Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 31, 2004

WORLD

Report of wave panics South Asia

As the death toll from Sunday's tsunami and earthquake rose past 117,000, thousands of panic-stricken people across South Asia fled their homes yesterday amid unfounded reports that another giant wave was about to strike the area. [Page 1a]

Aid groups scramble to help out

In what would normally be a quiet holiday season, Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services and other international aid groups are scrambling to mobilize a major global relief campaign. [Page 1a]

Iraqi election carries more risks

With violence raging across sections of Iraq, elections scheduled at the end of January risk highlighting ethnic and sectarian divisions instead of unifying the country, experts say. [Page 1a]

NATIONAL

Democrat new Wash. governor

After three vote tallies and nearly two nerve-racking months of waiting, Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared Washington's governor-elect. But her Republican rival did not concede and wants a new election. [Page 3a]

F-22s, carrier might be cut

Budget cuts that are being considered by the Pentagon include a reduction in the purchases of F-22 stealth fighters and the retirement of one of 12 aircraft carriers. [Page 3a]

MARYLAND

Ehrlich says he's preparing veto

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said yesterday that he is preparing his veto message for legislation passed by the General Assembly to keep malpractice insurance costs for doctors in check. Ehrlich said he plans a ceremony next week to formally issue his veto. [Page 1a]

Property assessments on the rise

State officials are mailing out notices to homeowners today with the highest property assessment increases since 1980, when Maryland began phasing them in over three years. Values for residential and commercial properties are up an average of 15.5 percent a year for three years. [Page 1a]

Judge upholds panel on lobbyist

A Howard County Circuit judge upheld a State Ethics Commission decision to punish high-powered lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano for what it called an illegal business arrangement with a client. If the ruling stands, Bereano could be suspended from lobbying for 10 months and fined $5,000. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Band leader Artie Shaw dies

Artie Shaw, a clarinetist and band leader known for a slew of hits as well as a roster of wives, died yesterday at age 94. His fame made Shaw -- whose recording of "Begin the Beguine" epitomized the Big Band era -- uncomfortable, and he "retired" several times from the business. [Page 1c]

3 to help bring in new year in N.Y.

This year, Times Square will be jammed not only with revelers. With Dick Clark sidelined by a stroke, Fox's Ryan Seacrest, NBC's Carson Daly and ABC's Regis Philbin will all be in or near Times Square tonight, oozing the bonhomie that worked so well for "the world's oldest living teenager." [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Corporations join in relief effort

In the face of the devastation from last weekend's tsunamis, many of the biggest and best-known global corporations are rushing to aid victims in what is shaping up to be an unprecedented relief effort. [Page 1d]

Action asked on pilots pension plan

The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. asked a federal court yesterday to allow it to take over the retirement plan for 14,000 United Airlines pilots. [Page 1d]

Nottingham CEO stops down

P. Douglas Dollenberg, who helped build White Marsh Town Center into a prominent hub with about 15,000 residents and 17,000 jobs, is stepping down today after 25 years as CEO of Nottingham Properties Inc. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Navy wins Emerald Bowl

Aaron Polanco ran for three touchdowns and passed for one, and Navy (10-2) tied for the most wins in school history with a 34-19 win over New Mexico in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. Polanco scored on runs of 14, 1 and 27 yards and had a 61-yard touchdown pass to Corey Dryden. [Page 1f]

Ponson still being detained

Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson was transferred, at his request, to another police station in Aruba. But two men who allegedly participated in the fight on Christmas that injured a judge escaped from jail. Ponson could be detained six more days as the prosecutor continues his investigation. [Page 1f]

Billick disputes firing reports

Ravens coach Brian Billick defended the stability of his locker room and disputed reports that offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh has been fired. "The reports that say Matt Cavanaugh is now fired, that there's a specific timetable to it, are wrong," he said. [Page 1f]

TODAY ONLINE

CELEBRATE!

Find the perfect way for ringing in the new year in our searchable database of events and restaurants. www.baltimoresun.com/features

CROSSWORD PUZZLES ONLINE

Once you're done with our in-paper puzzle, go online to solve the daily interactive crossword puzzle. You also can find crosswords from the previous two weeks. www.baltimoresun.com/crossword

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"As is the case in Iraq since March 1991, there are no good options, only bad and worse."

Amatzia Baram, a longtime Iraq specialist at the University of Haifa in Israel (Article, Page 1A)

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