Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

June 09, 2005

NATIONAL

Army eases junior officer rules

Faced with a need to expand the Army and ease recruitment problems, Army officials have decided to loosen the requirements for junior officer candidates - accepting prospects who exceed the current age limit by more than a decade and permitting more flexibility to waive their minor criminal or civil offenses, according to a memo obtained by The Sun. [Page 1a]

Terror probe widens in Calif.

After the initial arrests of a northern California father and son and the detention of two others with alleged terrorist connections, immigration officials held a fifth person yesterday as part of what authorities described as a widening investigation. [Page 1a]

Brown wins appeals court seat

The Senate confirmed California judge Janice Rogers Brown to a seat on the federal appeals court, ending a two-year battle filled with accusations of racism and sexism and shadowed by a dispute over Democratic blocking tactics. [Page 3a]

WORLD

British sipping less tea

The British fondness for tea might be slipping. A new report says tea consumption among Britons is down over the past couple of years - with younger tastes shifting toward herbal teas, soft drinks and bottled water. [Page 1a]

U.S., Iraq insurgents in talks

As the military announced the death of four more U.S. troops in Iraq, a senior U.S. official said the United States was quietly attempting to persuade insurgents to lay down their weapons and join Iraq's political process. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

MTA plans bus route changes

The Maryland Transit Administration is proposing to discontinue almost a dozen bus lines while expanding others as part of the most comprehensive restructuring of MTA routes in at least three decades. [Page 1a]

Fort Meade plans for growth

Preparing for explosive growth around Fort Meade, officials announced details of a three-decade master plan that includes extending the Washington Metro's Green Line from Greenbelt to the Army post and points north - possibly to Baltimore. [Page 1b]

Group-home executive resigns

Joseph Skariah, who expensed Caribbean cruises, luxury SUVs and the settlement of a sexual harassment complaint while making a salary of more than $135,000, has given up positions running the tax-exempt group-home company he founded and serving on its board of directors.[Page 1b]

TODAY

Fulfilling a brother's dreams

Erik Vassiliev is struggling with the screenplay he's started. Ever since his older brother, Ben, was fatally poisoned by a classmate, the young man from Ellicott City has been fighting to rebuild his life without Ben, his best friend and confidante. The movie is an outlet for those emotions and a way to fulfill part of his brother's movie-making dreams. [Page 1c]

Spielberg heads `Into the West'

Into the West, cable channel TNT's 12-hour epic about life on the 19th-century frontier, is the latest project from filmmaker and producer Steven Spielberg. Sun television critic David Zurawik says the series consistently goes for that deeper psychic connection with the audience and achieves it often enough to promise one of the more elevated viewing experiences of the summer. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Osiris raises $50 million

Osiris Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage Baltimore company testing treatments created from adult stem cells, announced that it had raised $50 million through a Swiss venture capital firm - about five times the average invested in biotechnology businesses nationwide last year. [Page 1d]

Kerkorian doubles GM stake

Tracinda Corp., run by billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, almost doubled its stake in General Motors Corp. to 7.2 percent after it purchased 18.9 million shares as part of a tender offer. The move represents a vote of confidence that GM management can turn around the world's largest automaker. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Pirates rough up Orioles, 6-1

The Pirates scored three runs in the first before an out was recorded and Pittsburgh defeated the Orioles, 6-1, at PNC Park. The Orioles' Miguel Tejada hit his 17th homer. [Page 1e]

Sanders signs $1.5M contract

Deion Sanders passed a physical that ended up spanning three days and signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Ravens. The 37-year-old cornerback danced around questions of whether he will retire at the end of the year.[Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

PROPOSED BUS ROUTE CHANGES

The Maryland Transportation Authority is proposing changes to numerous local and commuter bus routes. For a schedule of public hearings on the changes, plus lists of the proposed route changes, go to www.baltimoresun.com/bus

TRIAL POSTPONED

The trial of two Mexican immigrants charged with murdering three children has been postponed until July 6. For archived coverage of the case, go to www.baltimoresun.com/fallstaff

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This represents an historic effort to improve public transit in the Baltimore metropolitan area."

Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan, on proposed MTA bus route changes (Article, Page 1A)

MARKETS - DOWN

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2,060.18

S&P

-2.59

1,194.67

SUN INDEX

-0.99

303.62

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