Sun News Digest


February 22, 2005


Ways to help reserves proposed

The financial pinch facing soldiers in the National Guard and Reserve, who are serving far longer terms of duty than they had expected, is prompting members of Congress to propose measures to help, including tax credits, loans and other benefits. [Page 1a]

Mudslides cause havoc in Calif.

Mudslides forced some people to flee their homes and might have trapped others yesterday as Southern California was soaked by the latest in a series of storms that were blamed for three deaths, stalled commuter rail service and power outages. [Page 3a]


500 Palestinians are released

Joyous West Bank and Gaza crowds greeted 500 newly released Palestinian prisoners after they were freed from Israeli custody in a goodwill gesture to further peace efforts. [Page 1a]

Bush goes on attack in Europe

President Bush scolded Russia for crackdowns on democracy, told Syria to get out of Lebanon and warned Iran against developing nuclear weapons. In his first major speech during his European trip, the president also repeatedly stressed the value of an alliance of the United States and Europe. [Page 1a]


Teens accused in killing of teacher

Two Baltimore County teens were charged with murder in the shotgun killing of a private-school educator in a botched robbery at Towson Town Center. They were arrested after a tip from a motorist who saw them leaving the scene and jotted down a description and license plate of the car. [Page 1a]

Program to train new principals

City and state educators are joining with a national nonprofit group to train Baltimore's next generation of school principals. The partnership, expected to provide 40 principals, is funded by $2.8 million in private money from local and national donors. [Page 1b]

Talk-show host also paid by state

WBAL-AM talk-show host Chip Franklin, who often comments on state government, and whose show often is a forum for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., has been paid more than $30,000 in the past three years to appear in ads for the Maryland Lottery. [Page 1b]


`Saratoga' wins George Handicap

Saratoga County, who had trailed by five lengths, beat Don Six by a nose in the $200,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park [Page 4c]

Steroid cover-up is alleged

Sprinter Kelli White, one of the athletes at the center of the BALCO scandal, said a doctor diagnosed her with narcolepsy to cover up use of a banned stimulant even though she never had the sleep disorder, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. [Page 7c]

Scott captures shortened Nissan

Adam Scott had a par on the first hole in a sudden-death playoff with Chad Campbell to win the rain-shortened Nissan Open in Los Angeles. It was the first 36-hole event on the PGA Tour in nine years. [Page 7c]


Marylanders due ID-theft letters

ChoicePoint, which collects and sells personal information about consumers to businesses, said 2,750 Marylanders will receive letters by the end of the week telling them that thieves might have gained access to their personal data, in potentially one of the largest identity theft cases ever. [Page 1a]

CareFirst to absorb HMO tax

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield said it will absorb a 2 percent HMO premium tax imposed to help solve a medical-malpractice insurance crisis, rather than raising rates of 330,000 Maryland members this year. The legislature approved the tax to try to stabilize malpractice-liability premiums. [Page 1a]

Clinics on hold awaiting licensing

Eight emergency health-care clinics in the area have put most services on hold while the company that runs them awaits a state licensing approval it didn't know it needed. Since Feb. 12, nurse practitioners at the MinuteClinic sites in some Target stores have not been able to diagnose problems or write prescriptions. [Page 8c]


Tribute to Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson left his mark on American literature, and it likely will persist. Thompson, found dead at age 67 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in rural Colorado, was one of the earliest and best-known practitioners of New Journalism, or, as he called it, "Gonzo Journalism." [Page 1d]

`Frontline' looks at soldiers in Iraq

For Dog Company, life in Iraq is long-stretches of anxiety, interrupted by explosions and bursts of confusion, injury and death. That's the story and the dominant image of A Company of Soldiers, a Frontline documentary airing tonight on PBS that takes viewers inside the lives of nine U.S. soldiers from the 8th Cavalry Regiment. [Page 1d]

Some good from `Wife Swap' show

Despite the titillation inherent in the title of ABC's Wife Swap, this is a kinder and gentler reality television show. At worst, there are bruised feelings and a few tears. A Baltimore family featured prominently in the episode airing tomorrow night says genuine good came out of the show. [Page 1d]



Speaking yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, President Bush appealed for greater cooperation with European nations in seeking democratic reforms in the Middle East. Read the full text of the speech.


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"When a country's at war, it should make an attempt to have the sacrifices shared. Most Americans are not affected."

Rep. Tom Lantos, who wants to help part-time soldiers facing financial hardships from long Iraq deployments (Article, Page 1A)

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