SUN NEWS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NATION

Army probes of abuses

The Army launched dozens of investigations into detainee abuses across Iraq in the past two years probing claims of beatings and torture that rivaled the Abu Ghraib prison scandal but case after case was closed with U.S. troops facing no charges or only minimal punishment, military records released yesterday show. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Insurgent aide in custody

The Iraqi government said it had a bomb maker working for the most wanted insurgent in the country. The captured bomb maker, Sami Muhammad Ali Said al-Jaaf, was seized in a Baghdad raid on Jan. 15 and is believed to have taken part in three-quarters of the car bombings in the capital since the war began, the government said. [Page 1a]

Palestinians agree halt attacks

Palestinian militant groups agreed to halt attacks on Israel at least temporarily, to give leader Mahmoud Abbas time to appeal to Israel to stop targeting the militants. The movement toward a cease-fire has raised hopes that a deal can be reached. [Page 8a]

MARYLAND

Hopkins student was asphyxiated

A Johns Hopkins University student found dead Sunday in her apartment across Charles Street from the Homewood campus was the victim of a homicide by asphyxiation, the state medical examiner's office said yesterday. The slaying of Linda Trinh -- a senior biomedical engineering major -- stunned friends, and President William Brody said Hopkins and the city police were stepping up security near her high-rise building. [Page 1a]

Closing a legal loophole

New guidelines for judges in Maryland are designed to fix a flaw that allowed some defendants awaiting trial to evade court-ordered home monitoring. [Page 1a]

Ehrlich child-centered proposals

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. unveiled a package of child welfare and juvenile justice proposals yesterday that would expand access to day care for low-income families, improve foster care placements, better train child welfare caseworkers and offer more community-based services to children in the juvenile justice system. [Page 1b]

Bay Bridge Walk canceled

State transportation officials have decided to cancel this spring's Bay Bridge Walk and say they will re-evaluate the event. [Page 2b]

TODAY

WHFS.com is on the air

WHFS, the rock station which had switched to Spanish pop this month has been revived for an online audience. Last Friday, Infinity Broadcasting and American Online launched WHFS.com, a 24-hour, seven days a week online radio station featuring new music, old music from WHFS, and performances from past HFStivals. [Page 1c]

A fashionable match

Thanks to her association with Oscar de la Renta, Laura Bush's elegant fashion statement during the inaugurals has onlookers waiting for her next big style moment. [Page 1c]

Hippodrome's reviews mixed

One year after its opening, the renovated Hippodrome Theatre has been a hit in most respects, but an under-performer in a few others. Attendance at the Hippodrome was slightly below projections. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Tax has HMO premiums rising

Moving quickly after the state legislature enacted a 2 percent tax on HMO premiums, HMOs have already started notifying customers they will increase premiums to cover the tax. The tax -- already paid by all insurers except HMOs -- will raise an estimated $65 million in the first year, creating a fund to hold down the cost of malpractice insurers for doctors. [Page 1a]

From the CIA to PHH

Three months after he was pushed aside as the No. 3 man at the Central Intelligence Agency, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard has agreed to become non-executive chairman of the board of PHH Corp. in Sparks, a big fleet management and mortgage loan company about to be spun off from its parent, Cendant Corp. Krongard formerly led Baltimore investment house Alex. Brown Inc. [Page 1d]

AmeriDebt's clients sold

A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Greenbelt yesterday approved the sale of AmeriDebt's 50,000 to 60,000 remaining credit counseling clients to Money Management International, a Houston-based nonprofit. AmeriDebt customers won't see any change to their repayment plans to creditors, MMI officials said. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Ravens interested in Moss?

The Ravens would likely be among a handful of teams interested in trading for Randy Moss if the Vikings are willing to part with the receiver. Although the Ravens said there have been no official talks with Minnesota, a league source confirmed there has been communication between the teams. [Page 1e]

Mets back in running for Delgado

The number of teams competing for first baseman Carlos Delgado returned to three as the Mets resumed discussions with the free agent. The Orioles have increased their offer to $48 million over four years, and the Marlins are also in the running. [Page 1e]

Wizards rally past Cavaliers

Anthony Peeler made three three-pointers and scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and Gilbert Arenas scored 30 as the Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-97. [Page 6e]

BOMB MAKER ARRESTED

Iraqi authorities announce the recent arrest of a man described as being responsible for at least 32 car bombings in Baghdad. For developments and archived coverage of the war in Iraq, go to www.baltimoresun.com/iraq

HIPPODROME ANNIVERSARY

Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the renovated Hippodrome Theater by visiting our online gallery of stories about the theater. www.baltimoresun.com/hippodrome

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"There is no limit to what can be achieved when we work together in harmony and unity."

John Ashcroft, to Justice Department workers, in his farewell speech as attorney general (Article, 4A)

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