Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 19, 2005

NATIONAL

Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of NAACP martyr Medgar Evers, plans to endorse Julian Bond in the election for chairman and speak out strongly about the National Associated for the Advancement of Colored People programs, finances and the eventual successor to Kweisi Mfume. She considers the NAACP -- like her own family-- at times dynamic, at times dysfunctional. And, she wants to ensure its continuing relevance. [Page 1a]

Bush aims to mend fences

President Bush leaves tomorrow for a four-day trip to Belgium, Germany and Slovakia, hoping to mend fences in the strained trans-Atlantic alliance on the first overseas trip of his second term. [Page 3a]

U.S. military rapes tracked

More than a year after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld declared zero tolerance for rape, 10 serial rapists are serving in the U.S. military and have sexually assaulted dozens of fellow soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to the Miles Foundation, a watchdog group. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Iraq bombings kill at least 36

A string of suicide bombings on the eve of Shiite Islam's holiest day left at least 36 people dead in Iraq yesterday. Bombers targeted three Shiite mosques and a police checkpoint. [Page 1a]

Putin rejects U.S. concerns

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin rejected U.S. concerns over Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions, saying yesterday that he believes Iran does not intend to develop weapons and that Russia will continue to offer peaceful nuclear assistance. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

UM regents limit credit hours

Students in the University of Maryland system will face pressure to graduate within four years under policies approved yesterday by the Board of Regents. Starting with next fall's freshman class, campuses will be required to limit most majors to 120 credits. Students who take more than 120 credits -- the number a full-time student would typically take in four years -- could face possible penalties. [Page 1a]

6 legislators walk out on speech

A venerable State House tradition was marred yesterday when six legislators marched out of the Senate chambers to protest what they called an overtly political speech from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s chief of patronage. Secretary of Appointments Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. delivered the remarks while handing the Senate a package of nominees for state boards and commissions. The "green bag" appointments are named after the color of the satchel in which they have been brought down from the governor's office for decades. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

O's Miller: Pitching's better

As Orioles pitchers and catchers report to camp today, pitching coach Ray Miller isn't putting much stock in word around the league that nothing has been done to improve the team's staff. "I'm excited. I wouldn't have come back if I wasn't," Miller said. "I personally think our pitching's much, much better than the world knows." [Page 1c]

NHL, players to resume talks

The NHL and the players' association will meet in New York today after the league requested the sides get together again. On Wednesday, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, saying it was too late to play any semblance of a schedule. [Page 1c]

Robinson speaks out on steroids

Washington Nationals manager and former Orioles great Frank Robinson said that he believes steroids have created a "cloud over baseball" and that new penalties aren't strong enough. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

Former Boeing CFO sentenced

Boeing Co.'s former chief financial officer, Michael Sears, received a four-month prison sentence and a $250,000 fine yesterday for illegal job negotiations with an Air Force official who oversaw contracts with the defense and aerospace company. The scandal derailed a $20 billion defense program and triggered a broader review of Pentagon contracts, which a prosecutor said yesterday would be expanded. [Page 13c]

ChoicePoint identity theft fallout

ChoicePoint, a Georgia company that gathers personal data on consumers, faces a public relations nightmare after it sold personal data of about 145,000 consumers to identity thieves posing as business customers. [Page 13c]

SEC mutual fund staffer resigns

Paul F. Roye, the nation's chief mutual fund regulator who spearheaded an overhaul of the industry after a wave of scandals, resigned yesterday as head of the investment management division at the Securities and Exchange Commission to return to the private sector. He will leave next month. [Page 13c]

TODAY

French restaurant closes

Roland Jeannier is retiring and has sold Jeannier's, his 100-seat white-tablecloth restaurant known for classic fare, velvety sauces and luscious desserts. Its closing marks the end of one of the bastions of French food in Baltimore for the past 20 years. [Page 1d]

Alsop is a favorite to lead BSO

Marin Alsop, a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra guest in recent seasons, looks like the current favorite to succeed Yuri Temirkanov, which made Alsop's appearance Thursday night at the Meyerhoff doubly interesting. [Page 1d]

MARKETS

DOW

+30.96

10,785.22

NASDAQ

-2.72

2,058.62

S&P

+0.84

1,201.59

SUN INDEX

-1.74

304.88

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This is the last phase of my life. I may live another 30 years, but between now and when my parting time comes, I know I have something more to offer. But what is it that I can do without killing myself?"

Myrlie Evers-Williams, on her contributions to the NAACP (Article, Page 1A)

TODAY ONLINE

O'S SPRING TRAINING SPECIAL

Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Lauderdale today. Get the team's roster, schedule and complete coverage at www.baltimoresun.com/orioles

McKEE ON NASCAR

Award-winning Sun auto racing reporter Sandra McKee answers readers' questions about NASCAR and the Daytona 500 at www.baltimoresun.com/nascar

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