Sun News Digest


February 02, 2005


Chertoff hearing is today

Michael Chertoff, president Bush's second pick to become secretary of homeland security, will enter his confirmation hearing today armed with a resume that seems handcrafted to counter the shortcomings of the previous nominee. Chertoff has two degrees from Harvard and a Supreme Court clerkship, among other accomplishments. [Page 3a]

Medicare to cover sex drugs

Sexual performance drugs such as Viagra will be covered under Medicare's new prescription drug program, a lifestyle rather than lifesaving benefit that conservatives and watchdog groups say the government should not provide. Like those for maladies such as high blood pressure and heart disease, prescriptions for Viagra and similar drugs in its class will be tightly controlled. [Page 10a ]


Pope hospitalized with the flu

Three days into a bad bout with the flu that made it hard for him to breathe, Pope John Paul II was rushed to a hospital yesterday after canceling most of his week's appointments, the Vatican said. Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told Italian state TV station RAI that the pope suffered a breathing crisis and was hospitalized for treatment. Another report said his throat was inflamed, his respiratory tract infected, and he had a fever. Navarro-Valls said the pope was not in intensive care but would undergo tests. [Page 1a]


`Superblock' plans are supersized

Developers of a key part of Baltimore's west side redevelopment efforts announced yesterday more expansive plans for the area known as the "superblock." Noting that they're more confident about the area's prospects, the development team is proposing a more than $100 million project that would include as many as 700 apartment units and street-level shopping. [Page 1a]

Norris' Fla. request opposed

Federal prosecutors are opposing former Baltimore police Commissioner Edward T. Norris' request to complete his home detention and community service in Florida where he lives. Norris pleaded guilty last year to public corruption and tax charges. [Page 1b]

Racing industry unveils plan

Creating a unified front to show they could spend slot-machine proceeds wisely, Maryland horse-racing industry leaders yesterday unveiled a plan they said could revive the struggling sport if lawmakers authorize an expansion of gambling. [Page 1b]


Sosa arrives, eager to join Orioles

Vowing to win over Baltimore's fans, Sammy Sosa arrived in town last night, ready to be introduced today as the newest Oriole. "It's a great place for me to come here and win the crowd like I'm going to do and be happy again," Sosa told The Sun last night. "I like the situation in Baltimore. They have a great ballpark. I think I'll be perfect here." He'll undergo a physical examination today. [Page 1c]

Terps routed at Clemson, 88-73

Sharrod Ford scored 25 points, helping host Clemson end a 13-game losing streak to No. 22 Maryland with an 88-73 victory. The Terps, coming off wins over then-No. 2 Duke and then-No. 22 Georgia Tech, fell behind 10-0, rallied to take a lead, then missed their final 13 shots of the half to fall behind 45-29. [Page 1c]


SBC to cut 13,000 jobs

SBC Communications Inc. said yesterday that it will eliminate 13,000 jobs after its planned purchase of AT&T Corp. SBC said excess staffing includes about 2,600 positions in administrative areas and the sizable regulatory and lobbying operations of the two companies, which have fought legal battles against one another over the past 20 years. [Page 1d]

Online auction complaints double

Americans are increasingly turning to Internet auction sites to buy and sell goods from around the world, and a growing number think they might be getting a raw deal. The number of complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission over Internet auctions has nearly doubled to more than 98,000 last year from 51,000 in 2002, the agency said yesterday. [Page 1d]


Praying for a sainthood

Tomorrow at an interfaith prayer service, the Oblate Sisters will commemorate the 123rd anniversary of founder Mother Mary Lange's death while celebrating a major step toward her canonization - the Archdiocese of Baltimore's forwarding of six documents detailing Mother Lange's life to the Vatican's Congregation of Causes of Saints. [Page 1e]

`Producers' wins London award

The Producers was named best musical of 2004 at the London Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, while the National Theatre dominated the drama prizes. [Page 2e]


Sgt. Javal Davis pleaded guilty to three of five charges against him for his involvement in the abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. To read archived coverage of the scandal, go to


Coaching changes and court appearances have kept the Ravens busy since their season ended. Sun sports columnist Mike Preston answers your questions about the team at


"It is my experience that traditionally we have not had a problem with witness intimidation in Baltimore County. However, times are a-changin'."

Jason G. League, an assistant Baltimore County state's attorney on the arrest of a teen charged with arranging to have two witnesses killed (Article, Page 1B)








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