Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 24, 2005

NATIONAL

Ethics rules at NIH criticized

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, rebelling against stringent new rules restricting their outside activities and finances, plan to meet today with agency director Elias A. Zerhouni to propose an alternative set of ethics regulations. [Page 1a]

Health care costs to surge

U.S. spending on health care will outpace overall inflation and wage growth over the next 10 years, making medical care harder for the government, employers, workers and uninsured Americans to afford. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Bush, Schroeder agree on Iran

President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder agreed that Iran must not develop nuclear weapons, though Bush did not say whether the United States would participate in talks with Iran. [Page 1a]

Al-Jaafari faces challenge

Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi announced the creation of a coalition to challenge Shiite party leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari for the job of prime minister, deepening the intrigue building around the formation of Iraq's government. [Page 12a]

Bush, Putin meeting pivotal

As President Bush prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir V. Putin this morning, analysts say that deteriorating U.S.-Russian relations will test the two leaders' once-warm relationship. [Page 15a]

MARYLAND

State fires 3 in inmate's death

The state fired three correctional officers and disciplined two others in response to the strangling of a 20-year-old inmate on a prison bus in the predawn hours of Feb. 2. The disciplinary action came amid increased scrutiny of the prison system, where a rash of violent incidents has prompted lockdowns at two prisons this month. [Page 1a]

Mild earthquake hits Md.

Residents of Glen Burnie, Dundalk and points in between got a mild shaking yesterday when a series of small earthquakes rattled the area. No one was injured, and there was no damage, according to officials at the Maryland Geologic Survey. The strongest of the rare quakes registered 2 on the open-ended Richter scale, releasing only a tiny fraction of the power of the quake that devastated Iran this week. [Page 1a]

House panel OKs slots bill

A key legislative committee approved a slot-machine gambling bill, setting up a long-awaited vote by the full House of Delegates as soon as tomorrow. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 13-5, with three delegates abstaining, on a version largely shaped by House Speaker Michael E. Busch. [Page 1b]

Shipping line unhappy with port

One of the largest shipping lines at the port of Baltimore is considering curtailing its business there because of what a company official called the "political incompetence" of Ehrlich administration officials running the port. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Stolen cell phones a danger

Storing personal information in cell phones is becoming more common, and many users tap into their cell phones or personal digital assistants for phone numbers, e-mails, appointments and even credit card numbers. It's all so convenient -- until the device is lost, stolen or hacked. [Page 1c]

Celebrating celebrity humiliation

Photos of celebrities at their most mundane and unguarded now fill tabloids and glossy magazines, reassuring us that even the rich and famous get mustard on their face. This new wave of celebrity worship/humiliation reaches it apotheosis tonight with the broadcast of a Fox program called, simply enough, Stars Without Makeup. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

GM campaign assailed

General Motors Corp., which is a lightning rod for criticism on everything from air pollution to auto quality, has become a target for one of its charitable efforts -- its financial and political push to combat drunken driving. A national campaign has been launched with the backing of 17,000 bars, taverns and liquor stores. [Page 1d]

Port Covington deal possible

A deal is in the works for commercial property at Port Covington that has struggled for years to become a bustling, waterfront retail complex. Starwood Ceruzzi Inc. of Fairfield, Conn., is in negotiations to buy the 52-acre development from Bethesda-based Finmarc Management Inc., according to Finmarc. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

All smiles, Sosa reports to O's

Slugger Sammy Sosa, acquired from the Chicago Cubs during the offseason, was in a jovial mood upon his arrival at Orioles spring training camp. "It's incredible," he said of his reception from fans and teammates. "It's a young team and everybody is happy for myself to be here. It's like coming home." [Page 1a]

Moss to be dealt to Raiders

After shopping Randy Moss to the Atlanta Falcons and Ravens, the Minnesota Vikings are on the verge of trading their big-play wide receiver to the Oakland Raiders. First reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press on its Web site yesterday, the deal will become official Tuesday when the NFL's 2005 fiscal year begins. [Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

SAMMY COMES TO CAMP

The Orioles' new slugger, Sammy Sosa, arrived at spring training yesterday. Keep up with Sammy and the rest of the O's in our online gallery at www.baltimoresun.com/orioles

`WORKING' Q&A

Submit your questions about the clean versus messy desk debate to Sun reporter Stacey Hirsh will answer reader questions about the clean versus messy desk debate. www.baltimoresun.com/working

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Being here, I know it's different. I am in a different house, different lineup, different manager. Everything is different."

Sammy Sosa, on his first day in Orioles spring training camp (Article, Page 1A)

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