Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 19, 2004

NATIONAL

Court on Texas redistricting

The Supreme Court ordered a lower court yesterday to reconsider a Texas redistricting plan engineered by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay that could cost Democrats up to six House seats, though the ruling wont affect next month's elections. [Page 3a]

Bush, Kerry trade shots

As polls opened for early voting in Florida, Colorado, Arkansas and Texas, President Bush unleashed his harshest attack yet on John Kerry's foreign policy yesterday, accusing the senator of being unreliable in protecting the country and fighting terrorism. Kerry accused Bush of "arrogant boasting" about success in Iraq. [Page 10a]

Kerry poll numbers dip

Kerry's performance in the face-to-face duels with Bush drew favorable reviews, but now, polls that showed them tied last week are showing Bush with a lead of as much as eight percentage points among likely voters. [Page 10a]

WORLD

Iraq duty causing strain

The National Guard has emerged as a major force in Iraq. But moving the back-up force to the war's front line is putting strain on the soldiers and recruiting efforts. [Page 1a]

British deployment opposed

Opposition grew in Britain to a proposed redeployment of 650 soldiers from southern Iraq to a battle zone near Baghdad to free U.S. troops to mount attacks on insurgents. [Page 13a]

MARYLAND

University system plan

Maryland's public university students would face financial penalties for taking longer than four years to graduate, and faculty would have to teach more courses under a cost-saving plan being recommended by top University System of Maryland officials. The 16-point plan also calls for a review of the role of the University of Baltimore and three other institutions. [Page 1a]

Mikulski debates Pipken

Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski defended her votes on taxes and defense spending during a televised debate with E.J. Pipkin, a first-term Republican state senator who sought to align himself with President Bush in an aggressive attempt to topple the 18-year incumbent. [Page 1a]

Cutting state health costs

After drawing fire for his plans to increase co-payments for prescription drugs, Maryland's budget secretary is considering ways to cut more than $70 million from state employee health care costs in the next fiscal year, including requiring some workers to pay more for their insurance and restricting doctors' ability to prescribe them certain medications. [Page 2b]

TODAY

Bringing `Broadway' to MPT

A decade in the making, Broadway: The American Musical airs tonight through Thursday on MPT and is filled with documentary footage, music, and dozens of interviews with showgirls, songwriters, directors, critics, writers and historians. [Page 1c]

A ready replacement

Nathan Lane is dashing over to Britain to reprise his Tony Award-winning role in the London production of The Producers after Richard Dreyfuss pulled out at the last minute. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Gas prices back up to $2

Two-dollar-a-gallon gas is back. The run-up in gasoline prices during the past month, driven by a series of events, is unusual given that this is typically a season when gas prices fall after summer travel wanes. [Page 1d]

A luxury condo building boom

Developers recently broke ground on a Ritz-Carlton in Federal Hill in what is slated as a $155 million condominium complex. And with crews set to begin construction this spring on a $180 million Four Seasons hotel and condominium complex across from the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, luxury condominium development in Charm City is in full swing. [Page 1d]

Virgin Atlantic adds ... beds?

In a move that could give new meaning to in-flight entertainment, Virgin Atlantic Airways has introduced double beds for first-class passengers on selected flights. Critics warn that Virgin has crossed the line when it comes to decency and that the airline runs the risk of alienating more passengers than it accommodates. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Red Sox top Yankees, 5-4, in 14th

David Ortiz singled home the winning run in the 14th inning as the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees, 5-4, and closed their American League Championship Series best-of-seven series to 3-2. It was the second straight extra-inning win for the Red Sox, who have avoided elimination the past two games at Fenway Park after falling behind 0-3 in the series. [Page 1e]

Late homer gives Astros 3-0 win

Jeff Kent's three-run homer in the ninth lifted the Houston Astros over the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0, for a 3-2 edge in the National League Championship Series. The Astros' Brandon Backe allowed one hit through eight innings, and the Cardinals' Woody Williams allowed one hit through seven. Houston's Carlos Beltran opened the ninth with a single off Jason Isringhausen. [Page 1e]

Trojans top BCS rankings

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