Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 15, 2004

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"There is no rule that I'm aware of that would allow the commission - nor would it be prudent - to prevent the airing of a program." Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell, on an anti-John Kerry program (Article, Page 10A)

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NATIONAL

Campaigning in a new race

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry stormed back onto the campaign trail yesterday hours after their last debate created what both sides said was a new race that has come down to a tie in the past 19 days. [Page 1a]

Deficit rises to record level

The federal deficit surged to a record $413 billion this year, the Treasury Department said yesterday, injecting the figure into a presidential campaign in which the two parties have clashed over President Bush's management of the economy and the budget. [Page 3a]

More troops urged at Iraq base

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is pressing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for more troops to protect the largest U.S. supply base in Iraq, dubbed Mortaritaville because of the frequency of mortar and rocket attacks, after the base commanders requests for more troops were rejected. [Page 3a]

WORLD

10 killed in Baghdad bombings

Two bomb attacks believed to be carried out by suicide bombers inside the highly fortified Green Zone in Baghdad killed 10 people. [Page 1a]

Settlers to be moved from Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that all 8,200 Jewish settlers would be removed from the Gaza Strip over a 12-week period next summer. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

Problems with home monitoring

Countless suspects ordered into private home monitoring as a condition for bail never signed up for the monitoring - a problem that Baltimore criminal justice officials are scrambling to fix. There do not appear to be records of how many people have been put on private home detention. Yesterday, city prosecutors were ordered to oppose all requests for private home monitoring. Two men who were supposed to have been on monitoring - but never signed up - are charged with a murder they are alleged to have committed while on bail. [Page 1a]

Probe sought in Prince George's

Prince George's County schools chief Andre J. Hornsby faces an ethics inquiry into questions surrounding his dealings with a software company seeking to do business with the system. State legislators, voicing strong concerns, want further investigation into the county's contracts with vendors and tougher personal financial disclosures by school system leaders in Maryland. [Page 1a]

Session on insurance likely

A special legislative session in the coming weeks to avert sharp cost increases for medical malpractice insurance looked likely yesterday, as the governor pledged to draft a reform bill in the next few days and legislative leaders vowed to solve the problem with or without his agreement. [Page 1b]

Md. forest land to be appraised

The state Department of General Services has dispatched appraisers to estimate the value of some forest in Southern Maryland in an attempt to quiet criticism over a secret deal to sell the state-owned land to a politically connected contractor. The decision to seek a new appraisal comes after legislative leaders wrote to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and other state Board of Public Works members asking that the land sale be held because of questions. [Page 1b]

BUSINESS

Insurance giants sued

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued insurance giants Marsh & McLennan, American International Group and several others yesterday, alleging that brokers have been taking payoffs from insurance companies to steer corporate clients their way rather than get the best prices for policies, as they are required. [Page 1c]

State's older work force

About 800 people attended a job fair in Timonium yesterday and one common thread tied them together: They were all over the age of 50, an increasing segment of Maryland's work force. [Page 1c]

Health care firms to combine

Coventry Health Care Inc. announced it would buy First Health Group Corp. yesterday in a $1.8 billion deal that would create a combined company operating in all 50 states. [Page 1c]

TODAY

Anti-Kerry program allowed

The FCC refused yesterday to block Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting from airing a program blaming Sen. John Kerry's anti-war activism three decades ago for prolonging the torture of U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam. Congressional Democrats had asked the agency to investigate plans by Sinclair to broadcast the program on its 62 U.S. TV stations next week. [Page 10a]

O'Reilly vows to fight charges

Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, the nation's top-rated cable news host, vows to fight sexual harassment charges brought by producer Andrea Mackris, 33, who says in her lawsuit that he repeatedly pressured her to engage in phone sex and frightened her with lewd "monologues." [Page 3d]

SPORTS

Homers in 8th power Cards, 6-4

Albert Pujols led off the eighth inning with a tie-breaking home run, Scott Rolen followed with his second homer of the game and the Cardinals stormed back to beat the visiting Astros, 6-4, to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series. Larry Walker also homered for St. Louis. [Page 1e]

Hour near for Terps basketball

The Maryland men's basketball team, coming off its first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship in 20 years, will celebrate the beginning of practice for the 2004-05 season with Midnight Madness festivities tonight at the Comcast Center. [Page 1e]

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