Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 12, 2005

WORLD

N. Korea demands U.S. talks

A day after declaring that it possessed nuclear weapons, North Korea demanded one-on-one talks with the United States over its weapons program. Washington rejected the demand, saying talks must include North Korea's neighbors. [Page 1a]

Rumsfeld visits Iraq

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Mosul and Baghdad yesterday, meeting with U.S. and Iraqi troops. Meanwhile, a truck bomb blew up outside a mosque in Baghdad, killing at least 23 people. [Page 10a]

NATIONAL

Playwright Arthur Miller dies

Arthur Miller, widely regarded as America's foremost living playwright, died Thursday night at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 89. The cause was congestive heart failure, said Julia Bolus, his assistant. The legendary writer's 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning work Death of a Salesman is among the country's best-known plays. [Page 1a]

New HIV strain found in N.Y. man

A new strain of HIV that is highly resistant to virtually all drugs and appears to lead to the rapid onset of AIDS was detected in a New York City man last week, city health officials announced yesterday. [Page 3a]

Bush threatens Medicare veto

President Bush vowed yesterday to veto any changes that Congress attempts to make in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit that's to become available next year. His threat sets up a potential showdown between the president and lawmakers who have angrily watched the benefit's projected 10-year cost explode from $400 billion to $724 billion, the new estimate the administration made public this week. [Page 3a]

MARYLAND

Stokes testifies at Blackwell trial

The sexual child abuse trial of a defrocked Baltimore Catholic priest opened yesterday with a full day of testimony from his alleged victim, Dontee Stokes. Stokes testified how Maurice Blackwell's embraces turned into inappropriate touches and then into sexual assault in the church rectory. [Page 1a]

Port to close 2 Midwestern offices

A decision by the Ehrlich administration to close the Detroit and Chicago sales offices for the Maryland Port Administration has bruised relations with one of the agency's largest customers, prompting aa John Deere manager to call the move an "extremely grave error." [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Canseco implicates other O's

Jose Canseco's new book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big, previews alleged steroid use by the Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro and also implicates Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada and Tony Saunders, among other major leaguers. Saunders denied using steroids, Sosa's agent declined to comment, and Tejada's agents did not return phone calls. [Page 1c]

Malone to retire tomorrow

Karl Malone is retiring, ending a career in which he became one of the NBA's greatest power forwards and was No. 2 on the league's all-time scoring list. Malone, 41, who never won a league championship, will announce his retirement tomorrow, the Utah Jazz said. [Page 6c]

BUSINESS

Store readies for flight at BWI

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. has signed a lease to open its first airport store at the mall taking shape at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The Hampstead-based retailer joins other men's retailers such as Brooks Brothers and Johnston & Murphy that are discovering the market in airport retail. [Page 9c]

DavCo withdraws public offering

Fearing lukewarm sales in the market, Crofton-based DavCo Acquisition Holding withdrew its registration for an initial public offering. Owner of more than 150 Wendy's and Friendly's restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region, it planned to sell enhanced income securities, but it said they were not selling well. [Page 9c]

Search for Disney chief continues

The search isn't over for a replacement for Walt Disney Co. chief executive Michael D. Eisner, Chairman George Mitchell pledged at a shareholders meeting yesterday. [Page 9c]

TODAY

`Gates' open in Central Park

Today, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the husband-and-wife artists who once wrapped Berlin's Reichstag in fabric, will unfurl their latest creation: a serpentine corridor of 7,500 saffron-colored banners stretching along 23 miles of pedestrian paths in New York's Central Park. Titled The Gates, it is a deliberately ephemeral artwork that will last 16 days before workers dismantle it. [Page 1d]

An exhibit of Titanic artifacts

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition opens today at the Maryland Science Center. Visitors can touch a big wall of ice and learn that the water in which so many died was about 4 degrees colder. [Page 1d]

Lining up to be `The Apprentice'

Almost 700 people lined up outside aMercedes dealership in Alexandria, Va., with their absolute conviction that they will be the next apprentice to Donald Trump or Martha Stewart. They are auditioning for the fourth season of The Apprentice or the first season of its spinoff, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. [Page 1d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

By the time I understood what was going on, it was too late to really do anything."

Dontee Stokes, testifying at the trial of defrocked priest Maurice Blackwell on charges of sex abuse. (Article, Page 1A)

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