Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 30, 2005

NATIONAL

Cost of defense contract rises

Despite Army assurances early this month that changes to a defense contract for an array of armored vehicles, aircraft and ground sensors could be made at no added charge, Pentagon officials now say revising the pact with Boeing and other companies will run $25 million to $75 million more. [Page 1a]

Sides dig in on Social Security

Capitol Hill Republicans and Democrats appear to be stiffening their positions on President Bush's plan to remake Social Security with lower benefits and private investment accounts. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Attacks kill 35 in Iraq

Iraqi insurgents unleashed a series of car bombings and attacks yesterday, killing 35 people, including three American troops. [Page 1a]

Putin pledges aid to Palestinians

Meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin pledged to provide equipment and training to help Abbas' security forces rein in militant groups. [Page 8a]

MARYLAND

Lesbian pastor reinstated

A United Methodist Church committee yesterday reinstated a lesbian pastor, defrocked in December after she told her Philadelphia congregation of her relationship with another woman. The panel set aside the earlier verdict stripping the credentials of the Rev. Irene Elizabeth "Beth" Stroud, associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown, for violating the United Methodist Church's prohibition on openly gay clergy. [Page 1a]

Testimony in murder case

The city police detective who interrogated two men accused of slashing the throats of three children last May said yesterday that the younger suspect was the coldest person he had ever interviewed. Sgt. Darryl Massey's testimony came during the second day of pretrial motions for Adan Canela, 18, and Policarpio Espinoza, 23. Both are charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Canela's young cousins, two 9-year-olds and a 10-year-old. Espinoza is an uncle of Canela and the dead children. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

O's get 6th win in a row

Erik Bedard pitched five-hit ball for eight innings to lead the Orioles to their season-high sixth straight victory, 5-0, over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Miguel Tejada, Jay Gibbons and Javy Lopez homered for the Orioles, as Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella watched from the press box at Camden Yards as he began serving a three-game suspension for his team's involvement in two bench-clearing scuffles in a game against Boston on April 24. [Page 1c]

Clayton makes himself at home

First-round draft pick Mark Clayton caught every pass he could get his hands on at his first practice with the Ravens. Clayton and 29 of his first-year teammates ran through a number of drills without the assistance of any veterans. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

BGE wants to raise rates

Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. is seeking permission from state regulators to charge homeowners who use natural gas an average of nearly $50 more a year to offset higher delivery costs, the first such increase in six years. The proposed increase has more to do with the rising price of gasoline and employee health care for the utility than the rising price of gas heating Maryland homes. [Page 1b]

Oil prices decline

Oil prices closed below $50 a barrel yesterday for the first time in more than two months after declining by more than $5 a barrel in the past week on rising U.S. supplies and slower economic growth. [Page 11c]

TODAY

Maryland Hunt Cup

Today, racehorses too mature and slow for flat surfaces but strong and gutsy enough to endure the 4-foot-plus hurdles positioned around J.W.Y. "Duck" Martin Jr.'s 605-acre Worthington Farms in Baltimore County are on show. The Maryland Hunt Cup will run at 4 p.m. - as it has the last Saturday of April almost every year since 1894. [Page 1d]

O'Donnell in Hallmark drama

In the movie Riding the Bus with My Sister, Rosie O'Donnell plays a mentally handicapped woman. The Hallmark Hall of Fame drama airs at 9 p.m. tomorrow. O'Donnell also served as executive producer. [Page 1d]

Bicycle commuting

Ride To Work Day is an annual celebration of bicycle commuting. Next Friday morning between 7 and 9 o'clock, area cyclists will converge at four locations - Harborplace Amphitheater in Baltimore, Courthouse Square in Towson, Harford County Government Center in Bel Air and City Dock in Annapolis - to support the concept of wheeling to work. [Page 1d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If we expect President Abbas to fight terrorism, he cannot do that with only stones in his hand."

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, on his pledge to provide aid to the Palestinian security forces (Article, Page 8A)

MARKETS

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SUNINDEX

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TODAY ONLINE

DEADLY DAY IN IRAQ

Multiple bombings killed more than two dozen people Friday in Iraq. Get the latest developments along with archived coverage of news from Iraq at www.baltimoresun.com/iraq

MARYLAND WEATHER

Help plan your weekend on our full-service weather site. Get current conditions, forecasts, weather-related stories, an events calendar and Sun science writer Frank Roylance's blog. www.marylandweather.com

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