Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 26, 2004

NATIONAL

Bush aide quits over Swift fracas

The bitter fracas over ads attacking John Kerry's Vietnam War record spilled onto the back roads outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, yesterday, with veterans supporting the Democrat issuing a barrage of new charges that Republicans are running a smear campaign. The president's national campaign legal counsel, Benjamin Ginsberg, resigned after acknowledging that he had also been advising the Swift boat veterans who have been attacking Kerry. [Page 3a]

More anti-Kerry ads in works

In apparent preparation for another round of TV attack ads, anti-Kerry Swift boat crewmen have taped Vietnam prisoners of war, including a local veteran. The new ads reportedly will spotlight Kerry's anti-war comments. [Page 3a]

GOP backs gay union ban

Republicans endorsed an uncompromising position against gay unions yesterday in a manifesto that contrasts with Vice President Dick Cheney's supportive comments about gay rights and the moderate face the party will show at next week's national convention. [Page 5a]

WORLD

Russia probes plane crashes

Emergency crews recovered bodies and the black boxes from two crashed Russian airliners yesterday. Authorities urged caution and said they were exploring all possible causes, but several analysts said the similarities and timing of the crashes strongly suggested a coordinated attack. [Page 1a]

Iraqi cleric returns home

Iraq's top Shiite cleric unexpectedly returned to Iraq from Britain yesterday, and his aides called on Iraqis from across the country to march on Najaf to end the fighting there. Despite the call, heavy fighting continued in the holy city yesterday. [Page 12a]

MARYLAND

O'Malley, Ehrlich clash on schools

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley accused Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and state officials yesterday of releasing bad news about the city education system to tarnish the city schools and harm his own political future. The charges recharged the conflict over control of Baltimore's schools between Ehrlich and O'Malley, two potential opponents in the 2006 gubernatorial election. [Page 1a]

Voting recommendations ignored

Maryland election officials ignored key recommendations for protecting a new electronic voting system in time for the November election, a state computer-security consultant testified yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. The consultant, Michael A. Wertheimer of Columbia, said the state should receive a failing grade for what it has done with information he provided for fixing the $55 million system's potential security problems seven months ago. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

U.S. women carry Olympic torch

For American female Olympians, this has been "The Decade of the Women." The theme of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta was "The Year of the Women" after the United States won team gold medals in women's basketball, gymnastics, soccer and softball. That has been enhanced this year with the torch being passed to a younger generation of female athletes. [Page 1a]

O's drop season high 9th in row

Marco Scutaro hit a three-run, walk-off homer against Orioles reliever B.J. Ryan with two outs in the ninth inning, giving the Oakland Athletics a 3-0 victory. The Orioles have now dropped a season-worst nine straight games, and this marks the seventh consecutive season they have had a losing streak of nine games or more. [Page 1c]

Locals on track for shot at gold

It could be a big night for Baltimore at Olympic Stadium in Athens, as James Carter brings the second-best credentials in the 400 hurdles final behind the Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez. Also, Bernard Williams, a native of Baltimore, advanced to the Olympic finals of the men's 200-meter dash. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Job outlook optimistic for Md.

Maryland's economic outlook is brightening, new employment statistics indicate. The state added more nonfarm jobs last month than any other state, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. It was the best July increase in seven years. A slight increase in the state unemployment rate for last month also is viewed by economists as an optimistic sign. [Page 1d]

`Apprentice' star lands big deal

Kwame Jackson swaggered in front of a throng of media in Upper Marlboro yesterday and courted politicians and developers as if he'd just won the NBC competition to become real estate magnate Donald Trump's apprentice. But The Apprentice runner-up had something else in mind yesterday: lending his fame to his own multibillion-dollar development in the Washington suburbs. The project, a $3 billion urban city center of shops, homes, entertainment venues and offices, is to be built on a 500-acre tract just outside the Capital Beltway near Upper Marlboro. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Psychologist, author dies at 78

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