Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

June 10, 2005

NATIONAL

Pension system faces shortfall

The federal agency that insures private pension plans faces a shortfall of as much as $71 billion in the next decade, the top congressional budget analyst said, adding urgency to efforts by President Bush and Congress to shore up the nation's increasingly troubled pension system this year. [Page 1a]

Bush praises Patriot Act

President Bush pressed Congress to make permanent the broad police powers created four years ago under the USA Patriot Act, saying it had protected American liberty and saved American lives. [Page 3a]

FBI faulted on 9/11 clues

FBI investigators missed several chances to track down two of the Sept. 11 hijackers and mishandled a memo from an agent in Arizona suggesting that Osama bin Laden might be sending operatives to the United States to take flying lessons, a government watchdog said in a report kept secret until this week. [Page 4a]

WORLD

South Africans fear corruption

A political bribery case involving the deputy president of the African National Congress has South Africans worried that their idealistic post-apartheid government could be succumbing to a culture of corruption. [Page 1a]

Jailing of contractors probed

The U.S. Marines said an investigation was under way into allegations by 16 American and three Iraqi security contractors that they were improperly detained for three days last week in a military jail. [Page 14a)

Gaza withdrawal hurdle removed

Israel's Supreme Court upheld a compensation law, erasing the main legal challenge to the government's plan to withdraw settlers from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. [Page 18a]

MARYLAND

Charles St. trolley line studied

The Charles Street Development Corp. is studying the feasibility of a 7.5-mile trolley line that would connect the Inner Harbor with the Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus. Supporters of the idea hope it would boost development along the Charles Street corridor. [Page 1a]

City schools funds threatened

Maryland's Court of Appeals undermined a Baltimore judge's latest effort to force the state to provide millions of dollars in extra funding for the city schools. The court also reversed a ruling that would have given the Baltimore school system more time to eliminate its budget deficit. [Page 1a]

Fort Meade Metro link possible

State transportation officials have quietly stepped up planning of a major rail link between the Washington area and Fort Meade, where Pentagon shifts are expected to prompt significant growth in coming years. Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said his agency began looking at extending the Washington-area Metro several months ago. The project is more than 15 years from completion and could cost at least $1 billion. [Page 1b]

TODAY

`Mr. And Mrs. Smith' opens

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are in the highly promoted and anticipated Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which opens at area theaters today. But if celebrity headliners aren't your thing, other options like Howls Moving Castle and the remade Honeymooners also are scheduled to open today. [Page 1c]

13-year-old makes BSO debut

Last night, at the ripe age of 13, California-born Kit Armstrong made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 at the Music Center at Strathmore. The program will be repeated this weekend at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. [Page 1c]

McDonald's ads push fitness

In a global advertising campaign starting today, Ronald McDonald dons a streamlined version of his familiar jumpsuit and urges kids to get off their couches and join him as he snowboards, bicycles and plays basketball with NBA star Yao Ming. Ronald McDonald is now the company's "global ambassador of fun, fitness and children's well-being," according to a corporate statement. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Case a setback for Spitzer

A former broker with Bank of America was acquitted yesterday of most charges that he aided in the improper trading of mutual funds, handing Eliot Spitzer, the New York attorney general, his first major legal defeat in his crackdown on Wall Street. The broker had been accused of enabling a hedge fund manager to trade in mutual funds after hours, pocketing tens of millions of dollars illegally. [Page 1e]

Ex-McCormick site to be sold

A Philadelphia-based developer of mixed-use projects is buying one of the last undeveloped parcels in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, considered among the city's premier development sites. ARC Wheeler Group has signed a contract to purchase the nearly 2 acres on Light Street where a McCormick & Co. spice plant once stood. [Page 1e]

SPORTS

Sorenstam 1 back at LPGA

Annika Sorenstam shot a 4-under-par 68, her LPGA Tour-record 12th straight round in the 60s, and trails leaders Natalie Gulbis, Laura Diaz and Laura Davies by one shot after one round of the McDonald's LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock. [Page 1f]

Gogel leads Booz Allen by 3

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