Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 12, 2004

NATIONAL

Events could decide race

The presidential candidates have spent hundreds of millions on TV ads, crisscrossed the country dozens of times and are preparing to meet in their third and final debate. But with the 2004 election still very much up for grabs, events could play a decisive role in the outcome. [Page 1a]

Reeve praised for research role

In the nine years since on-screen superhero Christopher Reeve tumbled from a horse and broke his neck, the field of spinal cord injury research has been all but transformed. Reeve, 52, died of heart failure Sunday. [Page 1a]

New germs seen as terror threat

The United States has improved its odds of defeating a biological attack from agents such as smallpox or anthrax, but remains ill-prepared for attacks using newer bioengineered germs and other unanticipated pathogens, according to a report by the Baltimore-based Center for Biosecurity. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Cleric's followers turn in weapons

Followers of rebel Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began turning in weapons in Baghdad as part of an agreement to end weeks of fighting in Sadr City. Elsewhere in the capital, two American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack, and hostage-takers released a video showing the decapitations of a Turkish and a Kurdish captive. [Page 1a]

Sharon vows vote on Gaza plan

Amid shouts and catcalls, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon opened a new legislative session by pledging to put his plan to remove settlements from Gaza to a vote on Oct. 25. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

Bear hunt called necessary

As animal rights activists seek to block Maryland's first bear hunt in 51 years, many Garrett County residents say the hunt is necessary. Some have stopped feeding their dogs on the porch, for fear of attracting bears. Others have been arming themselves with pepper spray and flashlights when they go for walks at night. The state will allow hunters to kill about 30 bears a year, starting Oct. 25. [Page 1a]

Walbrook plans draw fire

Proposals by city school officials to bring order to Walbrook High Uniform Services Academy, where drug dealers and their confederates set fires and two-thirds of the student body was bumped down to a lower grade this fall, were met with skepticism and outright opposition by many students and parents who attended a town hall-style meeting last night. [Page 1b]

Murder suspect was released

A man charged with killing a 15-year-old Baltimore County girl whose body was found burned had been arrested and released in a separate case several days before FBI agents found him and a second murder suspect in a remote area of northern California, authorities said. [Page 2b]

SPORTS@SUBHEDAstros oust Braves from playoffs

Carlos Beltran hit two homers and drove in five runs to lead the Houston Astros over the Atlanta Braves, 12-3, in the deciding Game 5 of their first-round National League playoff series. The Astros snapped an 0-for-7 record of futility in the playoffs. [Page 1c]

Rivera to be ready for Red Sox

New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera flew to his home in Panama for the funeral of his wife's cousin and the cousin's son, who were electrocuted while cleaning the pitcher's pool. But Rivera said he will return in time for tonight's American League Championship Series game against the Boston Red Sox. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS@SUBHEDHome sales slowed in Sept.

Existing-home sales in the Baltimore area slowed a bit from their torrid pace last month, compared with a year ago, but values kept climbing with average prices jumping 20.5 percent. September's average sale price was $253,371 in Baltimore and its five surrounding counties. [Page 1d]

Oil prices hit record high

Oil futures prices advanced to a new high, nearing $54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as a strike began in Africa's largest exporter of crude and worries about Russian oil supplies persisted amid growing demand. U.S. gasoline prices rose for the third straight week. [Page 1d]

Two share Nobel in economics

Edward C. Prescott, a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, and Finn E. Kydland, a Norwegian who teaches at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of California in Santa Barbara, won the Nobel prize in economics for work that recognized the importance of productivity in business cycles and encouraged central banks to set long-term goals for fighting inflation. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Democrats object to Kerry show

The Democratic Party said that it will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over plans by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group to air a program criticizing John Kerry's anti-war activism, saying it would amount to an illegal corporate campaign contribution to President Bush. Sinclair called the complaints groundless. [Page 1a]

TODAY ONLINE

HOME SALES SLOW

The pace of area home sales slowed in September, but prices continued to march upward. Check our searchable database to see what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. www.baltimoresun.com/homesales

RIVALRY RENEWED

The Red Sox and Yankees get set to battle once again for the American League crown. Get live scores and comprehensive coverage of the American and National League Championship Series. www.baltimoresun.com/baseball

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"He was largely responsible for the reawakening of interest in spinal cord injury."

Dr. John A. Jane, chairman of the neurosurgery department at the University of Virginia, speaking about actor Christopher Reeve (Article, Page 1A)

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