Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 03, 2004

NATIONAL

American escapes Iraqi captorsThomas Hamill, a Mississippi dairy farmer who was kidnapped last month in Iraq while working for a military contractor, was found by U.S. forces yesterday after escaping from his captors, the military said. [Page 1a]

Myers denies widespread abuse

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said no evidence has been found of widespread abuse of prisoners at other detention facilities in Iraq. "It's really a shame that just a handful can besmirch maybe the reputations of hundreds of thousands of our soldiers," he said. [Page 1a]

Senator questions NASA spending

Sen. Sam Brownback, chairman of the subcommittee on science, technology and space, wants to know why NASA continues to spend $4 billion a year on an aging shuttle fleet when its long-term goal is to go back to the moon and beyond. [Page 3a]

WORLD

11 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed in separate attacks across Iraq yesterday. The violence came as Marines continued to recruit Iraqis to a security force set to patrol Fallujah amid hope that a fragile cease-fire might hold. [Page 1a]

Sharon's party rejects plan

Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's Likud Party yesterday rejected his plan to withdraw from Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, dealing an embarrassing political setback to Sharon. The prime minister said before the referendum that new elections were likely if his party voted against his plan. [Page 1a]

Panama elects president

Final election results yesterday declared Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, the winner of Panama's first presidential vote since the hand over of the Panama Canal and withdrawal of U.S. troops in December 1999. Torrijos defeated ex-president Guillermo Endara. [Page 8a]

U.S. strikes kill 4 in Afghanistan

U.S. airstrikes killed four alleged militants after an attack on a military convoy in Afghanistan, but local officials said yesterday the victims were policemen killed in a case of mistaken identity. [Page 14a]

MARYLAND

City offers $3,000 to Hispanics

To encourage immigrants to move to the city, Baltimore is offering $3,000 grants to Hispanics who buy houses here. Some groups -- including those that applaud the city's intent -- question the legality and fairness of such an offer. [Page 1a]

Balto. County in the black

Baltimore County is, comparatively speaking, rolling in the dough. While other counties have in recent years raised taxes, halted hiring and, in some cases, laid off workers, Baltimore County is on track to give raises to county workers and pump millions into roads and schools, all without raising taxes. [Page 1b]

20,000 resume Bay Bridge Walk

An estimated 20,000 people braved the early morning drizzle to take part in the 4.3-mile Bay Bridge Walk, which resumed yesterday with heightened security after a two-year hiatus. Before joining the walk, participants had to pass through a checkpoint and have their bags searched. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Preakness expects 8 from Derby

As many as eight horses from the Kentucky Derby could come to Baltimore for the Preakness in two weeks. Smarty Jones' trainer John Servis said the Kentucky Derby winner will come as long as the horse remains robust. Smarty Jones returns tomorrow to Philadelphia Park. [Page 1d]

Maryland racers win regatta

Maryland racers won 13 out of 19 classes in the National Offshore One Design regatta held off Annapolis. Scott Nixon of Annapolis led the 81-boat J/22 fleet in points in each of the three days of sailing. Three local boats won yesterday to take six out of seven races over the three days. [Page 1d]

Spurs beat Lakers, 88-78

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 88-78, to take a 1-0 lead in their second-round series of the NBA playoffs. The Spurs held the Lakers without a field goal for a six-minute span in the fourth quarter. The win was the Spurs' 16th straight since late March. [Page 1d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This is the best feeling I've had. I'm so ecstatic and I just want to thank everybody that has prayed and sent their prayers to us."

Kellie Hamill, on her husband's escape in Iraq (Article, Page 1A)

TODAY ONLINE

USA TODAY Q & A

The Sun's media critic, David Folkenflik, answers questions about the Jack Kelley reporting scandal at USA Today and similar instances at other newspapers. www.baltimoresun.com

PREAKNESS Q & A

Submit questions to The Sun's Tom Keyser about the Preakness, Kentucky Derby and other horse racing topics by 5 p.m. today. Answers will be posted Wednesday on the site. www.baltimoresun.com/preakness

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