Bush plans effort to renew ties


President Bush is planning a second-term push to renew ties with key allies that broke with the United States in his first term. Bush and top aides are signaling a new willingness to reach out to countries alienated by the Bush's decision to invade Iraq and his with-us-or-with-the-terrorists stance. [Page 1a]

Leeway in sentencing praised


Allowing federal judges leeway in sentencing criminals does not have to breed chaos, say judges and sentencing specialists in states that have such systems. States that use the systems have produced notable conformity. [Page 3a]

King holiday a platform for issues

Americans inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. took part in marches and rallies, using the late civil rights leader's message to call for an end to the war in Iraq, advocate affirmative action and speak out for gay rights. [Page 3a, 1b]


Israelis ponder next course

With a rise in Palestinian attacks from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government is left with the difficult choice of sending in the army for a confrontation with militant groups or giving the new Palestinian government led by Mahmoud Abbas time to restore order. [Page 1a]

Archbishop abducted in Iraq

A 66-year-old Catholic archbishop was abducted in Mosul by masked gunmen yesterday in a wave of violence that jolted Iraq end to end and increased the air of uncertainty leading up to the Jan. 30 elections. [Page 1a]


Plan targets extreme poverty

The world could end extreme poverty within a decade if wealthy nations fulfilled their pledges to increase development aid, Jeffrey D. Sachs, a Columbia University economist, said as he presented a plan to the United Nations for achieving that goal. [Page 8a]


Md. landscape painter dies at 93

Eugene Walker Leake Jr., 93, Maryland's foremost landscape painter and a former president of the Maryland Institute College of Art credited with reviving the once-struggling school, died Friday at his Monkton home, the one with the views that inspired dozens if not hundreds of his works. [Page 1a]

Firebomb indictments to be sought


Detectives will seek federal grand jury indictments today against four men in a retaliatory firebombing over the weekend at the Baltimore home of a woman who had reported drug activity to police. Police said she was providing information on East Lorraine Avenue in Harwood, east of Charles Village. [Page 1b]

City school aid gets OK in poll

A Sun poll shows that a majority of Maryland voters support increasing state funding for Baltimore's troubled schools, offering encouragement to city educators as they prepare to ask state lawmakers to boost aid. [Page 1b]


Author sets his book in Baltimore

Paul Mandelbaum, a former staff writer for Baltimore magazine and Mount Vernon resident, sets his novel in Baltimore. The writer, 45, has lived in California for years, but his hero, Garrett, is a local guy. "I just know Baltimore," he says. "It's filled with genuine people with these gentle eccentricities." [Page 1c]


Lyric at crossroads on its future

Beset by competition from newer venues and by a tenant who pulled out a year into a 10-year contract, the Lyric Opera House is at a crossroads. It aims to attract new audiences by booking pop, rhythm and blues and jazz acts and is seeking a renovation. [Page 1c]

Newbery book award announced

Kiri-Kiri, Cynthia Kadohata's story of a Japanese-American girl growing up in the South, won the 2004 Newbery Award for children's literature. [Page 1c]


Mike Nolan accepts 49ers job


Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan accepted the San Francisco 49ers' coaching job in a deal that could be finalized today. The Ravens are expected to announce Jim Fassel as offensive coordinator and Rick Neuheisel as quarterbacks coach. Ravens defensive line coach Rex Ryan is expected to replace Nolan. [Page 1d]

U.S. Open champ tests positive

U.S. Open tennis champion Svetlana Kuznetsova tested positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine at an exhibition tournament last month in Belgium. Athletes aren't penalized without two positive samples. [Page 3d]

Spurs end Wizards' streak

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Washington Wizards, 101-73, ending the Wizards' seven-game winning streak. Washington played without Larry Hughes, sidelined with a right broken thumb suffered Saturday. [Page 5d]



Retail spending seen slowing

Retail spending, which fuels about two-thirds of the economy, will rise this year about half as fast as last year as consumers get pinched by food costs, credit-card debt and stagnant incomes, analysts said. [Page 1a]

High-profile executives go on trial

The frenzy of high-profile trials of corporate executives is likely to start anew today, picking up from last year. The government begins its case against Bernard J. Ebbers, former chief executive officer of WorldCom. Two top Tyco International executives accused of stealing $600 million begin their retrial. [Page 9d]

Dollar at five-year low against yen

The dollar traded near a five-year low against the yen as some traders declined to bet on an advance in the U.S. currency before a Treasury Department report today on foreign purchases of American assets in November. [Page 9d]




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"He seemed to understand every inch of the landscape he was painting. He had an absolute joy for painting, and you could see it in his paintings."

Costas Grimaldis, whose gallery exhibited the work of Maryland landscape artist Eugene Walker Leake Jr. (Article, Page 1A)