Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 01, 2004

NATIONAL

1st presidential debate held

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry faced off in their first campaign debate last night, with the war in Iraq dominating the 90-minute nationally televised face-off. [Page 1a]

EPA faults administration

In a sharp rebuke to President Bush's changes to air pollution regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency's internal auditor issued a report yesterday saying that the administration has "seriously hampered" the EPA's ability to force dirty, coal-fired power plants to install pollution controls. [Page 3a]

Tracking foreign travelers

U.S. officials began fingerprinting and photographing travelers from 27 allied nations including Britain, Germany, Japan and Australia at American airports for the first time yesterday -- one of a series of efforts intended to shore up security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Iraq car bombings kill dozens

In a horrifying end to a violent month, a series of car bombings in and around Baghdad yesterday killed 35 Iraqi children and several adults as well as a U.S. soldier. [Page 1a]

Israel raids Palestinian camp

Israeli forces pushed into the largest Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end rocket attacks on Israeli border towns. As many as 28 Palestinians were killed. Three Israelis -- two soldiers and a jogger -- died in Palestinian attacks. [Page 14a]

Progress on Kyoto Protocol

Russia's Cabinet approved ratification of the Kyoto Protocol yesterday in a major step toward worldwide enactment of the global-warming accord. [Page 15a]

MARYLAND

Basilica to undergo restoration

One of Baltimore's best-known religious landmarks, the Basilica of the Assumption, will close to the public for nearly two years starting next month to complete a $32 million restoration and modernization. [Page 1a]

Land deal criticized

The state used land-preservation funds to buy an 836-acre tract of forest in St. Mary's County while negotiating to sell it at cost to a private citizen without securing a commitment that he would forfeit the right to develop it. [Page 1b]

BUSINESS

State's drug savings soar

The state is reporting higher-than-expected savings from an effort to win rebates on drugs purchased domestically. Although initial estimates called for $20 million a year in savings from developing a preferred-drug list for Medicaid patients, results so far have upped the projection to $31 million. [Page 1c]

Options trading arouses suspicion

Trading in Merck & Co. stock options that gain in value from a decline in the drugmaker's share price surged Wednesday, a day before the company pulled its Vioxx painkiller from the market. An investor who Wednesday bought 1,000 options to sell Merck shares at $42.50 by Oct. 16 stood to gain about $1 million by selling them yesterday, raising questions among some market analysts. [Page 1c]

TODAY

Armstrong inspires others

Kristen Adelman of Elkridge credits cycling champion Lance Armstrong's victory over cancer for giving her strength in her own bout with the disease. These days, she's riding with Armstrong in the cross-country Tour of Hope, which ends Oct. 9 in Washington. [Page 1d]

Famed photographer ill

Famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon, 81, is in critical but stable condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage last weekend while on assignment in San Antonio, Texas, said Perri Dorset, a spokeswoman for the New Yorker magazine. [Page 2d]

SPORTS

Navy tops Air Force, 24-21

Geoff Blumenfeld kicked a 30-yard field goal with four seconds left to lift undefeated Navy to a 24-21 victory over Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo. The victory all but ensured that the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy will remain in Annapolis for another year. [Page 1e]

Fans seek D.C. baseball tickets

A day after Washington was awarded a Major League Baseball team, hundreds of fans flooded city phone lines seeking tickets, and Mayor Anthony Williams began pitching his $435 million stadium financing plan by likening the proposed ballpark to ones in San Francisco and Pittsburgh that helped revive waterfront neighborhoods. [Page 1e]

Plea negotiations for J. Lewis

Attorneys for Jamal Lewis and federal prosecutors are engaged in plea talks that could resolve a drug indictment against the Ravens running back, lawyers familiar with the case told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Federal prosecutors have offered a deal in which Lewis would receive a sentence of less than one year in prison. [Page 1e]

TODAY ONLINE

DEBATE -- ROUND ONE

Visit our Election 2004 gallery for comprehensive coverage and analysis of last night's presidential debate, plus archived campaign stories. www.baltimoresun.com/election2004

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Read the Institute of Medicine's report warning that childhood obesity rates are rising so fast they pose a major threat to the nation's health. www.baltimoresun.com/obesity

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's chaos. But we got to come to school. ... Most of us are from violent neighborhoods, so we already know how it is."

Brian Williams, 16, on disruptions at Walbrook High Uniform Services Academy (Article, Page 1B)

MARKETS

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SUN INDEX - UP

+0.85

269.13

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