Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 22, 2004

NATIONAL

Navy vet defends Kerry

A former Navy Swift boat commander who served alongside John Kerry came forward yesterday to dispute the attacks on Kerry's war record, saying allegations that Kerry's accomplishments were "overblown" are untrue. [Page 10a]

Bush points to school progress

In his weekly radio address, President Bush highlighted his No Child Left Behind Act, saying, "We are leaving behind the broken system that shuffled children from grade to grade." He said the federal government is making extra money available to schools that need the most help. [Page 11a]

WORLD

Militia remains in control

Fighting resumed around the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf yesterday, where Muqtada al-Sadr's militia remains entrenched. A new dispute erupted over the contents of the Shiite shrine, which houses many ancient and priceless relics. [Page 14a]

Audit confirms Chavez victory

A two-day audit investigating claims of voter fraud in Venezuela confirmed President Hugo Chavez's overwhelming victory in the Aug. 15 presidential recall referendum. However, Chavez opponents argue that the audit was insufficient. [Page 16a]

MARYLAND

Motorcycle crash victims aging

Middle-age and older Americans are increasingly the victims of fatal motorcycle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Riders age 40 and older account for almost half of all fatalities, up from 15 percent in 1990. [Page 1a]

Farmers expect record harvest

Maryland agricultural officials say this year's corn crop should be the best since 2000 - and perhaps the best ever. They credit ample, but not excessive, rain and moderate temperatures for an ideal growing season that should produce a corn crop of 62 million bushels, up 24 percent from last year. [Page 1b]

New impetus for charter schools

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. yesterday announced a fresh effort to bring more charter schools to Maryland. He told the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City that he has asked Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele to head a commission to develop classroom recommendations. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Orioles' slide continues

The once-streaking Orioles were dealt their fifth consecutive loss, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-3, at Camden Yards. The Orioles have been outscored 24-8 in the first two games against Toronto. Starter Daniel Cabrera (9-6) allowed eight runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 inning. [Page 1d]

Phelps' relay team wins

The U.S. 400-meter individual medley relay team, with Michael Phelps looking on from the stands, set a world record to win Olympic gold. By competing in the preliminaries for this relay, Phelps earned a record-tying eighth medal at the Athens Games. [Page 1d]

USOC backs duplicate gold medal

Hours after international gymnastics officials acknowledged a key judging mistake in the men's all-around event, U.S. Olympic officials said they would support their South Korean counterparts in a bid to award duplicate gold medals to American Paul Hamm and Korean Yang Tae Young. [Page 1d]

BUSINESS

Malls move to consolidate

With less space to build new malls, a growing need for publicly traded companies to boost share value and huge pools of investment capital that have fled the stock market, shopping-center developers have been swallowing rivals like baitfish. The industry's transformation is evident in General Growth Properties' plans to acquire the Rouse Co. for $7.2 billion in cash. [Page 1a]

Fund scandals a Price windfall

The scandals clouding the nation's mutual fund industry have had a silver lining for T. Rowe Price Group Inc., the Baltimore mutual fund giant. With investors gravitating toward Price's conservative, clean image, inflows into its funds and portfolios soared 74 percent to $10.6 billion in the first half of this year. [Page 1c]

Southwest alone in open seating

Southwest Airlines' is credited with revamping an industry that has adopted many of its discounting ways. But the Dallas-based carrier clings to one practice no one is mimicking: It remains the lone major airline that won't assign you a seat in advance. [Page 1c]

ARTS & SOCIETY

Reality, TV's new anchor

The television industry enters the crucial fall season with a new reality: Reality television is here to stay. The six broadcast networks are no long using such shows as schedule fillers. Instead, they are building their lineups around them and offering more of them - 23 are scheduled in prime time at the moment - than ever before. [Page 6e]

Hip-hop's name-drops

Hip-hop music has been notorious for its lyrics of sex and violence, but now it is getting noticed for something else altogether: building brand awareness. Brand names, especially for automobiles, liquor and clothing, have become a staple in raps, and marketers are taking notice. [Page 2e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's nice. I won't lie to you. But if we don't win the gold medal and we beat the States, so what? We didn't come here to beat the States. We came here to win the gold medal."

Sarunas Jasikevicius, on Lithuania's 94-90 basketball win over the United States (Article, Page 1D)

TODAY ONLINE

OLYMPICS IMAGES

For daily photos and archived images and stories from the Athens Olympics, go to www.baltimoresun.com/olympics

PERSPECTIVE

For thoughtful insights and a review of the news of the week, visit the online version of our weekly commentary section. www.baltimoresun.com/perspective

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