Former commander may testify

A military judge in the trial of a soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal ruled yesterday that the defense could call the former commander of U.S. prisons in Iraq to testify. Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski would be the highest-ranking official to testify so far in the detainee abuse cases. [Page 3a

Bush cultivates ties with Pakistan

President Bush met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at the White House yesterday and praised him for his help in the war on terror. Bush promised Musharraf that he would work toward a Palestinian state in his second term. [Page 7a


Ukraine opposition faces setback

In a defeat for the Ukrainian opposition, pro-government lawmakers helped block legal changes intended to prevent fraud in the runoff set for Dec. 26. Opposition supporters vowed to fight for the legislation by continuing their marathon protest. [Page 16a

TV station finds new audience

A minor Ukrainian television station's live broadcasts of demonstrations during the country's election crisis have catapulted it onto a national stage and helped fuel the opposition. [Page 17a


Giant Md. legal firm plans merger

Piper Rudnick LLP, one of Maryland's top law firms, will form the third-largest legal group in the world when it merges with one of Britain's largest law firms. The result will be called DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary initially, with 2,462 lawyers and billings expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2005. [Page 1a

War in Iraq unites two families

Two Eastern Shore families shaken by the war in Iraq are coming together this weekend. Sgt. Travis Manning IV, who was badly burned in a rocket attack in Iraq, was honored at a homecoming near Chestertown last night organized by Beverly Spry, whose son died in a Humvee accident in Iraq on Valentine's Day. [Page 1b


Military launches a hiring spree

The defense sector is in the midst of the biggest surge in employment since the end of the Cold War, and Maryland is a bigger beneficiary of that than almost any other state. Defense contractors are resorting to unconventional recruitment methods, offering workers cash and big-screen TVs to recruit friends from other companies. [Page 1a

Lawyers mine e-mail for evidence

A handful of law firms have begun units specifically to manage the mining of electronic information, because more than 90 percent of all new information is created and stored in electronic form and much of it is never printed at all. Not since the adoption of the photocopier has the centuries-old legal profession been so affected by new technology. [Page 1c


Navy rolls past Army, 42-13

In a game attended by President Bush, Aaron Polanco threw two touchdown passes and ran for an additional score, leading Navy to a 42-13 victory over Army in the 105th meeting between the service academies. The Midshipmen (9-2) have won five of the past six Army-Navy games to tie the overall series at 49-49-7. [Page 1d

Terps reach BB&T; title game

Nik Caner-Medley and Chris McCray scored 20 points each and 12th-ranked Maryland limited George Mason to four first-half baskets in a 78-54 win at the BB&T; Classic. The Terrapins (4-1) advanced to today's championship game against George Washington, which beat No. 11 Michigan State, 96-83. [Page 9d

Dunbar wins 1A state title

Dunbar quarterback Marcus Taylor completed nine passes for 209 yards and connected with Darron Edwards for the game-winning 85-yard touchdown, leading the No. 4 Poets to a 16-14 win over No. 7 Joppatowne in the Class 1A state football title game at M&T; Bank Stadium. Dunbar (13-1) earned its third state title. [Page 16d


Belair-Edison's embedded poet

As Ellis Marsalis III, he's a member of one of America's premier musical families. But as t.p. luce, he's a poet and photographer who, in a new book called thaBloc, takes a hard look at his northeast Baltimore neighborhood. [Page 6e


Challenging runs, Gallic charm

In Quebec, Mont Tremblant is a mountain of surprises, and great skiing there comes without an attitude. Most of the mountain, however, caters to aggressive, strong skiers. [Page 1r


Santa's quality control unit

Parents' Choice Foundation, based in Timonium, evaluates hundreds of toys, video and computer games, DVDs, CDs and books for children each year, and gives its seal of approval to a scant 15 percent of them. [Page 1n


"I'm one of the remaining British prudes. If you want to go into Boots, you may just want to get deodorant and - boom - there's a vibrator."

Jessica Thornton of Britain's drugstore chain Boots (Article, Page 4A)



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