Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 06, 2004

NATIONAL

FDA whistleblower in spotlight

Lately, strangers have been approaching David Graham, wanting to shake his hand and thank him. That wouldn't be unusual if he were a rock star or an actor. Graham, a safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration, earned his moment in the spotlight by accusing his bosses of failing to guarantee the safety of America's drugs. [Page 1A]

Intelligence bill awaits approval

If House GOP leaders would allow a vote on post-Sept. 11 legislation overhauling the nation's intelligence community, it would easily pass, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle predicted yesterday. A top Republican scolded opponents who worry that the Pentagon would lose some of its authority, saying national security is far more important than turf battles. [Page 3A]

Bush weighs tax code system

President Bush is laying the groundwork for a possible overhaul of the U.S. tax code system. However, one option under consideration -- eliminating the federal deduction for state and local taxes -- would deal its biggest financial blow to citizens of "blue" states such as California and New York, which have higher-than-average income levels and bigger-than-average state and local tax burdens. [Page 4A]

WORLD

Egypt, Israel release prisoners

In the latest and most public signal that relations between Egypt and Israel are improving, Egyptian authorities released yesterday Azzam Azzam, an Israeli-Arab who had been convicted of spying and had served less than half his 15-year sentence. Israel released six Egyptian university students who had illegally crossed into Israel in August and were suspected of plotting an attack. [Page 1A]

Ukrainian protesters stand firm

For two weeks, enormous crowds marched through central Kiev until the government agreed to a new presidential runoff. Many of the protesters supporting the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko say they will continue their blockade until the government adopts measures to ensure that the Dec. 26 vote is fair. [Page 1A]

MARYLAND

Collaborating on redevelopment

The Baltimore County Council is expected to act on legislation tonight to replace the traditional zoning and review process for selected redevelopment projects in older neighborhoods such as Dundalk. Backers say the plan, supported by County Executive James T. Smith Jr., will simplify and quicken the development process while ensuring that residents have a say in what gets built. [Page 1A]

City Council is about to shrink

Baltimore's 19-member City Council will meet tonight for the last time under a structure that dates back 82 years. A newly configured, smaller council will be sworn in Thursday. However, before they go, the current members must decide on a proposed 12-year cable franchise deal with Comcast. [Page 1B]

Rally protests Ukraine election

More than 70 people participated in a rally and candlelight vigil in Canton yesterday organized by Baltimore's Ukrainian-American community to protest the disputed presidential election in Ukraine. They wore orange scarves, pins, sweaters and jackets as a sign of solidarity with opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko's campaign, dubbed the "Orange Revolution." [Page 1B]

TODAY

A jewel of an exhibit

Cynthia Gale, a Dulaney High School graduate who lives in New York, has carved a niche for herself designing museum-piece jewelry. Institutions such as museums, galleries and theaters often commission her to create pieces that represent or are based on exhibits, collections or architecture in the storied buildings. She will be appearing in the area this week. [Page 1C]

Kennedy Center salutes six stars

Last night's Kennedy Center Honors injected much-needed glitz to a capital still stuck in a post-election hangover. President Bush grinned from the box with this year's honorees: British rocker Sir Elton John, actor Warren Beatty, Australian opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland, composer John Williams and married actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. [Page 1C]

Former bank is up for auction

One of the landmarks of the Old Goucher Historic District, the former Federal Land Bank building at 2315 St. Paul St., is going on the auction block. Architect Donald Kann wants to convert it from offices to 71 apartments. If it moves ahead, it would be a boost for the area between Midtown and Charles Village. [Page 1C]

SPORTS

Maryland falls in BB&T

T.J. Thompson scored 27 points, and George Washington upset No. 12 Maryland, 101-92, in the championship game of the BB&T Classic at MCI Center. John Gilchrist led Maryland (4-2) with 23 points. [Page 1D]

USC, Okla. get Orange berths

Southern California and Oklahoma finished atop the final Bowl Championship Series standings and will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in a title game that might not produce a unanimous national champion. Auburn finished third in the BCS points system and will play Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3. [Page 1D]

GAMEDAY

Bengals clip Ravens, 27-26

Carson Palmer threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Cincinnati Bengals rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Ravens, 27-26, at M&T Bank Stadium. Shayne Graham kicked a 24-yard field goal to end the game, giving the Bengals their first win in Baltimore in eight tries since 1996. [Page 1E]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Many people say that, to them, the Christmas season hasn't started until they've seen the Christmas parade." Susannah Bridget Siger, Hampden shop owner, on yesterday's Mayor's Christmas Parade (Article, Page 1B)

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