Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 29, 2004

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Oh my God, these are babies, these are babies that we teach every day. Who would do this to babies?" Elyse Kahn, a teacher at the school three slain children had attended (Article, Page 1A)

'NATIONAL

Kerry opens Va. challenge

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will make his first push into Republican strongholds in Virginia next week, a state no Democrat has won since Lyndon B. Johnson did it in 1964. Kerry is also opening his appeal to Latino voters, an important swing constituency, with his first Spanish-language commercial. [Page 3a]

Europe to share information

U.S. and European Union officials have signed an agreement to continue sharing airline passenger data, saying the new policy provides adequate privacy protections. The deal, which is to last three years, gives U.S. authorities access to information about passengers on flights to or from the 25 European Union countries. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Iraqi prime minister chosen

Iyad Allawi, a former member of the Baath Party who fell out with Saddam Hussein and spent nearly 30 years in exile, has been chosen the new prime minister of the Iraqi interim government. Allawi, a Shiite, is viewed as a consensus candidate. [Page 1a]

Sharon to debate Gaza pullout

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning a debate tomorrow on the withdrawal of Jewish settlements from Gaza, but will likely delay a vote on the plan because of the uncertainty over whether it would pass. [Page 13a]

U.S. forces battle Shiite militia

A day after a cease-fire agreement was reached between American forces and radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, fighting broke out in the city of Kufa, killing at least five Iraqi militiamen. Both sides later said they still intend to honor the truce. [Page 14a]

MARYLAND

Banner season for crabbers

Soft-shell crabs are plumper and more plentiful than during any season in recent years, an early bounty for Maryland's watermen. Along Mill Creek in Annapolis, the crabs are nearly twice as large as the average size last year, said waterman David Cantler. [Page 1a]

Myers addresses academy

Gen. Richard B. Myers told the graduating class of 990 newly minted officers at the Naval Academy yesterday that they leave the Annapolis military college amid a long-term struggle in which the stakes couldn't be higher. The academy graduated 190 Marines yesterday -- the largest number since the Vietnam War -- who broke with tradition by wearing blue, instead of white, uniforms. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Orioles defeat Tigers, 7-5

Miguel Tejada and Luis Matos homered as the Orioles ended a seven-game losing streak by defeating the Tigers in Detroit, 7-5. Ex-Oriole Jason Johnson (3-6) faced his former team for the first time since leaving as a free agent in the offseason, allowing six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. [Page 1c]

Safin drops his shorts

Marat Safin celebrated a particularly nifty shot at the French Open by mooning the crowd, as he advanced to the fourth round by winning a two-day marathon against Felix Mantilla, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 11-9. The match was suspended Thursday because of darkness at 7-all in the fifth set and ended 24 minutes after it resumed when Mantilla sailed a backhand long. [Page 7c]

BUSINESS

Hospital workers to strike

About 2,700 maintenance, housekeeping and other workers at three of the region's largest hospitals -- Johns Hopkins, Sinai and Greater Baltimore Medical Center -- plan to strike for two days next month to protest what they say are low wages and poor health care benefits. [Page 12c]

Consumer spending up 0.3%

Consumers, whose behavior plays a crucial role in shaping economic activity, increased their spending in April by a solid 0.3 percent. It's a good signal that the recovery remained firmly rooted as it entered the current quarter. [Page 12c]

TODAY

Advocating for the bereaved

For Steve Sklar, Memorial Day, like other holidays that prompt people to visit to their loved ones' graves, is a busy time. Sklar heads the state's little-known Office of Cemetery Oversight, where he resolves contract disputes, gets erroneous engravings corrected and deals with some 200 complaints a year in a state that records 40,000 deaths annually. [Page 1d]

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