Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 10, 2005

NATIONAL

Focus turns to shuttle problem

With Discovery safely back on Earth, NASA's engineers will turn their full attention to figuring out why a hunk of foam insulation broke away from the shuttle's external fuel tank despite two years of work to fix the problem -- the same one that doomed the shuttle Columbia. [Page 1a]

Breast implant dispute

Thirteen years after they were banned because of health concerns, silicone gel breast implants are heading for a comeback, but opposition is also returning, and regulators are at the center of the re-emerging dispute. [Page 1a]

Good news for Medicare

Medicare announced yesterday that its new outpatient prescription benefit will cost about 14 percent less than estimated, which means less of a squeeze on seniors' budgets and billions in potential savings for taxpayers. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Iran's nuclear standoff

An emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency broke up yesterday with Iran vigorously defending its right to pursue nuclear energy programs and European diplomats saying they intended to offer Tehran one last chance to back down, but there was no sign that Iran's new hard-line president would. [Page 8a]

Niger leader dismisses crisis

Niger's president played down the food crisis ravaging his desert nation, insisting yesterday that people in the West African country look well-fed. President Mamadou Tandja acknowledged that a locust invasion and poor rains have produced food shortages, but he said that was not unusual for his country. [Page 12a]

MARYLAND

Port seeks tighter security

The port of Baltimore is asking the state Board of Public Works to approve a $5.5 million contract to design and install a camera system that would allow security officials to remotely monitor the port' fences, terminals, gates and piers. [Page 1a]

Balloon ride replacement?

Baltimore development officials are seeking proposals to replace the downtown helium balloon ride that has been grounded since July 2004. They hope for some type of mixed-use development with "unique retail" on the ground floor. [Page 1b]

Wilcox's gun charge dropped

Howard County prosecutors dropped a handgun charge yesterday against NBA player and former University of Maryland basketball star Christopher Wilcox, saying police illegally detained him after an alcohol-related traffic stop in June. [Page 5b]

SPORTS

Bedard leads O's over Rays

Erik Bedard pitched seven strong innings to earn his first victory since May 21, and the Orioles used a three-run seventh to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 5-2. Eric Byrnes homered for the Orioles, who improved to 3-2 under manager Sam Perlozzo. [Page 1e]

Ravens' Thomas injures knee

Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas hyperextended his right knee late in the morning practice session, likely keeping him out of Saturday night's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons. [Page 8e]

Rangers' Rogers reinstated

Kenny Rogers will pitch for the Texas Rangers against the Boston Red Sox tonight, much to the dismay of baseball commissioner Bud Selig. An independent arbitrator ruled that Selig had overstepped his bounds in acting as judge and jury in the case of Rogers' June 29 altercation with two TV cameramen. Selig's initial 20-game suspension was overturned, essentially reducing it to a 13-game penalty. [Page 3e]

BUSINESS

Reining in inflation

The price of a barrel of crude oil hit a record high this week. Housing prices are in the stratosphere. Health care and insurance costs are up by double-digits. Food is getting more expensive. Time to dust off those circa-1974 Whip Inflation Now buttons? Actually, the Federal Reserve says not to worry: It raised a key interest rate another quarter-point yesterday and indicated that it can continue to contain inflation at an unhurried pace. [Page 1a]

Ruling clears Disney directors

The Walt Disney Co.'s board did not breach its fiscal responsibilities by agreeing to hire Hollywood superagent Michael Ovitz as president in 1995, then granting him a $140 million severance package when he left 14 months later, a Delaware judge ruled yesterday. The decision closes a trial that revealed the stormy inner workings of one of world's largest entertainment companies. [Page 1d]

Verizon builds in Howard

Verizon Wireless is building a $22 million customer-service center in Howard County, a project that could create 300 jobs by the end of this year. An official announcement is scheduled for today. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Reeve's widow has lung cancer

Dana Reeve, widow of actor Christopher Reeve, announced yesterday that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Reeve, a nonsmoker, said she made the diagnosis public because a tabloid had prepared a story on it. [Page 1c]

Sarah Jessica Parker in Md.

Another movie will begin shooting this week in Maryland, this time bringing Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker to Annapolis for work on the film Failure to Launch. Filming will take place tomorrow or Friday, depending on weather, on State Circle, says the film's publicist. [Page 3c]

TODAY ONLINE

JAMAL'S BACK

Check out a decade of Ravens football, including story, photo and multimedia galleries at www.baltimoresun.com/ravens10.

STORMY WEATHER

Keep tabs on Hurricane Irene, your local forecast, and Frank Roylance's weather blog at www.marylandweather.com.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"More than ever, I feel Chris with me as I face this challenge. As always, I look to him as the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope in the face of life's adversities."

Dana Reeve, widow of actor Christopher Reeve, on her battle with lung cancer (Article, Page 1C)

MARKETS

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10,615.67

NASDAQ -- UP

+9.80

2,174.19

S&P -- UP

+8.25

1,231.38

SUNINDEX -- UP

+0.97

323.38

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