House speaker in the spotlight


For years, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has stayed out of the spotlight, avoiding the kinds of political difficulties that have affected other prominent Republicans. But controversy has caught up with Hastert, who challenged the FBI's authority to raid a congressman's office and has threatened to sue ABC for libel after the network aired a report that he was under investigation in the Jack Abramoff scandal. pg 2a

Miss. halts Katrina payments


Mississippi is withholding nearly $17 million in federal reimbursement money from its most populous coastal county while authorities probe a "multitude of discrepancies" in bills that contractors submitted for Hurricane Katrina debris removal, according to officials and documents reviewed by the Associated Press. A Federal Emergency Management Agency report faulted Harrison County officials for paying the contractors more than $10 million without checking the work's quality or accuracy. pg 3a


Pope visits Auschwitz

Pope Benedict XVI visited Auschwitz as "a son of the German people" yesterday and asked God why he remained silent during the "unprecedented mass crimes" of the Holocaust. Pope Benedict's stop at the death camp - his last before he left for Rome - was a somber close to a four-day trip that was otherwise upbeat, with some 900,000 people turning out for his Sunday Mass in a meadow in Krakow, Poland, the city where his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, once served as archbishop. pg 9a

Quake death toll passes 4,300

When a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck central Java in Indonesia on Saturday, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of buildings constructed by piling bricks on top of each other - with only layers of dirt between them - turned into tombs. The death toll from the quake soared past 4,300 yesterday as troops and volunteers pulled bodies from the rubble. pg 12a


West-side revitalization stalls


Revitalization of six blocks at the heart of Baltimore's west-side renewal effort has stalled because of a standoff between the city and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which owns more than half of the land. pg 1a

Parents oppose school merger

Parents of children at Lafayette Elementary and Calverton Middle schools in West Baltimore are pleading with city school system officials not to send a high school to operate in their shared building, saying the move would trigger gang conflict and expose young children to unnecessary violence. pg 1b


Hornish wins Indy 500

Sam Hornish Jr. won the Indianapolis 500, edging past 19-year-old rookie Marco Andretti on the final lap in the second-closest finish in race history - 0.0635 of a second. Andretti was followed by his father, Michael. pg 1c


Bonds moves past Ruth

The San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hit his 715th career home run, passing Babe Ruth for sole possession of second place on major league baseball's all-time list. Hank Aaron leads with 755. pg 1c


Where memories are made

Take a stroll on Ocean City's boardwalk - the resort's 2.5 mile lifeline and Maryland's Memory Lane. pg 1d

Fans flock to HFStival


The music and party of the annual HFStival brings 40,000 fans to the Merriweather Post Pavilion. pg 1d


"We're talking 4-year-olds up to 21-year-old kids in one building. That's ludicrous. Put your children there, and then I'll send mine."

Carol Brockington, Lafayette Elementary PTA president, on a decision to put three city schools under one roof

Article, PG 1b

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Beverage survey

The results of our reader survey about beverages shows male readers are three times more likely to drink beer than women when meeting friends, and women are three times more likely to drink wine.

in taste


Party music


Soul Position's latest album, Things Go Better With RJ and Al, is a party on plastic, and they'll bring it to Sonar on Saturday.





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