Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

September 14, 2004

NATIONAL

Kerry's anti-crime plan

Sen. John Kerry sought to make President Bush pay a political price yesterday for the expiration of a partial assault weapons ban. The Massachusetts Democrat unveiled a $5 billion anti-crime plan that would extend it. [Page 1a]

Bush at National Guard gathering

President Bush, who has not publicly discussed his National Guard service since it re-emerged as an issue last week, speaks today at the National Guard Association's annual conference in Las Vegas. Sen. John Kerry will speak to the group Thursday. [Page 1a]

Ivan clear of Florida Keys

Florida officials said it was safe to return to the Florida Keys, as Hurricane Ivan skirted the coast of Cuba and continued its westward tendencies. Forecasters said Ivan, which strengthened back to a category 5 storm Sunday night, could strike somewhere along a huge swath of the Gulf Coast by tomorrow or Thursday. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Putin wants unified system

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin demanded a sweeping overhaul of his country's political system yesterday, saying the moves were needed to combat terrorism. The proposed measures, including an end to the direct popular election of governors and changes in elections for the parliament, would strengthen the Kremlin's control over the legislative branch and regional governments. [Page 1a]

MARYLAND

Mayor keeps harbor working

Mayor Martin O'Malley signed legislation yesterday aiming to preserve large amounts of harbor waterfront for industrial use. Housing, hotels, offices and restaurants would be prohibited for at least a decade from these areas, which have deep water access. City officials acknowledge that high-end waterfront housing, shops and restaurants have given a boost to Baltimore, but they also want to protect the shipping business and the thousands of jobs associated with it. [Page 1a]

Judge blocks Lamone suspension

An Anne Arundel Circuit judge temporary blocked the Maryland Board of Elections' suspension of state elections chief Linda H. Lamone, saying that removing her two months before the Nov. 2 election could "create chaos" and destroy public confidence. The elections board still plans to pursue efforts to remove Lamone by taking its case to a state administrative law hearing next month. [Page 1a]

Juvenile center understaffed

The state-run Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center is so understaffed that it poses a serious threat to the safety of youths held there and to staff who supervise them, according to a report by the Office of the Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor released yesterday. The report portrays an institution in chaos -- with youths attacking each other and staff, setting fires, climbing walls to escape and attempting suicide. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Author's unauthorized Bush book

Biographer Kitty Kelley's new book promising racy revelations on the Bush family hits stores today, but questions about her accuracy in previous books raises a quandary for the media. Yes, it's news that she's leveling charges. But are her assertions fit to print? [Page 1c]

Oprah puts crowd in driver's seat

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey celebrated the opening of her 19th season by surprising each of the 276 members of her audience with a new car. The vehicles were donated by Pontiac. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

AmeriDebts probe urged

The transfer of AmeriDebts assets to a for-profit affiliate begun by AmeriDebts former chief executive should be investigated as potentially fraudulent, according to an examiner appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greenbelt who's looking into the nonprofit credit counseling agency's finances. [Page 1d]

Sparrows Point's scrappy return

The investment partnership trying to revitalize the defunct Sparrows Point shipyard has won a $2.3 million federal contract to break two retired Navy reserve cargo ships into scrap. The contract potentially could result in work on dozens of World War II-era ships that are in mothballs in Virginia. [Page 1d]

$3 billion MGM deal

A consortium led by Sony Corp. has agreed in principle to acquire famed Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for nearly $3 billion, MGM said late yesterday, after Time Warner Inc. dropped out of the competition earlier in the day. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Chen pitches O's past Jays, 9-1

One night after the Orioles used 10 pitchers, a major league record for a nine-inning game, Bruce Chen saved the bullpen by pitching his first career complete game, a 9-1 rout of the Blue Jays at SkyDome. Chen's victory was his first in the major leagues in more than two years. Rafael Palmeiro homered in the Orioles' five-run first inning. [Page 1e]

Mixed injury news for Ravens

The Ravens welcomed All-Pro tackle Jonathan Ogden back to the lineup for Sunday's home opener against the Steelers but learned that they could be missing two other starters -- nose tackle Kelly Gregg and wide receiver Travis Taylor -- because of injuries. [Page 1e]

Green's 3 TDs lift Packers, 24-14

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