Probe returns comet fragments


The space capsule Stardust averted disaster and became the first space probe to return tiny fragments from a comet that scientists believe could be the leftover building blocks of the solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago. pg 3a

Ney temporarily gives up post


Rep. Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican implicated in a lobbying corruption investigation, said yesterday that he will step aside temporarily as chairman of the House Administration Committee. Ney is at the center of the Justice Department's corruption probe and has been identified as the congressman referenced by Abramoff in his guilty plea earlier this month. pg 3a


Chile elects first female leader

Michelle Bachelet, a socialist doctor and former political prisoner, was elected yesterday as Chile's first female president, with her conservative multimillionaire opponent conceding defeat in a race that reflected Latin America's increasingly leftward tilt. pg 7a

Israel to allow Palestinian votes

Israel's Cabinet agreed yesterday to allow a limited number of Palestinians to cast ballots in East Jerusalem, moving to defuse a situation that had threatened to delay Palestinian parliamentary elections Jan. 25. But Israeli authorities insisted that the names of candidates from the Palestinian militant group Hamas would not be allowed on the ballot in East Jerusalem and detained three Hamas candidates on suspicion of campaigning illegally in Jerusalem's walled Old City. pg 7a


Biographer flips forward


With the final installment of his civil rights trilogy complete, biographer Taylor Branch closes one chapter of his life and contemplates what comes next. pg 1c

Ordering anxiety

You think you're under pressure? Kevin Cowherd says real pressure is standing in line at a bagel store Sunday morning and it suddenly becomes your turn to order. pg 1c


Ehrlich to reveal surplus plans

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is set to unveil a $29 billion budget proposal tomorrow that would use a $1 billion surplus to restore cuts made during tough economic times and increase spending on popular programs on the eve of his re-election attempt. pg 1a


O'Malley raises $4.3 million

Mayor Martin O'Malley raised nearly $4.3 million in the past year in his bid to become Maryland's governor, his campaign announced yesterday. pg 1b


Steelers, Panthers advance

The Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Indianapolis Colts, 21-18, and the Carolina Panthers held off the Chicago Bears, 29-21, to advance to the AFC and NFC championship games, respectively. pg 1d

Terps beat Wake Forest, 90-86


No. 23 Maryland ended a two-game Atlantic Coast Conference slide with a 90-86 win over Wake Forest. Mike Jones scored 22 points for the Terps, and D.J. Strawberry added a career-high 18. pg 1d

Quote of the day

Celebrate the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, an 18th-century foodie.

"The reason that Dr. King could teach nonviolence and stay committed to it, ... was that Dr. King under-stood the life-changing power of love."

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Pastor Frank M. Reid III at an "interfaith exchange" Article, PG 1A

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