Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

May 31, 2004

NATIONAL

Voters don't link Bush, gas prices

With President Bush's approval ratings hitting record lows over concerns about Iraq, a sustained rise in gasoline prices could spell trouble for the president's re-election effort this fall. But many voters, so far, seem to think that the problem isn't one a president can solve. [Page 1a]

Archibald Cox dies at 92

Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox died at his home in Brooksville, Maine, on Saturday at the age of 92. Cox was the catalyst of the "Saturday night massacre" in which two top Justice Department officials resigned rather than carry out President Nixon's order to fire Cox when he said he would not curtail his Watergate investigation. [Page 3a]

MEDICINE & SCIENCE

Unraveling mystery of phobias

Not many of us find cicadas warm and fuzzy. But for entomophobics -- people with an irrational aversion to insects -- this month's invasion by the 17-year horde has turned everyday life into a running episode of Fear Factor. Fortunately, scientists are beginning to understand the irrational fears known as phobias, and are developing better ways to treat them. [Page 13a]

Prostate test debate heats up

A study in last week's New England Journal of Medicine found that 15 percent of men who are within the normal range on the PSA test -- used to screen for prostate cancer -- turned out, after biopsies, to have the disease. The study has helped to stoke the debate over whether screening for prostate cancer saves lives. [Page 13a]

WORLD

Three Saudi attackers escape

After killing at least 22 mostly foreign civilians and trapping dozens of people in an 25-hour hostage standoff in the eastern Saudi Arabia city of Khobar, three Islamist militants managed yesterday to steal a car, disappear into rush-hour traffic and slip out of the grip of hundreds of Saudi commandos. The men, who authorities said used hostages as human shields to escape, were still missing early today. [Page 1a]

Clashes threaten cease-fire

U.S. soldiers clashed with militia members yesterday and early today in the cities of Najaf and Kufa, as a cease-fire between American forces and insurgents loyal to a rebel cleric appeared to be unraveling. A CNN reporter embedded with forces in the area said that U.S. soldiers had come under "heavy, heavy attack." [Page 1a]

Sharon offers withdrawal plan

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented to his Cabinet his plan for a withdrawal from all settlements in the Gaza Strip and some in the West Bank. The Cabinet remained divided, however, and negotiations to forge a compromise were under way. The Cabinet will vote on the U.S.-backed plan no later than Sunday. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

Will US Lacrosse leave city?

The Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame has outgrown its home on the John Hopkins University's Homewood campus, and US Lacrosse, the sport's national governing body, is looking for larger quarters. Officials say they hope to stay in the Baltimore area, but could go elsewhere if suitable space isn't available here. [Page 1a]

Mexican village awaits bodies

Grieving residents of the small Mexican village of Tenenexpan were awaiting the return of the bodies of three children killed Thursday in a Baltimore apartment. Two of the children were born in the village and all three visited their many relatives there in March. Now the town is preparing to bury them in the local cemetery. [Page 1a]

Tax plan faces first test

Mayor Martin O'Malley's proposed $40 million tax package faces its first political test this week when it goes before a City Council committee. Some council members said they are afraid the new taxes -- on telephone use, real estate purchases and utility bills -- will drive residents and businesses from the city. [Page 1b]

TODAY

New director at School 33

Jan Angevine, director of the city's School 33 Arts Center, is stepping down to take a position as business and marketing manager for a Catonsville architectural firm. She will be replaced by Jody Albright, former head of the old Mayor's Advisory Commission on Art and Culture. [Page 10c]

SPORTS

O's beat Tigers, complete sweep

The Orioles defeat the Detroit Tigers, 7-3, to complete a three-game sweep. The Orioles scored six runs off closer Ugueth Urbina in the ninth inning and returned to the .500 mark at 23-23. Before yesterday, the Orioles had lost all 18 times when they entered the ninth trailing. [Page 1d]

Rice takes abbreviated Indy

Buddy Rice grabbed the lead after a number of early crashes and late pit stops and won a rain-shortened Indianapolis 500. He became the first American to take the checkered flag at Indy since Eddie Cheever in 1998 and gave former winner Bobby Rahal and late-night television host David Letterman their first victory as co-owners. [Page 1d]

Pistons roll over Pacers, 83-65.

Richard Hamilton scored a career playoff-high 33 points in the Pistons' 83-65 victory over the Indiana Pacers that gave Detroit a 3-2 lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference finals. Rasheed Wallace, with 22 points, was the only other Piston to score in double figures. Game 6 is tomorrow night in Detroit, and the Pistons have a chance to make it to the championship round for the first time since 1990. [Page 9d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's a no-win for everybody. Now is not the time to increase taxes.

Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr. on Mayor Martin O'malley's proposed $40 million tax package.

(Article, Page 1B)

TODAY ONLINE

HELP FOR MOTORISTS

Avoid traffic jams. See live traffic maps for Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis roads, updated every five minutes weekdays. www.baltimoresun.com/traffic

EXPANDED BUSINESS SECTION

See our expanded Monday Business report and submit questions to The Sun's energy reporter, Lorraine Mirabella, about rising gas prices. baltimoresun.com/gasprices

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