Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 23, 2006

WORLD

U.S. defends Afghan strikes

The U.S. military insisted that airstrikes on a southern village, which killed at least 16 Afghan civilians, were a legitimate attack on scores of Taliban militants. pg 1a

Iraqi government praised

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush hailed the new Iraqi government as a pivotal achievement, both expressing optimism that it would hasten an end to the conflict that has harmed their domestic popularity, but stopping short of tying it to a timetable for drawing down troops. pg 9a

NATIONAL

Active hurricane season seen

Disaster planners at the National Hurricane Center warned that a very active hurricane season is looming and outlined an improved system for tracking storms and helping people in their paths. pg 3a

MARYLAND

Personnel hearings end

The legislative committee investigating Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s personnel practices concluded its hearings yesterday, but lawmakers disagree as to whether the governor's staff violated state employment laws or simply acted callously in forcing out hundreds of longtime workers. pg 1b

City police look to Puerto Rico

In a push to hire more bilingual officers who can communicate with the city's growing Hispanic community, the Baltimore Police Department is planning a weeklong recruiting mission to Puerto Rico next month. Police officials say they have begun advertising in newspapers and hanging banners in the streets of the island in an effort to lure potential recruits. pg 1b

BUSINESS

DOW -- DOWN

-18.73

11,125.33

NASDAQ -- DOWN

-21.02

2,172.86

S&P -- DOWN

-4.96

1,262.07

SUN INDEX -- DOWN

-2.06

334.69

Ahold executives convicted

The executives in charge of Royal Ahold NV when it became entangled in one of Europe's worst financial scandals were convicted of fraud yesterday, but let off with a fine and no prison time as judges found they bore little criminal guilt. Ahold operates the Stop & Shop and Giant Food chains in the United States. pg 1c

Little interest in rate deferral

Despite electric bills that will by 35 percent or more this summer, customers in suburban Washington and the Eastern Shore have shown little interest in a rate deferral plan similar to the one Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. negotiated for BGE customers. pg 1c

TODAY

Hicks a hit on `Idol'

Love him or hate him, the talk of this season's American Idol is contestant Taylor Hicks. pg 1d

No retreat for Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks have chosen to stand their ground in their new album, Taking the Long Way. If that means a fight, so be it. pg 1d

SPORTS

Barbaro's prognosis uncertain

Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner who underwent four-plus hours of surgery on injuries suffered during the Preakness, was standing, eating and even flirting with the mares yesterday, but his long-term survival remains in doubt. pg 6a

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's been longer and harder than anyone of us would have wanted it to be."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on the war in Iraq Article, PG 9a

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