Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

September 01, 2004

NATIONAL

Two new planets found

Astronomers racing one another to find the first habitable, Earth-like planet in another solar system announced the discovery of two of the smallest planets ever detected circling sun-like stars. Scientists think they're about the size of Neptune. [Page 1a]

Fla. high court takes Schiavo case

Florida's Supreme Court justices yesterday suggested the Legislature did an end run around the court system by passing a law that let Gov. Jeb Bush order the reinsertion of a brain-damaged woman's feeding tube. The high court heard arguments in the case of Terri Schiavo, who is at the center of one of the nation's longest and most bitter right-to-die battles. This is the first time the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up any aspect of the 14-year-old case. [Page 3a]

Va. faces Gaston flooding

Flooding touched off by the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston left at least five people dead in Virginia yesterday and devastated a historic Richmond neighborhood that was the heart of the Confederate capital during the Civil War. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Moscow subway suicide bomb

A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people and injured more than 50 in an attack outside a Moscow subway station yesterday. The bombing came a week after two Russian airliners crashed in what is believed to have been twin suicide bombings. [Page 1a]

Israel bus bombings kill 16

Palestinian suicide bombers blew up two buses in Beersheba, Israel, yesterday, killing 16 people and wounding more than 80, ending six months of relative calm inside the country. [Page 1a]

12 appear to die in Iraq video

A gruesome video posted on a Web site purported to show militants beheading a Nepalese worker and shooting 11 others in the first mass killing of foreign hostages during the Iraqi insurgency. [Page 14a]

MARYLAND

Md. students' SAT scores up

Students taking the SAT in Maryland in the 2003-2004 school year posted slightly better SAT scores than did those taking the college-entrance exam the previous year, and the state as a whole improved more than the rest of the nation, according to results released yesterday. Scores increased in the city and Anne Arundel and Howard counties, but dropped in Harford, Carroll and Baltimore counties. [Page 1b]

Muhammad's complaints

Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad yesterday complained to Fairfax County Circuit Judge Jonathan C. Thacher, who will preside over his next trial in the Washington-area shootings, that his Northern Virginia jailers give him inadequate access to legal files and are not letting him wear underwear to court. Thacher said he would follow up with jail officials, who defended their security precautions but denied that Muhammad was prevented from wearing underwear. [Page 2b]

BUSINESS@SUBHEDConsumer confidence falters

After rising steadily since April, consumer confidence took a drastic dip last month as shoppers worried about a job market where new positions have been created at a pace far slower than many people expected. The Consumer Index dropped to 105.7 in July to 98.2 in last month, according to a report by The Conference Board, a private research group. [Page 1c]

Weighing in on Greenspan's words

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's warning that Social Security benefits must be cut to save the national retirement safety net deserves thoughtful attention says columnist Jay Hancock. [Page 1c]

WTO OKs tariffs on U.S. imports

The European Union, Japan, Brazil and five other countries won World Trade Organization approval to impose tariffs worth more than $150 million a year on U.S. imports after Congress failed to end a corporate subsidy. [Page 1c]

TODAY

BMA hires African art curator

Karen Milbourne, an assistant professor of African art history at the University of Kentucky, has been hired as the Baltimore Museum of Art's curator of African art. Milbourne will oversee the reinstallation of the BMA's collections of the arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. [Page 2d]

`Passion' DVD hits stores

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is released on DVD, with 15 million copies going on sale yesterday. The target audience for the DVD is the evangelical Christian community that made the movie an unexpected, $370 million blockbuster earlier this year. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Sanders comes back, to Ravens

Former Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders officially ended his three-year retirement and joined the Ravens, signing a one-year contract worth about $1.5 million. Sanders, attempting a comeback at the age of 37, and the team are hoping he will be ready to play in the season opener Sept. 12 in Cleveland. [Page 1e]

O's defend Palmeiro changes

The Orioles have made moves to cut Rafael Palmeiro's playing time, but the club insists it has nothing to do with denying the slumping first baseman the chance to reach incentives that would assure him a $4.5 million contract for next season. [Page 1e]

Indians trample Yankees, 22-0

The New York Yankees suffered the worst loss in club history, falling to the Cleveland Indians, 22-0, at Yankee Stadium. New York's AL East lead, which stood at 10 1/2 games on Aug. 16, was cut to 3 1/2 games over Boston. [Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

CONVENTION UPDATES

Keep track of the breaking news from New York and check out Republican National Convention archived coverage at www.baltimoresun.com/election2004

TASTE ONLINE

For the latest dish on culinary trends, kitchen gadgets and more -- and to search our online recipe database, go to www.baltimoresun.com/taste

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Our natural inclination is a scream-from-the-rooftops hype machine, but because this film means so many things to so many different people, we had to respect that and temper our activities."

Steven Feldstein of Fox Home Entertainment, on The Passion of the Christ DVD (Article, Page 1D)

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