Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 23, 2005

NATIONAL

Man accused in plot to kill Bush

A Virginia man appeared yesterday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Va., and was charged with plotting to assassinate President Bush and supporting al-Qaida. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen, is from Falls Church. [Page 1a]

Two views emerge about suspect

Two divergent stories about Ahmed Omar Abu Ali emerged yesterday as the 23-year-old student from Northern Virginia sat in federal custody, accused of a plot to kill President Bush. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Bush, EU leaders mend some rifts

President Bush and European leaders settled some of their differences about Iraq but plunged into a new dispute over the lifting of a 15-year-old arms embargo against China. [Page 1a]

From prisoner to reality-TV host

Tokyo Sexwale was a political prisoner during apartheid, a provincial governor after the arrival of democracy and is now being called the country's Donald Trump for his latest venture, as the future host of South Africa's version of The Apprentice. [Page 1a]

MARYLAND

Judge rejects gunshot residue

A city judge rejected the use of gunshot-residue evidence, saying he believes a lab analyst's conclusions fall short of accepted scientific standards. The ruling by Circuit Judge John C. Themelis could affect dozens of shooting cases that rely on evidence collected from a suspect's hands. [Page 1a]

Bus seating of inmate not in policy

An inmate who threatened in court to kill again should not have been seated at the rear of a prison bus where Philip E. Parker Jr. was strangled this month, according to Maryland policy governing the transport of prisoners. The policy says inmates identified as security risks are to be seated in front. [Page 1a]

House may vote on slots this week

After killing gambling legislation for two consecutive years, the House of Delegates is poised to vote on a slot machine plan this week. The House Ways and Means Committee is to decide today on the bill. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Clay figures open arts festival

More than 100 clay figures are in sculptor Richard Cleaver's Gathering at the Latrobe Spring House, an exhibition opening today at the Baltimore Museum of Art as part of Tour de Clay, a festival of the ceramic arts. [Page 1c]

Ending of `Baby' movie under fire

Circumstances surrounding the story line of Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby have some critics railing against the movie as immoral, sacrilegious and an example of Hollywood's left-leaning bias. The effect on the film's Oscar chances remains to be seen. [Page 1c]

New BSO season is announced

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will mark its 90th-anniversary season with two new series, a fresh repertoire, a promising lineup of guest artists, and, for some subscribers, substantially reduced ticket prices. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

IRS offers settlement to companies

Trying to rein in corporate tax-avoidance schemes, the Internal Revenue Service said it is offering settlements to 42 companies and about 200 executives who the IRS claims channeled hundreds of millions worth of stock options through tax shelters. [Page 1d]

Oil price rise sends stocks down

A 6 percent spike in crude oil prices sent stocks plunging, as investors concerned about prices and inflation envisioned a repeat of last summer's sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 174 points. [Page 1d]

Toy products adapted for weapons

Sullivan Products, Baltimore-based maker of products for radio-controlled model cars and airplanes, is using its technology to make components for the unmanned aerial drones used for surveillance, or as aerial weapons systems, which have emerged as a fast-growing slice of the defense industry. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Clemson completes sweep of Terps

Sharrod Ford had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots, leading Clemson past Maryland, 97-93, and hurting the Terps' NCAA tournament chances. The Tigers recorded their first regular-season series sweep over Maryland since 1996-1997. [Page 1e]

Julio could miss Orioles' opener

The results of a magnetic resonance imaging test confirmed that Orioles pitcher Jorge Julio has a strained right forearm, which will put him on a throwing program for the next three weeks and jeopardize his availability for the April 4 opener. [Page 1e]

Bonds goes on offensive

In piqued contrast to Jason Giambi's apologetic sheepishness two weeks ago, Barry Bonds ran the gamut from mildly surly to decidedly surly in his welcome-back news conference. [Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

`WORKING'

Visit the online version of our new weekly Working section, where you'll find a Q&A with local business experts, job-hunting tips, a career-fair calendar and a look at who's on the move in local businesses. www.baltimoresun.com/working

ASK DAVID STEELE

Sun sports columnist David Steele will answer readers questions about the National Basketball Association, the Orioles and the Ravens. www.baltimoresun.com/asksteele

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I don't think these test results are reliable."

Judge John C. Themelis, in granting a defense request to exclude gunshot-residue evidence in a city weapons case (Article, Page 1A)

MARKETS

DOW -- DOWN

- 174.02

10,611.20

NASDAQ -- DOWN

- 28.30

2,030.32

S&P -- DOWN

- 17.43

1,184.16

SUNINDEX -- DOWN

- 3.98

300.90

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