Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

October 31, 2004

NATIONAL

In closing days, race is tied

In a virtual tie, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry sprinted toward the finish line yesterday with the issue of terrorism in their sights. Osama bin Laden's videotaped warning to Americans has added an element of uncertainty to already shaky pre-election calculations on both sides. [Page 1a]

Halliburton contract extended

The Pentagon extended a Halliburton Co. contract beyond its expiration despite warnings that the company was "out of control" in its work providing troop support in the Balkans, government memos showed. [Page 3a]

WORLD

8 U.S. troops killed in Iraq

U.S. troops suffered their deadliest day in Iraq in nearly six months when eight Marines were killed in a car bombing near Baghdad yesterday. The attack came as U.S. and Iraqi security forces readied an all-out assault on insurgents in Fallujah and Ramadi. [Page 1a]

Arafat undergoes more tests

Palestinian officials convened a leadership meeting yesterday while Yasser Arafat underwent a second day of medical tests at a French hospital. Officials said test results did not show signs of leukemia, one of several illnesses that Arafat's symptoms suggest. [Page 17a]

MARYLAND

Watermen partner with scientists

Maryland watermen harvested oysters yesterday morning from three locations that had been placed off-limits to allow the oysters to grow and benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The bars, planted with disease-free oysters, were opened to watermen participating in a partnership that includes scientists and regulators. [Page 1a]

Teen charged in shootings

A 19-year-old West Baltimore man has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of four people after a football game Friday night between Patterson High School and Walbrook High Uniformed Services Academy at Patterson Park. The victims' injuries were not life-threatening. No motive has been identified, and it wasn't clear yesterday whether any victims attend the high schools. [Page 1b]

O'Malley looks ahead to 2006

Mayor Martin O'Malley's public face may be focused on this week's bid for re-election, but his political ambitions are aimed at 2006. The questions for O'Malley aren't whether he wins Tuesday, but by how much - and what the margin says about his prospects of becoming Maryland's next governor. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Terps upset No. 5 Florida State

Maryland won for the first time against Florida State in 15 tries, defeating the Seminoles, 20-17, and recording its first victory over a Top 5 team since 1983. Quarterback Joel Statham threw for 333 yards and ran for a score, helping the Terps hold off the Seminoles, who entered the game with a six-game winning streak. Maryland had lost three straight conference games. [Page 1d]

Ghostzapper takes Cup Classic

Ghostzapper pulled away down the stretch in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park, setting a race and track record by covering the 1 1/4 miles in 1 minute, 59.02 seconds. Other Breeders' Cup winners were Ashado, Speightstown, Singletary, Wilko, Better Talk Now, Sweet Catomine and Ouija Board. [Page 1d]

Navy pays back Delaware, 34-20

Quarterback Aaron Polanco rushed for three touchdowns and Kyle Eckel gained 143 yards on the ground, enabling the Midshipmen to beat Delaware, 34-20, and end a five-game Homecoming Day losing streak. It was the seventh straight home victory for Navy (7-1), which had last lost in Annapolis to Delaware almost a year ago to the day. [Page 7d]

BUSINESS

Malpractice views mirror parties'

On the issue of medical malpractice, Marylanders are as polarized as their politicians. In a poll for The Sun, respondents who identified themselves as Republicans were three times as likely as Democrats to blame escalating health costs on trial lawyers suing doctors for malpractice. And Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to blame insurance companies and HMOs. [Page 1a]

SUV envy trumps gas fears

In The Sun poll, 62 percent of Marylanders responded that they will think twice about the size and gas mileage of the next car they buy. But their response flies in the face of national sales data and countless surveys, which show that while people may grouse about gas prices, they generally care more about cup holders and exterior color than about how far they can ride on a gallon of gas. [Page 1c]

An ambitious, alternative market

Alfred R. Berkeley III, a former vice chairman and president of Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. and a former investment banker with Baltimore-based Alex. Brown Inc., is launching a stock market that he hopes will compete with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. His Pipeline Trading Systems is an ambitious undertaking, especially since many such alternative trading systems have crumbled. [Page 1c]

TODAY

Jokes red, blue and venomous

This year, an increasingly nasty presidential campaign has spawned an abundance of pointed political humor. "The humor is much angrier and confrontational," says columnist Dave Barry. [Page 1e]

Resurrected Dresden turns 800

The German city of Dresden, reduced to rubble during World War II, has been restored and prepares to celebrate its 800th birthday. When the scaffolding finally comes down, it won't be hard to imagine what Dresden was before the war: cultivated and pleasure-loving, one of Europe's most cherished "grand tour" cities. [Page 1r]

TODAY ONLINE

PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT

See a video clip of editorial page editor Dianne Donovan discussing The Sun's endorsement process. www.baltimoresun.com/opinion

RAVENS AT EAGLES

Get live updates of the Ravens-Eagles game, rosters and archived stories. www.baltimoresun.com/movies

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's getting worse. I'm never going to live as long as my parents."

Judith Plunkett, 47, on the unaffordability of health care (Article, Page 1C)

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