Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 02, 2004

NATIONAL

Weighing concessions

Bush sharpens attacks on Kerry

President Bush attacked Sen. John Kerry yesterday on the issue of Iraq, taking a more aggressive approach than he had in Thursday night's debate. The first set of polls suggested that to many of the estimated 62 million people who watched on television, Kerry out-dueled Bush. [Page 1a]

Detainee says he was tortured

A British detainee at Guantanamo Bay said in a letter revealed yesterday he was tortured and abused during detention, in what is believed to be the first such claim to come from inside the prison. The accusations from Moazzam Begg, detained in Pakistan more than two years ago, add to the series of abuse claims about the U.S. prison in Cuba, particularly from former British detainees. [Page 3a]

Lack of `watch list' criticized

Three years after the failure of federal security agencies to coordinate their efforts contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has failed in its effort to create a single, comprehensive "watch list" of suspected terrorists, according to a government report released yesterday. [Page 3a]

WORLD

U.S. battles to regain Samarra

American and Iraqi forces battled to the center of the city of Samarra, Iraq, yesterday in a major offensive aimed at regaining control of the area. More than 100 insurgents and one American soldier were killed in the street-to-street fighting. [Page 1a]

Questions follow Gaza incursion

With the new Israeli military incursion in Gaza, many Palestinians and some Israelis are asking: If Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is determined to remove Jewish settlements there, why doesn't he pull out immediately instead of prolonging the cycle of violence? [Page 1a]

MARYLAND

Homicide toll may reach 300

For several years, Baltimore's homicide toll was kept well below 300, but this year, the city is on pace to hit that unenviable mark. A recent spike in killings pushed the year's total to 220 as of late yesterday - 20 more than at the same time in 2003. [Page 1a]

Ehrlich ties slots loss to sprawl

No slots means more sprawl, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said, making a bid to win environmentalists' support for legalizing slot machines. His domino theory: Without slots at racetracks, the horse industry falters, farms are sold to developers, sprawling development worsens and the Chesapeake Bay suffers. [Page 1b]

Catholic school year extended

Archdiocese of Baltimore officials have alerted parents of Catholic elementary school pupils that their children's academic years will lengthen by two weeks over the next several years. By 2006-2007, the school calendar will have 180 instructional days, the same number as public schools. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Lewis agrees to plea bargain

Jamal Lewis has reached a plea-bargain agreement in his drug conspiracy case under which the star Ravens running back will receive four to six months in prison, according to people familiar with the deal. The agreement, not yet publicly announced, means that Lewis will not have to submit to a scheduled November trial. [Page 1a]

Deal guarantees O's revenue

The Orioles would be guaranteed at least $130 million a year in revenue and be assured of a price of at least $360 million should the franchise be sold, under an agreement nearing completion between the team and Major League Baseball. [Page 1c]

O's clinch 7th losing season

The Orioles clinched their seventh straight losing season with an 8-3 defeat to the Boston Red Sox. Boston trailed 2-1 before rallying against the Orioles bullpen for two runs in the seventh inning, and five in the ninth. The Orioles had won seven of their past eight. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

PeopleSoft fires CEO Conway

Business software maker PeopleSoft Inc. unexpectedly fired Chief Executive Officer Craig Conway, the feisty leader who engineered the company's dogged resistance to Oracle Corp.'s $7.7 billion takeover bid during a 16-month melodrama. Hours after PeopleSoft disclosed Conway's ouster, the Justice Department said it won't appeal a court decision that removed an antitrust hurdle to Oracle's offer. [Page 12c]

Black & Decker a top performer

Towson-based toolmaker Black & Decker provided one of the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster third quarter for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, with the second-best performance of all stocks. A Maryland company was also among the worst performers: Ciena Corp., the Linthicum-based fiber-optic equipment maker. [Page 12c]

TODAY

Vote for Change tour begins

Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks and other pop stars took to stages across Pennsylvania last night, launching an unprecedented nine-day series of concerts in nine swing states to raise an estimated $10 million in support of Sen. John Kerry. [Page 1a]

Fashion photographer Avedon dies

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