Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 08, 2005

NATIONAL

Bush offers $2.57 trillion budget

President Bush presented a $2.57 trillion federal budget that would boost national defense while making deep cuts in social programs. The White House said the plan would help protect the country from terrorism while chipping away at a record federal budget deficit by eliminating or shrinking 150 domestic programs. [Page 1a]

Former priest convicted of rape

Defrocked priest Paul Shanley, the most notorious figure in the sex scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese, was convicted of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at his Roman Catholic church in the 1980s. [Page 3a]

No cuts in U.S. war on terrorism

The 2006 budget plan that President Bush submitted to Congress maintains or cuts funding across the government with one exception: spending related to the war on terrorism. [Page 14a]

WORLD

Peace breakthrough in Mideast

Israeli and Palestinian leaders said they would declare a formal end to more than four years of fighting during a summit today in Egypt, a breakthrough in peacemaking coming after both sides accepted invitations to meet separately with President Bush at the White House. [Page 1a]

Insurgents in Iraq kill 30 people

Insurgents struck Iraq's security forces yesterday with suicide bombs and mortar fire, killing more than 30 people, as election returns confirmed that many Sunnis stayed away from the polls last week, leaving the field to Shiite and Kurdish candidates. [Page 16a]

MARYLAND

Fired Md. worker gets $100,000

The Ehrlich administration paid $100,000 to a fired state employee, a Democratic elected official who had been in his job for five months, leaving unresolved who ordered his firing and why. The treasury issued a check last week to Baltimore County Councilman Vincent J. Gardina. [Page 1a]

Naval Academy applications drop

The Naval Academy said applications for the Class of 2009 fell 20 percent from the year before, a drop mirrored by other military colleges that experts attribute to mounting combat casualties. As of its Jan. 31 deadline, the academy had received 11,140 applications, down from 13,922 at this time last year. The slump is the first in four years. [Page 1b]

Cameras may go on prison buses

Maryland correctional officials said they are considering equipping prison buses with video surveillance cameras in the wake of an inmate's death last week on a bus that carried 35 inmates and five corrections staff. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Palmeiro denies Canseco's claims

Orioles designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro denied ever taking steroids, calling claims in former teammate Jose Canseco's pending book "ludicrous." In a joint statement with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Palmeiro also questioned Canseco's credibility. [Page 1c]

Super Bowl ratings down slightly

The New England Patriots' Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles was seen by an estimated 86.1 million people, down 4 percent from last year, Nielsen Media Research said. The national rating also was down slightly, from 41.3 last year to 41.1 this year. [Page 3c]

Arenas scores 43 to lift Wizards

Guard Gilbert Arenas matched his career high with 43 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 108-104 victory over the Indiana Pacers at MCI Center. Arenas has scored 30 or more points 13 times this season, including in eight of the team's past 12 games. [Page 4c]

BUSINESS

W.R. Grace and officials indicted

W.R. Grace & Co., which is based in Columbia, and seven current and former executives were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of exposing residents of a small Montana town to asbestos that has made at least 1,200 sick, said the Justice Department. [Page 1a]

State criticized on wine industry

A task force created by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. contends that Maryland is a laggard in cultivating a robust wine industry and recommends new laws and government help to make the state a more attractive place to plant grapevines and operate wineries. [Page 1d]

Testimony links fraud to Ebbers

The former finance chief of WorldCom Inc. testified that he worked with then-CEO Bernard J. Ebbers to falsify the company's books, describing his former boss as a micromanager fanatical about controlling expenses. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Children's attire focus of show

Children walked the runways in New York yesterday. It was a first for Fashion Week, an entire show of children's clothing, and an acknowledgment of a market trend that has emerged in recent years: As apparel sales have dropped for adults, consumers are spending more than ever on children's wear. [Page 1a]

Drama on soldiers in Iraq on way

Production has begun on the first TV prime-time series on soldiers made while the war in which it is set is still being waged - Over There, a weekly drama from Steven Bochco about soldiers in Iraq and loved ones at home. It is to begin this summer. [Page 1e]

Super Bowl ad becomes an issue

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