Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 28, 2004

WORLD

U.S. forces, rebels skirmish

Marines called in gunships to batter guerrilla positions overnight in Fallujah. Thick plumes of smoke rose over the city after the attack. Near Najaf, American forces killed 64 gunmen believed to be militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. [Page 1a]

Attackers hit U.N. office in Syria

Using grenade launchers and automatic rifles, attackers struck a United Nations office in Damascus, Syria. Syrian authorities said two attackers, a police officer and a civilian were killed in the gunbattle that erupted when police arrived. [Page 13a]

Don't attack Fallujah, envoy says

The U.N. special envoy to Iraq criticized U.S. use of force in Fallujah, and warned against further action in the city, saying the consequences could be "dramatic and long-lasting." Lakhdar Brahimi said "a very bloody confrontation" could ensue. [Page 16a]

NATIONAL

Bush: Modernize health records

President Bush visited a Baltimore veterans hospital to promote his plan to computerize Americans' health records within the next decade. The president is focusing on a broadly popular issue just as the presidential race is entering a particularly nasty phase. [Page 3a]

Specter edges Toomey in primary

Moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, 74, of Pennsylvania barely defeated conservative Rep. Pat Toomey, 42, in the state's GOP primary yesterday. The challenger cast the four-term incumbent as too liberal. [Page 12a]

Sisters won't return to Iraq

Two soldiers whose sister was killed in a Baghdad ambush have decided against returning to Iraq, heeding pleas of their parents, the military and Wisconsin Gov. James E. Doyle. Rachel and Charity Witmer chose instead to ask for noncombat jobs outside Iraq. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

Boy, 4, apparently shot himself

A 4-year-old Randallstown boy who died Monday of a gunshot to the head apparently fired the weapon himself after finding a handgun in a duffel bag in his home, police said. [Page 1b]

Pa. victims had multiple wounds

The wife and stepson of a retired Loyola College professor who is charged with killing them died of multiple gunshot wounds, the York County, Pa., coroner's office said. [Page 2b]

BUSINESS

Price's profit almost doubles

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. said its first-quarter profit nearly doubled and earnings per share matched a record set in 2000. Investors shrugged off concerns about job growth and Iraq and put $6.4 billion into Price funds in the quarter. [Page 1c]

Milk prices soared in March to $3.19

The average price for a gallon of milk in area stores hit $3.19 in March, up 26 percent from a low in February last year. Nationally, prices have climbed about 13 cents in a year. In some areas, a gallon is expected to close in on $4. [Page 1c]

Firings of PSC staff in question

Three commissioners challenging the firings of members of the Maryland Public Service Commission staff said a letter from the attorney general's office means the chairman lacked the authority to fire five officials. [Page 1c]

TODAY

Preakness week schedule set

Officials of the annual Preakness Celebration announce the schedule of events for 2004, to take place May 8 to 15. One big change: The Preakness parade will follow a new route, past the new Hippodrome Theatre and through the city's revamped west side. [Page 1d]

Combs debuts in `Raisin'

Hip-hop impresario Sean Combs makes his Broadway stage debut in an auspicious role -- the male lead in the classic A Raisin in the Sun, originated by Sidney Poitier -- and holds his own in an all-star cast. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Orioles fall to Mariners, 7-5

The Seattle Mariners scored twice in the seventh inning to break a tie, then survived a bases-loaded Orioles threat in the eighth to earn a 7-5 victory. The loss was the Orioles' third in a row and dropped their record to 10-8. [Page 1e]

Senate panel gets steroid data

The Justice Department gave a Senate committee documents that could help U.S. Olympic officials keep drug cheaters out of the Athens Games. The materials are from the probe of a supplements lab linked to distribution of steroids to athletes. [Page 3e]

Duke freshman enters NBA draft

Duke freshman Luol Deng has made himself available for the NBA draft but is not ruling out a return to school. Deng, who helped lead the team to the Final Four, will not hire an agent now, keeping open the option of returning for his sophomore season. [Page 3e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Nobody can guarantee 100 percent security, but we can guarantee that we've done everything that was ... possible."

Jacques Rogge, Olympic Committee president, on the Athens Games (Article, Page 3E)

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