Sun News Digest


September 30, 2004


Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled yesterday that a portion of the Patriot Act is unconstitutional, the first time one of the antiterrorism law's controversial police surveillance provisions, has been struck down. U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero said so-called national security letters - which allow the FBI to demand certain businesses release customer records without a judge's approval and without telling anyone - violate the First and Fourth amendments. [Page 3a]

Test pilot has wild ride

Ignoring orders to abort the flight, a test pilot took a stubby-looking rocket plane on a corkscrewing, white-knuckle ride to the edge of the atmosphere yesterday, completing the first stage of a quest to win a $10 million prize.

[Page 3a]

House ends D.C. handgun ban

The House voted yesterday to end a 28-year ban on handgun ownership in Washington, brushing aside pleas from city officials concerned about a surge in violence and more heavily armed criminals. It is unlikely the Senate will take up the measure this year. Democratic opponents said the vote was timed to force lawmakers into a tough position on gun control before the Nov. 2 election. [Page 4a]


2 to receive death for Cole attack

A Saudi and an Yemeni man were sentenced to death by firing squad for the bombing of the USS Cole four years ago. [Page 14a]

British hostage pleads for release

In a new videotape, a caged and shackled British engineer desperately pleaded for the British government to work harder for his release from his captors in Iraq. [Page 16a]


Trying to heal slavery wounds

An interracial group participated in the Slavery Reconciliation Walk sponsored by a London-based organization and the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation in Annapolis yesterday. The unusual ceremony began at the City Dock, where slaves once arrived by ship and included white participants in chains and their black counterparts wearing armbands meant to signify forgiveness. [Page 1b]

State lays down new laws

The state government is set to put into law what has been obvious for more than a century: Lacrosse is Maryland's official team sport. That law and hundreds of others passed by the General Assembly last spring go into effect tomorrow. [Page 1b]


Debating debate coverage

In the rush to instantly absorb and analyze a presidential debate, media gaffes can be as pronounced as those of the debaters themselves, as veteran reporters acknowledge. [Page 1c]

Supersizing enthusiasm

Outsized enthusiasm, sometimes ridiculed and often suppressed, is underrated in our society - perilously so. At least, that is the theory of Kay Redfield Jamison, a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist. Her latest work, Exuberance, examines the upside of life. [Page 1c]


A new economic ballgame

Economists debate whether stadiums are economic engines. However, certain businesses in Baltimore insist they get an undeniable bottom-line bounce from home Orioles games - and fear the impact of a new baseball team in Washington. [Page 1a]

Mercantile countersues

In a lawsuit that reads like a draft of a soap opera script, Mercantile Bankshares Corp. of Maryland this week filed a $8 million countersuit against former top-level executive John J. Pileggi. [Page 1d]

McCormick spices up earnings

Bolstered by the popularity of its Zatarain's New Orleans-style food products, Sparks-based spice maker McCormick & Co. Inc. reported yesterday 18 percent growth in earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter, beating analysts estimates. [Page 1d]


Rodgers won't return for O's

The Orioles announced that they won't renew the contract of Doc Rodgers, who spent two years as the team's director of minor league operations. This came two days after scouting director Tony DeMacio received the same news. [Page 2e]

O's win doubleheader

Making a rare start, Rick Bauer pitched six scoreless innings to help the Orioles defeat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0, to cap a sweep of a doubleheader at Camden Yards. The Orioles won the opener, 7-6, on a two-out, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning by David Newhan. [Page 3e]

Navy to battle Air Force tonight

The Navy football team plays Air Force tonight in a nationally televised game, and the winner will get the inside track on securing the Commander in Chief's Trophy. [Page 10e]


"The fans were great. We just didn't have enough of them."

Frank Howard, former Washington Senators slugger (Article, Page 1E)



Baseball is officially on its way back to Washington as the announcement was made that the Expos will move from Montreal for the 2005 season. Go online to read archived stories about the move, and see architect renderings of the proposed new ballpark.


President Bush and John Kerry hold their first debate tonight. For developments leading up to the debate, plus archived coverage of the presidential campaign, go to














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