"Canada is setting a standard for inclusion and fairness, and offering the real proof that ending discrimination helps families and hurts no one."

--- Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a gay-rights coalition based in New York. (Article, Page 21A)


DOW (up)






S&P; (up)



SUN INDEX (up) +0.76



9-month wait for armor plating

Thousands of trucks that carry troops and equipment in Iraq will not receive protective armor plating until September, according to the Army. [Page 1a]

Social Security overhaul

President Bush yesterday ruled out raising taxes to finance the centerpiece of his second-term domestic agenda: a Social Security overhaul to help the system survive an impending wave of retiring baby boomers. [Page 3a]

Md. school to test flu vaccine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine is one of three U.S. institutions studying the safety of a foreign influenza vaccine to determine whether it can be licensed in the United States in time for next year's flu season. [Page 3a]


Examining Ukraine protest

As jubilant crowds in Ukraine celebrated the government's plans for a new presidential election, many in the country and elsewhere wonder if similar protests in other former Soviet republics -- or even in Moscow -- could produce similar results. [Page 20a]

Ruling on gay marriage

In a landmark opinion, Canada's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that gay marriage was constitutional. The ruling sets the stage for lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions nationwide. [Page 21a]


Ehrlich, Sun executives to meet

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. agreed yesterday to meet with top executives of The Sun to talk about his directive ordering state employees not to talk to two Sun journalists. The Ehrlich administration sent out an e-mail three weeks ago forbidding state employees from talking to two Sun journalists, whose coverage, he asserted, had included falsehoods. Last week, The Sun filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to lift the ban. [Page 1b]

Groups sue EPA over waterways

Four Maryland groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it is not doing enough to protect the state's rivers and streams from pollution. The lawsuit seeks to force the EPA to take control of setting limits for acceptable pollution levels in state waterways. Currently, the Maryland Department of the Environment is supposed to set the limits. [Page 1b]

Political donations challenged

Common Cause Maryland is calling for an investigation into nearly two dozen companies and individuals it says broke Maryland's limits on political contributions. Using State Board of Elections data, the ethics watchdog group said it found 18 companies and four individuals who gave more than the $10,000 limit for the 1999-2002 election cycle. [Page 1b]


Orioles consider options

The Orioles arrived in Anaheim, Calif., for baseball's winter meetings with a concern for prices on the free-agent pitching market. After speculation that they'd sign Carl Pavano, the Orioles have begun looking at alternatives, such as adding more offense. [Page 1c]

D.C. pursues concessions

Major League Baseball appears willing to make minor concessions to Washington stadium funding to show its sensitivity to a handful of D.C. Council members who feel that the stadium deal is too costly. The council holds its final vote on stadium funding for the Nationals on Tuesday. [Page 4c]


Md. coal company makes IPO

Foundation Coal Holdings Inc. received a tepid welcome from Wall Street yesterday as the Linthicum Heights-based energy company saw its shares end their first day of trading down 25 cents from the $22 asking price. Nevertheless, analysts say the nation's fourth-largest coal producer, with 13 mines in Appalachia and Wyoming, is positioned to benefit from a surge in popularity for coal. [Page 1d]

Ciena shares up nearly 25%

Ciena Corp. shares jumped nearly 25 percent yesterday after the local maker of telecommunications gear reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter, although an analyst said it's too early to know if the Linthicum-based firm's new strategy is gaining ground. [Page 1d]


Zeta-Jones shines in sequel

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and the rest of the gang are back in Ocean's Twelve, the sequel to their 2001 remake of the Rat Pack's Ocean's Eleven. This time, Catherine Zeta-Jones joins the cast and steals the show. [Page 1f ]

Slain guitarist remembered

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was fatally shot during a performance, was a frenetic, ear-shattering guitarist whose riffs for Pantera and more recently Damageplan were a staple of heavy metal music. He was 38. Abbott was shot to death as he took the stage Wednesday with Damageplan and began to play the first song of the concert at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. [Page 1f ]

Another part of Handel's legacy

While the name George Frideric Handel crops up a lot this time of year because of his Messiah, the Metropolitan Opera in New York is currently drawing attention to another part of Handel's legacy with a production of Rodelinda that puts composer and company in a very favorable light. [Page 3f ]

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