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ON CIVIL PROCEDURE: Licensing Landlords No Solution to Rent Court Woes (43573)

<br /><br />I would like to applaud reporter Joe Surkiewicz and The Daily Record for taking a hard look at Baltimore’s rent court <a href="http://www.mddailyrecord.com/archives/1_116_law/legalnews/12873-1.html "target="_blank">(<i>No Funds, No Computers and No Justice in Rent Court, Critics Say, Nov. 14</i>)</a>. I do believe, however, that there was some important information excluded and that the article left some unresolved questions.

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WEEK IN REVIEW

<b><u>MAMSI, MedChi Settle Three-Year Dispute</u></b><@SM><@SM><TAB>A prominent Rockville-based managed care organization and <b>MedChi</b>, Maryland

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Law Limits Crackdown on Hollywood

<TAB>First Amendment protections significantly restrict the ability of the government to go after entertainment companies that peddle inappropriate music, films and video games to children, federal regulators are telling Congress.<@SM><@SM><TAB>With these constitutional guarantees binding its hands, the Federal Trade Commission says a better solution would be for the entertainment industry to step up self-regulation efforts and for lawmakers to keep a watchful eye.

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NEWS SUMMARY

Charging AheadCardWeb.com, a Frederick-based company that tracks the U.S. credit card industry, predicts that, for the first time ever, American consumers will charge more than $113 billion to their major credit cards during the 31-day holiday season. Consumers will use ...

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Baltimore Chemical Plant to Pay $165K for Bypassing Pollution Monitor

<TAB>A Baltimore chemical company will pay $165,000 in penalties and restitution for using an illegal bypass pipe to route pigment-loaded wastewater around a pollution monitor.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Millennium Specialty Chemicals Inc., which operates a pigment plant on Broening Highway in southeast Baltimore, also pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of criminal environmental violations, and promised to make it easier for regulators to monitor its pollution discharges in the future.

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Advocates Fear New Court Rules Could Close Access to Public Records

<TAB>A draft order by the state judiciary system to limit access to computerized criminal court records is raising eyebrows among freedom of information and privacy advocates.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The draft order recently published by the Ad Hoc Court Records Committee of the Maryland Judiciary limits dial-up access to court databases to attorneys, other officers of the courts or criminal justice agencies.

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Abortion Pill Arrives in Maryland

<TAB>At least one clinic in Maryland has the abortion pill mifepristone available since shipping from the manufacturer began last week.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Most clinics, however, won't start offering the pill, also called RU-486, for months while they set up guidelines and train staff. But interest is high throughout the state.

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Lawsuits Stymie Endangered List

<TAB>Endangered species lawsuits from environmentalists are keeping the Fish and Wildlife Service from adding any more wildlife to the endangered species list, the agency says.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Employees last week were told to stop working on studies about adding species to the endangered and threatened list and focus instead on completing court-ordered work on labeling habitat for species already on the list, Fish and Wildlife spokesman Hugh Vickery said.

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$1,000 Tax Credit on Drugs Proposed

<TAB>Del. Joan F. Stern, D-Montgomery, is sponsoring a bill to give a tax credit to seniors who don't have prescription drug coverage. <@SM><@SM><TAB>One of the many initiatives Maryland legislators are considering to alleviate cost and access problems with prescription drugs, Stern's proposal is original in that it targets middle-class seniors.

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