Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 18, 2005

NATIONAL

Hagel may challenge Bush pick

A key Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska - suggested that he might oppose John R. Bolton as U.N. ambassador if more allegations come out about the nominee's character and behavior. That could endanger President Bush's choice to lead the U.S. delegation to the international body. [Page 3a]

Army seeks to fix culture gap

The Army has begun an intensive campaign to recruit hundreds of Arab-Americans as cultural advisers and translators. The effort addresses a significant handicap for the U.S. military, whose troops face daunting language and culture gaps in working with Iraqi officials and citizens. [Page 1a]

BTK hearings start tomorrow

Dennis Rader, a former city ordinance enforcement officer for Park City, Kan., will be brought into a courtroom under tight security beginning tomorrow for his preliminary hearing on 10 counts of first-degree murder in the BTK serial killings. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Three U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

Three U.S. soldiers were killed in a mortar strike on a U.S. base in the restive western city of Ramadi, authorities said, as sectarian tensions flared between Sunni and Shiite Muslims about reports of clashes in a religiously mixed area south of the capital. [Page 1a]

Papal conclave to start today

One hundred fifteen Roman Catholic cardinals will gather today to begin selecting a new pope, bolstered this year by jamming devices reportedly hidden under a false floor in the Sistine Chapel to defeat any sophisticated microphones or eavesdropping satellites. [Page 7a]

India, Pakistan reach agreements

India and Pakistan nudged their peace effort forward with agreements to improve trade and travel links. In an apparent softening of his position, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf did not publicly repeat his demand for an early solution to the long-running conflict over the divided territory of Jammu and Kashmir. [Page 7a]

MARYLAND

Sun Poll looks at Senate race

Former NAACP head Kweisi Mfume has the edge against the other prominent Democrats hoping to replace U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, but Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele would run neck and neck against any of them in the 2006 election, the new Sun Poll shows. [Page 1a]

Doctor faces drug trial

A once prominent Towson physician is scheduled to go on trial in federal court today on charges that he illegally manufactured millions of dollars worth of drugs, including the club drug Ecstasy. Dr. Robert M. Keenan, who made his name promoting pills as the key to weight loss, stands accused of peddling illegal substances. [Page 1b]

Test for Balto. Co. development

The former site of the Kingsley Park apartments in Middle River will provide the first test of Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.'s signature plan for the revitalization of older neighborhoods as the County Council considers bills to make the property eligible for the recently approved planning process. [Page 3b]

TODAY

An author's centennial

Nan Agle turned 100 last week. She grew up to become a children's book author and art teacher at Friends School for 14 years. Although she published at least 21 stories for children, her best-known book is Free to Stay, the only one written for adults. A party commemorating Agle's centennial was held at the Sykesville center where she lives. About two dozen of Agle's descendants and a few close friends came from around the country to attend the party. [Page 1c]

Meyerhoff upgrade in the works

Two months after the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra helped inaugurate a $100 million concert hall in Montgomery County, its leaders are taking steps to upgrade their primary home in Mount Vernon. The orchestra recently hired Cho Benn Holback and Associates to recommend ways to improve the exterior and main lobby of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, which opened in 1982. [Page 1c]

`Amityville' No. 1 at box office

The Amityville Horror took in $23.3 million to top the weekend box office, while last weekend's No. 1 movie, Sahara, slipped to second place, according to studio estimates yesterday. [Page 3c]

SPORTS

O's finish sweep of Yankees

The Orioles completed a sweep of the New York Yankees with an 8-4 victory before a sellout crowd of 47,883 at Camden Yards. Miguel Tejada hit a grand slam in the second inning off Yankees starter Kevin Brown. [Page 1d]

Nationals rally to victory

The Washington Nationals improved to 3-0 at home with their fifth straight win, a 7-3 triumph over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Nationals overcame a 3-1 deficit with a six-run, seventh-inning rally. [Page 3d]

Biffle wins Radio Shack 500

Greg Biffle charges from the rear of the field to win the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. It was his second NASCAR Nextel Cup victory of the season and the fifth of his career. [Page 10d]

THE SUN POLL

See what voters think about the race to fill outgoing Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes' seat. Plus read our previous Maryland Poll stories at www.baltimoresun.com/marylandpoll.

PAPAL CONCLAVE

Roman Catholic cardinals begin electing a new pope. Get developments on the conclave, plus archived stories and multimedia at www.baltimoresun.com/newpope.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Peanuts painted the whole church, put in air conditioning. Peanuts did it all - a church restored by peanuts."

Mary Goings, member of a church that sells peanuts near Camden Yards (Article, Page 1B)

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