciding whether to sentence Kenneth E. Abend to death. Circuit Judge Pamela L. North ruled Friday that she did not need to hear "victim impact evidence" to decide on the sentence, but would hear it afterward. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

O's continue to woo Pavano

The courtship of free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano continued yesterday in Baltimore, where the right-hander was escorted through Camden Yards by Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie. Pavano arrived in Baltimore on Sunday and had dinner with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Beattie, manager Lee Mazzilli and pitching coach Ray Miller. [Page 1c]

Baseball issued testing warning

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain issued a second, sterner warning last weekend to baseball to get serious about drug testing. This time, according to sports lawyers, marketers and Capitol Hill staff, the senator's coaxing has a better chance of achieving the desired results. [Page 1c]

Singh is PGA Player of Year

Vijay Singh won the PGA Tour Player of the Year award for the first time, ending Tiger Woods' five-year hold on the honor with a season that left no debate about who was No. 1 in golf. Singh captured the PGA Championship among his nine victories and became the first player to surpass $10 million in one season. [Page 3c]

BUSINESS

N.Y. jury agrees with leaseholder

A New York jury agreed with World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein yesterday that the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center was two insurable events. The decision requires nine companies to pay as much as double their policy limits, which Silverstein says will allow him to get a healthy start on rebuilding at Ground Zero. [Page 1d]

Men's retailer has modest gain

Men's retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. reported a 20 percent increase in fiscal third-quarter earnings yesterday. The Hampstead-based company said it missed out on some sales because it didn't have enough suits in stock. [Page 1d]

FCC may delay digital TV plan

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell expects to postpone until early next year a vote on his plan to convert the U.S. television system to digital technology by January 2009, a Powell aide said yesterday. Broadcasters have lobbied against the plan, saying consumers aren't prepared to switch to digital television sets. [Page 1d]

TODAY

`The Lord' of the symphony

More than 11 hours of movie soundtracks have been compressed into an evening-length work, The Lord of the Rings Symphony, which gets its local premiere tonight at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. [Page 1e]

Giving gifts not sold in stores

The Center for a New American Dream in Takoma Park, which encourages Americans to consume responsibly in the name of the environment and social justice, offers its list of gifts not sold in stores. The gifts revolve around themes of connection, fun, rest and meaning. [Page 1e]

Barker endows law program

Game show host Bob Barker, a longtime proponent of animal welfare, has donated $1 million to Duke Law School to endow a program to teach animal rights law, the school announced yesterday. [Page 2e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY "Everywhere you go, you find there is some connection to Tolkien." Howard Shore, whose Oscar-winning scores have been adapted for "The Lord of the Rings Symphony" (Article, Page 1E)

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