Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 23, 2004

NATIONAL

Kerry swift boat debate

The controversy over Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam record continued to dominate the presidential campaign over the weekend. Kerry intensified efforts to tie President Bush to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that says the Democrat lied about his service. Also, a member of the group resigned as a Bush campaign adviser on veterans after it was discovered that he is featured in the group's new ad. [Page 6a]

WORLD

Najaf battle, mosque talksExplosions and gunfire shook Najaf's Old City yesterday in a fierce battle between U.S. forces and Iraqi Shiite militants, as talks dragged on for the handover of the shrine that the fighters have used as a stronghold. Also, five U.S. troops were reported dead in separate incidents, and an American journalist held hostage and threatened with death if U.S. forces did not leave Najaf was released. [Page 7a]

Art theft at Oslo museum

Masked thieves burst into an Oslo museum yesterday and took two paintings by Edvard Munch, including his masterpiece The Scream, as stunned visitors watched. Police later found the getaway car, which contained fragments of the frames. [Page 7a]

Arson at Jewish center in Paris

Arsonists destroyed a Jewish community center in eastern Paris before dawn yesterday, leaving behind red graffiti with menacing anti-Semitic messages such as "Jews get out." Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and other top officials visited the center, the latest target in a long wave of anti-Semitic attacks. [Page 7a]

MARYLAND

Jesuits ponder new school

The Maryland Jesuits are considering opening a new high school in Baltimore which would, for the first time, provide low-income students a Catholic college prep education combined with professional experience through a corporate work-study program. The proposed school would be modeled on a Jesuit high school that opened in Chicago eight years ago. [Page 1a]

Gas vapor leaks threaten water

Leaks of gasoline vapors from supposedly leak-free underground storage tanks - as Maryland regulators suspect occurred near Fallston recently - threaten to undermine the gains of a 20-year national effort to safeguard drinking-water supplies, according to a federal environmental official. The tanks were designed to prevent leaks of liquid, not vapors. [Page 1b]

O'Malley to sign banner order

Mayor Martin O'Malley plans to sign an executive order today intended to highlight a proud moment in Baltimore history. All city office buildings, parks, police stations and firehouses will swap their standard American flags for the 15-star, 15-stripe variety that waved over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore 190 years ago when Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." [Page 1b]

BUSINESS

Overtime pay law changes

Federal law that governs overtime pay will undergo perhaps its biggest overhaul in six decades today, with advocates saying the change clarifies who is eligible for overtime and critics contending it could nullify added pay for extra hours on the job for 6 million workers. The new rules, enacted by the Department of Labor, change guidelines used to determine which workers are required to receive overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours a week. [Page 1a]

TODAY

Warning sirens wailing again

Warning sirens are making a comeback. The University of Maryland and cities such as Chicago have installed or upgraded outdoor warning systems. And in the post-9/11 era, others are thinking of doing the same. [Page 1c]

SPORTS

O's lose; Tejada takes RBI lead

The Orioles lost their sixth straight game, 8-5, to the Blue Jays. O's shortstop Miguel Tejada homered, had three doubles and drove in all five runs, giving him 113 RBIs on the season to move past St. Louis Scott Rolen for the major-league lead. [Page 1d]

Gatlin sprints to gold by a hair

The United States' Justin Gatlin led a close finish to win the men's 100-meter Olympic gold medal in 9.85 seconds. Francis Obikwelu of Portugal took silver in 9.86, while American and defending champion Maurice Greene got the bronze in 9.87 and American Shawn Crawford was fourth in 9.89. [Page 1d]

TODAY ONLINE

THE OLYMPICS, WEEK TWO

The Athens Games continue with the world's elite athletes aiming for gold. For real-time results and breaking news, plus archived stories, photos and multimedia, go to www.baltimoresun.com/olympics

COUNTDOWN TO CONVENTION

Preparations are being finalized for next week's Republican National Convention in New York. Keep updated on developments and follow our comprehensive coverage of the presidential campaign at www.baltimoresun.com/election2004

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I'm trying to build a consensus around something that's very different and very bold."

Sen. Pat Roberts, Intelligence Committee chairman, on his proposal to remove CIA and Penta- gon intelligence-gathering opera- tions and put them under purview of a new national intelligence director. (Article, Page 3A)

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