Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 08, 2004

NATIONAL

FDA defends decision on pill

A top official of the Food and Drug Administration denied yesterday that politics played a role in his decision against making the morning-after birth control pill available without a prescription. [Page 3a]

Job growth accelerates in April

The nation's economy added 288,000 jobs in April, giving President Bush's re-election effort a boost. The strong numbers helped push the nation's unemployment rate down a tenth of a percentage point, to 5.6 percent. Growth was across the board, with even the ravaged manufacturing sector bolstering payrolls. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Troops pursue al-Sadr's militia

U.S. soldiers continued their offensive against the militia of a radical Shiite cleric yesterday, killing scores of Iraqis in intense urban fighting in Karbala and Najaf. [Page 8a]

Red Cross says it reported abuse

The International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday that it has supplied U.S. authorities with information on mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners for more than a year. [Page 14a]

MARYLAND

Four hurt in school shooting

Four Randallstown High School students were wounded, two of them seriously, when shots were fired by the driver and passenger of a car just after a charity basketball game held outside the school yesterday afternoon. Baltimore County police had one suspect in custody last night and were searching for several others. [Page 1a]

Army suspects more bombs

More bombs could remain hidden under debris at a former ship scrap yard on the Baltimore waterfront where 12 explosives were discovered this week, a military spokesman said yesterday. The bombs had been found in a large heap of scrap metal, and similar nearby piles have not yet been searched for explosives. State officials will keep the site locked until they decide what to do next. [Page 1b]

Hickey workers unqualified

Forty recent employees at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County failed to meet state job requirements, in many cases because of criminal histories or drug use, a Sun review has found. The state discovered the unqualified workers after it took over the juvenile detention center April 1 from a private contractor. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Olympics security budget grows

A Greek government official downplayed Wednesday's bombings in Athens, which coincided with a key countdown to the 2004 Olympics. However, George Voulgarakis, the Greek minister of public order, said that terrorism fears could quadruple the initial security budget for the games to an estimated $1.2 billion. [Page 1c]

Orioles in 3-2 win over Indians

Larry Bigbie homered off Chad Durbin leading off the 10th inning, giving the Orioles a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Rafael Palmeiro also homered for the Orioles, who won for only the fourth time in 11 games. Jorge Julio, the sixth Orioles pitcher, worked the 10th for the win. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

IRS investigating Cordish deal

The Internal Revenue Service says Baltimore developer David S. Cordish's $455 million deal to build two hotel-casino projects for the Seminole Tribe of Florida appears to violate federal tax law, and has ordered an investigation into the use of tax-exempt bonds to finance the enterprise. [Page 1a]

A low-carb blow to Krispy Kreme

So many people have stopped eating its sugar-laden doughnuts that Krispy Kreme yesterday cut its profit projection for its fiscal year by 10 percent, sending its stock price into a 29 percent nose dive. Shares lost $9.29 to close at $22.51, a 52-week low. [Page 10c]

Consumers sending cheaper cards

The greeting card industry is fighting its way out of a long-term slump as card makers compete with deep discounts and a variety of new competitors. Major card makers have been forced to sell inexpensive lines in recent years as consumers began turning their backs on $4 cards. [Page 10c]

TODAY

51 million view "Friends" finale

The audience for Thursday night's finale of NBC's Friends was 51.1 million, nowhere close to the audience for the finales of Cheers (80.4 million in 1993), Seinfeld (76.2 million in 1998) and all-time winner M*A*S*H (105 million in 1983). [Page 1d]

Levinson documentary half fiction

Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana's 50/50, part of this weekend's Maryland Film Festival, has raised questions about a documentary maker's duty to tell the truth. The movie, about people with Huntington's disease, is half fact, half fiction. [Page 1d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Everybody was just running back into the building. It was just chaos, people using their cell phones and screaming."

Carlos Bailey, 18, a Randallstown High School senior, after four students were shot outside the school. (Article, Page 1A)

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TODAY ONLINE

SWAT A CICADA

Practice swatting cicadas before they arrive! Play our swat-the-cicada game and test your skills. Plus, read everything you'd want to know about cicadas. www.baltimoresun.com/cicadas

PRISON SCANDAL Q & A

Submit questions to The Sun's Pentagon reporter, Tom Bowman, about the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. Answers will be posted Tuesday on the Web site. www.baltimoresun.com/iraq

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