Sun News Digest


July 03, 2004


"Third-party challengers thrive when voters see little difference between major parties. But that's not the case this year." Author Micah L. Sifry, on problems facing Ralph Nader's candidacy (Article, Page 4A)


Soldiers charged in drowning

Three soldiers have been charged with manslaughter, accused of forcing an Iraqi detainee to jump from a bridge into the Tigris River, where he drowned, the Army announced. This marks the first time U.S. soldiers have faced serious charges involving the death of an Iraqi in U.S. custody, an Army official said. [Page 1a]

Nader at a disadvantage

Ralph Nader faces an uphill battle if he hopes to influence the presidential election the way he tipped the balance in 2000, experts say. They list political miscalculations, ballot access problems, voters' national security fears, campaign finances and Democratic criticism among the hurdles confronting Nader in his third bid for the White House. [Page 4a]


$20 billion Iraq fund depleted

American officials in charge of the $20 billion Development Fund for Iraq drained all but $900 million from the fund by late June, in what a watchdog group called an "11th-hour splurge." Critics say U.S. officials have so far failed to account properly for the money spent. [Page 1a]

Insurgents free three hostages

Iraqi insurgents released two Turks and a Pakistani captive whom they had threatened to behead. But there has been no word for three days on another captive, U.S. Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun. [Page 10a]


Paying students to learn

Coppin State University will serve as host for an SAT prep course that students will be paid $5.25 an hour to attend. It's part of the university's efforts to reach out to the neighborhoods near its West Baltimore campus. [Page 1b]

High court ruling voids sentence

A U.S. District Court judge rescinded the six-year prison term he imposed on a man charged with seducing a young girl over the Internet, saying a recent Supreme Court decision rendered the sentence moot. Federal prosecutors fear other judges may be forced to follow suit. [Page 1b]

Officer charged with assault

Baltimore Police Officer Gregory M. Mussmacher of the Northwest District has been indicted on charges that he assaulted a handcuffed teen-ager by hitting him in the face with a metal baton. [Page 3b]


O's win in 16th inning, 7-6

David Newhan scored the go-ahead run in the 16th inning, and the Orioles' ninth pitcher of the night, Daniel Cabrera, got the final three outs to clinch a 7-6 victory over the host Philadelphia Phillies. Eddie Rodriguez picked up the win by pitching three shutout innings. [Page 1c]

Wimbledon washed out

Rain cut short both men's semifinals yesterday at Wimbledon. Defending champion Roger Federer was well on his way to victory, leading Sebastien Grosjean, 6-3, 6-3, 4-3, and Andy Roddick was leading Mario Ancic, 6-4, 4-3. The women's final today between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova is scheduled to start after the men's semifinals. [Page 2c]


Jobs growth plummets

Businesses created 112,000 positions in June, the second-lowest month this year, and down considerably from the 235,000 new jobs in May, the Labor Department reported yesterday. Hiring in construction stalled, while manufacturing cut back after several months of gains. [Page 8c]

SEC questions cable count

Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc., the largest and fourth-largest U.S. cable television operators respectively, said yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has asked them for information about how they count subscribers. [Page 8c]

Caremark under scrutiny

Caremark Rx Inc. revealed it is being investigated by attorneys general from 19 states. The nation's second-largest pharmacy benefits manager said it received an information request Thursday from Washington state's attorney general. [Page 8c]


Brando, the original Wild One

Marlon Brando, an Oscar-winning actor famed for his legendary performances and his eccentric private life, died Thursday at age 80. Brando had suffered from heart problems. His films included On the Waterfront, The Wild One, Last Tango in Paris and The Godfather. [Page 1a, 1d]

Where Spidey got his start

Participating stores today will offer free titles - including Spider-Man - in the third annual Free Comic Book Day. Shop owners say it's a good deal for their regular customers and a good way to create new fans. [Page 2d]

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