Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 12, 2005

NATIONAL

Bolton faces hard questions

Under tough questioning by Senate Democrats over his harsh assessments of the United Nations and conservative policy prescriptions, John R. Bolton pledged yesterday to build a "close partnership" between the United States and the U.N. if confirmed as the top U.S. envoy to the international body. [Page 3a]

Breast implant hearing

The latest skirmish in the 13-year-old battle over silicone breast implants began yesterday with scores of women telling a federal advisory panel either that implants had ruined their lives or that they had restored their sense of well-being. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Bush enters Mideast fray

President Bush urged Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday to halt the expansion of a major Jewish settlement in the West Bank, even as he endorsed the Israeli leader's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. [Page 1a]

Cardinal Law draws protest

Barbara Blaine, an American who says she was abused by a Catholic priest when she was a child, was at the Vatican yesterday to protest Cardinal Bernard Law's saying Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. As archbishop of Boston, Law was accused of covering up sexual abuse by priests. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

Assembly session ends

The General Assembly concluded its 90-day session last night, riven by the same partisan feuding under which it began. Lawmakers gave final approval for a constitutional amendment that would appear on the 2006 ballot, asking voters if the Assembly should sign off on the sale of state parks -- an issue sparked by an Ehrlich plan to sell a protected forest in Southern Maryland to a politically connected contracting company owner. [Page 1a]

Racial gaps remain

Baltimore County students of all races are making academic progress by many measures, but wide gaps in the achievement and suspension rates of whites and minorities remain, according to a report scheduled to be released today. The report shows that minority students are taking more rigorous courses and the college entrance exam, but suspensions for African-American students nearly doubled between 2000 and 2004. [Page 1b]

Military asked to help bay

Three Maryland congressmen called on the military yesterday to end its opposition to paying the state's "flush tax" to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Dunbar alum Polley joins Ravens

The Ravens signed free agent Tommy Polley, a 1996 Dunbar High School graduate, and announced that he will start at outside linebacker in the team's new 4-3 defensive alignment. Polley, 27, was a four-year starter with the St. Louis Rams. [Page 1e]

Nationals routed by Braves, 11-2

Zach Day was knocked out in the fifth inning, as the Washington Nationals lost to the Braves, 11-2, in Atlanta. Winning pitcher Mike Hampton pitched eight strong innings, and Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones each hit a two-run home run. [Page 1e]

BUSINESS

Anne Arundel development

Somerset Construction Co. knew the Anne Arundel County community of Hanover would be a strategic location someday when it began buying up land there 44 years ago. And now it is. Construction is expected to begin this summer on 270 acres -- adjacent to Arundel Mills mall -- that will include nearly 1,000 homes and apartments, two hotels, as much as 1.8 million square feet of office space and other commercial space. [Page 1d]

Prime Retail remakes itself

Baltimore-based Prime Retail is undergoing an "extreme makeover," spending $100 million to renovate its shopping centers, attract new tenants and expand into nonoutlet centers. It recently began an overhaul of its Queenstown outlet center, a popular stop for beachgoers. A few years ago, the company was on the brink of disaster. [Page 1d]

City officials press for hotel

Pressing forward with a proposed $290 million, publicly financed convention headquarters hotel, Baltimore officials plan to introduce City Council legislation that would allow the city to own and develop what would be its largest hotel. The legislation would also authorize the city to issue up to $305 million in revenue bonds to pay for hotel development, one of the costliest projects undertaken by city government. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Joan Allen's creative explosion

At 47, Joan Allen has burst out with her most free and sexy performance in The Upside of Anger. And, she says, we ain't seen nothing till she appears in June in Sally Potter's Yes, about a Western woman having an affair with a middle Eastern man. She talks about how playing a Southwestern earth goddess in Off The Map (also in theaters) triggered a creative explosion. [Page 1c]

Miss N.C. takes crown

Donald Trump, Michael Phelps and 51 beauty queens graced the Hippodrome last night for the crowning of Miss USA. And the winner is ... Chelsea Cooley, Miss North Carolina. [Page 1c]

`Frontline' profiles Karl Rove

Tonight, PBS's Frontline examines Karl Rove, the man President Bush called "The Architect" of his re-election campaign. [Page 1c]

TODAY ONLINE

GROUP HOMES: LOOSE STANDARDS

Part three of our special report examines how the state sets loose standards for group home administrators and staff -- and then doesn't enforce them. Go online for previous parts of the series, plus expanded coverage. www.baltimoresun.com/grouphomes

BUSH TO SHARON: HALT EXPANSION

President George W. Bush asked Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to expand a key West Bank settlement. Find archived coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan. www.baltimoresun.com/roadmap

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Today is a special day. It's good to be home." Tommy Polley, Dunbar grad and new Raven (Article, Page 1E)

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