Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 23, 2004

NATIONAL

Financing tactics questioned

IRS documents released yesterday cast doubt on several financing tactics that Baltimore developer David S. Cordish and the Seminole Tribe of Florida employed to bypass federal tax laws and build casino complexes with tax-exempt bonds, which tribes can typically use only for "essential governmental functions." [Page 1a]

Less environmental review

Supervisors of the country's 155 national forests will get additional leeway to develop management plans without environmental review, under rules announced by the Bush administration yesterday. [Page 3a]

Democrat leads in Wash. recount

Democrat Christine Gregoire took the lead in Washington's governor's race for the first time yesterday, gaining a 10-vote advantage over Republican Dino Rossi after election officials announced the results of a hand count of ballots. [Page 6a]

WORLD

Suicide bomber suspected in Iraq

American military officials said they believed that a suicide bomber was responsible for Tuesday's devastating blast at a military base mess hall near Mosul, Iraq, raising new questions about security for U.S. troops in the country. [Page 1a]

Blair promotes Mideast talks

British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders yesterday to promote a conference on Palestinian reforms, which Blair hoped would lead to broader peace talks. Wary of international pressure to cede more territory, Israel said it would not attend. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

Baltimore priest is defrocked

Pope John Paul II has defrocked Maurice Blackwell, a Baltimore priest accused of sexually abusing a parishioner who shot the cleric years later. Officials with the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced the Vatican's action yesterday. [Page 1a]

Inmates freed on wrong dates

Legislative auditors reported yesterday that an analysis of Maryland's prison system found that inmates are sometimes set free months early or, in other cases, weeks late. The audit of 65 inmates at two prisons who were released in 2003 showed that one-third of them got out on the incorrect date. [Page 1a]

School `floating' days proposed

Responding to calls from the Muslim community to close Baltimore County schools for the faith's two most sacred holidays, a state education department committee proposed yesterday that public school students across Maryland be given up to two "floating holidays" for religious observance. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Designing games independently

Dominic Crapuchettes, a 35-year-old Greenbelt resident, is one of many area game designers trying to break into the $1 billion board-game industry with self-published wares this holiday season. [Page 1c]

John Waters performance

At 9:20 Tuesday night at the 9:30 Club, John Waters glided on stage, wearing some sort of red smoking jacket, and performed a stand-up act. Stand-up? Who knew. [Page 1c]

Miniseries Elvis is cast

Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who played the soccer coach in 2002's Bend It Like Beckham, will star as Elvis Presley in a four-hour miniseries to air on CBS. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

Locust Point lands ship terminal

State officials will move Dundalk's cruise ship terminal to a similar working cargo port along the Locust Point shoreline in 2006, ending the debate for now about how much to invest in the city's fledgling efforts to lure cruise ship business. [Page 1d]

Crude oil falls on report

Crude oil fell $1.46 a barrel yesterday, the biggest decline in two weeks, after the Energy Department reported an unexpected rise in inventories. The decline, along with a surprise increase in the nation's gross domestic product, encouraged investors on Wall Street. [Page 1d]

State lost 1,300 jobs in Nov.

Maryland lost 1,300 jobs in November, stretching out a bumpy patch that began when the local employment market screeched to a halt in August. But economists expressed little worry, contending that the nearly 50,000 jobs that have been created during the past year provide a more reliable measure of employment health. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Pacer O'Neal's suspension cut

A New York arbitrator reduced by 10 games the 25-game suspension of the Indiana Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal for his part in a Nov. 19 brawl with Detroit Pistons fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills, making the three-time All-Star forward eligible to play against Detroit at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday. [Page 1e]

Eagles' Owens undergoes surgery

The doctor who performed surgery on Terrell Owens' injured ankle yesterday at Mercy Medical Center refused to rule out the Eagles star wide receiver's return for the Super Bowl, but it remains a long shot - if Philadelphia makes it that far. [Page 1e]

Five Ravens selected for Pro Bowl

Ravens linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, safety Ed Reed, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and cornerback Chris McAlister were named to the AFC squad for the Pro Bowl. It was the eighth selection for Ogden and the seventh for Lewis. [Page 3e]

TODAY ONLINE

IRAQ GALLERY

Follow continuing coverage of the war in Iraq, including story, photo and multimedia galleries. www.baltimoresun.com/iraq

RASHOD REVIEWS

Sun pop music critic Rashod Ollison reviews Peter Cincotti's sophmore album On The Moon. www.baltimoresun.com/rashodvideos

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Just because your gay, it doesn't mean you have to love Liza Minnelli.

John Waters, during a stand-up act at Washington's 9:30 Club. (Article, Page 1C).

MARKETS

DOW -- UP

+56.46

10,815.89

NASDAQ -- UP

+6.12

2,157.03

S&P

+4.12

1,209.57

SUN INDEX -- UP

+1.99

307.42

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.