Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

March 25, 2005

NATIONAL

Schiavo's parents press on

With Terri Schiavo visibly drawing closer to death yesterday, her parents refused to give up their fight to reinsert the brain-damaged daughter's feeding tube, despite being rebuffed by the nation's highest court and a Florida judge. [Page 1a]

70-million-year-old soft tissue

A 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex recently discovered in Montana has apparently yielded the improbable: soft tissues, including blood vessels and possibly cells, that "retain some of their original flexibility, elasticity and resilience." [Page 3a]

WORLD

Kyrgyz government falls

A protest by thousands of opposition supporters in Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek turned into a rout of government forces, as demonstrators overran government offices and the president, Askar Akayev, fled for neighboring Kazakhstan. [Page 1a]

Report faults Hariri inquiry

A U.N. report about the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri concludes that Lebanon's investigation of the killing was unsatisfactory and an international inquiry is needed. [Page 12a]

U.N. troops will go to Sudan

The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to send 10,700 peacekeepers to Sudan to monitor an accord ending a 21-year civil war between the government and southern rebels. [Page 16a]

MARYLAND

Elevated mercury levels found

On the eve of a vote by the state Senate to reduce power plant pollution, four environmental groups said that tests showed almost a third of state legislators who submitted to hair sampling have elevated levels of mercury - one with a level high enough for impaired memory. [Page 1b]

Ehrlich seeks answers

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said he wants to determine whether Democratic rivals were responsible for exposing a former administration aide who participated in Internet rumor-mongering about Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley. [Page 1b]

Ex-prisons worker pleads guilty

A former purchaser for the state prison system pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Stone Cold Chemicals, a company that offered gift certificates to get public employees to buy its cleaning supplies at exorbitant prices. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Miss USA hopefuls arrive

As 51 beauty queens start arriving at the Sheraton Columbia today to prepare for the 54th annual Miss USA contest, pageant organizers will be fighting for the competition's place on network television and in popular culture. The contest, to be broadcast live from Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre on April 11, will be the first nationally televised traditional beauty pageant since ABC announced it would drop the Miss America competition this fall. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Bio-tech firm's stock falls

Shares of Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. tumbled after the Baltimore-based biotechnology company announced that it was halting late-stage clinical trials of its sedative Aquavan. The stock fell 34 percent, the day's biggest decline by percentage on the Nasdaq stock market. [Page 1d]

CareFirst defends surplus

Defending itself against accusations that it isn't meeting its legal obligations for charitable spending, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield presented insurance regulators in Washington with an actuarial study concluding that the company's surplus is reasonable and appropriate. [Page 1d]

Kmart completes Sears deal

Kmart bought Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $12.3 billion, combining two faded retail icons into the nation's third biggest retailer. The new company has adopted the name Sears Holdings Corp. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Ponson was arrested in January

Pitcher Sidney Ponson, who spent time in an Aruba jail after a December altercation and who was involved in a scuffle this week at a Florida restaurant, was charged with driving under the influence in January, the Orioles learned yesterday. In other news, manager Lee Mazzilli named Rodrigo Lopez his Opening Day starting pitcher. [Page 1f]

Late jumper lifts Arizona, 79-78

Salim Stoudamire hit an off-balance jumper from the left side with 2.8 seconds left, sending Arizona to the Elite Eight of the NCAA men's basketball tournament with a 79-78 victory over Oklahoma State. West Virginia, Illinois and Louisville also advanced, with the Cardinals eliminating Chicago Regional top seed Washington. [Pages 1f , 8-9f]

TODAY ONLINE

LOOKING FOR TAX HELP?

Have questions about taxes and filing as the April 15 deadline looms? Ask a local expert online at: www.baltimoresun.com/taxadvice

ASK ABOUT ORIOLES

Ask Sun reporter Roch Kubatko a question about the Orioles at: www.baltimoresun.com/askkubatko

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's the people who have taken power. They have been fighting for so long against corruption."

Ulan Shambetov, opposition activist in Kyrgyzstan (Article, Page 13A)

MARKETS

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-13.15

10,442.8, NASDAQ -- UP

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1,991.06

S&P -- DOWN

-1.11

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SUNINDEX -- DOWN

-0.29

296.19

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