Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

February 25, 2005

WORLD

Pope readmitted to hospital

Pope John Paul II was rushed back to the hospital with flu-like symptoms and breathing problems. Doctors performed a tracheotomy on the pontiff, who was conscious and breathing with the help of a respirator, Italian media reported. [Page 1a]

Bush, Putin seek common ground

President Bush and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin agreed that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, but the meeting was tense at times as the two leaders struggled to find common ground on democratic reforms. [Page 1a]

At least 30 die in Iraq attacks

A suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew up his car at police headquarters in Tikrit, killing at least 15 people in Saddam Hussein's hometown in the bloodiest of several attacks yesterday that claimed 30 lives. [Page 12a]

NATIONAL

Battle over abortion records

The Kansas attorney general is demanding that abortion clinics turn over the complete medical records of nearly 90 women and girls, saying he needs the material for an investigation into underage sex and illegal late-term abortions. Two clinics are fighting the request in Kansas Supreme Court, saying the state has no right to such personal information. [Page 3a]

NIH ethics grievances aired

National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni met with scientists who have railed against sweeping new ethics regulations and appeared sympathetic to their grievances, meeting participants said. [Page 3a]

MARYLAND

City school closings sought

In the O'Malley administration's most dramatic step yet to improve aging and decrepit schools, the Baltimore Planning Commission demanded that city agencies - not the school system - take control of city money spent on school construction and called for the closure of under-populated buildings. [Page 1a]

House slots vote expected today

The Maryland House of Delegates launched its most extensive debate to date on slot-machine gambling, setting up an expected final vote today on its version of legislation that has dominated Annapolis since the election of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. [Page 1b]

Academy policy called flawed

A Naval Academy professor's published claims that the college's admissions process is severely flawed has generated a storm of controversy in Annapolis, including a rebuke from the school's superintendent. Bruce Fleming, a faculty member who spent a year on the admissions board, claims preferential treatment for three groups: applicants who are minorities, athletes or already members of the fleet. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Good news for DeGroen's fans

Just as fans were finishing what they thought were the final kegs of DeGroen's beer - the microbrewery had announced it was folding - good news came from Theo DeGroen, who announced yesterday that he had entered a partnership with a Delaware brewery to continue making the Marzen, Pils and Weizen that local beer drinkers have come to love. [Page 1c]

Travolta as Edna Turnblad?

John Travolta just may be Edna Turnblad in the new movie version of Hairspray, reports Variety, the entertainment industry trade paper. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

Port director steps down

The director of the port of Baltimore left his job yesterday, fulfilling the warnings of port customers and lawmakers who had lobbied the Ehrlich administration not to interfere with management of the facility. James J. White, who was appointed by the former Democratic administration, was credited with providing continuity and a steady hand for the port. [Page 1a]

Doubts voiced on convention hotel

The chairman of a key City Council committee said he has strong reservations about the city's plans to publicly finance and own a convention headquarters hotel and wants an independent commission to review proposals rejected earlier by the city's economic development agency. [Page 1d]

Qwest offers revised MCI bid

Qwest Communications International Inc. submitted a revised bid for MCI Inc. in an effort to squash the long-distance phone company's plan to be acquired by Verizon Communications Inc.[Page 1d]

SPORTS

Palmeiro contemplating lawsuit

Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro said he hasn't decided whether to take legal action against Jose Canseco, who told 60 Minutes this month that he injected Palmeiro with steroids. "The one thing I can say is I have the best law firm and the best lawyer standing in the wings in [Orioles owner] Peter Angelos," Palmeiro said. [Page 1f]

Celtics get Walker at deadline

The weakest division in the NBA suddenly looks a little stronger, with Antoine Walker back with the Boston Celtics and Chris Webber acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers. The league's trade deadline came and went yesterday with a total of 11 deals involving 35 players being agreed to in the final 24 hours before the cutoff. [Page 9f]

TODAY ONLINE

THE POPE IN BALTIMORE

Read stories and see photos from The Sun's 1995 special section commemorating Pope John Paul II's visit to Baltimore. www.baltimoresun.com/pope95

LACROSSE Q & A

See our men's lacrosse preview in today's Sports section and go online to read area coaches' answers to reader questions at www.baltimoresun.com/lacrossecoaches

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's just not working, so the best thing to do is just get out of the way and allow them to put somebody in here they're more comfortable with."

James J. White, after resigning as the director of the port of Baltimore (Article, Page 1A)

MARKETS

DOW -- UP

+75.00

10,748.79

NASDAQ -- UP

+20.45

2,051.70

S&P -- UP

+9.40

1,200.20

SUNINDEX -- UP

+1.18

303.35

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