Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 10, 2004

NATIONAL

Nichols sorrowful at sentencing

Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, a jailhouse convert to Christianity, pledged his allegiance to God in his first courtroom statement and expressed sorrow for victims and survivors of the blast "for the grief they have all suffered." He was sentenced yesterday to 161 life sentences. [Page 1a]

`Time' reporter won't testify

A federal judge held Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time, in contempt of court yesterday for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of a covert CIA officer. The magazine will appeal the ruling; if Time loses, Cooper could be jailed. In an order issued July 20, Cooper and Meet the Press host Tim Russert were ordered to testify about their alleged talks with an executive branch official. Russert was interviewed by prosecutors Saturday. [Page 3a]

MEDICINE & SCIENCE

Space telescope rescue bid

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe authorized scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center yesterday to plan a robotic mission to save the malfunctioning Hubble Space Telescope. NASA crews now must find a way to repair the telescope, then to send up instruments, a camera and a spectrograph. The cost was estimated at $1 billion to $1.6 billion. [Page 1a]

WORLD

Japan power plant mishap kills 4

Super-heated steam at a nuclear power plant in the Japanese city of Mihama burned four workers to death yesterday and injured seven others, in the first fatal accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant. No radioactivity was contained in the steam or escaped from the facility. [Page 8a]

U.S. troops prep for Najaf fight

U.S. troops tightened a cordon around a shrine and cemetery in Najaf where militants loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are ensconced, American officials said they were prepared to attack the city's sacred mosque in order to crush his militia, setting the stage for a potentially explosive confrontation. Al-Sadr emerged from days of silence to reject demands for his militia's surrender vowing yesterday to fight "to the last drop of my blood." [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

Sewage plant scrutiny vowed

State environmental officials said yesterday that they will improve their scrutiny of sewage treatment plants in fast-growing areas to help prevent overflows like the escape of millions of gallons of raw waste from an overburdened plant on the Eastern Shore. [Page 1b]

Nader urges paper trail

Visiting Annapolis yesterday, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader called on Maryland's government to require a paper trail for its new electronic voting machines and to find a way other than capping jury awards to prevent ballooning medical malpractice insurance costs. [Page 1b]

Southern Md. soldier dies in Iraq

Raymond J. Faulstich Jr., 24, an Army private from Leonardtown, was killed in action in Iraq last week, the Department of Defense said yesterday. He was killed Thursday when the convoy he was traveling with near Najaf was hit by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

O's win, finish homestand 7-0

The Orioles defeated the Rangers, 7-3, going undefeated on a seven-game homestand for the first time since 1969. Melvin Mora hit two home runs and Larry Bigbie had one for the Orioles, who hadn't won seven straight since 1999. The team begins a three-game road series tonight against the Angels. [Page 1c]

Jansen injury mars Gibbs' return

The Redskins won their NFL preseason opener, 20-17, over the Broncos on a final-play field goal but lost standout tackle Jon Jansen, likely for the season, to a ruptured Achilles' tendon and saw the starting offensive unit struggle in Joe Gibbs' return to the sideline. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

Patent-infringement probe

The Maryland Attorney General is investigating claims by a California technology company that several state colleges and universities have infringed upon its patents by using the Internet to transmit video and audio. But even if the allegations are false, college officials say they may have no choice but to pay a fee for the technology, fearing the only alternative is to go to court, which could cost millions. [Page 1a]

Home prices' climb less steep

Home prices in the Baltimore area continued a strong double-digit march upward last month, but the average price failed to increase 20 percent for the first time since February, a sign that the hot market might be cooling a bit. [Page 1a]

Modest rate increase predicted

When Chairman Alan Greenspan's central bank meets today, analysts said the Fed would likely increase interest rates modestly even though economic conditions at the moment do not appear to merit it. [Page 1d]

TODAY

`Kong' star Fay Wray dies

Actress Fay Wray, the woman who stole the heart of a 50-foot ape named Kong, died Sunday night in New York at age 96. Though she made nearly 100 films, Wray is remembered best for that role in 1933's King Kong, a pigeonholing she handled with patience and grace. [Page 1e]

High-flying `Potter' promotion

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