Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

September 09, 2004

NATIONAL

Assault weapon ban to expire

In a vote 10 years ago, two senators changed sides at the last minute and prevented a National Rifle Association-led effort to kill a nationwide ban on assault weapons. The ban will expire Monday unless Congress acts to extend it and President Bush approves. [Page 1a]

National intelligence chief

President Bush says that a new national intelligence director should have full budgetary authority over much of the intelligence community, embracing a key element of the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations as congressional leaders vow to enact reform before the October recess. [Page 1a]

Kerry on the attack

Sen. John Kerry used President Bush's own words against him yesterday, arguing that the president turned the Iraq war into a catastrophe by making the wrong choices after pledging to build a broad international coalition and move carefully. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Russia toughens terror talk

Amid the mourning over last week's bloody school seizure, a top Russian general said yesterday that Russia is prepare to make preemptive strikes against militants in any region it deems necessary. [Page 8a]

Iraq violence threat to elections

With Fallujah and other cities firmly in the hands of Iraqi insurgents, military officials, lawmakers and analysts say the United States urgently needs to regain control if key elections are to be held as scheduled in January. [Page 9a]

MARYLAND

Slots plan for city tracks

A plan to give Baltimore two racetracks with slot machines worries local residents and elected officials and intrigues a leading business group. The proposal, under consideration by state lawmakers and the governor, would permit slots at both Pimlico Race Course and a new racetrack to be built in downtown Balitmore, near the two professional sports stadiums. The Maryland Stadium Authority's preliminary plan calls for a $400 million racetrack encompassing 185 to 210 acres. [Page 1b]

Wooing African-American tourists

Mayor Martin O'Malley and the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association kicked off a new push to market the city's African-American history and legacy to visitors. Yesterday, they unveiled Baltimore's African American Heritage and Attraction Guide, the centerpiece of a $255,000 campaign aimed to tap into the estimated $90 billion a year minority travel industry. [Page 1b]

Slots vote plans fade

Plans for a November vote on slot machines appeared to collapse in Annapolis. Allies of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Democratic House Speaker Michael E. Busch traded charges of bad-faith negotiating, and Ehrlich pronounced the effort dead after House Democrats declared they had the votes to pass a constitutional amendment to legalize slots if the governor would negotiate a gambling bill. Ehrlich said he would not negotiate. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Film explores terror scenario

Rory Kennedy's documentary, Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable (tonight on HBO), asks what would happen in a terrorist strike on the nuclear plant, comparing potential fallout with the continuing nightmare of the 1986 Chernobyl accident. [Page 1c]

A $360 million-degree star turn?

Tom Cruise could see 360 million little green men (all of them George Washington) after signing to star in War of the Worlds. IMDB.com reports that Cruise will get 10 percent of the box office. Industry projections say such a film could earn $1.8 billion at the box office and spawn two sequels, doubling the take. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Delta to cut 7,000 jobs

Delta Air Lines Inc. says it will eliminate up to 7,000 jobs systemwide over the next 18 months and virtually shut down its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in a plan aimed at getting the ailing No. 3 carrier back in the black. [Page 1d]

Condos in Mount Vernon

Members of the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association gave preliminary approval this week to plans that will turn a parking lot in Baltimore's Mount Vernon historic district into the site of a $20 million, 83-unit condominium development by mid-2006. [Page 1d]

Quattrone sentenced, fined

Former star investment banker Frank P. Quattrone, who once made $120 million a year as Credit Suisse First Bostons top technology banker, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison and fined $90,000 for urging employees to destroy documents during a federal investigation [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Twins' Santana shuts down O's

Johan Santana pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for his 10th straight victory and Matt LeCroy homered off Erik Bedard to cap a seven-run second inning that carried visiting Minnesota past the Orioles, 9-0. Santana (17-6) struck out nine, walked none. [Page 1e]

Racing's slow fade picks up speed

Although state legislative leaders have begun a last-ditch effort to place a slots referendum on the November ballot, horsemen and breeders in the state have begun what many in racing said was inevitable as long as slots remained forbidden: the exodus of horses, horsemen and horse farms. [Page 1e]

Davenport rolls in quarterfinal

Lindsay Davenport routed Shinobu Asagoe, 6-1, 6-1, in a rain-delayed match to reach the U.S. Open semifinals, where she'll face Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Nadia Petrova, 7-6 (4), 6-3. The featured men's match was suspended until today with Roger Federer leading Andre Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. [Page 1e]

NFL KICKING OFF

Pull out our NFL Special Section today, then keep up all season long on game scores, standings and stories at www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football

SUN COLUMNISTS

Meet David Steele, our newest columnist, in today's Sports section. You can read his insightful commentary, as well as those of other Sun columnists at www.baltimoresun.com/columnists

QUOTE OF THE DAY"He's turned his life into a force of justice." Potomac author Tim Junkin of Kirk Noble Bloodsworth, the first U.S. death-row inmate exonerated with DNA evidence (Article, Page 1C)

MARKETS

DOW -- DOWN

- 29.43

10,313.36

NASDAQ -- DOWN

- 7.92

1,850.64

S&P -- DOWN

- 5.03

1,116.27

SUNINDEX -- DOWN

- 0.81

265.09

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