Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 07, 2005

NATIONAL

NIH chief to fight ethics rules

National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni told Congress yesterday he would seek a reversal of new ethics rules that require NIH scientists and their families to divest health-related stocks. [Page 3a]

Senators delay vote on FDA head

Two senators vowed yesterday to hold up the nomination of acting Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Lester M. Crawford to lead the agency, arguing that the FDA has put politics above science in refusing to approve use of the morning-after pill without a prescription. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Pope selection to begin April 18

Cardinals chose April 18 to begin their secret process to select a new pope, while Rome beefed up its security ahead of the funeral for Pope John Paul II. [Page 1a]

Monaco's Prince Rainier dies

Monaco's Prince Rainier, Europe's longest-reigning monarch, died yesterday at age 81, leaving the throne to his son Prince Albert. [Page 8a]

Copter crash kills at least 16

At least 16 people were killed yesterday, most believed to be Americans, when a U.S. military helicopter crashed in bad weather in Afghanistan. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

Minimum wage bill advances

For the second straight day, Maryland lawmakers approved legislation to help low-income workers while dealing a blow to business interests. The state Senate OK'd a measure raising the minimum wage by about 15 percent to $6.15 an hour. [Page 1a]

Housing talks break down

A judge said yesterday that court-supervised settlement talks have broken down over ways to remedy the federal government's discrimination against black public housing residents in Baltimore. A second trial will be held in the 10-year-old case to decide on court-ordered remedies that could involve providing more opportunities for black public housing residents to move to the suburbs. [Page 1b]

Hopkins scholarship program

Aided by a scholarship program targeting Baltimore students, the Johns Hopkins University is admitting its largest group of city public high school students in decades, university officials said yesterday. Thirty of the 33 students - most of them from Polytechnic Institute and City College - were offered full scholarships under Hopkins' Baltimore Scholars program. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

No U.S. blacks on Orioles

For the first time in four-plus decades, the Orioles' Opening Day roster and major league disabled list was devoid of any black players from the United States. In 2004, only 9 percent of major leaguers were black Americans - the lowest percentage of black ballplayers in the majors in 25 years, according to a study. [Page 1a]

O's take pounding from A's

Daniel Cabrera allowed five earned runs in one inning, more than his entire exhibition season total and didn't make it out of the fourth inning in the Orioles' 9-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. The Orioles were held to one hit through six innings by substitute starter Kirk Saarloos. [Page 1c]

Nationals get first win

The Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-3, at Citizens Bank Park for their first victory. Washington's Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle for the second time in his career, and Jose Guillen hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

MCI merger faces opposition

Legg Mason's star mutual fund manager William H. Miller III said he will vote against the proposed merger between MCI Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. after he failed to convince MCI's board to accept a different offer. The MCI board decided late Tuesday it would stick with Verizon and again reject a higher-priced offer from Qwest Communications. [Page 1d]

Internet phone service

Internet-based phone service is becoming the next battleground in telecommunications. America Online Inc. plans to announce today an Internet phone service in Baltimore and 40 other markets. Meanwhile, Verizon Communications Inc. added a bargain plan and enhanced services yesterday to the Internet-based service it unveiled in summer. [Page 1d]

Guilford unveils overhaul plan

Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. outlined a strategy overhaul yesterday. The Baltimore biotechnology company revealed that it is looking to unload one of its two marketed products. But the news was met with skepticism on the Nasdaq, where Guilford shares closed down nearly 8 percent. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Dancer in step with pageants

Scott Grossman is not only one of the star choreographers on the beauty pageant circuit, he played one in the hit movie Miss Congeniality, too. He is in town to choreograph every step that the 51 Miss USA contestants will take during their pageant Monday at the Hippodrome. [Page 1d]

Deaf West stages `Big River'

Deaf West stages an excellent production of the Huckleberry Finn musical Big River at Ford's Theatre in Washington. Sun theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck says that using a mixed deaf and hearing cast, the production beautifully reinforces the novel's message of crossing cultural boundaries. [Page 1d]

Funeral held for Cochran

Mourners including O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson gathered yesterday for the funeral of famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr. The service at West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles was to include remarks from the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. [Page 2d]

TODAY ONLINE

CARDINALS PLAN CONCLAVE

The official process to select the next pope has been scheduled to commence on April 18. For continuing coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and developments in the papal transition, go to www.baltimoresun.com/pope

RASHOD ON BECK

See a video of Sun pop music critic Rashod Ollison reviewing Beck's latest album, Guero at www.baltimoresun.com/rashodvideos

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"My problem is I don't see color, I try to see talent."

Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan on not having any black players from the United States on the roster this season. (Article, Page 1A)

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